We will be posting more about our current travels around Mexico over the coming weeks, but for now, a taster of our first few days in México City and an insight into some of the things we wish we had known in advance #EpicFails
In the week or so we have been here, Mexico is already fast becoming one of our favourite places. We could have done with a lot more time in the city but here are a few of the highlights:
The Zocalo is third largest public square in the world after Red and Tiananmen squares. Sadly it was covered in stalls and scaffolding ready for a concert but we did manage to find a few very strange dancers plying their trade.
One of the city’s most iconic sights the Cathedral stands right on the Zocalo.
A Saturday stroll from San Angel to Coyoacan
San Angel hosts impressive artists and artesenia markets on a Saturday. A great way to combine two of the city’s most attractive barrios is the pleasant walk from here to Coyaocan and Frida Kahlo’s house.
Folkloric dancers in Jardin Puskin – right outside our hotel!
After a day of finding everything closed, it was a nice surprise to find this performance on our way back to the hotel.
Palacio de Bella Artes
An Art Deco extravaganza and another of the city’s iconic sights. The interior is just as impressive.
Museo Nacional de Antropologica
A world class museum by any measure and a great introduction to Mexico’s complex history and culture. One of the many stunning exhibits:
La Catarina, “the lady of the dead” is everywhere around the city as we arrived just after the major celebration- The Day of The Dead. To her right is Carolyn – “the lady of the jet lag!” (This was taken on our first day!)
Where to stay?
Mexico City is huge! Choosing, right location is crucial to getting around all the sights. We opted for Roma Norte, a pleasant, safe barrio with lots of great bars, restaurants and street food stalls. Our hotel was short walk to the Jardin Puskin Metrobus station and the Ninõs Heroes Metro station made it very easy to get around town.
- From the airport a fixed price prepaid taxi from one of the booths in arrivals cost us 220 pesos for the 45 mins drive to Roma Norte.
- I lost my Uber virginity in Mexico City! – A revelation – I am now an Uber fan! A great way to get around without the hassle and worry of whether a taxi is legit or not – “express kidnapping” by fake taxis is not unheard of here.
- The public transportation system in México City is very extensive and very cheap. Heavily subsidised by the state it costs 6 pesos ( £0.25 per journey). You can buy tickets each journey but we bought a prepaid card from a machine at the Metrobus station ( NB the METRO stations don’t seem to sell them ). The card costs 10 pesos and the minimum load is 100 peso (£4). Good for 16 journeys both on Metro or Metro bus. Two or more can use the one card – just swipe twice on entry. A nice touch on the Metro are the dedicated carriages for women and families.
Timing is everything in CDMC – the rush hours can get a tad crowded!
Buses can get a little crowded…
1. Turning up at the weekend on the off chance of getting into Frida Kahlo’s house is not the best idea! Queues are massive – 300m long and 3 hours at least. Book online for advance tickets – we are returning on our last day in the country!
2. After queuing for an hour on a Sunday morning at the Palacio Nacional, we were greeted by the nice armed guard at the entrance who then informed us that we needed our original passport or driving licence. No Photocopies apparently.
3. Returning to the palace the next day, driving licence in hand, we find that it is closed! All Mexican museums close on Mondays apparently!
4. Plaza Garibaldi the place to watch the Mariachi bands play, apart it seems, from Sunday afternoons! We arrived at 3pm as they were picking up their guitars and leaving rather than playing! Our time wasn’t entirely wasted as we popped into the Tequila and Mezcal Museum for a tasting session instead.
5. The most epic fail of all was allowing only 6 days for this vibrant and dynamic city. You could easily spend a couple of weeks here and not see it all. A great reason to return..
Our route through Mexico
We are by no means seeing all of this huge country over the next seven weeks. Here is a list of where we are going:
- Mexico City
- San Cristóbal de las Casas
- San Miguel de Allende
- Mexico City
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