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Our Favourite Things to Do in Mexico City

There are plenty of reasons to Mexi-GO to this dynamic hub of culture

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Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, Mexico

An urban sprawl that appears to consume everything in its path, the City of Palaces refuses to be ignored. It soaks up historic towns and cultures, and is now composed of more than 1,700 so-called colonias. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Mexico City, there’s enough to keep you busy here for weeks on end. Firstly, you’ll want to find out about the city itself, which is pretty exceptional, as urban metropolises go. It was constructed atop the dry bed of Lake Texcoco, while being overlooked on three sides by mountains and volcanoes. It's so large that there is no town centre, but rather many different central spots spread across the colonias. And the high altitude will have you gasping for air until your body gets used to it. But once you get into the flow of things, you’ll find a culture rich in diversity and history, coming to life with a bang at night. And here at Plum Guide, we've gone above and beyond to highlight the very best ways for you to spend your time here, so heed our expert advice and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Visit the National Museum of Anthropology

Forget all that off-the-beaten-path stuff; we’re confident enough to go right in there with a big one. The National Museum of Anthropology (also known by its fairly similar-looking Spanish epithet) is the largest and most-visited museum in the country. To the museum your visit is just a drop in an ever-growing ocean, such is its popularity. But to you, it might just be life-changing. Or at least, holiday-enhancing. It contains a vast collection of pre-Columbian artefacts, with the Aztec calendar Stone of the Sun and the Aztec Xochipilli statue among the highlights. Check out the various traveling exhibitions to learn more about the rich human history in this fascinating part of the world. Relax by the fountains, see the impressive light displays, and study mosaics from a bygone world.

Ojo Del Sol, Plum Guide home in Mexico City

Ojo Del Sol, Plum Guide home in Mexico City

Take a trip to the Frida Kahlo Museum

Woman taking a picture from inside the Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City

Woman taking a picture from inside the Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City

Our second museum on the list of things to do in Mexico City (don’t worry, we’ll mix it up) is the Frida Kahlo exhibit. In case you’re like most of us, who know the name, and pretend to know the whole back story, but actually only have a vague understanding of who she was (unibrow, artist, something something), then here’s a brief bio: she was an acclaimed artist known for her portraits and self-portraits, with a ‘naïve folk art’ style that explored identity, post-colonialism and societal issues that were way ahead of her time. She became a posthumous icon for various progressive causes. And, yes, she had a fierce unibrow, which she sported and painted with pride. The museum is also known as the Blue House, where Kahlo and her partner Diego Rivera lived and worked.

Red Rhythm, Plum Guide home in Mexico City

Red Rhythm, Plum Guide home in Mexico City

Tour the Zócalo

Out of the museums and into the streets, the next stop on our list of things to do in Mexico City is the Zócalo. Culturally and geographically front and centre, the Zócalo comprises the city’s main plaza and the streets surrounding it. It is both a political hub - where movements are sparked and rallies driven - and an artistic venue replete with cultural events, parades and public exhibits. Embark on a walk through this frenetic central hub, appreciating the historic buildings that flank the streets. Among the highlights here are the Museo Biblioteca Palacio Postal, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the Casa de los Azulejos.

Polanquito Cacti, Plum Guide home in Mexico City

Polanquito Cacti, Plum Guide home in Mexico City

Experience the eclectic nightlife

Mexico City from above, lit up at night

Mexico City from above, lit up at night

Mexico City is one of the best and most-eclectic nightlife hotspots in the Americas. Join the trendsetters at a cocktail bar in Condesa or Roma. The latter has uber-cool clubs, such as the MN Roy, Gin Gin, and Café Paraiso. Alternatively, climb to the tops of skyscrapers in the Downtown district at night for spectacular views as you sip drinks like a Bond villain with the city sprawled out beneath you. Once you’ve mastered the sky, it’s time to burrow deep beneath the city, with a trip to a speakeasy.

Leopard’s Den, Plum Guide home in Mexico City

Leopard’s Den, Plum Guide home in Mexico City

Try some traditional cuisine

Close up of Mexican food in a restaurant, Mexico

Close up of Mexican food in a restaurant, Mexico

Such is the diversity and enormity of the city, that you can expect the grandest of spicy feasts upon your arrival in Mexico City. The Barbacoa de Borrego is a succulent slow-cooked lamb dish that you’ll find all around the city, inspired by the Maya tradition of wrapping the lamb in maguey cactus leaves. Other pre-Columbian specialties include lobster in red chili sauce and cactus fruit tortillas. For something special, dine at La Mansion Marriott Reforma Steakhouse, Porfirio’s Polanco, or De Costa a Costa Plaza Carso.

Explore the Canals of Xochimilco

Who would have thought you’d find a small slice of Venice in Mexico City? Xochimilco is a leafy paradise made up of forests that line canals. Take a ride on the small colourful boats along the canals in the southern part of the city. Admire the impressive chinampas - little agricultural islets - that are considered the last living link to the Aztec civilization.

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