Mexico City; ‘Ciudad de México’
Mexico City (or Ciudad de Mexico) is the most populated city and the capital of Mexico. Known for its huge population and vibrant culture, it is the second largest cosmopolitan city in the Western Hemisphere after New York and the largest Spanish speaking city across the globe.
The vibrant colours, delicious spicy food, cute little cafes, friendly people, intense population and cultural shock might surprise you on your first visit, but it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy this combination.
48 Hours in Mexico City
1: Palacio de Correos de Mexico
Once we had checked in to our cute little Airbnb Apartment, we started our city tour from the Palacio Postal. One of the very stylish and antique post offices in the world is situated in Mexico City, called Palacio De Correos De Mexico. It is located in the historic city centre, closer to the Palacio De Bellas Artes. This beautiful post office was heavily damaged by the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, then the renovation work started to preserve this antique building. In 1990, within 5 years of the disaster, this building was back to its original appearance. A visit to Mexico City would be incomplete without seeing this place.
Dermot and I were really excited that we chose to spend a couple of days in Mexico City. This was the first place we had visited in the historic city-centre and absolutely loved it.
The architectural Spanish Renaissance Style of this place makes it stand out from the other postal offices around the world. You can admire the beauty of this place without any entrance fee, as its totally free to get in, unlike other mega cities around the world that would have probably had an entrance ticket.
Find out more information and opening times here:
2: Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
After visiting the Palacio Postal, we had browsed a little in the Bellas Artes, that displays amazing artwork from various artists. Because It was really crowded inside and outside the Bellas Artes, we chose not stay there longer and we started walking towards the Zocalo. It is the main constitutional square where you’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes. There’s usually something arranged in the main square over the weekends such as festivals, flee markets, etc. But the highlight of Zocalo is the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. It’s a huge architectural beauty and one the largest cathedrals in the whole Americas. You can simply relax inside the cathedral, pray (you don’t have to be religious or Catholic/Christian to pray at the Cathedral, just give some respect and pray for anything, maybe it will come true) and take pictures. We loved the ambiance inside the cathedral and it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy it too.
Find out more information and opening times here:
3: Colourful Neighbourhood of Mexico City
After enjoying our time at the Cathedral, we simply started looking for the hidden-gems in the city. We started walking left to the Cathedral and followed the crowd. We wanted to be lost in those narrow streets and take in the charm of the historic city centre. We found several colourful houses, churches, cathedrals, shops, graffitis, cafes and resturants on our way. Because we didn’t eat at any of the places in this area, I cannot recommend anything, but you can simply enjoy the atmosphere.
This little English to Spanish translation book was in my hands all the time cause there’s a major language barrier in Mexico City. We didn’t want to embarrass ourselves by asking a question in English that a local won’t understand. So, we were using this little pocket guide in the historic city. Although, Mexicans understand English at many places in the Mexico City, but very little in the historic city-centre.
As they say, ‘It’s better to travel well, than to arrive’, simply enjoy the hidden-gems on this beautiful city rather than going to the main tourist attractions only.
4: The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
After enjoying the colourful neighbourhoods of the historic city centre, we took an Uber to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is a famous Roman Catholic Church and the National Shrine of Mexico. Because of the age of the main Basilica, there’s a fear of it’s collapse, which is why, there’s a new and contemporary style Basilica right next to the old one. It’s located at a very gigantic place, that you would easily spend around a of couple of hours here. It is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites for Catholics and it’s visited by several million people each year.
Find out more information and opening times here: http://basilica.mxv.mx/web1/-home/index.html
5: Cafebreria el Pendulo, Polanco
The next day after breakfast, we decided to visit another hidden-gem of the city, a famous library cafe called Cafebreria El Pendulo. There are a couple of branches in the city, but the most beautiful among the two is in Polanco, which is a very cute neighbourhood. Although we’ve been to the one in the neighbourhood of Roma, we preferred Polanco mainly because it was bigger and there are more things to do in Polanco than Roma. You can simply enjoy the sunny mornings in the Mexico City by reading a book at this lovely library cafe with a delicious cafe latte and a cup-cake.
A quick note that professional photography is NOT ALLOWED at this place, you can only use your phone for pictures, which is a bit odd. We did notice this rule at few other places in the city as well.
Find out ore information and opening times here: https://pendulo.com
6: Dulceria De Celaya
Later that day, on our way back to the apartment, we came across this lovely sweet shop called Dulceria De Celaya, founded in 1874. This shop mainly features Mexican sweets and delicacies and renowned as one of the oldest confectionaries in the city. If you’re a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely try something here. It’s been there for more than 100 years, come on, it must be good.
Find out more information and opening times here: http://www.dulceriadecelaya.com/Dulceria_de_Celaya/INICIO.html
That was all from our trip to Mexico City onroute to Yucatan region. We were really happy that we choose to spend a couple of days here rather than the whole week in Cancun. There was so much to see and learn in this mega city.
Download a printable version of Mexico City tourist map here:
We hope that you’ll enjoy your stay in Mexico City.
See you at other destinations around the world!