At SHW we love that our event-planning jobs take us all over the world! Recently we were in Mexico City for a medical research conference. As the fifth largest city in the world, Mexico City is a true melting pot of cultures with an endless variety of food, historical sites, and activities. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Take Uber – but watch out for rush hours!
Driving (and parking) in Mexico City can be a pain, but Uber is a cheap, reliable option to get around. That being said, rush hour in Mexico City is no joke! With limited public transportation available, heavy traffic can seriously delay plans, so it’s best to strategize around it.
Generally, rush hours are from 6:30 – 9:30 a.m. and 5–9 p.m., so if you’re eyeing a great restaurant for dinner away from the hotel, head out a little early to explore the neighborhood.
2. Ex Teresa Arte Actual
Ex Teresa Arte Actual is a modern art gallery that features several installations in a variety of mediums.
The gallery is housed in a former church in Mexico City’s Centro Histórico (historical center). If you look closely, you’ll notice that the floors and walls are slanted. When the Spanish built Mexico City over the Aztec island city of Tenochititlan, they filled the lake surrounding it. After several centuries, the ground has settled, shifting many of the city’s buildings along with it.
3. Nom Polanco
NOM Polanco is an awesome dinner spot in Mexico City. They have a delicious eight-course tasting menu, with dishes like razor clams, hamachi, salmon tartare, lobster, mushrooms, salmon, foie gras, chocolate mousse, and local wine pairings for each. The restaurant is small and cozy, with a chef’s counter for 12 where you can see the food prepared and talk with the chefs. Reservations are a must.
4. Churrería El Moro
El Moro is known as “the birthplace of Mexican churros,” and is always packed with people. In 1935 the founder, Francisco Iriarte, arrived from Spain and saw that churros weren’t being sold in Mexico, so he opened his own street cart. Today it’s one of the most popular churrerías in the city, and stays open 24/7! This popular place is usually packed by just as many (if not more) locals than tourists.
They have multiple locations, including in the Centro Histórico where the original street cart stood. We recommend stopping by their Zona Rosa, Condesa, or Álvaro Obregón locations, though, which offer more seating and are in situated in some great walking neighborhoods.
5. Take a day trip!
Mexico City is surrounded by national parks about one hour away in almost every direction, making day trips an easy excursion. Two of our favorites are Teotihuacán and Tepoztlán.
Just northeast of Mexico City, Teotihuacán has some of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas. The size of the pyramids and the entire complex is striking, with a rich history to explore.
In the opposite direction, you’ll find Tepoztlán, one of Mexico’s proud “Pueblos Magicos.” It’s called “the city that time did not touch,” and you can see why! Hike the pre-colonization ruins, or explore the many one-way cobblestone streets that fill the town. The surrounding mountains create a cool climate that is a relief from Mexico City’s usual hot, dry weather.
Bonus – Know before you go.
Anytime you travel outside the country, it’s important to understand the challenges you may face in the regions you’re traveling. Here are a couple of important points about Mexico City:
Save yourself a big headache, and don’t lose the customs form you receive flying into Mexico! You will be asked to present the completed form again on your way back. Getting a replacement will cost $30 and waiting in line.
While you’re in the airport, also consider grabbing bottled water to avoid exposure to any poor water until you get situated. You’ll need to take extra care to stay hydrated too—Mexico City sits at an extremely high elevation of 7,382 feet, so plan accordingly. That means drink lots of water, watch your alcohol intake, and wait until your body acclimates before doing heavy exercise.
To learn more about our conference services, or the full range of services that SHW provides, you can contact us at email@example.com, or through our online RFP tool.
Meet the Event Managers
Mark Penaroza, Senior Program & Event Manager