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Why Every Houstonian Should Visit Mexico City

The city has almost as many museums as tequila varieties.

By Jayme Lamm November 13, 2018

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Image: Jayme Lamm

One of the best things about Houston is the accessibility and diversity for travel– not only road trips, but also flying anywhere your heart desires. There are about 775 daily flights out of Houston (IAH and HOU combined), so the hardest part is picking your destination and requesting time off from work.

One of the hottest Mexico destinations for Houstonians has been Cabo, thanks to the ease, flexibility and pricing, but there’s another spot getting high praise—and it’s not a beach. It’s Mexico City. So why is the city worth booking?

It’s International Travel Close to Home.

Because of Houston’s close proximity, Mexico City is one of the easiest ways for Houstonians to experience international travel without much money, culture shock, or effort — there are 14 daily nonstop flights from Houston to Mexico City via United, Interjet, Aeromexico and Southwest— all while still experiencing a different culture.

Consider it the perfect gateway city to dip your toes into everything international travel has to offer: Authentic cuisine, amazing museums and culture, another language, copious adventures, and no jetlag. Plus, locals are friendly and familiar with the English language, helping you navigate the city and adding a level of authenticity you might not experience in Cabo or Cancun.

Museo Frida Kahlo

It’s a Top Destination for Museums.

Mexico City ranks as the city with the second-highest number of museums in the world—behind Paris. No matter if your interests lie in art, design, architecture, history or elsewhere, Mexico City has options. In fact, it has almost as many museums as it does tequila shots. There’s even a museum dedicated solely to that: Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal.  

Museo Frida Kahlo, the former residence of Frida Kahlo and fellow artist/husband Diego Rivera, is a must-see. Not only is the couple’s collection and life story awe-inspiring and easily digestible for art lovers of any level, the cobalt blue walls and meticulously preserved gardens make for a beautiful afternoon, seemingly far outside the bustling capital. Located in the Coyoacán neighborhood, it’s nestled between vendors, locals strolling along shaded streets, and a massive neighborhood market featuring local delicacies like fried grasshoppers and artisan crafts.

Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Palace of Fine Arts, is one of the most grand and iconic buildings in the city. A place for architecture and art lovers, the museum houses some of the grandest murals by greats like Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo and Robert Montenegro—but the greatest draw is the ever-changing exhibits.

Museo Jumex is one of the hottest spots to take in contemporary art from around the world, targeting a broad group of art lovers. The 15,000-square-foot museum boasts one of the largest private collections of contemporary works in Latin America from icons including Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger and Damien Hirst.

A fonda in Mexico City.

The Food is More Than Just Tacos and Tequila.

Believe it or not, the capital has more than just street tacos—although if you see a vendor with a line, do yourself a favor and get in it! Mexico City's food scene is having a moment, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. The city has no shortage of fine dining, street side vendors or neighborhood homestyle restaurants (known as fondas) serving three-course meals for lunch, or cantinas, a hybrid of a fonda, bar and restaurant.

Food in Mexico City is worth exploring; it’s part of the city’s charm and culture. Get ready for big lunches (lunch trumps dinner here), frequent snacking, daily stops at street vendors and late night snacks.

El Cardenal is a gastronomical landmark. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the upscale restaurant sources its own tortillas, nata (clotted cream) and cheese, breads, chocolates and more in-house. Try the edible insect delicacies or opt for a more traditional locally sourced meal.

Churreria El Moro is where you’ll experience your first real churro. At this 80-year-old downtown shop, you’ll see two skilled churro makers preparing and tossing every order, fresh and on the fly. You haven’t experienced churros until you’ve been here.

Balmori Roofbar offers delicately designed mezcal and tequila concoctions. Try their fresh food options like Oaxaca bombs. You’ll eat next to strangers at community-style tables, feeling the rhythm of the DJ. The retractable roof makes it perfect in any weather.

The Galeria Plaza Reforma Adds Convenience and Luxury.

With so much to see and do in the sprawling metropolis, where you stay is key. Staying centrally located with comfortable and luxurious amenities makes your trip all the more enjoyable.

Galeria Plaza Reforma is located in Mexico City’s Financial District, making it central and easily accessible for any adventure. The hotel’s award-winning restaurant ALMARA, helmed by chef Guy Santoro, is known beyond city limits. The scarcity and beauty of a Mexico City rooftop hotel is few and far between and is another differentiator here. Come for all of the above, but don’t miss the penthouse pool and vibrant surroundings.

Who’s ready to visit Mexico City? ¡Vámonos!

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