We spent just over 3 weeks in Mexico City and we saw so much. Narrowing it down to our absolute top family friendly sights wasn’t easy. Mexico City’s sites are also hugely divers from toy museums to skyscrapers to Aztec pyramids. It’s also worth noting DF (pronounced deh eh-feh) is the museum capital of the world, beating even New York City. So lets start there shall we.
Yes I too have a bucket list and this has been on it since I was pretty young. Like any right on teenager I idolized Frida Kahlo, her individualistic style, her sad and turbulent love life and her strong and opinionated quotes. The added allure of her striking looks and colorful existence just added more layers of intrigue. To have the opportunity to visit her home Casa Azul and look beneath these layers was a dream come true. I just couldn’t believe how much was there. From the perfectly formed simple kitchen to the beautiful gardens, everything but everything was fascinating. We decided to take the subway here from Condessa where we were staying (Coyoacan) which was really simple and more detailed instructions on travel in Mexico City are coming up I promise. The remainder of the journey we took a 40 peso cab. The walk was just a little far for us despite having the buggy and at 40 pesos its hard not to be lazy! The museum is beautifully maintained and the gardens are so tranquil that even Oscar Chang managed to take his nap in its leafy enclosure. I’m not going to say too much but this really is the top of my list and even for a Frida novice it would be a fascinating place to visit with so much insight into Mexican culture and cultural history.
Wowzers. Want to know what big looks like. Constructed in 1956 its a modern architectural marvel as its survived many of Mexico City’s earthquakes. Not sure if that’s reassuring or not, but it’s still standing and its awesome. We didn’t visit the museum and stuck to googling our facts as we are such cheapskates, to be honest I was pretty museumed out at this point. The building is right in the Centro Historico so there is plenty to do in the area so make a day of it. The views of the city are awe-inspiring and really make you realize what a tiny part your playing in this 20 million strong city. Some absolutely amazing photo opportunities for the family album here.
Do not miss this. Do not even consider the price (880 pesos, not the cheapest) its worth every penny. Oscar and I had one of the most beautiful and moving nights watching these incredible artists perform dances and music from all over Mexico. Consider this. They are the creme de la creme, a collection of Mexico’s finest performers. Shows are on Wednesdays and Sunday and you can either buy tickets on Ticketmaster MX. They last an hour and about 40 minutes and although that may seem a little long with kids in tow Oscar Chang was rooted to his seat ( or rather my knee) and didn’t even blink. The theater itself is a sight to behold with an incredible stained glass Tiffany’s constructed mural of the Valle De Mexico. Again no spoilers here but in true Mexican spirit the colors, sounds and atmosphere are electric. Truly a beautiful experience.
Financier Franz Meyer (not Mexican obvs, but German) amassed a giant collection of silver ware, furniture, ceramics (I loved this part especially) and art that is housed in one of the most unusual and beautiful buildings in DF. There are also changing contemporary exhibitions. We were lucky enough to see an amazing bicycle exhibition when we visited which was beautifully curated and very creatively displayed. There is only so much bike one person wants to see and this did not get boring. The courtyard is stunning and peaceful and a great oasis of calm in this often frenetic city. A tiny fountain and lush vegetation fringe a the beautiful colonial structure. The coffee isn’t bad either. The great thing about the space is that its manageable for kids too and the bonus of the outdoor space at the end means you can relax about having to keep them on a short leash.
I always feel like there is no better way to see city life and its inhabitants then a good old-fashioned park. It’s hard to call Chapultepec a park as there is a staggering amount to see in this 1600 Acre space the largest city park in the Western hemisphere. The name Chapultepec means “at the grasshopper hill” and it has been inhabited since around the 10th Century BC. Bosque is actually the Spanish word for forest so I guess technically this isn’t a park at all. The space is home to the city Zoo, a lake, several museums, a castle, waterfalls, restaurants, a theater, a fountain ( the largest in Latin America ), markets, street entertainers and much much more that I’m pretty sure we didn’t see. Sundays are family days in Mexico City and the galleries and historical buildings are all free. This makes Sunday’s crazy busy but also the best to get to really suck up the vibes. We visited several times as we were here for so long however it is pretty nuts so bare that in mind. We visited the castle set up high on a rocky outpost with fantastic views of the city and a really fun miniature train to take you to the top if your feeling a little lazy. The Museum of Modern art and the Papalote Museo del Nino’s are fantastic as is the Zoo. We didn’t get to visit the Museo Anthropologico but I have it on good authority its well worth it. Just sitting near the Monument Nino’s de Heroes you can take in some amazing street performers, audience participation required so you have been warned. We only really felt like to saw a tiny fraction on whats on offer and of course there are lots of special events taking place throughout the year so check Time Out or the above linked site for more information.
Pronounced teh – oh – tee – way – kahn this was by far one of my most memorable experiences during our travels. I’m not sure if its the spirits of the ancient civilization or the gods that the Aztecs believed sacrificed themselves here. The sheer vastness and breathtaking scale of these two pyramids is staggering. Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the moon were build at the start of the 1st century AD and various factors led to the decline of the city in the 8th Century. The site is easy to walk around and great fun for kids just beware of the red ants which have a mighty bight. We climbed all 70m of the pyramid of the sun and it was worth all the breathless sweating. The view is spectacular and finally convinces you that this ancient culture must have had some celestial help ha! We took a bus here from the city’s Northern bus station. It was really straightforward and about the tenth of a price of a tour. The buses seem to run pretty frequently so get an early start and beat the crowds and the sun. An absolute must if your in Mexico City.
We would love to hear what your favorite places were too? There is just so much to see and we probably went to about 20 or more attractions so this list really is an edited version of our stay. Mexico City was never on my city brake list but I look forward to going back there very soon especially when Oscar Chang is a little older and can really enjoy everything on offer here.
Besos DF and hasta luego!