After spending a few days in Puebla visiting the city and Cholula, it was time for us to hit Mexico City. We had been living in the jungle for three months already, so being in a big city where we could go shopping again was awesome!
I have to admit, I was a bit scared of Mexico City before going there. For some reason, I expected it to look like San José (the capital of Costa Rica), but bigger. I was so wrong. San José was loud, crowded and really didn’t look that great. The neighborhood that we stayed in for our only day there was poor and it didn’t feel like the safest place.
Mexico City was the opposite of that. We stayed in the Reforma neighborhood, where everything was clean, people were nice, and there were plenty of things to explore. I never felt unsafe, even when walking outside at night. Since I was with Chris all the time it was definitely safer than being out there by myself.
On our first day, we started by taking a long walk on Paseo de la Reforma, which is the big street where everything is and where you want to be. There are tons of restaurants, stores and Starbucks. Seriously, there’s like ten Starbucks on 2km of that street only. It’s crazy! We also went for a bit of shopping, since we needed some new portable speakers. My old ones got fried from the unstable electricity in Costa Rica and since we missed them so much we had to get a new set. This time we got the UE BOOM, which is smaller and sounds great.
After our quick walk and shopping, we did something we hadn’t done in months. We went to the movie theatre. It was awesome to watch a movie on a big screen again and not my laptop’s tiny screen.
Hotel prices in Mexico City were far out of our budget and we would have ended up spending an entire month’s rent in just the few days that we were staying. So like we always do when hotel prices are too high, we turned to Airbnb to get us a nice place for half the price.
On day two, it was time to hit the park. It’s called the Bosque de Chapultepec and that’s where you are also going to find all the museums.
It was a beautiful sunny day and it made the park even better. The thing with Mexico City though is that it’s sooooo dry! Chris’ skin got really dry after such a long time in the jungle and I was reunited with the static electricity in my hair (which I absolutely hate). But that wasn’t going to stop us from being tourists for a few days.
In the park, our first stop was the Chapultepec Castle, which is actually on top of a hill. It was time to test our cardio again as we hiked up the hill. (Okay, they do have a little train if you need it but it’s not that high!)
Even though there was plenty to look at inside the castle, I was definitely more interested in the architecture. The building was amazing and had the best view of the city. I could have spent a lot of time there just looking at all the details, but we had other places to see.
In the evening, it was time to take the metro and go north to the zócalo. Let me talk first about the metro for a bit. We took it a few times and never had any problems. It’s so cheap you can’t decide not to ride it. The only thing to remember is to not take it during rush hour; otherwise you might get in trouble. And really, the worst that could happen (other than losing your phone or your wallet) is not being able to get out at your stop because people aren’t moving. Make sure you don’t stay too far from the door at all times and that you keep an eye on your belongings. If people start pushing a lot, it probably means there’s someone looking for your valuables. Be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be fine.
Now, about the zócalo.
Being the most important plaza in Mexico City, the zócalo is where the parliament building and the cathedral are located. The cathedral was definitely not as big as the one in Puebla, but it was still impressive. In my opinion, the zócalo needed some trees, but since it’s so open, it can be used for markets. The other impressive thing about this place is that the road around the plaza has six lines of cars going the same way, which makes it very long to cross!
Next to the zócalo are the ruins of Tenochtitlan, which is the name of the island Mexico City was built on. Because yes, Mexico City used to be an island. Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t visit the ruins since they were closed already. Instead, we decided instead to take a long walk across the city (while staying in the safe neighborhoods, obviously).
There’s definitely a lot to see in Mexico City and I wasn’t expecting that many nice looking buildings. While we were there, it was also the Visual Art Week, so there were a few screens all over the touristy areas where they had interactive videos. It proved to me that Mexico City was just another city and not a place to be scared of.
We couldn’t leave Mexico City without stopping at the Anthropology Museum. That’s where we went on our last day. It’s the most famous museum in Mexico City, and probably the biggest too. It has pieces from all over the country and if you really want to see everything, we recommend you take at least a full day to see it.
Anyone visiting Mexico City definitely needs to make a stop at the museum. It teaches you so much about the different cultures and parts of Mexico. Not everything is translated to English, but the important parts are. I learned a lot and even though we didn’t see everything, it was definitely interesting. Mexican culture is very different from the rest of the world and is worth it to take in.