In the government building called Palacio Nacional are murales of Diego Rivera worth a visit. They start at a staircase and then proceed to the right of the building.
After you feasted your eyes on this lovely work of Rivera, walk behind the palace. There is a garden, benches, trees and in the middle of the historical center you can find a spot of solitude.
Bathrooms available too!
The Palacio Nacional is located in the Zocalo. It houses the offices of the president and many of Diego Rivera's murals. The largest mural is above the stairs near the gates and was painted between 1929 and 1935 in the aftermath of the Revolution. There are many amazing murals throughout the palace.
There are hundreds of vendors all around Zocalo selling handmade souvenirs and crafts. You can anything from handmade jewelry, to ceramic Aztec calendars, to watches, to even cell phone holders. All that shopping might make you thirsty, but I wouldn't recommend buying anything to drink from the vendors. They sell bottled sodas 3 for $1.00, but my cousin told me they fill half of the bottles with water.
This is just a shot of the street at the Zocalo. The traffic is crazy and all you see is a sea of VW bugs. To the left of the picture is a partial shot of the Palacio Nacional where the president's offices are located.
Another of the murals by Rivera in the National Palace. Sometimes his politics and his love interests overshadow the fact that he painted remarkably beautiful murals.
See the web site below for an extensive account of his art, his politics, and his wives.
The center of the city is probably the essence of mexican culture, here you can find many must-see attractions.
Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution square)
The central square where you can find the Metropolitan cathedral, the Government Palace and Templo mayor in La plaza de las tres culturas that's what's left of the ancient aztec city: Tenochtitlan (destroyed by the spanish conquerors in 1512). Plaza de la constitución square is the actual zocalo, where many free concerts take place in numerous festivals, you can also see many ambulant vendors who sell all sorts of mexican food and souvenirs(it is not reccomended to eat on the street). Here you can also see a representation of ancient aztec dancers or various ceremonies such as the celebration of the independence day.
The Palacio Nacional stretches the entire length of the Zocalo. It is located on the left side of the square (if you are facing the Catedral). The palace sits on the former site of Moctezuma's palace, but nowadays houses the headquarters of the Presidents administration. Inside there are murels by Diego Rivera, gardens, and a few museums. Security will keep you away from any offical areas the public is not allowed to go. Best of all this attraction is free, you just need to show some Id to security in the entrance.
This was the first church built in New Spain, The material was taken directly from the fallen Aztec capital. Now it is the centerpiece of the Zocalo in Mexico City. The Catedral is massive and best of all free to enter. It is possible to climb the bell tower to get a great view of the Zocalo for a small fee.
There are so many places to visit in Mexico City, and I'll try to speak about them separately so you can appreciate some of the pictures I got.
First there's downtown, with its main square called the Zocalo which has a huge flag standing in the middle (as you already saw in the main page), and one of the main buildings you'll find around it (both for its beauty and its importance in the Mexican political life) is the Government Palace, as well as lots of other old and nice colonial buildings. In the Government Palace you can see many great murals depicting the history of Mexico.
There are many museums in this area and even an underground archaeological zone you must visit: the Templo Mayor ruins, which are just next to the Government Palace.
This picture is one of the pics I made myself! The view from the top of the Cathedral is quite good as you may see!
An extremely large square with a fantastic cathedral (and loads of tourists).
A good place to buy souvenirs.
Standing in front of the cathedral, head right and you'll find some kind of permanent fleamarket, which seems to be bigger than most City's I've been to. We've been strolling through it for hours, but we couldn't find another end. They mostly sell clothes.
The Zocalo is a place you must visit if you're going to Mexico City. The buildings are beautiful, especially the cathedral. You can walk around the Governor's palace which has interesting murals inside (but lots of soldiers with machine guns!). We decided to take a picture on the fountain but when we crossed the chain (bad idea!) all those machine gun toting guys ran at us! So don't do that.
Anyways, Templo Mayor is right off of the Zocalo and is worth a visit. The outside is mostly reconstructed and not terribly impressive but the museum inside is much better. I would not advise using a guide for the outside. We did and he talked forever and it was really hot out.... I would walk though the outside at your own pace, if you want to speed through, no problem. But take some time inside, I think it's worth it.
Go inside the cathedral it's fairly impressive inside as well. Definitly take some time to wander the streets around the area. But don't hang around too late as we heard that it gets dangerous when it's late. But you must see the Zocalo all lit up at night! Also nearby is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which is pretty interesting too. It has more big murals and lots of different art exhibits.
Three hotels on Monte De Dieado have rooftop restuarants that over look the Zocolo. A perfect place to quench your thirst from the warm Mexican sun and snap some photos.
Best Western Majestic
Howard Johnson Grand Hotel
The third largest public square in the world (Behind Tiannamen and Red Square), the zocalo is adorned with an enormous Mexican Flag..think back to the opening scene of the movie Traffic,,,
Lots of activity here and a great meeting point..
"Meet me at the flag..."
Family groups dancing at the sound of a flute... From the oldest to the youngest, everyone dressed in a prehispanic costume... You´ll find them in almost every touristic spot, and well... They will ask you for money... But the dance and the music are nice and the experience is better...
While in Mexico City you can do anything you want it is a 20million plus people megacity with everything you can think to do.
But you must go a visit Mexico's "Centro Histórico" downtown and see the cathedral, national palace and all the very old buildings down there. To get to see some very nice Mexico city aerial pictures go the the page below