Mexico City, or Ciudad de México as the city is really called, is here in Europe best known for its enormous size, crime and pollution. And those who visit Mexico usually only use Mexico City as a transport route en route to more tourist-oriented cities such as Acapulco or Cancun.
But it is an important historical city, abounding with cultural offerings, and with a hectic and vibrant nerve affecting all visitors. The contrasts are large, from beautiful cathedrals and green parks to muddy slums, with colorful markets in front of a backdrop of gray metropolitan blocks. Here, the smell rips from spicy tacos in the nose while mariachis in sombreros play Spanish guitar on the street.
- Abbreviation: MEX
- Country: Mexico
Mexico City for tourists
Mexico City is naturally the capital of Mexico and is located at an altitude of 2200 meters in the middle of the country. The city was originally founded by the Aztecs in 1325 under the name Mexico-Tenochtitlan, on an island in Lake Texcoco. As the development demanded, several artificial islands were constructed. The city was totally destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors in 1521, and rebuilt as the capital of the new Spanish colony. Mexico became independent in 1821 after an eleven-year liberation war. Mexico City suffered a nasty blow in 1985 when a powerful earthquake killed thousands and left around 80000 people homeless.
Today, Mexico City has grown to become one of the world’s largest cities, with around 8.7 million inhabitants within the city limits, and a full 22 million if we include suburbs. It is Mexico’s self-centered political, cultural and economic center, and new skyscrapers have emerged over the last 20 years. Metro stations, shopping centers, office buildings and apartment buildings are apparently constantly under construction or renovation.
The city’s natural heart is in the historic center of Mexico City, although this is not exactly the most beautiful area. The centerpiece is one of the world’s largest town squares, called Zócalo, which is surrounded by several of the country’s oldest buildings. Among these is the Palacio Nacional from 1692, where Hernan Corte’s residence was located. Close by you will find the city’s mighty cathedral from 1667, in a quirky combination of Greek and Mexican architecture. And, as a contrast, you’ll find Latin America’s tallest building, the 225-foot-high landmark Torre Mayor not far away.
No city in the world has more museums and galleries than Mexico City, and an absolute must is the National Anthropological Museum, which has a fabulous and fascinating collection of treasures and artifacts from the time before the Spaniards annexed the country. Both Maya and Aztec culture from all over the country are very well represented. Many would also like to visit the surrealist artist Frida Kahlo’s old home, which has now been converted into a museum (also called Casa Azul – The Blue House). This is located in the Coyoacàn district and is open daily except Mondays. You can also visit the home of Fridas lover Leon Trotsky, where he was murdered in 1940.
Mexicans are mad after bullfighting, and Mexico City has one of the world’s largest venues for the ceremonial slaughter of oxen. Up to 70,000 cheering people can be accommodated here. If you rather we see grown men fighting each other evenly, a visit to Guillermo Canedo (formerly Estadio Azteco) is a must for football fans. This is the only stadium in the world that has housed two World Cup finals (in 1970 and again in 1986) and can seat up to 115,000 elevenville fanatics. It is also used as a concert venue, and everyone from Queen and U2 to The Three Tenors and Pope John Paul II have performed here.
Hotel accommodation in Mexico City is very cheap by Norwegian standards, and it is no problem to get a double room in a central four star hotel for NOK 200. You will find several good hotels in the city’s historic center, where many of the museums and attractions are also located. Be aware that the very few Mexicans speak English, usually only in the better hotels. Then take a lightning course in Spanish or bring a good pair of lessons.
List of Mexico City Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Mexico City is MEX which stands for Mexico City. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Mexico City, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.
|MARI||Mexico City Air Quality Research Initiative|
|MEX||Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico – Juarez International Airport|
|SCNM||Silver City, New Mexico|