Santa Fé

Mexico City’s urban redevelopment jewel is this shining neighborhood on the southwest side that was once considered a dump.

Look for some of Mexico City’s most impressive modern architecture in the neighborhood of Santa Fé in the outskirts of the city. The beautiful and modern buildings are particularly impressive, knowing that the area was often used as a dumping ground until recent years.

During the 1990s, city planners began efforts to create commercial and residential areas in Santa Fé that were especially designed to work with the area’s difficult geologic and environmental constraints. See some of these structures along the stretch between Santa Fé’s historical center and central commercial district. Tour the Universidad Iberoamericana’s campus in this area and attend a cultural event in one of its venues. Visit the area’s Centro Comercial Santa Fé shopping mall, one of the largest in the area. 

One example of unique neighborhood architecture is Garden Santa Fe, a large center which includes American-style mall stores and excellent Mexican food. Its singularity lies in its location, fully underground. Marvel at the unique central gardens that use tall glass enclosures to bring light from aboveground into the several layers of shopping below ground. Enter at street level and take escalators and elevators to lower levels for shopping, dining and even bowling. Check the mall’s schedule to see what special events are planned during your stay. Take advantage of the seasonal ice skating rink.

The Ministry of Defense has a vast military complex to the northwest of the neighborhood of Santa Fé. Near here, look for shiny and tall international hotels and corporate headquarters interspersed with residential high-rises. Undeveloped parkland also lies along this stretch. Visit the Parque Ecologico Jalalpa for open grassy areas, kids’ playgrounds and a small aquatic park. More public space development is in the planning stages.

Santa Fé is about 9 miles (14 kilometers) from Mexico City’s historic center. This trip may take an hour by car and even longer by bus; no train currently serves the area. See planned urban development in progress with a visit to Santa Fé.

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