Mexico City also known as CDMX – Ciudad de Mexico (sounds bad ass right!?!) has always been on my must-visit list! It’s brimming with rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant, urban neighborhoods. The capital city of Mexico is a bustling metropolis and we were excited to dip ourselves in the culture. We spent 5 days and 4 nights in CDMX, mixing our time with a few tourists activities and an open agenda. Here’s what we enjoyed in Ciudad de Mexico….Mexico City!
We visited the Zócalo, also known as the Plaza de Constitucìon, which is the third largest plaza in the world. Fun fact: it’s also the center of the former Aztec Empire. Our visit coincided with the Día de Muertos holiday which made for a festive square full of people painted like La Catrina, children dressed up in costumes, and ghouls posing for pictures. There are a few rooftop bars that offer a nice bird’s-eye view of the square. A couple that we met recommended the bar at the top of Zócalo Central Hotel. The buildings are epic and the cityscape is beautiful. If you want an “urban” shot this is the place.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
When looking up things to do and see in CDMX, this place made the top of lots of lists and I can see why. Palacio de Bellas Artes is #THE cultural center in Mexico City. It’s known for hosting the city’s most notable arts events. While we didn’t attend any performances during this trip, we did peruse the area with huge crowds of people that were participating in some social justice activism, Día de Muertos celebrations, or (like us) just people watching.
*Quick question for you.* Do you get in shape or eat ‘healthier’ in anticipation of stuffing your face on vacation? If we’re alone in this, its ok (haha). That’s exactly what we do to avoid our consciousness when we “celebrate life!” –
We go hard in the gym and then let it all go on our getaways.
There’s a nice, long list of places to indulge in while in CDMX and this churrería was one of them. Who can resist fresh churros? Why would you want to? EL Moro’s original location has been in the historic center of Mexico City since the 1930s. We uber’d to this magical place and were greeted to long line of customers also eager to get their hands on these delicious churros. There are two lines one para comer aqui (eat here) and one para llevar (take away). Thankfully, the line moved at a decent speed and we were inside in a matter of 20 minutes. It’s worth the wait, but if you’d rather not wait try your luck at a different time – they’re open 24 hours.
Tacos Al Pastor/street food
)We didn’t know when or where it would happen…but it was going to happen. We were going to get our hands on tacos al pastor. Tacos al pastor is made with spit-grilled pork (heavy Lebanese influence), served with cilantro, onions, lime and pineapple. You can google and find the names of recommend tacos shops. You can even watch ‘Taco Chronicles’ on Netflix like we did to hype ourselves up. We didn’t bother with Yelp, TripAdvisor or anyone’s recommendations. We did our own street taco tour. We’ve found the best rule of thumb when eating street food abroad is the following:
- Eat when the locals eat. The food turnover is higher, thus fresher. -follow the lines…..
- Eat where the locals eat (Look for kids and elders. Old ladies don’t play around with flavor and people feed their children safe food).
Whenever we travel somewhere new, we make a list of places to see, things to do, or food to eat that will deem the trip successful. Lucha libre was on that list. Lucha Libre is Mexico’s professional wrestling realm. It’s a pretty cool subculture to see. The wrestlers, or Luchadores wear colorful masks that distinguish themselves and evoke different archetypes. The shows are fun and comical, albeit staged. Locals and visitors alike seem to really enjoy the show. They know the storylines and are all-in. There are three arenas that hold Lucha Libre matches. Arena Mexico is the largest and the one we picked. Tickets range in price but we paid $60 pesos ($3usd) each to sit in the nosebleeds. One of us even picked up an iconic Lucha Libre mask to wear during the match. Can you guess who?
I love a good market. If fact, you can bet I’ll always find my way to one wherever we travel. There’s nothing like roaming through stalls of beautifully locally crafted goods and artwork. La Ciudadela is that place in CDMX. It is a mesmerizing maze with just about anything you could hope to find. It’s the perfect place to pick up something culturally decorative for your home or unique souvenirs to commemorate your time in the city. Take an afternoon and get lost. We grab patches from the places we visit and we found some cool unique ones in this market.
Hailed as the lungs of Mexico, Chapultepec park (forest) is a massive ecological landscape twice the size of New York’s Central Park. There’s lots to see and do, so check out current events for plenty of activities suitable for the whole family. One site to see is the castle that sits at the top of Chapultepec Hill. Once the home of legendary Mexican leaders, this castle boasts an onsite museum rich in the history of this country.
An honorable mention goes out to this ‘Anthony Bourdain’ approved authentic Mexican restaurant. Though small, this place packs a delicious punch! We were lucky to have booked an airbnb a couple blocks away from this local favorite without even realizing it. In fact, we just googled restaurants, saw that Fonda Margarita was within walking distance AND had tons of great reviews. Fonda Margarita is only open from 5:30am-11:30am Tuesday – Sunday. The reviews warned us to get there early to avoid lines, and that’s just what we did. We strolled over at 6:30am and had the best Mexican breakfast we have ever had to date from our time in Mexico (and we have been here for almost 6 months)! We ordered Chilaquiles verdes con pollo (think breakfast nachos with chicken) and Refritos con huevos (refried beans and scrambled eggs – unsavory to look at but delicious). The Chilaquiles verdes hit the spot for us! We’ve been trying this dish at other restaurants since, but nothing compares.
*Self-awarded bonus points for walking off all the food we stuffed our faces with.
Mexico City was a sight to behold and we thoroughly enjoyed our first trip to the city. There is so much we still want to see – such as Frida’s casa azul, Templo Mayor, Monumento de la revolucion, and several top rated museums! It won’t be our last!