9 times out of 10 when someone tells you they are going to Mexico you automatically assume it’s to Cancun, Cabo, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, or another beach destination– am I right? Rightfully so, in fact. Mexico boasts hundreds of miles of white sand coastlines that have sweeping views of the crystal blue ocean that naturally leave you wanting to come back again and again, and again.
As for me, I’ve been to Mexico a couple of times and never even contemplated a dedicated trip to the country’s capital of Mexico City. I mean up until our few days in Mexico City the only thing I ever experienced there was the Chili’s at the Benito Juarez International Airport on a long layover to Cabo San Lucas, and may I add, I was completely satisfied with that.
I’m pretty sure that the first time I ever added Mexico City to my “Must See” list was when my sister was working for Travel + Leisure a while back and she told me that it was on the list for the top cities in the world to visit.
So, if Travel + Leisure said I should go, then hell yeah– let’s go.
Not sure if you’ve noticed or not but in order for me to give my readers a true description of the places we go, I like to make up comparisons, so you can start to visualize or get an idea of what a place is like.
For Mexico City, this comparison comes easy to me. Mexico City is the Mom of a big family with tons of kids. She’s the capital, the mothership, the queen bee, the mother hen of Mexico. Her kids are the other cities in Mexico, you’ve got her daughter Cabo that’s the rebel that never came back from a Spring Break trip, Cancun who’s the wild child that appears on MTV’s Spring Break and the more classier kid, Tulum that’s a combination of zen flower child, chic and stylish.
Mom’s got different sides to her of course, which are her neighborhoods.
La Condesa (where we stayed), which is Big Mama’s super stylish, trend-setter side. It’s filled with sceney restaurants, cafes galore and esplanades with greenery that gives your noses a tickle even if you don’t have allergies. Condesa is Mamacita’s fashion forward self with the cutest boutiques and shops that make window shopping really tempting to tiptoe inside and not let your husband see (hehe).
On the border of Condesa and Roma neighborhood, there’s Contramar, a hip restaurant that you should go to for lunch and MUST order the tuna tostadas. It’s a traditional round crispy tostada that has fresh raw tuna on top drizzled with some sort of aioli sauce, crunchy leeks and topped with a perfectly sliced avocado. UGH, the definition of delectable.
Mama’s Condesa neighborhood also has, in my opinion, some of the best food stalls for tacos. After 6 weeks in Asia, we were craving some traditional Mexican tacos and boy did we get our fill in the short 4 days we were here. El Tizconcito, claims to have created the taco al pastor which is slightly sweet and tangy– absolutely delicious. Tacos El Greco is another food stall that can’t be missed. These tacos arabes are made grilled on a spit that taste so juicy and reminded me of a shawarma or doner kebab, but better.
Another can’t miss of Condesa is Hotel DF rooftop for a cocktail or two. It’s in the middle of a residential area that offers some of the best views of CDMX.
Back to Big Mama. She’s got her hipster mood that comes out in the form of Roma. Roma has buildings that are very European-esque. They have cafes everywhere, outside, inside book shops, ones with terraces, ones with balconies, you name it. Tons of cocktail bars, clubs and restaurants featuring any and every cuisine imaginable.
Palanco. This is Ma’s expensive side. It’s her posh, 5th Avenue New York, glitziness side, to be exact. We didn’t spend much time here because we’re living that budget lifestyle BUT we did happen to have the best churros in all of Mexico City here. Churreria El Moro has the most delicious churros, rolled right in front of you fit with any dipping sauce your little heart desires. MMmmmMMmm so good.
The pyramids at Teotihuacan was definitely a major highlight of our trip to CDMX.
Tip for you, go when they first open (8AM) and try to go on a Monday because the site is confusing and Google actually says the site is closed on Monday’s.
But it’s not.
So we got there and for the first half hour or so we were the only ones climbing the pyramids. Teotihuacan, which means City of the God’s, is an archaeological zone that houses the remaining pyramids of what was the capital of Mexico’s largest pre-Hispanic empire.
The main drag is the Avenue of the Dead where old ruins and pyramids are in front of you and to the side. Pyramid of the Sun is the 3rd largest pyramid in the world and it’s worth the 248 stair climb up to the top to view the Pyramid of the Moon across the way. To think that people built these pyramids with their bare hands is completely mind-blowing.
We were standing in what once was a fully functioning city, that is said to have housed 125,000 people. When we were sitting on top of the Pyramid of the Sun we both realized what small places we occupy in this world and how much history there is everywhere we go.
That about rounds out Mom’s personalities, AKA the different places to go in the massive CDMX. Of course, there’s so much to see and always so little time so give yourself 4-5 days if you decide to come here.
Maybe now you’ll be inspired to tack on a few extra days to Mexico City when you plan your next beach getaway, trust me, it’s worth it if not for the tacos alone!!!