Mexico City with an ADD-prone husband

Oct 19th, 2004, 12:08 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Mexico City with an ADD-prone husband

Hello all,

I'm taking my husband to Mexico City for Thanksgiving. I've been there for up to 2 days at a time on several ocasions on business trips, so I'm familiar with some of the sights. I fell in love with Mexico city, but am not sure my husband will (he complains a lot when he travels outside of the USA). I want to minimize the complaining by showing him the most impressive sights the city and surrounding areas have to offer in 4 days. I'll appreciate any feedback/suggestions to my itinerary:

Thursday -Day one (half day): Sightseeing in Mexico City historic center (Zocalo, Great Temple museum)

Friday- Day two: Day trip to Teotihuacan ruins

Saturday-Day three: Sightseeing in Coyoacan/San Angel (Saturday market/bazaar), the Alameda, Zona Rosa

Sunday- Day four: Daytrip to Cuernavaca and Taxco

Monday-Departure

Am I missing anything not to be missed for a first-time short trip? Any suggestions for substitutions? Also, does anyone have any feedback on Cuernavaca and/or Taxco? I want to keep my husband entertained with the sights and would hate to invest a whole day on a day trip to Cuernavaca/Taxco if Fodorites who have been there think it should be skipped. Help!
SandraHasWings is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 12:27 PM
  #2  
 
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You are leaving out the Chapultepac Park area, with all its museums which, for a first time visitor, might be more enjoyable than the Centro area, depending somewhat on your tolerance for crowds. Where are you staying?

The tours to Cuernavaca/Taxco can be good, but are definitely all-day affairs, and the real charm of Cuernavaca is sampling the wonderful small hotels and restaurants there. Also, the restaurants that the tours bring you to are pretty mediocre.
marilynl is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 12:35 PM
  #3  
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thanks for your response, marylin...

I'm staying at the Sol Melia Mexico Reforma, on Avenida de la Reforma. I understand this is within walking distance of the Alameda, Palacio de Bellas ARtes, and the Centro Historico. I'm trying to minimize the amount of time we spend in taxis or resorting to taxis altogether but without a car there is really no way around it.

I'd heard that Chapultepec castle/park were great sights, just not sure where they stand in the general layout of the city. The Zocalo was very impressive to me but it should only take a couple hours visit...maybe I could add Chapultepec to that first day's itinerary. Do they have restaurants on the Castle/park grounds that perhaps we could dine in? Sorry if this question sounds absurd or ignorant!
SandraHasWings is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 01:43 PM
  #4  
 
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Well, roughly, Chapultepac is at the other end of Reforma from the Zocalo, but I'm not sure of the exact distance. With such a short time to visit, you can see more if you taxi between the tourist areas. Group things you are seeing in Centro, which includes Alameda. The rooftop restaurant of the Majestic Hotel, overlooking the zocalo, might make a good lunch stop.

Chapultepac would include the park itself, the Castle, the Anthropology Museum, art museums etc. There are many restaurant options nearby in Polanco, as well as cafes in some of the museums.

San Angel and Coyoacan/Bazaar Sabado--which I highly recommend--are probably the farthest away, but do not miss. If you have any interest, the Frida Kahlo Museum and Trotsky Museum are very interesting and in that area.

I'm not familiar with your hotel, but there is a sort of middle section on Reforma which is not really close to anything, and you have to take taxis to restaurants in the evening. Polanco is a marvelous neighborhood to stay in--you can walk to Chapultepac and many many restaurants, and there are some great hotels there. We have gotten the JW Marriott there through Priceline for $79 and it is fabulous.
marilynl is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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From your hotel it is about 2km to the Zocalo. No problem walking around that area in the daytime, but don't do it at night.

Chapultepec Park and the museums start about 3-4km west of your hotel on Reforma. Again, no problem walking from the hotel in the daytime. The park starts closing at 4:30pm, so that's out for the first day unless you are arriving really early.

On Saturday, San Angel is a good idea, then maybe the Chapultepec area and museums vs the Zona Rosa, where there really isn't much to see (although there are some decent restaurants).

There are a number of fine dining restaurants in the park, although I haven't visited any of them - the hotel should be able to help. The museums have cafes and the zoo has fast food options. Plus there are food stands everywhere in the park on the weekends, but that depends on how you feel about eating street food (I generally don't).

I agree with Marilyn - Taxco is a long way for a day trip (especially with a potentially grumpy person sitting next to you on a bus). If the hotel could arrange a driver at a reasonable cost, maybe you could go to Cuernavaca to have Sunday lunch somewhere nice like Las Mananitas. Or maybe a better idea is to arrange a tour to Tepoztlan (near Cuernavaca www.tepoz.com.mx), climb up to the Tepozteco pyramid, then have lunch and walk around town.

There are lots of Mexico City restaurant recommendations on the international board of chowhound.com - I've always found that a nice dinner can offset lots of complaining.
lovesprada is offline  
Oct 20th, 2004, 06:02 AM
  #6  
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Marilyn and Lovesprada,

Thank you SO MUCH for your input---how incredibly valuable this information is!

On a somewhat related note---I have been to Zona Rosa before and didn't think much of it outside of the fact that there is a good array of restaurants and shops in the area. But it sounds from your comments (both) that the Chapultepec area is by far more engaging. Again, thanks for that.

SandraHasWings is offline  
Oct 20th, 2004, 11:04 AM
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With the time you have I don't think a trip to Cuernavaca is worth it unless you simply want to go to a smaller City. If I did want to get out of town I would be more inclined to go to Tepotzlan. In the mountains close to Cuernavca, very senic, big change from Mexico City. Overall I think Mexico will be plenty, though-
Dude is offline  
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