First Time Mexico City

Jan 6th, 2019, 03:53 PM
  #1  
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First Time Mexico City

Hello,

My girlfriend and I will be in Mexico City for only 3 1/2 days in February. What are must see's and do's?

Also, any recommendations to favorite hotels in great neighborhoods would be appreicated.

Thank you!

Megan
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Jan 6th, 2019, 05:17 PM
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Moved to the Mexico/Central America Forum
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Jan 7th, 2019, 08:43 AM
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Generally, first-timers have 2 options as to where to stay, Centro Histórico and Roma Norte/Condesa. Centro has all the classic architecture, while Roma has more restaurants and such and is probably better for evening strolling. For my part I like to stay in Roma and visit centro during the day. Others prefer Centro. 'Not to miss' stuff could include the pyramids at Teotihuacan, Chapultepec (castle and the anthro museum but you could spend all day at the latter) , Ballet Foklorio, Frida's house, Xochimilco, and any number of museums Just depends on your interests. I like the Stanza hotel in Roma.
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Jan 7th, 2019, 08:59 AM
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It really depends on your interests. I did attend the Ballet Foklorio but I like dance. Even then, that show gets to be a bit long IMO and verging on boring in some parts. I really like the anthropology museum, of course, as well as the Fine Arts museum and the Franz Mayer museum, all of those in the center.

I did visit Frida Kahlo's house and Trotsy's which is wihin walking distance of hers. I went there by the Turibus which I bought a ticket for one day. I highly recommend that, actually. I don't in many cities, but Mexico City is so huge and spread out, it's a good way to get all over and down to the suburbs (where Frida's house is).
TURIBUS, TOUR OFICIAL DE LA CDMX, Innovamos la manera de ver la ciudad de México

I only did that one day. I ditched it finally in the center near the cathedral or something due to traffic, but it was good for other parts of the city and to get outside it.

I also did a day tour to the pyramids. That was enjoyable. I booked one through my hotel, as I recall, there are a lot of companies who do that very reasonably. It included visiting that church with the Virgin of Guadalupe cape, very interesting. It was similar to this trip
https://www.viator.com/tours/Mexico-.../d628-2895MEX3

I stayed in Condesa and liked it. Wasn't that crazy about my hotel which was a high-class B&B.

I

Last edited by Christina; Jan 7th, 2019 at 09:00 AM. Reason: typo
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Jan 7th, 2019, 10:27 AM
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We just returned fro a trip to Mexico which included a week in Mexico City. In planning our trip I followed a lot of baldones excellent advice. I concur with his suggestions above. We stayed first in Roma Norte at the Stanza and on balance liked the location the best. Easy to get around by Metro and Metrobus to mostbpalces we wanted to go.

We stayed one night in Centro at the NH hotel which I would NOT recommend. The area itself was fine with lots of places to visit but not great as far as restaurants, nightlife were concerned.

Our final couple,of nights were spent in Zona Rosa, ok but very busy and verging on sleazy in some parts.
We enjoyed all the usual sights. Highlights for us were Frida Kahlo house ( do book online in advance!) , Palacio Des Bellas Artes, the Zocalo and Catedral , the Museo de Antropologica. Espceciall great was the Palacio Education for the incredible Rivera murals.
Disappointed by the templo major.

Getting around was cheap and easy by Metro and Uber.
Click on my screen name for my trip report here or on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/mexico/

I posted some stuff on things we wished we had known which you may find helpful

We enjoyed Teotihuacan but not sure I would take one whole day from your3.5 days to go there as there is more than enough to keep you busy in the city.
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Jan 7th, 2019, 12:10 PM
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I'll be the dissenting voice and recommend the Centro -- on the Zocalo if possible. I did stay in Polanco on one visit but will be returning the Centro next month. On your first day you might do as we did and visit the Templo Mayor and the adjacent museum for your introduction to the mind-wrenching Aztec culture. Then perhaps visit the National Palace for the great Rivera murals depicting the conquest. The Anthropology Museum is among the best in the world of its kind. You will find a wealth of activities for your short stay.

There are fewer restaurants in the neighborhood, it's true, and unfortunately I've been away a few years and would be reluctant to recommend any for lack of recent knowledge. However, there have been many threads on the food in the city -- try a search.

We usually stay at the Hotel Majestic, but much to my surprise it was fully booked for the weekend we wanted (tourism must be up!), so we reserved a room at the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, which is just down the block and still on the Zocalo. Both have terrace bars which fulfill our nightlife needs. Younger folks may need more, as noted above.
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Jan 8th, 2019, 06:09 AM
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Thank you baldone!
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Jan 8th, 2019, 06:09 AM
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Thank you Christina!
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Jan 8th, 2019, 06:09 AM
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Thank you crellston!
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Jan 8th, 2019, 06:10 AM
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Thank you Fra_Diavolo!
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Jan 8th, 2019, 05:27 PM
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Be sure and post a trip report. It's always interesting to hear other people's perspectives and experiences.
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Jan 9th, 2019, 05:24 AM
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I don't know where you're from but keep in mind that the altitude may make it more difficult to do as much as you might normally be able to on vacation. I'm from New Orleans, below sea level, and had a low grade headache and breathlessness pretty much our entire trip. My eyes were irritated from the poor air quality. But we kept busy anyway and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. We stayed at the Hilton Reforma and enjoyed evenings down by the Zocalo (Hotel Majestic's cute balcony and Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico lovely balc). We'll be back at the Hilton for another week's stay in t-minus 10 days!

Salud! NOLA
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Jan 11th, 2019, 06:57 PM
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I went alone last Feb . stayed in La Condesa ..it is a great part of town with many restaurants and bars,
interesting architecture, a nice neighbourhood feel.
I like being out at night in a lively area.
To visit various attractions I took taxis. Hired a driver to visit a “must see”
Teotihuacan n (80 dollars). I felt safe..but I speak Spanish - that helped.
I liked MC very much( it was my first visit)
Going again in 4 weeks, this time I will stay on Reforma , close to the park so I can walk to several museums and upscale Polanco.
Also , plan to visit Frida Kahlo’s home and that area of the city.
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Jan 12th, 2019, 07:50 AM
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Thank you Nola! We will be in San Miguel de Allende the previous 6 days so should be acclimated (I hope!).
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Jan 12th, 2019, 07:53 AM
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Thank you Danon! How do we find driver's to Teotihuacan? Unfortunately, we do not speak Spanish and were thinking of getting a Viator tour.
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Jan 12th, 2019, 10:02 AM
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>>>How do we find driver's to Teotihuacan?<<<

Your hotel can arrange one. One problem you may run into is that the drivers have a set itinerary, which includes a stop at a shop where you will endure a demonstration of the many uses of the maguey plant and afforded ample (too much) time to browse the touristy wares. Sometimes they also include the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadeloupe, which is fine if that is something you want to see. There is more than enough to see at Teotihucan -- I'm finally satisfied after three visits.

There is also a fairly simple subway and bus connection so you can get there under your own power. If you book a driver for a private tour, you should be able specify that you do not want to spend time at the shops.

I strongly suggest that you read up on the site (some guide books can be helpful) and visit the Anthropology Museum before your visit. There are a number of places off the beaten path which may interest you.
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Jan 12th, 2019, 11:57 AM
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I asked at the hotel..they gave me the rate ahead of time and he picked me up .
I didn’t want to take the organized tour of 8 hours ( or take rhe metro and bus as some travelers do)
The driver took me to one area of the Pyramids, waited for me while I wondered around, then drove to
other part of the sight ( a couple of kilometres) and again waited until I was done.
The whole thing took about 4 hours.
I would imagine most hotels can recommend someone , perhaps with a bit of English?
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Jan 12th, 2019, 12:05 PM
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sorry, site not sight

If you don’t speak the language , I wouldn’t recommend taking the metro and the bus..
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Jan 14th, 2019, 03:25 PM
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I'm leaving in the morning for my second trip to Mexico City. I don't think you need to speak Spanish to take the Metro and bus to Teotihuacan. I don't (other than what I've taught myself more or less) and did it last time with no problems. I think you get a really great experience doing it, but I do like adventures. If you follow these instructions carefully, you should have no problem at all: https://sightdoing.net/how-to-visit-...ithout-a-tour/
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Jan 15th, 2019, 12:05 AM
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As a dissenting view on hotel location, we went last February. We stayed with friends in Polanco. But I would stay there again. The hotels in Polanco are on par with other world class cities but are very reasonable. There are also far more trees in this neighborhood. You will be very near two great museums--the anthropology museum and the Soumaya.

Polanco takes the least damage in earthquakes. We were there during one (that was not centered in Mexico City), and it didn't do anything to the neighborhood at all. We felt it less than people elsewhere in the city reported. But having said that, if I didn't stay in Polanco, I would stay in Roma or Condesa rather than Centro. I loved visiting Centro but it didn't seem like a great place to walk somewhere for dinner.

As to getting around in the city, use Uber on your phone. It is the safest choice for Mexico City.

Get a tour guide or organized tour for the pyramids from your hotel if you don't have other connections. We saw some really impoverished areas between the city and the pyramids. You don't know the area and you don't know Spanish. What happens if the bus breaks down?

As to sites, yes, I liked Kahlo's house. Since we went on a Saturday, we did a different itinerary. We took Uber to the San Angel Marketplace, ate lunch there. Then took Uber to Coyoacan, the neighborhood where Kahlo's house is. I would recommend you go to the square in the neighborhood as well. Make a reservation for Los Danzantes, which is amazing Oaxacan food. Stop in the church on the square--gorgeous.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...ulf_Coast.html

Last edited by 5alive; Jan 15th, 2019 at 12:13 AM.
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