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Thursday, 21.06.2018
16:00 UTC

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    Mexico City: Culture, commerce and a cathedral

    Vast, fast and dynamic, Mexico City is one heck of a megalopolis. DF or Distrito Federal, as the city is known by locals, packs in Aztec ruins, grand colonial architecture and huge city parks. The mighty capital of Mexico, and its centre of culture, arts and commerce, is fairly safe compared to other

    regions of the country. It boasts some of the most incredible museums in Latin America and the world, as well as a thriving arts scene that dates back to the great muralists like Diego Rivera. Meanwhile, its innovative take on Mexican culinary traditions is not to be missed.


    Top 10 sights in Mexico City

    Mexico City
    The gondolas in the Floating Gardens of Xochimilcoare called trajineras

    Templo Mayor

    Semanario 8, Downtown
    06060 Mexico City
    Tel: (55) 4040 5600
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0900-1700

    All that’s left of the mighty temple that lay at the heart of the Aztec Empire are these ruins, but they’re still worth visiting for a taste of the pre-Hispanic history buried just beneath modern-day Mexico City.


    Mexico City
    Show on map

    Hire a traditional trajera boat for the afternoon and glide around the verdant waterways of Xochimilco, the last remnant of the great Aztec canal system, which the conquistadors drained.

    Palacio de Bellas Artes

    Av. Juárez Esq. Eje Central, Centro Histórico
    06050 Mexico City
    Tel.: +52 (55) 86 47 6500 - 2152

    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800

    Originally built as an opera house, this stunning domed palace still puts on the city’s most important classical concerts and dances, but it’s worth entering just to see the incredible murals inside.


    Plaza de la Constitución, Downtown
    06010 Mexico City
    Show on map

    Once home to an Aztec palace, the vast central plaza known as Zócalo now features two remarkable buildings: the imposing cathedral and the Palacio Nacional.


    Zona Arqueologica de Teotihuacan, Carretera Ecatepec Pirámides km22 +600
    55800 Teotihuacán
    Tel: (594) 956 0276
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0930-1600

    Around 50km from Mexico City is one of the most important archaeological sights in Latin America – the soaring pyramids and ancient city complex of Teotihuacán.

    National Museum of Anthropology

    Av Paseo de la Reforma y Calzada Gandhi S/N
    Chapultepec Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo
    11560 Mexico City
    Tel: +52 55 4040 5300
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0900-1900

    Lose yourself in one of the world’s most fascinating museums, taking you from before the Aztecs to the Spanish Conquest and beyond, with countless artefacts, and information about Mexico’s hundreds of ethnic groups.

    Frida Kahlo Museum

    Londres 247, Del Carmen, Coyoacán
    04100 Mexico City
    Tel: (55) 5554 5999
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue and Thu-Sun 1000-1745, Wed 1100-1745

    The so-called blue house, Casa Azul, was the home of Frida Kahlo growing up. Apart from documenting her life and showing some of her work, it has a beautiful garden.


    Tacuba 8, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc
    06010 Mexico City
    Tel: +52 55 5130 3400
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1730

    One of the most important art museums in Latin America, this legendary neoclassical masterpiece contains hundreds of works from Mexico and beyond.

    Bosque de Chapultepec

    Avenida Constituyentes, Chapultepec
    11850 Mexico City
    Tel: (55) 5212 2171
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0500-2000
    Some sections are open daily 24 hours.

    If the traffic-clogged chaos and pollution of DF get too much, slip into this enormous park-cum-forest in the middle of the city, which also contains some important monuments.

    Basilica de Guadalupe

    Fray Juan de Zumárraga # 1
    Col. Villa Gustavo A. Madero
    Delegación Gustavo A. Madero.
    07050 Mexico City
    Tel.: +52 (55) 5118 0500
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0600-2100

    This peculiar-looking church marks the spot where the Virgin appeared to an indigenous man, Juan Diego, in 1531, and is now visited by pilgrims from across Latin America.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Spicy as salsa roja, intoxicating as a shot of tequila, volatile as the volcanoes of the central sierra, surreal as a Frida Kahlo canvas,

    monumental as the pyramids of Teotihuacán and warm as its inhabitants, Mexico fills the senses, tweaks the intellect and nourishes the soul.


    Mexico is at the southern extremity of North America and is bordered to the north by the USA, northwest by the Gulf of California, west by the Pacific, south by Guatemala and Belize, and east by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

    Mexico’s geographical features range from swamp to desert, and from tropical lowland jungle to high alpine vegetation.

    Over half the country is at an altitude greater than 1,000m (3,300ft). The central land mass is a plateau flanked by ranges of mountains to the east and west that lie roughly parallel to the coast. The northern area of this plateau is arid and thinly populated, and occupies 40% of the total area of Mexico.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 120286655

    Population Density (per sq km): 60

    Capital: Mexico City.


    Spanish is the official language (spoken by more than 90%). English is widely spoken. 8% speak indigenous languages, of which Nátinate is most common.


    Mexican Peso (MXN; symbol M$) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of M$1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of M$10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50 and 20 centavos.

    Note: The M$1,000 and M$500 notes can be difficult to change and are sometimes not accepted.


    110 volts AC, 60Hz. American two-pin (flat) plugs are usual, but most sockets cannot accept a US-style three-pin plug.

    General business opening hours

    These vary considerably, but are usually Mon-Fri 0900-1900/2000; lunch breaks usually last an hour but some business lunches can go on for longer.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2018 – December 2019 period.


    Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2018
    Día de la Constitución (Constitution Day): 5 February 2018
    Natalicio de Benito Juárez (Birthday Benito Juárez): 19 and 21 March 2018
    Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday): 25 March 2018
    Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday): 29 March 2018
    Viernes Santo (Good Friday): 30 March 2018
    Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday): 1 April 2018
    Primero de Mayo (May Day): 1 May 2018
    Batalla de Puebla (Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla): 5 May 2018
    Día de la Independencia (Independence Day): 16 September 2018
    Día de la Raza (Columbus Day): 12 October 2018
    Día de los Muertos (All Souls’ Day): 2 November 2018
    Aniversario de la Revolución (Revolution Day): 19 and 20 November 2018
    Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe): 12 December 2018
    Día de Navidad (Christmas Day): 25 December 2018


    Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2019
    Día de la Constitución (Constitution Day): 4 and 5 February 2019
    Natalicio de Benito Juárez (Birthday Benito Juárez): 17 and 18 March 2019
    Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday): 14 April 2019
    Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday): 18 April 2019
    Viernes Santo (Good Friday): 19 April 2019
    Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday): 21 April 2019
    Primero de Mayo (May Day): 1 May 2019
    Batalla de Puebla (Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla): 5 May 2019
    Día de la Independencia (Independence Day): 16 September 2019
    Día de la Raza (Columbus Day): 12 October 2019
    Día de los Muertos (All Souls’ Day): 2 November 2019
    Aniversario de la Revolución (Revolution Day): 17 and 18 November 2019
    Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe): 12 December 2019
    Día de Navidad (Christmas Day): 25 December 2019

    All information subject to change.


    Nightlife in Mexico City


    Thumping nightclubs, cracking live music venues and stylish hipster hangouts all rub shoulders in DF. Kick your evening off with a round of tequilas and botanas (appetisers) in a

    traditional cantina. Remember you’re at altitude – drinks are likely to go to your head more quickly than you might be used to.

    El Imperial

    Av. Álvaro Obregón 293, Cuauhtémoc, Roma Norte
    06700 Mexico City
    Mexico ‎
    Tel: +52 5 5525 1115
    Show on map

    For cutting-edge bands and club nights with rock music, head to this hip venue.

    Sala Nezahualcoyotl

    Insurgentes Sur 3000, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán
    04510 Mexico City
    Mexico ‎
    Tel: +52 5 5622 7125
    Show on map

    Opened in the 1970s in the city’s huge university, UNAM, this is a spectacular venue for classical concerts.

    Las Musas del Papa Sibarita

    Orizaba 218 A, Cuauhtémoc
    06700 Mexico City
    Show on map

    A poky, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it joint specialising in live jazz, the Papa is full of charm.

    Pata Negra

    Tamaulipas 30, Condesa
    06140 Mexico City
    Show on map

    Perhaps the most popular nightspot in Condesa, this trendy bar-club always offers a late-night party.


    Álvaro Obregón 64, La Roma
    06700 Mexico City
    Show on map

    A hip little bar in the heart of La Roma, this is the ideal place to try mescal, the cactus juice that’s outdoing tequila.


    Restaurants in Mexico City


    Mexican food is world famous. But while it’s essential to visit taco stands and restaurants while here, there’s plenty more to try –

    from zesty Oaxaca broths to rich stews conjuring ancient flavours. There are also some excellent Japanese and Argentine joints.

    Los Girasoles

    Tacuba 8-10, Plaza Manuel Tolsá, Downtown
    06000 Mexico City
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    With outdoor tables looking out to Bellas Artes and Aztec-inspired dishes, this is one of the city’s finest restaurants.

    San Angel Inn

    Diego Rivera 50, San Angel
    01060 Mexico City
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    A 17th-century hacienda hosts this classy restaurant that was once a Carmelite monastery.


    Álvaro Obregón 130, La Roma
    06700 Mexico City
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    For international cuisine in a buzzy setting, head to this handsome joint in La Roma.

    El Faraón Taquería

    Oaxaca 92-93, Condesa
    06700 Mexico City
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Quite possibly the best taquería in DF, this place is popular with Condesa locals at night; try the grilled cactus.

    La Casa de Toño

    Sabino 166, Santa María La Ribera
    06400 Mexico City
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Head to this local legend for pozol (fiery meat broth) cooked with motherly love.


    Calendar of events

    Electric Daisy Carnival

    24 – 25 February 2018

    Venue: Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez

    Electric Daisy Carnivals are in the US, India – and now in Mexico. On two days, high-profile DJs and an energetic audience will do their best.

    Semana Santa (Holy Week)

    25 – 31 March 2018

    Venue: Plaza de las Tres Culturas, Tlatelolco

    Crowds swell for this powerful re-enactment of the crucifixion when hooded penitents hobble on bloodied knees flagellating themselves.

    Fall of Tenochtitlán

    13 August 2018

    Venue: Plaza de las Tres Culturas, Tlatelolco

    On August 13, 1521, Tenochtitlan fell to the Spanish conquerors. Tenthousands of Aztecs were killed. Every year on the 13th of August the siege and the battle are being remembered near the monument of Cuauhtémoc, last of the aztec rulers.

    Día de los Angelitos (Day of the Angels) and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

    1 – 2 November 2018

    Venues: Zócalo and suburb of Mixquic

    Families build extravagant altars decorated with candles, flowers and skull-shaped candy and bread to honour their dead relatives with a feast of their favourite food and drink.

    Día de la Revolución

    20 November 2018

    Anniversary of the 1910 Mexican Revolution

    Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe)

    12 December 2018

    Venues: Basílica de Guadalupe, Mexico City

    One of the many religious celebrations honouring the Virgin Mary. On the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, pilgrims from around the country converge at the famous basilica in Mexico City to pay their respects. The devotees come to the church to see the revered shroud which holds the image of Mary, which is on display here. Celebrations are also held in Puerto Vallarta and San Cristobal las Casas where Tzotzil and Tzeltal Indians dress in traditional costumes to pay their respects to the Virgin. The celebrations include special masses, fireworks, processions, parades and live music.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.


    Hotels in Mexico City


    Tourists often make the mistake of staying Downtown, but while the historical centre is fascinating during the day, it can be a little sketchy at night.

    Better to stay in hip Condesa, full of stylish boutique hotels, or the lively Zona Rosa.

    Condesa DF

    Avenida Veracruz 102, Condesa
    06700 Mexico City
    Mexico ‎
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    This spectacular wedge of a building has been the trendiest place to stay in DF since opening in 2005.

    Imperial Reforma

    Paseo de la Reforma 64, Júarez
    06600 Mexico City
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Built in 1904, this old boutique favourite is located on the important Paseo de Reforma.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Thursday, 21.06.2018 16:00 UTC




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    Climate & best time to visit Mexico

    Mexico is a great destination to visit throughout the year. Temperatures drop, though, from November to February when it’s best to pack a sweater or jacket. In general, altitude is a determining factor, with cooler temperatures at higher elevations (Mexico City, Puebla, San Cristóbal de las Casas) and warmer weather as you descend (Guadalajara, Cuernavaca, Oaxaca).

    October and November is perhaps the best time to visit, after the rains have ended and everything is still green. Early spring tends to be hotter and dustier.

    Along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, winters are comfortable, summers very hot and humid, though resorts like Cabo San Lucas benefit from a sea breeze. Late summer months bring heavy rains and the occasional hurricane.


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    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan27 °C-9 °C21 °C6 °C54 %9 mm26.7 h
    Feb29 °C-4 °C22 °C7 °C48 %9 mm27.5 h
    Mar31 °C-4 °C25 °C9 °C44 %13 mm37.4 h
    Apr33 °C0 °C26 °C11 °C45 %27 mm67.0 h
    May33 °C1 °C26 °C12 °C53 %58 mm136.4 h
    Jun32 °C4 °C24 °C12 °C64 %157 mm175.1 h
    Jul30 °C5 °C23 °C11 °C70 %183 mm214.7 h
    Aug28 °C6 °C23 °C11 °C72 %173 mm185.1 h
    Sep27 °C1 °C22 °C11 °C72 %144 mm154.6 h
    Oct27 °C0 °C22 °C10 °C66 %61 mm85.7 h
    Nov29 °C-3 °C22 °C8 °C61 %6 mm36.6 h
    Dec25 °C-3 °C21 °C7 °C58 %8 mm26.0 h
    year33 °C-9 °C23 °C10 °C58 %848 mm1106.1 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +52


    Long-distance calls are very expensive.

    Mobile Telephone

    Mobile / cell phones can be purchased inexpensively, and credit can be added by prepaid card. Of the major providers, Telcel has the most thorough coverage. Roaming agreements exist with a few international mobile phone companies but is pricey.


    Internet is available in all regions. Most hotels in the mid-range and above categories provide computer terminals and/or wireless access. There are also many inexpensive cyber-cafés in cities and towns throughout Mexico.


    Shopping in Mexico City

    Key Areas

    Zona Rosa can satisfy most shopping needs with countless clothing stores and more, but well-heeled shoppers might seek out Polanco, where the city’s most expensive shops lie. Meanwhile, various antiques and vintage shops are opening in the trendy Condesa and La Roma neighbourhoods.


    If you’ve the stomach for trawling through an endless maze of stalls, there are some great finds to be had at the Mercado Artesanal de Ciudadela (Avenida Balderas and Plaza de la Ciudadela), including cheap clothes, colourful crafts and flamboyant sombreros.

    Shopping Centres

    There’s an impressive outdoor shopping arcade at Antara in Polanco (Ejercito Nacional 843). But for one of the oldest shopping centres in the New World, visit Portales de los Mercaderes, which specialises in Taxco silver, next to the Zócalo.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Handshaking is the most common form of greeting. Casual wear is acceptable during the day throughout Mexico. At beach resorts, clothing is very informal for men and women. In Mexico City, however, appearance tends to be smart in elegant restaurants and hotel dining rooms.

    Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places, punishable by stiff fines and even a jail sentence – although smoking in bars and restaurants is permitted if they have separate rooms or outdoor areas.

    Good to know


    Food & Drink

    Water in bottles or marked ‘drinking/sterilised water’ can be drunk without precautions. All other water for drinking, brushing teeth or ice should be boiled or sterilised. Milk in major cities, hotels and resorts is pasteurised; otherwise, it should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, cooked vegetables and peeled fruit.

    Other Risks

    Diarrhoea and sunburn affect some travellers. Outbreaks of dengue fever have occurred, chiefly in the southeast states of Chiapas and Veracruz and the northern border states of Chihuahua and Tamaulipas. Rabies is present. If bitten, seek medical advice without delay. Owing to the high altitude and level of smog in Mexico City, visitors may take some time to acclimatise.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Reimers Hauser, Armin
    Vito Allessio Robles 117-104
    Col. Florida
    C.P. 01050
    Tel. +52-5661-9023

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.
    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre