Mexico City is the capitol of Mexico, located at the heart of the country. This metropolitan area is bursting over with people and culture. In 2005, the census reported close to nine million people living in this active city. The dense population helps to ensure that Mexico City stays current on the information, technology, and culture that much of rural Mexico misses out on.
A lot of people are deterred from visiting this great city precisely because of its seemingly overwhelming population, but don't let that deter you from seeing the sights of Mexico City for yourself. There are plenty of things to do in Mexico City that will help make your vacation something that's truly unique to Latin America – not just another routine stop on the touristy vacation express.
One of the first things that you should do in Mexico City is visit the National Palace. Like many of Mexico's national landmarks, this one is exceptionally unique and interesting. However, part of the reason for its uniqueness is the large mural painted on the front entrance walls by Diego Rivera depicting Mexico's history. Besides being known for this amazing act, Rivera was also the husband to Mexico's most world-renowned artist, Frida Kahlo, whose house has also become a museum of her work. This is another treat in Mexico City that you shouldn't miss out on.
Another wonderful museum to visit in Mexico City is the National Museum of Anthropology. One of the most interesting display items that's showcased in the museum is the Stone of the Sun. This large circular disc – also known as the Aztec Calendar – is covered in intricate drawings and designs which are supposed to depict the end of the human race sometime in the year 2012. Besides offering a variety of exhibits that focus on Mexico's past and current culture, the museum also hosts several floating displays which focus on other countries throughout the world and their cultural impact.
The town square of Mexico City is a bustling place to be on a Saturday afternoon. You can visit the old cathedral with golden floors that sits right next to the newly excavated ruins of Tenochtitlan, the former Aztec capital. If you're lucky, you may encounter the Native American dancers who come to the square to share their dancing rituals and heritage with tourists.
One important thing to keep in mind when visiting Mexico City is that the city is separated out into sixteen different federal boroughs. Each of these boroughs is an autonomous unit with their own elected officials, rules, and regulations. You'll need to plan ahead to be sure you know which borough you're planning to visit and what the most effective mode of transportation is to that destination. For example, in the heart of Mexico City, one of the world's cheapest, and most extensively used metro systems is in place to help people get from location to location. If you're going outside of the federal district, there's a large busing network that's also operated by Mexico City.
If you don't feel comfortable taking the public transportation system, don't worry – there's no shortage of taxi cabs in Mexico City. Don't bother trying to rent a car and navigate the city yourself as it's easy to get lost or confused, and the driving customs of Mexicans are far different from those of the United States. This, combined with the fact that there's such a large number of people all trying to drive on a limited amount of space can quickly result in an accident if you aren't familiar with your surroundings and aren't comfortable driving in that type of situation.
If you're looking for adventure, excitement, cultural education, and a touch of authentic Mexico, you should definitely consider Mexico City for your next vacation. With its wealth of learning opportunities and interesting features, it's no wonder that so many people live in and visit this truly interesting and unique city.