From the Anthropology Museum and Chapultepec Park to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Coyaocán, the classic attractions are classic for a reason, but what about the overlooked spots in the capital? Going off the standardized lists can give you an alternative perspective of what the city is all about. Below are five unique activities in Mexico City, perfect for curious tourists and locals alike.
Mercado de Sonora
Head to Mexico’s largest esoteric market in search of mystic remedies and curiosities for all aspects of daily (complicated) life. At Sonora Market, you can find anything from live caged animals and creepy dolls to herbal medicines and religious (all types of religions) paraphernalia.
Spread over 400,000 square feet, this “megalibrary” designed by Alberto Kalach is worth visiting for its surreal interiors with transparent walls and unleveled floors. Many are unaware that the library grounds are also home to a botanical garden well worth the visit. Also, don’t miss Gabriel Orozco’s sculpture, Ballena (Whale), located at the center of the building.
This wildly decorated steel structure is possibly one of the most underrated attractions in Mexico City. Located in the Santa María la Ribera neighborhood in the center of a lush Alameda, the kiosk built in the 19th century is recognizable for its detailed, brightly colored Islamic-inspired patterns, bringing an exotic vibe to the quiet neighborhood.
Found in the heart of Chapultepec Forest, this former residence of a long succession of Mexican presidents was recently transformed into a public space as of December 1, 2018, following the campaign promise and victory of President López Obrador. Guests can now observe the mansion’s luxuries, such as the presidential bunker and a Japanese-style pond.
Pyramid of Cuicuilco
A hidden treasure in the middle of Mexico City is the Pyramid of Cuicuilco — a site even most locals haven’t visited but is more than worth the trip. Found in the south of the city, this temple mound is what is left of the Cuicuilca civilization — predecessors of the great Teotihuacan. It is believed to be the oldest city in the Valley of Mexico, dating back to 800 BC, and to this day, its builders remain a mystery.
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