Noche de Fiesta

Nightlife in Mexico City is very diverse. You can find mariachi, dinner shows, concerts, performing arts, nightclubs and everything you can imagine. By comparison with other cities like New York and Paris, the cost of an entertainment in the Aztec city is relatively low.

If you want a combination of music, art, coffee, bars and people-watching then go to La Colonia Condesa or Roma. The streets of these neighborhoods become crowded when the sun sets and it offers you a relax environment. If you’re into dancing, then head to La Zona Rosa. This neighborhood is a must-visit site for all visitors because it hosts the best clubs in the city. It’s also a meeting point for members of the gay community and although there’s no gay bars and straight bars (like in other cities around the world), tolerance and respect are a must. If you want more upscale clubs and bars, then visit Polanco. Here you’ll find the most expensive drinks in the city and the largest community of foreigners.

If you’re into more Mexican stuff, the go to Plaza Garibaldi, where mariachis and tequila will make the best of you’re night.

Not too far from there is el Palacio de Bellas Artes, where you can enjoy opera, ballet, orchestra concerts, dance and exhibitions.

Just one last advice: Mexico City is very dangerous at night, so make sure you’re going with a group of friends, always ride cabs, and don’t bring jewelry or a lot of money with you.


Floating Gardens and Coyoacan

After you got a taste of the city, you can start exploring a little bit more about its past and present.

Your next visit should be to the floating gardens of Xochimilco. Some people say it’s like Venetia, but I don’t think there’s even a similitude. Xochimilco is a network of canals and artificial islands that came from the Aztec empire. Today it is one of the main attractions of the city. People rent trajineras (boats) and go around the islands looking at people who live in the shores growing flowers. In these canals you’ll find authentic Mexican food, traditional candies and music… all in trajineras. And if you have a common name, you may see it made of flowers in top of one trajinera.

Not too far from there is Coyoacan, another legacy of the colonial era. In Coyoacan you’ll find old buildings remodeled as pubs and markets. Here, you want to visit the Casa Azul, home of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and now a wonderful museum. Don’t forget to stop by the church in Downtown coyoacan and when you get hungry I recommend you to eat at the Huarache Azteca. Spend the rest of your day taking a look at the street market, musicians, galleries and bars. I’m sure you won’t find a cultural and artistic mood like the one you’ll experience here.

And if after this long day you still want to party… there are many options, but I’ll tell you about them on the next post.

Let’s start the adventure

Once you get used to the big city, you can start your adventure by getting to know its streets. I would recommend you to have breakfast at Cafe Tacuba. this restaurant was established in the 19th century and throughout the years has been a favorite spot for politicians and artists. Its delicious food and colonial style decoration will take you back to the years when Mexico was a Spaniard colony.

Then you can walk to east until you reach the Zocalo. During your walk in Historical Downtown Mexico you will see enormous buildings that reflect the European presence in this land. El Zocalo is a square that was the heart of the Aztec empire, and today the heart of a nation. What you’ll find there is unpredictable: protesters, dancers, book fairs, concerts, exhibitions, etc. You have a lot to do at this place. You can visit La Catedral, El Palacio de Gobierno, the aztec ruins and museums.

If you get tired of walking then take the Turibus. This bus will take you to different places that tourists and locals love. The bus stop is right on Zocalo, and it’ll take you to Reforma, Condesa, Chapultepec, Centro Historico, Polanco and other must-see neighborhoods.

Hola Mexico!

What 600 years ago was an island in the middle of a lake, today is the third largest city in the world with 20 million inhabitants.  Also known as Distrito Federal (Federal District), this metropolitan area is the political, economic and cultural center of the country.

The Aztec city could be overwhleming for those who are there for the first time. Don’t forget this is a huge place with millions of people, traffic, buildings, pollution and noise. However, once you get to used to all of that, you will find a metropolis where past and present converge to form a unique destination. From the wealthiest neighborhoods in the south to the ancient pyramids in the north, Mexico City offers a variety of activities that will fit all your needs: History, culture, concerts, musicals, sports, food, science, shopping, nightlife, and everything you can imagine. A good friend of mine from El Salvador visited this city a few years ago, and when he came back he described it as the place where you can find EVERYTHING you want…

In the next posts we will talk about different sites you can visit and how you can make the best out of your trip. For now, I’ll leave you with this video that introduces a little bit of what you’ll experience.