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Explore The Best Of Mexico City…some Sightseeing & Touring Suggestions

The best way to explore Mexico City and its countless historical monuments and artifacts is on foot. Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton offers a selection of sightseeing walking tours enabling you to immerse yourselves in the historical, architectural, religious, and cultural gems of Mexico City.

Walking Tour 1: The Ruins of the Great Temple (Templo Mayor) – Metropolitan Cathedral Area

Discover two of Mexico City’s most popular attractions only a four block walk from our doorstep.

The Metropolitan Cathedral, considered the most important religious monument in the Americas, dates back to 1573 with construction of the immense monument completed 215 years later.

Adjacent to The Cathedral, explore the ruins of the Templo Mayor one of the most important religious centres for the Aztec culture. The Templo Mayor museum, built by the famous architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, is home to the monolith of the Coyolxauhqui – Aztec goddess of the moon. This monolith was discovered in 1978 during the construction of Line 2 of the subway.

If time allows, walk an additional four blocks to discover two less popular, but just as spectacular, historical treasures that may not be found in all the guidebooks. The temple of “La Enseñanza,” recognized for an exhaustive restoration, is the only intact 18th-century Baroque church in Mexico City and one of a handful in the country.

For mural enthusiasts, the walls of the former College of San Ildelfonso are decorated with exquisite paintings and murals of the most famous artists throughout Mexico’s history, including Rivera, Siqueiros, and Orozco.

Walking Tour 2: National Palace – Moneda Street – Zocalo

Two blocks from our hotel, stroll to the Nacional Palace, built by Hernan Cortés on the ruins of the Aztec emperor Montezuma’s palace.

Since the mid 16th century, the National Palace was the centre of the government of the country.

It was also home to the Viceroys until Mexico reached its independence, and then was home to most of the 19th century presidents. The palace has a true artistic treasure in its walls: the impressive murals painted by the famous muralist Diego Rivera in the mid 20th century, in which the visitor can learn the history of Mexico from the artist’s point of view.

Directly across from the National Palace is the 10-acre El Zocalo square, or Plaza of the Constitution.  El Zocalo, the second largest square in the world, continuously hosts special events and festivals throughout the year.  The ceremonial flag raising and lowering occurs daily at 8 am and 6 pm.

Next to the National Palace, saunter down Moneda Street, which is the only street in the area that preserved all its colonial monuments, transporting the visitor to the 18th century.

Along this street, admire the building of the First University of America - founded in 1551, the old Palace of the Archbishop, the Museum of the Treasury, and the first Mint house of America, National Museum of the Cultures, the former convent of Santa Ines, as well as numerous examples of colonial houses.

Walking Tour 3: Calle Madero-- Churches – Palaces

Your tour of Madero Street begins four blocks from the hotel at the Templo de la Profesa, considered one of the best neoclassic altars in Mexico City.

A few meters ahead appreciate the façade of the Palace of the Marquis of Prado Alegre. On the corner of Bolivar street the house of Jose La Borda is located.

He is the French miner that built the Santa Prisca church in Taxco and the Borda Garden in the city of Cuernavaca. Next visit the amazing Palace of the Counts of Moncada, also known as the Palace of Iturbide, which was the residence of the Mexican emperor Agustin de Iturbide. Half a block beyond is the church of the convent of San Francisco el Grande, which became the biggest and most important in the city.

A few steps away is the Temple of Saint Felipe de Jesus, recognized by its beautiful Neo gothic-romantic façade, which is dedicated to Saint Felipe de Jesus the first Mexican Saint. At the end of the street rises the House of Tiles with hundreds of 18th century Talavera tiles decorating its façade.

Finally we arrive at the base of the Latin-American Tower, built in 1956 and one the first buildings with more than 40 floors designed to resist earthquakes.  It is considered one of the safest of its kind and the technology is still utilized in today’s skyscrapers.

Walking Tour 4: Tolsá Square and Palace of Fine Arts

The Tolsa Square tour begins approximately 11 blocks from the hotel. Tolsa Square, considered one of the most beautiful on the continent, honors the Spanish architect Manuel Tolsá.

The square highlights two of his masterpieces: the 19th century sculpture: “El Caballito” and the Palacio de Mineria. Also visible from the Square is the National Museum of Art, one of the most recognized on the continent and a great source of pride in Mexico.  A few meters ahead is the Postal Palace, circa 1096, in Neo gothic-Venetian style built by the Italian architect Adamo Boari.

The highlight of Tolsa Square, and any visit to downtown Mexico City, is the Palace of the Fine Arts. Its construction began in 1904 then was interrupted by the Mexican Revolution and remained unfinished until 1934.

The building features significant murals from Rivera, Siqueiros, Orozco and Tamayo. Presented in the palace theatre, famed for the 22-ton crystal curtain, is the popular Ballet de Folklorico performances, a must-see when visiting Mexico City.

Walking Tour 5:  Local Shopping

The Hampton Inn and Suites is nestled in the downtown shopping district.  Directly across the street, are the popular Mexico department stores: Palacio de Hierro (with a fantastic stained-glass ceiling and popular lunch café on the top floor), C&A, Suburbia and Liverpool.

The jewelry district, the largest in Latin America, is a short walk away and covered with jewelers and their crafts. Silver, which is mined in Mexico, is an especially attractive shopping option. A pocket of fine book stores is located behind the Cathedral. Clothing and shoe stores are abundant on the streets right off the Zocalo plaza.

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