Off the Beaten Path Guide to Mexico City, Flickr: oprior

Floating Gardens of Xochimilco

 

One of the oldest metropolis’ to exist is Mexico City, a large urban area with lots of history. What makes booking a flight to Mexico City and traveling so interesting is not only its history, but the unique culture behind it. Many are familiar with the Ancient Indian and the later Spanish influence that gives the city its feel, but what about the lesser known sites in Mexico City? What can one find when they penetrate deep beyond the Ancient Ruins and delicious Mexican food?
Museo del Zapato: The name of this museum translates simply to what it is exactly: The Museum of the Shoe. Since the late 80’s, this museum shows a collection of family shoe-shop’s inventory. There are thousands of shoes from different cities, cultures and of course, style. There is everything from simple old flip flops to eccentric styles that don’t even seem walkable.
Xochimilco: Venice and Amsterdam are the canal cities of Europe, but Xochimilco is the canal city of Mexico. Protected by the UNESCO foundation are the beautiful canals of the suburb of Xochimilco. The Mexicans designed colorful boats to travel on these canals, often used on weekends for tourists, but mainly to transport goods. Canal Tourist boats are often filled with sellers offering plants or treats for sale, and live mariachi’s to entertain during the day or night. There is even an ecosystem of species native to Mexico, like the Montezuma frog.
Torre Latinoamericana: Who knew that the Torre Latinoamericana was once the tallest skyscraper in Latin America? This important landmark is used today by a real estate firm and bank, but was remodeled for tourists use. There is now a site museum and an observation deck offering panoramic views of Mexico City. The tower is often photographed due to its similar resemblance to New York City’s Empire State Building.
Plaza Mexico: One of the sports introduced by the Spaniards was bull fighting, especially in the capital city of Mexico City. The world’s largest bullring is Plaza Mexico, dedicated to bullfighting as a sport. Thousands gather on weekends to watch the paso doble, the dance of the brave matador against the angry bull. Being a part of the action is truly delving into Mexican history, especially with such an exciting event right before your eyes.
Mercado El Chopo: Flea markets are popular around the world for finding unique gifts or souvenirs, but visiting the bazaar at Mercado El Chopo is an experience in itself. Though it’s only open on Saturday’s, it is one of the busiest markets in Mexico. Goods that can be found include books, music, videos, sports items and anything and everything in between. It’s a crowded place with locals that have one thing on their mind: shopping.
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photo: oprior

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