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48 Hours in Mexico City

May 29, 2018

Mexico City is a fantastic destination for a long weekend.  The city is filled with history, culture, art and great food - and it is an easy flight from many US Cities.  

 

Friday 

 

Fly into Mexico City and take a private transfer to your hotel.  I recommend pre-arranging a late dinner.  Pujol, which was named one of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America, is run by chef Enrique Olvera.  Olvera recently moved his place to a brand new venue in the upscale Polanco district of Mexico City, and the new Pujol features a long bar with its own taco menu.

 

 

Saturday

 

The cuisine in Mexico City will absolutely be a highlight of your trip.  There are many food tours that will help you dig in and learn more about the authentic cuisine.  One fun option is to mix a historical tour with a food tour, so that you are getting insight into the culture and history through food.

 

Private Historic Center Food Tour

Enjoy a gastronomic adventure through the traditional flavors of Mexico, from Pre-Hispanic food to contemporary culinary dishes. Explore the most important Aztec market, drink in a typical cantina and be delighted with street food. This is a unique and delicious experience in Mexico City's Historical Center - you will eat authentic Mexican food! At the end of your tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Frida Kahlo Museum 

 

Frida Kahlo Museum Visit 

The Frida Kahlo museum is known as the Blue House or Casa Azul and was her creative universe where she was born and where she died.  Although she lived in different places in Mexico City and abroad when she married Diego Rivera, Frida always returned to her house in Coyoacán. Located in one of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods of Mexico City, the Blue House was converted into a museum in 1958, four years after Kahlo's death. Today, it is one of the busiest museums in the Mexican capital. The museum reveals her personal objects as well as some important works from the most recognized Latin American artist worldwide. 

 

Something super cool to review before your trip is Google's Faces of Frida.  It lets visitors interact with paintings, letters, photographs and other artifacts connected to the iconic artist. 

 

Diego Rivera's Murals

No visit to Mexico City is complete without a tour of the murals by legendary Mexican artist Diego Rivera. The most famous is the mural in the Palacio National, which tells the story of Mexico's history. Most of his notable murals are located right near each other in the city's Historic Center.  The large building of the Secretaría de Educación Pública holds the most extensive collection of his murals in Mexico City (other famous murals can be found in the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Museo Mural Diego Rivera).  Rivera lived from 1886 to 1957, witnessing the Mexican Revolution as a young man. He was a Communist, so political themes and workers rights are the subjects of most of his works.  

 

 

Sunday


Special Electric Bike Tour on Sunday Cycling Route

Every Sunday, residents of Mexico City enjoy the closing of the Paseo de la Reforma, a major thoroughfare that comprises a 14-mile loop. Get set up with a guide, and after a short briefing you will head through Reforma Avenue to visit attractions such as The Historic Center, Angel of Independence, Diana Cazadora Fountain and Chapultepec Castle. At lunch time you will head to the famous Contramar Restaurant to enjoy some of the best seafood in the city. You will ride your bike again to get back to the hotel where the tour will finish.

 

Photo Courtesy of the National Museum of Anthropology

 

The National Museum of Anthropology is also not to be missed.  Considered one of the world's most comprehensive natural history museums, this famous institution houses four square kilometers of exhibits in 23 exhibition halls.  You can navigate the complex on your own or you can have it included as part of an overall city tour.  

 

Where to Stay

 

 

Los Alcabos

This lovely boutique hotel features thirty-five rooms and is located in the heart of one of Mexico City’s most exclusive neighborhoods.  The outside world is forgotten when you step inside the hotel, where light music plays and the smell of fresh flowers scents the air. A beautiful rosewood staircase spirals up through all five floors, and throughout the hotel there are contrasting natural textures of wood, leather, metal and ceramics.  Located right next to one of Mexico’s most highly regarded restaurants, Dulce Patria, and with a top-class restaurant of its own, foodies who stay here will be in heaven. Step outside of the hotel and there are multiple bars, restaurants and shops as well as the city’s best museums just a short walk away.

 

 

 

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico - 4-Star

This hotel has one of the most spectacular panoramic views of Mexico City’s Historic Center and the Zócalo.  Stepping into this hotel is like stepping into 1920s Paris: the art nouveau stained-glass ceiling, tall birdcages, crystal chandeliers and plush red sofas scream decadence. Originally built as a center of commerce on the order of President Porfirio Diaz, the designer was brought over from France and no expense was spared. You will be shown to your room by a traditionally dressed bellboy, via the original French-style elevators.  Rooms are regal and traditional, with tall ceilings, four-poster beds and patterned carpets. Located right on the corner of the main plaza of Mexico City, many of the hotel’s rooms have vistas of the square and the rooftop restaurant looks out across it; perfect for a nighttime champagne cocktail.

 

Sheraton Maria Isabel  - 4-star 

Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel Towers is in a great location at the heart of Mexico City's financial district on Paseo de la Reforma Avenue, right across from the Angel de la Independencia Monument.  The hotel is a short 5-minute walk from the Mexican Stock Exchange Building and right next to the U.S. Embassy. The historic center is only a 10-minute drive away. This building also has historic significance: when Bolivian tycoon Atenor Patiño decided to create the greatest hotel in Latin America in the 1960s, he knew that what he wanted was the cutting-edge vision of two famous Mexican architects. With a capacity of more than 600 rooms, it became a landmark building in the city.  

 

Restaurants

 

Fonda Mayora

Fonda Mayora gets fantastic reviews. The owner is Gerardo Vazquez Lugo, head chef of Nicos, one of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants.  This restaurant serves refined but unfussy variations on regional and family recipes. Keep an eye out for pork knuckle braised in the fermented pineapple-rind drink tepache, pacholas (a kind of meat tortilla common in Guanajuato state), and pork ribs with purslane in salsa verde. As a starter, the sopes de tuétano (bone marrow) are a must.  Fonda Mayora has great value and great service with lots of outdoor seating.

 

Balcón del Zócalo

Balcón del Zócalo serves contemporary Mexican cuisine, but people come for the great balcony with excellent views.  If you plan on eating here is is best to get a reservation in advance. This restaurant has great guacamole that they make at the table and fun items such as ant eggs in a tostada. They also have delicious margaritas.

 

San Angel Inn

A classic in Mexico City, the grounds of the restaurant are beautiful, like eating in a traditional hacienda.  Come here if you want traditional Mexican cuisine in a lovely setting. San Angel Inn has received five star awards, so this is not a cheap option, but it is consistently recommended and offers a nice experience.

 

Monte Cristo

Many believe this restaurant surpasses San Angel Inn when it comes to real Mexican food, traditional atmosphere and excellent service. It is an unpretentious old style hacienda with old school, professional service. The menu is extensive and reasonably priced. An exciting detail is that you get to choose your salsa ingredients and have it made right at your table. This is not a tourist-oriented place. Instead, it is for locals who appreciate real traditional Mexican food. 

 

 

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