Mexico City is the capital of the Republic of Mexico and it has become the financial, cultural and political center of the country.
The history of the City began in 1325 when the Mexicas created a settlement in the Lake of Texcoco. Legend has it that, on an isle in the lake, the Mexicas saw an eagle devouring a serpent, which was the sign from the gods for the end of the roaming of the Aztec people. From that moment one of the great social, economic and political centers of America, called Tenochtitlan, developed. The great city of Tenochtitlan flourished in its magnificence until 1519, the year the Spaniards arrived. From that year on, there were great battles that finalized in 1521 when smallpox, Hernan Cortes and his army beat the Mexicas. The name of the city then switches from Tenochtitlan to the New Spain (la Nueva España).
The city suffered great changes that sought to erase all evidence of the people that had founded the city. In this manner, la Nueva España flourished for 300 years until 1821, when the independence of the country was signed. On the 18th of November, 1824 the name of the city is switched again to the “Ciudad de México” (Mexico City). It also receives the status of capital and it is converted into the seat of Mexican federal powers, a function it still holds today, as the State of Mexico City.
The population of Mexico City in 2016 was a little over 8.9 million, occupying 2nd place of 32 of the most populated cities. Its population density is a little less than 6000 habitants per square kilometer. The greater Mexico City area has a population of roughly 22 million inhabitants.
Because of its altitude of 2,250 meters above sea level, Mexico City possesses climates that range from mild weather to being cold and humid, with alpine tundra in the highest regions of the southern sierra, and thus, the city has a mild climate, sub-humid with a median annual temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.
In Mexico City, you can observe its 700 years of history and you can find expressions of its deep tradition that reminds us of its colonial and indigenous past. The pre-Hispanic sites remind us of the greatness of the first civilizations that settled here. The colonial architecture, in its most pure baroque styles is an excellent example of the blending of the indigenous heritage with the European constructions. Throughout the city are examples of somber temples, spectacular mansions and beautiful convents. They stand side by side with the most refined expressions of art and architecture, pointing to the future of a modern and growing urban setting. There are also quaint neighborhoods in Coyoacan, San Angel and Tlalpan, of a unique and picturesque character. For art and history lovers there is an enormous diversity of options at their feet that include 188 museums, 64 theaters, 15 cultural centers and 7 archeological sites to visit. Mexico City, as an authentic cosmopolitan city, generates a frenetic activity, not only during the day, but also at night.
The time zone in Mexico in October will be -6 GMT. This time zone will be valid until the last Sunday of October when the summer´s daylight savings time period ends and we enter the regular time zone period of -6 GMT.
It is convenient to carry cash for the payment of certain services and purchases, such as buying souvenirs. The monetary unit in Mexico is the peso. Notes are found in the following denominations: $20, $50, $100, $200, $500, and $1,000 Mexican pesos, and coins have the following values: $0.10, $0.20, $0.50, $1.00, $2.00, $5.00 and $10.00 pesos. You can exchange your currency in banks, the majority of hotels, airports and exchange offices. Generally speaking, banks open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., from Monday to Friday. ATM machines are usually available 24 hours a day, in commercial areas and travel agencies. Travelers checks are also widely accepted.