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México City Historic Center


The Plaza de la Constituciَn, more commonly known as the "Zَcalo" is a must on any visitor's list of things to do in México City.  This is a great place to get a feel for the areas history and to start your exploration of the city.  Within just a few blocks of the Zَcalo, in all directions, are some of the city's finest examples of city history, architecture and art.  More than 1500 buildings in this relatively small area of the city have been declared historic or artistic monuments. 

The Zَcalo once contained the pyramids and palaces of Moctezuma and was the exact center of the Aztec empire.  To this day the it is center of much activity and the very heartbeat of México City.  It is here that the country celebrates it independence with the "El Grito" on September 15th, every year.  The Zَcalo is the second largest  public plaza in the world (only Red Square in Moscow is bigger), covering over 13 acres. 

México City Historic Center


Historic Center - Attractions

Zَcalo Government Palace
Templo Mayor Palace of Fine Arts
Templo Mayor Museum Metropolitan Cathedral
Museum of México City Alameda Park
 Regina Coeli Temple National Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Cathedral

Palace of Fine Arts


Things to Do and See...near the Historic Center


Attractions near the Historic Center

Paseo de la Reforma

Chapultepec Park

Independence Monument Chapultepec Castle
Diana Fountain Zona Rosa
National Museum of Anthropology Rufino Tamayo Museum
Polanco Plaza Garibaldi

The Suburbs


San Angel



San Angel is one of those places that will stay in your mind for long time.  This setting is as close as you are likely to get to the colonial neighborhoods of Old México.  Shaded plazas, narrow winding streets paved in cobblestone and walls of ancient stone covered with multi-colored bougainvillea all seem to etch a spot in your heart.  This is a community of brightly painted colonial era homes, mansions and haciendas that seem to block out the city sprawl that has now invaded most of the area.  The Saturday market is famous for quality art work, handicrafts and pottery. 


One of the México's finest restaurants, the San Angel Inn, is located here and the ambiance of this converted hacienda is unbeatable, except by their expertly prepared menu and impeccable service.  San Angel has it's own small tourist office (5277-6955) that will answer questions about the colonia.  They also offer free, guided walking tours of San Angel, Saturdays only  at noon, 2 PM and 4 PM.  San Angel is also home to several museums, including the Museo Studio Diego Rivera, where the famous artist once lived and worked.  


Coyoacلn, near San Angel, is another enchanting colonial neighborhood in which you can actually feel the tranquility and colonial charm of Old México. The, tree shaded, twin central plazas are the center of most of the activity and can be down right entertaining on weekends.  The narrow colonial-era streets, the plazas, bookstores, bars and cafés all tend to impart a Bohemian atmosphere on this charming city.  Calle Francisco Sosa, not much more than a narrow cobblestone passageway, is supposedly México's oldest street.


Coyoacلn is home to several museums, most noteworthy being the Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsy museums, both located in the former homes of their namesakes.  The Anahucacalli Museum houses Diego Rivera's collection of pre-Hispanic art. Coyoacلn hosts a Sunday bazaar in the main plaza that is considered extraordinary, but it can get rather crowded.