Discover Mexico

Mexico City
Updated 2019-11-12 11:23

What one must keep in mind when first getting to the Mexican capital is that this is a truly massive place with a big personality that is driven by a population of over 12 million people. You can expect all sorts of traffic and throngs of diverse people, from indigenous to those from foreign countries, so the hustle and bustle is oftentimes the name of the game.

Touchdown in Mexico City

This shouldn't be seen as discouraging, but rather as akin to places like LA and NY where you just have to catch on to the rhythm, be it through its history, evocative colonial architecture, lively street culture, and distinguished neighbourhoods. One thing that makes this place special is that it does feel both urban and provincial at the same time.

Exploring its different neighbourhoods, such as Roma, Condesa, Xochimilco, Coyoacán, is what makes each outing special. This melting pot mentality is particularly evident in its historical architecture which borrows from influences such as Barroque, Classical and, of course, Aztec.

As Mexico is ingrained in its native communal cultures, you're quite welcome to strike up conversations and begin relationships organically(mi casa es tu casa, my home is yours). When you demonstrate a genuine interest in Mexican culture and its authenticity, people are more than happy to clue you in with all manner of worthwhile suggestions.

It can be said that there is a pretty easy-going vibe and that you're encouraged to wander around on foot. You just have to make sure that you don't venture into dangerous neighbourhoods. However, they are pretty easy to avoid as everyone knows which ones they are, and you can simply ask people as many do speak pretty good English and are used to helping tourists to get around.

The food scene in Mexico City

Be prepared to come across many food stands where busy people are taking a break from work or school. There are many places that offer comida corrida, ¨fast food,¨, which includes various home-cooked style courses and most often costs around 60 pesos. You can also count on an array of street vendors that prepare tacos and other Mexican staples that usually cost from 10 to 30 pesos each. Buying food is far cheaper than in English speaking countries, especially if you do your grocery shopping in public markets such as the highly frequented tianguis. These set up shop all throughout the city on certain days of the week.

History and culture in Mexico City

If it's your first time in the city and you would like to get your bearings, you are encouraged to head to the historic downtown district and once there start to gather an idea of how the city is laid out.

From el Zocalo, the main square, you can see the National Palace and the cathedral as well as the archaeological site of the Aztec Major Temple (Templo Mayor). Once here, you can also acquaint yourself with the Historical district main streets as well as the major cultural institutions and museums. Finding a place to eat, enjoy a nice cocktail or dance the night away to your heart's content is very easy as downtown offers a wide variety of international and Mexican inspired options throughout.

Getting around Mexico City

Getting around Mexico City is easy, and public transportation is a very cheap alternative to driving around in a car. The Metro subway system is very efficient and costs 5 pesos per trip. Buses and smaller transports of that nature cost about the same. It is a well-connected city where pretty much no matter where you buy a house or go to school, you will be within reach.

However, if you buy a house in upscale neighbourhoods such as Santa Fe, Pedregal del Sur, Lomas de Chapultepec, among many others, you will need a car to get everywhere including schools and universities that are peppered throughout the city. This is especially true about institutions such as Universidad Anahuac, Tec de Monterrey and Universidad Iberoamericana that are situated on the outskirts of the city.

The climate in Mexico City

The weather in the city can be quite unpredictable, especially around the rainy season which begins around May. However, generally speaking, the weather is quite mild, and you will find many people dressed in light and comfortable clothing.

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