Hi everyone, the anticipated Top Places To Visit in Mexico City Part 2 is here!! Today we will continue my journey in Mexico City and take you guys on a historical and cultural excursion to some of the boroughs and sites outside of the Mexico City border. We will be exploring many places that cements Mexico City as one of the best places to explore for arts, history and rich architectural marvels.
Coyoacán, or ‘the place of coyotes,’ in Nahuatle, is a relatively less explored neighborhood in central Mexico City best known for its famous residents – Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Formerly a rural village, over the years Coyoacán has become a rich pocket of art and history in Mexico’s capital. This Mexican neighborhood also houses many museums, cafés, and markets. Located in the heart of Coyoacán, the church of San Juan Bautista is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in Mexico City. This church, with its baroque architecture, has a spiritual atmosphere which exudes beauty and tranquility.
Museo de Frida Kahlo
Also known as La Casa Azul (The Blue House), the Museo de Frida Kahlo is where Frida Kahlo spent most of her life, having lived in the same house until her death. After her death, the house was donated by Khalo’s husband, Diego Rivera, with the intention of making it a museum in her honor and it is the most popular museum in Coyoacán and one of the most visited in Mexico City. The museum contains a collection of artwork by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and other artists along with the couple’s folk art, pre-Hispanic artifacts, photographs, memorabilia, personal items, and more, giving visitors a glimpse on the life and history of the celebrated Mexican artist couple. Given my fondness for museums, I could write an entire post on this because it is full of tragedy, sadness, celebration, struggle and love. But I will save all of that because I believe that everyone should visit and experience it in person. Fun Fact: Frida Kahlo’s ashes are in a pottery jar on her dresser at the house (YES, she/her spirit is watching over everyone that visits her) can you find it in my photos??!!
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
So there are two basilica next to each other for this most important Catholic pilgrimage. The original “old church” was done in 1709. And like many of Mexico City was built on a former lake, the land was unstable and the old basilica was sinking. A new, more spacious basilica was built and completed in 1976. The old one was closed for many years for repairs and recently finished and reopened to public. The Basilica receives over a million pilgrims a year, many travels by foot, or even on their knees as they make their way to pay tribute to the Lady of Guadalupe. The new construction is circular so that the images of Lady of Guadalupe can be seen in all directions.
The Chapultepec Castle is located in the middle of Chapultepec Park in Mexico City. It is the only royal castle in North America that was actually used as the residence of a sovereign, the Mexican Emperor Maximilian I and his consort Empress Carlota. Since its usage of an Imperial residence, it has been a Military Academy, Presidential home, observatory, and at the present the National Museum of Cultures. On September 13, 1847, the Niños Héroes (“Hero Children”) died defending the castle while it was taken by United States forces during the Battle of Chapultepec of the Mexican-American War. They are honored with a large mural on the ceiling above the main entrance to the castle. Pop Cultural Fact: In 1996, the castle was a film location for the Academy Award-nominated movie William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.
Teotihuacan: Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon
I have saved the best for last. We dedicated an entire day to visit Teotihuacan, where the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon is located. Teotihuacan is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico 25 miles northeast of modern-day Mexico City. It is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, and also known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest building in Teotihuacan, and third largest ancient pyramid in the world. The Pyramid of the Moon is located in the western part of the ancient city of Teotihuacan. A platform atop the pyramid was used to conduct ceremonies in honor of the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan, the goddess of water, fertility, the earth, and even creation itself. We actually climbed both pyramids and I consider it a great accomplishment on my part because my sneakers broke the day before and I climbed both steep structures in my heeled boots!
So there you go folks, part 2 of my Top Places To Visit in Mexico City. I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I did and save the two posts for when you travel to Mexico City and use them as your guide.