Also see our video about our time in Mexico city.
Mexico City shares the billing with London for having the most museums of any city in the world, and you can spend several weeks if you have to visit the majority of them. We those to visit the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. It is a world-class museum. The ground-floor consists of 12 halls (“salas”) which are dedicated to the history of pre-Hispanic Mexico (The time before Spaniards arrived in 1519).
The upper-level halls show how Mexico’s indigenous descendants live today.
We are amazed by the architecture of the museum
If you are not interested in the history, you should still visit the museum just to see the building, the halls and the amazing fountain.
It is impossible to see everything in one day, so we focused on the ground-floor halls “Teotihaucán”, “Mexica” and “Maya”. It was great to learn more about the Mexican history, but we were very disappointed that the English audio tour was not available anymore (looked like it has not been maintained) and only the big information boards where translated into English. On top of that we had to wait 3 hours to get on the only tour in English, which was at 4 pm. It would have been great to get the tour first and then explore the museum after.
99% of the everything in the museum is original
See the similarity between there to? To much museum!
In the heart of Mexico City is Plaza de la constitución also called Zócalo, and it is really hard to miss. Measuring 220 meters from north to south and 240 from east to west, it is one of the world’s largest city squares. On its east side you have the Palacio National (the presidential palace) where you can see the Diego Rivera murals (big paintings on the walls) painted between 1929 and 1951. On the north side is the Cathedral Metropolitana, and on the south side are the city government offices.
Here you see the huge Mexican flag flying in the middle of the Zócalo
The Catheral Metropolitana is 109 meters long, 59 meters wide and 65 meters high. The construction started in 1573 and the exterior was not completed until 1813
The ruin Templo Mayor is placed in the middle of Centro Historicó (defined as 668-block area). In this area you will find more than 1500 buildings classified as historical or artistic monuments. The visible part of Templo Mayor was excavated in 1978, and there is a lot more than on the picture .
Pictures from Plaza Garibaldi where the city’s mariachi bands play every night
Palacio de Bellas Artes was constructed from 1905, but several complications occurred including a sinking heavy marble shell, and the interior was not finished until the 1930’s. In the newly renovated Bellas Artes Theater you should go and see the stained-glass curtain depicting Valle de Mexico. Unfortunately the Bellas Artes Theater was closed when we got where = no pictures.
One of the days in Mexico City we took a tourist bus to se more of the city. The trip around downtown drove us past several interesting monuments and buildings. In the right picture we pass by Auditorio Nacional with 10,000 seats.
Here you se the Monumento a la Revolución. The observation deck is 65 meters up, which is accessed by a glass elevator
On Paseo de la Reforma the bus took us past the symbol of Mexico City “Monumento a la Independencia” known as “Él Ángel” on a 45 meters high pillar. It was sculptured for the independence centennial in 1910. Right picture: a big demonstration was going on while we drove past, because it was “Teachers Day” in Mexico.
Further down we passed “La Diana Cazadora” a bronze sculpture from 1942, which represent the Archer of the North Star
We also drove by (and later walked through) Mexico City’s largest park “Bosque de Chapultepec” which covers more than 4 sq km including lakes, a zoo and several museums. The main gate is overlooked by a pair of bronze lions.
You get hungry from all that sightseeing!
Visiting a local bakery, where I was amazed of all the small cookies they had. It reminded me about my grandmother “Lise”, who always bake Danish cookie for special occasions and holydays. We miss your home baked Danish cookie, especially the ones called “Ørkensand”, translate into “dessert sand”.
Finished the day with two cold clamatoes and grilled chicken. One chichen for just 100 pesos (5-6 USD or 35-40 DDK)
After doing a lot of the regularly tourist things in Mexico city, we decided to visit the southern part of Mexico City called “Xochimilco”. Xochimilco is a network of canals flanked by gardens is a vivid reminder of the city’ pre-Hispanic legacy. The “chinampas” is “floating gardens” where the indigenous inhabitants grew their food. Normally you take a colorful “trajineras” which seats 14-20 people (or more), where you bring beer, soft drinks and food (left picture). But of course I had planned that we would tour the canals in a kayak. Esben didn’t believe that we could rent a kayak, but after looking around we found a company called “Michmani” where we rented a kayak for 100 pesos per hour (right picture).
Xochimilco means “Place where flowers grow” and the people who lived there piled up vegetation and mud in the shallow waters of lake Xochimilco, a southern offshoot of Lago de Texcoco (where downtown Mexico City is today), to make the fertile gardens “chinampas”, which later became an economic base of the Aztec empire. Today some of the “chinampas” have been decorated with “dead” dolls, and called “Isla de las Muñecas” (Island of the Dolls), where several creepy, decomposed dolls hang from trees. The tory is that an island resident fished the plaything from the canals to mollify the spirit of a girl who had drowned nearby.
As the “chinampas” proliferated, much of the lake was transformed into a series of canals. Approximately 180 km of these waterways remain today.
Xochimilco is perfect for bird-watching before noon, where it is quiet on the canals
But after 2 pm people on the “trajineras” are having a party on the canals
We stopped by a stand selling Micheladas, BIG Micheladas and bought one each. Now we had a party in our kayak getting a lot of attention from all the other “trajineras”, because we were the only kayak on the canals. They are cray those Danes, since they want to do all the rowing by themselves.
Mariachi bands and a taco stand was sailing on the canals. After all that Micheladas and no food, it was time to get a bit to eat. Got a blue corn quesadilla with chicken.
We had a blast on the canals in Xochimilco and spend 4 hours paddling around (use MAPS.ME to find your way). We can recommend it to everybody who visit Mexico City! And there is almost no smog, so put sunscreen on.