Unique things to do in Mexico City

In one of my earlier posts, I had listed down some of my initial thoughts and observations about the exciting, colourful and bustling Mexico City. In this picture story, I will take you through some of the unique things to do in Mexico City. This is my Mexico City travel blog.

Follow along:

The City

Mexico City traffic
This is the first image I captured of Mexico City while seated in a cab driving me from the airport to the hotel I was booked in. It was dusk; there was a slight drizzle, and this scene reminded me of the movie ‘Godfather’ for some reason. I found this old VW Beetle very interesting and hence clicked this image. Later I found that VW Beetle is a ubiquitous vehicle in Mexico City and is known by the nickname ‘Vocho’ around here.
Mexico City Insurgentes Sur view
View of the city from my office. It indeed is a very crowded city.
Teatro de Los Insurgentes
Right next to where I was put up (in City Express Insurgentes Sur hotel) is Teatro de Los Insurgentes – a theatre with a facade that has a mural painted by the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera.
graffiti
Graffiti and paintings adorn almost all walls, shutters and buildings. There’s art just about anywhere in Mexico City.
graffiti
See – what did I say in the caption above. Art is everywhere!
Tepotzotlan
A super-sized bull I saw in a place called Tepotzotlan. Price of a picture with you sitting on the bull: 10 pesos. I, however, saved the 10 pesos and my life by staying as far away from the giant as possible.

Mexico has a very fascinating and violent history. It is exciting to read about the pre-hispanic times and the Spanish conquest led by Hernan Cortes (Read about him here: https://www.livescience.com/39238-hernan-cortes-conqueror-of-the-aztecs.html). While in Mexico City, my friend Ivan shared a book set in those times – a book by Gary Jennings, titled Aztec. It details the Aztecs’ life – the culture, the Gods, the human sacrifices and the conquest. You could buy the book from Amazon by clicking on the link below (it has my affiliate id):

Unique things to do in Mexico City: Turibus Ride

A Turibus ride is the best way to get introduced to this city. These are hop-on, hop-off buses that ply all year round through different routes covering the city’s various attractions. You could choose to site in the lower deck or the open upper deck (keep lots of sunscreens and a hat handy). For more details on the routes, check out their website https://www.turibus.com.mx

Turibus ride Mexico City
Turibus ride – the best way to discover Mexico City’s history, architecture, culture and fabulous cuisine
Turibus ride
Sitting on the upper deck has its own perils – as you see in this image: you have to be ready to dodge branches.
vocho
A view of the city from the bus
faltan 43
Another view I captured while on the Turibus. ‘Where is Mariela’, the graffiti says. I hope she is found.

Coyoacan

Roaming around colourful Coyoacan is one of the unique things to do in Mexico City.

This is a very colourful neighbourhood where I used to spend many a weekend, clicking photographs. The place is vivacious and legendary for being the birthplace of Mexico’s most notable artist Frida Kahlo.

coyoacan mexico city
Walking around Coyoacan is indeed a refreshing experience. Music, aromas of various kinds of food and colours are all around.
unique things to do in Mexico City
A painter in Coyoacan
coyoacan
The fountain in the centre of Coyoacan featuring 2 coyotes
coyoacan
Every other weekend, I saw this person with a different contraption attached to his cycle.
Casa Azul - Frida Kahlo museum
The Frida Kahlo museum. If you plan to visit this place, do book in advance.

The other lovely neighbourhoods that I enjoyed walking around are Roma and Condesa.

Centro Historico (a.k.a Zocalo)

Zocalo is the throbbing historic centre of Mexico City. Walking around Zocalo is the best way to absorb this place’s history, sights, sounds, and smells – another one among the unique things to do in Mexico City.

Palacio de Bellas Artes
The most recognizable structure in Mexico City – the Palacio de Bellas Artes, is a prominent cultural centre.
Limpia in Zocalo
Aztec shaman doing “limpia” (spiritual cleansing) in Zocalo square
Mexico snacks
Even the snacks in Mexico City are colourful!
organ grinder Mexico City
Organ grinders (street musicians) are a common sight all over Mexico City. They live on the tips they receive.
unique things to do in Mexico City
You can get the aroma of meats getting roasted all along the streets.
China Town in Mexico City
The China town near Zocalo
Aztecs
Me, posing between two Aztecs in Zocalo.
Zocalo
There was a photoshoot of these models going on in Zocalo when I visited the place. I joined in and clicked this pic.
jacaranda mexico city
The beautiful Jacaranda trees in full bloom in Mexico’s oldest municipal park – the Almeda central. Apparently, the Jacaranda tree was a gift from one of the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in Mexico.
beautiful picture of mexico city - Palacio de Bellas Artes mexico city
A full view of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which I shot from a coffee shop right across the street.

Parque Hundido

This awesome park was located very close to my hotel, and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this park on Sundays. This is a place where dogs have a separate enclosure where they are let free.

parque hundido mexico city
The park has an awesome jogging track!
parque hundido mexico city
I thoroughly enjoyed watching these playful dogs.
parque hundido mexico city
The park is set below the street level and is a great place for a peaceful stroll.

San Angel

San Ángel is a colourful and picturesque neighbourhood that houses art galleries and artisan markets. The place comes alive on Saturdays for the ‘Bazaar del Sábado’ – where the best handicrafts of the highest quality from all over Mexico can be found. Definitely another one of the unique things to do in Mexico City.

San Angel Mexico city
Notice the cobbled streets
San Angel Mexico city
The Plaza San Jacinto
San Angel Mexico city
I met this amazing artist named Julie inside Plaza San Jacinto. She creates wonderful ceramic and stone art – awesome work indeed!
San Angel Mexico city
Pictured here is a paper-based creation by an artist named Yuri Angel Zarate. He told me that he had given some name to these creatures, but I forget what it is (gimboos or something). ***Update July 2020 – Please see the comments section. The artist has updated the name of his creation and a link to his website.
San Angel Mexico city
A street musician in San Angel
Tamales Mexico city
Tamales for sale in San Angel. A Tamale is a dish made of dough stuffed with fillings and steamed in a corn husk.

Teotihuacan

Located about 40kms off Mexico City, Teotihuacan is the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in Mexico. Teotihuacan’s origins, history, and culture largely remain a mystery, but this city was founded as early as 400 B.C. When the Aztecs found this city in the 1400s and named it Teotihuacan (“the place where the gods were created”), the city had been abandoned for centuries.

The city contains The Pyramid of the Moon, the Pyramid of the Sun, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (the Feathered Serpent) and many smaller pyramids. Human and animal sacrifices were practised here. I took a Turibus tour to this site.

Teotihuacan Mexico city
Decorated streets that lead to the site of the Pyramids. Those paper flags are known as Papel Picado.
Teotihuacan Mexico city
This shot was a stroke of luck. When I was standing around the pyramids wondering how to compose the image, these ladies in Sombreros showed up, and I got them into the frame.
Teotihuacan Mexico city
The temples are constructed in shape similar to the mountains in the background. You can see the Sun temple and the mountain behind it to get an idea.

Xochimilco

Xochimilco – A world heritage site and one of the most lively places in Mexico. Riding the waterways in these brightly painted and decorated trajineras (traditional flat-bottomed boats) is quite an experience indeed.

Xochimilco Mexico city
Hire a boat for about 500 pesos an hour
Xochimilco Mexico city
The colourful boats of Xochimilco
Xochimilco Mexico city
While you navigate through the waterways, you could hire Mariachis to sing for you, listen to Marimba music, or buy food and drinks from vendors.

Mexico City street photography

There is no other city that’s more ideal for street photography than CDMX. The place is so colourful, filled with interesting people and buzzing with activity. I used to roam the streets of Mexico City with my Nikon during the weekends and got some amazing shots. I have posted some pictures above. If you want to order some Mexico City photography prints, please do reach out.

So there. Those were the unique things I did and the places I visited in Mexico City. There’s a lot more to write about the place – the history, the food, the art and the music. But that’s for another day. I hope you enjoyed this brief photo journey.

If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions on this article, please leave your comments below.

If you would like to order high-quality prints of some of the photos I took in Mexico City – including ‘Day of the Dead skulls’ – please visit: https://sampathmk.darkroom.tech

Some of my images are also available on Shutterstock.

You can also watch my Mexico City Vlog on my Youtube channel (link below). If you like the video, please subscribe to my channel.

My Mexico City Vlog

If you liked this post, you may also like my other posts on Mexico City:

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2 thoughts on “Unique things to do in Mexico City”

  1. Hello, I hope you are well. My husband is the artist Yuri Ángel. I remember that you visited us in the garden of art in San Ángel in Mexico City. The character’s name is Chimbo. You can find more of his work at http://www.yuriaz.com We send you a hug.

  2. Heyyyyy! Gracias…what a pleasant surprise, and thank you for commenting here. Yeah, I loved his art – hope you are all well and safe. Thanks for the link; this will help any visitors here to find you. Cheers!

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