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tashby


Jun 9, 2010, 4:39 PM

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The Mexico City Thread

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(I'm amazed how little recent information exists on Mexconnect about traveling to/in Mexico City. I waded through 12 pages of threads about getting through, around, and out of Mexico City, but found very little about visiting The City itself. So….)

What are your favorite neighborhoods in Mexico City?

I’m planning a short 5-ish day trip for August. I’ve only ever been to Mexico City once - a quick site-bagging trip years ago - and the other half has never been at all. Since the D.F. is so huge, my thinking is we’ll enjoy it more if we take several small trips – little bites – rather than try to swallow the whole enchilada all at once. And now that we live so relatively close, we can visit the D.F. frequently, easily. I also want to make sure this first trip is especially enjoyable for my partner and not overwhelming. It needs to be heavy on “pleasant”. That’s why right now I’m focusing mostly on which neighborhood to stay in.

The perfect neighborhood would be central and offer relatively easy access to some of the major sites …..but would also be a good spot to “just to hang out”. After a day of site seeing, I want to retreat to a neighborhood that’s pleasant to walk around in the evening. (I also fully expect there to be days when we just want to do nothing but hang out in the neighborhood and take it all in.) So an area with restaurants, a little nightlife, pedestrian-oriented to some degree, interesting shops or galleries, some funk, a park with trees and human beings, etc., would be perfect.

From what I can tell glancing at my (absolutely ancient) Mexico Guidebook, and poking around a *cough* different *cough* message board, somewhere in the Condesa/Roma district(s), perhaps very near Parqué México, may be a good choice. We’ll certainly spend time in the Centro Historico itself during site-seeing runs, but don’t think it’s where we want to be in the evenings. Polanco sounds way too splash for me. Zona Rosa sounds potentially great (or really tragic). Slightly remote Coyoacán is appealing, but doesn't make sense on this first trip. Again though, these are just impressions from two-sentence descriptions in really old guidebook. I could be way off base. Help?

What is your favorite area of Mexico City to stay in as a visitor, and why? What neighborhood would you suggest based on my list of desires?

Also, any accommodation suggestions are very, very much appreciated. I’m aware of The Red Treehouse, which looks pretty great, and appears to be somewhere near where I think we may want to be. (http://www.theredtreehouse.com/)
Wouldn’t mind spending less than this, but I realize it’s Mexico City, and first and foremost I want it to be comfortable and pleasant so my other half will want to return. (I know I will no matter what.)

Thanks for any ideas and insights (and sorry for the long post)!



La Isla


Jun 9, 2010, 4:47 PM

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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One of my students will be here any moment, so all I have time to write now is forget about staying in the Zona Rosa! My neighborhood, a few blocks in back of the US Embassy, is a possibility, though.


tashby


Jun 9, 2010, 4:51 PM

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Re: [La Isla] The Mexico City Thread

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Ha! I had already ruled out Zona Rosa, wasn't even going to mention it, but then slammed it into the post at the last second. Thanks.


esperanza

Jun 9, 2010, 5:12 PM

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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You would LOVE the Red Tree House, for any number of reasons. I say go for it. It's beautiful, in a beautiful neighborhood with easy access to the MetroBus--the best way to travel quickly to various places of DF interest from north to south. Truly, the colonia is gorgeous. Your other half will love it.

Don't go without asking for restaurant recommendations, both up and down-scale. And other recommendations, too--places to go, people to see. Introductions to local friends? Yep, that too.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









La Isla


Jun 9, 2010, 6:25 PM

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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The Red Tree House looks nice but a bit pricey. There's a similar kind of family-operated hotel in my neighborhood with much more reasonable prices. Here's the link: http://hotels.lonelyplanet.com/...a-gonzalez-p1042407/

Edited to create live link.


(This post was edited by esperanza on Jun 9, 2010, 7:52 PM)


esperanza

Jun 9, 2010, 7:54 PM

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Re: [La Isla] The Mexico City Thread

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That's a very nice neighborhood! Here are some photos I found on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/.../formulawerks/page2/.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Jun 9, 2010, 7:56 PM)


La Isla


Jun 9, 2010, 7:59 PM

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Re: [esperanza] The Mexico City Thread

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Yes, it is! I'm lucky to be able to call it home.


Manuel Dexterity

Jun 9, 2010, 8:24 PM

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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My daughter lived on Amsterdam in la Condesa for several years and my wife and I really enjoyed our visits there. We could easily catch cabs from the sitio at Parque México. We also walked the neighborhood at night and never felt uneasy.


La Isla


Jun 9, 2010, 9:22 PM

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] The Mexico City Thread

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Condesa is a lovely neighborhood, especially because of the two parks, Parque México and Parque España.


tashby


Jun 10, 2010, 12:13 PM

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Re: [La Isla] The Mexico City Thread

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Thanks everybody. Sounds like you all think Condesa is a good choice, with La Isla also chiming in with a vote for the neighborhood behind the US Embassy which, unless they moved it in the last ten years, my guide book says is Colonia Cuauhtémoc.

Time to start shopping for an airfare!

Thanks also for the link to Casa Gonzales, La Isla. I'm definitely keeping that in my bag of tricks.

Still open to other ideas as I don't have firm dates yet and won't be able to check availability, etc., til then.


La Isla


Jun 10, 2010, 12:24 PM

Post #11 of 30 (16077 views)

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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Colonia Cuauhtémoc isn't as trendy or artsy as Condesa, but it's very pleasant and relatively tranquila, especially on the weekends.


Anonimo

Jun 10, 2010, 2:29 PM

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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We enjoy walking through and dining in Condesa, but we always stay in Roma Norte or Centro.

One of the nicer, yet not exorbitantly priced hotels is the Stanza.
Less expensive, but with clean comfortable but smaller rooms is the Milán.

I posted a lengthy answer to a similar question on the Thorn Tree, Mexico Branch earlier today.

We'll be at the Hotel Milán on our return from the U.S.



Saludos,
Anonimo

(This post was edited by Rolly on Jun 10, 2010, 2:49 PM)


tashby


Jun 11, 2010, 3:08 PM

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Re: [Anonimo] The Mexico City Thread

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Thanks Anonimo. I read your other post, but you didn't say why you prefer to stay in Roma Norte other than the neighborhood might be "a little more intellectually bent" and (perhaps) less "party" than Condesa. Is that it? Or do you have other reasons you prefer to visit Condesa, but stay in Roma Norte? (While I do consider myself somewhat bent intellectually, I don't think that alone is going to swing me in one direction or the other.)

Thanks also for mentioning Hoteles Stanza and Milán. Milán was on my radar, but Stanza was not.

For you, or anyone else, how does the Roma Norte compare with La Condesa? I suspect we'd be happy in either location. (Along with all my other criteria, previously undisclosed, this is a "special occasion" trip....a birthday ending in a zero. So I have justification is splurging a bit.....hence looking at the Red Tree House.)

Thanks!


TigerTonio


Jun 11, 2010, 3:51 PM

Post #14 of 30 (15971 views)

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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Don't totally discount Polanco or the Chapultepec area. My friends recently stayed at the JW Marriott recently and they absolutely loved the location. I've stayed at the Nikko. The W looks fantastic. You're within walking distance to world class museums, Chapultepec Park and the castle. The subway is steps away from Parque Lincoln -- outdoor cafes don't get any better than here. Some of the best restaurants are in Polanco. And best of all, the area is generally safe and very walkable.


(This post was edited by TigerTonio on Jun 11, 2010, 3:51 PM)


Anonimo

Jun 11, 2010, 6:16 PM

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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Travis, I prefer to stay in Roma rather than Condesa becuase it's less expensive in Roma. We also have friends who live within walking distance, although we could really walk to their house from Condesa just about as easily.

But I really love the area of Parque México, with its surroundings of glorious old houses and Parque España in Condesa. We have been to only a couple of restaurants in Condesa, but we have a more favorites in Roma, most of which are inexpensive or moderate.
This one is our first stop after checking in:
http://tinyurl.com/2cj94k2

My impression is that Condesa is even greener and leafier with trees than Roma. Roma has its slightly more gritty parts, (read "real", whatever that means.) and Condesa is more groomed.



Saludos,
Anonimo


tashby


Jun 13, 2010, 5:35 PM

Post #16 of 30 (15837 views)

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Re: [TigerTonio] The Mexico City Thread

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Thanks TigerTonio and, again, Anonimo. I don't doubt Polanco has a lot of great qualities, but I have a strong suspicion I just wouldn't be comfortable there. I have a really low threshold for the Chanel-toting air kiss crowd and my guess is if they're anywhere in Mexico City, it's there. But then I haven't spent any time in Mexico City so what do I know?

I hope to have a good look and get a decent sense of all these districts for future trips. I'm looking at it as part scouting mission!

P.S. Nice video Anonimo! Coincidentally I was in Guadalajara today and had a tasty burger for lunch.....but it was nowhere near as fun as that venue.


Peter


Jun 13, 2010, 6:39 PM

Post #17 of 30 (15822 views)

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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Someday I'm going to get brave and make a trip to Mexico City other than just passing through the airport there. I hear there are some really wonderful places to go there and it would be well worthwhile to make the trip but it is just way too big for me to feel comfortable to go it alone. Someday I will tag along with someone that knows their way around the city a bit.

I suspect someday I may have a need to visit Mexico City for some important reason that requires making the trip and I would like to be at least a little prepared for it. As comfortable as I have gotten living here in Mexico, doing many things for the first time I don't find to be very intuitive. I want to know what I'm getting into.


La Isla


Jun 14, 2010, 11:00 AM

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I don't go to Polanco very often, and when I do I feel as though I were in a Disney version of a posh Mexican neighborhood. The last time I was there I did find a bakery with fabulous (but pricey) croissants that didn't taste like pan dulce in crescent form.


La Isla


Jun 14, 2010, 11:04 AM

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Re: [Peter] The Mexico City Thread

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In Reply To
Someday I'm going to get brave and make a trip to Mexico City other than just passing through the airport there. I hear there are some really wonderful places to go there and it would be well worthwhile to make the trip but it is just way too big for me to feel comfortable to go it alone. Someday I will tag along with someone that knows their way around the city a bit.

Mexico City is huge, and there are many colonias that you wouldn't want to walk around, even in the daytime. The trick to visiting and living here is to hone in on a few areas that are safe and full of interesting things to do. If you ever decide to come for a visit, I'd be happy to meet and show you around!


Peter


Jun 14, 2010, 10:05 PM

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Re: [La Isla] The Mexico City Thread

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I'd be happy to meet and show you around!


Thank you, that is very kind. There is a very good chance I would do just that, although it may be quite a while before I get down that way.

That is how I thought one might manage being there. Just for its sheer size would take a lifetime to become familiar with the whole place. I imagine The City being somewhat the size of Los Angeles metropolitan area but with a denser population. I lived about an hour away from Los Angeles but avoided it whenever possible, but it wasn't always possible. There were always many attractions and reasons for going there, and it was never as bad once I got there as I was hoping it would not be. Kind of enjoyable usually.


La Isla


Jun 14, 2010, 10:10 PM

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Re: [Peter] The Mexico City Thread

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I'd be happy to meet and show you around!


Thank you, that is very kind. There is a very good chance I would do just that, although it may be quite a while before I get down that way.


I expect to be here for quite a while, so whenever..... ( :


Vichil

Jun 19, 2010, 11:43 AM

Post #22 of 30 (15565 views)

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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Read the Ruta Condesa-Roma article on yahoo entretenimiento sction today if you have Yahoo Mexico. There may be something you can use.


tashby


Jun 19, 2010, 6:44 PM

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Re: [Vichil] The Mexico City Thread

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Thanks for that. I looked at it today. It reminds me that I will want to do a walking tour with someone who knows what the heck we're looking at in that neighborhood.

Mostly I'm focused right now on buying the plane tickets. I see the flight and price I want on the Mexicana website, but am getting grief for not being a pre-registered guy. I'm persona non grata.....however that's spelled. Bah.

Already have the place lined up.....just need the transport. It'll all work out....I'm really excited!


Vichil

Jun 19, 2010, 7:18 PM

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Re: [tashby] The Mexico City Thread

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By the way the cabs are cheap and you can rent some of them by the hour or for the day. A lot of them know the city inside out and are fun guides.
Did you try to buy under cliente invitado? It usually works for me.


(This post was edited by Vichil on Jun 19, 2010, 7:24 PM)


tashby


Aug 18, 2010, 6:08 PM

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I'm REVIVING this thread because we're going in a week and now I'm quite excited and looking for a bit more info. Things to do, restaurant recs, etc. Keeping in mind, we're only spending 4 nights, arriving Thursday mid-day and leaving Monday mid-day.

Also, I know some people like to run and gun and pack every possible site and experience into a trip like this.

I am not that person.

I enjoy a much more leisurely approach, and prefer not to over-plan. This trip is more about just experiencing a taste of the city. We'll be staying in La Condesa at Casa del Arbol Rojo. Any tips for that area re restaurants or other haunts are MUCH appreciated. (Anything quirky or funky or quintessentially Mexico City goes to the top of the list.)

Here's my roughed in thinking for how to spend the long weekend:

ARRIVE MID-DAY THURSDAY: After checking into hotel, grab a cab to the Zócalo and go on the touristy double-decker bus thing to catch the major sites, get oriented to the center, etc. Might be able to pick up that bus somewhere in La Condesa, if so even better.

After that, just poke around La Condesa, etc.

FRIDAY: Possibly go to the Anthropology Museum in the morning (rather than on the weekend, less crowded, etc.) Then.....something else in the afternoon? Somewhere else (not a museum) in Chapultepec? Maybe a walking tour in some neighborhood? Although that may be too much time on foot post-museum.

SATURDAY: Bazaar Sabado in San Angel. What time of day does this get started? Mid-day? Is it worth trying to double this with the Coyoacán neighborhood on the same day since they're in the same direction? Or are they two slices from the same apple? Or just too much to try to do? (I have ZERO interest in seeing the house where Frida and Diego lived.)

SUNDAY: Do the Zócalo area with all the obvious sites thereabouts. (Templo Mayor, Palacio Nacional, Ex-Colegio de San Ildefonso) Here I'm assuming that the area is pleasant on a Sunday (but not overly burdened), and that the important buildings, sites, etc., are open on Sunday. Is that a safe assumption?

MONDAY: Leave morning open for something missed or whatever we feel like doing. Return to Guadalajara on early afternoon flight.

Somewhere in there I'd also like to do the Museo de Franz Mayer, Casa de los Azulejos (just for the building) and the Palacio de Belles Artes (also for the building).

SO! How's that for not planning to pack in too much? Ha. Anyway, I'd love to hear feedback on whether or not all that is doable, and I'd especially love to hear your "Must see/Must do/Must eat here" thoughts given that we're staying in Condesa.

Also, I can google "Mexico City Walking Tours" and come up with several links, no doubt. Our hotel can probably recommend some, too. But if you know of a particularly good provider, I'd love to hear about it!

Running like a mad man trying to pull together a party this weekend. Sorry for the breathless post, and appreciate any thoughts. THANKS!


(This post was edited by tashby on Aug 18, 2010, 6:17 PM)
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