Reforma Avenue near Historic District connects Colonia Juárez, Cuauhtémoc and Chapultepec Park.
Mexico City started as the capital of the Aztec kingdom dominating central Mexico. Upon the Spanish conquest became the capital of New Spain's Viceroyality. Now, the Mexican nation's capital city offers a cosmopolitan but still traditional atmosphere. The artistic and gastronomic scene is more active every day. Its neighborhoods are surprisingly quiet, safe and colorful, but it is also the city of masses, surrounded by millions of people living in humble quarters in the outskirts. It is connected by air routes to every big city in the world, and only 3 to 5 hours flying from any city in North America.
Corporate buildings in Santa Fe
Basílica de Guadalupe
From Benito Juárez Airport you can easily access the Historic District or drive along Circuito Bicentenario expressway to reach Polanco and Chapultepec Park. This is an actual forest serving as a central park and providing leisure to everyone. In this area you can find major museums like Modern Art and Anthropology. The park is divided into three sections, partly by the Periférico motorway, an axis connecting the whole city, you can use to travel to Satélite (a modern residential area) or drive to the South, to the charming San Ángel, Coyoacan and the affluent area called Pedregal before arriving to the National University Campus (another UNESCO World Heritage Site).
In the South East you find the marshes, lakes and canals of Xochimilco, a vast area that provides not only vegetables, but the possibility to enjoy a pleasant boat ride among some of the best preserved natural and cultural areas, typical of Mexico. This is why it has been named also a World Heritage Site.
From the Central Area it is possible to take Reforma Avenue or Constituyentes to reach the West Side. This hilly area displays some of the wealthiest sections of Mexico City, Lomas de Chapultepec, Bosques de la Lomas and Tecamachalco, full of green boulevards and gardens. In the way to Toluca you get to Santa Fe, the super high-tech business sector, a brand new city for corporations. Even though not far away the pine tree forest hide the ancient monastery of Desierto de los Leones.
Back to the city you can use the long Insurgentes Avenue, running from South to the North East where Villa de Guadalupe is located. This the place of the famous Basílica de Guadalupe, one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the World.
Famous writers like Salvador Novo and Octavio Paz lived in Coyoacán
The charm of this residential areas consists in its hispanic heritage and the way people enjoy their leisure time. Coyoacan is relaxed, traditional and charming; it offers the opportunity to be closer to Mexican daily life, but also to admire the most traditional architecture in the city. Many artists, like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, have chosen Coyoacan to live and get inspiration, probably due to its legendary history. Today, you'll have a good selection of restaurants, shops as well as wonderful squares and handicrafts markets. In San Angel, you'll find cobblestone streets, aristocratic mansions and sophisticated restaurants, close to a beautiful Carmelitian monastery. San Angel is an ideal place to have dinner in one of the most iconic world-class restaurants in Mexico. On Saturdays, it offers an attractive, large bazaar with fine handicrafts.
A guided tour can give you immense number of details and understanding about this fascinating area.
Restaurants in Coyoacan-San Ángel
- Los Danzantes Coyoacán (Oaxaca cuisine)
- San Angel Inn (Mexican and International)
- El Cardenal San Ángel
Click on the areas to find information.
Megalopolis such as Mexico City are formed by the gradual fusion of several cities and towns. The roots of Mexico's capital lie downtown, in the so-called Historic Center, an area which occupies the original core of the city which the Aztecs set out like a celestial map in the XIV Century, aligned according to the four cardinal points. The Spaniards then retraced the area in 1523 following the Aztec checker board pattern lay-out, and rebuilt as a convent-filled, aristocratic metropolis extended in the blocks around Main Square to become the capital of the kingdom of New Spain. This area contains hundreds of historic buildings, churches, mansions and institutions built in palaces. For these reasons UNESCO included the area in the World Heritage List. A guided tour can give you immense number of details and understanding about this fascinating area.
Consequently, the visitor finds this area to be a lively, boisterous and contradictory place, guaranteed to stir the senses: the discreet tones of city center architecture are based on an interplay between gray sandstone and red tezontle rock (pumice); its rhythm is determined by an age-old penchant for commerce, framed beneath wrought-iron balconies; its intensity pulsating to the beat of religious festivities and social struggles. Although the constant flow of vehicles which crisscross this downtown area today is slowly, visitors prefer touring the streets by foot and sometimes on bicycle taxis.
Contrasting light inside Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral
The geometric regularity of the downtown area allows the visitor to access unnoticed into the marginal neighborhoods (roughly grouped into four sectors: San Sebastian, Santa Maria, San Juan and San Pablo), or to visit certain streets named after Latin American republics, national heroes and events, with one or two names stemming from traditional anecdotes. The city may also be enjoyed from one or more of its old squares and gardens. After all, you may agree with the impression XIX Century visitors had: A city of Palaces.
You can stay at:
- Zócalo Central
- Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico
Restaurants in Historic District
- El Cardenal Palma (Mexican cuisine)
- Azul Histórico (Regional cuisine)
- Casino Español (Spanish classic)
Bars in Historic District
- Pata Negra
Part of Historic District is Alameda Park.
This couple of neighborhoods offer attractive places for staying, dinning and clubbing in an eclectic atmosphere. Restaurants and clubs are trendy hotels.
Colonia Roma is a residential area with a growing entertainment scene, and is centrally located. Its belle époque mansions still show its aristocratic heritage, along with middle classes living among art galleries, schools, book and antiques shops. A guided tour can give you the background to enjoy Colonia Roma.
You can stay at:
- Four Points
- Ignacio Guest House
Restaurants in Colonia Roma
- Maximo Bistro (Chef’s choice) RSVP
- Plantasia (Vegan)
- Fonda Fina
- Meroma (Contemporary Mexican)
- Rosetta (Contemporary International) RSVP
- Contramar (lunch or late lunch only) RSVP
- Yakumanka (Peruvian)
- Nueve Nueve Bistrot
Bars in Roma
- Vinamore Enoteca
- Licorera Limantour
- Vino Premier MX
- Maison Artemisia
- La Nacional
Querétaro Avenue in Colonia Roma
Colonia Condesa, on the other hand, is a more recent development with hipster and casual ways, Art Deco buildings, beautiful green areas, guesthouses and bars, new restaurants, and fine boutiques. Condesa is today one of the city's dinning districts, it also has some venues for performing arts, and different kinds of music. Both areas are full of history, so it is a good idea to go on a walking tour to enjoy its lovely streets.
You can stay at:
- Casa Mali
- Red Tree House
Restaurants in Condesa
- Azul Condesa (Regional cuisine)
- Lardo (Contemporary International) RSVP
- Pasillo de Humo
Bars in Condesa
- Vino Premier
One of the most prominent avenues in the city is Paseo de la Reforma. In its central route you can find fine examples of architecture, numerous banks and offices, old residential areas transformed into fashion venues, embassies, luxury hotels, selected art galleries and spectacular monuments.
In the mid-XIX century, Mexico City suffered painful contact with the rest of the world through the North American and French invasions. During the latter, a new urban planning model is proposed by the administration of the Emperor Maximilian of Habpsburg: the construction of an avenue that would connect Mexico City with the new Castle on Chapultepec Hill. Diagonally drawn and named “Paseo de la Emperatriz” it was conceived as a broad boulevard 12 km long.
Colonia Juárez has algo gone through dramatic transformations: along its streets (a portion of it is called Zona Rosa) you'll find lovely mansions of the Mexican aristocracy, most of them turned to be business, hotels or museums. Among its most commercial area there's possible also to encounter lovely antique shops, fashion boutiques and gay clubs. Visitors can stay in this convenient area, located in the heart of the city and crossed by the beautiful Reforma avenue, just by the financial district of Mexico City.
Corporate Towers, shopping centers and hotels in Colonia Juárez.
You can stay at:
- Four Seasons
- W Hotel
- Camino Real
- Hyatt Regency
Restaurants in Reforma Avenue-Colonia Juárez
- Emilia (fusion)
- Havre 77
- Masala y Maíz (Contemporary Mexican) RSVP
- Amaya (Chefs choice) RSVP
- Tamales Madre
Bars near Reforma Avenue
- Corazón de Tinto
- Wine Bar Concours Mondial de Bruxelles
At the end of Reforma Avenue looms Chapultepec hill, noteworthy for the centennial forest which encircles it, and for the castle which crowns its summit. This park is proud of its world-class museums, amusement parks, its zoo, lakes and forests, crisscrossed by access routes. They are used by hordes of Sunday visitors, but you may enjoy a private guided tour to the castle.
The site used to be the summer residence for the Emperors of Mexico, Maximilian and Charlotte, as well as presidents of Mexico, who left there their exquisite decoration, furniture and memories of a glorious past. From its beautiful gardens you may enjoy a great view of the city, and discover many of its aristocratic features. Its museum keeps many treasures, jewels and portraits that will make you travel in time.
The castle is girdled by some very attractive neighborhoods: Polanco, Condesa, San Miguel, and Roma. Designed originally as residential enclaves, today they bring together many interesting buildings, cultural centers, bars and restaurants. Main hotels are located just in front of the Park and close to important business areas. A guided tour can give you the background to visit the castle.
Convenient accommodations in Polanco are:
• W Hotel Mexico City
• Hotel Habita
• Hyatt Regency
• Las Alcobas
Restaurants in Polanco:
- Agua y Sal
- Comedor Jacinta
- Dulce Patria
- The Palm
Bars in Polanco:
- Gin Gin Polanco
Polanco may be the very essence of modern Mexico, the most cosmopolitan area in the city and a cuisine, clubbing and business hub. Located just North of Chapultepec Park, Polanco displays the best museums in the city and the newest shops. But its side streets are quiet and elegant, just beside educational institutions, embassies, synagogues, and boutique hotels.
Anthropology Museum is maybe one of the most attractive and rewarding museums in the world. It offers a unique collection of archaeological pieces and ethnic testimonies, which are displayed in an elegant way and are impressive to the senses. Here you'll find rich information: since the arrival of human beings in America to the famous Mesoamerican cultures, and their presence in today's people life. Get the most of the museum collection with a guided tour.
Polanco also offers the attractive Soumaya and Jumex collections. These are the newest museums in the city covering a wide rage of epochs and styles, from European painting to the most trendy Latin American contemporary artists. Both buildings are an attraction on their own, and are surrounded by modern shopping centers.