Find out what makes Mexico’s capital city pulse by exploring its lively neighborhoods, expansive parks, museums and ancient ruins.
Although most of the world knows it as Mexico City, this high-energy metropolis, home to millions, is officially known as Ciudad de Mexico (or CDMX). Over the past two centuries it was known as DF, Distrito Federal. Sprawling across the Valley of Mexico, Ciudad de Mexico is the Mexican capital city’s broader district, encompassing one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world by population. Explore the 16 different delegaciones (boroughs), from the colonial landmarks of Centro Histórico to the ancient Aztec canals of Xochimilco and the immense urban park of Chapultepec.
Delve into revitalized neighborhoods brimming with boutiques, galleries, restaurants and nightclubs and stumble across former colonial towns like San Angel, Coyoacán and Tlalpan, standing like islands amid the modern developments. Pick a couple of delegaciones and get to know the distinctive neighborhoods in each. Centro Histórico is a great place to discover the city’s historic heart. Wander this elegant colonial area and look for landmarks such as the Plaza de la Constitucion or Zócalo as it is also known, the Palacio Nacional (National Palace) and the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts).
Visit Chapultepec Park to find the city’s zoo, the former imperial palace, a collection of museums and an amusement park. Learn about the city’s pre-Hispanic heritage at Templo Mayor, the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlán Museum and the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology). Hear live mariachi music at Plaza Garibaldi.
While in Ciudad de Mexico, take the opportunity to see some of the most notable Catholic buildings in the Americas, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral or Basilica of Guadalupe. Coyoacán is a historic arts district that was home to painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Look for La Casa Azul (The Blue House), Kahlo’s childhood home and where she spent much of her life. It’s now the Museo Frida Kahlo. Head to Estadio Azteca to watch a soccer match in one of the world’s biggest stadiums and Arena Mexico to experience the excitement of a traditional lucha libre wrestling match.
Torre Mayor is a sky-scraping tower that offers views across the sprawling city to the distant mountains. Explore outside the city to see Teotihuacán, a network of ancient Nahuatl pyramids and temples.
Ciudad de Mexico is in the center of Mexico. Travel between delegaciones on the city’s comprehensive public transit network or by taxi. Fly into Benito Juarez International Airport or catch a Greyhound bus from the United States.