The Zócalo is the ideal starting point for a day of sightseeing in Mexico City. The square is surrounded by various attractions, such as the Catedral Metropolitana and the Palacio Nacional, the presidential palace that is well worth a visit. The current palace stands in the exact spot where the palace of Aztec ruler Moctecuhzoma II stood in the 16th century. Many of the stones from the Aztec palace have been used in the construction of the Palacio Nacional. Most visitors come here to see the huge and impressive murals by Mexican artist Diego Rivera. He painted these images between 1929 and 1935. The murals depict Mexican history from the arrival of Aztec god Quetzalcoatl to the period after the Mexican Revolution of 1910.
Spectacular flag ceremony
The raising and lowering of La Bandera, the huge Mexican flag that flies all day in the centre of the Zócalo, is quite the event. Every day at 8:00 am soldiers hoist the flag and at sunset they lower it again. The ceremony is a quite the show with drummers, trumpets and marching soldiers. The best view of the ceremony is from the roof of the Catedral Metropolitana.
Aztec dancers on the Zócalo
Dancers and pelonas
Aside from all the attractions, the Zócalo is also a fun and lively square. Aztec dancers often perform here. Donning colourful feather headdresses, they perform an authentic dance from the Aztec period (approx. 1200 to 1530). The square is also surrounded by countless dining options serving tacos, tortillas or pelonas - a crispy fried sandwich with meat, beans and salsa.