Mexico City Regional Info (App Version)
Mexico City is a truly eclectic mix of life, with unique art, culture, cuisine, history and natural beauty all on offer. With 16 boroughs and hundreds of neighborhoods, this is a place where you can get lost exploring for days and days on end. One day you could be exploring an 18th century church as well as some of the most modern buildings in the world; the next, you could be floating down kilometers of canal on a brightly-colored gondola. With so much to see and experience, you won't want to miss out!
Founded in 1325, Mexico City is the oldest city of the Americas. Its original name in the local indigenous language (nahuatl) was Tenochtitlan or Mexico-Tenochtitlan, and it was recognized and preserved by the Spanish Crown in the 16th century. Afterwards, the city’s inhabitants named it just Mexico. It was the capital of the Aztec Empire which had approximately 300 thousand people, a larger population than any European city at that time, when it was conquered by Spain. Subsequently, it was the capital city of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the two Mexican Empires (in the 19th Century), the Mexican Republic and the current nation of Mexico.
It is the 8th richest city of the world. Its estimated GDP in 2011 was US$411 billion. Its economic growth is one of the highest of the world and its economy is set to double by 2020, putting it in 7th place after Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris and London. More than 20% of the Mexican economy is concentrated here. Therefore, it is one of the main financial and cultural centers of not only the Americas, but the world.
UNESCO has declared the Historic Center as a World Cultural Heritage, along with Xochimilco (a borough in the south of the city known for its canals and artificial islands), UNAM (Mexico’s largest public university) and Luis Barragan’s House and Studio (a prominent Mexican architect).
Mexico City has the largest amount of museums in the Americas and the second largest amount in the world, after London. It has 180 officially recognized museums and more than 200 if those with no official recognition are included. It has more museums than Madrid, New York or Paris.
In 2013, Mexico City won a price at the City Climate Leadership Awards for its global leadership in public policies aimed at improving the quality of the air. It was included in the list of 10 cities with better sustainable development. After having dealt with high levels of air pollution which overpassed the international standards in the last decades, Mexico City has taken measures to drastically reduce this problem by implementing programs that limit the use of private vehicles, enhance reforestation and promote green education.
If you had the chance to go to a place where you can discover ancient traditions, walk around the oldest avenues and parks of the American continent surrounded by colonial buildings and skyscrapers, taste the first national cuisine to be declared cultural heritage by UNESCO and spend the most amusing night of your life, would you take it? If you say yes, then Mexico City is definitely in your mind.
Nowadays, more people are coming to D.F. (the city’s name in Spanish) to discover a vibrant, diverse, fun and beautiful metropolis. Everywhere around there is something to see: culture, arts, anthropology, history, colors, smells…
To really get an appreciation for how far the city has come and exactly where it has come from, pay a visit to any of the city’s museums. The National Museum of Anthropology, located in the Miguel Hidalgo borough, has a large collection of artifacts and exhibits dedicated to pre-Hispanic Mexico, while the nearby National Museum of History traces Mexico’s unique and varied past through its many displays. Those interested in Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky will also have the opportunity to visit the houses in which each lived; here you can also learn more about each of these famous figures and see memorabilia from their lives.
Visiting the city’s major archaeological site, Cuicuilco, is another way to delve into its ancient past. Dating back to 800 BC, Cuicuilco is home to the ruins of an ancient civilization that was marred by a volcanic eruption. Today, you can visit the local museum and see bits and pieces of these ruins, as well as seeing several structures, including a partially formed pyramid.
For a more cosmopolitan feel, you can head to a number of neighborhoods that are well known for their rich mix of restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and shops. Zona Rosa, Colonia Roma and Condesa all evoke a distinctly arty, Bohemian vibe, while Polanco is both trendy and luxurious. Definitely make the most out of the first-class dining and vibrant nightlife if you can.
Mexico City is all about scenery and natural beauty too, in case you didn’t know. Its city center is filled with plazas and parks, such as the impressive Bosque de Chapultepec parkland (also home to a zoo) and Mexico Park, which is filled with towering trees, winding paths and welcoming benches.
Moreover, this city is best known worldwide for its hospitality and its people’s warmth. The “chilangos”, as the city’s inhabitants are commonly named, are funny, hard-working and kind people, as well as excellent hosts. They will certainly make you discover many other secrets of this city that you may have never imagined. We dare you to come and discover it!