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Mexico City may have its share of crime, litter, and traffic — as every large city in the world does. But anyone who has visited recently will tell you that many of the travel concerns here, from safety to health, are largely unfounded. In fact, there are plenty of pleasant surprises that you’ll find in Mexico City, as we did on a recent trip. Here, top five reasons why you should visit.
The international capital for museums, Mexico City claims to have more than anywhere else in the world. In the heart of the city’s Coyoacán neighborhood sits one of its most popular attractions: painter Frida Kahlo’s former residence, known now as the Frida Kahlo Museum. The property has morphed from Kahlo’s childhood house to martial home and finally the Frida Kahlo museum upon her passing. For the art and history buff alike, an afternoon at the museum is a wonderful way to step back in time and glimpse into the life of a brilliant mind.
From dive-y taquerias to five-star restaurants, here’s where to eat best in Mexico City.
1. Pujol: Chef Enrique Olvera opened Pujol nearly 15 years ago, and the restaurant remains a cult favorite among foodies, both in Mexico City and beyond. The sleekly designed space, serving elegant takes on Mexican cuisine, is among the best in the nation, holding court to the 50 World’s Best Restaurant list each year. Don’t miss the dinner tasting menu — a steal at $90. Guests will experience six courses, including Olvera’s playful take on street snacks and a signature “happy ending.”
In a destination with plenty of high-end chains, Las Alcobas feels right at home in Mexico City’s ritzy Polanco district. This boutique hotel is a former residence and has been gorgeously transformed into a series of intimate alcoves, as referenced in its Spanish namesake Alcobas. While the hotel captures minimalistic luxury with crisp white bedding and handsome leather sofas, personal touches aren’t forgotten here. Guests are welcomed with a refreshing drink, perhaps swirled with fresh strawberry, mint, and chia seed. And the homemade Mexican soaps in the bathrooms — possibly a cucumber-and-cactus combo or a bar with freshly ground coffee — are yours to take a couple home as a parting gift.
We loved checking into the boutique on a recent trip, and here’s what you should know before you do so yourself:
TV host and cookbook author Katie Lee loves to travel: St. Bart’s for surfing, shopping markets in India, and browsing bazaars in Morroco. One place she hasn’t been? Machu Picchu. Before she makes it to Peru, though, she’ll host a lot of out of town guests in her home (something she loves to do). In our one-on-one interview, Katie talks to us about her carry-on items, traveling routines, and her favorite place to visit abroad (hint: it’s in Africa)!
Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1 to honor the deceased. The festivities run from October 31 through November 2 and are also observed outside of Mexico in other Latin American countries such as Guatemala and Ecuador — as well as in regions with large Latino populations, such as the U.S. If you haven’t yet had the chance to see the revelry in person, these stunning photos will give you a taste of the lightheartedly macabre celebration.
Dangerous. Corrupt. Overrun by drug lords. Who, in their right mind, would travel to one of these places?
The below five cities are unfairly recognized as some of the worst places in the world. Some suffer from decades-old reputations as murder capitals or corrupt drug states — perceptions that aren’t necessarily true anymore. Others have gotten bad press that, again, doesn’t necessarily reflect the situation on the ground for travelers. So while many Americans still fear and avoid them, we think they’re beautiful travel destinations.
And if you’re headed to any of these destinations soon, our advice is simple (and the same that we would give for any trip): Do your homework and stick to well-trafficked areas.
Stuck forever in the era of boat-sized convertibles, Elvis memorabilia, and red-checkered tablecloths, these American-themed diners offer a nostalgic ride into ‘50s Americana while satisfying rumbling tummies. Although commonplace throughout the fifty states, you don’t tend to come across these neon-lit, chrome-plated structures anywhere else in the world. So if you happen to be abroad and craving a burger and a milkshake, here are twelve diners around the world that’ll transport you back home.
Visit the full slideshow here.
Last month, a new project was announced that will build a covered walkway connecting Tijuana Airport to the U.S. border. According to the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and other sources, the walkway will result in major savings for travelers headed to Mexico, where it’s often cheaper to catch domestic flights within Mexico than to fly from the U.S..
Of course, the thought of cheaper flights to Mexico made our ears perk up. But we had to wonder: who will benefit from this? And how much can the walkway actually help you save? Sure, certain flights out of Tijuana may be cheaper than flying out of San Diego or Los Angeles, for example. But once you’ve factored in the extra time it takes to cross the border, and the possible differences in route options, will the savings outweigh the extra leg work? Though we can’t predict how things will change after the walkway opens in 2015, here’s an assessment of pricing right now… Read more
When it comes to traveling on a budget, you can’t really get more affordable – or more basic – than sleeping dorm-style in a bunk bed with a free breakfast. We’re talking, of course, about hostels – the cheap, stripped-down alternatives to hotels that are popular with backpackers and college students. But it’s not just young people who are welcome, says Generator Hostels chariman Carl Michel. Below, we’ve listed some reasons why travelers in their thirties, forties, and beyond might consider this ultra-budget-friendly way to stay: Read more
This winter, what better way to warm up than with a piping mug of hot chocolate? But don’t just reach for a packet of Swiss Miss. There are much richer, bolder, more decadent concoctions out there. Here are five delicious indulgences from around the world – and where to find them…
1. Mexico City:Mexican hot chocolate is an update of an ancient Aztec drink that includes chili, cinnamon, anise, and other spices. The beverage is water-based with just a splash of milk and a pinch of sugar, so you can enjoy the chocolate’s dark richness and subtle kick. For an unabashedly kitschy and fun experience, try the 24-hour Churreria el Moro, a hotspot also known for its churros in Mexico City. $5 for one hot chocolate and four churros.
We love Mexico City. In fact, we voted it one of our top destinations for 2014. But if you need a break from this teeming, culturally rich city, here are some incredibly inexpensive day trips to try, all of which are packed full of beautiful sites, from ancient ruins, to picturesque churches, to sprawling main squares… Read more
These days, cost-conscious travelers have more options than ever. The question is no longer “Where will we go?” but “How cheap can we get there?” Rest assured, we’re here to tell you the answer: pretty cheap! As evidence, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most budget-friendly travel destinations to watch out for in 2014. These places show it’s totally possible to plan an unforgettable trip to a unique, accessible, and culturally interesting destination, and still feel like you’re getting a deal. Trying to fit all these fabulous trips into a single year? Well, that’s another question…
1. Singapore It’s telling that Singapore Airlines spent the better part of this fall introducing over two dozen brand new 777-300ER planes into its fleet. The national carrier, consistently recognized as one of the top airlines in the world, is simply catering to demand as more and more visitors flock to this verdant Southeast Asian hub. Scores of new hotels are opening all over the city – many of them artfully designed and, best of all, reasonably priced. But it’s not just affordable lodging that keep travelers coming back. The city’s treasure trove of cheap hawker centers (food stalls), diverse ethnic neighborhoods, and abundant green spaces (Gardens by the Bay, for one) show why it’s becoming one of the region’s most accessible, yet endlessly entertaining modern metropolises. (See also: Off The Beaten Path In Singapore)
With the Millennial generation growing up, the travel industry is beginning to see a gap in the market for sophisticated young travelers on a budget. Budget-chic brands such as CitizenM and Marriott’s Moxy, which offer high design and low price points, are booming, while budget brands such as Radisson are undergoing a design-focused overhaul. The result is that the high-end experience is being redefined: luxurious is no longer synonymous with expensive. That’s good news for travelers of all generations; gone are the days when a low budget meant bland and basic accommodations – as the following worldwide hotels prove.
New York City: Playland Motel
Located way out in Rockaway Beach in Queens, the Playland Motel, which opened in summer 2013, restored a 19th -century building and engaged 12 artists and designers to curate each of the guest rooms. Each season, artists and designers will update the rooms’ designs according to their own aesthetic. Rooms currently available to book include Kate Pane’s Coconut Castle room, which the artist describes as “a hot and heavy girlhood frolic with glitter sunburns, ponies and wet swimsuits.”
The Playland Motel is also home to a popular bar, diner, and pizzeria. The scene is young and the music loud. Rooms (with shared bathrooms) go for around $160 a night.
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