Mexico City is dizzy with strong colours and strong flavours. Mexico's colour and colourful culture can be seen on the streets, in the restaurants and in most of our recommendations for the best places to stay in Mexico City. Even the hotels opt for bright colours in Mexico City!
But if you feel lightheaded on arrival it's probably to do with the unexpectedly high altitude. And you can quickly sort this out with a few nips of tequila in one of the stately old cantinas just off the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square.
There's no shortage of art in Mexico City. Murals brighten up municipal buildings - start with Mexico's National Palace for Diego Rivera's 'Epic of the Mexican People'. And there will be plenty of opportunity to see the work of Frida Kahlo - start in the Blue House, conveniently located by the Craft Market in the Plaza San Jacinto.
You may also want to see the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico perform in the Palacio de Bellas Artes. And relax on a boat in the Floating gardens of Xochimilco.
If you're looking for Mexico's ancient treasures, start right in the centre of Mexico City at the Templo Mayor, the main temple of the Aztec nation, now fascinatingly excavated to reveal the different layers of the city's history.
And head over to Bosque de Chapultepec Park for the ancient forests and archaeological treasures housed in the National Anthropological Museum. Some people visit Mexico City solely to see this museum.
Mexico City is also known for its food - especially its markets. Visit the market at Tepoztlan for chillies of all kinds (and heats) and La Merced, the main food market - and an excellent place to try antojitos (street finger food.).
Then try out Mexico City's best cantinas. Obviously you'll be trying as many kinds of tequila as possible! But you might want to start on the pink streets of the Zona Rosa. This is the hub of Mexico City's nightlife and always a good place to begin your evening or do some people watching.
About an hour's drive from Mexico City is Teotihuacán, one of the great ancient sites of the Americas: a whole ruined city once home to between 60,000 and 80,000 inhabitants. And definitely a local highlight.
If you have time, or love silver jewellery, Taxco is worth considering for a day trip - it's where a lot of the colonial silver came from. Taxco is also supposed to be one of Mexico's prettiest towns.
The Hotel Guru's recommendations for the best places to stay in Mexico City range from bohemian boltholes to top notch luxury and sleek design hotels.
This design-conscious boutique hotel exudes charm and hip living in an art-deco building. Chic rooms are home to natural timber floors and furnishings, travertine-stone bathrooms and all the mod cons. Fantastic top floor penthouse. Intimate Mexican restaurant. A trendy spot.
Mexico City (Col. Condesa)
A strikingly designed hotel in the trendies district of Mexico City. Elegant interiors by Parisian, India Mahdavi give a classic chic feel to the rooms. However the stage is stolen by the beautiful leafy green rooftop terrace, a peaceful heaven in a hectic city. Totally charming and cutting edge.
Mexico City (Colonia Polanco)
This stunning minimalist creation is the brainchild of ten renowned architects. Crisp white on white, ceiling to floor glass, and marble floors create airy spaces. This hotel oozes an exclusive feel, from the rooftop bar and pool to the luxurious spa and trendy restaurants. Sleek and chic.
Mexico City (Chapultepec)
A contemporary hotel decked out in the vibrant colours of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Spectacular views of the city from the plush suites, world-class spa and a choice of three restaurants. Attracts a chic, young crowd. Totally hip.