Mexico City Holidays: An Overview

The ancient capital of the Aztec Empire and the capital city of modern Mexico sits at an altitude of 6,600ft above sea level in an old lake basin surrounded by volcanic mountains.

Home to over 18 million people, this is one of the world's mega-cities, but in spite of the urban sprawl, it contains pockets of great beauty and historical interest, in recognition of which it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The different cultures that have inhabited the city over the centuries have left an interesting architectural legacy. The modern city was founded on the ruins of the ancient Aztec site of Tenochtitlan, the excavated remains of which can be seen close to the Zócalo - the vast central square. Alongside such pre-Hispanic remains are colonial era buildings such as the richly ornamented national cathedral at one end of the Zócalo, and the National Palace, which houses Diego Rivera murals depicting the country's history.

The historic centre contains many other palaces, mansions and churches interspersed with modern skyscrapers, and there is plenty of green space too, notably vast Chapultepec Park. Leafy upmarket residential districts such as Condesa, Roma and Polanco are filled with beautiful buildings and stylish restaurants, bars and boutiques.

Mexico City also has a large number of quality museums, chief among them the National Museum of Anthropology & Archaeology, housing priceless artefacts from Mexico's early civilizations such as the Maya, Toltec, Zapotec and Aztec cultures.

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Teotihuacan pyramids
If You Do Three Things
Visit Teotihuacan

Take a day trip to the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan, meaning 'birthplace of the gods'. Once the largest city in the Pre-Columbian Americas with around 125,000 residents, today you can roam the UNESCO World Heritage Site; sprawling pyramids, ceremonial temples and the expansive Avenue of the Dead. Feeling energetic? Try scaling the colossal Pyramid of the Sun, the third largest pyramid in the world.

Zocalo square
If You Do Three Things
Explore Zocalo

Explore Zocalo, the beating heart of Mexico City built on the remains of the old Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. Take a stroll along this enormous main square, flanked by compelling architecture including the colonial Cathedral and old-world Federal District buildings. You'll also get to visit the Templo Mayor, a museum showcasing the archaeological remains of the once glorious Aztec civilisation.

Street food tasting in Mexico City
If You Do Three Things
Street Food Tasting

Spend the day exploring the city's vibrant street food scene while devouring local delicacies from the signature taco to quesadillas oozing with cheese. Tuck into tamales, a tasty staple of corn masa steamed in its husk with fillings of pork or chicken. Or try tortas, the city's lunchtime special - a monster sandwich stuffed with endless renditions from breaded meat to spiced eggs and avocado.

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Mexico City
Mexico City
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Deeper Cuts
Head off the beaten track and uncover the little-known gems of a destination
Visit Local Markets & Southern Neighbourhoods

Food plays a huge part in Mexico's culture so as part of a walking tour of the capital, visit a couple of local markets to meet vendors and learn about the history of Mexican flavours and ingredients. Then head to the southern neighbourhoods of Coyoacán, San Angel and Xochimilco, which have a more 'real' feel than some of the more upscale neighbourhoods like Polanco.

Map of Mexico City

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A Note on Price

All of our holidays are completely tailor-made and prices will vary based on things like when in the year you will be travelling, how far in advance you book and the level of accommodation you choose. The guide prices shown across this website are designed to provide you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your trip.

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