top 20 different things to do
in Mexico City
If you need reasons to visit Mexico City, then we've got them in bucket loads: from the food to the nightlife, as well as the museums, art, culture and people. This is the reason we put together a bunch of activities to help you out if you don't know where to start.
LA ISLA DE LAS MUÑECAS
An island filled with hundreds of hanging, decomposing, decapitated dolls. Creepy! There is a disturbing story of La Isla de las Muñecas: Over fifty years ago, Don Julian Santana left his wife and child and moved onto an island in the Xochimilco canals. According to the legend, a young girl actually drowned in the lake. Others say Don Julian merely imagined the drowned girl. Regardless, Don Julian devoted his life to honoring the girl´s soul: he collected and placed the dolls. Eventually he transformed the entire island into a bizarre doll wonderland.
This magical place is located in the Xochimilco borough 17 miles south of the center. The best way to get there is to leave from Embarcadero Cuemanco, you can take an uber from La Palomilla
MERCADO DE SONORA
For anything that ails you, there’s a solution in the Mercado Sonora, the largest esoteric market in Mexico and a must see for those interested in mysticism. Local vendors have an answer to any of life’s troubles in the form of a holy water or a different ritual. These beliefs are usually practiced by people who also practice catholicism, an interesting phenomena with the most incredible rituals and part of our heritage.
To get there from La Palomilla we suggest you to take an uber.
Located in the north of Mexico City, the massive Biblioteca Vasconcelos was designed by Alberto Kalach and completed in 2007 after three years of construction. This temple of knowledge is generally referred to as a megalibrary both for its size and the undeniable sense of importance conveyed by the structure itself.
The transparent walls, the intentionally slightly mismatched floors and intricate networks of balconies and paths between replicating stacks let visitors get lost in the worlds contained within the books themselves.
To get there you can from La Palomilla take Metrobus Álvaro Obregón to Buenavista station.
THE MUMMIES AT MUSEO DEL CARMEN
This building that used to house a monastery school now contains a collection of Colonial religious art. In the crypt below the school you can find 12 mummified bodies of former parishioners. The bodies were left in the crypt after the school was abandoned in 1861. Due to soil conditions the bodies dehydrated and naturally mummified. In 1929 the mummies were placed in a velvet lined wood and glass casket that you can still see today. In 2012 the crypt was fully restored and opened to the public.
The Museo del Carmen is located in the south of the city and to get there you can take the Metro to Miguel Ángel de Quevedo. The nearest Metro from La Palomilla is Metro Sevilla or Metro Chapultepec.
MUSEO DEL JUGUETE ANTIGUO
This extensive toy collection was started by Roberto Shimizu Kinoshita at the age of 10. It gives curious visitors an alternative history of the country’s culture, told exclusively through its toys. The collection runs from the 19th century to the 1980s, with a particular emphasis on toys popular in Mexico. You’ll be surprised to see there are loads of non Mexican toys fans can appreciate.
The first floor houses a gift shop that is a bit more organized than the museum. They sell vintage toys to support the museum, thus giving visitors an opportunity to start a collection of their own. The Museo del Juguete Antiguo is located in Colonia Doctores, you can find it if you look for the building with the huge mural on the side. From La Palomilla take Metro Sevilla to Metro Obrera.
A not very well known spot, but a destination that includes all the key features of a good Instagram photo, the Kiosko Morisco is in Santa María de la Ribera neighborhood. Constructed entirely from Steel, this masterpiece is well-known for the gorgeously Islamic-inspired geometric patterns thath curl around the 44 external and eight internal pillars, as well as the ceiling and roof, which are topped by the dainty glass dome and broze Eagle. Definitely one attraction your Instagram can’t miss.
To get there from La Palomilla you can take the Metrobus Álvaro Obregón to the Buenavista station.
ESPACIO ESCULTÓRICO AT CIUDAD UNIVERSITARIA
The Espacio Escultórico is another hugely popular Instagram location in the city because its minimalist, geometric metal sculptures that you’ll find there make for excellent photo fodder and are also incredibly cool to see up close. Its objective is to represent the cosmos with reference to the prehispanic culture, for that reason the figures were created by seven artists that belong to the movement of Aesthetic Geometry. Take your cellphone there and make some cool photos.
From La Palomilla you can take Metro Sevilla or Metro Chapultepec to Metro Universidad.
THE VIEW FROM LA TORRE LATINOAMERICANA
Your visit to Mexico City couldn’t be complete whitout popping up to the Miralto bar at the top of the towering Torre Latinoamericana that offers an amazing view of the historic centre. It is widely recognized internationally as an engineering and architectual landmark.
From this point you can even sneak a peek at the distinctive blue roof of the Basílica de Guadalupe in the north.
To get there you can take Metro Sevilla or Metro Chapultepec to Metro Bellas Artes.
Carlos Slim’s architecturally impressive, geometric art gallery, Museo Soumaya, is a favorite with Instagram users. This ostentatiously modern building is not only amazing from the outside but the inside, has a cool interior design that allows the visitor to ascend or descend in a Instagrammable spiral of wide walkways.
To get there you can take an uber from La Palomilla.
Coyoacán could be the most Instagram-friendly neighbourhood in Mexico City, in terms of Street art at least. From museums that have well-known and large scale murals to the religious inspired street art images you can find throughout this sprawling zone, it’s like an Instagrammer’s dream.
To get there from La Palomilla you can take Metro Sevilla or Metro Chapultepec to Metro Coyoacán.
SAN JUAN MARKET
The San Juan Market in downtown Mexico City is among the most prestigious and well regarded public markets anywhere in this City. Its not just a public marketplace, but a true gastronomic experience. You will find things that you simply cannot find in most other markets like imported European grocery items and many domestic Mexican ingredients. In recent years many of the market dealers have started selling prepared sandwiches and light lunches, often with free or very reasonably priced wines. This is the perfect place to grab lunch during your visit around the city.
To get there you can take an uber from La Palomilla.
MUSEO DEL OBJETO DEL OBJETO
Food packages, vintage pharmaceuticals, soda bottles, clothing, toys, advertisements, shoe polish… you name it, the Museo del Objeto del Objeto(MODO) probably has it. MODO’s collection of almost 100,000 objects comes second to the museum’s primary goal of serving as a homage to the collector in all of us. The oldest object in the museum dates back to 1810. All in all, the collection provides an intriguing look at the design of the relatively mundane ítems people have interacted with on a daily basis over the past 200 years.
To get there you can walk from La Palomilla, MODO is in our neighborhood.
FUENTE DE TLÁLOC
Just five years before his death, Diego Rivera finished one of his most intriguing works, la Fuente de Tláloc. This massive tiled fountain beautifully captures the essence of the Native Mexican spirit and art that is so often depicted in his paintings. Created at the head of the Lerma River leading out to the city’s reservoirs, Rivera created a sculpture of the god of Rain, Tláloc, that covered a pool 100 feet wide. Along with the fountain, Rivera also built and decorated the Cárcamo, a massive tank that diverted water through the fountain.
This place is in the heart of the Chapultepec park. To get you there from La Palomilla you can take a nice walk or take a short uber ride.
Cine Ópera was one of the largest, most grandiose movie theaters in Mexico from its inauguration in 1949, during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, until it shut down in 1998. Still abandoned, the crumbling facade is a gloomy yet visually stunning testament to the glamorous peak of the country’s film industry. Located in Colonia San Rafael- a neighborhood that was once known for its stage and movie theaters, but later fell on hard times and became something of a red light district. Recently, this neighborhood has seen a resurgence, but Cine Ópera still sits empty and abandoned, its Art Deco architecture and artifacts decaying.
To get there from La Palomilla you can take Metro Sevilla to Metro San Cosme.
CABEZA DE JUÁREZ
Designed in a purposefully illustrative style, the Cabeza de Juárez is an over-sized tribute to one of Mexico’s most beloved presidents. Built in the mid-70’s, the museum and its iconic head were constructed to reflect the angular, graphic style of many Mexican painters. The square arch that the head rests upon stands 40 feet tall and holds the museum itself and is completely covered by a colorful mural. The murals both inside and outside the colosal monument tell the story ot the life of Benito Juarez who was president of Mexico from 1857-1872. A spiral staircase takes one up inside the head to a permanent exhibition that includes paintings by Tamayo, Rivera and Siqueiros.
To get there from La Palomilla you can take Metro Sevilla to Metro Guelatao.
Templo Mayor was the centerpiece of Tenochtitlán, the ancient Aztec capital, constructed in 1325. The temple was mowed over and replaced by the cathedral during the Spanish conquest in 1521. Today, the overwhelming stone ruins lie at the heart of Centro Histórico. Surrounded by streets and buildings, it is not hard to imagine the temples in their original Aztecan glory.
To get there from La Palomilla you can take Metro Sevilla or Metro Chapultepec to Metro Pino Suarez, and then walk to the Zócalo.
TRAJINERAS DE XOCHIMILCO
South of the city you’ll witness the closest approximation to the Valley of Mexico before the arrival of the Spaniards. Start at the Embarcadero Belem dock to board a colorful boat called trajinera, and explore the waterways and artificial islands or chinampas. The perfect place to enjoy the spring in the city. To get there you can take an uber from La Palomilla to Embarcadero de Cuemanco.
Close to La Palomilla in Roma Norte there’s a dance club that looks the like a dumpy warehouse hidden behind a black gate. It is actually the perfect place to party and have a blast. You’ll find an eclectic mix of party-goers showing off their moves in dance circles to all kinds of music, from ’80s and ’90s classics to Hi-NRG and electro. Remember to come on a Friday, because it´s the only day it’s open. To get there you can take an uber from La Palomilla.
5 FESTIVALS YOU MUST EXPERIENCE IN MEXICO CITY
In Mexico City there are many yearly festivals, from film fests to three-day music fests.. Where to begin? Well, we’ve made this short guide to our favorite five. So, whether you are a culture fan or an artistic person, you’ll know exactly which event you need to get a ticket for right now.
Ambulante Film Festival
Ambulante is a documentary film festival that makes its anual stop in Mexico City around the first semester of the year. It puts on a wide variety of documentary films. You can see them at screenings, workshops and panels at distinct locations across the city. If you are a big fan of Gael García or Diego Luna, this festival is a must-see because they are two of Ambulante’s original founders and often show up at events. The perfect festival for documentary film fans.
Many of the screenings take place in our neighborhood, so you can easily get there from La Palomilla.
Foto: Conciertos México
A very cool option for music people is definitely the Vive Latino festival. For two days, this established event brings together the best Latin music performers on the scene for a massive concert series at Foro Sol. With a broad scope of musical talents and genres on the roster each year; they recently begun to invite big name non-latin artists too, so this is a mix of music which guarantees a great experience.
To get there from La Palomilla you can use the Metro from Sevilla station to Puebla station.
Foto: My Art Guides
If you are more of an art person, the contemporary art festival Zona Maco can be your kind of event in Mexico City. This takes place during the chillier months of the year; during early February to be precise. For three days some of the city’s best and most prestigious art galleries put on special exhibitions focusing on contemporary artwork, opening their doors to the festival goers. Don’t forget your smartphone. (Lots of Instagrammable moments).
This event is located in north of the city, to get there you can take an Uber from La Palomilla.
Foto: La Silla Rota
One of our favorite options for music festival lovers, probably one of the capital’s most popular music events: Corona Capital. Each autumn this festival brings together a diverse set of performers from across the world and puts on an amazing live show. (Think Coachella but with more cement). If you are in the city this is a festival you can’t miss it, if you don’t have any plans this fall, you already know where the hippest music festival will happen.
To get there from La Palomilla you can take Metro from Sevilla station to Puebla station.
Festival del Día de Muertos
One of Mexico’s biggest cultural events, the day of the dead, has its very own festival in Mexico City: El Festival del día de Muertos. Each year Coyoacán (a neighborhood in the south of the City) hosts a celebration in its park where you can taste tamales and atole, the traditional meal of the season. From late October to early November you can observe the sacred traditions and pay your respects to the dead.
To get there from La Palomilla you can take an Uber.
Now you know what you can do from January to December in the city- so we hope to see you here and even better have you at our home, La Palomilla also your house. Welcome home, Mexico City is waiting for you!