I had quite the long stopover in Mexico today on my way to Medellín. A lot of people see those as an unpleasant thing, I am of the complete opposite mindset, bring them on!
Many of our flight deals are cheap because they involve long stopover on the way. Instead of seeing these as an inconvenience, you can jump on the occasion to visit a new city on the way to where ever you are going.
I started my round the world trip this week with a night flight from Montreal to Mexico and landed here, in Mexico, at about 4 AM. I wandered around the airport a bit to find a spot with a good wifi and settled in the food court on the upper level of Terminal 2. Since the subway was not running before 5 AM, I manage to get some work done before heading out to the city.
Getting to Town
There are many options to get to town, but the cheapest will be to take the subway, just a few block out of the airport. The ticket only cost 5 Mexican Pesos (roughly 0.35$ CAD) and is valid for the whole subway system. To get to the station (Pantitlán) find the food court on the second floor of Terminal 2, exit at the very end and take the stair down to the lower level. Then follow the sidewalk until the gate that exit on Fuerza Aérea Mexicana where you make a left turn and walk 5-10 minutes to the station. Taxis are also available but will cost you more than 5 Pesos.
You should take Line 1 heading for Observatorio and get out at Pino Suárez. From there it’s worth walking to Plaza de la Constitucion to get a good feel of this part of town.
Places to see
Since I did not have a lot of time, I headed straight to the Centro Historico where you can see the following sights:
Plaza de la Constitucion (Zócalo)
This is the main square in Mexico City and one of the largest in the world! It’s surrounded by many historic buildings and sights (the Templo Mayor, City Hall, and the Catedral Metropolitana).
Museo del Templo Mayor
This was one of the main Aztecs temples in their ancient capital Tenochtitlan that laid where is now Mexico City. This temple dates back to 1325 and was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521.
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Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México
Build by the Spanish from 1573 to 1813 on top of Templo Mayor, the Catedral Metropolitana is one of the historic buildings surrounding the main square.
Visiting the surrounding streets
This is by far my favorite activity when I get into any new cities, wandering the streets! You can get a good feel of how the locals live and discover hidden sights.
While discovering the city I noticed that there were washroom (see the WC sign in the picture below) at almost every street corner. They all cost 5 Pesos. I’m not sure why there are so many.
Where to eat
There are many options all over the city, from your international chains to the local tacos stand. I opted for the former, a couple of streets off the tourist area and wasn’t disappointed! A sure bet for delicious food is to spot the place with the most locals and get in line.
Mexico City is a huge city with lots to see. If you have a layover and a couple of hours to kill, you should definitely get out of the airport and go explore the surroundings.
Do you want to know more about Mexico City? Let us know in the comments!
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