Where to Find Mexico City’s Rich History
Collected by Julie Schwietert Collazo , AFAR Local Expert
It’s hard to walk more than a block in Mexico City without coming across a marker, an archaeological dig, or a monument paying tribute to an important episode in its history. The rich and multilayered story of CDMX will help you understand the soul of the city today.
Paseo de la Reforma 325, Tabacalera, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The simple but striking beauty of the Angel de la Independencia monument is immediately evident to passersby hurrying along on Avenida Reforma, but visitors may not be aware just how much history is encapsulated here–literally. Built upon the...
Seminario 8, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc, 06060 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
With the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, Iberian overlords set about imposing their customs on the subdued populace, eliminating traces of pre-Hispanic religions they deemed heretical by demolishing major temples and building churches and...
Nápoles 40, Juárez, 06600 Juárez, CDMX, Mexico
It's a footnote to more storied facts of his biography, but at one time, Che Guevara lived in Mexico City. He arrived in the capital on September 21, 1954, reportedly near-broke and not knowing anyone in the city. After establishing himself...
Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Located on a hill that held sacred significance for the Aztecs is Chapultepec Castle, an impressive edifice completed in 1863. The castle, reputed to be the only royal castle in the Americas, has served many functions over the course of its...
Plaza de la Constitución, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Its massive size, centrality to daily life in the capital, and easy accessibility (a Metro station opens up right onto the plaza) makes the Zócalo an ideal place for large-scale temporary exhibits. The government hosts occasional exhibits...
La Ciudadela, Buenavista, Méx., Mexico
Today, the Plaza de la Ciudadela park draws lovers who sit on its shaded benches, absorbed in one another's gaze or lost in each other's embrace, people of all ages who love to dance in open-air spaces, and bibliophiles or handicraft seekers on...
Av. Hidalgo 51, Guerrero, 06300 Cuauhtemoc, CDMX, Mexico
Much like traveling in Europe, it can seem, after a few days in Mexico City, that there are just too many churches to see. Cathedral fatigue sets in and your eyes glaze over at the thought of seeing one more gilt altar. If you walk by without...
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico C.U., Av de los Insurgentes Sur S/N, 04510 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
As with most structures and sites in Mexico City, the Estadio Olímpico, or Olympic Stadium, located on the grounds of the university (UNAM), has played an important role in several historic episodes. First is its role in mid-20th-century Mexican...
Lázaro Cárdenas, Tlatelolco, 06900 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
One of Mexico City’s most historic neighborhoods—a once-independent city-state politically joined to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan—Tlatelolco is a fascinating side trip few tourists make. At its center lies the...
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