Mexico City is one of the world’s most important centers of archeology and urban architecture, with more than 30 different archeological and historic sites.
The city’s historic center is a UNESCO world heritage site, featuring well-preserved Pre- Colombian archeological sites and historic colonial era buildings.
The city is home of beautiful churches, authentic colonial neighborhoods and one of the largest and most beautiful urban parks in the world. Foreign Policy magazine ranked Mexico City as one of the world’s top 10 cultural destinations.
Even as Mexico City has become a modern cosmopolitan city, it continues investing in its past. More than 83,000 sq. meters of the city’s historic center were renovated in 2009. As one of the largest and most unique examples of colonial architecture in the world, the city is working to improve transportation flows in the historic center, create pedestrian walkways, and support renovations in many of the magnificent buildings and public spaces located throughout the historic city center.
The Centro Histórico or Historic Center, features numerous archeological sites and historic colonial buildings.
The heart of the historic center is the Plaza de la Constitución known locally as El Zócalo, one of the world’s largest urban squares.
El Zócalo has been the prime gathering point for Mexico City residents over many decades, and it is surrounded by the National Palace, the Aztec ruins of the Templo Mayor, the Metropolitan Cathedral (Latin America’s largest Catholic Church) and important government offices, including Mexico City’s City Hall.
Make sure to visit the National Palace, once the seat of the Mexican Government and the home of the president of Mexico.
Built on the grounds of Moctezuma’s home, it features murals by Diego Rivera depicting Mexican history. In addition to many famous sites, the historic center also features charming cafes and restaurants, boutiques and handicraft shops, museums and churches.
Make time to visit Chapultepec, one of the largest city parks in the world and home to the Chapultepec Castle, the former residence of Mexican Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota.
The park also features the country’s largest zoo, botanical gardens, lakes for paddleboat rides, an aquatic park with water slides, and miles of walkways and jogging paths.
There are three museums located in the park, including the beautiful Papalote Children’s Museum with an IMAX big-screen theater and a digital dome.
The Paseo de la Reforma is Mexico City’s major avenue. It bisects the City from east to west, and features numerous roundabouts, fountains and historic monuments such as the famous Angel of Independence Column.
Cultural fairs and exhibitions are frequently organized along La Reforma’s broad sidewalks and promenades. Hotels, office towers, government buildings, banks, and historic buildings are located along Reforma.
To experience the Venice of Mexico City, spend an afternoon at the floating gardens of Xochimilco.
Mariachi musicians serenade visitors as they ride colorful trajineras (gondolas) through City’s only remaining canals.
Spend a few hours in the picturesque colonial-era neighborhood of Coyoacán you must stop by the former home of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera which is now a museum called The Blue House or Marxist theorist Leon Trotsky’s house, also a museum.