What are some fun facts about Mexico City?
Over the past 700 years, Mexico City has evolved from an Aztec city on a lake, into one of the largest, wealthiest, most populated and most important metropolises on the planet.
Due to its complex, colorful past, wealth of culture, and historical importance as the capital of the Aztec, Spanish, and Mexican Empires, the city is full of incredible secrets and is packed with beauty both natural and man-made, providing visitors with thousands of attractions, its streets lined with vibrant culture, music and delicious food.
Despite the country’s issues, Mexico City has grown into one of the richest and greenest capitals on the planet, and continues to expand through progressive policies that strives to make the city a better society.
Here’s 34 interesting, crazy, cool and fun facts about Mexico City that you probably didn’t know:
Table of Contents
Mexico City Map
#1: The Largest Park in Latin America
The Chapultepec Forest is the largest urban park in Latin America, and is twice the size of New York’s Central Park.
#2: One of the World’s Richest Cities
Mexico City is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, its economic growth among the highest, seeing its economy double by the start of 2020. The city contributes more than 20% of Mexico’s GDP, making it the 7th richest city in the world, after Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris and London. Therefore, it is one of the most important financial centres of not only the Americas, but the world.
#3: Mexico City has more than 150 museums
The city has the largest number of museums in the Americas and the second largest number in the world, after London.
It has 186 officially recognised museums (and over 200 that lack official recognition), there are more museums here than in Madrid, Paris, and New York.
Did you know: it’s illegal to shave while driving in Mexico! For more crazy and unknown facts about Mexico, head over to: 30 Interesting Facts About Mexico
#4: A Booming Tourism Industry
The city has enjoyed a boost in tourism in recent years. In 2019, Mexico City registered approximately 25 million air passenger arrivals, of which 8.87 million were international tourists.
#5: A Sprawling Public Transport System
Mexico City’s citizens mostly get around the metropolis by bus, subway, car, and bike. More than 25% of the population – 7 million people, use the subway every day, it is the largest system in Latin America and the cheapest in the world – with 12 lines along 140 miles, connecting 195 stations. The bicycle is another popular mode of commute. There is a public bike service available in 42 suburbs across three boroughs out of the 16 that make up the capital.
#6: The only Royal Castle in the Americas
Chapultepec Castle is the only royal castle on the American continents, and was the home of Maximilian I of Mexico, the only monarch of the so-called Second Mexican Empire.
Chapultepec Castle is also the only true castle in the Americas, it was also the home of Spanish Viceroys and the Austrian Emperor, Maximilian of Hapsburg.
#7: A City in the Mountains
Mexico City is located in the mountains, 2.2 kilometres above sea level, and with a mild rather than a warm climate. Some visitors who aren’t used to high altitudes may experience difficulty breathing when landing in the city, though this symptom usually disappears after a couple of hours.
Popular Post >> Top 10 Instagram Spots In Malta
#8: Largest Number of Palaces in the Americas
As the former capital of colonial New Spain and the Mexican Empires, Mexico City has the largest number of Palaces on the American continents.
#9: The Main Square is Huge
At 46,800 square meters long, the city’s central square is the second-largest on the planet, and the first among Spanish-speaking countries.
Known as the Zocalo (plinth), after Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna organized a contest in 1843 to make a memorial honoring Mexican Independence. The winner planned the construction of a large column in the centre of the square. However, the project was left uncompleted, and the column’s socket (the ‘zocalo’) was all that remained, for several years.
#10: The First City to Host the World Cup Twice
Mexico City was the first city to host the Football World Cup twice; first in 1970, and then again in 1986.
#11: The Most Populated City in the Americas
One of the most interesting facts about Mexico City population is that it was once the second-most populous city in the world, after Tokyo, with more than 20 million inhabitants. As of 2023, Mexico City is currently the fourth largest city, with a population of 22 million (Tokyo, Delhi, and Shanghai make the top 3). Source: Wikipedia
#12: The World’s Largest University
Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM) is the largest university in the world, and Mexico’s most important cultural project.
Home to a whopping 300,000+ students and almost 40,000 academics, it features cinemas, theaters, three orchestras, a soccer team, more than 30 museums in Mexico, and has campuses in Spain, France, the US, Canada, and China. Around its 170 hectares you can find Siqueiros murals, two fire stations and a TV channel!
#13: Mexico City is bigger than New York City
In terms of scale and population, Mexico City surpasses New York City. As of 2023, the population of Mexico City is 22,281,442, according to World Population Review.
#14: A City with 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
UNESCO declared four places in Mexico City as World Heritage Sites: The Historic Centre, Xochimilco, the UNAM, and the Luis Barragán House.
#15: A Sustainable and Eco-Friendly City
In 2013, Mexico City won a Climate Leadership Award for public policies aimed at improving air quality, and it was included in a list of 10 global cities with the best sustainable development.
Historical Facts about Mexico City
Below are some of the most interesting history facts about Mexico City.
#16: The Oldest City in the Americas
Mexico City is the oldest city on the American continents. Founded in 1325 by the Aztecs, it was originally called Mexico-Tenochtitlan, after their founder, and served as the capital of the Aztec Empire, with a population of roughly 300,000 people, which was more than any European city at the time.
#17: The City was Established by the Spanish
Two centuries after the Aztecs founded the city, Spanish conquerors arrived in the 1500s and razed it to the ground, before building the city again in their own vision. The Spanish Crown preserved the original name in the local indigenous language (Mexico-Tenochtitlan), but shortly after, the residents referred to it as just Mexico, as it was easier to pronounce.
Since then, the centre of Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City in Spanish) has been the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the two Mexican Empires, the Mexican Independent Republic, and present day Mexico (officially called the United Mexican States).
#18: One of the World’s Oldest Universities
Many people would be forgiven for thinking Harvard is the oldest university in the Americas. The National Autonomous University in Mexico City (UNAM) is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, opened in 1551 as the Royal and Pontifical University of New Spain. It was closed in 1867 during the dictatorship, and then reopened again during the Mexican Revolution.
#19: Aztec Ruins lie beneath the City
Builders in Mexico City accidentally unearthed some pre-Columbian ruins when doing an excavation for a segment of the city’s subway. Among the discovery was a ceremonial Mexica centre, located right at the Pino Suárez station.
#20: The Oldest Street in the Americas
A street in Mexico City is the oldest on the American continents.
Built around 1377-1389 by an Aztec emperor, today the street is known by five different names: Tacuba, Hidalgo Avenue, Puente de Alvarado, Ribera de San Cosme, and Mexico-Tacuba.
#21: Important Archaeological Zones all over the City
There are at least eight important archaeological zones in Mexico City and the surrounding area, including: Cuicuilco, Santa Cruz Acalpixca (in Xochimilco), Templo Mayor (in Zocalo), Tlatelolco, Santa Cecilia, Tenayuca, Teotihuacan, and Acozac.
Weird Facts about Mexico City
Now we have some of the weirdest and strange facts about Mexico City.
#22: Mexico City sits on Top of a Lake
The city was founded by the Aztecs when they built it in the middle of a lake. It was then raided to the ground by the Spanish, and rebuilt again, in the vision of the Colonial Spanish style.
Source: 30 Interesting Facts About Mexico
#23: Mexico City has the World’s Highest Taxi Population
There are more than 140,000 taxicabs all over Mexico City, making it the largest taxi fleet in the world.
#24: Mexico was named after Mexico City
The country of Mexico was named after its capital, Mexico City.
#25: Mexico City is Shrinking
The city is slowly sinking at a rate of about 10 inches per year! This is because the city was built on a lake, and the city pumps draw water from this lake. In fact, Mexico City has sunk so much that it lost its title as the 7th highest city in the world to Yemen and now sits at number 8.
#26: You can find Crawling Cuisine
Stroll through any market in Mexico City and you’ll find spiders, grasshoppers, snakes, and even scorpions, all up for sale to eat! Some find this horrifying, but adventurous foodies can discover all sorts of excellent grub in Mexican markets and street food stands.
Popular Post >> Best Travel Captions for Instagram
Facts that make Mexico City a Popular Tourist Destination
Next, we have some facts that will make you want to visit Mexico City, as well as food and geography facts about Mexico City.
#27: Popular with Food Lovers
One of my favorite facts about Mexico City food is its famous cuisine thats loved by all who visit here.
There is one place in the city especially, that local foodies swear by – Pujol in the Polanco district. The eatery is widely considered the best spot for food in Mexico City, so much so that it was even voted 12th best restaurant in the world in a recent poll.
🍺 Check Out the Best Beer & Brewery Tours in Mexico
- If you are in Cancun, then don’t miss an opportunity to take this 5-Stop Cancun Taco Tour, Local Beer and Night Market with Transportation
- Sample up to 15 artisan-produced microbrews in Puerto Vallarta via the Craft Brew and Bites Tour with an expert guide
- Explore Mexico City’s most unique nightlife locations and try classic and innovative drinks on this Mexico City Bar Crawl
#28: Voted the World’s #1 City to Visit
The New York Times named Mexico City as the “number one place to go” in 2016.
#29: World’s Second Most Visited Catholic Church
The Guadalupe Basilica is the second-most visited Catholic Sanctuary in the world, right after the Vatican. More than 14 million people visit the sanctuary each year.
#30: You can Climb Nearby Volcanoes
There’s a dormant volcano located on the Mexico-Puebla state line in central Mexico, just 40 miles southeast of Mexico City, that offers some of the best hiking in Mexico.
Iztaccíhuatl (meaning “white woman” in Nahuatl), has three snow-covered summits that resemble the head, breast and feet of a reclining woman.
#31: World’s Largest Ice Rink
In December 2019 a 43,000 square feet ice rink was installed on Mexico City’s Zocalo (the city’s central square) and is the largest in the world. Known as the “Eco-Rink”, it eliminates the negative environmental impact of conventional ice rinks, with a reduction of 95 tons of CO2 emissions and saving 49,000 gallons of water.
#32: See the Monarch Butterflies Migration
The Monarch butterfly migrates to Mexico every year by the millions – from the US and Canada, they settle in the country during the winter and you can witness these stunning creatures in their natural habitat at Butterfly Sanctuaries close to Mexico City, like Rosario and Valle de Bravo.
#33: There are Many Historical Districts
There are numerous historical and famous neighborhoods around the city such as San Angel and Coyoacan, where artists like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo made their homes. You’ll find cobblestone streets lined with beautiful, colorful buildings and quaint cafes. These iconic spots are just a short subway ride away from the center, and really make you feel like stepping back in time.
#34: And Plenty of Music Festivals
Mexico City is well-known for its numerous events and festivals around town. One of the most unique and special events in the Mexican calendar takes place on 22nd November each year, where a special gathering takes place in the famous Mariachi Square to pay homage to St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. Local and regional artists and musicians descend on Plaza Garibaldi for a tribute concert and an open-air party that infuses dance, drink, and song.
So there you have it – 34 of the most interesting, weird, and fun facts about Mexico City.
I hope you find this post an interesting read, and that it inspires you to visit Mexico one day!
Want more city facts? Here’s 57 Incredible Facts About Liverpool
General Mexico City Facts and Information:
More information and Mexico City facts and statistics, updated as of 2023:
- Founded: 13 March 1325 (originally known as Tenochtitlan), then founded on 13 August 1521 as Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico)
- Country: Mexico (capital and largest city)
- Mayor: Martí Batres
- Land area: 1,485km2 (573 sq miles)
- Population: 22,281,442 people.
- Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN)
- Official Language: None. Spanish is the de facto and most spoken language. There are 68 recognised languages.
- National Holiday: 16th September
- Highest Mountain: Mount Ajusco (volcano), 3,930 meters high
- Largest Lake: Lake Batur, 18 square kilometers
- National Dish: Tacos
- National Flower: Frangipani
- Official Website: www
.cdmx .gob .mx
- Time zone: UTC-06:00 (Summer: UTC-05:00)
- Driving side: right
- Country Number/Prefix: +52
- Country Code: MX
Mexico City FAQs:
Below are some more interesting information and commonly asked questions about Mexico City:
What are 5 interesting facts about Mexico City?
Mexico City is built on a lake bed and is sinking at a rate of 6-8 inches per year. It has the largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere with over 21 million people. Mexico City has over 150 museums including the renowned National Museum of Anthropology. It is home to the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan which was built in 1325. Mexico City has the oldest subway system in Latin America, started in 1969.
What are 2 facts about Mexico City?
Mexico City is built at an altitude of 7,350 feet, making it one of the highest capital cities in the world. It is home to the Palacio Nacional which houses murals by famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
What are some facts about Mexico City?
Some facts about Mexico City are that it was founded by the Aztecs in 1325, it has the oldest university in North America founded in 1551, and it has over 1,400 colonial buildings in its historic center. The city also has floating gardens called Chinampas dating back to Aztec times.
What are 10 interesting facts about Mexico?
Mexico has 31 states and its capital is Mexico City. Spanish is the official language and Mexico has the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. Mexico is the 14th largest country by area. The currency is the Mexican peso. Mexico is known for its ancient Mesoamerican civilizations like the Aztecs and Mayans. Popular tourist destinations include Cancun, Cabo, and Puerto Vallarta. Mexican cuisine includes dishes like tacos, quesadillas, mole sauce, and guacamole. Tequila and mezcal are native alcoholic beverages. Soccer is the most popular sport. The monarch butterfly migrates to Mexico every winter.
What are 3 things Mexico City is known for?
Mexico City is known for having the largest metropolitan area in the Americas, being home to many historic colonial buildings and Aztec ruins, and its cuisine which includes tacos al pastor, mole sauces, and tortas.
What are 2 fun facts about Mexico?
The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog breed and originated in Mexico. Mexico introduced chocolate, chilies and corn to the world.
What are 7 interesting facts about Mexico?
Mexico has the world’s largest population of Spanish speakers at around 120 million.
Mexico City sinks around 6 to 8 inches per year because it’s built on a lakebed.
Mexico has around 32 UNESCO World Heritage sites including ancient ruins, colonial cities and natural areas.
Mexican inventor Guillermo González Camarena patented an early color TV system in 1940.
Mexico has around 200,000 islands, islets and reefs located in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.
Mexico is the world’s largest producer of silver.
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s house in Mexico City is now a museum displaying her art, clothing and personal belongings.
Further Reading: More Facts Posts
You might also like: British Slang Words and Phrases
For more information on travelling in Mexico, finding hidden gems, budget travel tips and itineraries to suit your perfect trip, check out the following links:
Thank you for reading: 34 Fun Facts About Mexico City (2024 Edition)
If you enjoyed this post, share it on Pinterest so your followers can enjoy it too!