July 5, 2016

Ciudad de Mexico

By macu In America, Mexico

The Aztecs built Tenochtitlan on an island in a lake. The Spaniards renamed the city to Ciudad de Mexico and over the time drained the lake. Today the city hosts more than 20 million people. The longest street, Avenida the los Insurgentes, crosses the city from south to north for a length of 30km. A six days long visit didn’t feel long enough.

The city has a reputation of being dangerous but you shouldn’t worry too much. Just ask at your hotel what areas are safe to visit at night. Roma Norte and Condesa are nice neighbourhoods to stay and find restaurants and bars at the end of the day.

Mexico City is the hometown of two important Mexican art ambassadors: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Head to Coyoacán to visit the house where they lived and hosted well known people such as Leon Trotskij and his wife.

 

Hernan Cortés, the evil Spanish conqueror, arrived with 550 men and managed to destroy the Aztec empire. A hundred years later, Mexico’s indigenous population had declined from 25 million to little over a million, mainly because of introduced diseases. I spent one full day learning about prehispanic civilizations at the Anthropological Museum.

It is very cheap to move around Mexico City. For the price of a trip during London’s peak hour (£2.90) you could travel 14 times to the other side of Mexico City (5 pesos). Uber is also safe and always available.

Mexico City introduced me to the amazing Mexican cuisine. Dare to try the best snacks to enjoy your Mezcal drink: chapulines (grasshoppers).

Take one day to escape the city and get immersed into the prehispanic era. Teotihuacan are one of the best ruins in Mexico. It will take you a well worth full day trip to visit them.

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