As there is so many things to do and to see in Mexico City, here goes part two of my To-Do-List for Mexico’s capital and it’s even longer than the first one. As always, all my recommendations have been tested personally by me and I guess you will find some things that you don’t find in every normal guide. Check out the following places and activities that are really worth seeing and doing!
Neighbourhoods of Condesa, Polanco, Roma and Centro
Sometimes it’s also just enough to walk around the streets for a while and just to get lost and keep wandering. In this case the neighbourhoods of Condesa, Polanco, Roma and Centro Histórico are the perfect choice to do so. These ares are super safe and especially beautiful. While Roma has an alternative touch, Condesa and Polanco are a little more fancy and somehow almost European. Condesa however is still a little more hip than Polanco. In Centro there’s always something going on, there are huge streets filled with masses of people on every hour of the day and the night. Not to forget the bars and restaurants on every corner. My tip: have a goal in mind where you want to go and just get out one or two Metro stations earlier to go there by foot. Maybe you’ll stumble upon something really great on your way. This is how I discovered the Mercado Medellín for example.
After already having seen the temples in Tulum, Puebla and Chichén Itzá I was sceptical if I would really have to see more Maya pyramids. Yes, I did. Teotihuacán is completely different from the three other temples that I just mentioned! Not only that you can also climb up to the top of the sun and moon pyramid, no, this site is also in incredibly good state that you can almost imagine that rituals have been held here only last week. It’s really a magical place that’s absolutely worth seeing.
After my very good experience with the Free Walking Tours I thought it would be easier to join the guided trip to Teotihuacán that my hostel offered. A mistake, as I later recognised. Not that the tour wasn’t good and our guide was also amazing. Only the price was not really justified as in the $460 (ca. 23€) we paid for the tour neither the tips for the guide and the driver nor the food in our lunch break was included. And of course they drove us to a special restaurant in which I had my most expensive food so far here in Mexico for which I paid $180 (ca. 9,00€). So I would recommend you to organise your trip to Teotihuacán by yourself as it will definitely save a lot of money!
How do you get there? Go to Central del Norte in Mexico City. There you ask for the camion that dirves you directly to the Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacán. It’s more or less a one-hour-drive and the place where the bus lets you off (at the entrance of the Zona Arqueológica) is also the place where the camion goes back to the centre.
How much does it cost? The ticket for the camion is about $40 (ca. 2,00€) and the entrance to Teotihuacán is $50 (ca. 2,50€).
Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia
The Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia (Museum of Memory and Tolerance) captures you from the beginning on. It is very well structured so you are following a predetermined way what helps you to concentrate more on the content than on your own orientation. The expositions begin with a complete floor dedicated to the Holocaust. As I already had this in school a hundred times, I still wandered through it and paying attention but I dedicated more time to the other expositions. Amongst others they treated the Yugoslavia conflict, the murder of the indiginous people in Guatemala, the genocide in Rwanda and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The temporary exposition about migration really moved me as well as this is also a big subject that I dealt with here in Mexico. I really appreciated the objective but still impressive and moving way in which they presented it. In my opinion this is sometimes quite hard when it comes to so emotional topics which is why the Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia really surprised me in a positive way. One of my favourite museums in the world!
- Address: Av. Juarez 8, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, 06010 Ciudad de México
- Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday 09.00AM – 06.00PM and Saturday – Sunday 10.00AM – 07.00PM
- Prices: $75 (ca. 3,75€) general entry, $95 (ca. 4,75€) with a guide. Discounts for students: $60 (ca. 3€) without a guide, $80 (ca. 4€) guided tour.
I actually never planned to go to a Lucha Libre because I never really got the hype around it and “pretending to beat up a person” appeared pretty senseless to me. I was proved wrong. Lucha Libre is some kind of Mexican wrestling in which the fighters keep beating themselves up even outside of the ring. Of course everything is rehearsed. And this was exactly the fascinating part about it for me as a theater student. Lucha Libre has something very theatrical. Parts of it are rehearsed, parts of it are improvised and although it might seem a little brutal now and then it actually is quite intoxicating. Plus there’s the audience that is playing along in the game and shouting insults or motivating the fighters constantly. A racket!
Concerning the price – in the end we decided to go for the more expensive tickets for $110 (ca. 5,50€) but once inside the arena we had to admit that the cheap tickets for $40 (ca. 2€) would have been enough as well. So if you are not sure about the seats, I’d recommend you to buy the cheaper ones.
- Address: Dr. Lavista No. 189, en la Arena México, Ciudad de México
- Event times: every Tuesday 07.30PM, every Friday 08.30PM and every Sunday 05.30PM
- Prices: $40 (ca. 2,00€) for the upper ranges, $100-$110 (ca. 5-5,50€) for the ranges down below and up to $260 (ca. 13€) to be really near the ring
Note: Unfortunately it wasn’t allowed to take pictures with a camera inside the arena (so DON’T take your camera to the arena ’cause you’ll have to leave it at the entrance and pick it up after the show). As my phone got stolen, I don’t have the photos that I took with my phone anymore. So some impressions of an open air Lucha Libre in Xalapa will have to do to give you a little hint of what awaits you.
Torre Latinoamericana was the highest building in Mexico until 1972 and is the first sky scraper on Latinamerican grounds. So of course I wanted to enjoy the view from the 42. floor! However I must say that I was a little disappointed once I was up there. Sure, the view was really amazing and seeing Mexico City from another perspective up high was beautiful. Only the platform itself was the thing that annoyed me a bit. It was pretty small and narrow so that I constantly felt a bit constricted and couldn’t relly relax. There is a fence around the platform that limits your view but lets you take great pictures. The biggest problem however is the contamination in Mexico City. It was so foggy that you could hardly see any of the huge volcano Popocatépetl. And breathing deeply is still difficult, even on the 42. floor. By the way, this is the best tip I can give you for Mexico City: take really good lip care with you as your lips will get super dry due to the contamination.
- Address: Eje central No.2
- Opening Hours: everyday 09.00AM – 10.00PM
- Price: entry $90 (ca. 4,50€)