I started my 3 month journey through Mexico in Mexico City, or “D.F”, as it’s affectionately known. A mega-city to rival Buenos Aires as the best city in Latin America. Of course, I absolutely loved it. Like Buenos Aires, there is so much to do and see – fantastic museums and cultural attractions, cool bars and cafes and a pumping nightlife – there is never a dull moment. Getting around can be a pain, as, as you can imagine in a city of this size, traffic is a nightmare and people buy cars for the convenience and status, leading to even more havoc on the roads. The good thing, though, is that most of the attractions are centrally located, between the historic centre, the edgy, bohemian Roma Norte and formerly hip, but now gentrified Condesa.
There is a really good bike rental scheme, called Eco-Bici, but is unfortunately at the time of writing only available to those holding a Mexican bank or credit card.
The historic centre or downtown is where most of the tourist attractions are located. The central square (Zocalo) is where you can find the city Cathedral and ruins of an ancient Aztec temple, the Templo Mayor. The area has a run-down feel to it that I liked, but I wouldn’t recommend staying here, as it is a bit dead at nights and not completely safe.
Bordering Condesa, is Chapultepec, one of the world’s largest urban parks, housing some of the cities major museum, including the unmissable National Museum of Archeology, and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. I also really enjoyed the quiet, leafy neighbourhood of Coyoacan as an escape from the non-stop mayhem of the central city.
I only made one excursion, the essential one, to the ancient, pre-columbian ruins of Teotihuacan. There are plenty of options for other day trips, such as to Cuernavaca, the “city of eternal spring” and Taxco, an historic town famous for silver. Some crazies really pushed for time even attempt a day trip to Puebla, Mexico’s 4th largest city, which is a good 3.5 hours by bus from the Terminal del Norte.