Considering that we have spent years location scouting all over Mexico City, we know that local productions come with unique sets of advantages and disadvantages. One of the greatest advantages of shooting in Mexico City is, well, Mexico City. The city we love is incredibly diverse in many aspects, from landscape and architecture, to history and culture. It is ripe for shooting! With so many vibrant and distinctive pockets throughout the myriad neighborhoods, each one offering unique landmarks both new and old, there are seemingly endless attractions offered by our city. Inspiration abounds on every street.
Despite the travel restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, the wonders of CDMX are still open, at least virtually. Whether you are local or in another part of the world, there are great resources that provide virtual exploration and insight into the cultural institutions that define Mexico City. You Visit, for example, offers 360° high-resolution experiences and great photos of some of our iconic monuments and locations.
Each monument is embedded with artistic and cultural history, representing the rich story of Mexico. Enjoy your visit!
La Catedral Metropolitana – Following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire under the leadership of Hernán Cortés in the 16th century, the conquistadores began a 250 years-long construction of a church on the site of Templo Mayor to mark their reign over the territory. Due to the astounding length of construction, the church as it stands today is an amalgamation of architectural styles, including Baroque, Gothic, Churrigueresque, Neoclassical, and Italian Renaissance. Today the cathedral is a symbol of Mexican identity and a testament to its colonial history.
Monumento a la Revolución – Located in Plaza de la República, this monument commemorates the Mexican Revolution. It was originally constructed in the early 20th century for the congressional chambers, but the war prevented the completion of the initial plans. Today the monument is considered the tallest triumphal arch in the world, standing at 67 metres in height.
Templo Mayor – This archaeological site was formerly the main temple of the Aztec people, dating back to the 14th century, also known as the Mesoamerican period of Mexican history. While the original building and its surrounding temples no longer stand, archaeologists and excavations have since confirmed it as the site of multiple temples and a museum, among other buildings. Templo Mayor was and still is considered to be a sacred location, as the myth claims this is where the God Huitzilopochtli signaled to the Mexican people that they had reached the promise land. Today there is a museum on the site dedicated to artifacts that archaeologists have discovered on the site over the years.
Basilica de Santa María de Guadalupe – Also known as La Villa de Guadalupe, this grand basilica was built in the early part of the 18th century. Today it marks one of the most important pilgrimage sites of Catholicism.
Paseo de la Reforma – Modeled after the great European boulevards, Paseo de la Reforma is a wide avenue that runs across Mexico City. After the French overthrew the government under President Benito Juárez in the 1860’s, the newly crowned Emperor Maximilian commissioned the avenue to connect the city center to his private residence at the Chapultepec Castle. But after Maximilian’s execution, the avenue was renamed in honor of the Reform War.
Palacio de Bellas Artes – A prominent cultural center of Mexico City since its construction in the early 20th century, this monument has hosted events across disciplines within the arts, including dance, music, theatre, opera, and literature. Today, the Palacio de Bellas Artes is a home to the ballet, opera, and the symphony. It is also known for its murals by some of Mexico’s most famous artists, including Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo.
Palacio de Correos de México – Also known as the Palacio Postal, the city’s main post office was initially built in 1907. The iconic building has become a must-see for anyone visiting Mexico City due to its opulent, breathtaking architecture. Due to various restorations over the years, the architectural style existing today is a mix of Art Nouveau, Spanish Renaissance Revival, Plateresque, Gothic, and Rococo among others.
Palacio Nacional – Located on the Zócalo, the city’s main square, the National Palace was initially built as a home for the ruling class, but eventually became offices for the Federal Treasury and the National Archives. Many tourists visit this location to see the incredible, large-scale Diego Rivera murals which depict the history of Mexico, from the Mesoamerican period, through the Revolution and the Reform period, ending its historical depiction around the middle of the 20th century.
Teotihuacan Pyramids – The ancient pyramids are located within the monumental archaeological complex. While the original settlers are still unknown, we do know that the Mesoamericans settled in this trade metropolis around 400 B.C., and the Aztecs later claimed the land in the 1400’s. Some facades from the original structures are still standing, but the most iconic structures are the three grand pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. Teotihuacan remains a sacred site and one of the most visited monuments in the country.