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Monday,  May 27, 2024 12:28 AM 

5 ways to discover Mexico City during the Day of the Dead

5 ways to discover Mexico City during the Day of the Dead

The oldest capital city of the Americas, Mexico City is a thriving metropolis and a unique touristic destination for its neighborhoods, museums and Aztec heritage. With Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) taking place throughout cities in Mexico on Nov. 2, here are a few more ways to rediscover Mexico City this winter.

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The Centro Histórico

Mexico City’s historic city centre, Centro Histórico, features the largest plaza in Latin America, called the Zócalo. The square can fit 100,000 people and connects to many side streets and neighbourhoods, making it the perfect meeting spot. Most of Mexico City’s downtown was founded by Aztecs, and a good majority of the structures have been preserved.

Centro Histórico, with its gardens and bustling streets. Photo: Flickr, Javier Castañón 

Fall in love with arts and culture

The Palacio des Bellas Artes, located on the western side of Mexico City, is an impressive structure affectionately called the Cathedral of Art in Mexico. The interior reflects the Art Deco style, as well as a series of murals commissioned by the famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera. Many theatrical plays, dance recitals, concerts, and events take place here. There are many museums in Mexico City, including the Frida Kahlo Museum which was built in Casa Azul, the artist’s childhood home.

Palacio des Bellas Artes. Photo: Flickr, Rogelio A. Galaviz C.

Discover Mexico's impressive ancient ruins

For travellers seeking a more historic adventure, one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets lies just an hour outside of Mexico City. The sheer volume of history in Mexico City means that there are still Mayan and Aztec ruins scattered throughout the country, some dating back to 2000 B.C. In the northeast end of Mexico City, an ancient Mesoamerican city called Teotihuacan can be found. 

Meaning 'the birthplace of the gods', the archaeological site features the ruins of a series of temples and several pyramids dating back to the first millennium A.D. The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest structure in Teotihuacan and the Pyramid of the Moon is the second-largest, where travellers can climb to the top.

Teotihuacan, a short drive from Mexico City

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos 

Although Mexico’s old ruins and history are quite a sight, modern-day Mexico City is in a league of its own, especially when it comes to big parties. Dia de los Muertos, or ‘Day of the Dead’, is perhaps one of the most well-known festivals that takes place not just in Mexico City, but throughout the entire country. 

Rather than mourn the dead, in Mexico, Dia de los Muertes celebrates the lives of the deceased through parades and festivals, and thousands take to the streets dressed in colourful costumes, face paint, and masks depicting the traditional Mexican La Catrina figure.

Shop local in the Ciudadela Market 

Right in the centre of Mexico City, visitors can’t miss the Ciudadela Market, a local artisan market that’s been operating since 1968. The market is home to 350 vendors, who come from 22 regions in Mexico to promote local art. Those who visit the market can expect to find everything from pottery, to hammocks, textiles, hand-made jewellery, and even musical instruments.

Dine on tacos, tequila, and gourmet eats

As far as food is concerned, Mexico City is a lot more than tacos and tequila, and it’s far from street food. Sure, you can still find stalls peddling hot and juicy tamales, but Mexico City has its fair share of swanky establishments meant for fine-dining, too, and visitors can find everything from gourmet tacos to Mexican street corn.

For more ways to discover Mexico, click here