Mexico City is one of the largest and most populated cities in the world, offering just about every tourist attraction you can imagine. Most of the people who travel to Mexico give some days to tour all the attractions that Mexico City has to offer.
Part of Mexico City’s history can be observed in the beautiful Historic Downtown, where ancient buildings which belonged to the Spanish settlement are still standing and, nowadays, filled with businesses offices. The main square of the Historic Downtown corresponds to the first constructions that the Spanish made, which were built over Tenochtitlan, the lake city of the Aztecs.
The boundaries of the Historic Downtown are Peru Street, the Circunvalacion road, the Eje Central Boulevard and Fray Servando Teresa de Mier Street. Don't miss this historic treasure when traveling to Mexico City.
The Alameda Central is the most antique public park in Mexico City; it was created during the XVI century by the viceroy Luis de Velasco. The Alameda Central Park is one of the most popular places chosen by the inhabitants for relax and leisure, and it is ideal to rest from a busy day doing tourism in Mexico DF. Originally lots of poplars were sowed in the park, but lately these were removed due to its slowly growth and they were replaced by ash trees and willows instead.
After the viceroy Luis de Velasco left Mexico, the Alameda Central declined and was abandoned for centuries until Felipe V ascended to the throne in Spain and took care of it.
This enormous and beautiful park has always been a meeting place for people of all ages and social status. The Alameda Central is full of trees, it has polygonal plant beds, circular promenades, sculptures, stone benches and attractive fountains. Remember to visit this beautiful green area when traveling to Mexico City.
Tlalpan means in the Nahualt dialect “the place of firm land” and it is located in the southern part of the ancient Valley of Mexico. It was home of a small civilization of 20,000 inhabitants who settled around the 1200 BC.
During the 16th and 17th century Tlalpan evolved towards an autonomous township with a governor and ten administrators. Beautiful houses from that time which used to belong to wealthy families are still stand and are a popular attraction of Tlalpan.
With the independence of the Mexican Republic, Tlalpan was incorporated to the Mexican state and became its capital in 1827. In 1855 it was annexed to the Federal District and today is its largest borough.
The history of Xochimilco started in the pre-Hispanic times when native tribes inhabited this region, being the first civilization who established a productive agriculture society. The history of what used to be the Valley of Mexico is still present and alive in Xochimilco through many legends and traditions. Visitors are often impressed when they see the old boats and vessels that used to go through the canals to the actual Historic Downtown of Mexico City. Xochimilco is a must-seeing attraction of Mexico City.
The Paseo de la Reforma
The Paseo de la Reforma was a 12 Km. avenue which connected the Chapultepec Castle with the Historic Downtown. Today this avenue is twice as long and it connects the western extreme of Mexico City-Toluca highway with the avenue that leads to the Basilica of Guadalupe.
The Reforma district has become the most important thoroughfare of Mexico City; it is a tourist site and a business hub, and it represents the nation’s concept of modernity. When traveling to Mexico City take your time to appreciate some of the most important buildings and valuable monuments of all Mexico that stand along Paseo de la Reforma.
The Zona Rosa was a residential area characterized by its enormous houses which belonged to distinguished personalities of the high society. Nowadays the Zona Rosa is the financial and commercial district, with many first class hotels, fashion nightclubs and luxurious restaurants of Mexico City. In the Zona Rosa tourists can also find the best art galleries and the most exclusive shops.
At the end of the 19th century San Angel was a suburban paradise for wealthy families. Nowadays enormous antique houses and beautiful hidden gardens are the testimony of its past splendor. Although many factories were settled during the 20th century increasing the commercial importance of San Angel, its character of being a quiet neighborhood still remains.
The Villa de Guadalupe
The Villa Guadalupe emerged as a settlement after the temple of the Virgen de Guadalupe was built in 1533. Villa de Guadalupe lies on a hill that had been a favorite place for religious observance since ancient times; here stood the temple of Tonantzin which was immediately destroyed after the Spanish Conquest. The Virgen de Guadalupe is a top tourist attraction of Mexico City.
Santa Fe and the West
Santa Fe is the only area in Mexico City which experienced flashy changes in the last few decades. This neighborhood used to be an enormous garbage dump and today it has turned into one of the most expensive and modern neighborhoods in Mexico City.
The transformation and recovery of the Santa Fe region was due to a project elaborated by architects, urban specialists and engineers, who designed a complex plan of urban development.
The biggest shopping mall of South America and many challenging architectonical projects were built here. Santa Fe is characterized for its avant-garde movement in the urban design and today is a recommended tourist attraction in Mexico City.
Coyoacan has a “frozen-in-time” aspect. Its origins date from the pre-Hispanic times when a small population of natives lived here by the lakes that used to cover the Valley of Mexico. Coyoacan is an ideal place to observe the colonial style remaining in a modern city.
Here was established the first capital of the New Spain. Time passed and Coyoacan turned into a weekend destination for the wealthiest families which started building here their houses. It was in the late 20th century that Coyocan finally got immerse in Mexico City.
Walking through the streets of Coyoacan is a delightful and charming experience. The houses are painted with joyful colors; there are small restaurants, coffee shops and many beautiful art galleries.
The Ciudad Universitaria
The Ciudad Universitaria is one of the major exponents of the best Mexican’s architecture style. The buildings located in the main part of the complex were designed and constructed by a team of the best Mexican architects. Prestigious artists have decorated some of the walls of the buildings with impressive murals.
Ciudad Universitaria houses the National Autonomous University of Mexico, which is a leading education and research center in the world. There also are amazing public libraries and museums; the buildings are surrounded by a vast green area which contributes to the pleasant feeling of being in a huge place.
The best attractions of Ciudad Universitaria are the Botanic Garden, the Centro Cultural Universitario and the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo.
Chapultepec Park is the main recreational and cultural center of Mexico City and it is one of the largest and most visited parks in Mexico. This enormous park was created in three different sections each one approximately occupying 230 hectares of land.
The first section is the most antique and was the section of the original park, where the Chapultepec Castle is. This section is also home to some of the most outstanding museums of Mexico City such as the National Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Modern Art and the Rufino Tamayo Art Museum.
The second section of the park was opened in 1962 and is home of the Presidential House of Los Pinos and the Papalote Kid’s Museum. This section of Chapuletpec Park is an ideal place to enjoy outdoor activities and sports. The third section has vast green areas and was opened in 1974.
Polanco is one of the most famous and exclusive neighborhoods in Mexico City, which is characterized by its cultural diversity and distinguished lifestyle. Foreign people who are attracted to prestigious fashion and jewelry shops often choose to live here, where they also find first class hotels and very luxurious restaurants. Over the last few decades Polanco has became one of the most elegant and cosmopolitan neighborhood of Mexico City.
The Condesa district has outstanding examples of Mexican architecture, its first constructions were based on the Art Deco style and the later ones are based on a very modern and innovative Mexican style. When doing tourism in Mexico, checkout the charming mix of fashion, gastronomy and art design that Condesa has to offer.
The Roma district has many buildings and houses based on the Art Nouveau. Some constructions that belonged to the colonial times are now being restored and turned into nice apartments and fashion shops. The Roma district used to be one single property called Hacienda de la Romita, which was divided in plots of land and later occupied by middle class families.
Towards the South
The traditional layout and orientation of Mexico City has always extended from north to south. The north area surrounds the Villa Guadalupe and the south surrounds the Ajusco volcano and the Tlalpan neighborhood. The starting points of most of excursions are the Historic Center, the Alameda, along the Paseo de la Reforma, the Zona Rosa, Chapultepec Park, and the Polanco, Roma and Condesa neighborhoods.
Heading south means heading to Coyoacan, San Angel, the Ciudad Universitaria and Tlalpan while visiting other interesting places along the way. There are many possible ways to head south; the most popular avenues are Insurgentes, Cuauhtemoc, Universidad and Revolucion.
If you are planning to travel to Mexico City, we recommend booking your Mexico City hotel in advance to avoid any trouble. For more information about Mexico City's attractions, contact us and we will gladly send you further material about any subject of your interest. We will e-mail this information at no cost within 72 hours and it will be specific to your requirements.
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