Explore Mexico City
When you think of Mexico City, what are the images that come to mind? Crime? Pollution? Stifling heat? Waves of tequila?
How about colourful street markets? Or bustling cantinas? Awe-inspiring artistry? Or breathtaking scenery?
If your answers were more in line with the former list than the latter, you've got a lot to learn about this Mexican metropolis and its abundance of well-kept secrets. There's definitely more to Mexico City than meets the eye (though the parts that do meet the eye are pretty good too)!
As the largest city in Latin America, and one of the largest and richest cities in the world, Mexico is well-serviced by a number of international airports, the biggest being the Benito Juárez International Airport, located in the city itself. This is the busiest airport in Latin America, and offers daily connections to major international hubs all over the world. Another popular option for visitors is to fly into the nearby city of Toluca and make the short trip from there to Mexico City.
Once in the city, the transport options are almost endless, and usually shockingly affordable. The city's metro system is one of the cheapest in the world, while the buses will take you anywhere the underground doesn't, with fares that will barely make a dent in your pocket.
So, you've arrived safely. You've hopped on the metro with your backpack in tow… Now, where should you head to find accommodation?
There are plenty of great Mexico City hotels, not to mention a plethora of funky hostels and budget accommodation options. If you've got plenty of cash to splash on a luxury hotel, then the Polanco area is the one for you. This neighbourhood has some of the most expensive hotels in Mexico City, and is lined with upmarket clubs and restaurants. If your budget is a little tighter, the Centro Storico offers a wide range of backpacker accommodation and other budget options right in the thick of the action, while the Zona Rosa district lays somewhere in between budget-wise.
Now that you've chosen where to rest your head (or maybe just dump your stuff), it's time to get exploring!
Grab a bargain breakfast from one of the many street stalls, and head to the main square, known as Zócalo, for a wander around. Check out the solid gold altar in La Catedral, and then stroll towards the Museum of Modern Art. For traditional Mexican food, try La Merced, where you can get a huarache that will fill you up for hours and will cost you next to nothing.
If you're a fan of Mexican art, direct your steps towards the Dolores Olmedo Museum, where you'll find numerous murals and works by Diego Rivera and the wonderful Frida Kahlo, as well as beautiful gardens where peacocks roam proud and free.
Or, if you prefer art of a different kind, why not try a trip to the Lucha Libre arena for a spot of Mexican free wrestling, before winding up the day in one of the city's omnipresent cantinas? Here, amidst the smoke, chatter and (more than likely) mariachi music, you can ease out the comedown from a busy day's sightseeing with cheap cold beer, plenty of free tacos and guaranteed great company. What more could a tourist possibly want?