Mexico The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City is just one of many noteworthy reasons to visit.

Published on January 22nd, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut

The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City is just one of many noteworthy reasons to visit.

City of Surprises: 5 Unexpected Things To Do in Mexico City

It’s the largest metropolis in North America, and one of the biggest in the world. And Mexico City’s super-sized dimensions pack a lot of surprises — after all, a place this big and dynamic is always inventing something new to discover. Here, a few unexpected ways that you can enjoy your next visit to Mexico’s always-fascinating capital.

Bici-taxis provide an eco-friendly way to get around in Mexico City’s historic center.

1. Go green. Mexico City is in the midst of a 15-year “Green Plan” designed to make it more environmentally friendly. A total of 90 bicycle loaner stations have been set up around the city, with some 1,200 bikes, and even foreigners can rent them. In the historic city center, bicycle taxis offer a scenic, eco-friendly alternative for getting around.

2. Get operated. Medical tourism is a growing niche, with 844 hospitals offering a variety of services and prices around 40 percent lower than in the United States. The city’s minister of tourism, Carlos Mackinlay, has made developing the medical tourism market one of his priorities.

3. Travel safely — and high-tech. A variety of apps have made it easier than ever to navigate North America’s largest city — including Style Map Mexico City, a free app that highlights chic choices in dining, shopping and hotels,  the etips Mexico City travel guide, which costs $2.99 and includes Metro subway maps, and the Wallpaper City Guide, published by the style-conscious magazine, which also costs $2.99 and features lots of info about architectural landmarks and trendy places to see and be seen.

The new addition to the Cineteca Nacional will provide new visuals to enjoy.

4. Get cultured. Mexico City has more museums than just about any other city in the world (except perhaps Paris). Recent openings include the Museo Soumaya (Soumaya Museum), a futuristic landmark that houses a massive private art collection. In addition, the Cineteca Nacional recently announced the creation of the Museo de Cine y la Videoteca Digital (Museum of Cinema and Digital Videotheque), which will have four exhibition halls and 25 viewing cabins spread across three levels. The project is scheduled to be completed next fall. A new Mexico City Pass is scheduled to launch in January 2013, offering discounted admission to multiple museums and attractions around the city.

The annual gay pride in Mexico City fills the historic center with festivities. Photo:

5. Go gay. Mexico City was the first Latin American metropolis to pass a same-sex marriage law (Argentina was the first Latin American nation to do so nationwide, but that was after Mexico City made the first move), so it’s no surprise that this is a hopping place for LGBT travelers. The white-hot center is the Zona Rosa, where countless bars, restaurants and shops cater to the community. The Mexico City Secretary of Tourism maintains a section of its Website dedicated to LGBT travel.

For more information about travel to Mexico City, visit the Secretary of Tourism’s official site.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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