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Mexico City must see activities
Mexico City
 

Mexico City

Like an enormous living museum, Mexico City is a remarkable showplace for Mexico's 3,000 years of human cultural achievement. It ranks as one of the world's great capitals and is a must for anyone yearning to understand Mexico's complex past and ever challenging future. The size and grandeur of the city are staggering. It is not only the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere, but also carries the burden of being the largest city the world has ever known.

The Independence Monument in Mexico City Few cities on earth can match Mexico City for historic grandeur. Its tumultuous past encompasses every phase of Mexican history. It is unique as a colorful and compelling mosaic of Pre-Columbian, European colonial, and modern eras. Mexico City is the exact site upon which the great Mexica (Aztec) civilization flourished, developing one of the greatest cities of the 16th century and the site where in 1519 the Old World and New World met face to face in a confrontation that would forever shape world history.

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One of the most interesting and diverse cities in the world:

If you are still wondering why anyone would want to visit Mexico City ... Here are some other reasons:

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, the financial, political and cultural center, the world's largest city, one of the world's great cities, the nightlife capital of Mexico, and definitely much, much more, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Mexico City should be on your "Must Visit" list if you are a fan of world-class museums, archeological treasures, international cuisine, incredible shopping experiences, stately mansions, colonial neighborhoods, dazzling nightlife, inviting plazas and gardens or great city parks.

Monuments, parks, fountains and great tree lined avenues are everywhere you are likely to visit within the city. Skyscrapers sit beside splendid examples of colonial architecture, archeological sites share space with modern day structures and freeways lead to charming neighborhoods of colonial buildings and peaceful plazas. Museums are around just about every corner and the rich heritage of México's colonial past is evident almost everywhere. There are many places, within México City, to escape the fast pace of the city and where you will feel like you are in a different world within a few minutes time.

Don't let the sheer size of México City scare you, most tourists will most likely confine their visits to three or four well defined areas of the city and maybe some easy side trips. Depending on where you stay, many attractions will be just a short distance away and those that are not so close can be reached fairly easily. Organized tours, taxis, city buses or the modern subway system (during off peak hours) should be considered over attempting to drive in this city. The traffic here is legendary, and for very good reason. For side trips to the nearby colonial towns or archeological sites a rental car is fine, as the highways and toll roads surrounding the capital offer pleasant driving conditions.




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Xochimilco Mexico
The World Trade Center in Mexico City
The subway (El metro) of Mexico City

Attractions and sights of interest in Mexico City:

The current Zocalo, or town square, is built on the same spot where once stood Montezuma's palace. The Zocalo is the historic center of Mexico City and Latin America's largest main square at over 13 acres. Here you will find:

The National Palace what is now the seat of the Mexican Government.
The Metropolitan Cathedral . . . Construction began in the late 1500's and continued off and on over the next 300 years.
The Templo Mayor . . . accidentally discovered while digging near the palace in 1978, remains of the Aztec city which the Spaniards built today's Mexico City on top of were found.

Chapultepec Park is an enormous green area in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of this fast paced city. This park is the city's largest, covering over 2000 acres, and it contains enough of the city's attractions, including three of the most important museums, that a short vacation could easily be devoted just to the attractions within the park:
Castillo de Chapultepec : Now a museum, this historic spot was once an Aztec palace, then a Spanish hermitage, a gun powder plant, a military college and home of the Emperor Maximilian and leaders of Mexico through 1940.
National Museum of Anthropology, Museum of Modern Art and Rufino Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum.
Chapultepec Zoo : This zoo has been here since the 1500s and continues today as one of the best stocked zoos in the world with many endangered species on display.

The National Museum of Anthropology, one of the world's great museums which easily occupy a short vacation by itself. This 100,000 square foot museum houses artifacts from all over mexico and is divided into civilizations (Aztec, Mayan, Olmec, etc.) and subdivided into time periods.

Paseo de la Reforma, the city's main thoroughfare, will give you an immediate idea of why Mexico City has been referred to as the "Manhattan" of Latin America. This elegant boulevard is lined with dozens of magnificent monuments including the much-photographed Independence Monument, which has become the unofficial trademark of México City. Sharing the precious space along Paseo de la Reforma are modern high-rise office buildings, embassies, luxury hotels, colonial mansions, more monuments and shaded pedestrian promenades.

Alameda Park, near the zócalo and Palace of Fine Arts, has been around since1541, making it the city's oldest park. The park has also been an Aztec market and was also the site of burnings, hangings and executions in the old days. With it's walking paths, numerous fountains and a Moorish kiosk, this park is full of, old style, traditional charm. There are also a couple of monuments here that are, themselves, worthy of a visit: The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) and the Hemiciclo (half-circle) which honors former President Benito Juárez.

In the southern part of the city the suburbs of San Angel and Coyoacan along with the Floating gardens of Xochimilco are places you should definitely visit during your stay.




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