Mexico's capital does not have a particularly good reputation: a high crime rate, smog and overcrowding. Already from the plane you can not recognize the beginning and end of the city. Just houses as far as you can see. If you are in Mexico City for the first time, you will be surprised how many beautiful corners there are in this city. No matter if you use Mexico City just for a stopover, visit during a weekend trip or spend your whole vacation here. I will show you how to best plan your time and what you should not miss on any account.
Day 1 in Mexico City
Start your day in San Ángel at Plaza Jacinto, all Mexican, with a breakfast of chilaquiles, quesadillas or hotcakes and then stroll through the artists' market that takes place there every Saturday.
Coyoacán & La Roma
Afterwards you continue to the next colonial quarter to Coyoacán, where you can visit the famous Casa Azúl of Frida Kahlo. Just in time for lunch you made it to the hipster quarter Condesa/Roma. There you will find countless restaurants and bars for every taste and price range.
Mexico City Center
After the meal we continue to the city centre. You should not miss the direct center of Mexico City around the Zócalo, the market place. On the huge market everything is offered, whether meat, clothes or home accessories. If you are particularly adventurous, take the subway there and you will be surprised how many people can crowd together on one platform. Despite full physical exertion, it can happen that you have to let one or two lanes pass before you make it into one. It is therefore best to plan enough time.
By the way: The front compartments of the subways are reserved for women only. Especially in the evening and when you are alone as a woman, you should definitely take advantage of this.
In the center of the city are some of the best museums in Mexico, such as the Anthropology Museum, where you can spend a whole afternoon alone. Also worth a visit are the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), an art exhibition and the Palacio de los Correos, the old post office of the city. Even if you don't have a thing for religions - you can't get enough of the catholic splendor of the Mexican cities. The Basilica de Guadaloupe is a huge, incredibly impressive church with a great arquitecture.
Chapultepec - Grasshopper Hill
Very close by, south of the centre, you will find the huge Chapultepec green area. These include a kind of local recreation area for Mexicans and the castle of the same name on a hill. Here you can either take a pedal boat across the lake, have a picnic or visit the castle with a view of the park and city skyline.
For dinner we go to Plaza Garibaldi, where every evening the mariachi in their typical costumes gather and play Mexican folk music to thrill the tourists - a perfect end to a day in the capital.
Day 2 in Mexico City
The next day starts early, as we go to Teotihuacán, one of the largest ruins in America, 40 kilometres outside the city.
To get to the popular pyramids of the former Aztec Empire, you can either rent a car or take the bus towards Los Pirámides from the bus terminal Norte. All pyramids can be climbed, unlike most Mayan ruins in Mexico. The view from the Pyramid of the Sun to the Pyramid of the Moon (Luna y Sol) and vice versa is simply unforgettable.
If you still have some energy left on the way back, you can stop in Xoximilco and let yourself be taken on one of the famous colourful boats (trajeras) through the canals of the capital. Sunday is the most popular day for Mexicans to party and drink with friends on the boats and the more people you rent a boat with, the cheaper and funnier it gets.
Food in Mexico City
In Mexico City you can find everything from the cheapest and tastiest taco stands to fine restaurants and hip juice bars. There is even the only German bakery in the country here. You could probably spend several weeks just tasting food from around the world. At the roadside you will find sellers of churros, freshly squeezed juices and the popular corn on the cob (elotes), which are dipped in mayonnaise and then rolled through sprinkled cheese.
Mexico City: Useful Info
Mexico City is basically no more dangerous than most other major Mexican cities. Nevertheless, you should follow a few rules so that you and your valuables survive the stay. It is best not to take a taxi directly from the street, but always call one using an official telephone number. I admit I didn't do this myself every time, but I know several people who were mugged in Mexico City in a taxi. In the evenings and at night you will at best not use public transport at all and if you do, keep a close eye on your belongings.
The city will seem too crowded and endless in the first moment (which it actually is), but the subway network is clear and you can get easily from one place to another.