In honor of American Thanksgiving, Matt and I took a wonderful 5 day 4 night trip to Mexico City. We managed to book relatively inexpensive flights through VivaAreobus and used Booking.com to find an adorable B&B called La Querencia DF in Colonia Roma.
Here are some highlights and travel tips from our trip:
Castillo de Chapultepec – This castle is nestled at the top of a winding hill in Parque Chapultepec. The walk is beautiful and well worth it just for the incredible view!
Museo Nacional de Antropología – The Anthropology Museum is fascinating, but absolutely massive! If time permitted, we would have done two trips here.
Metro –Throughout our time in Mexico City, we rode the underground Metro several times each day. The system was easy to use, especially after we downloaded the Mexico City Metro App. At times, this experience was overwhelming, claustrophobic and extremely unpleasant. People were literally pushing others into the car to HELP them fit – like sardines in a can. For only 3 pesos a ride, you can’t complain!
Xochimilco – Traveling here from the city center was simple, but time consuming. First we rode the Metro to Tasqueña, then transferred to the Tren Ligero (light rail) and finally got off at the last station. From there, we walked to the embarcaderos (piers). The walk to the pier was amazing with many colors and interesting sights (the piñata shop was my favorite). http://wikitravel.org/en/Mexico_City/Xochimilco
Entrance to the canal is free, but as soon as you step onto the pier many people will start asking if you want to take a tour in their boat. At first, they were offing us a ridiculous price (500 pesos per person). Fortunately, we met another traveling couple and were able to speak enough Spanish to barter the price down to 800 pesos for 4 people. While it may have been an overpriced, unauthentic experience, I loved it. I thought the mariachi bands (that serenade you for a fee) and boats selling Corona and tacos were quite quaint.
After our boat tour, we had lunch at a hole in the wall local grill and wondered the streets. The flower bed and butcher made my day!
Coyoacán – a neighborhood south of the city and a 30 minute taxi ride from Xochimilco. It was buzzing with tourists and local lovers at the park square. There was so many restaurants, taco stands, vendors and coffee shops. It’s definitely a ‘must do’ when visiting Mexico City! We stopped at Museo Frida Kahlo (the “Blue House”) – where Frida lived. It was amazing!
Teotihuacan – We spent an entire afternoon here. According to a friend from ASFM, it’s “One of the greatest archeological ruins of Mexico!” To get there we took the Metro to the North Bus Terminal and then took another bus to the site. We felt like we wanted to get as much as we could from this experience, so we made the biggest mistake of hiring a tour guide. Let’s just say we learned the most when the tour was over. We sat at the top of ‘Pyramid of the Sun’ reading Wikipedia’s version on my smartphone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teotihuacan
Zócalo – The center of the city. There were plenty of places to explore in the area. On the ground, it felt crowded and there were lots people trying to sell us things or convince us to come into their restaurant. Finally, we gave into someone and found ourselves in roof top restaurant with a panoramic view of the square.
Templo Mayo – A fascinating archeological site in the heart of the city. When the Spaniards colonized Mexico City, they build infrastructure on top of these ancient ruins. Archeologists only started a full excavation in the late 1970s.
For lunch on our last afternoon, we went to ____. It was highly recommended by a friend of ours and hands down the best meal we had the entire trip!
Some more sights to wrap up the trip!