City Life
12 Highly Unusual Things to Do in Mexico City
Mxcity
There's never an end to interesting and unusual things to do in Mexico City - but here are 12 good ones for when you've really run out of ideas.
things to do in Mexico City

Of all the unusual things to do in Mexico City, Minichelista in Nueva Santa Maria (above) offers some the most outrageous.

There are tourist things to do and things for business visitors, too. Mexico City has parks and attractions and things to please families, friends and visiting sports teams and delegations from foreign governments. Of course, you can take in the zocalo, and Chapultepec Park and the Castle, but then things start to get more complicated. “What are we gonna do today?” It’s a refrain even die-hard chilangos are constantly saying – and you can try to cover everything – in this lifetime and the next. But you can’t cover all the unusual things to do in Mexico City. These are just 12 more unusual things to do in Mexico City that will probably leave you longing for more!

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1.Lake of the Aztec Kings (Lago de los Reyes Aztecas) – Tlahuac

Foto: geolocation.ws

By now you should have covered most of the canals in and around Xochimilco. The boat rides are enchanting, the landscape idyllic and the entire experience one that most people never forget. But those canals can leave you wondering if you’re ever getting anywhere. The Lago de los Reyes Aztecas leaves most visitors with no doubt they’ve arrived somewhere special. More than 800 years of recorded human history line the banks of this modest little lake, and it’s easily accessible from the end of Metro Line 12 (Tlahuac Station).  A five minute taxi ride can leave you right at the embarcadero (boat launch) and from there you’ve got an incredibly charming and somewhat more reasonably priced boat ride beneath some of Mexico City’s most ancient skies. 

 


2. Casa del Arbol – Desierto de los Leones National Park

File Tree House MXCity

The work of architect Guillermo Siliceo, with the collaboration of his son, musician Sidartha Sileceo, Casa del Arbols is a magnificent complex of some 25 houses surrounded by the forested peaks of the national park (already a destination in itself.)  Most of the houses pay homage to Hindu  and Buddhist design pronciples, and the setting is among the most enchanting anywhere in the city.

You can read more about Casa del Arbol, here.


 

3. La Fabrica Sculpture Space – Ciudad Deportiva Magdalena Mixuhca

space-escultorico-vicente-network

Mexico City public sports complexes are a total mystery to most international visitors. They’re hugely popular with organized sports clubs and exercise groups – but they can seem rather communist to outside onlookers. Here’s a good one that mixes an homage to a private company with a good excuse for wandering around and having a look. Jose Ramon Elizondo – a one-time business owner whose machine parts company dated from the second world war – commissioned Mexican artist, Vicente Rojo, to take over when the machinery was no longer needed. The result is sculpture space based in 18 die-cutting machines and set in the grounds of the sports complex. The rather figurative sculptures resemble dystopian robots on the march but also make for a quick and intriguing side-trip if you’re stuck in or near the airport.


 

4.  Vasconcelos Library Greenhouse – Buenavista

vasconcelos greenhouse library

The Vasconcelos Library is already a magnificent and inspiring place to visit. Seeming to defy gravity – it’s massive and free and open to the public. There’s also a mgnificent hidden greenhouse and gardens designed by Alberto Kalach in collaboration with the botanical gardens of the national university. At more than 26,000 square meters the gardens and grounds are some of the most extensive in the city. There are 168 varieties of plants including, trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. After all that, the library also includes a cafe and plenty of open spaces to enjoy the books the atmosphere and Gabriel Orozco’s whale skeleton.


 

5. The Gothic Room Art – Museo Nacional de San Carlos – Tabacalera

Gothic art gallery Museo Nacional de San Carlos

San Carlos is anyway one of those museums that makes visitors love it for the sake of the fact that it’s just not that huge. You can see the whole thing and not feel guilty that you went too fast or skipped too much. And the Gothic art collection rivals that in much larger collections elsewhere in the world. With most pieces dating from the 15th century, the museum itself is centrally located and there are few more inspiring stops in off the busy streets of the capital. 

 


 

6. Luis Enrique Erro Planetarium – Zacatenco

planetario luis enrique erro

Easily one of the oldest in Latin America, the Erro Planetarium is a science museum that includes audiovisual programs, exhibitions, conference space, and its the site of frequent workshops and festivals. The Digistar 3 system allows for detailed exhibitions of the night skies and the planetarium is ultra convenient to the broader Politecnico campus area. 


 

7. Korean Pavilion – Chapultepec Park

Pabellon + Korean

Mostly seen by passengers in cars hurrying by, the Korean Pavilion has graced this particular corner of the park since 1968. A replica of the pagoda where the treaty declaring South Korean was signed, the pavilion was a gift to the people of Mexico from South Korea to mark the 1968 Olympics. Today, the pavilion’s relative isolation from other far more popular parts of the park make it a quiet and reflective point of contact.

Pabellón Correano


 

 

8. Minichelista – Colonia Nueva Santa Maria

things to do in Mexico City

Probably way more fun than ought to be allow, Minechelista is the true DADA hijinx bar in the otherwise placid Nueva Santa Maria neighborhood.With nearly nightly live acts and always something a little more cabaret, and a menu that keeps even snobby eaters coming back for more, there’s a reason there’s only one nightspot on our list of  highly unusual things to do in Mexico City.

 


 

9. Crypts of the Archbishops at the Metropolitan Cathedral

crypts of the cathedralWith some 10,000 crypts below the floor of the cathedral, the no less than 14 interior chapels get a run for their money. The crypts inside of the cathedral are not something everyone who visits gets to see. But ask at the biggest wooden door and on days when the staff are feeling friendly, during more or less business hours, you’ll likely be admitted for a look around. Even if you can’t get into the basement, the rest of the cathedral is always a treat.   

 


 

10. Votive Wall at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

exvotos

Although there is lots to see and do in and around the Basilica, don’t miss the muro de exvotos.” OF course everyone loves Mexican religious art anyway , but this is simply some of the very best – and better than much of the art you’ll find anywhere else in the city too. December 12 is the Virgin’s feast day and you probably won’t get within a mile of this wall then, but year round it’s well worth the trip.

 



11. CENART Museum of Musical Instruments

museum of musical instruments Mexico City 4

Take the blue metro line to the General Anaya station and then walk a couple of blocks north to the National Center of the Arts (CENART).  While there are almost always some very good exhibitions going on with the complex, the small museum dedicated to musical instruments from the many ethnic groups in precolonial Mexico is way under-visited. With tons of solid anthropological and sociological information supplementing the displays there are few other more intriguing and small museums in the city.

  • CENART

 


12. Restaurant Bar Chon

Don Chon

Definitely for the strong stomachs looking to experience the most exotic in Mexican fare, it’s right on Regina in Centro Historico. Sample protein laden insects, roots, herbs and flowers and, depending on the season, everything from boar, to frog, snake, turkey, alligator, field mouse, squirrel, iguana, crocodile, badger, beaver, and deer, among other things. Not for the squeamish.  


 

15 Indisputable Reasons Mexico City is Latin America’s Favorite, Again
Mxcity
Latin America's Favorite is Mexico City again, and for a lot of good reasons. Here are just 15 of the big ones to get you started.
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With more visitors than any place else in the region, Mexico City is Latin America’s Favorite for good reason. 

Here are just 15 of them!
 

Mexico City is vibrant, vast and very important. Not just in terms of the space it occupies and the stone and brick from it’s made from, but Mexico City greeted more than 30 million visitors last year. That’s more than it’s entire metro-population (though not by much). Let’s look at why they came. 

cdmx

Last year, at about this time, The New York Times had named the city the number one travel destination for 2016. Tourism searches on Google showed Mexico City as not just a Latin American Favorite, but in the top five tourist searches in the world. And of course, people have been asking for the last several years if it wasn’t the Next Paris, or the Next New York or the Next SOMETHING.

The City government set itself to the task of figuring out just why people love coming here. These are the top 15 reasons they came up with, and ultimately they’re the reasons that Mexico City is Latin America’s favorite, and maybe your favorite too! 

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1) 185 museums, nine archaeological sites and four World Heritage sites? The cultural scene is enormous, rich and varied. There’s something for every kind of cultural traveler.

2) Fairs, festivals, conventions, meetings and extravaganzas cover music, food, movies, books, and trade in every kind of human activity, down to the annual clown convention.

3) Blockbuster events? Last year saw a Formula 1 race, an NFL game or two, the Tour de France, and a free Roger Waters concert in the city center.

4) Chosen for the sixth world C40 Mayors Summit in November of 2016, Mexico City is widely perceived as a world leader in combatting climate change.

5) The Metrobús system, originally based on one running in Bogota, Colombia, is now the biggest in Latin America. Stretching some 125 kms today, in 2017 no less than 90 Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double-decker buses will begin plying the length of Paseo de la Reforma, as Metrobus Line 7 officially opens.

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6. The tourist program Sonrisas por tu ciudad, literally “Smiles for your city,” organized by the Secretary for Tourism, has benefited more than 200,000 people.

7. Mexico City’s Central de Abasto (pictured below), after more than 30 years sells 30,000 tons of merchandise (mostly food) and sells to about 30,000 people every day. It’s the largest shopping area in the world.

8.  Mexico City was the first Latin American city to join the Rainbow Cities Network, which coordinates city-level actions to protect LGBTI citizens and residents. 

9. Mexico City was chosen as the World Capital of Design for 2018, by the World Design Organization. 

10. The Centro Histórico is the largest historical city center in Latin America, with 1,500 buildings designated as having historical, cultural, artistic or architectural value. That’s more than most tour guides can handle, but it’s also home the continent’s biggest Metropolitan Cathedral.

cdmx11. Mexico City’s first ever Day of the Dead parade was celebrated by more than 250,000 marchers, band members, onlookers and, yes, zombies.

12. The city’s El Médico en tu Casa program puts a “Doctor in Your Home.” It’s already recognized in America, Asia, and Europe, for bringing health services closer to people who can’t easily visit hospitals or clinics.

13. Mexico City also began the first Specialized Center for the Management of Diabetes anywhere in Latin America.

14. The Ecobici system  (pictured below) is the biggest public bike system in Latin America, with 452 cycle stations and about 35 million trips made by 200,ooo riders every year.

15. And finally, the good old underground Metro network is the biggest in Latin America, too. With 12 lines 226 km in total length, about 5 million people ride it every day.

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Source: CDMX government, with information from International CDMX and the 4th Governmental Report CDMX, 2016.

Mexico City’s 6 Best Wine Shops for increasingly fabulous Mexican Wine
Mxcity
As Mexican wines increasingly aspire toward truly inspiring vintages, some of the best wine shops in the city are in fact taking notice. These are six of the best.
best wine shops

Some of Mexico City’s Best Wine Shops are still not backing Mexican Wines. These ones are…

Casa Madero may have been the first winery in the Americas, founded way back in 1597, and way up in Coahuila. But Mexico’s predominant “beer culture” has always given wine producers something of a long shadow to grow up in. Aguascalientes, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Zacatecas and Chihuahua all produce respectable wines, but it’s been the environs of Ensenada (the Guadalupe Valley, the Santo Tomas Valley, and the Ojos Negros Valley) that have really busted the Mexican wine scene out onto international lists of “respectability.” Some parts Coahuila (the Valley Of Parras, and Cuatro Ciénagas in particular) still hold their own – but most wine enthusiasts agree, Baja’s got the wine to beat. 

Mexico exports wine around the world. According to the Mexican Wine Council, about 400 brands of wine are currently being produced in the country, and these increasingly appear on the international lists as being wines to watch (and to taste). But those lists aren’t everything. Even the most sophisticated drinkers know today that plenty is coming each year from Mexican wineries that’s worth taking note of. 

Yes, you can still find plenty of good Mexican vintages mixed in with the international offerings on the shelves at Liverpool. But the wine shops below are pretty active at pushing good wines, from Mexico, onto more Mexican tables.  

 

Vinoteca

vinoteca

 

Vinoteca has three locations in and around the city and carries a wide range of Mexican wines, and still more around the country. They do a fair internet trade in wines too, but stopping in lets you pick the brains of their knowledgeable staff. 

Website

 

La Contra

contra

 

La Contra, also with shops all over the country, is one of the city’s leading advocates for the Mexican wine industry. With a capital location in Roma, it’s an easy and relaxed place to pick up recommendations, or indeed, to sample some of the best bottles coming in. 

Address: Álvaro Obregón 130, local # 10, Colonia Roma Norte
Telephone: 5564 0966
Website | Facebook

 

Á de Acento

acento

Á de Acento offers a very well-regarded restaurant, but the gourmet shop offers plenty that’s pure Mexican and well worth a bottle or two. In fact, prices are very reasonable, but there’s also usually something special hidden away in the shelves that inquiring customers will be very pleased to find.

Address: Cuernavaca # 85, Colonia Condesa
Telephone: 5260 4721
Website | Facebook

 

Amaya

 

amaya

Another in the list of combo restaurant and gourmet shops, Amaya has made a big splash with their list of “vinos raros.” Far from weird, many of them are fabulous.  They’re also generally available in the shop, no reservation necessary and many of the best are, in fact, domestically produced!

Address: General Prim # 95, Col. Juárez
Telephone: 5592 5571
Website | Facebook

 

La Europea

 

europea

 

Don’t expect friendly service. La Europea is still trying to figure out in which decade they’re doing business. But for all the wood-boxed bacalao these people sling during the holidays, they’ve always got a ton of good wine, too. With a good number of branches in and around the city, calling them one of the best wine shops in Mexico might be a stretch, but they do a lot of business, and for that, they always offer a ton of good Mexican wines too. 

Website 

 

Si Mon 

simon

Si Mon is run by the chefs at Broka Bistrot, practically next door. And the emphasis is on local, good, and even inspiring wines. One of the best things about shopping at a wine bar is after all, that there is usually a bottle open. And for that, including Si Mon in a list of the best wine shops is practically a given. 

Address: Zacatecas # 126, Colonia Roma Norte
Telephone: 1866 9030
Facebook

 

 

Main Photo Above: Aborigen Valle Seco, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Courtesy of La Contra