At about 5 in the morning, the plane landed on time in Mexico City. After retrieving our bags from the baggage bay area, knowing that we had 11 hours to kill we immediately started looking for a locker to store our backpacks. After some asking and with the help of airport’s free wi-fi, but not before walking around a lot trying to follow directions from people we didn’t understand, we managed to find one. Unexpectedly it was very cheap!

Palacio de Bellas Artes

At the lockers we met Aylon, a guy from California. He had a layover even longer than ours, he could speak spanish fluently and this wasn’t his first time in Mexico City so it only made sense for us to go downtown with him as our guide! So we took a taxi to the city center (of course Aylon did all the talking), the we went on walking.
Being sunday and very early in the morning there weren’t many people around so we could explore the city far and wide without running into the crazy Mexico City’s traffic.

National Palace

Ciudad de México is the capital and most populous city of Mexico, it is also one of the most important financial centers in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus at the center of Mexico in the Puebla state, at an altitude of 2,240 metres.

The Greater Mexico City population is 21.2 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area of the western hemisphere, the tenth-largest agglomeration, and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.

Angel of Independence

Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Amerindians (Native Americans), the other being Quito. The city was originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, which was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan, and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, and as of 1585 it was officially known as Ciudad de México.

Mexico City served as the political, administrative and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire. After achieving independence from Spain, the federal district was created in 1824.

The Ruins of Templo Mayor

During the landing phase of the flight I could apreciate Mexico City by night from above! The city is never-ending, you could see lights extending for what seems forever. Then we walked around for about 8 hours from one street to another, from one landmark to the next, plaza after plaza and it felt like I could walk a month more and still not see everything the city has to offer!

As a matter of fact the one thing that stroke me the most was going up to the last level of what might be the tallest building in the city. There is a restaurant with a panoramic view on the city and the owners kindly allowed us to take a peak from the windows. You could see out at 360°, obviously the view was amazing and kind of humbling as in every directions you can’t see the end of it!!

Mexico City from a skyscraper. You can see the National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral.

I liked it a lot: the city is really alive, the street food vas awesome and walking from a block to another you could see different styles of architecture.. my only regret is not having more time to explore it further. Just a few hours are clearly not enough in this city. If you want to explore a little bit more and see more landmarks and stuff maybe consider staying there for 2 or 3 days.

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral