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Our long weekend (+1 day) trip to Mexico City

New York City, New...
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Our long weekend (+1 day) trip to Mexico City
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This is a summary of our short trip to Mexico City over the last long weekend. Due to limited time, we only focused on the Historical Centre area.

We stayed in Hilton Reforma hotel, which I highly recommend. It is walking distance to most of the attractions in the Historic Centre area, with excellent service/food. They also look have a nice Executive lounge for Elite Hilton members.

The Historic Centre area is very walkable, and safe. There were lots of policemen patrolling the area. We never felt unsafe.

Note that most museums are closed on Monday.

This is what we did: (note: we did not spend much time at each attractions)

- 230pm The Original Walking Tour Historic Downtown

https://www.freetour.com/mexico-city/historic-downtown

Provided by: Estacion Mexico Free Tours

This tour covers main attractions, with lots of historical facts about Mexico:

Metropolitan Cathedral (starting point)

Zocolo area (there is an instagram spot with a big CDMX sign)

Templo Mayor

James Bond Square

Post Office Musem

House of Tiles (Ending point)

They also offer many other tours (e.g. the guide mentioned a Teotihaucan "experience" tour for 350 peso, where a guide will company a group to catch public transport to Teotihaucan, provide guided tour and back around 3pm).

Other attractions we visited around the Historical area: (most are walking distance from Hilton Hotel):

- Gran Hotel (James Bond hotel)

- Palacio de Bellas Artes (we watched the ballet on Sunday night - great Mariachi Band at the end, we bought the cheapest ticket, 330 peso each)

- Diego Rivera Mural Museum (3min from Hilton) - this is a very small museum, with only 1 main painting

- Popular Art Museum (3 min from Hilton) - Interesting Mexican arts

- Plaza Garibaldi (Mariachi Plaza) - caught Uber here - lots of Mariachi band, including a center stage

- Saturday night 730pm Wresting (Lucha Libre) at Arena Coliseo (bought best available ticket for 225 peso (Row 9 Ring3a)

On hindsight, I should have bought the cheaper ticket on the upper floor as the ground floor seats had limited view (could not see the Arena ceiling).

I do not enjoy wrestling, and left early. Note to use uber back, as we were told some areas are rough.

- Chinatown (10min walk from Hilton) - lots of red latern lights at night (food was average)

- Mercado St Juan (not that interesting)

- Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela (not that interesting)

We spent half a day trip visiting Teotihaucan/Basilica Gaudalupe. We had a private driver, but Uber would have been fine and readily available (about 400 peso one way from Centro to Teotihaucan). We had lunch at La Gruta in Teotihaucan, an interesting Cave Restaurant.

Uber was very cheap and readily available.

We spent half a day visiting (uber):

- Museum of Anthropology

- Chapultepec Castle

We spent another half a day visiting Polanco (uber):

- Soumaya Museum (Carlos Slim's free museum, named after his wife, and opened on Monday - big museum)

- Antara Shopping Mall

- Walked along Avenue Predident Masayrk and visited the popular instagram spot - Mexico Mi Amor (Tane)

The Alameda Central park is opposite our hotel (Hilton), located near Palacio de Bellas Artes. It is a nice and well maintained park with lots of activities (e.g. various dancing groups at night). There's a night market next to it (just in front of the Hilton, slightly to the left) on the weekends.

I signed up Ecobici apps using my USA credit card and rented bikes for a few days to explore the area (be careful with drivers as some did not observe the red lights). It is very similar to the NY Citibike in that you use the phone Apps to unlock the bike, and just dock the park within 45min to avoid fees (2min wait to re-rent)

1 day = 118 peso

3 days = 234 peso

7 days = 391 peso

In terms of restaurants:

- El Arroyo (30min from Centro, very good music shows on Fri/Sat/Sun 3pm) - highly recommended. This is one of the main highlights of our trip. There were several Mariachi bands roaming around to perform at your table for a small fee. We had the biggest Mariachi group consisting of 11 band members performed for us. Uber fare to the restaurant is around 350-400 peso, but well worth the trip. I will post some photos later.

- House of Tiles (Casa de los Azulejos) - very nice ambience with live music, but expect to wait, worth it

- Cafe de Tacuba (very nice ambience)

- Bar La Opera (very nice ambience)

- Churreia El Moro (long queue - the churro is average compared to the ones I have had in NY)

The Adele Pasteleria, on Independence Avenue is a very big bakery shop, and will definitely have something for everyone. We bought some cake/cookies back to NY.

We enjoyed our trip to Mexico City and would revisit again if time permits!

5 replies to this topic
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puebla
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1. Re: Our long weekend (+1 day) trip to Mexico City
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Thank you for posting this trip report. A lot of people ask for advice and then don't report back, so, it is really appreciated. Good information.

Mexico City, Mexico
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2. Re: Our long weekend (+1 day) trip to Mexico City
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I have never heard anyone ever refer to it as "James Bond Square", but I assume you are talking about Plaza Tolsá where the National Museum of Art and the statue of King Charles IV of Spain ("El Caballito") are located.

Tampa, Florida
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2,105 posts
40 reviews
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3. Re: Our long weekend (+1 day) trip to Mexico City
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Thank you for the additional report.

"The Adele Pasteleria, on Independence Avenue is a very big bakery shop, and will definitely have something for everyone. We bought some cake/cookies back to NY."

Might you be referring to Pasteleria Ideal, on Av. 16th de Septembre? Going from west to east, Independencia becomes 16 de Septembre as you cross Eje Central (Lazaro Cardenas) and leave Colonia Centro, entering Colonia Centro Historico. One of the challenges travelers in Mexico encounter is how one long street seems to have different names as you walk from block to block.

Yes, it's a hugely popular pasteleria with CDMX residents, this location and another nearby. Many restaurants and street vendors buy their pastries, pan dulce, cakes, etc. here. Sit on a bench in Alameda Central one day and you'll see a steady stream of people carrying the iconic large pasteleria boxes pass by.

Visit the gallery of wedding cakes on display, it's fascinating.

https://www.pasteleriaideal.com/

Edited: 23 February 2024, 02:39
New York City, New...
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4. Re: Our long weekend (+1 day) trip to Mexico City
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Thanks for the correction - you are right, It should be Ideal Pasteleria. I thought it was an "A" rather than "I" :-).

New York City, New...
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301 posts
136 reviews
88 helpful votes
5. Re: Our long weekend (+1 day) trip to Mexico City
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And by "James Bond Plaza", I did mean Plaza Tolsá. The Free Walking tour guide mentioned that the James Bond parade inspired the Mexico City parade.

Correction on the cost of the Teotihaucan" experience by Free Walking tour mentioned previously:

The cost should be 800 peso per person, not 350 peso (100 peso discount offered if taken a tour with them). The guide said using "public" transport is part of the "experience", in addition to guided group tour.

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