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The Plaza de la Constitución is one of the world's largest city squares and is the main plaza of Mexico's Federal District. Paved by Cortés is the 1520s, the expansive plaza lies at the site of the ceremonial center of the Aztec Tenochtitlán. For a time, the plaza was taken over by a labyrinth of stalls, until General Santa Anna cleared the square and laid the foundations of a monument to independence at its core. His plans were never realized, however, and the base of the proposed monument was eventually buried. What remains, is the name Zócalo, meaning "plinth," a moniker popularly used to refer to the Plaza de la Constitución as well as the main squares of several other Mexican cities. Here, Aztec dancers perform daily to the beat of drums, beneath the massive Mexican flag fluttering in the breeze, hoisted each morning by soldiers at 8a and lowered again at 6p. The grand historic facades of the Palacio Nacional and Catedral Metropolitana fringe the square; a place where the pulse of the city beats the strongest. The Plaza de la Constitución also hosts concerts, festivals and protests amid its sprawling embrace.
The wee hours of the day or the night, there is a hustle and bustle in Plaza Garibaldi as bands play Mariechi music or perform gigs on the spot for the tourists seated on the cement benches scattered in the area. This is one of the most renowned place in the city that attracts several tourists all year round. The costumes, dresses and songs talk of the rich culture of Mexico. The vibrant colours of the age-old Salon Tenampa is welcoming. Grab a bite and a couple of drinks, sit back and listen to live Mariechi music being played. The Tenampa through its walls and little art work talks about the history and culture of the place.
Known for being home to various film stars in the Golden Age of cinema in the 1940s, this charming neighborhood features art deco and modern architecture, lush parks and hip cafes, restaurants and boutiques. This urbanized and trendy area of the city is popular amongst musicians, young professionals and families. A weekend must visit.
Although many consider it a cruel and primitive blood sport, others retain a passion for the corrida de toros (bullfight). The toreador's bravado and his vibrant costumes and the struggle for survival in the ring make this a thrilling event to watch. This bullring is one of the largest worldwide, with a capacity of more than 50,000 people. It is worth attending the fiesta brava if only to experience the song and dance presentation that takes place before the fight on Sundays at 4p, November through March.
Coyoacán is famous for being one of the oldest boroughs in the ever sprawling Mexico City. Dating back to the 1500s when it was the capital of the Conquistadors (Spanish conquerors), this region still features some of the original 16th Century architectural wonders, quaint cobblestone streets and tiny plazas from the Colonial era. It is estimated that an influx of over 70,000 people flock to this historic district on weekends for the multifarious events and festivals that take place throughout the year. It is also famous for a market selling local arts and crafts.
Recently named a barrio magico (magic neighborhood) by the secretary of tourism, San Ángel is located southwest of the city center. Populated by historic cobblestone streets, fragrant gardens and grand estates this neighborhood is flush with Colonial history. Many of the city's popular attractions are located near the San Ángel neighborhood including the Bellas Artes Palace, Templo Mayor and many art galleries, markets, open-air restaurants, boutiques and more.