Zocalo (Constitution Square), Mexico City

Zocalo (Constitution Square), Mexico City (must see)

One of the world's largest public squares, Plaza de la Constitución, also known as Zócalo, was one of the city's main market areas from the days of Tenochtitlán (circa 14th century), in addition to being a place of ritual and celebration. In the 1860s, Emperor Maximilian I banned merchants and created a Parisian-style park, with tree-lined walkways and benches.

Later on, following the Mexican Revolution, the plaza was cleared of all its trees, grass, and ornamentation. A giant Mexican flag (ceremoniously lowered every evening at 6pm), now has pride of place in the center of the plaza, and in the heat of the day you can see crowds of people taking shelter in the flagpole's shade. Concerts, performance art, large assemblies, and, every December, a massive ice-skating rink, are other things to watch for.

Take a moment to feel the energy and history of this grand plaza, then proceed to exploring the blocks surrounding it – dense with impressive architecture, fascinating museums, and some of the best traditional restaurants in the city (El Cardenal), as well as many must-see landmarks, including the pre-Colombian ruins of the Templo Mayor, the National Museum of Art, and the Casa de los Azulejos (or "House of Tiles").

Why You Should Visit:
No trip to Mexico City would be complete without a wander around this amazing array of diversity/eclecticism. In the Zócalo and its surroundings, one can appreciate the Mexican history written on the walls of each surrounding building, can enjoy good cuisine, and can witness an entertainment event of national significance.

Tip:
There is not much shade in this square and the area really traps in the heat, so consider opting for a cooler part of the day for maximum enjoyment. Alternatively, go up to the Hotel Gran Ciudad de México's terrace for a great photo, or have lunch at Balcón del Zócalo, a rooftop restaurant in the Zócalo Central Hotel, which has gorgeous views of the cathedral and plaza.

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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Zocalo (Constitution Square) on Map

Sight Name: Zocalo (Constitution Square)
Sight Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Mexico City, Mexico

Create Your Own Walk in Mexico City

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.
Historic Center Walking Tour

Historic Center Walking Tour

After the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán, Spanish settlers destroyed the Mexica capital, building a European-style settlement atop the ruins – and, in many cases, using the stones from fallen Mexica temples to construct their own churches and palaces. Five centuries later, Mexico’s pre-Colombian heritage is embedded throughout the Centro Histórico – in its layout, in its place-names,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Museums Walking Tour

Museums Walking Tour

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
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
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

Mesoamerican civilizations established open-air marketplaces for trade and commerce, and after the Spanish conquest, many important pre-Colombian markets continued to operate throughout the New World. Often atmospheric and interesting, neighborhood markets are hands down the best places to shop for fruits and vegetables, but also for crafts, antiques, paintings, art objects, jewelry, and more....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Coyoacan District Walking Tour

Coyoacan District Walking Tour

Coyoacán, or “The Land of Coyotes” in Nahuatle, is a relatively quiet neighborhood in the heart of Mexico City, one of its 16 boroughs. Formerly a rural village, over the years Coyoacán has become a rich pocket of art and history in the Mexican capital. Iconic figures like Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, great artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera sought refuge and inspiration in this...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Chapultepec Park Walking Tour

Chapultepec Park Walking Tour

Chapultepec Park is one of the most famous parks in Mexico City. It is located on the Chapultepec Hill, that has a major historic importance for Mexicans. This park features some of the best known tourist attractions in Mexico city, like the Chapultepec Castle and National Museum of Anthropology. Take this self guided walking tour to explore Chapultepec Park.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles

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