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DISCOVER MEXICO CITY

 


Mexico City

Welcome to " The City of Palaces"

Known as the DF (Federal District), Mexico City is the capital of the 32 states that make up Mexico. It is the largest city in Mexico and in the world with an area of 1,485 km 2 and more than 8 million 700 thousand inhabitants, divided into 16 delegations and 300 colonies, which offer a variety of attractions where to enjoy interesting museums, beautiful colonial buildings, archeological sites, forest parks and fine dining. UNESCO named its historic center World Heritage Site in 1987. Most of the attractions are concentrated in the historic center mainly around the Plaza de la Constitucion, Metropolitan Cathedral, National Palace and the archaeological site of the Temple Mayor being these places a nest of culture, tradition and history. 


Location

Mexico City, 2,240 meters above sea level built above the city of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztecs, who, according to legend, the site signaled by their god Huitzilopochtli to establish themselves: an eagle standing on a cactus devouring a snake in the year 1325. The valley is where the city is locates is between the foothills of the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes.

 

History

The oldest human settlements in the area date to the Lower Cenolitic period (9500-7000 BC.) found in the town of Penon de los Banos, alo known as Mujer del Peñón. The Olmec, Toltec and Mexica were one of the first cultures that settled in the area but were joined later by the Chichimecas, texcaltecas, tlaxcaltecas and Acolhua. The revolutionary methods of irrigation, agriculture and expansionism through religion and conquest of war made the city prosper. Was until July 1519 that the Spaniards arrived in the territory where Mexico City now stands in their way to the capital of Tenochca where Hernán Cortés was received by Moctezuma II on November 8, 1519. Hostilities against the Aztecs began in 1520 when conquistador Pedro Alvarado attacked the Mexica (Aztecs) during a religious ceremony in the absence of Hernán Cortés. The attack became known as the Massacre of Tóxcatl, also known as the Massacre of the Templo Mayor. The slaughter of unarmed mexicas in hands of Spaniards angered the population. Moctezuma II, by then a prisoner of the Spaniards, was ordered to speak to his people to quell the revolution. The population, enraged that Moctezuma II defended the Spaniards, hurled stones and arrows; mortally wounding him. The Spaniards and their Indian allies were expelled from Tenochtitlan to Tacuba at midnight on June 30, 1520 in an event called The Sad Night. The Spaniards went to the Valley of Puebla-Tlaxcala to recover from the defeat. Hence was planned the final phase of the military conquest, which consisted of the construction of 13 launches for the assault on Tenochtitlan, by water. The conquest of the Spaniards was quick and effective; destroying populations southeast of the basin. The June 30, 1521 Tlatelolco was razed. In July, Coanacoch, lord of Texcoco, was defeated. Finally, Tenochtitlan fell on August 13 of 1521 after suffering from disease, lack of food and water due to months siege by the Spanish. After the fall of the mexica, Tenochtitlan served as the starting point for military development during the early years of the conquest. In 1521 the city of Tenochtitlan was named Mexico; eight years later, the capital of New Spain. During the three centuries of colonial government, the City of Mexico became an important center of trade in goods from both Europe and Asia, as well as a brilliant cultural center that hosted the first printing press and the first university the Americas.

 

Gastronomy

Mexico City boasts an impressive variety of dishes worldwide. Here one can find anything, from cheap restaurants to gourmet restaurants with a mixture of dishes and influences from all of the republic and even worldwide. The frute market serves as a meeting place for anyone looking for the best and freshest ingredients. In the city you can enjoy roasted suckling pig (Yucatan), the Oaxacan mole, poblano mole, pozole (identified with Sinaloa, Jalisco and Guerrero), goat (Coahuila and neoleonense), cazón campechano bread, the Churipu and corundas Purepecha (Michoacan), menudo (Sinaloa, Sonora and Chihuahua) and many other delicacies of Mexican cuisine. Justbe sure do not forget to try mole, green sauce, green pepper & cheese or sweet DF style tamales. 

The City of Mexico is also a modern city. Indulge in a delicacy of some of the international restaurants such as Puerto Madero, Harry's Steakhouse, La Vie en Rose, Biko and others during his visit. Among the best restaurants in the city are: Dulce Patria (Mexican cuisine, located in Polanco), Pujol (Mexican cuisine prepared by chef Enrique Olvera), Biko (Spanish cuisine) and Au Pied de Cochon, in the President Hotel Intercontinental.

 

 

 

Attractions

Aquarius Inbursa

Aquarium with 3,600 square meters of exhibition area that uses 16 million liters of water from the Gulf of Mexico. Located in Plaza Carso in front of the Museo Soumaya. The museum is relatively new having opened its doors on June 11, 2014. It has more than 5,000 specimens of 230 species of animals on display, divided into 48 different tanks. Noted for its conservation efforts in its Conservation Center (CECONSE), where specialists take care of, breed and feed the animals within the premises of the aquarium.

 




Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe


Catholic Church sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her title of Guadalupe. The sanctuary is circular in design with the center roof sloping upwards simulating the roof of a circus. It is located in the delegation Gustavo A. Madero in Mexico City next to Tepeyac hill. Architect Pedro de Arriata from 1695 built the temple in the Baroque style until its completion in 1709. The temple was later restored in 1804, ending until 1836, due to damage to the walls and vaults. The new neoclassical design was made by Augustine Peace and executed by the neoclassical architect Manuel Tolsa. Its restoration took long to complete because the work was suspended between 1810 and 1822 because of the war of independence.

 

Bosque de Chapultepec & Chapultepec Castle

This huge park of 685 hectares is one of the biggest parks in Latin America and receives 15 million visitors a year. Within it you will find many treasures including the National Anthropology Museum, designed by architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, the Chapultepec Zoo, Chapultepec Castle, the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art Museum Tamayo and others.

Castle of Chapultepec Most historic architectural monument in Mexico. Its interior houses a large collection of documents, objects, photographs and paintings throughout the years of colonial Mexico. It is located in the Bosque de Chapultepec on Chapulin hill 2,325 meters above the sea. It has the distinction of being the only royal palace in America. Built in the time of the Viceroyalty as a summer home for the viceroy. Over the years it got many uses, including: Official residence of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, the first astronomical observatory of Mexico, military college, military academy and military warehouse.

 


Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City

Headquarters of the Archdiocese of Mexico City, located opposite the Plaza de la Constitucion in the Historic Center of Mexico City. The baroque temple is the largest and most emblematic temple in Latin America measuring 59 x 128 meters and 60 meters up to the dome. The first stone was laid in 1951, shortly after the conquest of Herman Cortes. Material form collapsed Aztec temples was used in its construction. Its construction ended in 1813 with the help of the Valencian architect Manuel Tolsa.

 


 

Constitution Square (Zócalo) 

The most important place in the entire republic and most important national symbol. The rectangular plaza of approximately 46,800 m² is located opposite the Metropolitan Cathedral next to the National Palace and the Supreme Court. The square is commonly used for cultural and political events, concerts, exhibitions and fairs. Through the years named "Plaza de Animas", "Plaza Mayor" and finally was "Zocalo" in honor of the Cadiz Constitution enacted in 1812.

 


 

Paseo de la Reforma

The Paseo de la Reforma is one of the most important and beautiful of Mexico City, as well as being one of the most famous in the world. Some emblematic monuments that adorn the avenue are the Angel of Independence, the Monument to the Mexican Revolution and the fountain of Diana the Huntress. The Paseo de la Reforma was designed by Emperor Maximilian to shorten the distance he had to travel from Chapultepec Castle to the National Palace. The important avenue was inspired by the models of some European cities such as the Elysian Fields in Paris. Throughout the years, the avenue was remodeled with trees, gardens and by placing street furniture like benches and monuments.

 

 

Xochimilco

One of the 16 delegations of Mexico City considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Xochimilco preserves the ancient canals and chinampas from pre-Hispanic times. Chinampas consist of artificial islets created from layers of logs, dirt, mud and roots insured by lianas. Currently there are 176 km of channels, of which 14 of them are tourist routes where you can tour in boats that the locals decorate with floral arrangements of singular beauty, hence the name "Place of Flowers" there.

 


 

 

National Palace

Federal seat of executive power in Mexico. Built in 1522 on an area of 40,000 m 2 as a second private residence of Hernán Cortés built over part of the palace of Moctezuma II currently located next to the Zocalo and the Supreme Court of Justice building. Its large size makes it one of the largest governmental buildings in the world. The palace has witnessed many events in the history of Mexico and walked on by viceroys, foreign invaders, presidents, dictators and emperors and revolutionary.

 




Palace of Fine Arts

Impressive building in the historic center of Mexico City and most important in the country dedicated to all types of expression of fine arts. Declared artistic monument by Unesco in 1987. Its construction was commissioned by President Porfirio Diaz on the occasion of the centenary of the Independence of Mexico. Its construction began on April 2, 1904 and inaugurated on November 29 of 1934 as the Museum of Art, the first art museum in Mexico. Currently displays 17 permanent murals from seven national artists works executed between 1928 and 1963. Maintains an intense program of temporary exhibitions and a lot of activities for all ages.

 


University City University

City is referred to facilities and spaces that make up the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM). Considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 2, 2007. Within the City University stand out: the Rectory Tower, works of muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros; Central Library, with art mosaics Juan O'Gorman; the University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC) and Nezahualcoyotl Concert Hall.

 




Zona Rosa

By way of the Paseo de la Reforma you reach the Zona Rosa, famous for calm atmosphere, its art, gathering of intellects and become the favorite hangout of the gay community. The area was created in a Baroque style to resemble old France. European street names were given and the first settlers dressed in European-style clothes. At first it was known as “American Colony”, after that “Juarez” until the appointment “Zona Rosa” in 1967. In the area you will find mansions, museums, art galleries, parks, numerous restaurants, shopping malls, chic boutiques and some of the most exclusive shops in town.

 



Museums

Museo Dolores Olmedo


Museum located in Xochimilco. It is named after the Mexican art collector Dolores Olmedo Patino.

 Mainly houses works by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, along with peacocks and xoloitzcuintles in its yards. Opened them the first time the September 17, 1994 and has 12 showrooms.

 




Museum of Popular Art

Institution dedicated to promoting and preserving the Mexican folk art, located in the Historic Center of Mexico City in an old firehouse. Opened in March 2006. The museum's collection is organized into four permanent themed rooms (Essence of Mexican folk art, folk art and Daily Life, The Folk Art and the Sacred, folk art and fantastic) and a living "interpretation" with art of all kinds from Mexico. 

The museum also features a store that offers interpretations of art in the museum and a workshop for children will have its doors on weekends.

 

 

Museo Soumaya

Inside the building of asymmetric structure houses the art collection of Carlos Slim and international exhibitions dispersed in 6 rooms. The museum was opened on March 2011 and named in memory of his wife Soumaya Domit, who died in 1999. The museum has over 66,000 art works and sculptures from prehistoric times to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

The building measures 46 meters high and is covered with more than 16,000 hexagonal aluminum plates, designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero, with the assistance of Ove Arup andFrank Gehry.

 

 

Museo Frida Kahlo (Blue House)

Frida Kahlos old house located at 247 London Street in downtown Coyoacan. In 1904 the building was purchased by the father of Frida Kahlo and opened to the public as a museum in 1958. The house museum gives visitors a personal perspective on the life and death of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It was necessary to condition the property adjacent to display all the documents, pictures, clothes, books and toys of Fridha Kahlo.

 




Museo Mural Diego Rivera

Old Hotel del Prado where Diego Rivera painted one of the most significant Mexican mural "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park", along with a large collection of artworks of Diego Rivera.






Papalote Museo del Niño

Located in Chapultepec Park (section 2) of Mexico City. The museum is focused on learning, communication and coexistence of children through interactive exhibits on science, technology and art. It opened in 1993 as the first children's museum in Mexico. The building was designed by architect Ricardo Legorreta using geometric shapes, along with traditional Mexican tiles. Inside you will find murals on the walls and ceilings painted by children. The museum is divided into five thematic areas: I, I belong, I understand, express and reported.

 



Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli

Also it is known as Anahuac house, located in the Coyoacán delegation, opened in 1964. The building was designed by Diego Rivera to house his large collection of pre-Columbian pieces collected since 1920. The design was based on a toecalli (temple built towns Columbian Mesoamerica), built using volcanic rock from the eruption of Xitle.

 





Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum

Another museum you'll find in the Bosque de Chapultepec. Also it is known as Museo Tamayo or Museo Rufino Tamaya. Named after the renowned Oaxacan painter Rufino Tamayo, its founder, and has a mission to investigate, publicize and present the highlights of international contemporary art. The design and construction was commissioned by the duo of Abraham Zabludovsky and Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon and inaugurated on May 29, 1981. 

Recently extended to 30% in size in 2011. The museum has exhibition halls, educational room where lead out workshops and educational activities, an auditorium, a documentation center, a restaurant and shop.

 

 

Museum of Modern Art

Quintessential art museum located in the Bosque de Chapultepec. Designed by architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez. Inside you'll find six circular showrooms more than 2,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs and documents of great masters of Mexican art like Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, Gerardo Murillo (Dr. Atl), Manuel Rodriguez Lozano, Jesus Guerrero unfold Galva among others. 

Another attraction of the museum is the sculpture garden where you can appreciate works of Angel Gurria, Luis Ortiz Monasterio, Manuel Felguérez, Germán Cueto and Jesus Mayagoitia among others.

 

 

Chapultepec Zoo

Zoo whose main objectives are recreation, education, research and conservation of wildlife. Considered one of the most visited zoos in the world with over 5.5 million visitors per year. It is located in an area of 17 hectares within the look of Chapultepec in the number one section. The zoo was opened on July 6, 1923 by the Mexican biologist Alfonso Luis Herrera and opened in 1924 with a collection of 243 animals. Today the zoo has over 1930 animals, exotic and native species 250. 

Some animals that stand out are: zebras, gorillas, jaguars, lions, wolves, bears, red panda, panda, penguin, rhinoceros, turtles and others.

 

 

Archaeological Sites

Pyramid of the Moon

It is located in the northern part of Teotihuacan, known in Nahuatl "Tenan" meaning mother or protective stone. It is the second largest structure of Teotihuacan, after the Sun Pyramid. It is located on the northern tip of the Dead Avenue. Declared cultural patrimony of humanity by UNESCO in 1987. Archaeologists have discovered that the Pyramid of the Moon is created on top of an older structure built before the year 200 AD.

 




Pyramid of the Sun

The most impressive structure of the continent and ancient city of the Aztecs, Teotihuacan (one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities in Mesoamerica). Its it located about 40km northwest of Mexico. Declared cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 1987. In its interior are some caves that possibly were used for religious purposes. 

The pyramid was started building in the Tzacualli era between 1 AD and 150 AD when Teotihuacan began to develop as the largest city in Mesoamerica and is estimated to be completed in the year 200 A.D. The pyramid is 63.55m high and covers an area of 194,270m 2 of almost square shape, 222m x 225m.

 


Templo Mayor

Sacred ceremonial temple with almost a square base of 500 meters on each side currently located in downtown Mexico City. The temple was part of one of the 78 buildings in the complex of the Mexica (Aztecs) and the biggest building of city. The temple was an important aspect of politics, religion and power to the ancient civilization. 

Today it is in ruins since it was destroyed after the conquest of Hernán Cortés in 1521. According to tradition, the Great Temple was built right on the spot where the Pilgrims of Aztlan found the sacred cactus where rested the eagle while it devoured a snake.

 

 

Amusement

Six Flags Mexico

Amusement park renowned international chain, Six Flags. Six Flags Mexico south of Mexico City is located in the delegation of Tlalpan. He considered the theme park with more extreme games in Mexico and most visited throughout Latin America. 

Six Flags has restaurants, events, shows and games for all the family, including extreme games for the bravest, most notably among these: Batman The Ride, Boomerang, Catapult, Hurricane, Medusa Steel Coaster, SkyScreamer, SlingShot, Superman The Last Escape and Kilahuea.

 


 

La Feria Chapultepec Magico

Amusement park located on the second section of Chapultepec Park. The park was born on October 24, 1964 on the initiative of the government of the Federal District to offer a fun and safe amusement park in the city of excellence. At that time the park had only 14 attractions and a roller coaster. It was not until 1993 that the renovation and expansion of the park was carried out by the Chapultepec Business Group, SA de CV. 43 more attractions were added, for a total of 56 games. Today this theme park is regarded as the most successful and secure throughout Latin America.