When visiting Mexico City, it is common to stay at a boutique, budget, or worldwide chain hotel located throughout the downtown area of the city. With this in mind, we recommend visiting the sites on our list in the following order due to their proximity in location.
El Zócalo and La Catedral Metropolitana de México
The list starts off with the largest public open space in Mexico City: El Zócalo. Surrounded by historical buildings on its four sides, this is a great place to take in the architectural beauty which is the result of nearly 300 years of Spanish colonization in Mexico – dating as far back as the 16th century. La Catedral Metropolitana de México, the main cathedral of Mexico City, stands grandiosely on the main side of El Zócalo. Although geographically speaking, this is not the central part of Mexico City anymore, it still welcomes thousands of visitors every day. Don’t miss a peak into the interior of the cathedral. This sanctuary houses one of the largest playing organs you will ever see.
Restaurant Azul Histórico
The next stop is a must-try restaurant called Azul Histórico, located two blocks west of El Zócalo. With four locations around the city, this particular downtown location sets you within a beautiful, historic colonial building. The chef of Azul has taken on the mission to introduce Mexican dishes that are less well known outside of the country.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
The third stop, within walking distance of both El Zócalo and Azul Histórico, is the Palacio de Bellas Artes. This beautiful building is hard to miss when strolling around the area. Boasting baroque architecture from the 19th century, the Palacio de Bellas Artes hosts award-winning performances – from Amalia Hernandez’s highly acclaimed folkloric ballet show to performances by the National Symphony Orchestra.
Paseo de la Reforma – Polanco Neighborhood Stroll
You can take a taxi from Palacio de Bellas Artes and head towards El Ángel de la Independencia, an iconic monument erected in 1910 in honor of the Mexican independence. El Ángel is located right along one of the main avenues of the city, Paseo de la Reforma. This is the perfect spot from which to stroll towards the high-end neighborhood of Polanco. The perfect way to end your first day in Mexico City is with dinner at one of the many patio restaurants in the neighbourhood, especially by Parque Lincoln (Lincoln Park).
Frida Kahlo Museum
If there’s one place where you can get a firsthand look into the life of one of Mexico’s greatest artists, it’s at Frida Kahlo’s house. The house was first opened to the public in 1958, four years after Kahlo’s death. Inside, you will see an array of vernacular Mexican craft and furniture on display. The house is popularly known as the ‘blue house’ due to its colourful exterior.
Frida Kahlo Museum, Londres 247, Del Carmen, Mexico City, Mexico, +52 55 5554 5999
Plaza Jardín Hidalgo, Coyoacán
A few blocks south of the Frida Kahlo Museum is Plaza Jardín Hidalgo, popularly known as the main plaza of Coyoacán. With quaint cafés, small parks, and large ancient houses to admire, this square and its surrounding neighbourhood has retained its rustic appeal throughout the years.