Mexico City Journals

Start of the Ruta Maya

A July 2002 trip to Mexico City by fluppe

Hotel Premier Photo, Mexico City, Mexico More Photos
Quote: Mexico City was the start of a 28 days roundtrip through Mexico - Guatemala and Honduras. We stayed in Mexico City for three days, that way we could visit the inner city which is famous for its Zocalo and the Cathedral. I also enjoyed visting the Museo of Antropologia. And the world famous archeological site of Teotihuacán is also nearby (about 50km from Mexico City).

Start of the Ruta Maya

Overview

Mexico City Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The Zocalo, The Cathedral Metropolitana, Palacio Nacional, Torre LatinoAmericana, Plaza Garibladi with the Mariachis, Museum of Antropologia

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

It is great to Walk in Mexico City. Do not take the subway on rush hours because it is too crowded. Be careful when you take a green Volkswagen taxi.
Hotel Premier Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The rooms in this hotel were clean, each room had a safe, breakfast was not very special, the location was good, near city center, near Plaza de Christobal Colon.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Hotel Premier
Atenas 72, esq. Milan
Mexico City, Mexico
5566 2700

Terazza

Restaurant | "Hotel Majestic top of hotel restaurant"

Terazza Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
In fact this restaurant is on the top floor of the Best Western Majestic hotel. Don't worry, just enter, walk to the elevator, and tell the man at the elevator that you want to go to the restaurant.

I did not eat here, I just had a cup of coffee and a great time enjoying the view over the Zocalo.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Terazza
Av Madero # 73, Col Centro
Mexico City, Mexico
5521 86 00

Indian Market

Attraction | "Indian dances"

Indian Market Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
On the square next to the Cathedral Metropolitana there is a beautiful scale-model of Tenochtican. And near this scale-model, you can see some Concherro dancers performing their dances in traditional dresses. Unfortunately, when I passed there, there was no dancing, there were only their drums and headdresses.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Indian Market

Mexico City, Mexico

Medicine man

Attraction

Medicine man Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
On the Indian market near the Cathedral, we saw different Indians, specially dressed, who were performing a kind of ceremony. Look at the Indian in the pciture below and note the chicken on his hat. I am not sure, but it looked as if he was some kind of medicine man. Later on this same Medicine man was performing a kind of healing ceremony on an Indian woman. And more people were waiting for such a healing treatment. On the third picture you see another Medicine man who is preparing himself for the next ceremony. Remark the white thing in his right hand is not a cigarette but a kind of pencil he used for making up. If you ask me, he looked a bit scary with the skull on his head.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Medicine man

Mexico City, Mexico

Templo Mayor

Attraction

Templo Mayor Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
Templo Mayor is the place of the Aztec Teocalli (Holy City) which was the heart of their capital, Tenochtitlan. This complex was completely destroyed by the Spanish Conquistadores after their conquest of this city. I had no time to visit this temple, but from the market square next to the Cathedral, you have a great view over these ruins. On Sunday there is no entrance fee, and that is for all the archeological sites in Mexico. The snake was an in important symbol in this temple. In fact there are two snake heads, which seem to protect the main stairs. This proves that this temple was built as a symbolic recreation of Coatepec (the snake hill), which is a holy place in the Aztec mythology.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Templo Mayor
Seminario y Moneda
Mexico City, Mexico 06000
s/t

Monumento a los Niños Héroes

Attraction | "Monumento a los Ninos Heroes"

Monumento a los Niños Héroes Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This monument is erected for the remembrance of the young soldiers who died in 1847 while defending the castle of Chapultepec. You can see this monument at the entrance of the big park of Bosque de Chapultepec.

Metro : Chapultepec

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Monumento a los Niños Héroes
Bosque de Chapultepec
México, Mexico 11560

Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia

Attraction | "Museo de Antropologia"

Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
El Museo Nacional de Antropologia is located in the Bosque de Chapultepec. Best is to take the metro till the station of Chapultepec, and then you can walk through this big park, where this Bosque de Chapultepec is. This museum is very, very big. On the lower floor there are 12 exhibition halls, which show the different regions of Mexico, and one especially for the Maya culture; on the upper level you can see a collection of clothing, housings, and utensils of the 56 still existing local cultures in Mexico. You can easily spend a day in this really interesting museum. It is really interesting to visit this museum before you start exploring the different archeologically sites all across Mexico....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia
Paseo De La Reforma Y Calzada Ghandi (colonia Polanco Chapultepec)
México, Mexico 11560
52 5553 6266; +52 5

Plaza de las Tres Culturas Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This Plaza symbolizes the 3 different Cultures of Mexico: Pre-Columbian Culture, Spanish Culture and the Modern Culture. On this picture you can see two of these cultures, an Aztec symbol, ruins of ancient pyramids of Tlatelolco, the twin city of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, and in the background the modern buildings. The second Culture at the plaza de las tres Culturas : The Spanish built here their own temple, the Santiago Church. This church is built in the 16th century, in that time churches were built in a kind of style as they build fortresses. The third Culture at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas is the Modern Culture. This is symbolized by a big almost completely empty square surrounded by mo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Plaza de las Tres Culturas
Eje Central & Ricardo Flores Magon
Mexico City, Mexico

Antigua Basilica de Guadelupe Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
According to the legend, The Holy Virgin appeared here. It was the Indian farmer Juan Diego who saw her here at the foot of the hill, Cerro Del Tepeyac, on December the 9th 1531. And since that day his whole Indian community took the Virgin as their patroness. Even nowadays this Virgin of Guadalupe plays an important role in the religious life of most Mexicans. This Virgin is even more important then Jesus Christ. At the place where the Virgin appeared they built a church around 1566; later on around 1709 they built this Basilica. Due to shifting because of the draining of the underground, this old building is breaking down. Since it became unsafe to receive so many believers there, the people dec...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Antigua Basilica de Guadelupe
Plaza de las Americas 1
Mexico City, Mexico

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Attraction | "Basilica of Guadalupe"

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This modern Basilica is designed by the same architect who designed the Museo Nacional of Antropologia. Inside this Basilica there is room for 10.000 believers. The interior of this new Basilica is very modern. Personally I do prefer the interior of the Old Basilica as it was something special. The new Basilica was consecrated in 1976. To prevent jamming near the high altar, from where you can see the coat of Juan Diego, they have constructed a conveyer band, so that the pilgrims slowly pass by the holy Coat. On this coat you can see the portrait of the Virgin of Guadelupe. On the painting (pict 4) you can see Juan Diego with his coat and on the coat reflects the portrait of The Virgin. Note that t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
Calzada de los Misterios y Paseo Zumárraga
México, Mexico 07050
+52 5 5776022

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Attraction | "Outside the Basilica de Guadelupe"

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
If you want a picture with the Pope, this was the place to be. On July 31st the Pope would visit this Holy place. That is why as we were there (about one week earlier), you could let them make a picture of yourself together with the Pope (of course this Pope was made of cardboard. There were also other possibilities like sitting on a donkey with a big Mexican Sombrero on your head. Flags were announcing the coming of the Pope. The main reason of the visit of the pope to this Holy Basilica was the canonization of Juan Diego. I don’t know if the Pope was here before. Anyway He already had his statue, next to the old Basilica

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
Calzada de los Misterios y Paseo Zumárraga
México, Mexico 07050
+52 5 5776022

Clocktower of the Basilica Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
Opposite the new Basilica there was a modern Clock tower. Within the middle of the tower is a kind of puppet theater that turned around. This puppet theatre told the story of the appearance of the Holy Virgin in front of the Indian farmer Juan Diego. On the second picture you can see the scene of the appearance of the Holy Virgin in front of Juan Diego. So In different scenes the whole story of the appearance was told. It was nice to see.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Clocktower of the Basilica
Plaza des Americas 1
Mexico City, Mexico

El Rincon del Mariachi

Attraction | "Rincon del Mariachi"

El Rincon del Mariachi Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
On the Plaza Garibaldi there are also several bars, where these Mariachis are performing. The one we visited was El Rincon del Mariachi. It was not bad, but personally I did prefer the atmosphere outside sitting on a terrace with a beer and enjoying the music outside

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

El Rincon del Mariachi
Plaza Garibaldi
Mexico City, Mexico

Plaza Garibaldi

Attraction

Plaza Garibaldi Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
Plaza Garibaldi : this is the Mecca of the Mariachis. If you are searching for feelings like sentiment, trumpet, violin, guitar, tequila, marimba, you can find it here. Many, many Mariachi-groups are waiting here to play their songs; they can play anything from the saddest song to the most pleasant one. Till deep in the night these Mariachis play and sing every tear-jerker, every thing that you want to hear. You pay, they play, that is the way it goes. On this Plaza Garibaldi, there were several beautiful statues of famous Mariachis. These statues were telling something about the history of this Plaza, like the memories to the glorious life of Jose Alfredo Jimenez (1926 – 1973) and also the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Plaza Garibaldi
Plaza Garibaldi
Mexico City, Mexico

Plaza Garibaldi

Attraction | "Plaza Garibaldi - part 2"

Plaza Garibaldi Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
Picture 1 shows the Mariachi singer who performed at our restaurant table. With full devotion he sung the famous Cucaracha song. The performance generated a great feeling for us and a memory to cherish. We all believed this Mariachi singer looked a bit like Sergeant Garcia from the Zorro series. On this Plaza there were small groups of Mariachis, but there were also few big groups, and mostly they were playing for lots of people. Like that people started dancing just outside on the Plaza. It was great to see and to hear. The third picture, Here you can see people spontaneously dancing to the sounds of the Mariachi music. We stayed on this Plaza for several hours. It was so great to h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2002

Plaza Garibaldi
Plaza Garibaldi
Mexico City, Mexico

Passeo de Reforma Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The first thing we saw, as we left our hotel the first morning was the monument of Christoffel Columbus, or Christobal Colon, as they name him here in Mexico. Well that was a good reference point for all our further walking tours that we would make in the coming days. Of course when you walk in a big city, you also see the not so beautiful things of our modern society like poverty and the homeless. As we passed this little park, El Jardin de la Solidaridad, we saw people camping in plastic self-made tents, our guide told us that it was kind of a demonstration of some homeless. Another modern monument on Passeo de Reforme is El Caballito (little horse). It is 28 meters h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Monumento y Museo de la Revolución

Attraction | "Monumento de la Revolution"

Monumento y Museo de la Revolución Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This monument is devoted to the revolution of 1910. In fact there was the intention to build a new building for the Senate. But in 1932 they changed the plans because of the swampy underground. So they decided to make a monument of it. Under the four pillars are buried the heroes of the revolution. There is also a museum inside the monument.

Metro : Revolucion

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Monumento y Museo de la Revolución
Plaza de la República
México, Mexico 06060
+52 5 546-2115

Juarez Hermiciclo

Attraction

Juarez Hermiciclo Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
Along Avenido Juarez, you see the beautiful park named Parque La Alameda. This park has some beautiful monuments and fountains. Halfway through the park, near Avenido Juarez, you see the beautiful monument Juarez Hemiciclo, which is monument of Italian marble and is build to honor President Benito Juarez.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Juarez Hermiciclo
Avenido Juarez
Mexico City, Mexico

Palacio de Bellas Artes Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This Jugendstil-Palacio was built in 1904; it is built of Carrara marble. The interior is in Art-Deco. It is in fact a concert hall but also an arts center. On the second and third floor you can see beautiful paintings. There is no entry fee to visit the first floor, the bookstore, souvenir shop and the restaurant are on that same floor. In the evening, you can see here a show of typical Mexican music and dancing. The entry was quite expensive (12US$ - 29US$).

Metro : Bellas Artes

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Palacio de Bellas Artes
Avenida Juárez y Eje Lázaro Cárdenas
Mexico City, Mexico 06050
+52 5 5122593; +52 5

Torre Latinoamericana Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
If you want to see Mexico City from above, this is the place to be. This skyscraper has 44 floors (altitude : 2422 m), and yes there are elevators. It costs 30 pesos to go up (about 3 US$). But it is certainly worth the money, as the view is magnificent, even as the smog diminishes a bit the sight. In this building there is also the world's highest aquarium. Can you imagine an aquarium at 2358 meters above sea level?

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Torre Latinoamericana
Madero y Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas
México, Mexico 06040
+52 5 7522887

Casa de los Azulejos Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
This beautiful blue and white house, also named the House of Tiles, was built in the 16th century, and it was the palace of the Counts of Orizaba. In 1737 it was restored in the Puebla-style. Now it is a shop and a restaurant of the Sanborn-chain.

Metro : Bellas Artes

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Casa de los Azulejos
Francisco Madero 4
Mexico City, Mexico

Catedral Metropolitana

Attraction | "Cathedral Metropolitana"

Catedral Metropolitana Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
El Cathedral Metropolitana: This is in fact the biggest church of Latin-America. The cathedral is damaged by subsidence, in fact the whole city is build on the soft ground of the Lake of Texoco. This is a magnificent building. The Spanish used bricks and walls from the Aztec temples and pyramids which were located next to the Cathedral (now Temple Mayor). On the right of the Cathedral, there is the Sagrario Metropolitana, a small parish church, with a beautiful front. The interior of the Cathedral is also very beautiful. Especially the Altar de los Reyes is certainly a "must see". Near the Cathedral, at Monte de Piedad, you can see a row of men. These men all represent different professi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Catedral Metropolitana
Plaza de la Constitución s/n
Mexico City, Mexico 06010
+52 5 5129467

Zocalo-Constitution Square

Attraction | "Plaza de la Constitution (El Zocalo)"

Zocalo-Constitution Square Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
El Zocalo is La Plaza de la Constitution.

This is the most important Plaza of Mexico. It is used for official ceremonies and military parades. In the middle of this square you see the Mexican pride, a huge Mexican flag.

This square is surrounded by the Cathedral Metropolitana and the Palacio Nacional.

Metro : Zocalo

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Zocalo-Constitution Square
Main Plaza of Historic Center
Mexico City 06060

Palacio Nacional-National Palace

Attraction | "Palacio Nacional"

Palacio Nacional-National Palace Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The President of Mexico has his office here, but this is not the reason why you should visit this Palacio Nacional. Oh no, more interesting are the wall paintings (murals) of Diego Riviera. My guidebook said that one needs to show some ID to enter the Palacio, but we just walked in without showing anything, or maybe another possibility is the fact that we visited the Palacio as a group and that earlier our tour guide made the necessary arrangements, I don’t know. But if you want to enter without problems, carry your passport with you, so if they ask you can show it to heavily armed guards. By the way these guards do not like to be photographed. If you want a picture of these guards, ask authoriza...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Palacio Nacional-National Palace
El Zocalo
México City, Mexico 06060
+52 5 5420508

Palacio Nacional-National Palace

Attraction | "Murales in the Palacio Nacional"

Palacio Nacional-National Palace Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
The most important reason to visit this Palacio Nacional is certainly, the wall painting (Murales) of Diego Riviero; he painted these walls between 1929 and 1935. These paintings are reflecting the history of Mexico seen through the eyes of Diego Riviero. When you go up the main stairs, coming from the courtyard, you’ll see a very big wall painting. It shows a part of the Mexican history, like the Aztec period, the Colonial period, the French occupation, the Mexican revolution . . . Unfortunately, it was very dark at that place and it was prohibited to use a flash, so I was not able to make a picture of this masterpiece. The picture I added here is one of the many frescos you can see on the sidew...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Palacio Nacional-National Palace
El Zocalo
México City, Mexico 06060
+52 5 5420508

Indian Market

Attraction

Indian Market Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
At the square next to the Cathedral Metropolitana, you see kind of an Indian market. So this is a place where you can buy all kind of Indian souvenirs. You can see the local Indians in traditional dresses making all kind of handicraft.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Indian Market

Mexico City, Mexico

Getting Around

Story/Tip

Getting around Photo, Mexico City, Mexico
Quote:
WALKING : It was great to discover Mexico City on foot, as that way you can feel, smell and taste the real atmosphere of this big city. However, the exhaust fumes of the many cars and taxis aren't the best smells I've ever encountered on my travel journeys. But by walking, you can see a bit of the daily life along the streets. And no problem if your shoes get dirty; there are plenty of shoeshine boys. BY TAXI : Well, there are plenty of those green, Volkswagen Beetle taxis. Best is to ask the hotel reception to call for a taxi as it is safer. It can be dangerous, to take a taxi along the road, especially when you are travelling alone. There have been many ripp-offs in the past. This picture was m...Read More