From Aztec ruins jutting out of urban squares to Neoclassical cathedrals nestled in funky neighborhoods, Mexico City's landmarks are in a league of their own. It's no surprise that travel to Mexico City is a dream-come-true for architecture enthusiasts.
If you're looking for the best things to do in Mexico City and you love a good monument (and let's be honest, who doesn't), check out these amazing Mexico City landmarks.
Ready to travel? Connect with a Fora Advisor to customize & book your trip today.
1. El Zócalo
One of the first things to do in Mexico City is to visit the Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square.
Officially named Constitution Square (but the locals rarely call it that), the Zócalo is where many of the city’s biggest events occur. It’s also surrounded by several major Mexico City landmarks, including the National Palace of Mexico, the Federal District buildings, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Old Portal de Mercaderes, which features fine jewelry and luxury hotels. In fact, one of the best hotels in Mexico City, the Four Seasons, is right next door.
The Zócalo’s European architecture is a strong reminder of the city’s Spanish influences. However, just outside the main view of the plaza lies the ruins of Templo Mayor, which was once regarded by the city’s original Mexica inhabitants as the center of the universe.
TL;DR: you can’t miss Zócalo. Be sure to work with a Fora Advisor as you plan your CDMX trip, as they can help you find all the can't-miss spots.
2. Metropolitan Cathedral
Elaborate facades guarded by statues of patron saints, opulent bell towers, an art-filled interior and gilded tabernacle make the Metropolitan Cathedral one of the most unique places to visit in Mexico.
How so, you ask? Stunning architecture isn’t exactly in short supply in Mexico City, but the Metropolitan Cathedral’s construction is the source of its uniqueness. Development began in the late 16th century but wasn’t finished for almost 200 years.
Naturally, the Cathedral is a melting pot of different architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Neoclassical. The result is breathtaking, and has long served as a place of cohesion for generations of Mexico City’s predominantly Catholic population.
Check out Fora Advisor Catarina Rivera's full guide on Mexico City's art history:
Pssst: if exploring Mexico City's architecture isn't your cup of tea, don't worry. Your Fora Advisor can hook you up with plenty of travel options that won't give you museum-fatigue.
3. The National Palace of Mexico
The National Palace of Mexico currently serves as the residence of the President of Mexico. Historically, many of Mexico’s leaders have lived in the palace dating all the way back to the Aztec era. And supposedly, many of the building’s original materials are still present. Talk about truly historical Mexico City landmarks.
Check out Fora Advisor Natalie Stegman's guide for more Mexico City suggestions:
4. The Ruins of Templo Mayor
As we mentioned above, Templo Mayor was once regarded as the center of the universe by the city’s Mesoamerican originators. The ruins have been an active dig site for about 50 years now, while an accompanying museum displays a variety of Aztec and Olmec artifacts.
5. The Angel of Independence
The Angel of Independence, or El Ángel, celebrates Mexico’s freedom from Spain and the fighting spirit of the Mexican people. The statue, topped by the gilded Greek Goddess Nike, is nearly 150 feet tall and overlooks the Paseo de la Reforma in downtown Mexico City, not far from Chapultepec Forest.
As a side note, the Angel is also located in Zona Rosa, one of Mexico City’s hippest neighborhoods. If you’re looking for things to do in Mexico City at night, this is the place to be and it’s also super LGBTQ+ friendly.
6. Chapultepec Castle (in the Bosque de Chapultepec)
Chapultepec Castle has served many purposes since it was first built during the twilight years of the 18th century. It’s been a military academy, a summer home for Mexican royalty, the seat of power for the Second Mexican Empire and an observatory, and now hosts a varied collection of artifacts as the National History Museum of Mexico City.
The Castle also happens to offer amazing cliffside vistas of Chapultepec Forest, one of North America’s largest urban parks. In fact, if you’re looking for family-friendly adventures in Mexico City, a visit to the Castle, park and its many other attractions easily tops the list!
See Fora Advisor Zoe Schaffer's full guide to family friendly CDMX:
7. The Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Fine Arts, or Palacio de Bellas Artes, is yet another example of why CDMX’s architectural heritage makes it one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Palace is Mexico’s preeminent venue for theater, dance, opera, literature and other refined arts — but its Art Deco and Nouveau facade makes it a worthy Mexico City landmark in its own right.
8. The ancient city of Teotihuacán
Teotihuacán’s imposing monoliths and pyramids stand in stark contrast to the ornate European styles introduced by the Spanish. The Mesoamerican city also serves as a reminder that ancient people’s engineering prowess rivals today’s best designers and architects.
Teotihuacán is absolutely worthy of a day trip from Mexico City. You can climb the massive steps of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon or even take a hot air balloon ride over the entire city!
Check out Fora Advisor Leslie Overton's full guide for more curated experiences in Mexico City:
9. Monumento a la Revolución
Finished in 1938, the Monument to the Revolution, or Monumento a la Revolución, memorializes the Mexican Revolution. The monument is also the final resting place of revolutionary heroes, Francisco Madero, Francisco “Pancho” Villa, Venustiano Carranza, Plutarco Elías Calles and Lázaro Cárdenas.
10. Torre Latinoamericana
The Torre Latinoamericana, or Latin American Tower, is one of Mexico’s tallest skyscrapers (in fact, it was the tallest until 1982). The observation deck at the tower’s zenith offers a complete panoramic view of all of Mexico City and is also home to a small museum that exhibits the tower’s history.
And if towers aren't your thing, your Fora travel advisor can help you find alternate ways of exploring Mexico City's gorgeous skyline vistas.
11. The Blue House
The Blue House, or La Casa Azul, may not be instantly recognizable but the world-famous-artist-turned-feminist-icon that it honors is. We’re talking about Frida Kahlo — and La Casa Azul was her home for the better part of her life, as well as the site of her death.
If you’re looking to explore Mexico City’s art history, visiting the Frida Kahlo museum is essential. The museum exhibits her — and husband Diego Rivera’s — early works along with many of her belongings, just as they were left when she died.
A Fora Advisor can help you explore all the best landmarks in Mexico City.
Chatting with a Fora Advisor can make all the difference if you want to get the most out of your next trip to Mexico City. Not only can an advisor tailor your experience, they can also help you save money in the process.
Connect with a Fora Advisor to customize & book your trip today.