Mexico City/Towns resemblance to Europe?

Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 10:55 PM
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Mexico City/Towns resemblance to Europe?

I posted the below in the Mexico section as well. I hope to solicit information from seasoned European travelers who might have also visited Mexico.

Tentatively, I am scheduled to visit Mexico City, Puebla, Cholula, Teotihuacan and Xochimilco during my 7 day visit.

I have traveled much of Europe (UK, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ukraine) and Asia and had hope to use this upcoming Mexico trip to be exposed to drastically different culture, art, architecture, and history.

My question to well traveled Fodorites. Do any of the 5 Mexico cities/towns bear any resemblance to what I saw in Europe/Asia? Sometimes when I look at photos of MC, I see resemblance to Western Europe. Xochimilco reminds me of Venice....I already did a gondola ride in Venice. I want to experience something different.

If there are Mexico cities/towns that will show me a different side of civilization (and within 2 days of public commute to MC), please let me know
hobbitthefoodlover is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 11:02 PM
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Your itinerary sounds very similar to my first Mexico City trip. Many buildings in Mexico City, and as you may have noticed, in California and Texas, have a strong Spanish look to them. When I was in Toledo, Spain, I remember feeling some resemblance to Mexico.

You can see French influence in buildings like the Instituto de Bellas Artes. Lots of people forget that the French were into Mexico also.

Xochimilco's canals date back hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived, so the resemblance to Venice is coincidental. As of today, it's a place that's heavily used by the citizens of Mexico City, so it has very little "tourist-trap" connotations.

In short, I think you will see some echoes of France and Spain, and probably other European places too, but you'll never forget you're in Mexico.

Be sure to visit Chapultepec Park and see the Museum of Anthropology (and hopefully the Museum of Contemporary Art, and whatever else you may have time for) to see modern Mexican architecture at its best.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 11:24 PM
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WillTravel is quite correct about the similarity of colonial, and some modern Mexican architecture to Spanish and other European buildings. However, IMHO, that is where the similarity stops.

I do not know where you are from, but if most of your travel experience has been in Europe, I think you will find the Mexican experience totally different. Xochimilco has absolutely no resemblance to Venice, other than the fact that boats move on water. If you want "different", Mexico is the place. Get out of DF and go to someplace like Oaxaca that is closer to the native core of the culture.

You will enjoy your stay, but there will be more culture shock than you might imagine.
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