Mexican flag

México City travel diary

Viva México!!!. I had the opportunity to explore and experience México City by myself recently. Though the trip is primarily not for tourism, I grabbed all the chances to learn and understand the city and its culture as much as I can, and not be just a tourist passing by. I pretty much have an idea about México City (including how notorious it can be there) still, before jumping into the plane, I did my research about my destination and meticulously planned how I can hit two birds with one stone (business and pleasure). I also asked my Mexican friends for their suggestions, so I can maximize my trip to the fullest. Armed with enthusiasm and ideas of the must things to do, eat, see & learn and off I traveled to México City.

It was a three-day trip, but the fun part only happened in less than 24 hours. And yes, I hustled to cover most of the stuff on my list. Surely, I achieved what I was hoping to gain from this trip, fond memories, better understanding, and deeper respect for México and its people.  Here are some of the photo highlights of my trip, and may it give you an idea on what you can do in México City in less than a day.

Aerial snapshots of México City

Mexico City, travel
From the land of tacos, tequila and mariachi…Bienvenidos a México!

I’m getting so giddy when finally I can see my destination in sight. Listed as one the biggest metropolitan in the world and joining the list of top 10 highly populated city. Indeed, México City is HUGE!

El Ángel de la Independencia, along Paseo de la Reforma

Mexico City, El Angel de la Independencia, travel Mexico
One of the most representative symbols of México City and the whole country, the Angel of Independence stands majestically in Paseo de la Reforma.

First stop, Angel of Independence. Since the landmark is on my way to apppoinment, I stopped by.  A shrine where the remains of some of the most outstanding leaders of the Mexican Independence movement like Miguel Hidalgo, Vicente Guerrero, and Ignacio Allende rest inside its base, which also includes the sculptures of said insurgents and a beautiful sculpture of a lion guided by a boy that represents the dominance of truth and intelligence over strength.

Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe, in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo (or simply “la Villa”)

Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe
Maximum religious centre in Mexico, the Village of Guadalupe is a place of important relevance in the hearts of all Mexican people as it’s the place which holds the image of the Virgin Guadalupe, patron of the Americas and one of the most profound symbols of the mixture of races and the Mexican culture. The devotion to the Our Lady of Guadalupe is the basis of Christian history in Mexico.

Next, I hopped into the bus heading to the northern neighborhood of Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo (or simply “la Villa”), about 30 minutes away from the City center. The Basilica and its patron saint are among the most sacred places and miraculous saints in the Americas and highly visited by many Catholic devotees.  In this Basilica, Pope John Paul II celebrated mass several times on his trips to Mexico, among them, the canonization of the Indio Juan Diego. It served as a mini pilgrimage for me to give thanks for all the provisions in my life.

Zona Rosa (Pink Zone), Colonia Juárez

Mexico City, travel
First class financial and commercial district in México City, the Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) is a place in which the tradition has always been modernity.

Zona Rosa, another interesting place to check out for local and international restos. The streets of Zona Rosa became a fashionable place and its coffee houses to be a place to see and be seen. Colonia Juárez was thus invested in by several businessmen, mainly focused on tourism,  elegant hotels are located in the area, as well as modern and sophisticated commercial centers like the Jacarandas Mall. The coffee shops, fashion boutiques, art galleries and exotic personalities from artistic and literary spheres who used to meet there, then later named as Zona Rosa. A Mexican personality once thought the area was “too shy to be red, too daring to be white”.  But, one far more interesting thing about it, is that during a period of decay in this area in the 1980’s, other social groups saw an opportunity to settle themselves in the area, such as the Korean community and especially the gay community. Zona Rosa is one of the first places of open respect for gay and lesbian rights. It is quite interesting to know how the acceptance of the third sex evolved  in a macho culture.

El Monumento a la Revolución, in Plaza de la República

Mexico City attractions
This monument stands out by its massiveness and geometric shape that take us back to pre-Hispanic architecture; nevertheless it’s also a faithful representative of one of the architectonic styles of the time: Art Deco, which becomes present in the sculptural groups perched on the copper cupola of the monument, which were created by the artist Oliverio Martínez and represent: the Independence, the Reformation Laws, the Agrarian Laws and the Worker Laws.

One of most sumptuous buildings in the city, is El Monumento a la Revolución (The Monument to the Revolution). This monument was turned into a mausoleum, that houses the remains of some protagonists of the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Francisco Villa, Plutarco Elías Cales and Lázaro Cárdenas. Since 1986, the monument’s basement serves as the Revolutionary Museum. Today, the museum and in the great open space surrounding the Plaza, cultural activities take place. One example is the Tecnogeist, the most important festival of electronic music and of multimedia art in the Latin America. It is also a place where local protests are staged. This landmark is just 2 minutes away from the hotel where I stayed in, it is the first landmark I checked out the minute I freshened up and settled in.

Zócalo, El Centro Histórico

Zócalo, Mexico City
The Zócalo’s background dates back to pre-Hispanic times; since then, in the place occupied by this plaza today, there existed an open space which was part of the ceremonial center of the Aztec empire’s capital, Tenochtitlán.

Zócalo is definitely a must to see in México City. It is a monumental public space surrounded by some of the most emblematic urban landmarks in the city,  that constitute to be one of the largest and most important public plazas in the world. The main square of the city is called Zócalo, but its official name is Plaza de la Constitución. Within the square, you can visit The Palacio Nacional (National Palace) where you can admire the murals painted by Diego Rivera. Located in the square too are the Catedral Metropolitana, which replete with colonial religious art and beautiful gilded altarpieces, Federal District buildings, Nacional Monte de Piedad and on the northeast of the square is the Templo Mayor. Finding the square is quite easy, with its enormous Mexican flag, you’ll know you’re in the right place.

Torre Latinoamericana, El Centro Histórico

Mexico City, Torre latinoamericana
Considered for many years the tallest building in México and Latin America, the Latin-American Tower is a great pride for the inhabitants of México City as it broke many records in engineering during its construction using Mexican technology, and has also resisted the strong earthquakes of 1957 and 1985.

My time is running out, last night in México. What is the fastest way to get an excellent 360 degrees view of the city? Well, it is an easy yet tall fix, climb to once the tallest building in México, a classic skyscraper of the city. One of the most important urban landmarks, Torre Latinoamericana. This skyscraper has 43 office floors and an antenna from which radio and television signals are transmitted. It also has a belvedere on the last three floors where you can get an excellent view of the city.  And, if you still have time, you can also check the museum in the building only few floors down from the viewing deck. The mood up there can get pretty romantic especially if you’re with your special someone enjoying the big city view.

Televisa & Arena México, last-minute stop

Arena Mexico, lucha libre, Mexico City, travel
Televisa is a Mexican multimedia mass media company and the largest in Latin America. Also, the first of Spanish-speaking world. Arena México is an indoor arena, which is primarily used for professional wrestling or Lucha Libre..

I’m leaving México City and bringing with me, are such tremendous and wonderful memories, but it’s not over yet. The morning of my afternoon flight back home, I decided to check out one more place, which is quite close to the heart of Filipinos. I went to take a peek of the television network that made Filipinos fell in love with Thalia’s telenovelas such as Marimar, María del Barrio, Rosalinda, etc. Another iconic event in México is the Lucha Libre, the arena is just on the opposite street of the television network.

And that was a wrap! Will I ever come back to México? One big YES! (hopefully soon). Overall, what made my trip extra special aside from the amazing places that México has to offer is the warmth of its people. For all the Mexicans who gladly gave me a free inside scoop and guided me with its culture and history, thank you. You made me feel at home, I’ll always be grateful and will hold México closer to my heart. And on my last note, México City is definitely not that bad after all, it is about understanding and respecting what is evident and travelling smartly.

Hasta luego amigos!!!

“Don’t be just a tourist, be a traveller”. If you liked my Mexico Travel Diary, make sure to subscribe to my mailing list to read my latest blog straight from your inbox. Or, follow me on Facebook or Instagram for the latest scoop from me. Feel free to email me for any questions or comment below.

Con mucho amor,

Imelda❤

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