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Mexico City is the focus of Mexico’s political, cultural and economic life. The nation’s capital and its largest metropolis, it has a population of over 25 million and covers an area of 1,547 square kilometres (597 square miles). Its wide boulevards are lined by both modern glass and steel structures and the colonial architecture of the past.
With its diverse heritage, the city offers 75 museums and 10 archaeological zones. Mexico City’s historical centre is a 668-block area around the Zócalo (main square) that has been designated a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. The district encompasses more than 1,400 historic structures, including the Templo Mayor (Great Temple of the Aztecs), as well as private mansions and civic and religious buildings.
- Between December 16th and 24th, Nativity representations and Posadas processions (recreations of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter) take place throughout the city.
- Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron Saint of México) – On December 12, a national holiday, millions of pilgrims from all over Latin America congregate to worship the Virgin Mary at the Basílica.
- Día de Reyes (Day of Kings or Ephiphany) – January 6th marks the culmination of the Christmas season with a celebration of the Three Wise Men.
- Festival del Centro Histórico (Historic Centre Festival) – This festival of international music, dance, theatre and art takes place every spring.
- Semana Santa (Holy Week) – Holy Week is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. The most elaborately staged passion play in Mexico City is presented on Good Friday at Iztapalapa. Re-enactments of the Stations of the Cross are also staged in the towns of Tecomitl, Tecoxpa, Oztotepec, Atocpan and Milpa Alta.
- La Flor más Bella del Ejido (The Most Beautiful Flower) – This festival in the borough of Xochimilco celebrates the beauty of Mexican indigenous women.
- Commemoration of the Defense of Mexico and the fall of Tenochtitlan – Commemorating a decisive battle during the conquest of the Aztec Empire by the Spanish, event activities take place on the Paseo de la Reforma, on the Zócalo (main square) and in front of Monument of Cuauhtemoc on August 13.
- Independence Month (September) – Mexico's largest independence celebration centres on the city's Zócalo (main square), where, at 11:00 pm on September 15th, the president of Mexico stands on the central balcony of the National Palace to call out the Grito, the call for freedom that sparked the fight for Mexican Independence, to the crowds gathered below. A parade takes place on September 16th.
- Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) – During this national holiday honouring friends and family members who have died, altars are mounted in homes and cemeteries. On November 1st and 2nd, celebrations take place in the boroughs of Mixquic, Xochimilco and Milpa Alta.
GMT -6 hours
Central Standard Time
Local voltage is 110 to 120 volts AC. Adapters available; please request through the Concierge.
Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Hotel gift shops:
Monday to Saturday: 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
Sunday and Holidays: 7:30 am to 10:30 pm
Hotel shops include Selecciones (drug store), La Boutique (clothes, handicrafts, jewellery), Tane (silver craftwork) and Lourdes Sosa Gallery (specializing in contemporary art).
Administrative offices are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.