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Travel Experiences: Mexico City

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

by Dave Stanford

Mexico City is truly one of the most amazing cities in the world with a mixture of both the old and new world. From the moment your plane starts to descend into this vast city with millions of inhabitants, historical locations, and wonderful scenery you know that your trip will be quite an adventure.

It’s important to always use authorized taxi’s when leaving the airport and of course make sure that your driver knows exactly where you’re going before you leave. Once in your taxi and the moment you leave the airport you are amazed at the massive amount of traffic and the seemingly non-existent traffic laws. The speed of traffic isn’t high, but the sheer volume can be stressful to some.

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The “Paseo de la Reforma” is one of the major tourist and business areas in Mexico City with many high quality hotels only walking distance from great restaurants and other tourist attractions. The only problem you will have is trying to see all of these sites during your vacation time.

When you arrive at your hotel the first thing you should always do is lock up your valuables in you room safe and only take as much money as you need for the day.

One of the most popular attractions in this area is the National Museum of Anthropology. There are thousands of artifacts on display showing the history of the area and numerous items found from the many Aztec sites in the area.

Across the street from the museum is the Castillo de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Castle) which was once inhabited by Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota. It later became a Military Academy which was a prominent site in the Mexican-American war. It’s also a good idea to take the train up the hill to where the castle is located as the hill is steep. It’s important to keep in mind that Mexico City is over 7000 feet above sea level and some it difficult to breath when walking.

The Mexico City zoo is also located along Reforma is a great place to spend an afternoon, just be careful not to carry too much cash or credit cards as the children that wander around the zoo are often pickpockets.

If you want to visit a traditional Mexico market you can take a taxi to the Coyoacan market during the evening on a weekend. It’s a great place to get some cheap souvenirs to bring back home and to enjoy some traditional Mexican cuisine such as tacos al pastor. These are tacos with pork, onion and pinapple. However, make sure you are careful where you eat and that the meat is well cooked and there is refridgeration on

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Article taken from http://www.helium.com/items/902950-adventures-in-mexico-city

Mexico City unmasked – 20 insider tips demystify the gleaming metropolis

April 6, 2010 1 comment

Mexico City unmasked

These 20 insider tips demystify the gleaming metropolis

Article taken from NBC for further or more information go there

Image: Centro Palacio de Bellas Artes
The view of Centro’s Palacio de Bellas Artes from Torre Latinoamericana.

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Livia Corona
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By Mario López-Cordero

updated 1 hour, 46 minutes ago//

1. It’s actually not impossible to navigate
Known locally as D.F., for Distrito Federal, Mexico City sprawls across almost 600 square miles—it’s roughly the size of Houston but packs in four times as many people. Still, if you plan your itinerary by colonia, or neighborhood, it’s easy to get a handle on things. Some of the most popular sites are in perpetually thronged Centro as well as in hipper districts southwest of it, like Condesa and Roma.

2. Art appreciation is an all-ages affair
At the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, you can expect to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with students, young families, and skeptical-seeming abuelas, who examine the mixed-media installations as carefully as they do melons at the market. Insurgentes Sur 3000, Ciudad Universitaria, 011-52/55-5622-6972, muac.unam.mx, admission $2.25.

3. Traditional textiles are getting a new life
Designer Carmen Rion was working with artisans in Chiapas five years ago when inspiration struck. With a few creative modifications, they could turn the beautiful fabrics the weavers made on old-fashioned waist looms into modern, one-of-a-kind garments. Rion’s sliver of a shop in Condesa shows off the results: black evening dresses covered in elaborate pleats, and floor-length gowns swirling with hand-painted prints. While a few pieces top $3,000, there’s something in here for everyone, such as woven-fabric handbags with leather straps (from $117) or necklaces made of brightly colored needlepoint circles knit by one of her salesclerks ($28). Michoacán 30-A, Hipódromo Condesa, 011-52/55-5264-6179, carmenrion.com.mx .

4. Real margaritas that don’t have umbrellas
Don’t be deceived by the thimble-size glasses: The Fonda El Refugio‘s decidedly potent signature drink is one of the city’s best. (The perfect ratio of fresh lime to tequila accounts for the dangerously smooth sipping.) Fortify yourself with regional dishes such as huachinango a la Veracruzana (red snapper in a spicy-tomato-and-olive sauce) before ordering a second round. Liverpool 166, Zona Rosa, 011-52/55-5207-2732, fondaelrefugio.com.mx , entrées from $18.75.

5. Day-after medicine that goes down easy
Contramar, an airy, white-walled lunch spot in Roma that’s favored by businesspeople and creative types, has a valuable secret of its own: the caldo de camarón, a rich broth bobbing with shrimp. According to lore, it’s a surefire cure for a hangover. Durango 200, Roma Norte, 011-52/55-5514-9217, contramar.com.mx , soup from $4.25.

6. Down-home snacks in a swanky setting
On sidewalks all over the city, you’ll see vendors selling fried chapulines, or grasshoppers—a salty, crunchy treat doled out of grimy plastic buckets and doused with fresh lime. For those who want a less dodgy source of pre-Hispanic finger foods, there’s Restaurante El Cardenal, which has uniformed waiters, stone columns, and stained-glass windows. Escamoles, served in a mortar, look like grains of rice swimming in butter. Spread them across a warm tortilla, add guacamole, and take a bite. You’ll never guess that the slightly sweet granules erupting in your mouth are ant larvae; they taste just like popcorn. Palma 23, Centro, 011-52/55-5521-8815, restauranteelcardenal.com , escamoles $9.25, entrées from $13.25.

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Slideshow

Mexico Citylife
Take a virtual tour of one of the world’s largest cities.

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7. A Mexican design hotel done right
Wherever Grupo Habita goes, a scene is sure to follow. And the splurge-worthy CondesaDF outpost from the country’s champion of hip hotel design is no exception: Weekend brunches in the turquoise-walled breakfast room draw local aesthetes looking to unwind on cowhide-covered banquettes. And the 40 mostly white guest rooms are equipped with iPods loaded with indie rock (from Cat Power to The Killers) and have sliding walnut screens for extra soundproofing. But the design doesn’t come with attitude. Don’t be surprised if staffers start calling you by name 15 minutes after you arrive—and the resident chocolate Lab, Conde, stands at the ready to welcome you. Veracruz 102, Condesa, 011-52/55-5241-2600,condesadf.com , doubles from $195.

8. A chain-hotel alternative with style
Bridging the gap between cookie-cutter franchises and tiny B&Bs is Hotel La Casona, a 29-room inn in a 1923 beaux arts mansion just a few blocks northeast of Condesa. Polished details such as black-and-white-checkered marble tile, framed architectural engravings, and crown moldings show off the inherent grace of the high-ceilinged structure. Plus, the included breakfast (cappuccinos, cooked-to-order omelets) puts the old banana-and-a-roll routine to shame. Durango 280, Roma Norte, 011-52/55-5286-3001, hotellacasona.com.mx , doubles from $140.

9. Candy you can’t find anywhere else
The recipes for the handmade sweets at Dulcería de Celaya—itself a confection of mirrors and swirling belle epoque paneling—were handed down by the original owners of the shop, established in 1874. Six generations later, the Guízar family sells the same sugary treats that lined the shelves on opening day: crumbly jamoncillo made from milk, candied-sweet-potato-paste rolls called camotes, and suspiros, chewy, multicolored coconut bonbons. 5 de Mayo 39, Centro, 011-52/55-5521-1787, candies from 50¢.

10. A befitting home for Diego Rivera
There’s no shortage of places to see Rivera’s paintings, but only one destination showcases his lesser-known architectural achievement: the Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli, completed to the artist’s plans in 1963. A hybrid Aztec-Mayan pyramid reimagined through the lens of mid-century modernism, it’s made of glass and black-lava stone and spans 12,916 square feet, looming over a reproduction 10th-century Toltec ball court. Inside, a maze of shadowy rooms showcases Rivera’s own vast collection of pre-Hispanic pottery, sculpture, and artifacts. Museo 150, San Pablo Tepetlapa, 011-52/55-5617-4310, museoanahuacalli.org.mx , admission $1.50.

11. Lunch can last until 7 p.m.
Chilangos, as locals are known, have a continental sense of time: Work begins at 10 a.m., no one thinks about lunch until 3 p.m., and once they sit down to la comida, it can take hours. Although many restaurants are technically open only for the midday meal, it’s not unusual to walk by at 7 p.m. and see people still huddled around what must be a 10th round of drinks—turning tables means nothing to Mexicans.

12. Independent fashion has a suitable site
With its glossy black-steel-and-glass exterior, Sicario may seem out of place on a grungy strip of Roma, but inside, the tightly edited selection of distressed jeans and blue-suede shoes from Mexican labels like Yakuza and Paola Hernández is a natural fit. Adding to the ambience: plywood displays, street art, and a lively soundtrack (the collective that runs the place also promotes emerging DJ acts like Beat Buffet and The Wookies. Colima 124, Roma Norte, 011-52/55-5511-0396, sicario.tv .

13. Even bread has its own institution
Follow the smell of baking bread wafting down a Centro sidewalk into Pastelería Ideal, founded in 1927—a vast, chandelier-lit room where tables are piled high with every Mexican pastry imaginable. It’s self-serve, so grab a tray and load up on goodies like cochitos, gingerbread cookies shaped like pigs, or the sugar-encrusted buns known as conchas, which locals like to eat for breakfast. Be forewarned: When a baker emerges from the back with a batch fresh from the oven, stand back or risk being trampled. República de Uruguay 74, Centro, 011-52/55-5512-2522, pasteleriaideal.com.mx , pastries from 25¢.

14. The best view $3 can buy
Just above the wood-paneled Librería Porrúa downtown, El Mayor, a sunny rooftop café bordered by succulents, provides a crowd-free vista of the Aztec-era Templo Mayor and the bell towers of the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral. Take it all in for a minor fee: the roughly $2.75 cost of a michelada, beer spiked with lime, salt, and, often, spices. República de Argentina 15, Centro, 011-52/55-5704-7580, porrua.com/elmayor .

15. A gourmet meal at a taco-stand price
Get beyond the school-cafeteria vibe and you’ll see that Café Azul y Oro, in an institutional 1970s-era building on the campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Coyoacán, serves some of the best meals—and deals—in town. Food writer and chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita is on a mission to make high-minded food affordable to students (and anyone who values taste over atmosphere). With dishes like salpicón de venado, a vinegar-laced venison salad, and duck ravioli stacked in a pyramid and strewn with blackberries and mole sauce, you’ll eat as well as you would at any of the city’s top restaurants—all for well under the $15 mark. Insurgentes Sur 3000, Ciudad Universitaria, 011-52/55-5623-3500 ext. 1065, entrées from $6.50.

16. You never know what’s hidden in an office building
Walk through a perfume shop, up three flights of stairs, and down a deserted, fluorescent-lit hallway to find the capital’s best source for native handicrafts. Founded in 1944 by artist Víctor Fosado Contreras, Víctor Artes Populares Mexicanas is now run by his daughter, Pilar Fosado Vázquez. She stocks colorful, museum-quality pieces, such as beaded Huichol bowls from Jalisco, papier-mâché Day of the Dead dolls from Guanajuato, and hand-painted glass pitchers from Puebla. Francisco I. Madero 10, Suite 305, 3rd Fl., Centro, 011-52/55-5512-1263, artespopularesvictor.com.

17. Unparalleled people-watching
The patio tables at Vucciria, an Italian restaurant across from the Parque México, look out on a compelling weekly parade: yuppies in Barbour coats walking Weimaraners, hipsters in skinny jeans, fashionistas with messy hair tottering by in heels. Get there by 3 p.m. on a Sunday to score a spot and settle in for an afternoon of grazing on carciofi fritti, a perfect cure for taco fatigue. México 157, Hipódromo Condesa, 011-52/55-5564-7441, entrées from $10.

18. The other flea market
You could easily skip La Lagunilla, the famed blocks-long market, in favor of the weekend stalls at Plaza del Ángel, set up in the arcades of a Zona Rosa shopping plaza. Easier to manage, it’s the go-to spot for many of the city’s antiques dealers, who come for the wildly varied selection of antiques and pop culture souvenirs, from lucha libre piggy banks and busts of Aztec princes to folding wooden klismos chairs. Arrive by 10 a.m. to get a shot at the good stuff. Londres 161, Zona Rosa.

19. There’s more to the design scene than handicrafts
Gurú, a graphic-arts gallery and store, is ground zero for objects by up-and-coming Mexican artists, especially ones with a sense of humor. Think patchwork stuffed animals by Toloache Peluche ($40), cartoonish vinyl figurines from Francisco Herrera ($59), and geometric ceramic rings by El Uno y el Todo ($27). Colima 143, Roma Norte, 011-52/55-5533-7140, gurugalleryshop.com .

20. The Mexican Starbucks
A café, gallery, and bookstore in a century-old town house, Conejo Blanco is a popular meet-up spot for all, including families drawn to the former nursery for its fitting focus on kids’ books. Ámsterdam 67, Hipódromo Condesa, 011-52/55-5286-7430, coffee from $2.

GETTING AROUND

On foot: As in any urban environment, it pays to take commonsense precautions in Mexico City. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, use ATMs inside banks during business hours, and leave the flashy jewelry at home.

By cab: Outside of their own local shopping districts, residents don’t really walk. Fortunately, taxis are cheap and plentiful. Just avoid hailing, as rogue drivers have been known to mug their passengers. Instead, call a taxi de sitio (one from a private company). Taxi Mex is among the best, with metered cars, quick pickups, and registered drivers (whose license and photo should be on display). 011-52/ 55-5634-9912, taximex.com.mx .

In a rental car: One of the secrets of driving in Mexico City is knowing when not to do it—specifically, on Fridays. Weekends unofficially begin Friday afternoon, and many office workers take off after lunch. Three-hour snarls are an unfortunate probability—even more painful if you’re heading to the airport to catch a flight.

On the subway: For the times when driving isn’t recommended (or even an option), there’s a handy Metro system. But be aware that train cars and platforms can be a hotbed for pickpockets and petty criminals. www.metro.df.gob.mx , 25¢ one way, including transfers.

Article taken from NBC for further or more information go there.

For housing and apart-hotel services please contact us. We have Suites from 1 to 4 rooms and prices from 45 to 140 dollars. Also we give special prices for groups or long-term stays. www.khsuites.com

Roberto Santibañez’s 5 Favorite Restaurants in Mexico City

March 2, 2010 1 comment
Chef Roberto Santibañez

Fonda

An award-winning chef and Mexico City native, Roberto Santibañez knows a thing or two about the best cuisine in Mexico’s capital. Now based in New York City, Santibañez trained at Paris’s renowned Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and opened several restaurants in Mexico City before spending four years as executive chef at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas. In 2002, he became culinary director for Rosa Mexicano restaurants. Today, Santibañez is the culinary mastermind behind Fonda, a stylish restaurant in Brooklyn, New York that specializes in contemporary Mexican urban cuisine.
Santibañez still visits Mexico City, of course. So where does he go in the D.F. when he wants a truly satisfying meal? Here are his top five choices (and for even more about Santibañez and his creations, you can also visit his own site).

1. El Bajio

“I like the original located in Azcapotzalco. If you want real and traditional flavors that leave you with an impression, this is the place to go.”
Avenida Cuitlahuac #2709, Azcapotzalco; tel. +52-55-5234-3763

El Cardenal

2. El Cardenal
“I like the original one located in Palma Street in the Centro Histórico, but the other two locations are equally good too. This is the best place in the city for breakfast in a sit-down, full-service setting. Try the freshly baked sweet rolls with clotted cream.”
Calle de la Palma #23 and Avenida Juárez #70; tel. +52-55-5521-8815 and +52-55-5518-6632

Casa Merlos

3. Casa Merlos

“I like it for its traditional moles and other dishes from central Mexico.”
Victoriano Zepeda #80, Col. Observatorio; tel. +52-55-5277-4360

Café Azul y Oro

“Located at the Centro Cultural Universitario. I like this restaurant because is one of the most trustworthy and authentic Mexican flavors in Mexico City.”
Avenida Insurgentes Sur 3000; tel. +52-55-5622-7135
Pujol

“Located in the posh Polanco district, this place is owned by one of the most creative and young chefs in Mexico. I like this restaurant for dinner and special occasions.”
Francisco Petrarca 254, Col. Polanco; tel. +52-55-5545-3507

Mexico City Travel Guide

January 20, 2010 1 comment

Mexico City (Spanish: México, Ciudad de México, or D.F. ) is the Capital of Mexico, and one of the world’s largest and most populated cities. The greater Mexico City metropolitan area is one of the world’s largest and most populated, with an estimate … Mexico City travel guide » and interactive map »

Mexico CityMexico CityMexico City
Mexico CityMexico CityMexico City
Mexico CityMexico CityMexico City

Within Mexico City


The old city center or Centro Historico of Mexico City, centered around the Plaza de la Constitucion, is an area clearly … Centro Travel Guide »

Condesa and Roma

The Condesa and Roma district of Mexico City is a residential and restaurant area on both sides of Insurgentes avenue between … Condesa and Roma Travel Guide »

Zona Rosa is a business and entertainment district located in a portion of Colonia Juárez, near the center of Mexico City … Zona Rosa Travel Guide »

This relatively large area in the southwest of Mexico City has always been a counterculture hotbed. This is where Frida Kahlo and … Coyoacán Travel Guide »

Polanco

Polanco refers to an area of Mexico City north of Chapultepec Park. This district is delimited by Paseo de la Reforma to the … Polanco Travel Guide »

Chapultepec is a district of Mexico City. “Chapultepec” means “Grasshopper Hill” in Nahuatl, the language of the “Aztecs”. The … Chapultepec Travel Guide »

Santa Fe

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is in the western area of Mexico City. It is the newest and most modern district of the city, as almost all of it has … Santa Fe Travel Guide »

Xochimilco
Xochimilco is to the south of Mexico City, and gives a glimpse at the effects of rushed urbanization over the years. It’s a great … Xochimilco Travel Guide »
Ciudad Satelite

Ciudad Satelite or simply “Satelite” is part of the metropolitan area of Mexico City. Although there is an specific borough … Ciudad Satelite Travel Guide »

Tlalpan and Pedregal is a district of Mexico City. Tlalpan Travel Guide »

Del Valle

Colonia del Valle is probably the largest neighborhood in Mexico City. It is located in south central area of the city and … Del Valle Travel Guide »

San Angel is a district south of Mexico City. San Angel Travel Guide »

Tlatelolco

Tlatelolco is a district of Mexico City, the site of the Aztecs’ last resistance against Spanish rule and the site of a massacre … Tlatelolco Travel Guide »

Desert of the Lions

Desierto de los Leones is a National Park located Northwest of Mexico City, Mexico City.Mexico. Desert of the Lions Travel Guide »

Traveling in Mexico City: The Ins & Outs of Getting Around

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment

If you have never traveled to Mexico City before, getting around can be a bit overwhelming. There are many ways to travel within Mexico City, and the methods, rules and day-to-day getting from Point A to Point B can be frustrating.

This article will give you the necessary information you require to get around in Mexico City, while ensuring your travel plans are still pleasant, exciting and fruitful. So let’s get started! It’s an exciting journey you are about to embark upon.

Traveling in Mexico City, a General Overview

The naming conventions used for Mexico City’s streets and neighborhoods can be very exasperating to the out of town traveler if you aren’t sure what everything means. The most important thing to remember when trying to find a certain location is: Patience. Many times, streets that ‘should’ be in a certain place, just aren’t.

Numbered streets are usually (but not always) designated as North/South (norte/sur) or East/West (oriente/poneinte). A block can be numbered, depending on how far it is from an arbitrary starting point. However, you’ll notice during your travels that many Mexican addresses have only “s/n” (sin número) listed after the street name, which means, literally, “no number”. And yet other addresses have a kilometer designation in the address, indicating that they are located a certain number of kilometers down a major street, such as a highway.

All addresses in Mexico City are written with the street name at the start, then the street number. The postal code (código postal) is listed before the name of the city, not after. Apdo., or apartado, means box, and Postal, or A.P. means post-office box number. And finally, most addresses include the neighborhood (colonia, or col.) that the residence is in.

Traveling in Mexico City, By Bus

The bus system in Mexico City is used extensively by locals and travelers to the area. It is often crowded, and pickpockets are an issue. Never show a wallet on the bus, and make sure to carry change with you if you plan on using this method of transportation.

When boarding the bus, tell the driver where you plan on going, and the driver will tell you the fare. Sometimes bus stops will have signs above them, telling you where you are; many times, you’ll know it’s a stop only because there are people waiting by the side of the road. Buses are rarely on time in Mexico City; if you plan on traveling later in the day or at night, alternate methods of transportation are recommended.

Traveling in Mexico City, By Car

Driving through Mexico City’s streets, especially for the traveler, can be a harrowing experience. One way streets abound, and rush hour is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Millions of people, literally, are sharing the road with you.

Renting a car is possible in Mexico City, but poses different risks for the out of town traveler. Driving on Mexico City roads is not only dangerous because of the lack of skill used for travelers (many get their license not by taking a test, but by paying someone off), but treacherous because of the unusual and poorly maintained roads.

Another option is to hire a taxi, or limousine, to chauffeur you around. Ask the travel hotel you are staying at in Mexico City for recommendations, or for the closest cab stand (sitio).

About the Author

Jean Sutherland is the owner of the informative website http://www.spasoftheworld.com/ & http://www.spasoftheworld.com/spas/index.html She has worked in the travel industry for over 10 years. She also lived in Mexico for 3 years.

Written by: Jean Sutherland

Article taken from: http://www.creativeinfoonline.com/travel/traveling_in_mexico_city_the_ins_outs_of_getting_around.html

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