Formally named after the 19th century president Benito Juárez in 2006, Benito Juárez International Airport is a commercial airport that serves Mexico’s capital and biggest city, Mexico City. It is also the country’s busiest airport by both passenger traffic and aircraft movements. In fact, the airport handled 33,082,456 passengers for the 12-month period ending July 31, 2014. Although it is considered as a “hot and high” airport, in optimal conditions, Benito Juárez Airport can handle up to 32 million passengers annually with the completion of recent renovations and expansion projects. Currently, a total of 46 domestic and international airlines, including cargo carriers, serve the airport, providing non-stop services from Mexico City to North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Asia, and Europe. The airport is also the main hub for Aeroméxico, the nation’s largest airline, and a secondary hug for subsidiary Aeroméxico Connect. In addition, it is a hub for SkyTeam, Aeromar, Interjet, and Volaris, as well as a focus city for VivaAerobus.
Mexico City has the largest number of museums in the world, not including art galleries. Downtown, you will find several historical buildings and landmarks. The Centro itself is filled with stately buildings, which makes Mexico City known as the City of Palaces. As the largest city in the world, it offers something for everyone, not to mention its extremely interesting culture and amazing sceneries. These are just some of the reasons that make Mexico City a city absolutely worth visiting. To start off, the city is filled with ominous-sized landmarks with cultural, historical, and religious value. Plaza de la Constitución, also known as Zócalo, is one of the largest squares in the world. It is located in the Centro Historico (Historic Downtown). The biggest in the Americas, La Catedral contains multiple altars, with the principle altar made from solid gold. Catholicism's holiest place in the America is found at La Villa de Guadalupe in Mexico City, the Basílica de Guadalupe, which pilgrims visit, especially during the yearly celebration on the 12th of December. There are also plenty of big, beautiful gardens, parks, and plazas scattered throughout Mexico City including Chapultepec Park and Zoo, Xochimilco, and Plaza Garibaldi-Mariachi.
Not only Mexico has the world’s largest museums, some of them are also the best. The National Museum of Anthropology, for example, has a huge, impressive fountain in the courtyard. Most of all, its collection of sculptures, jewels and handcrafts from ancient Mexican cultures is considered as one of the best. Other notable museums include National History Museum in Chapultepec's Castle, which houses a collection of pre-Columbian material and reproductions of old manuscripts and a wide range of exhibits that display Mexico’s history; the bright, colourful, and educational Papalote, a children's Museum, that the kids will surely love; and Franz Meyer Museum, which houses Mexico's largest decorative art collection and also hosts design and photography exhibits. One will never run out of activities to do while in the city. Some of the best things that you should experience are joining one or more seasonal celebrations and parades; enjoy rides at amusement parks; watch car and horse races, as well as sporting events; and watch Lucha Libre at Arena Mexico, home to Mexican free wrestling. Great shopping places in Mexico City are in its major shopping districts such as Condesa which has trendy stores; Altavista and Polanco for upscale shops; Pino Suarez for youth-minded fashion; and city's oldest shopping district, Centro Historico, for anything and everything. Mexico City is not just the world capital of tacos, but also of a vast array of cuisines from all over the world. Of course, if you want to try excellent authentic Mexican cuisine, you should visit some of these restaurants: El Cardenal, Los Girasoles, Aguila y Sol, and Izote for fine dining; Café Tacuba for more affordable options. Mexico City’s central market, La Merced, and Mercado San Juan Arcos de Belem also offer authentic Mexican food at cheap prices.
How to get around within Mexico City
Although tourist attractions are scattered throughout Mexico City, it is not recommended to use a car to drive around. If you have specific neighbourhoods (“Colonias”) included in your itinerary, a great way is to know beforehand where they are located by stopping by at Guia Roji, a cartography company based in the city – aside from checking Google Maps and Map24. There are plenty of public transport options available. The Metro (official name: Sistema de Transporte Colectivo) is comprised of 12 different lines, measuring 225.9km, and carries 7.6 million people every day. Although it can get very busy and uncomfortable due to the large volume of passengers, it’s a great alternative to taking the taxi, especially during the rush hour. Trains run frequently and operate from 5:00 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and 7:00 a.m. on Sunday. There are two kinds of buses that operate in the city, the City Government-owned RTP, and the privately run "Microbuses" or "Peseros". RTPs are full-sized buses while Peseros come in small and bigger sizes. Both types usually stop at the same places, usually random and unmarked stops before intersections. It is advisable to ask the driver if you are unfamiliar with the location where you’re going. Another way is by Metrobús, which operates in dedicated lanes along Insurgentes, Vallejo, and Eje 4 Avenues. Currently, its Line 4 runs through the city centre and to the airport. The Electric Transport Services-operated Tren Ligero is comprised of one single line that runs south of the city and links it to Metro station Tasqueña. Taxis are abundant in Mexico City and also considered as one of the most efficient ways to navigate around. Riding the double-decker, hop-in hop-off Turibus is not just a way to get to your destination, but is also a great way to sight-see. As mentioned, driving around by car is not advisable because of the city’s complicated road structure and with more than three million passengers moving around the city. If you choose to drive, be reminded of Hoy No Circula (Today You Do Not Circulate), a very important anti-traffic and anti-
pollution program being implemented in Mexico City, which limits vehicle circulation to certain restricted hours during the day depending on the last digit of your plate number.
How to get there
If you are getting in by plane, you’ll most probably go through Benito Juárez International Airport, which is located in the eastern part of the city. From the airport, you can take a taxi, the Metro, or by bus. Another way to get in is by bus, that is, if you are from coming from the United States or Guatemala. Greyhound offers several connecting routes to the border cities from several major cities in the U.S. If you are coming in from Guatemala, you can travel by Transportes Galgos, Tica Bus, King Quality, or Linea Dorada to Tapachula, where you will be transferred to an OCC/ADO or FYPSA bus bound to Mexico City. These buses stop at one of four major bus stations in the city. The Ferrocarriles de Suburbano is the only one train that travels to and Mexico City's Buenavista train station and stops at Cuautitlan.
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