Around Town, Mexico City
This is a double decker panoramic bus that makes a great tour comprising the most popular tourist spots in Mexico City (original tour goes through Downtown, Zona Rosa, Condesa, Polanco, Chapultepec -- but a new route has been opened, more info below) with an European concept: ticket valid all day long and the opportunity to get on and off the bus as many times as you want at any of the fixed bus stops.
You can buy tickets valid for 1, 2 or 3 (consecutive) days, and the children and senior citizens get a special discounted price. The regular price for a 1 day ticket is $125 MXN (about USD $10) on weekdays and $145 MXN on weekends and holidays - per person. If you buy 2 or 3 day passes the daily fare is cheaper, of course.
The entire tour takes about 3 hours (without getting off the bus), but it could be longer because of the traffic and depending on the time of the day you take it. They have a recorded description of the whole tour and important spots/monuments along the way in 6 different languages: spanish, english, french, german, italian and japanese (and you can see a brief paragraph with the main terms & conditions of the tour at their website in these languages as well -- URL provided below), ear phones and small maps with the routes and bus stops are provided on board and are included in the ticket fee (see picture of the maps: these are sponsored so you can get discounts in some places with them, such as the Torre Latinoamericana).
Fondest memory: The Turibus used to have only 1 route but a second one has been opened recently, as well as a night tour on weekends. The new route goes through some of our main attractions/neighborhoods in the southern part of the city, such as Coyoacan, San Angel and the National University area. All tickets are valid for both routes, so you can make a whole 5-6 hour tour through most part of the city for the price of a single ticket. Good deal uh!? The night tour is more expensive (it's purchased separately) and runs from 9 PM to 3 AM, THU-SAT.
I haven't tried the new route yet, but I took the original tour and loved it. You really get to see some of our nicest streets, buildings and monuments and get a general feeling of what the city is like. Plus, you can use this bus as a means of transportation between any important spots you plan to visit and thus save $$ in taxi rides. The bus runs from 9 AM to 9 PM, Monday through Sunday. Keep in mind though: once you leave the bus you might have to wait for the next one to pass by for around 30-45 mins. On the 2nd route the waiting time in between buses is longer.
The original tour starts at the Auditorio Nacional in Chaultepec/Reforma area, but you can hop in at any of the fixed stops - marked with a poster - and buy your ticket on board, and if you get down and ride a different bus later you just show your ticket & wrist band to the staff.
For further details you can visit:
The official site (first URL) is now updated with info about the newest route and has an English version....... The second one makes a very brief description of both routes and is only in Spanish.
The longest avenue in whole Latin America starts in Basilica zone, north edge of the city, to lead us to the Tlalpan District, south edge of the city, and it is often intersected by other important streets, so you will find heavy traffic at all times.
It is one of the most important avenues of the city, that has parks, public squares and monuments, shopping centers, restaurants and bars, offices and bussines centers, hotels, apartments and residences, schools and universities, theatres, cinemas, museums, cultural centers and exhibition halls...
From downtown to the north there are a lot of popular, even dangerous, nighborhoods and the only one important place for a tourist travel could be the Basilica de Guadalupe (Basilica of Guadalupe).
There are many important neighborhoods and Districts along and arround Insurgentes Av. from downtown to the south such as Del Valle and N?poles, Roma, Hip?dromo, Condesa, Escand?n, Mixcoac, Guadalupe Inn, San Angel and others.
There is also the Ciudad Universitaria (University City) and the Cuicuilco archeological site.
Some of this neighborhoods have turned into the most prestigious of Mexico City thanks to its central location and pleasant mood that reflect the cosmopolitan air of the zone. Others have a traditional mood and ancient history, others a bohemian air or an intelectual character.
To sume up, Insurgentes Av. is a place to discover and enjoy Mexico City in a friendly way.
i've stayed in town for 4 days only, and so was recommened to take a city tour. it was a good choice.
the tour is divided into two parts; city centre and the southern neighbourhood. the city centre is Zocalo, Condesa, Zona Rosa, Polanco and the tour is way much bigger. i haven't been to the south, so don't know much really. however, each tour may last approximately for 3 hours, total of 6 hours if you continue to be on the bus. you can feel free and hop off and on anytime you wish up from 9 to 9.
you'll be given a headset so you can listen to a tour guide on each area you pass by, either in spanish or english.
Fondest memory: i took the bus from zocalo where i stayed. since i was on my own, my eyes automatically lied on someone on their own as well. she had a seat on the fifth row on the right. i had mine 2 or 3 rows after hers, shying away.
it was a nice a lift in the beginning but then i said i'd do something and have a company. so i used my oldest and best trick ever; i suddenly got lost and was looking for the place on the map i was given, just randomly asking,
"hoy senora, hablo ingles?" pleaing for a tourist-related help.
"oui, je palrez espanol" a lady with a mexican feature replied
eventually i ended up with a mexican lady who spoke french and couldn't speak english. i was surprised - what a combination. she turned to be married to a french guy and living in france, and visting her family in mexico. we hopped off, had a nice mexican lunch, while communicating with malretarded french and disabled spanish. it was such a great fun
Modernism was characterized by magnificent skyscrapers that sprung up in neighborhoods such as Polanco, one of the most exclusive and famous neighborhoods of Mexico City.
This zone is a large residential area west from downtown - across from Chapultepec Park - and distinguished by its cultural diversity, because in this zone live foreign comunities mainly from Europe and Middle East.
Mexican culture in all its manifestations can be admired at the quality museums that can be found in Polanco, Also, this neighborhood offers the visitor entertainment possibilities during the day and at night.
In addition, its sophisticated way of life is carachterizated by the amount of trendy restaurants, nightspots, shopping malls, designer shops, art galleries, chic boutiques and the first class hotels that gives to this zone a cosmopolitan character.
Developed in 1903 as a high-end neighborhood, it originally was filled with eclectic mansions and art nouveau buildings; it started to decline in the 1940s and between the 1970s-1990s it was impoverished. This area had a big proportion of its original architecture replaced by mediocre international-style buildings; however, there are still hundreds of the original structures surviving, featuring beatifully sculptured stone façades and giving an old-times feel to the area. Today Colonia Roma is experiencing a revival, with open-air cafes, and many restored buildings.
Walk over Orizaba Ave., between Luis Cabrera Square and Rio de Janeiro Square to get a taste of one of the city's most famous neighborhoods. Colonia Roma has a very central location (it is immediately south of Zona Rosa).
For those interested in literature: This neighborhood was the home of William Burroughs the three years he lived in Mexico City; his apartment (and where he killed his wife) is at 122 Monterrey Ave.
In my opinion, to see Mexico City start on the Zocalo. There is lots to see within easy walking distance. (National palace, Catedral, Templo Mayor, Alemeda park, Bellas Artes, Garibaldi Plaza and much more.) This is the cultural and political center of the city. I would suggest a hotel on the Zocalo if you have the money or within a few blocks which allows you to see these things at your leasure.
Fondest memory: Was it the day I was locked in the Ministry of Education with the Diego Rivera paintings and 15 classes of elementary school children? Or was it the night and early morning when I learned you should not avoid a high quality club when it might have the four most beautiful flamenco dancers from Grenada (usually there is only one out of a group four who can dance and is beautiful), Or was it the evening with 3 mariachi bands playing three different songs simultaneously in the Tenampa club on the mariachi plaza with the patrons singing along with the band closest to their table. Or was it when the fat lady patron sang to us at the restaurant "Fondo de Recuerdos" at 3 in the afternoon on a Monday before a flight home. I have years of these and other memories, and I could never chose the best.
Today you can visit el Museo Nacional de Antropologia located in the Bosque de Chapultepec (be sure to spend 2 to 3 hours there, since the museum is so big you can spend the whole day there). Then go to Coyoacan: have a walk in Plaza Hidalgo, visit La Casa azul de Frida Kahlo and take the trainway to hear about the history of this colony.
Today you will visit la Plaza de las tres culturas, la Basilica de Guadalupe, then you can have a walk, coffee and go shopping in Condesa and San Angel, at night have a quick look at the mariachi revelation in Plaza Garibaldi.
Central district is a very interesting and beautiful part of the city. The churches, ruins, buildings and people were all great. It was very easy to get around the entire city. I spent 6 days walking, eating great cheap food, taking tours in the city.
Fondest memory: Went to visit a friend there. Found a great dentist and had major work done for about %10 of what it would cost here. Saved $10000
In mexico city you must visit Xochimilco on a sunday where you can enjoy nice mariachi music drink a nice tequila all this during a lovely boattrip. a very juvenile and nice hang out stop is the barrio de La Condesa.
Fondest memory: I must say that my fondest memory has been my all vistit because I had the luck to have a personal guide who offered me his house who introduced me to his family, who showed me his country in all his aspects. I have now mexico in my house as my personal guide has become my boyfriend.
Favorite thing: Spend a Saturday walking from Coyoacan to San Angel. Coyoacan has a beautiful, diverse, and exceptionally clean covered market. The central square always has a festive atmosphere, and there are often Reggae bands playing (though primarily on Sundays). The Frida Kahlo 'Blue House' should not be missed. The walk to San Angel is about 30-40 minutes, but a nice change from the hustle of central Mexico City. Once in San Angel, the artist markets will take up most of your time. Restaurant La Mora, on the left just past Plaza San Jacinto, is a great way to get a birds-eye view of the markets while eating tasty, inexpensive Mexican food.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, sampling the local beer is definite must!!!
What do the locals drink, what beer is most popular, which beer is hardest to find, does it come in a half pint glass just like grandma used to drink…or better still, a full pint glass like I drink??? These are all good questions that need to be answered...
Politicians and Partisans aside, raise a beer to the Mexican Flag… Although my all time favorite Mexican beer is Tecate, which I particularly like ice cold and from a can, I found myself hitting the Negra Modelo quite often during my last trip through Mexico…
It seems there are two major Mexican breweries crafting a variety of brands in Mexico; Modelo (Corona, Modelo, etc.) and Moctezuma (Sol, Dos Equis, etc.). So, whichever brewery happens to sponsor the bar you happen to be in will dictate which brands are available….
For some reason, I was always in a bar controlled by Modelo....whether I was drinking in the hard rock club Mundo Corona in Cd. del Carmen, Campeche, an even more seedy strip club in Paraiso, Tabasco or the Salon Corona in the D.F., Negra Modelo was there and it was my friend…
Favorite thing: I always enjoy roaming the markets, though I rarely ever buy anything. Mexico City has many, many markets of course, but I really like the market area that spreads north, south, and east from the Templo Mayor. It is very big and often very crowded with lots of nik-nak to check out.
Visit Coyoacan and San Angel neighborhoods; until the middle of XXth century they were small towns outside the metropolitan area (about 15km south of downtown), which later engulfed them. They have preserved a more traditional little-town Mexican architecture with (mostly) quiet streets. Walk over Francisco Sosa Street to watch traditional balconies and stop in Santa Catarina Garden. The house of the painter Frida Kahlo, now a museum, is located on 247 Londres St. (almost at the corner of Allende St.); it can be an interesting place from an etnological point of view, however if you want to watch her paintings you should go to the Museum of Modern Art in Chapultepec Park; the house has very few paintings.
For those interested in literature: This neighborhood was the home of Gabriel Garcia Marquez when he lived in Mexico City; One hundred years of solitude was written here.
Visit the cathedral of the virgin of the Guadalupe.
Walk aong the paseo de la reforma
Visit the fantastic anthropological museum
Shopping in the 'zona rosa'
Take a stop in the chapultepec park
Visit the central square
Go to Teotihuacan and visit the famous Pyramids of the moon and of the sun.
Fondest memory: The enormous size of the city.