Baroque palaces and energetic streets, old-school taquerías and contemporary art: experience this beguiling metropolis with Moon Mexico City.
- Explore the City: Navigate by neighborhood or by activity with color-coded maps or follow a self-guided walk through Mexico City's most interesting neighborhoods
- See the Sights: Wander the ruins of Tenochtitlán at the Museo del Templo Mayor or visit Frida Kahlo's home. Explore the colorful Mercado de la Merced, admire Mexico City's sleek contemporary art museum, or venture into the past at the National Museum of Anthropology
- Get a Taste of the City: Feast on tacos al pastor from a street stand or indulge in the foodie scene with a multicourse meal of creative ceviche and mole negro dishes. Sip tequila and snack on botanas with locals at a cantina, belly up to the bar at a taqueria, or try Oaxacan-style chiles rellenos at a beloved family-owned spot
- Bars and Nightlife: Sip your way through a dazzling array of traditional dance halls, chic nightclubs, and hip mezcal hideaways
- Trusted Advice: Julie Meade, who lived in Mexico for 10 years, shares her cultural and artistic expertise on her beloved city
- Itineraries and Day Trips: Head out to Cuernavaca, Puebla, or the ancient pyramid ruins of Teotihuacán or follow itineraries ranging from family friendly tours to a lazy market Saturday, all accessible by bus, train, or public transit
- Full-Color Photos and Detailed Maps so you can explore on your own, plus an easy-to-read foldout map to use on the go
- Handy Tools: Background information on the landscape, history, and culture of Mexico City, packaged in a book light enough to toss in your bag
With Moon Mexico City's practical tips and local insight, you can experience the best of the city.
Exploring more of Mexico? Check out Moon San Miguel de Allende or Moon Yucatán Peninsula. Looking for another world-class city? Try Moon Buenos Aires.
About the Author
Julie Doherty Meade grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent her childhood hiking, camping, and traveling throughout the Golden State. After graduating from college, she took her first trip to Mexico, where she was immediately drawn to the country's warm people and fascinating culture. The following year, Julie returned to Mexico and decided to extend her stay indefinitely.
For almost ten years, Julie lived, worked, and traveled throughout Mexico. She saw Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos speak to a crowd in San Cristóbal de las Casas, helped run a fine art gallery in San Miguel de Allende, and taught English to five-year-olds in Mexico City. During her years in the capital, she was schooled in advanced Mexican slang, developed a strong affinity for early-morning café con leche in old Chinese coffee shops, and spent hours seeking out the best bookstores, most interesting architecture, and tastiest bites in the city's diverse neighborhoods.
Julie currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Arturo, her son, Mariano, and her chihuahua, Tequila. She writes and copyedits for several New York publications and visits Mexico every chance she gets. Julie is also the author of Moon San Miguel de Allende and Moon Living Abroad in Mexico.
Read an Excerpt
Since the early pre-Columbian era, open-air markets, or tianguis, were the center of trade and commerce in Mesoamerican communities. After the conquest, many of these markets remained in operation, though most were eventually relocated over time. Today, despite the proliferation of supermarket chains throughout Mexico City, traditional markets are a mainstay in their neighborhoods and a unique window into the culture of the city.
The One and Only: Mercado de la Merced
If you only have time to visit one market, there is none more emblematic of the city than the immense and atmospheric Mercado de la Merced, in the eastern Centro Histórico. The main building is filled with fruits and vegetables, from towering stacks of neatly folded banana leaves to piles of nopal (cactus) paddles. In the back, crafts, kitchen products, and food stalls cram labyrinthine breezeways. There's even a Metro station right inside the market.
The Oddball: Mercado de Sonora
Right next to the Merced, the Mercado de Sonora is best known for its off-beat, esoteric offerings, like medicinal herbs, healing candles, and witchcraft products. However, it is also a great place to buy traditional crafts and supplies, adornments for altars during Day of the Dead, children's toys, and costumes.
A Gourmet-Hunter's Dream: Mercado de San Juan
The Mercado de San Juan on Pugibet, located in the old San Juan neighborhood, is known throughout the city for its unusual selection of meats and produce, like quail eggs, razor clams, gorgeous tropical fruits, alligator steaks, toasted grasshoppers, and other Mexican-made and international delicacies. For a truly unusual market experience, have a snack at one of the Euro-centric cheesemongers, who sell plates of Spanish-style tapas accompanied by little glasses of wine.
Gift-Shop Central: Bazaar Sábado
The weekly Bazaar Sábado, held every Saturday in San Ángel, is a well-known place to shop for traditional Mexican crafts as well as handmade leather goods, shoes, candles, and other souvenirs.
Punk's Paradise: Mercado del Chopo
Mercado del Chopo, held every Saturday, is an open-air market selling records, rock posters, band T-shirts, and every other manner of music memorabilia. As it's packed cheek to jowl with black-clad, tattoo-bearing youngsters, the people-watching is as good as the shopping.
The Neighborhood Gem: Mercado San Cosme
The small, clean Mercado San Cosme is a lovely place to stop in for an inexpensive meal or to browse the selection of food and produce for sale. Though not as spectacular as mega markets like the Merced, it's a great example of a well-maintained neighborhood market where locals come to eat and shop.
The Mother Ship: Central de Abastos
If you really want to get an idea of the size of Mexico City's food economy, head to the dizzying Central de Abastos, a wholesale market that supplies 80 percent of the capital's edibles. There is nothing you won't find here, from potatoes to crab meat, and the sheer size is overwhelming, covering over 300 hectares.