This summer, we finally took an international trip and went to visit Mexico City!
After sending pieces of jewelry to and hearing such amazing things about Mexico City, we had to go visit. This trip was our first international vacation since the pandemic and it was so refreshing to be in a new country experiencing the sights, architecture, and food in person.
A couple of things that I remember most about Mexico City was
- How green and luscious the city felt literally everywhere
- The mix of modern with historical architecture. We stayed in Roma Norte, the quintessential example of this design style.
- Simplicity and truth to materiality in their spaces, fashion, and style.
- The colorful (literally the bright colors!) community culture like salsa dancing teaching and learning in public parks <3
- Purse hooks designed and provided at every restaurant!
Here are some of my favorite places we visited and would recommend!
One of my favorite places to visit was Casa Gilardi. I had learned about the architect Luis Barragan in architecture school but never thought I’d actually be able to visit one of his homes in person.
Did you know this house was originally designed as a bachelor pad for 2 men? This house is actually still a residential home and is maintained and managed by the family of one of the original bachelors. They generously allow visitors to come see the space and give tours, we just needed to email them to set up a time.
Luis Barragan’s use of this vibrant pink is what has become known as “Mexico City Pink”. What struck me the most about the space is the simplicity and truth to materiality that is present throughout the space. Using humble materials like paint over windows, he creates stunning plays on light and shadow. I know I will be referencing these photos for inspiration.
Many of the restaurants, shops, and modern spaces have been built into historic buildings. Existing elements like the structural columns, stone reliefs, and details have been respected and built around. Many of which create an open courtyard feel which seemed very common in restaurants. Many of these spaces would have a giant tree growing in the middle of the space extending out beyond the roof.
Tetetlan is one of the craziest space I’ve ever been to. This space used to be horse stables and is now a multifunctional space housing a restaurant, library, cafe, yoga studio and a store selling local goods. The entire floor is made of glass and is built on top of volcanic rock.
I’m really jealous of the library spaces/cafes in Mexico City. They really make them such lovely places to be, to work, and they stay open until like 10 pm at night!
Also, how do I get one of these chairs, please?
The next spot that I would say is a must-see is Biblioteca Vasconcelos. The library was designed as if the information is floating. I had to walk into every one of those alcoves to see this space from all the different angles.
Each aisle is framed in a way that you can walk out to the balcony and see the vast amount of levels and books. And while the building is full of concrete and glass, it was amazing how quiet and muted the space felt.
High above your head, cantilevered balconies fill the space creating hundreds of new and exciting angles to view the space. This giant library was definitely designed to be explored.
A fun place for upscale shopping is Polanco. This space is filled with high-end shops, luxury homes, and really fun concept stores like Ikal and Lago.
An unexpected favorite place to visit here was a perfume shop named Xinú. I’ve never been to a store that was so much of an experience. You buzz into a space lined with gorgeous perfume bottles. Then into a dark hallway and up a spiral staircase to reveal the most stunning retail display I’ve ever seen.
Each section of this table was filled with beautiful objects to tell the story of each scent. It is an interactive table encouraging you to pick things up to smell the scents trapped in gorgeous glass bottles. They even display ways to reuse their perfume bottles once they are empty.
There is so much to see in Mexico City, these are just a few of the many places to see! I'd highly recommend making a trip if you haven't been! And if you're flying from San Diego, make sure you check out the Cross Border Xpress! It was pretty easy and saved us quite a bit of money on international flights because we flew domestically from Tijuana!