Due to a flight schedule, my husband and I decided to turn our layover into a weekend in Mexico City, D.F., LA Capital…Chilangolandia. I was never too interested in in going to D.F., but it would allow me to say “been there, done that”. I am so glad we went.
We stayed in the Zócalo area, we traveled by metro and taxi and ate some fab street food.
Suggestions for visiting Mexico City:
1. Do NOT fear the metro. Yes it is crowded, but it is cheap and some of the best entertainment in the city with all the traveling performers. Not to mention that it is a convenient store on the go. Vendors board the train cars and sell everything from batteries to toothbrushes to music cd’s. And it all costs 10 pesos, vale 10 pesos, 10 pesos, vale 10 pesos! My favorite are the vendors selling cd’s. Many will put speakers into altered backpacks and blast the music. When a metro goer wants to purchase a cd, usually the seller will play the exact cd in his backpack system to guarantee the legitimacy of the music quality.
2. Visit the Basilica on a Sunday to hear the masses and see the church goers. Most captivating to me was to see the confession booths set up like a meat counter at the grocer. The confessor takes a ticket and waits for the number to be called. There are several confessionals and all are operating at the same time. I had the best huarache outside the Basilica…chorizo…cheese…chile! I would go back just for that!
3. At museums or shows, ask for discounts available. My husband would get the “native Mexican” discount, and I received a teacher discount at El Palacio de Bellas Artes….by the way, super great folklore performance.
4. Visit Xochimilco on a weekend when it is packed with crowds for a more upbeat atmosphere. If you are the type that doesn’t mind flying solo, then go during the week. However, for a boat ride, it is a better deal to go with a group as it is a flat rate. Don’t forget to bargain your price even with the flat rate you are first given!
5. When headed to a tourist site after getting off the metro, walk a little ways before hailing a taxi, The taxi’s right by metro stations are always more expensive.
6. Don’t forget to take a jacket. Mexico City’s climate can and does change on a dime.
¡Viva México! Arrrrriba D.F.!