There aren't many places where you can visit thousand year-old ruins one minute and gleaming skyscrapers the next. We love Mexico City for its fascinating mix of ancient grandeur, edgy modernity, European style, and authentic Latin American flavour. To see the city's layered history, take a stroll through the Zócalo, the world's second largest public square, bordered by the baroque Catedral Metropolitana, the Aztec ruins of Templo Mayor and the 20th-century Museo Nacional de Arte.
Built by the Aztecs in the 14th century, the Templo Mayor was the main temple in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City. It was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521, and wasn't rediscovered for another 450 years, when electricity workers unearthed this archaeological wonder beneath the city's streets. Today, the fascinating museum displays Aztec artefacts found in the temple ruins.
Home to the President of Mexico until recently, the Palacio Nacional dominates one side of the Zócalo's grand square on a site which has housed Mexico's rulers since the Aztecs. Inside, Diego Rivera's colourful murals depict every major event in Mexican history, from the Spanish conquest to the Mexican revolution.
Mexico City has some excellent museums. The art deco Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) includes works by the great Mexican muralists. Museo Nacional de AntropologÍa (National Museum of Anthropology) tells the compelling story of Mexico's people. And the Museo Nacional de Historia (National History Museum) showcases paintings, murals, ceramics and furniture from the Aztec era to the present day.
Once a retreat for Aztec rulers and now a favourite spot for people-watching and picnicking, this is Mexico's most famous park. Spend a day exploring and see over 2,000 animals at Chapultepec Zoo, enjoy the hilltop views from the colonial Castillo de Chapultepec, visit some of the city's finest museums (including the national anthropology and history museums), and pack in some thrills at the amusement park.