For everyone that is interested in the history and deep culture of Mexico City: Centro is the place to start your visit with. This is the place where you can get lost in time: surrounded by historic landmarks dating back to the era of the Aztecs. Just walking through the streets transports you deep into the society of Mexico and helps you to understand the incredible mix of cultures that this country is built on.
Zócalo plaza is filled with visitors of the Metropolitan Cathedral, which can be a mouth-full when reading out the full name: The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.
For visitors like me that are more interested in the art and culture of the Aztecs, the “Templo Mayor” is what really draws me to the area. Even though there is not much left of the temple, because most of it’s stone was used to build the cathedral, the surrounding and history of the area allow you to get an understanding of the culture and history. The Greater Temple was the main temple of the capital city Tenochtitlan (which is now Mexico City) of the Mexica people.
But my absolute favorite building in Centro is the Palacio de Bellas Artes. The sun plays joyfully with the colors of the dome. These art deco elements make the building unforgettable. It is absolutely worth to get a ticket to the ballet and enjoy the Palacio in its fullest architectural composition. The building is also known for its murals by artists such as Diego Rivera and Siqueiros. It hosts many exhibitions and theatrical performances by the Ballet Folklórico de México. If you are time constricted and want to enjoy the best view of the Palacio just go up to the cafe terrace of the Sears building across the road and enjoy the full view of this magnificent building. The details of this building will take your breath away.
The streets around Centro are full of people and it is one of the few areas in the cities were the size of the population actually becomes very clear. Especially Calle Madero, which allows pedestrian-only. The streets also filled with street vendors and basic taquerias which coexist in harmony with high-end restaurants along the bustling streets.
It is the harmony of the Art Deco buildings and the elements of the Azekt area that make Centro such a great travel memory. These are the elements that make Mexico unique, not just in preserving history, but also architecture. Many of the architectural elements can be found in Europe but had to be rebuilt, while most of the buildings in Mexico are in their original state. And never forget, this is the country of fiestas and colors. Everything is being celebrated and decorated. Make sure that you have enough storage with you for taking photos, because there is one thing that I can promise you: You will never run out of pictures sights.
Another great stop in Centro is Cafe de Tacuba. Doesn’t matter if you need a coffee break or lunch, you will certainly enjoy it. And don’t forget to take a look at Finca Don Porfirio Juarez. The building with its tile art is more than impressive. The food can be -depending on the day- excellent to just average. The surrounding -Planta Baja Restaurant- is a great place to visit for its court-yard and beautiful trees, but of course also for their very unique desserts.
Palacio Postal is another piece of grand Architecture that can be visited in walking distance. The old post office is still fully functioning. The beautiful architectural work and a grand staircase make this building an absolute piece of art. Just keep opening hours under consideration and remember that Sundays some places might be closed within the city.