How to adjust to the local culture in Mexico City

local culture in Mexico
Updated 2019-11-12 11:10

A mesh of cultures suits a place like Mexico City very well as it is one of the most visited places on the planet and, to this end, you can expect to find people from all over the world. You will come across numerous intriguing stories of people who settled here and, habitually, add to the tapestry that this bustling city exhibits in the present day.

Visit local businesses

One thing that you must do if you would like to assimilate is to take it upon yourself to visit different small established businesses. Just stroll around and let your admiration for the assortment of architectural influences lead the way. It's quite common for clientele to strike up a conversation with someone over the counter and to listen to their story about how they got there. Places like these include bakeries, clothing, cigar and glasswork shops and many more.

Explore the historical and cultural heritage

Another way to get acquainted with integral cultures, both ancient and modern, is by visiting museums that showcase the history and culture that has played out in the area. To this end, a must-visit for anyone interested in Mexican culture is the renown National Museum of Anthropology which may be found in one of the jewels of the city and was recently designated the best urban park in the world, the Chapultepec Forest Complex. It's very easy to reach as it is cut by the evocative main thoroughfare, Reforma Avenue, which many taxi drivers maintain that it is the most beautiful in the world.

The National Museum of Anthropology is a treasure trove of genuine artefacts that can reach immense proportions. For many, it serves as a wonderful crash course into the history of Meso-American culture as a whole, and as you go along it, you can begin to focus on the empire that gave the Mexican capital valley its most iconic artistic expressions.

Just a short walk from the National Museum of Anthropology, you can follow various winding paths, visit iconic monuments and check out the man-made lake where you can rent a boat to paddle around. On weekends, it is flooded with families that play sports, have picnics and bask in the sunshine.

But if you still feel an itch for archaeology, you can head to the heart of the city, the Zocalo and walk around the maze-like corridors of the ruins of the Major Aztec Temple. The historic downtown district is a special place to just wander around and take pictures, especially if you appreciate evocative architectural design. It is also where you can find many tasty restaurants and bakeries, and of course, cantinas, or bars. As you revel in the vibe of a cantina, you are sure to really feel the illustrious and distinctive narrative that makes a place like Mexico special.

Mexican art and literature

Getting to know Mexican art is of capital importance when you want to embrace the culture and internalise some of its many expressions. A truly engrossing place to do this is by heading south to San Angel and browsing through the artisan market there. It is always full of tourists looking for the perfect souvenirs in the form of plates, carpets, toys, decorative pieces of all sorts and much more. A major reason why a place like this shouldn't be missed is that it serves as a pretty idyllic educational opportunity to distinguish between the different stylistic tendencies of the different Mexican states. Many people have their favourites, and you can check different stuff out and ask questions in English to find your own.

Another good idea is to look for bookstores downtown, there are many. Just browse around to get an idea of what's been published.

The local cuisine

There are countless opportunities for a great introduction into the rich culture and history that make Mexico City a unique and proud place, but a key one is through its cuisine. This pride and joy of the Mexican soul is as unique and variable as you can imagine. Classic restaurants like Sanborns, whose most iconic locale that bears lovely murals and architecture used to be the home of a princess, invite patrons to learn from their menu that includes many classic dishes that are for many Mexicans, their go-to, such as the enchiladas, gorditas, savoury soups and sauced steaks.

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