Downtown Mexico City is the center of the country’s capital. This enormous district covers an area of almost 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) and encompasses about 9,000 buildings. Stroll along the zigzagging alleys leading off from Zócalo, a square that marks the center of the city.
Spend some time wandering around Zócalo and appreciate the different styles of buildings surrounding the square, which were constructed at various times over the past five centuries. Notice structures of colonial and pre-Hispanic design.
See the spectacular Palacio Nacional looming over the square. Home to the offices of the president of Mexico and the Federal Treasury, this grand building is known for its spectacular murals depicting important events in the history of the country. Gaze up at the famous balcony, from which the president shouts “Viva Mexico!” annually to celebrate national independence. Check out the palace’s treasury and botanical garden.
On the northern side of the plaza is the Catedral Metropolitana. Built over more than 200 years, its blend of architectural designs reflect the ways styles of building have changed over the centuries. Admire its imposing twin towers and peruse the ecclesiastical artwork decorating its interior.
Relax with drinks and snacks at one of the cafés in the plaza. A popular spot is the bar of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, which offers particularly excellent views of the square.
Visit the attractions found just off the square, such as the Jose Luis Cuevas Museum and the Supreme Court. View the impressive art collections housed at the National Museum of Art and the Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Adjacent to Zócalo is the Alameda Central public park. Bring the kids to enjoy a picnic on its lush grounds and stroll amid its trees, fountains and statues. Walk around the nearby Chinatown to explore intriguing restaurants and shops.
Downtown Mexico City is located in the center of the larger Mexico City municipality. Get here by taking the metro and then begin your exploration of the capital.