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mexico city: día de los muertos, pyramids + xochimilco

Earlier this month I went on a last-minute trip to Mexico city. It was absolutely amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure. I'm way behind on my final for General Assembly and all things cocktails+craft, so I'm just gonna copy and paste my itinerary for anyone interested in this trip! 

FRIDAY drinks in rando bar :  my flight was delayed 3 hours so we ended up getting in really late and went to this small bar across the street from our hotel where they immediately gave us each two jello shots, then shots on fire, then masks. Everyone had calavera face paintings and scary contacts on.  

SATURDAY explore historic center / el templo mayor / bazaar sabado / la conchita / los feliz / romita comedor : not sure how we packed this all in...

SUNDAY beatricita / paseo de la reforma / museo de arqueologia / bosque de capultepec / frida kahlo casa de azul / coyoacán fiesta / roma norte : um yeah, we did a lot this day, too.

MONDAY teotihuacán pyramids / xochimilco / korean bbq : pretty nutso, but we did it all. 

TUESDAY panaderías / search for pulque to go (which we did not find / mercado roma /airport sad : the important part of this day was that I got my pastries in a pretty wrapper that is now hanging up in my living room. 

MAP

 

DETAILS

this is a bit messy, but thought I'd share in case it is helpful! 

EAT

fondas A fonda is a small, family-run diner in Mexico where anyone can eat classic home-style dishes, picked from a fixed-price "menu of the day."

Beatricita | la calle de Londres #190-D, entre Varsovia y Florencia, en plena Zona Rosa

10am - 6pm M-Su* | 5511 4213 y 5511 0030 | beatricitazrosa@yahoo.com.mx

Traditional tacos since 1910, found in VICE’s Munchies w/Daniel Hernández, visited by politicians, artists, etc. ‘el paquete’ - 58 pesos breakfast package.

Fonda la reforma | at the corner of calles Heroes & Degollado, Colonia Guerrero - It's 2 blocks north and west of Metro Guerrero | open daily for comida

Authentic home-style cooking in a prototypical inner-city D.F. fonda, also from Munchies.

Fonda margarita “la marga” |  Adolfo Prieto 1364B Del Valle, Benito Juarez, México D.F., 03100 | between dawn and noon | +52 1 55 55596358 | contacto@fondamargarita.com

Local traditional breakfast, serve till it runs out, Bourdain says ‘the best breakfast ever maybe…’,  

lunch

Contramar or Entremar | Durango 200 Colonia Roma Delegación Cuauhtémoc  C.P. 06700 México D.F. | Domingo a Jueves 12:30 pm - 6:30 pm; Viernes y Sábado 12:30 pm - 8:00 pm | 55 5511 0199 | info@contramar.com.mx

(this is a must) - best seafood, make sure you get the tuna tostadas

El Califa - in la condesa - altata 22

taqueria (multiple locations)

Eno - Explanada 730,  Lomas de Chapultepec, México D.F., Mexico | 5202 9808 / 5282 0664

good, quick, healthy bfast or lunch place

dinner

Rosetta | Calle Colima, 166, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, Col. Roma Norte, 06700 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico | +52 55 5533 7804

- italian but with mexican leaning ingredients / dishes, great space

Maximo Bistro | Tonalá 133, Colonia Roma México Ciudad de México | 5264-4291

Quintonil or Pujol | Newton 55, Polanco DF | Lunes a Sábado: de 13:00 a 17:00 y 19:00 a 23:00 Domingo: cerramos | 5280-2680 | contacto@quintonil.com

(for a fancier dinner, but in current dollars, I dare you to find a better value pre-fixe top 50 gourmet meal; reservations required)

other must-stops

Rosetta Panaderia | Colima 179 Col. Roma Norte 06760 México, D.F. Mexico |Lunes a sábado: 7:00 h - 20:00 h, domingo: 7:30 h - 18:00 h |  +52 55 5207 2976

Make sure you order the guava pastry

Ojo de Agua | Citlaltépetl 23c Col. Condesa 06100 México, D.F. Mexico | 8am - 9pm |

The best juice shop

Mercado Roma | Calle Querétaro 225, Cuauhtemoc, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico |Su-W  9am - 7pm,  Th-Sa 9am - 1am |  +52 55 5564 1396

Fun little market (similar to Chelsea Market in NYC), get the churros

bars

Felix | Av. Álvaro Obregón 64, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de México, MX, Mexico

Cool kids neighborhood bar gets packed.

Condesa DF | Guadalajara 93, Roma Norte, Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

Rooftop terrace, cocktails.

La Pata Negra | Tamaulipas 30, Cuauhtémoc, Condesa, Ciudad de México, Mexico

Stylish Condesa bar, no cover, music almost every night.

Jules Basement Speakeasy | Julio Verne 93, Miguel Hidalgo, Zona Polanco, 11550

*Reservations only  jules@julesbasement.com

Covadonga | Puebla 121 Cuauhtémoc

Best of old and new, tequila

M N Roy | Calle Mérida 186

Private nightclub hidden behind old-fashioned ice cream shop.

Maison Artemisia | Tonala 23, col. Roma, Mexico City

In a 19th Century house in Mexico the spirit of the those maisons has been revived, with vintage French decoration creating an intimate setting, and an emphasis on that favourite tipple of French artists and intellectuals - absinthe.

La Nacional | Calle Orizaba 161

Mexican brews and spirits in unpretentious cantina.

Puebla 109 | Puebla 109, Col. Roma Norte

Combines three venues in one, spread over three floors of a lovingly renovated 20th Century house. It was the brainchild of well-known Mexican restaurateur Ricardo Franco who decided, along with some friends, that he wanted to rescue the dilapidated house and turn it into something special.

Romita Comedor | Calle Álvaro Obregón 49

Inventive cocktail bar housed in a building dating back to the early 19th Century, with tiled floors, lots of metal and wood, huge windows and a glass ceiling and hanging plants.

Melody Nelson Bar | Mercado Roma, Queretaro 225,

Named after Serge Gainsbourg’s famous concept album, Histoire de Melody Nelson, this exclusive piano bar is suitably moody and sexy. Located above the gourmet food hall of Mercado Roma, it’s guest list only so you’ll need to make sure your name’s on the door.

cultural

Historic City center Get a car-guided tour by a driver in your hotel (or one from the Four Seasons or major hotels) in English. In dollars, the price is extremely reasonable, and there's no way you would know about the amount of history going on in a civic center that has religion, politics and cultural issues clashing altogether within so few city blocks.

Museo del Templo Mayor; Zócalo

tenochtitlan is a crazy awesome site, although the cleanliness (or lack of it in some areas) has put some tourists away. Make sure to read up on how Mexico City was founded as the floating city of Tenochtitlan by Aztecs, until Spaniards built on top of it (and accordingly, city center is sinking some centimeters / year; cement injections are taking place to stop the sinking).

Antiquo College of San Ildefonso Justo Sierra 16, Centro Histórico, 06020 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico |Martes, entrada libre, de 10:00 a 19:30 h.  Miércoles a domingo admisión general $45.00. De 10:00 a 17:30 h. |

Teotihuacán Pyramids If you want to climb some pyramids, place is about 90-minute drive away from Mexico City, and has been nicely restored. Great historic site, but takes a big chunk of your day. A good alternative is to visit the Anthropological Museum close to Polanco / Reforma area.

Anthropological Museum |Av Paseo de la Reforma y Calzada Gandhi S/N, Chapultepec Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico | Tu - Su 9am - 7pm, closed Sundays |  +52 55 4040 5300

Day of the Dead You will see decorations all throughout, especially if you go to Bazaar Sabado. Not too far away, you can also go to Plaza Coyoacan which is hippie-ish and has a few more stores.

Chapultepec Park

Museo Anahuacalli |Museo 150, Coyoacán, San Pablo Tepetlapa, 04620 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

día de los muertos

In San Andrés Mixquic, which has strong indigenous roots, graves are decorated with Mexican marigolds in a cemetery lit by hundreds and hundreds of candles. Street stalls, household altars and processions attract thousands of capitalinos each year. - go Nov 2nd? http://mexicanatheart.com/dia-de-los-muertos-in-mixquic/

In Xochimilco, the canals and chinampas are the background for special night-time Day of the Dead excursions by boat (trajinera).

museums

Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropología) to the National History Museum (Galería de Historia) to the Modern Art Museum (Museo de Arte Moderno) and the National Art Museum (Museo Nacional De Arte)

Frida Kahlo / Diego Rivera house | Av. Altavista esq. Diego Rivera S/N  Álvaro Obregón San Angeline, San Ángel Inn 01060 Ciudad de México, D.F. Mexico | $14  - free on Sundays | Martes a domingo 10.00 a 18.00 hrs. | 86 47 54 70

Afterwards go across the street (diagonally) to San Angel Inn for a drink in the beautiful courtyard

Casa Barragan |General Francisco Ramirez 12, Miguel Hidalgo, Daniel Garza, 11840 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico | Tours by appointment only Lunes a viernes 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 15:30 y 16, Saturday 10:30 and 12:00 | +52 55 5515 4908| casaluisbarragan@gmail.com

famous architect Luis Barragan's house. Must email to reserve a spot ahead of time

Museo Jumex Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Ampliacion Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11529 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

(may be between shows - but their gallery is free and by appt. only) - great museum (MoMa-ish), we like this much better than Soumaya museum across the street (which is random assortment of Carlos Slim's art collection, his better stuff is probably hanging at home).

shopping

Bazaar Sabado | San Jacinto 11, San Ángel, Álvaro Obregón, 01000 Ciudad de México, Mexico | 10am - 7pm  market only on Saturday's

local Mexican artisans selling their crafts in a great courtyard area in the old part of town (cobblestone streets, etc.) - close to Frida Kahlo / Diego Rivera

Galeria Mexicana

Librería Rosario Castellanos |Tamaulipas 202, Col. Condesa | +52 55 5276 7110

*check during holidays*

HOTEL

Casa Goliana Guanajuato 199 Colonia Roma Mexico City 06700

011 52 (55) 6811 3948

Fri - Mon $178.50/night

Hotel Villa Condesa Colima 428 Colonia Roma/Condesa Mexico City 06700

011 52 55 5211 4892

Mon - Tues $172.94/night

 

TRANSPORTATION

bike | free bike rentals available at Cicloestaciones

  • EcoBici — One hour costs 10 pesos (€0.60). +52 55 5005 2424

metro | cheap and efficient. A one-way trip costs 3 pesos (€0.18).

metrobus | bus rapid transit system that runs along Avenida de los Insurgentes. Access is with a pre-paid smart card.

taxi | Plentiful and cheap. Don’t hail them from the street.

car rental

 

BLOGS/GUIDES

EMBASSY

US Embassy Paseo de la Reforma 305, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico | +52 55 5080 2000

Banking / ATM Services at Mexico City Benito Juarez MEX Airport

ATMs are identified by a sign that reads "Cajero Permanente." For your financial and personal safety, be careful about which ones you use. You can't go wrong with these nationally recognized banks:

  • Banamex (owned by Citigroup, USA)

  • Banco Santander (part-owned by Bank of America) STEPHANIE USE THIS ONE

Check the network: You can use your Bank of America debit card or ATM card anywhere you see the CIRRUS symbol. In addition to CIRRUS, you can use ATMs with the MasterCard or Visa symbols. The symbol on the front of your card will indicate if your card is MasterCard or Visa.

  • To find the nearest MasterCard/CIRRUS ATM, please visit http://www.mastercard.com/atm

  • To Find the nearest Visa ATM, please visit http://www.visa.com/ATMlocator

  • Bancomer (owned by BBVA, Spain)

  • Banorte (Mexican-owned)

  • HSBC (British-based)

While ATM cash machines are distributed in both terminals, pre- and post-security, the following bank branches do business in Terminals 1 & 2:

Banking facilities at T1:

BBVA Bancomer, at lower level, E-59 - tel. 5785-6023 /530 or 5786-9364

Banorte at upper level walkway, Financial Center, tel. 58 02 85556

HSBC at lower level, E-58, tel. 57 84 2227

IXE Banco at level 1, building 'B', and at upper level walkway (Financial Center)

Santander Serfin at F-55, F-57 & F-59 F-61 to F-77

Scotia Bank Inverlat at E-57, tel. 57 84 2661

Banking facilities at T2

Banamex at arrivals triangle - tel. 12 26 2311; (at Mezannine, VIP Lounge - tel. 12 26 2311);

BBVA Bancomber at building 'B' tel. 57 85 6023

IXE Banco at Arrivals triangle, tel. 25 99 0925

ATM cash machines of the above-listed banks are available on all levels of both terminals.

Currency Exchange at Mexico City Benito Juarez MEX Airport

Currency Exchange service at MEX Airport are available at Terminal 1, at upper & lower levels:

(a) at Lower Level of T1:

Dollar Word - E-25, tel. 25999-0696

Aerogolden - tel. 2599-1123

Dollar Word - E-08, tel. 5785-9990

Comercializadora Sarje's - E45, tel. 2599-1232

Coberturas Mexicanas - E-39, tel. 2599-0194

Cambios Extranjeros - tel. 2599-1121

(b) at Upper Level of T1:

Aldalet - tel. 2599-1248

Cibanco - tel. 2599-0586

Cibanco - F-49,  tel. 2599-0004 /ext. 207

Notice: There is growing evidence of rampant ATM "skimming" occuring throughout Mexico, where criminal organizations bribe ATM technicians to install devices to read debit cards and pin numbers from ATMs in order to ultimately steal money from unwitting users.[1][2][3] The compromised ATMs are everywhere, including those inside resorts, in airports, and outside on the streets.[4] Before you travel it is advised you open a second bank account (with a different card) just for travel purposes and put only what spare cash you'll think you'll need in there.

If you absolutely must use an ATM, the following can help reduce the risk of being skimmed:

  • While standing next to the ATM, use your bluetooth phone and search for a signal called "Free2Move". If it is found, the ATM is almost certainly compromised. Note: The criminal organizations that run this scam will eventually catch on that travellers have caught on to their tricks and change the bluetooth signal name to something else, so this will only work for so long. If you are getting any strong bluetooth signal standing near an ATM, it is advisable not to use that machine.

  • Check the keypad area for what might be a relatively thin/flimsy covering (could be reading your keypresses).

  • Check inside the slot where you insert your card: Does it look like there might be an extra thin credit-card insert in there that isn't flush with ATM's surface.

  • Use ATMs located inside banks if possible; they are less likely to be compromised