A FEW DAYS IN THIS BEAUTIFUL COLONIAL CITY

THE SPANISH COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE OF CHAPULTEPEC CASTLE

THE CITY OF PALACES

Here are the best shops, food, hotels, art, design, and architecture in our Mexico City Travel Guide- perfect if you have a few days in this beautiful colonial city.

The City of Palaces is my second home. I spent all of my childhood summers here shuttling between my grandparent’s home in the vibrant, busy city and their weekend home an hour south in the small Spanish Colonial city of Cuernavaca. It’s here where I developed my love of carved wood furniture, arches, colonial architecture, fine oil paintings and the ancient mysticism of a blend of several cultures. It’s also where I gained an appreciation for Brutalist design and Modernism— Luis Barragan and Ricardo Legorreta.

Because the city has a mix of cultures, the indigenous people of Mexico with the Spanish colonizers, it is a city of dichotomies. Ornate Spanish Colonial churches are built atop simple, but mathematically proportional pyramids. Baroque architecture is next to modern buildings. Colorful decor can be found next to sublime minimal spaces. Whatever you need or want design-wise, you can find in this bustling Mecca.

NEIGHBORHOODS

Mexico City is divided into neighborhoods called “colonias.” Each one is different and offers a unique perspective on life in the city. I’ve listed my favorites below, as well as highlights in each. Because this city is large and spread out, it’s best to thoroughly explore each colony in a day, instead of zigzagging from area to area. I hope you enjoy this Mexico City Travel Guide- especially if you have a few days in this beautiful colonial city.

Polanco:

-Chapultepec Park & Castle- Mexico’s version of Central Park, complete with a beautiful castle.

-Shopping along President Masaryk Avenue- from Cartier, Gucci, to Massimo Dutti.  A range of $$.

-Common People- Concept store in a a beautiful 1940s mansion.

*Onora– Mexican handicrafts, but in more muted tones.

-El Moro- Churros! Need I say more?

Pujol- Two Michelin Star restaurant. The place to be in Mexico City.

Las Alcobas– Gorgeous hotel with beautiful courtyard.

-El Palacio de Hiero- Famous luxury department store (similar to Saks Fifth Avenue).  Rooftop food court has beautiful views of the city.

-Prendes- Restaurant.

Roma:

-David Pompa- Showroom for housewares/furniture/architecture.

-180-degree Shop- Concept shop with a mix of well-known favorites and up-and-coming local clothing and design brands.

-Salazar Bistrot- Beautiful, minimal restaurant with high quality dishes.

-Blanco Colima- At the top of my list for my next visit. Gorgeous interior and food.

-Casa Bosques- Bookstore dedicated to the visual arts.

-Huset- Farm-to-table cuisine.

Condesa:

-Parque Espana- Nice park.

-Liberia Rosario Castellanos- Gallery, theater, bookstore, cafe.

-La Metropolitana- Design collective/showroom specializing in furniture, objects, interiors.

-Havre 77- French-influenced restaurant.

-Mucho Museo del Chocolate— Chocolate Museum. What more can I say?

Downtown:

-El Zocalo- The country’s government buildings and beautiful cathedral built on top of Aztec Indian ruins.

-Casa de Los Azulejos- Famous tile-covered mansion now home to Sanborns restaurant— their specialty? Delicious crepes made with cajeta (a Mexican caramel sauce, which is my absolute favorite).

-Palacio de Bellas Artes- Gorgeous fine arts palace.

-Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela- Famous market for Mexican crafts (pottery, etc).

Southern Mexico City:

-Xochimilco- Famous floating gardens (boats) that glide along canals.

-Studio of Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo.

-San Angel Inn- A former monastery turned into a beautiful, classic restaurant.

-Museum Frida Kahlo (Casa Azul)- 1904 home of artist Frida Kahlo. It is exactly as she left it when she died.

-Coyoacán- historic neighborhood where Frida Kahlo lived.  Artist colony

MORE TO SEE

Thank you for reading our Travel Guide with best shops, food, hotels, art, design, and architecture in Mexico City. Let us know what you think? Which places were your favorites?

If you love Spanish-style architecture and want to see more, check out our Barcelona post here .

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