Palacio Nacional (National Palace), Mexico City

Palacio Nacional (National Palace), Mexico City (must see)

The deep-red facade of the Palacio Nacional stretches grandly across the Zócalo's eastern edge. After the destruction of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, the palace was constructed for Hernán Cortés, though it later became the official home for Spanish viceroys governing the colonies. After independence, it became the seat of government, and the bell from the church in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, was hung over the presidential balcony. It was this bell that the Roman Catholic priest, Miguel Hidalgo rang while issuing his famous battle cry, or “Grito de Dolores”, which heralded the start of the War of Independence from Spain. On Independence Day, September 15th, crowds of Mexicans and foreigners gather at the Zócalo to hear the president of Mexico repeat the “Grito de Dolores” from the balcony before the national anthem is sung.

The show-stoppers here are Diego Rivera's spectacular epic murals in the north plaza and stairwell. A monumental work of composition and color, Rivera executed this chronicle of Mexico's history between 1929-51. The panel entitled “The Great City of Tenochtitlán” provides a detailed rendering of the Mexica city, viewed from the market in Tlatelolco, while other panels illustrate the period of the Spanish conquest and subsequent centuries of exploitation/industrialization.

Why You Should Visit:
An oasis of quiet and beauty just off the main plaza which is always brimming with people. Great little bookstore on site, as well as a branch of Fonart.

Tip:
Since this is a government building, security is strict: you have to give up either your driver's license or passport to gain entry (easily retrieved on exiting). Bags, bottled water, hats and sunglasses are prohibited. On the plus side, guards are polite and entry (free) is fairly quick.
Follow the signs across the courtyard, and see the vast murals depicting the history of Mexico, which are considered Diego Rivera's greatest work. You will either need to give them a cursory quick-over, or much better – hire a guide or use a detailed guide book to not only understand the magnitude of Rivera's work but the undertaking of centuries of history.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am–5pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Mexico City, Mexico within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Palacio Nacional (National Palace) on Map

Sight Name: Palacio Nacional (National Palace)
Sight Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Mexico City, Mexico

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Create Your Own Walk in Mexico City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Mexico City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping

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Mexico City's Nightlife

Mexico City's Nightlife

Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world and also one of the most populated. Its nightlife is all about amazing music, great drinks and thrilling fun. The music here is mainly a combination of Spanish and English-language rock, electronic music, some Latin/Caribbean music, Latin pop, and sometimes traditional Mexican music. Take this self guided tour to enjoy the unique nightlife...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Chapultepec Park Walking Tour

Chapultepec Park Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Zona Rosa Walking Tour

Zona Rosa Walking Tour

Zona Rosa, or the Pink Zone, is one of Mexico City's popular neighborhoods. It is located near the historic center of the city, and was called Pink Zone because of the pink tiles that are prevalent here. The area is noted particularly for its splendid Beaux-Art architecture, the city's best handicraft markets and antique shops. Take this self guided tour to discover the beauties that...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
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Mexico City is one of the most dazzling cultural sites in the world, boosting many fascinating museums in the city. Mexico City also has a rich history of artistic expressions. It was home to the Aztec civilization and the Spanish Empire both of which have left behind an impressive heritage and a unique culture. Take this self guided walk to explore the rich culture heritage that Mexico City has...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

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