Mexico City: The City of the Night
Located in the Valley of Mexico, Mexico city is the finest gift to humanity. Mexico City is a prime example of a city which has everything. Being the oldest capital city in the Americas, Mexico City is the country’s center of trade, politics, culture and finance. The city thrives with tourists owing to the great food and an even greater nightlife.
1. History of Mexico City
Mexico City was turned from an inhabitable island in a saltwater lake to a flourishing city – full of causeways, agriculture and aqueducts – in 1325 CE by the Mexica people. The city was called Tenochtitlan and it became the centre of a growing empire. It became a major trade center, military operations, culture and political centre.
The Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortes, arrived with his army in 1519 CE and after a 79 day siege, captured Tenochtitlan. A new city was built, with much of the original’s layout, traditions and people.
Mexico City remained the centre of trade, power and culture. And even after 500 years, with so many ruling powers which came and went like a breeze, Mexico City stands tall and is still the area’s centre of trade, culture and power.
2. Night Life of Mexico City
Mexico City takes its nightlife pretty seriously. Mexicans know how to party. Parties usually begin early, with what is called “precupping”, and end early in the morning. It is said that the Mexican weekend starts from Thursday itself.
The hottest area is the Colonia Condesa. At night this quiet neighbourhood comes alive with jazz, art shows and clubs. The San Angel and Santa Fe neighbourhoods have an amazing set of clubs. The city has clubs which play a wide variety of music. You can find rock, pop, hip-hop and R&B being played till as late as the sunrise.
Partying in Mexico City, however, should not be restricted to your generic clubs and bars. This city is wild. There is something for everyone, however crazy it may be. You can end up in a dancing club with a live orchestra playing Cumbia and Salsa, or on a boat in the middle of a lake.
Everything here becomes better with dancing. So, be sure to keep your best moves practised.
There are dozens of concerts, plays and dance performances every night in the art museums, theaters and universities. American, French and Spanish movies are shown on giant screens. You can find listings in the English papers.
3. Safety in Mexico City
Although Mexico City is painted as a very dangerous city, it is just as dangerous as any other metropolitan city. Use the same street smarts that you would use while you are travelling in your home city. Do not carry valuable sin your back pocket or wear expensive jewelry.
Stay on well-lit streets at night and do not go to someplace you have no idea about. Don’t dress too apart from the residents and avoid unlicensed taxis. Use the metro or Uber.
4. Living Expenses in Mexico City
Mexico City is central to Mexico’s economy. Thus, even though the cost of living in Mexico is pretty low, the capital is fairly expensive compared to the rest of the country.
The cost of a one bedroom apartment in the city centre costs around 9,000 MXN (USD 520). A similar apartment outside the city centre costs around 5,500 MXN (USD 320).
Buying a square meter of apartment space in the city centre costs around 35,000 MXN (USD 2,010) as opposed to 20,000 MXN (USD 1,150) outside the city centre.
Budget hotels in Mexico City have tariffs around USD 30. Luxury hotels have tariffs around USD 300.
5. Cuisines of Mexico City
Mexican cuisine is the result of the amalgamation of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking and Spanish tastes with influences of the African and Asian cuisine. The staples are native foods like corn, beans and chili peppers. The Spanish influence brought in meats, dairy products and various herbs and spices.
Tacos al Pastor are a Lebanese addition to the Mexican cuisine. This seasoned, spit-roasted pork is best sold at El Borrego Viudo. El Borrego Viudo is a legendary end-of-the-party taqueria. They are not just famous for the al pastor, but also the tacos de cabeza and suadero. In tianguis (open air markets), you will find old ladies selling Tlacoyos. These oval, stuffed masa cakes are a delight. El Hidalguense in Colonia Roma make a killer Barbacoa. Mexico City is also famous for including insects in their menu. Escamoles are ant eggs which are sold all over the city. El Caguamo is the best place for fresh seafood in the city. In the Condesa is Puesto de Flautas. Puesto de Flautas are famous for their flautas. Cantinas are spread all over the city. If you want to drink with meals, or vice versa, head to a nearby cantina and spend a few hours drinking and eating the Mexican way.
6. Statistics of Mexico City
With a population of almost 9 million people and situated at an elevation of 2,250 m, the capital of Mexico is spread over 1,485 sq. km. The population density of the city is almost 6,000 per sq. km. Mexico City is home to a large number of expatriated from all over the world. Immigrants in the City have migrated from the U.S. and Canada, South America, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe and recently, the Asia-Pacific region. No official figures have been reported, but the population estimates of these communities are significant.
82% of the residents are Roman Catholic. Other significant religions in the capital are Buddhism, Protestantism, Islam and Judaism. The number of atheists and agnostics are also rising in the city.
7. Public Transport in Mexico City
Mexico City’s public transport is fairly extensive and very cheap. Travelers, usually, are uncomfortable using the public transport due to the innumerable safety warnings posted for the city.
The city’s metro transport system is the largest in Latin America. It does not connect the entire city, however. Many parts can only be accessed by roadways.
Mexico City is spread out in a neat grid which makes walking convenient. Owing to the large size of the city, though, walking is impractical.
Buses and collectivos are ubiquitous and crowded. Hence, the best bet to travel around the city would be through licensed and metered taxis. Tourismo and sitio taxis are the safest to use.
Pollution in Mexico City: By the 1990s, Mexico City had become one of the most polluted cities in the world. The city has now become a model for dramatically lowering pollution levels. By 2014, carbon monoxide levels had dropped dramatically, and sulfur dioxide levels were almost three times lower than in 1992. The PM 2.5 levels in the city were 72 ppm as of March, 2016.
8. Weather of Mexico City
Due to its elevation and tropical location, Mexico City is classified to have a subtropical highland climate. The lower parts of the valley receive lower rainfall as compared to the hilly areas. The entire area receives around 820 mm of annual rainfall. Rain is mostly concentrated between June and October.
The city witnesses two broad seasons: Rainy and Dry.
Rainy Season: June to October. Average Low: 13°C. Average High: 24°C
Dry Season: November to May. Average Low: 8°C. Average High: 23°C
9. Culture of Mexico City
Consequences of being a capital of a vast empire, then the capital of the richest viceroyalty and the capital of the United Mexican States is that artistic expressions has an incredibly rich history.
Mexico City boasts of an immensely rich visual arts scene.
With over 150 museums, and a lot of them dedicated to art, Mexico City has well-documented evidences from its past. The most famous museums are the Museum of Anthropology and History, Museo Tamayo and the Museo de Arte Moderno.
The city is home to a number of orchestras. These include the Mexico City Philharmonic, which performs at the Sala Ollin Yoliztli; the National Symphony Orchestra and the Mineria Symphony Orchestra. Mexico City is also a leading center of pop culture and music. There are a multitude of venues hosting performers from all over the world. These include the enormous National Auditorium which not only hosts pop and rock artists, but also streams the Grand Opera performances from New York on giant, HD screens.
10. Places to Visit in Mexico City
Things to do in Mexico City: Relax in Chapultepec Park; Explore Templo Mayor; Walk through the Zócalo; Eat in the Zona Rosa; Climb the Torre Mayor; Visit the Casa de Azulejo, Chapultepec Castle, Pyramid of the Sun, Tepeyac; Attend a lucha libre; Go to the Basilica de Guadalupe; Participate in Dia de los Muertos; Have escamol; Party crazy at the Condesa.
Things to do for kids in Mexico City: Mexico City can also be fun for kids. Apart from the wonderful monuments, the city has the Chapultepec Zoo, the Kidzania in Santa Fe and a petting zoo. The Six Flags Mexico amusement park is a great getaway for kids. The Chapultepec Park is also a wonderful place for the kids to hangout.
Museums and Galleries: Boasting over 150 museums and galleries, Mexico City is rivals any great cultural city in terms of showcasing history and art. The most famous museums include the Museum of Anthropology, the National History Museum, the Modern Art Museum, the Frida Kahlo Museum, Palacio des Bellas Artes, Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, Museo Mural Diego Rivera, Popular Art Museum, Museo Soumaya, Anahuacalli Museum and the National Art Museum.
Places Nearby: San Miguel de Allende feels like Cancun with its cosmopolitan restaurant and shopping scene. Cholula, 80 miles from Mexico City, was among the most important holy cities of ancient Mexico. Malinalco, a small village, is a quiet haven for artists and writers. Here, the ruins of Cerro de los Idolos stand.
Offbeat Places: Tlaxcala is a colonial city, 75 miles east of Mexico City. This tiny, wonderful city is still undiscovered by tourists. Tepoztlán, a tranquil town an hour away from the capital, is made for rejuvenation. With spas and herbal steam baths, Tepoztlan makes for the perfect escape from the bustle of Mexico City.
Author’s Conclusion: Mexico City is a party. This is a city which declares Thursdays as weekends. It does not get better than this. And not just partying, this city has it all. From cuisine, to culture, to the history and the nightlife. Mexico City is the entire package sitting at 2,250 m above sea level.
|Population||8,918,693 as of 2015|
|Currency||Mexican Peso (MXN) (1 USD = 17.41 MXN as of 22nd March, 2016)|
|Time Zone||Central Time Zone (UTC-6)
Central Daylight Time (UTC-7)
|Driving||Right Hand Drive|
|Helpline||Emergency – 060, 080; Ambulance – 5557 5757|
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