The world is bigger than we could ever possibly imagine, and it’s scary to think we will never even scratch the surface in this lifetime. Even if we do travel to the same places, we see the world through different eyes, creating a unique experience. As I dive head first into travel, I am inspired by each of your adventures and am starting Sonderlust Secrets as a series showcasing this. Interested in being featured?Mexico City, or DF “dey-effey” as the locals call it, is one of those cities you HAVE to visit once in your life. I might be biased because I love Mexican culture and I’m not a beach person, but there is just so much history and culture. I should preface that my trip to Mexico City was the first time I had ever been outside of the United States, and the first time I ever travelled alone. Being a super shy, super introverted person I didn’t take as much advantage of the city as I could have, but I plan on returning one day!The first tip I will give you about Mexico City is that it is extremely polluted. The pollution gets worse between December and February, which is actually the time I went. Pack lots of Kleenex to keep with you, drink a lot of bottled water, and don’t be surprised if you lose your voice on the second day. It’s really funny when you try to speak Spanish, though. The second tip is that if you aren’t Mexican you will stand out and men will try to talk to you. This can be good and bad. I met two really nice guys who showed me the city. However, I also had a stalker who wouldn’t go away when I told him I don’t speak Spanish, caressed my face and leg, and followed me for a bit. Luckily, I lost him. You just need to be assertive and not give any attention to the guy if you aren’t interested.I did my research before arriving and learned that Condesa was a safe neighborhood to stay in, and it was right next to Bosque de Chapultepec. The park is enormous, so I will give you my list of the top 5 places to visit in the Bosque de Chapultepec.
Bosque de Chapultepec
I know, I know. This is the park, but it’s so big. You can walk through the forest and see the trees. You’ll see so many couples just lying in the grass. Grab some lunch and have a picnic in the shade to escape the heat. There are also so many squirrels that will run right up to you. If you go at Christmas time you will also be able to see lots of beautiful Christmas trees adorned in Mexican decorations.
El Museo de Arte Moderno
I love modern art, so I knew I wanted to see the museum. I saw works by one of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo, and there were also some works by Diego Rivera. The museum isn’t really big, but if you like art it is worth it. Also, the museum leads outside where you can walk around and look at the different sculptures and statues.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
This is by far the BEST museum I have ever been to, and I’ve been to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. It literally feels like you are walking back in time. I also felt like I was on that 90s game show Legend of the Hidden Temple. It was only $6 to get into the museum, but you could spend days there. I spent several hours and I didn’t even manage to see everything. I cannot put into words how amazing it was. You just need to see it for yourself.
Castillo de Chapultepec
This is a former Spanish castle that was turned into a museum. It was beautiful, and had spectacular views of the city. It’s so high up that you could see everything in the city below or as far as the pollution would let you.
The gardens are on the opposite side of the park than the forest.Most of it is outside, but it’s nice to just stroll around. It’s near a Starbucks (that is also in the park) so you could grab a cup of coffee and just enjoy the scenery.
Bosque de Chapultepec also has a large lake, a zoo, and lots of food and toy stands. I wasn’t joking when I said it was big. In fact, I’m sure there is more I forgot to mention but it’s been several years since I’ve been there so it slipped my mind. This is also just a piece of Mexico City. Just imagine everything else you can discover on your trip to the city!
Jasilyn is an American expat living in Russia and founder of Coffee + Cleveland, a blog of daily life and current travels. When she’s not teaching English or trying to master the Russian language she is taking photos of old buildings, graffiti, or abandoned places. You can also follow along visually by visiting her instagram!