Merah Filko

6 Questions: Mexico City

Merah Filko
6 Questions: Mexico City

6 Questions… will be a series dedicated to answering the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of locations I have visited, serving to answer questions fellow travelers may have when planning their trip.

Who (should go to Mexico City): Mexico City is a great little escape for a slightly more adventurous traveler.  While you do not need to be a globe trotter who speaks 5 languages and has accumulated more flight miles than you could ever spend, you must also be someone who is willing to step outside your comfort zone.  Mexico City is a major metropolitan city, is incredibly busy, and has a very rich history and tradition.  It is well developed, and has many modern conveniences, but still boasts markets that sell crickets to eat, and street carts that wheel around a shaved ice-like dessert.  Mexico City is not a resort town, but is also a very comfortable place to travel, and offers a great cultural experience.

What (should I do while I’m there): One thing I really enjoyed while I was in Mexico City was getting dressed up and going to the Palacio de Bellas Artes and watching the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.  While it may be a slightly touristy show, it is so full of color, showcases amazing traditional dancing, and takes place in an absolutely gorgeous theatre, and it is well worth the few hours you will spend watching it one evening.  I also really enjoyed a walking tour I did with Eat Mexico.  We had an awesome guide, Ubish, who walked us to stalls owned by local workers, and filled our bellies with tacos, tamales, and insects (yeah, you read that right, I ate ants and crickets…impressed yet?).  One last activity I really loved was hopping on a bus which took me to Teotihuacan and back for 100 pesos (~5 USD, ~5 Euro).  Teotihuacan is an incredible archeological site that allows travelers to explore and climb ancient pyramids, and walk through the homes of those who lived in the glory days of those pyramids.  No need to hire a private tour of the pyramids, the bus is more than efficient, and there are plenty of placards to guide you around the park.

 Lounging atop the Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan.

Lounging atop the Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan.

When (should I go):  In my opinion, the best time to head to Mexico is during our American winter (November-April).  It is a great time to get some much-needed vitamin D, and isn’t quite as hot as other parts of the year.  You want to enjoy this trip, and dripping sweat the whole time does not make for a fun adventure.  You may even find at this time of year that you will need a light jacket in early mornings and late evenings.  But don’t worry, it still gets plenty warm during the day to escape winter freeze.

Where (should I stay):  Two of my favorite neighborhoods in Mexico City are the classic Centro Historico, and the young and eclectic Roma neighborhood.  Centro Historico has everything at your fingertips, the gorgeous cathedrals, the classic architecture, and you are a stone’s throw from the Palacio de Bellas Artes and la Merced.  In the Roma neighborhood, you will find a much more residential feel, with beautiful parks filled with children and families, alongside luxurious shopping and dining.

 Fresh tacos made as you order on the walking tour of la Merced with Eat Mexico.

Fresh tacos made as you order on the walking tour of la Merced with Eat Mexico.

Why (should I go here):  Mexico City truly is a lost gem.  Most people headed to Mexico opt for the beach towns and big, overproduced resorts.  Mexico City offers a great mix of cultural experiences with every modern amenity and comfort you could ask for.  You will most likely find other adventurous travelers in Mexico City, which means you will be able to avoid all of the cheesy buckets of Bud Light on ice and bad tan lines you would see at a big resort in Cancun.

How (should I get there):  Mexico City is easily accessible via air.  I flew AeroMexico, which was a great airline (plenty of leg space!), and I highly recommend them.  Word of caution, the airport in Mexico City does not boast the best selection of food, so be sure to arrive at the airport with a full belly.