8 Catholic Sites To Visit In Mexico City

Tepeyac | © Gordon Bell/Flickr

Northern England Writer

Mexico is a country with a huge Catholic population, practising or otherwise, and as a result there are innumerable Catholic sites that would be of interest to both atheists and believers alike. With stunning architecture, fascinating back stories and an absolute wealth of sites to choose from, you’ll never be short of Catholic locations to visit in Mexico City. Here are the top eight.

1. Basílica de Guadalupe

Cathedral, Library, Museum

Basilica de Guadalupe
flickr | © Luis Santiago
Easily Mexico’s most renowned Catholic destination, the Basílica de Guadalupe – known in English as Basilica of Our Lady Of Guadalupe – is situated in the north of Mexico City. It ranks as the most visited Catholic destination in Latin America and numbers indicate that it is also the world’s top Catholic pilgrimage site. Over 20 million visitors flock there annually to see the site upon which the Virgen de Guadalupe supposedly appeared to San Juan Diego. An unmissable Catholic hotspot.

2. Catedral Metropolitana

Cathedral, Museum

The facade of the Catedral Metropolitana has an intricate design in a mix of styles, with a central clock in gold
© David Crossland / Alamy Stock Photo
Possibly Mexico City’s second most recognised Catholic landmark is the largest and oldest cathedral in the Americas; the Catedral Metropolitana. Built using the remains of Aztec pyramids, and situated right on top of one such ruin just off the zócalo, legend has it that this magnificent and dazzling cathedral boasts a series of underground catacombs which lead to the Templo Mayor. What isfor certain though is that it – like all of Mexico City – is rapidly sinking into the ground.

3. Iglesia de la Quinta Aparición

Building, Cathedral, Church

Iglesia de la Quinta Aparición

The Church of the Fifth Apparition, rather unsurprisingly, marks the spot where the Virgen de Guadalupe appeared once again to San Juan Diego. Supposedly told by the Virgin that she would provide proof to support his claims with the bishop, Juan Diego went home to Tulpetlac and found his uncle close to death. The following day, after speaking to the Virgin once more, his uncle was cured and corroborated his tale of the apparitions. This church is built over Juan Diego’s uncle’s house and has a healing well under the altar.

Iglesia de la Quinta Aparición, Av. Mexico S/n, Tulpetlac, Ecatepec de Morelos, Estado de México, México, +52 55 5126 0787

Virgen de Guadalupe | © Esparta Palma/Flickr

5. Iglesia de San Juan Bautista

Iglesia de San Juan Bautista | © Carlos Adampol Galindo/Flickr
© Carlos Adampol Galindo/Flickr

Iglesia de San Juan Bautista

Situated in Coyoacán, the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista (sometimes known as Parroquia San Juan Bautista) is a holy site designed and built by Franciscan monks which took thirty years in the making and was remodelled in both the 19th and 20th centuries. As is apparent in the images below, the paintings and vibrant colours of the central nave are jaw-dropping. Even if you weren’t interested in Catholic sites per se, this is undoubtedly worth a visit for its interior alone.

Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, Plaza Centenario 8, Coyoacán, Ciudad de México, México, +52 55 5554 6376

Iglesia de San Juan Bautista | © Carlos Adampol Galindo/Flickr

6. San Felipe Neri/ La Profesa

San Felipe Neri/ La Profesa

Known as both San Felipe Neri and La Profesa, this is a Jesuit church situated in the heart of Mexico City. A favorite Catholic destination of travelers from all around the world, this neo-classic/Baroque temple was inaugurated in 1610 before being pretty much destroyed by flooding in 1629, and subsequently rebuilt in 1720. It is home to a magnificent collection of Mexican painting and some impressive, Baroque iron pillars.

La Profesa, Isabel la Católica 21, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, Ciudad de México, México, +52 55 5521 8362

La Profesa | © Eneas De Troya/Flickr

7. La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

An icon of the Roma neighbourhood in central Mexico City, La Sagrada Familia (not to be confused with the undeniably more grandiose Barcelona version) is a top Catholic location. Having only been constructed in 1910, its style is eclectic yet elegant, combining neo-classic and neo-gothic perfectly. However, the best part of this stunning edifice is on the inside; the stunning stained glass windows are beautiful.

La Sagrada Familia, Puebla 144, Roma, Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de México, México, +52 55 5511 7752

Mexico City from the air | © Payton Chung/Flickr

8. La Pasión de Cristo, Iztapalapa

La Pasión de Cristo, Iztapalapa

Less of a Catholic location, and more of a Catholic event, the 150-year-old Pasión del Cristo is so unique and intriguing that it easily warrants the final spot on our guide. Every year during the Easter week celebrations, millions of people descend on the Cerro de la Estrella in Iztapalapa to observe this modern day re-enactment of Christ’s death. Half ceremony, half stage production, one lucky actor (who must be single, originally from Iztapalapa and Catholic) plays Christ and drags the weighty cross up to the Cerro.

Cerro de las Estrellas, Carretera Escénica al Cerro de la Estrella S/N Km 2, Iztapalapa, Amp Veracruzana, Ciudad de México, México

Pasión del Cristo, México | © Eneas De Troya/Flickr

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article