Fly Nonstop from Boston to Mexico City
Aeroméxico to Mexico City, Mexico (Nonstop Thursday–Monday)
What to Bring:
Your appetite—Mexico City’s restaurants are first class
In Mexico City, all roads lead to the castle in Bosque de Chapultepec park. Set atop a hill with sweeping views of the Paseo de la Reforma, a boulevard modeled after Paris’s Champs-Élysées, the one-time imperial residence is now a museum dedicated to the area’s origins. And it’s just one example of the incredibly rich history you’ll find in Mexico City, a bustling capital surrounded by mountains and volcanoes that’s just now getting the attention from tourists it deserves.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the metropolis’s historic center tells the story of its past: In Zócalo square, you can see the ruins of ancient Tenochtitlán, the Aztec city on top of which the Spanish built the new city, as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral (the largest in the Americas) and the National Palace, where Diego Rivera painted The History of Mexico from his own very opinionated point of view. And yet the area is also incredibly forward-thinking: Why yes, you can borrow any of those pink bikes for a couple hours (particularly fun when the Paseo de la Reforma goes car-free on Sunday mornings). Find a cute fonda around the La Roma area for lunch. Drink at Jules Basement, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar in Polanco you enter via a refrigerator door.
Or just shop your way through the city at markets like La Ciudadela, which peddles authentic, one-of-a-kind finds (colorful folk-art sculptures, silver jewelry) direct from local makers, and Mercado de Coyoacán, 6 miles south from the center of the action. Brave the formidable traffic to spend half a day in this neighborhood, where you can also visit La Casa Azul (the Blue House). The tragic story of Frida Kahlo comes to life here at the home she shared with Rivera, a brilliant artist but a horrible husband.
Back in the city, keep one night of your trip open for a show at Palacio de Bellas Artes, an art nouveau/art deco–style venue where you’ll marvel at a Tiffany curtain made of a million iridescent glass crystals. But remember, no matter how modern something in Mexico City feels, the allure still harkens to days of yore. UNESCO named the palace an artistic monument in 1987, and that sparkling curtain depicts the landscape of the Valley of Mexico.
If you don’t reserve early, the tasting menu at Enrique Olvera’s Michelin-starred Pujol might be out of reach. If so, look to Olvera’s protégées at the urban-chic Hotel Carlota, where Joaquín Cardoso and Sofía Cortina are serving up cool modern dishes with a focus on regional ingredients.
Seven treatment rooms, a beauty salon, a sauna, a juice bar…and that’s just the spa. The St. Regis Mexico City (starting at $605 per night) has all the luxuries you’d expect, plus top-notch city panoramas. Around the corner from the Angel of Independence is the Galeria Plaza (starting at $73 per person per night)—understated and economical, but with a new restaurant and rooftop pool. *Hotel prices are for the January through March range.
Spend a day exploring the vast Bosque de Chapultepec, known as one of Mexico City’s “lungs” for its oxygen-producing green space. Twice the size of Central Park, it offers endless recreational opportunities, from a zoo and museums to lakes for peaceful rowing.