Mexico City is a metropolis of superlatives and unusual contrasts. It is one of the largest cities in the world with a population of well over 20 million. There are endless, chessboard-like streets with state-of-the-art architecture. But also almost intimate inner city areas with magnificent historic buildings in a picturesque environment and extensive, carefully maintained parks await you. The city is situated at an altitude of 7,200 feet and yet is overlooked on three sides by significantly higher mountains. The constantly snow-covered peaks of the Iztaccihuatl and Popocatépetl volcanoes rise to over 16,000 feet and shape the skyline of this pulsating and fascinating cosmopolitan city.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Frida Kahlo Museum
Paseo de la Reforma
The correct name of this gigantic plaza is Plaza de la Constitución. It is a highly symbolic place for the nation of Mexico, that is why a huge national flag is permanently waving in the middle. The almost square Zócalo is flanked by the most beautiful and important buildings of the city. The Catedral Metropolitana, the largest baroque church in the world, the imposing Palacio Nacional, the seat of the Mexican head of state, and the Palacio Municipal with the municipal administration are located here. Particularly attractive are the arcades of the Portale de Mercaderes with numerous jewelers and other shops.
The Palacio de Bellas Artes is one of the architectural highlights in the Mexican metropolis. The magnificent building was built around 1905 and combines strict neoclassical lines with the casual elements of the Bellé Époque. It houses a huge stage hall for almost 2,000 spectators and generous areas for changing art exhibitions. Many walls are painted with magnificent frescoes in the typical Mexican style of Muralismo.
The Bosque de Chapultepec is the largest urban park in all of Latin America. In the elaborately landscaped park there is a representative castle, which once served as the residence of the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian, and the National Museum of Anthropology, which is well worth seeing. On shady squares and along picturesque tree-lined avenues, a colourful hustle and bustle of original merchants, musicians and street performers provide varied entertainment. There is a small zoo and an interesting botanical garden with magnificent cacti and orchids.
The Frida Kahlo House is one of the most visited museums in the city. Because of its striking, deep blue exterior walls, it is also called La Casa Azul, the Blue House. The world famous artist was born here and the building and its facilities have remained completely unchanged since the 1950s. The museum displays many famous works by Frida Kahlo and her husband, the painter Diego Rivera, whose politically influenced paintings are among the most important international works of modern art.
The Paseo de la Reforma is a gigantic gorgeous boulevard that runs straight through Mexico City from the Alameda Central Park up to the Bosque de Chapultepec. The eight-lane main traffic artery is repeatedely interrupted by roundabouts, in the centre of which numerous sculptures and monuments remind on the Mexican history. Here, there is also the Torre Mayor that is more than 650 feet high, the highest skyscraper of Mexico. The neighbouring Zona Rosa is a little quieter than on the Paseo de la Reforma. In its pedestrian zone there is an overwhelming international shopping offer, numerous restaurants, cafés and bars.
The avant-garde museum building is considered the new landmark of the Mexican metropolis. The façade is reminiscent of the bow of a ship and is covered with over 17,000 metal plates. The museum is a foundation of the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The exhibition features masterpieces by Cézanne, Picasso, Dalí, Renoir, Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci and Rodin. All of them are among the more than 60,000 works of art in Carlos Slim's private collection, which has been completely donated to the museum. Less