Mexico City: a Modern and Cultural Paradise
In the summer of 2015, I decided to move from my moderately sized border town of El Paso, Texas, to the urban megalopolis of Mexico City. With an urban population estimated around 21.2 million people, Mexico City is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
When one thinks of Mexico, they often think of beaches, small towns, or vast areas of desert land. Little do they know, hidden up in the Valley of Mexico at an altitude of 2,240 meters, lies one of the most impressive cities you will ever have the pleasure of visiting.
One of my favorite parts of Mexico City is that every Sunday one of the city’s main avenues, Paseo de la Reforma, is shut down and opened up exclusively for cyclists, joggers, skateboarders, puppies, rollerbladers, tourists and pedestrians alike to enjoy. At the major intersections of this tree-lined avenue, you can find free aerobics classes, stands to fix your bike, yoga and meditation sessions, zumba classes and more! It’s a lively place to go for a walk, do some exercise and people-watch if nothing else!
With over 150 museums, Mexico City holds the record for the most museums in the world. They come varying in all shapes and sizes ranging from the architectural masterpiece of Museo Soumaya in the prestigious Polanco neighborhood to the former house of Frida Kahlo, now turned museum at the famous Casa Azul in the laid-back Coyoacan neighborhood.
As you immerse yourself in this city, you begin to notice the immense diversity of architecture in buildings. Two of the most eye-catching buildings you will see are the Palacio de Bellas Artes located in the city center next to the beautiful shady Alameda Park and the National Museum of Anthropology located in the heart of Chapultepec Forest, known as the lungs of the city, on Reforma Avenue. The Fine Arts Palace has a mixture of a number of architectural styles; it is principally Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Whereas the Museum of Anthropology contains exhibition halls surrounding a courtyard with a huge pond and a vast square concrete umbrella supported by a single slender pillar.
Once the sun goes down, the city comes alive with dazzling displays of light and nocturnal activities in every direction! Restaurants and open air bars fill with fun-loving people of all ages. Mexican’s definitely know how to make the party last until the wee hours of the morning or even until the next day. Go out to one of the popular bars in the trendy Condesa, Roma or Juarez neighborhoods to throw back a shot of Mezcal or Tequila and dance the night away to salsa and reggaeton music or try your luck at one of the impressively posh nightclubs in Polanco or Santa Fe.
One thing is certain, Mexico City is well worth a visit, whether it be a weekend getaway or a longer stay, you will be left in awe of everything this city has to offer.