Mexico City: Top 7 Must-Sees & A History Untold

Mexico City, also known as, Ciudad de Mexico, CDMX, Distrito Federito, D.F., Mexico D.F., El Capital, or simply Mexico is the most ancient city in the Americas and was originally the center of the Aztec Empire. This is a city that offers unique experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a mix of ancient and advanced, creative and scientific, culture and contemporary. The entire city is a renaissance and one of my favorite places on earth.

Just some quick facts:

Mexico City is the eighth richest city in the world, boasts the most museums on the planet, is the second largest city in the Western Hemisphere, just behind New York City, and is the most ancient city in the Americas.

The remnants of Mexico City’s history are juxtaposed with its contemporary advancements. For example, ancient temples  used for human sacrifice can be found next to its sprawling financial district. But too often this city gets overlooked with news of danger and warnings, despite the inaccuracy of those news sources.

I think that the White men who control the media know this, and therefore brainwash us into thinking that Mexico is full of drugs and kidnappings (Mexico does not even come close to the rate of kidnappings in Europe and doesn’t even scratch the top 50 countries for kidnapping, check world stats here), just so we would be afraid to go there so they can keep Mexico to themselves. In the meantime, they throw us Cancun, which is a pot of shit.

This is a place where anything and everything happens and you can tailor your experiences to what you enjoy most. It is often compared to New York, but in my opinion, Mexico City is so much more than that. Mexico City is better than NYC. Mexico.Is.The.Future.

How To Get To Mexico City

Before Leaving America

You don’t need to do anything but bring your passport.

The Language and What To Pack

English or Spanish is acceptable here. Mexicans in Mexico City can dress. Pack your edgiest most fashionista outfits. Especially men. Those fine Mexican papis have their hair combed, button down shirts, tight fitting pants, polished shoes, lookin’ fresh af. If you don’t want to dress like this, that’s OK, too. Like I said, there is a place for everyone in Mexico City. You can interact with the richest of the rich or the poorest of poor and everything in between. Pack for what you’ll want to be perceived as. Just do not pack any of these basic ass items. I personally look for any excuse to look like a decent human being and also don’t want to have to worry about feeling out of place should I want to go into a nice restaurant or the ballet. I always dress up.

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The weather varies throughout the day. It is humid but not hot, and at night it gets chilly. Bring long pants and a jacket. Maybe buy an umbrella at some point because it also rains frequently.

However, you can also pack nothing. You can literally buy anything you want in Mexico City.

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Transportation from the Mexico City Airport

There are 3 ways you can leave the airport: subway, taxi, or Uber. I personally have always used a taxi. There are men standing in blue uniforms saying “taxi, taxi” in front of a white kiosk with the fares of certain zones within the city. This is an authorized taxi station where you pre-pay for your fare at the kiosk for the designated zone you need to get to, and you hand that voucher to a taxi waiting outside. This system ensures all the prices are the same and is very safe. However, taxi is the most expensive way to get into downtown Mexico, something along the lines of $8-$10.

A less expensive way is taking an Uber. For this you will need Internet connection that you may or may not have inside the airport. If you do, I recommend this over the taxi. It’s cheaper and will just bill your credit card. Make sure you don’t have a card with foreign transaction fees. An Uber is around $5-$7.

The least expensive way to travel from the airport is the subway. The flat fare is 5 pesos or 27 cents. TWENTY-SEVEN CENTS. I recommend this mode of transportation for everywhere EXCEPT the airport. The subway is small and usually packed. I, in general, don’t like to carry suitcases or large backpacks in crowds, not just in Mexico but anywhere. I also would not ride the subway at night. There are various tunnels that are dimly lit although there are usually police stationed in the subway. In addition, the ride from the airport is 45-50 minutes by subway, but 15 minutes by Uber or taxi. It’s your choice, but I don’t have time for that. You can catch the metro at Terminal 1. From Terminal 2, go up one floor and take the free airport train (keep your boarding pass you may have to show it) and go outside the terminal to Gate 1, walk to the main road and down into the metro station. You may need to speak Spanish for this.

If you are going anywhere else in the city, the subway is THE FUCKING BOMB. I’ve been on subways in Vienna, Paris, New York, DC, and Malaysia. This has got to be the best subway system there is in life. Yes, I’m serious. It is so easy to follow, you don’t need to know Spanish or anything. They have pictures that describe everything. Like if you fuck up, you just have to be stupid. But I’ll explain it anyway.

First you go to the brown kiosk where a lady is sitting behind a glass. Give her a 5 peso coin. She gives you a token. You put the token in the machine on your way into the subway and it will allow you to cross the barrier. Once inside there are large signs that outline in different colors the different railways like this one:

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See which stop you need to get off at (if you plug the address or site you need to go to into Google maps, and press public transportation, it will give you which stop you need to get off at. Do this BEFORE you go anywhere, while you’re still connected to wifi because there is not wifi in the subway. I take screenshots of the directions.) After you’ve located your stop, look at the final destination of the line in the direction that you need to be going and follow the signs in the metro to that station.

It’s very simple. The subway is cheap, quick, and entertaining. Vendors will try to sell you toys, flying helicopters, food, anything.

Where to Stay in Mexico City

I personally love to stay in Condesa. Condesa is a hipster neighborhood that has adorable European style restaurants with well-dressed young people enjoying beers, tapas, and coffee on the patios. Condesa also has shopping as well as an active nightlife. This neighborhood is really safe and relatively close to all the things you’ll want to see in Mexico City. Here is the link to the house I stay at in Condesa. It is run by Raul, the grand nephew of the famous Diego Rivera, and who is also an artist and has his art displayed all around the rooms. He is sure to pump you with history lessons and a fresh take on Mexican art. I always leave his house with a list of books I need to read to further educate myself on Mexican history.Mexico City-Where To Stay.JPG

I’ve also stayed in a high-rise condo in Centro because it was within walking distance of the main sites. If you’re more of a high-rise kind of person rather than a neighborhood person, I recommend this area. But know everything is more expensive in the Centro because this is where businessmen usually stay. Many people buy condos just for this purpose. The high-rises have gyms, pools, in-house restaurants and concierge services similar to a hotel but for $60/night instead of hotel prices.  Here is the link to the AirBnB I rented but be aware prices may have changed since then.

Here is a link to a list of alternative neighborhoods you may want to stay in.

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What To Avoid In Mexico City

Tap water and draft beer, unless you like having diarrhea and taking antibiotics.

What to Do in Mexico City

I don’t really even feel comfortable writing this because it’s no where near all the things you can do in Mexico City that I have yet to explore. I think it would take several lifetimes to truly know this city. But below are my seven mandotory things to see in Mexico City in order of what I enjoyed most.

WARNING: below you are about to receive a history lesson that they don’t teach in school. DAMN YOU colonialists for completely fucking up my education.

1. Teotihuacan

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Description

Where to begin?! Teotihuacan (pronunciation: Tay-Oh-Tee-Wah-Cahn) is the Nahuatl word that means “Birthplace of the Gods” because the Aztecs actually stumbled upon these pyramids and did not build them themselves, which is why I don’t want to refer to these pyramids as “Aztec Pyramids.” They believed that the gods magically built them since they are massive, similar to the Great Pyramids of Egypt, are technologically advanced, and are in perfect alignment with the stars. It is still unknown who built these pyramids and why they abandoned them, but these mysterious beings are referred to as “Teotihuacanos.” See picture below, those jaguars used to spit water out of the hole in their mouths.

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It’s not hard to believe that the Aztecs were incredibly impressed with these structures. The earliest buildings were built 200 B.C. and had intricate plumbing and sewage systems that ran underground and through buildings. They even had flushing toilets. The original buildings were covered in plaster and painted with intricate murals of gods and goddesses that still survive to this day (they basically invented lacquer finishing). They were painted with juice from a specific species of cactus and mixed with various elements such as the blood of gnats, shells from the sea, copper from the earth, or ash from the volcano. You can see people doing demonstrations of these things in the area.

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The Pyramid of the Sun is about the same size as the pyramids in Egypt. It is supposed to be placed in a strategic location to mark the summer solstice and is equal distance from the tip of Argentina to the tip of Canada (allegedly, this has not been fact-checked). During the summer solstice there’s supposed to be a huge rave in the desert to celebrate it according to the locals. There is a large table in front of the Pyramid of the Sun where human sacrifices were conducted. It was said that the strongest 15 year-old boys every year would race up the pyramid and the first one to the top would be killed and his heart cut out to be “offered” to the Gods. Now, knowing you would be killed and your beating heart ripped out of your chest, why in the fuck would you want to be first to the top?

 

It was then explained to me that there was a difference between an offering and a sacrifice. An offering was a choice that a person had to honor his life by being killed for the gods. A sacrifice was not really a choice, it was determined by someone else that you would be killed and then offered to the gods. So these boys were human offerings, not sacrifices, they wanted to be chosen. This pyramid is one of the only great pyramids in the world that you can climb all the way to the top.

You will then follow The Avenue of the Dead to the Pyramid of the Moon. It is called this because numerous bodies were found underneath this street, so it was considered a tomb. It supposedly follows a line of thirteen stars in the sky.

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The Pyramid of the Moon was supposed to have been built to represent the fertility goddess. You can only climb halfway up, and the stairs are VERY steep. Be careful.

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Nahuatl is the language of the Aztecs/early Mesoamericans and is still spoken in this area, and is the second most spoken language in all of Mexico. You’ll notice Nahuatl words because it is very different from Spanish. Actually not at all like Spanish, not even close. The Nahual people arrived in Mexico in the 6th century and joined with the Mexica tribe in the 13th century forming the peak of the Aztec Empire in the 15th century. It wasn’t until Hernan Cortez, representing Spain, came to Mexico in the 16th century that the language in Mesoamerica switched to Spanish.

How To Get To Teotihuacan And The Cost

Take the metro to the Autobuses del Norte Station (Line #6-yellow) and go to Puerta (Gate) 8. Stand in line at the bus company “Autobuses Teotihucan” and say you want to go to Los Piramides. The price should be 80 pesos ($6.16USD). After you get your ticket, go outside to wait for your bus. Make sure it says “Los Piramides” on the outside. Buses depart every 15 minutes starting from 6AM. The bus ride will take 45 mins to 1 hour.

The bus should drop you off at Gate 1 and the entrance fee is something like 64 pesos ($3.50 USD). It’s free on Sundays for Mexicans, so if you have a Mexican passport or ID card, bring that shit. If you don’t, don’t come on a Sunday. Come on a day everyone is at school, otherwise it’s a tourist trap like no other.

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Along the entire avenue leading up to the front gates there are guides saying they can give you a tour. I HIGHLY recommend a tour. HOWEVER, only go with a licensed operator. They have these tags around their necks, it means they went to school specifically for this reason and are highly informed on the history. There are bootleg guides too, don’t use them, they make shit up and basically explain shit you could have figured out yourself.

Each guide speaks different languages. Languages offered are French, Italian, German, Spanish, and English. You’re gonna need to find the guide that speaks your language, this may affect the cost of your tour. Now the cost. The cost of the tour depends on your negotiation skills. They will start at 800-900 pesos (~$50 USD). I’ve been to the pyramids twice, the first time it was $20, the second time $35.

The tour should consist of a full explanation of all the structures as well as tequila tasting and an explanation of the looming process, use of agave, and obsidian at a nearby pueblo.

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To get back to D.F., go to Gate 2, cross the street. The bus will pull up every 20 minutes. You can take the buses back to the city til 6PM. You will need to show your return ticket. Teotihucan is open from 9AM – 5PM.

Pro-Tips

Do not buy ANYTHING at this little pueblo they’re about to show you. All the prices are jacked up like 500%. Don’t do it. Do. Not. Apparently there is a nearby restaurant in a cave that you can eat at. I always bring a backpack with water and some snacks that I bought in the D.F. prior to getting on the bus. There are also vendors that hop on and off the bus throughout the entire ride, you can buy a churro or something. If you’re lucky, a mariachi will hop on and serenade you the entire way.

GET THERE EARLY. Like at 9, so start your journey at 730 or 8. You’ll get premier access to everything and the best guides are available at that time. The Pyramid of the Sun eventually has a line that wraps around the entire pyramid, you’re gonna not wanna be one of those basics standing there waiting. (See below pictures. Compare 9AM to 12PM. Check out the line that wraps around the top and bottom of the pyramid.) Also it gets SO HOT so the earlier the better because it’s a little bit cooler.

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Bring sunscreen or a hat. There’s no shade. You will die. Also bring lots of water. The tour takes about 3 hours. The complex is massive. Comfortable shoes are necessary.

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There are various vendors lining the Avenue of the Dead. Don’t buy anything from here. Just don’t buy anything on this day trip period.

Truly this is one of the most enjoyable day-trips I’ve ever had. It gives you a glimpse of the history of Mexico and how ancient this culture really is. It is not comparable to Chichen Itza so shut your mouth. Chichen Itza is MAYAN and you can’t climb the pyramids.

2. Palacio Nacional

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Description

This is a summary of Mexico’s history showcased in one place. This building was originally the governing building of the last reigning emperor of the Aztecs: Moctezuma II. This it was Hernan Cortes’ during the Spanish conquest, Father Hidalgo during the independence of Mexico, Emperor Maximilian during the Austrian/French invasion, and was the presidential palace of Benito Juarez. That’s more or less 600 years worth of history that you’re standing on there. It is basically the White House on crack. (Disclaimer: I’ve never been to the White House.)

As if that’s not enough, the entire history is painted on the walls by Diego Rivera. Honestly, was not a huge fan of the guy, but after seeing these paintings, I was converted. I wouldn’t say they are technically advanced until you realize that he painted in the traditional ways with juice of the cactus, volcanic ash, and various elements. This was literally made out of dirt, basically. There is SO MUCH DETAIL in these murals that it is best to be walked through with a guide. I actually would not do this site at all if you don’t have a guide. You’ll have no idea the depth of what you’re looking at. You can find a guide at the front entrance. I forgot how much you had to pay but nothing more than $10USD. It’s a 2-3 hour walk through the Parliament buildings, presidential offices, and Diego Rivera murals.

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The Diego Rivera murals are like a Where’s Waldo game. Below are things you should look for:

  • The Legend of Quetzalcoatl– find the white blond man with a conch necklace sitting in front of the pyramid of the sun and moon, this was the god of the Aztecs. Legend has it that the Aztecs thought Quetzalcoatl in human form was blond and white, which is why the Spaniards were welcomed instead of attacked by the Aztecs when they came. But last I checked, Hernan Cortes had black hair, not blond, and this “legend” was written by the Spanish. So, I think all of that is a lie. I think the Aztecs were just friendly people like every other indigenous society and welcomed the Spanish. And when the Spanish saw that they had a ton of natural resources and lots of gold, they fucked them over like how White people do.
  • The Execution of Maximillian– look for the Hapsburg eagle flying away from a group of people and guns being pointed at a baldish White man. Below you’ll see conquistadors branding and raping Mexicans.
  • Mexican Revolution– a bunch of men in mustaches with angry faces and swords.
  • Class Struggle– look for Karl Marx at the top, a man with a huge gray beard that represented Communism (Diego Rivera was communist). Below you’ll see the corruption of U.S. businessmen. Pictured are Rockefeller, JP Morgan, and Vanderbilt, amongst others. You’ll also see Frida Kahlo (Diego’s wife) and her sister (Diego’s mistress) reading a copy of the Communist Manifesto. Also pictured is the Lady of Guadeloupe representing the church and money spilling out of it, representing the corruption of the church.
  • Tenochitlan– look for the double pyramids with blood spilling down the stairs representing the human sacrifice. You’ll see in the back a lake and mountains which is the backdrop of Mexico City. The building that you’re standing in is actually sinking because the entirety of the city is sitting on this lake.
  • Tattooed woman crowned with lilies– ahhhh, this is the most controversial depiction. I’ve heard like 3 different stories about who this woman is. I personally think she is Malinche, others think she’s the goddess of flowers and love, and more think she’s just some upper class woman. Tattoos were only given to the upperclass, an admirer offers her an arm of an enemy believed to be either a trophy or representing cannibalism. Guess we’ll never know.

Who is Malinche?

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Malinche is THE bad bitch of all bad bitches. She is the antithesis of basic. She is #Goals #BadBitchesofMexico. There are two perspectives of Malinche, either she was a traitor to the Aztec people (to this day her name is synonymous with “traitor”) or she was the savior of the Aztec people. But I’ll just give you my perspectives and you can decide for yourself.

First of all, Malinche was sold as a slave to the Spaniards by her own family when she became an inconvenient step daughter after her father died and her mother remarried. She was described as the most beautiful of all the slaves. Not only was she FOINE, she was SMART; she was useful as an interpreter because she spoke both Nahuatl and Mayan, and eventually learned Spanish. She became the mistress of Hernan Cortes, although I feel like “wife” “love of his life” and “soulmate” would be a more accurate description. She birthed his first son, the first mestizo (half Mexican, half Spanish) child, which is the term to describe almost all Mexicans to this day. Malinche is pictured next to Hernan Cortes ALWAYS, something like a shadow, but yet her presence is always there. She had a powerful position in his life. He would not go anywhere without her. He needed her for all of his negotiations and deals. HE needed HER, not the other way around. It is said that Malinche was a traitor because she alerted Hernan Cortes to an up-rising against him, acting as a mole amongst her native people. He was able to defeat them with her help. HOWEVER, I’m not sure if Malinche loved Hernan Cortes, but she was very aware of the power in her position and also had a son to take care of. In addition, she knew she was in a delicate situation because although she was needed, it didn’t necessarily mean she was irreplaceable. If she hadn’t navigated through these complicated situations properly, she would be the one that was killed. From her position of power, she could then control Cortes’s brutality towards her people, making him not as harsh as he would have been. Although, maybe she didn’t want that. After all, wasn’t she sold as a slave by her fellow Mexicans? And then treated as a queen by the Spaniards?

Whether she seduced Hernan Cortes or if she was raped, beaten, and tortured into submission, no one will know. I just know she closed deals, she won the heart of the most powerful man in Mesoamerica (he asked to be buried in Mexico where she was), married another man (maybe for love this time), and survived until her old age. Her son was raised as a courtesan and she birthed a new race. She was a survivor and finessed the situation to her advantage. Don’t forget her name. Malinche, also called Dona Marina in Spanish text.

  • Trade and cultivation– spot all the natural resources Mexico has to offer. There are depictions of the jade trade, mask making, jewelry making, ceramics, maize harvesting, cotton picking, rubber making, coffee cultivation, cocoa bean harvesting, agave plants being made into paper, sculpting, etc. etc. Mexico was and has been THE FUTURE.

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  • Hernan Cortes– depicted as a sickly man with a pale face in White and Malinche with their blue-eyed baby close by. The paleness was to represent the syphilis he contracted while having sex with a bunch of indigenous women.

I will attach a link if you wish to read about it more, otherwise GET THE GUIDE.

How To Get To Palacio Nacional And The Cost

Entrance is free but you need to leave an ID. It is located in the Zocalo (also the name of the metro stop) where you can visit cathedrals and dine at nice restaurants. Open Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM.

3. Chapultapec Castle

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Description

Chapultapec Castle is basically Vienna, Austria in Mexico. Emperor Maximilian, the son of the reigning monarch of Austria who married the Queen of Spain, renovated the castle. He was sent to rule Mexico after making a deal with Napoleon to take over. It’s perfectly decorated in ornate European fashion, attesting to the wealth of the Hapsburgs (which was the largest monarchy in all of Europe at the time). However, this castle is better preserved than any castle in Europe since it did not go through two World Wars.

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Within the castle is the National Museum of History, which is really very excellent. The murals are insane. The building is beautiful. The gardens are beautiful. Everything is so fancy and immaculate. It’s in the middle of the forest and also has a zoo. But just know that all information is written in Spanish, there’s no English translation.

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How To Get To Chapultapec Castle And The Cost

You can get here by getting off at the Chapultapec metro stop and walking a little ways. The hours are Tues-Sun from 9AM-5PM. Closed on Mondays. Admission is 64 pesos or $3.5USD and free on Sundays for Mexican citizens and residents

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There are various other museums nearby but I think it’s too much to do all in one day. I would allow 3 hours for this excursion. You will be overloaded with information. If you can, I would definitely try to come back and visit The National Museum of Anthropology. I have not done it yet, but it’s next on my list and has been highly recommended to me by multiple people.

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4. Frida Kahlo’s House- Casa Azul

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Casa Azul (The Blue House) is located in Coyoacan, an ADORABLE municipality that you could just enjoy walking around in and having a cup of coffee. The museum is where Frida Kahlo was birthed, raised, and later lived in with her husband Diego Rivera. She even died in one of the rooms upstairs where her ashes lie. On display are her personal items, how she lived, and various original artworks.

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This museum will make you cry and feel every range of emotion; from happiness to madness. This home is intimate in every way. I won’t go into the history of Frida and Diego and spoil this museum for you, but just know that Frida is next on my #BadBitchesOfMexico list. She was actually handicapped, but bet you’ll never notice it because her life was so full of ambition, life, and inspiration. She’s the only female artist to ever be depicted on a national currency. You go girl. She stands for every woman who has ever been cheated on, who has ever been vulnerable, who has ever been in pain, who has ever loved. This is a must-see.

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How To Get To Casa Azul And The Cost

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Hours are Tuesday 11AM-530PM, Wed-Sun 10AM-530PM, close on Monday. Cost is 80 pesos/$5 for adults, Students 30 pesos/$2, Children/Seniors 15/$1. They charge extra for photography but you don’t need to pay that unless you have a professional camera. Also, GET THE AUDIO GUIDE. I forgot how much it was, but IT IS WORTH IT.

You can get here by metro. Get off at the “Coyoacan Viveros” station. From here you’ll need to walk 20 minutes to Londres street. Ask anyone on the street or say “Frida” or “Casa Azul” and they will point you in the right direction. You can also take a taxi, but I recommend the walk. The neighborhood is SO adorable.

IMG_7446There are some holidays in which the museum is permanently closed. So check their website here. Allow 4-5 hours for this trip because it takes about an hour each way to travel here.

5. Palacio de Correos de Mexico

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I don’t really have much to say about this place because look at it. Takes all the words out of my mouth. If you don’t go, you’re basic.

Although it still functions as a post office, my firend said he wrote his girlfriend a letter to Greece and it didn’t arrive until 1.5 years later, after they already broke up.

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How To Get To Palacio de Correos de Mexico And The Cost

This building is located across from Bellas Artes and a couple blocks down from the Zocolo. You can get off at either subway stop. Ask the police men on the street for directions, they have solid answers. Also, next door is the tile building where one side of the building is made of tile. It’s just OK. The tile buildings of Puebla were 100 times more impressive.

6. Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela

This is where you’ll get all the souvenirs you’ll ever want for the best price. From artesinial clothing to plates, to decorations, a lot of things are handmade. Allow yourself 3 hours to get lost in this market. Admission is free. You can get here by getting of at “Balderas” and walking a couple blocks.  Just ask people the direction to the Mercado.

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7. Lucha Libre Fight

This wrestling match takes place in the Arena Mexico and consists of grown men in spandex fighting in capes and masks trying to pin each other down while bikini-clad women walk around the stage and dance around. The masks date back to the Aztecs and are used to invoke the “power of the gods.” The de-masking of an opponent is the ultimate level of defeat.

In real life, it was a very strange experience.  Something similar to a fucked up circus with people selling peanuts in a dilapidated old arena, with this fake ass fight going on It reminded me of a bootleg WWE. The crowd yells out things like “Midget! Midget!” “Your mom has hairy balls!” “Fuck your mom!” “Your mom should have swallowed you!” Things like this…in Spanish.

I will probably never go to one of these again. I recommend doing it one time, but I’m still not sure why people are entertained by this. If this isn’t your thing, just book a ticket to the Ballet Folklorico. It’s probably a safer bet.

How To Get To Arena Mexico And The Cost

The address is 189 Calle R. Lavista, but if you tell your cab you want to go to the Arena Mexico, they know where it is. You can also take metro line #1 and get off at Cuauhetomec and then walk there. I don’t recommend this. The directions are a bit complicated for walking, especially at night. Just take an Uber or cab. The fights start at 8:30 PM and go to 11:00PM and only take place on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Don’t buy tickets from scalpers off the street, even if you’re late. I forgot how much they cost, but it varies by seating anyway.

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 2 Things I Was Underwhelmed By

  • Bellas Artes

Skip this unless you’re going to a Ballet Folklorio show. It costs money to enter, the murals aren’t that impressive, in my opinion.

  • Paseo de la Reforma

This is a famous downtown street in Mexico. But, it’s just a street.

Life and Culture

In the D.F. you can do anything and everything.  It’s a booming international city full of history and culture.  I’ve known multiple Mexicans from The D.F. that have visited San Antonio, hearing great things about the Mexican culture there, and left completely horrified by Mexican-Americans. One university student said, “It’s like they don’t even know where they came from, or what we represent as a culture.” And for the most part, I would have to say that’s true. A lot of it is because our education system and media portrayals of Mexico in America have been so warped that can you blame Mexican-Americans for not knowing? I 100% advise you to go educate yourself, ESPECIALLY if you’re Mexican-American, because what you’ve been taught all of your life is wrong and far from the truth.

The D.F. is unlike anywhere else in Mexico. The people you’ll come in contact with will probably know more languages than you, have been more places than you, and are more educated and artistic than you. It’s a culture full of pride and knowledge of ancient traditions as well as contemporary advancements.

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You can go out into the streets and see the marked difference between people with a mestizo lineage and those with a more native lineage by their physical characteristics. Those with lighter skin, blond hair, blue or green eyes have more Spanish mixed into their lineage and thereby are considered more “beautiful” and may have had more opportunity in their lifetime.  Those that are darker, shorter, with high cheekbones, and dark features may have had less opportunity in life.  However, I’ve never seen “racism” in action per say. Like I don’t think cops will pull over a darker looking Mexican just cause. But I did notice that those dressed in suits were always lighter and more “Spaniard” looking than those you see serving your tacos or doing construction.  But regardless, I think everyone mixes together pretty well.

Also, don’t be fooled by the seemingly broken down streets. Mexico City is full of pockets of treasures that have yet to be explored.

Mexico is the shit cause you can get 2 beers, a large water, a soda, 8 tacos, and some chips for $6. If you just want the tacos they’re like 50 cents. I highly recommend eating off the carts in the streets. They are SO GOOD and no you won’t get food poisoning. If there is someone sitting next to you, buy their meal too, because chances are those 5 taquitos will cost you $1. ONE. Also, Mexican Coke, not to be mistaken with Coca-Cola, is made with the purest sugar, not that fake shit they give us in America.

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In addition, I have never met an unfriendly or unhelpful Mexican. I love them. I love Mexico. Mexico is the future.

This trip including airfare, but not including alcohol or souvenirs was $600 for 7 days.

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  1. i absolutely loved reading this — you humanized mexico city in a way that most of us would never hear of, thank you! i really reading about aztec history, Malinche and Frida. i’d literally book an itinerary likes yours to visit these museums.. this post has been so very helpful for travelers like me who live for history.

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  2. Hey girl, I really liked reading this and I also love Mexico City. However, you wrote that there are basically as many kidnappings in Mexico as in the US and Europe. Unfortunately, this isn’t true… I believe in 2016, about 23000 people disappeared (and haven’t come back yet) and my friends who live in those dangerous states say the same.
    Anyway, Mexico is an amazing country and many states are perfectly safe.

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  3. Your writing is always honest but also lyrical. You have a gift! This articles has me falling in love with DF all over again. MEXICO IS THE FUTURE. Girl, go on! My unsolicited option, you should republish sections of this for quick reads and to reach more people. Sooo much incredible information in one post. Brava!

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  4. Thank you for this excellent post about my native Mexico City. You made some very keen observations, such as how useful the subway is, how iconic Frida and the Malinche are, or the way people dress or how skin colors can be radically different. I agree with Erika, though. This post certainly contains enough material for several shorter posts!

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  5. Thats an awesome guide for mexico city! Brings me so much memories back of my stay in mexico city in march. Well done😀

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  6. A visit to the Museum of Anthropology is a must. It is so incredible. Also, I highly recommend the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Zocalo.

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