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The sprawling Mercado San Juan—one of Mexico's oldest and largest—is a cook's dream, with all the veggies, meats, and chicharrón (pork rinds) you'll need to whip up pozole; a Mexican stew rich in spice and flavor. There are plenty of opportunities to snap one of those iconic tourist photos munching on a crunchy chapuline (cricket) or a ridged gusano (worm)—or just order a bottle of mescal and you're likely to find one floating in the bottom of it.  
Credit: Jen Weiss 
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The Museo de Arte Popular is the whimsical kid sister to more established museums in Mexico City such as the must-see Palacio de Bellas Artes. Beyond the bright, airy inner courtyard look for artisanal artifacts like jewelry, textiles, tapestries, pottery, piñatas and papier-mâché skeletons. The themed halls are organized by section: the roots of Mexican arts and crafts, everyday objects, sacred items, and 'lo fantasmagico,' meaning fantastic and magical things.  
Credit: Jen Weiss 
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The former imperial and presidential palace, Castillo de Chapultepec, sits above the Bosque de Chapultepec, a giant green space that's crowded with street vendors, Mexican families, and tourists on the weekends. Take a trolley up Chapultepec Hill to this landmark castle; once sacred Aztec land, the castle now houses the Museo Nacional de Historia and offers panoramic views of nearby paddle-boating in Chapultepec Lake, the botanical gardens, zoo, and world-renowned Museo de Antropologia.  
Credit: Jen Weiss 
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Try a cup of pulque in the laidback outpost of Tepoztlan, 50 miles south of Mexico City. The thick, milk-colored alcoholic drink, made from maguey sap, has special significance here: The pyramid on a cliff above the town was built in honor of Tepoztecatl, the Aztec god of pulque and fertility. Situated in a valley surrounded by picturesque cliffs, Tepoztlan boasts a serene 16th-century church and big, bustling weekend marketplace.  
Credit: Jen Weiss 
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This victory column, Mexico City's most famous monument, looks out over the Paseo de la Reforma, its most famous street. The column, 'el Angel,' was inaugurated by Porfirio Diaz in 1910 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mexico's War of Independence. At its top is a golden angel holding out a crown of laurels. At the base of the column are four statues representing peace, war, law, and justice; other less famous statues flanking the column represent the war heroes themselves.  
Credit: Jen Weiss 
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Plaza de la Constitutión—more commonly called the Zócalo—is one of the largest city squares in the world and home to the Palacio Nacional as well as the imposing Catedral Metropolitana. Church construction spanned the colonial period, and the building has elements of Reniassance, Baroque, and Neoclassical architecture. It is one of the oldest churches in the Americas, featuring the enormous, gilded Alter de Pedrón upon entrance and two massive organs situated above the choir.  
Credit: Gina Pace 
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Artist Frida Kahlo was born in Casa Azul and lived there again during her famously tempestuous marriage to painter Diego Rivera. The house they shared, in the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City, has now been converted into a museum, with several of her own works displayed. The lush patio outside the house showcases many pre-Colombian works that Rivera collected, as well as a mock Aztec temple.  
Credit: Gina Pace 
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On the weekends, the canals of Xochimilco are full of families taking rides on brightly-colored trajineras—large party boats with picnic tables—as food vendors and mariachi bands line the canal sides. The Aztecs created chinampas (floating gardens) that gradually turned Lake Xochimilco into a series of canals. If you visit during a weeknight, the area is almost deserted, but it's worth it to secure a trajinera to explore the area, much of which has been set aside as a nature preserve.  
Credit: Jen Weiss 
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Thought to be Mexico's largest pre-Hispanic city, Teotihuacán is about 30 miles north of Mexico City and is known for its Pyramid of the Sun, completed around 150 A.D. and the third largest pyramid in the world. Stretching between this and the smaller Pyramid of the Moon is the Calzada de los Muertos (the Avenue of the Dead). It's almost shocking that you're allowed to climb up something as old as the Pyramid of the Sun—but you are, up all 250 (very narrow) steps—where you're rewarded with a sweeping view of the complex.  
Credit: Gina Pace 
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About six miles from downtown Mexico City, Coyoacán has a smaller-town feel. Known for being a home to artists and writers, the borough hosts art fairs and open-air markets during the weekends. Coyoacán means 'place of coyotes' in Náhuatal, evident in several outdoor cafés that border a public square encircling an iconic coyote-themed water fountain.  
Credit: Gina Pace 
 
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