The Extraordinary Architecture of Mexico City
Collected by Julie Schwietert Collazo, AFAR Local Expert
As the birthplace or chosen home of some of the world’s most legendary architects, Mexico City features residences, monuments, and institutions of incredible scale and style. Here are a few particularly noteworthy and easily accessible structures worth seeing in the capital.
Plaza de la República S/N, Tabacalera, Cuauhtémoc, 06030 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City has an abundance of impressive monuments and memorials, but this one is among the most memorable, given its scale and style, which fuses Art Deco and Mexican Surrealism elements. In recent years, the area around the monument, including...
Av Universidad 3000, Cd. Universitaria, Coyoacán, 04510 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
It's worth the considerable trek to the southern part of the city to tour around the campus of UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, to see its iconic mid-20th-century buildings. American writer Selden Rodman, touring Mexico in the...
Av. Pdte. Masaryk 390, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City has no dearth of luxurious boutique hotels, but Las Alcobas is a special option. Designed by famed firm Yabu Pushelberg, the hotel is full of gorgeous details, from hand-stitched leather wall coverings to a spiral staircase that surges...
55800 San Juan Teotihuacán, State of Mexico, Mexico
While it's not in Mexico City proper, the sacred pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan is close enough–about 30 miles– for an easy day trip if you're interested in architecture, archaeology, and indigenous history. The site's primary...
Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06050 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The imposing, white-domed wedding cake now known as Palacio de Bellas Artes was originally planned as a national theater, and construction was begun in 1904. The Mexican Revolution, among other things, postponed its completion until 1934, which...
Plaza de las Américas 1, Villa de Guadalupe, Villa Gustavo A. Madero, 07050 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Each December 12, thousands of pilgrims from all corners of the country converge upon the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to honor the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Some arrive by car, others by bus, and a good many have...
Torre Latinoamericana, Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 2, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Lázaro Cárdenas, Tlatelolco, 06900 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Tlatelolco, the area where you'll find the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, is full of significant architecture, spanning centuries that represent three distinct time periods: the Pre-Hispanic, the colonial, and modern-day. The oldest structure here is...
Plaza de la Constitución S/N, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City’s mammoth cathedral was built across three centuries (1573–1813)—starting soon after Cortés and his allies vanquished the Aztec Empire—using stones taken from a destroyed indigenous temple. Today’s...
Calz. Gral. Mariano Escobedo No. 700, Anzures, 11590 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
There's a lot to recommend the Camino Real in Polanco, especially if you're an architecture and art aficionado. The hotel, designed by the late Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta, is considered one of his master works; the shape of its pink and...
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