Mexico City is one of the most underrated destinations on the planet and I recently completed an awesome trip there. So, here is the list of places where you can enjoy and get fun.
This is the symbolic heart of Mexico. You cannot miss it because it has a giant Mexican flag. The city central square not only houses the Mexican government, but also two symbols of Mexico’s dual heritage: the Mayan Temple Major, which until recently was buried underground and the Spanish Cathedral, which was built from the stones of the Mayan temple.
When the Aztec’s built Mexico City, it was built on a lake and connected via canals. Xochimilco is a beautiful, little natural preserve outside the city center. A lot of young people go there to party; you hop in little canal boats and get toured around. Tour operators such as De la Chinampa a Tu mesa will take you to some organic farms where you can sample local food and enjoy the natural vibes of Xochimilco.
Modern Mexican Cuisine
Just forget about rice and beans and tacos. Those things all do exist, but Mexico City is one of the culinary hotspots of the world. There are tons of great restaurants in Mexico City, but if you want a good introduction to modern Mexican cuisine, try Amaya in Colonia Juarez, which brings Baja Med-style food with some great natural Mexican wine.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, try Restaurante Limosneros, which goes back to the bug cuisine of early Mexico, including caviar of ant eggs and squash wrapped around goat cheese with a pueblo beetle. It’s actually really delicious.
the Chapultepec Castle, which is a beautiful old castle on the top of a hill in one of Mexico City’s biggest parks. Here, you can hand feed the squirrels in the park. And who doesn’t love hand-feeding squirrels?
You’ve got to try Mezcal, which is essentially artisan tequila. Think of it more as if sipping a scotch, rather than taking a shot. Cocktail bars like Xaman, blend mezcal with pre-Colombian ingredients to make some really cool cocktails. If you want to try the pure thing, go to Corazon de Maguey, which is south of the city in the beautiful neighborhood of Coyoacán.
Also in Coyoacán is the Casa Azul, Frieda Kahlo’s childhood home where she eventually moved back in with her husband, Diego Rivera, the famous Mexican muralist. If you’re interested in art and also in Frieda, it’s definitely worth a visit. Be careful, though, because it is quite popular with tourists, and you’re probably going to have to wait in line to get in. But there’s always a person selling fresh fruit just out front.
Murals of Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera was married to Frieda Kahlo, and his work was all over Mexico City. He was part of a movement by the Mexican Government to help educate the masses and instill national identity through art. The single best place to find his murals is the “Palacio de Bellas Artes”, a former opera house that is covered in his work along with those of the other artists of his generation. It also includes his most famous piece: Man Controller of the Universe.
Mexican street art
If museums aren’t your thing, check out the modern Mexican muralists who are putting their artwork on the street. Mexico City is full of street art, and the best way to get grips on the scene is to check out Street Art Chilango.
Roma and Condesa
This is a beautiful place and I would be remiss without mentioning it. It’s a formerly aristocratic spot that was destroyed in the 1985 earthquake. It’s having a really big come back. It’s a great place to go out to eat. There’s plenty of bars. Generally, it’s a really good place for you to base yourself.
Every city has bars and clubs, but Mexico City has speakeasies, like back in the day when there was prohibition and the bars had to go underground. That culture still exists, and there’s one speakeasy, in particular, I would recommend: the Hanky Panky.