Ancient meets modern in exciting Mexico City. Few traces remain of the city's Aztec origins, but the Historic Centre is stuffed with Spanish colonial architecture, notably the 17th-century Metropolitan Cathedral, and Parisian-influenced Belle Epoque houses. In the financial centre, Santa Fe, it's all gleaming skyscrapers and the hum of business.
Mexico City also known as Mexico D.F., or federal district is one of the world's largest cities, with its population seeping into the surrounding states. However, most of the attractions for visitors are neatly bunched in several neighbourhoods in the borough of Cuauhtmoc, built around the Zcalo, the city's heart. Here you'll find the Historic Centre, the long Paseo de la Reforma, based on Paris' Champs-Elyses, and the largely Art Deco Condesa area. To the south, Coyoacn is the city's cultural and bohemian neighbourhood.
Begin your visit in the Zcalo, Mexico City's massive central plaza, where you can admire the baroque Metropolitan Cathedral and the remains of an older place of worship, the Aztec Great Pyramid. The walls of the National Palace here are smothered in murals by Diego Rivera, the world-famous 20th-century Mexican painter. Then get walking the long Paseo de la Reforma boulevard is dotted with monuments. Look out for the iconic golden Angel of Independence victory column, built to mark the centennial of the start of Mexico's War of Independence. The boulevard leads to Chapultepec Park, which offers spectacular views of the city. You can also get a cultural fix here at the National Anthropology Museum and the National History Museum, both home to pre-Columbian artefacts. Wind up with dinner and drinks in the lively Zona Rosa area.
If Diego Rivera's murals inspired you, take the Metro out to the Blue House in Coyoacn, where he lived with his wife, the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. This bohemian district also features the museum house of their friend Leon Trotsky, lots of arty bars and restaurants, as well as the Museum of Popular Culture which displays indigenous crafts and folk art. For a different vibe, shop and dine in the upscale Polanco district, or power-lunch amid the glittering skyscrapers of the Santa Fe financial district.
With a facelift designed to expand its passenger capacity to 32 million annually, Mexico City's Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Jurez is Latin America's largest.