Mexico City is one of the largest capital cities in the world, with a population of over 20 million within approximately 600 square miles. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, like every large metropolitan area the city has a busy, vibrant atmosphere which means there is always something to do! Mexico City is also one of the richest in the world, which provides visitors to Mexico with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a city full of places of political, cultural and financial importance. With a lively and upbeat feel, visitors cannot fail to be infected with the energy and zest for life that the city exudes.
1. Paseo de la Reforma
Paseo de la Reforma is a wide, elegant avenue that cuts diagonally through Mexico City. It is also home to the most recognisable landmark of Mexico City, the Angel of Independence, built to commemorate the War of Independence. When the warm sunshine of the day fades away to be replaced with the inky darkness of the night, the 36-metre column lights up spectacularly, beaming out all over Paseo de la Reforma.
2. Museo de Arte Popular
One of the most historically important art galleries in the world, Museo de Arte Popular is dedicated to endorsing and preserving both traditional and contemporary Mexican handcrafts and folk art. The museum has a well-known collection of textile, pottery and glass pieces as well as a number of piñatas, one of the much-loved symbols of the country.
A yearly competition, Noche de Alebrijes, is also sponsored by the museum and gives artists the chance to let their imagination run wild. Entrants must create a fictitious and fantastical beast which will then be paraded to the Angel of Independence in a glorious procession.
3. Museo Nacional de Antropologia
The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City is an intriguing centre abundant with significant archaeological and anthropological artefacts that will enthral individuals of any age. The majority of artefacts come from the pre-Colombian heritage of Mexico, with many fascinating Aztec pieces which clamour for attention.
One of the features that makes this museum particularly unusual is the external architecture and grounds. The Museo Nacional de Antropologia makes equal use of the outside space, providing not just beautiful gardens with cascading waters but also outdoor exhibits, allowing visitors to escape from halls and corridors and enjoy some fresh air.
4. Catedral Metropolitana
Being the oldest and largest cathedral in Latin America, the Catedral Metropolitana of Mexico City often leaves its visitors awestruck at both its size and beauty.
Having been constructed in the 16th century it has been acknowledged as a superb historic attraction and stands upon a former Aztec sacred site. The cathedral is made up of four identical domes with a row of supporting columns. The interior contains numerous treasured paintings and altarpieces and is home to two of the largest 18th century organs within America. The intriguingly named Altar of Forgiveness is one of the first sights visible as visitors enter the cathedral and the intricate gilded design is typical of the overall style.
5. Piramides de Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan is an enormous and highly impressive archaeological site just 30 miles from the centre of Mexico City. The beautifully coloured murals, well-known Avenue of the Dead and huge ancient residential complexes create an atmosphere of serenity and eerie beauty, making the short visit from the main city worthwhile. Teotihuacan was once the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas and came to be the most densely populated area in the New World, before its collapse in approximately the 6th or 7th century.