As one of the largest metropolitan centres on the planet, Mexico city – with it’s crowds, skyscrapers, and labyrinth of bustling streets – can seem a little overwhelming at first, but lucky for you, most of the must-see sights are concentrated in the historic centre, which is a great place to start your tour through this city’s incredible culture, history and food.
Start your day of exploring this ancient capital at the Plaza de la Constitucion or Zocalo, one of the largest city squares in the world, where the constitution was signed in 1813. In the past it’s been a bullfighting area and a market, but today it’s used for parades, festivals and demonstrations. The Majestic Hotel roof terrace offers a great view over the square, and the enormous Mexican flag, hoised every morning, is a cool photo-op.
Next, head to the National Palace, on the east side of the Zocalo. This government building is said to have been built on the grounds where Moctezuma’s palace had stood. Inside the bsuilding, you’ll find murals that famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera painted between 1929 and 1952, which depict Mexican history from prehispanic times to the workers’ movement of the 1930s.
You may be surprised to discover that there’s an ancient Aztec temple right in the heart of Mexico, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at The Templo Mayor, or “great temple”. Built in successive phases from 1500 onwards, what’s left only offers a tiny glimse of what must have been an awe-inspiring pyramid structure, but the exelellent museum attached offers afuller picture, with displays of the artifacts discovered during within the temple ruins, including the monolith of the goddess Coyolxauhqui, as well as obsidian knives, rubber balls, jade and turquoise masks, reliefs, sculptures and many other objects.
And finally, if you have a few hours of daylight left, make your way to Chapultepec Park, the largest in Mexico City,which is home to several of the capital’s top attractions, including Chapultepec Castle, the Modern Art Museum and the National Museum of Anthropology.
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