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Taxco de Alarcon (1-2 days)
Winding lanes, traditional plazas and antique houses with elegant colonial facades characterize the ancient mining town of Taxco. This beautiful town, sitting just north of the State of Guerrero, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico
Travelling to Taxco is easiest by bus. Go to bus station Tasquena. By metro this will cost you only 5 pesos. There are two bus companies operating services to Taxco, Costa Line or Estrella de Oro. The bus ride takes 3 hrs and cost 185 pesos for one way. www.costaline.com.mx 01 800 003 7635
There are many things to do in Taxco. Of course you have to walk around on the old cobblestone roads through the old town centre. Go to Zocalo, the Parish of Santa Prisca and visit a Plateria to buy some silver jewellery.
A ride with an old Beatle taxi to the Christ statue is an unforgettable experience. And once up there you’ll get a stunning view of this lovely town. Another great view can be seen from Hotel Monte Taxco. You can go there by cable car, Teleferico, which is open from 8 am to 7 pm, and costs 95 pesos for a return ticket.
You can also go outside Taxco to the caves, Grutas de Cacahuamilpa. Every 40 minutes a bus departs to the Grutas. This will take 30 minutes and costs 31 pesos. You can get a 2 hour guided tour in these two kilometres long caves for 75 pesos. Tours depart every hour from 10 am to 5 pm.
Segway Tour (1-2 hrs)
If you like to see Mexico City in a different way, why not try a Segway tour. Riding a Segway is quite simple. At Greenway Tours they will teach you how to do so in a short training. The very friendly and professional staff will do the utmost so you have a comfortable, safe and enjoyable tour.
Greenway offers several tours. Some start from their base at Homero 530 in the Polanco area, for other tours they will bring the Segways to the starting point. You can even request for a personalized tour starting directly from your hotel. To see the options and prices or to make a reservation, check their website.
There is no age limit to ride a Segway but there is a weight limit: each rider must weigh at least 3o kg (66 lb) and less than 117 kg (260 lb).
Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe (2-3 hrs)
The most important cathedral in Mexico is not the one at Zocalo, but the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe in the north of Mexico City. The Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico and her shrine in Mexico City became the most-visited Catholic shrine in the world.
You can visit the old basilica and next to this church there is a huge new Basilica as well. Besides these two main churches, there are many more churches in the complex. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites of catholicism, the basilica is visited by several million people every year, especially around 12 December, Our Lady of Guadalupe's Feast day.
The basilica is located at Plaza de las Américas 1. The opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The complex is closed on Monday. The entrance to the churches is free.
You can go there easily by metro from downtown. A one-way ticket costs only 3 pesos. Go to metro station La Basilica.
Museo Memoria y Tolerantia (2 hrs)
One of the most impressive museums in Mexico City when it comes to humanity is Museo Memoria y Tolerantia.
The ‘memory’ part of the museum displays about genocide and other war crimes and crimes against humanity such as slavery, murder, sexual abuse and apartheid.
There is an exhibition about the Holocaust and also about Ruanda, ex-Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Guatemala and Darfur. There's another floor about tolerance where they tell you about diversity and identity.
It is not a feel good museum but as they say themselves: some museums open your eyes; this one opens your heart.
The museum is located in the historic centre at Avenida Juarez opposite Alameda Park aside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays. The entrance fee is 69 pesos and there’s an additional fee of 70 pesos for an audio guide. You will need this, as there are no signs in English.
Palacio de Bellas Artes (2 hrs)
The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is the most important cultural centre in Mexico City. The palace has a mixture of architectural styles. Art Nouveau dominates the exterior and the inside is dominated by Art Deco.
It is a combination of a theatre and a museum. The Palace has been home of many events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has hosted important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. Some of the best-known groups, which regularly perform in the theatre, are the Ballet Folklórico de México, Compania Nacional de Opera and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.
The building has a huge number of wall paintings. Besides that you can visit many permanent and temporary exhibitions. If you’re not going to see a concert or performance and just want to see the building and the exhibitions, the entrance is free. The opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.
The Palacio is located in the historic centre of Mexico City at Avenida Hidalgo 1, next to Almeda Central Park. The nearest metro station is Bellas Artes.
Pyramids of Sun and Moon (1 day)
Not far from Mexico City you can see an important landmark of the history of Mexico. Teotihuacan is an enormous archaeological site, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas.
It is located approximately 40 km northeast of Mexico City. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Teotihuacan is one of the most noted archaeological attractions in Mexico.
Of course you can do an organized tour or hire a car with a driver, but you can go there easily yourself as well. Take metro line 5 to station Autobuses del Norte. That’s the busstation. From there you can take a bus, which brings you to the entrance of Teotihuacán.
A one-way ticket will cost 40 Pesos. From Terminal del Norte, walk towards Gate 8, there is a ticket booth almost at the end of the concourse. Check that your bus goes to the site entrance of Teotihuacán ruinas and not just to the town of San Juan Teotihuacán nearby. The trip will take around an hour, and the buses run until about 6pm.
There is an entrance fee of 57 Pesos for the site. If you like to use a video camera you have to pay another 45 pesos, but we didn’t see anybody to check that. The opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm.
Pyramids of Sun and Moon mini movie
Museo Soumaya (2-3 hrs)
Museo Soumaya is housed in a striking architectural building. It is owned by the Carlos Slim Foundation and contains the art collection of the Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim and his late wife Soumaya, after whom the museum was named.
The museum holds works by many of the best-known European artists from the 15th to the 20th century. It contains a large collection of casts of sculptures by Auguste Rodin.
The entrance to the museum is free and the opening hours are from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, 365 days a year.
It is located in the Nuevo Polanco area at Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303. The nearest Metro station is Polanco but from this station it is still a 20 minute-walk so it is better to take a taxi.
El Palacio Postal (½ hr)
If you have to send your postcards and like to see a beautiful place, go to ‘El Palacio Postal’ in the historic centre. It is a really beautiful old post office, which is still in use. Italian architect Adamo Boari, who also made the plans for the Palacio de Bellas Artes, designed the palace. President Porfirio Diaz inaugurated the building in 1907.
There’s also a Museo Postal, which you can visit. It’s not much, but it is for free. And the view at the building from the museum is very nice. It is open from 9 am to 5.30 pm during weekdays, and in the weekend from 9 am to 2.30 pm. The location is Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas at the side of Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Plaza Garibaldi (1 hr)
Plaza Garibaldi is best known as the home of mariachi music. This is a genre of music that originated in Guadalajara, in the State of Jalisco. The musicians wear their traditional clothes and play the music with string instruments and trumpets, while they sing the songs.
At all hours of the day, mariachi bands can be found here playing or soliciting gigs from visitors to the Plaza. However, in the afternoon there’s not much to do. There are some mariachis and if you like they will play one song for you for 100 Peso. In the evening it’s very busy there. Starting around 8 pm you will here the music everywhere.
Be very careful at night in the area. Don’t walk around alone, leave your valuables at home and watch you belongings and yourself. The nearest metro station is Garibaldi.
Museo Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacan. Kahlo's work is remembered for its ‘pain and passion’. Perhaps she was best known for her self-portraits.
Kahlo had a stormy but passionate marriage with the prominent Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo's work was not widely recognized until decades after her death. Often she was popularly remembered only as Diego Rivera's wife. It was not until the early 1980s, when the artistic movement in Mexico known as Neomexicanismo began, that she became very prominent. Nowadays there’s even a Museo Frida Kahlo.
Kahlo's Casa Azul (Blue House) in Coyoacan in Mexico City, where she lived and worked, was donated by Diego Rivera upon his death in 1957 and is now a museum housing artefacts of her life. Her former home is a popular destination for tourists.
The museum is located at Londres 247 in Coyoacan. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. A standard ticket costs 80 Pesos. The nearest metro station is Coyoacan. A visit to this museum is wonderful in combination with a visit to Plaza Hidalgo and Jardin Centenario which you can see in our Entertainment section.
Xochimilco (½ day)
Xochimilco is a neighbourhood in the south of Mexico City. It is best known for its canals, which are left from what was an extensive lake and canal system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico. These canals attract Mexico City residents and tourists, especially on Sundays.
You have to ride on one of the colourful gondola-like boats called ‘trajineras’ around the 170 km of canals.
You can travel to Xochimilco by public transportation. Take Metro Line 2 to Tasqueña. From there take the Tren Ligero (light rail). The light rail does not accept Metro tickets, so you must buy separate tickets (3 pesos).
Xochimilco is the last station on the light rail line, and the embarcaderos are just a short walk away. Travel time from downtown to Xochimilco by public transportation takes more than one hour.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Mexico City.