Mexico City attractions are nearly endless. This historic city is one of the largest metropolitan centers in the world. With more than 20 million people living in the area, sightseeing in Mexico City is sure to be filled with diversity and culturally interesting subjects. As the cultural and economic center of the country, Mexico City tourism includes fascinating historical monuments and museums, vibrant arts and crafts markets, as well as modern amusement parks and similar attractions.
Attractions in Mexico City
The first sightseeing stop that many tourists will make upon their arrival in the city is the Centro Historico of Mexico City, the old city center. Built upon the ruins of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, this historic World Heritage Site contains many European colonial buildings dating back to the sixteenth century, when the Spanish explorers conquered the area. Most of the Mexico City attractions in the historical center can be seen on foot, and that is perhaps the best form of transportation, as it allows you to get closer views and to take in the sights at your own pace.
The central plaza in the Centro Historico, Plaza de la Constitucion, is a major attraction for Mexico City tourism. This large open square is flanked by several historical buildings and monuments, and it is the site of the Independence Day celebrations on September 15th and 16th every year. Also known as El Zocalo, the Plaza is home to the largest cathedral in the Americas, the Metropolitan Cathedral. The cathedral has chapels connected to its sides where the faithful regularly leave offerings. You can also take a tour of the cathedral for a small fee, which allows you to climb to the upper levels of the church. Close by, you can glimpse the remains of the ancient Aztec civilization at the Templo Mayor archaeological site, where several ancient temples, which had been nestled underneath the main Aztec temple, have been uncovered.
The Palacio National is also located in El Zocalo and is one of the must-see Mexico City attractions. This impressive building is the official residence of the president. It is still in use; therefore tourists may not be able to see all of the building, but visitors can enter the Palacio by showing their passport, and there are some lovely gardens and beautiful décor to see, as well as famous murals by the artist Diego Rivera depicting important scenes from Mexican history.
Mexico City tourism also boasts several city parks where you can go and relax and listen to a mariachi band. One of the most popular parks for tourists sightseeing in Mexico City is the Plaza Garibaldi Mariachi. It is a site for open-air concerts and musicians, and it is surrounded by cafés and restaurants. Here you can dine while being serenaded by Mexico City's famous mariachi bands; each song is expected to be paid for, of course.
Cultural attractions are especially impressive here; Mexico City has one of the greatest varieties of museums and art galleries in the world. Make sure you drop by the famous and elegant Palacio de Bellas Artes, where art exhibitions by famous Mexican artists, such as Frida Kahlo, are often held. The building is built in the Art Deco style, and it boasts exquisite architecture both inside and out. Meanwhile, large murals painted by Orozco, Rivera, and other famous Mexican artists feature permanently in the gallery. Another interesting museum is the Castillo de Chapultepec, an eighteenth-century castle that now houses the National History Museum. Set on a hill in a park overlooking Mexico City, it is a beautiful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city while learning about the region's history. Take time to view the ornate rooms, jewelry collections, historic murals, pleasant gardens, and historical exhibitions.
While sightseeing in Mexico City, be sure to pay a visit to Mexico City's arts and crafts bazaar, the Ciudadela Market. Shoppers will be in paradise as they browse handmade artistic wares from all over Mexico. This is one of the biggest markets in the city and one of the best places to pick up a souvenir of your trip to Mexico City.