Mexico City is the cosmopolitan capital of Mexico that is home to 22 million people, a vibrant culinary scene, rich Aztec and colonial heritage, archaeological sights, and many surprises. On my trip, I discovered so many unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums, and architectural gems that my list of sights to photograph ended up being quite long. Luckily, many of the sights are clustered near each other and I will post another blog post on how to efficiently sight see in Mexico City.
Check out the top 15 places to photograph in Mexico City and download the Travel Guide here.
Behind the scenes video of Mexico City:
Music Credit: Mounika "Panchos Y Nachos" | All videos shot with iPhone 6 | Editing: iMovie
Here are the top sights to photograph in Mexico City:
1. Chapultepec Park
Chupultepec Park is more like a forest and 2-3 times the size of Central Park. It is filled with merchants selling everything from elote, to popcorn, to dorilocos (yes, it is a real Mexican creation). The park also has numerous museums and a castle...which leads us to the second photo shoot location.
2. Chapultepec Castle
The only "real" castle that housed a reigning monarchy (Mexican Emperor Maximilian I) in North America. It sits high on a hill with a view of the city and park.
3. Museo Nacional de Antropología
There is no wonder this museum got a five star average rating from about 10K reviews on TripAdvisor- it is one of the finest anthropology museums in the world. The architecture, presentation, and collection are spectacular. There are indoor and outdoor exhibits that include Mayan and Aztec art, including the Aztec calendar and sacrifice stone.
Built on top of the ruins of an Aztec temple, this plaza is the second largest plaza in the world and the epicenter of Mexico City's political seat. You may recognize the buildings from the opening scene of the James Bond movie "Spectre".
5. Museo Soumaya
Museo Soumaya is in the Polanco district, which is like the Beverly Hills of Mexico City. The building is an architectural gem made of reflective tiles. The building was commissioned by Carlos Slim (one of the richest persons in the world) to house part of his art collection. Best of all, the collection is free to view.
A 28 KM drive south of Mexico city is Xochimilco, one of the most unique areas of Mexico. This area used to be a lake in pre-hispanic times which the Aztecs converted to an extensive canal system and artificial islands in order to build their habitat. Today, this area has been preserved and is a UNESCO World Heritage site that has been described as the Venice of Mexico. We boarded the Trajineras, or colorful boats, that ride up and down the canals, used mostly for tourism and local celebrations. The boats have a long tables in the middle for picnics. There are even boats that come up alongside to sell a variety of food, beverages, and entertainment in the form of mariachi music. We even got serenaded with the Macarena! It is quite a fiesta!
7. Frida Kahlo Museum
Frida Kahlo's museum and house is located in the Coyoacán neighborhood and cannot be missed (literally) because it stands out in a bright blue cobalt color with green window shades. The museum is one of Mexico City's most visited museums, as Frida and her husband Diego Rivera are arguably Mexico's most notable artists of the 20th Century. She lived in the house, and her bedroom and studio are on display in the museum. I recommend getting tickets to the museum in advance, as the lines can last over an hour for entry.
8. Reforma Street - Paseo de la Reforma
Reforma Street is one of the most beautiful boulevards in Mexico City, modeled after European boulevards. On Sundays, the street is closed off for the afternoon for the biking program. Bike rentals can be purchased alongside the street at kiosks and are free for the first hour of riding. It makes for a fun and active way of touring the city.
9. Casa de los Azulejos or House of Tiles
Built in the 18th century, this architectural gem is located a block or so away from the Zocalo and features white and blue tiles on the outsides, balconies and an indoor courtyard. It is rare to see historical buildings in Mexico City because many have been rebuilt or re-purposed until the 1970's laws for heritage protection and restoration.
10. "Palacio de Correos de Mexico" or Post Office
This building was built at the beginning of the 20th Century and features eclectic architecture, a unique staircase, dome, marble floors and elegant facade.
11. Biblioteca Vasconcelos - Public Library
This library has stunning modern architecture. View the design from the interior and go a few floors up to get a grand look at the stacks of books.
12. Observation Decks
The tallest observation deck is from Torre Latinamericano. However, some hotels and rooftop restaurants have excellent views of the city for the photos of the panoramic skyline, i.e the Hilton Reforma.
13. Palacio de Bellas Artes
This is one of the most prominent cultural centers in Mexico City, recognized by it's prominent yellow dome. It was built in the late 19th Century in Art Deco style as well as a mix of other architectural styles. It also contains murals by Diego Rivera and Siqueiros. The building houses the opera, theater, and ballet in Mexico City. The best view is from Sears across the street.
14. The Metropolitan Cathedral
This is the largest Cathedral in Latin America built on the site of the Templo Mayor of the Aztec city Tenochtitlan.
15. Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico
This hotel was featured in the opening scene in the movie Spectre and is noted for its historic sophistication and Old World elegance.
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