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Jose Manuel Espinola Aguayo / EyeEm
Jose Manuel Espinola Aguayo / EyeEm

Highlights of Mexico City

It’s always springtime in

Mexico City

The location of the megalopolis of Mexico City is spectacular. It is situated on a mountain plateau at an altitude of 2,250 metres and surrounded by volcanoes. Its history dates back to the time of the Aztecs. Today, the city is a delightful, creative chaos of charming neighbourhoods. Explore a city full of greenery, unique architecture, world-class museums and fantastic food.

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Planning fun: Watch the film ‘Frida’, starring Salma Hayek as the painter. The film earned her an Oscar nomination.

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Jurriaan Teulings

Frida Kahlo’s neighbourhood

No visit to Mexico City would be complete without a visit to La Casa Azul (the Blue House), once the home of surrealistic artist Frida Kahlo. Now it is a small but packed museum devoted to Kahlo’s life.

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Jurriaan Teulings

It’s located in Coyoacán, a village that has been engulfed by Mexico City, yet has maintained its relaxed ambiance. Strolling along its colourful streets, it’s easy to imagine where Kahlo found her inspiration. The numerous cafés include the cosy little coffee shop El Jarocho, which dates back to 1953 and has not lost any of its charm since.

Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, also achieved world fame, primarily due to his enormous wall paintings. Museo Estudio Diego Rivera, their joint studio not too far away in San Ángel, is definitely worth a visit.

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Jurriaan Teulings

Design and architecture in Chapultepec Park

The enormous Chapultepec Park is the green heart of Mexico City. Apart from its shady footpaths and monuments, it is also home to several top museums. These include the Museum of Modern Art, the Tamayo Museum featuring contemporary art and the National Museum of Anthropology. Each of which is housed in an architectural gem.

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If you have to choose only one, visit the Museum of Anthropology, dedicated to the artistic treasures of the Pre-Columbian civilisations of Mexico and considered one of the world’s best museums. Do you want to learn more about Mexican architecture? Visit Casa Luis Barragán, the villa of one of Mexico’s greatest architects located close to the park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guided tours need to be scheduled in advance.

To enjoy views of this sprawling city, you can walk to the top of Chapultepec, where Chapultepec Castle is also located.

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Design shopping

In 2018, Mexico City was proclaimed World Design Capital. Those who missed out on the event can still find unique souvenirs at Blend. This three-story concept store in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighbourhood has a considerable focus on everything Mexican and an indoor café.

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Jurriaan Teulings

In the adjacent neighbourhood of Polanco, you can visit the Onora Casa shop, where you’ll find unique textiles and objects made by artisans from the indigenous communities. You can also visit the showroom of the interior and furniture designer Héctor Esrawe, also located in Polanco.

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Jurriaan Teulings
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Jurriaan Teulings

Spend the night in the historic city centre at Downtown Mexico, a luxury hotel decorated with fabulous frescos. The interior of the colonial palacio features trendy and industrial decor. The same building also has design shops and a fabulous restaurant in the courtyard called Azul Histórico.

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Jurriaan Teulings

Even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish or traded your bookcase for an e-reader years ago, the breathtaking interior of the Vasconcelos Library is worth seeing.

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Cathyrose Melloan / Alamy Stock Photo

Enjoying breakfast in La Condesa

The lovely tree-filled neighbourhood of La Condesa is so green that it feels like an extension of the neighbouring Chapultepec Park. In the evening, it’s a vibrant, bustling district filled with trendy restaurants, but it’s also well worth visiting in the morning to enjoy breakfast at one of the cafés and coffee bars surrounding the neighbourhood’s small parks.

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migstock / Alamy Stock Photo

Performances are often held in the evening in the charming back garden of café Frëims.

If you arrive in the morning, make sure to order the typical Mexican breakfast dish called chilaquiles. It’s made up of partially fried bits of tortillas with green or red salsa and topped with sour cream, mild Mexican cheese, onions and avocados. Every restaurant, as well as many a Mexican household, has its own version. Be sure to try the version with longaniza (Mexican chorizo) by top chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo at the Fonda Mayora restaurant.

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Climb a volcano

Unbelievable but true: Mexico City has an entire volcano within its city limits. You can hike to the very top all on your own. The route is steep in parts but well worth the effort to enjoy the fantastic panoramic views from the top. On the quiet trails along the flanks of the volcano, you’ll find yourself in the middle of wilderness and among unique flora and fauna. It will feel as if time has stood still, even though you’re only one hour by car from the city centre.

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Jurriaan Teulings
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Jurriaan Teulings

The highest point of the volcano - and the city - is at an altitude of 3,930 metres. That’s an entire 1,680 metres above the rest of this megalopolis. So, make sure after arriving in the city to wait a few days before climbing to the top to get accustomed to the high altitude. It is also advisable to start early since there is a greater chance of rain in the afternoon.

Ajusco is the easiest and safest volcano to reach using a taxi app like Uber. Avoid rush hour.

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Jurriaan Teulings


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