A brief overnight layover in Mexico City was just a tease

mexico-city-buildings

On my way to Cuba (Yes, Cuba! More on that trip coming soon…), I had an overnight layover in Mexico City. Twelve hours didn’t allow much time to see the city, especially when seven of them were spent sleeping, but I managed to see quite a bit during my brief visit.

From the gorgeous Palacio de Bellas Artes to the quirky Frida Kahlo Museum to some cool neighborhood parks and restaurants, these were the sights I will remember most from my quick visit to Ciudad de Mexico.

Palacio De Bellas Artes

My travel friend found this beautiful structure and insisted we visit the Palacio de Bellas Artes. This palace of fine arts has an impressive exterior.

palacio-bellas-artes

palacio-de-bellas-artes

Wandering the nearby streets in this area uncovered some charming alleys with neatly-tiled buildings.

mexico city street

tiled building alley

It was a great area for old buildings with character and presence.

old-building

statue-cuidad-mexico

Riot police were waiting on the street next to Bellas Artes. This didn’t make sense at the time, since there was nothing going on. But apparently there have been many protests at that location from teachers unions in the past.

mexico-city-police-riot-gear

Roma Norte and Condesa neighborhoods

I stayed in an AirBnb on the cusp of the Roma Norte and Condesa neighborhoods. These are described as cool, modern areas, and that was certainly the case. I saw plenty of gourmet cupcake and gelato shops in the area. It felt just like a hip part of any U.S. city.

mexico-door

ciudad-mexico-calle

Any good hipster neighborhood has to have some unusual street art.

street-art-mural

One shop that caught my attention was a store dedicated entirely to the Beatles! They sold memorabilia, music, and other collectibles.

abbey-rock-shop

Soooo much fresh fruit.

fruit-market

The night was chilly and rainy. For dinner, we ended up at La Clandestina, a mezcal bar around the corner from our room that lived up to its good reviews. (Yelp is solid in Mexico City, in case you were wondering.)

mezcal-display

Frida Kahlo Museum

Anyone who is familiar with Mexican art knows the name Frida Kahlo. The famous painter (1907-1954) spent most of her life in Mexico City in a house that is now the Frida Kahlo Museum. She grew up here, lived here with her husband Diego Rivera, and died here.

The museum features her work and the work of others. Many of its rooms have been preserved to show how she and her husband lived.

frida-kahlo-museum

kahlo-museum-art

stone-art

interior kahlo museum

A word to the wise: Get here early if you plan on visiting. The line gets very long very fast.

The parks

Parque Mexico is one of the biggest green spaces in the city. It had duck ponds, an outdoor exercise gym, a dog park, and a big open plaza where dozens of kids were playing soccer.

statue-park

bathroom-art-parque-mexico

soccer-in-plaza

park-ducks

ducks-walking

Nearby was Plaza Popocatepetl, another green space smaller and closer to where I stayed.

plaza-popocatepetl

More Mexico City sights from around the city

Having already been to Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Tijuana, and northern Mexico along the Texas border, Mexico City was the last major region I hadn’t yet explored. I’ve been wanting to go there forever, and this trip gave me just a tiny taste.

Now I can’t wait to go back. I’m considering moving there for a month or two in early 2017 and working as a digital nomad!

Mexico City was extremely modern. Every park had composting bins, and even Burger King (I always visit foreign fast food joints out of curiosity, don’t judge) had recycling bins. Bike sharing pods were everywhere, and the Mexico City subway is extensive with several different lines across the city.

ecobici-bike-share

mexico-city-subway-metro

I wasn’t expecting to see a mural of someone like Mumia Abu-Jamal in Mexico City, but there it was.

mumia-abu-jamal

I like how the crosswalk dudes wore hats and walked dogs.

crosswalk-dude-dog

This guy played music at an intersection using one of those old-timey carnival instruments.

carnival-instrument

A few more random sights from around the city.

pink-taxis

sillas-&-mesas

radio-shack-mcdonalds

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Chicago-based journalist and blogger who seeks out quirky sights and awesome destinations throughout North America and beyond.

2 comments on “A brief overnight layover in Mexico City was just a tease

  1. My boyfriend was just talking about us taking a trip to Mexico City, so I appreciate all these suggestions of neighborhoods and places to eat. Looks like a beautiful place. Not at all how I imagined it to look.

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