Introduction to Mexico City

Mexico City is a much welcomed assault to the senses. The colour of the buildings, the fragrant waft of the street food and the noisy traffic makes for one buzzing metropolis, however there are also many secluded neighbourhoods to wander and escapades to be had. Here in the world’s largest Spanish-speaking city, you won’t miss bathing in Baja’s beaches or climbing Yucatan pyramids when you’ve got Art Nouveau palaces, neverending dance parties and pulled pork tacos to enjoy.

There’s a definite Frida Kahlo-esque bohemianism in the air in Mexico City. With more than 16 boroughs and over 300 neighbourhoods, there are endless possibilities for exploring the city. Lucky for your walking boots, many of the most-visited tourist attractions in Mexico City are concentrated in the historic centre - including the Zócalo, National Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral, Palace of Fine Arts and Alameda Park. Head to Plaza Garibaldi for the best place to hear live mariachi music, or visit the artsy neighbourhoods of Zona Rosa, Roma, Condesa, Coyoacan and San Angel for green parks, markets and cafes.   

The Aztecs originally build Mexico City over the ancient Lake Texcoco with an intricate network of canals to navigate the city. However after the arrival of the Spanish in 1519, most of the Aztec structures and canals were destroyed. History buffs will appreciate the remaining examples of ancient Aztec city planning in the southern borough of Xochimilco and north of the city at the Teotihuacan archaeological site.

Mexico City is also filled with amazing styles of architecture, including the Art Nouveau murals by several of Mexico’s top painters in the Centro Historico. There’s also the Casa de los Azulejos, which is a beautiful 16th-century palace covered in blue and white azulejo tiles that’s now a restaurant. Form and function amid the chaos – just like Mexico City.

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