Mexico City Nightlife
Mexico City's nightlife is as lively and varied as everything else the city has to offer. All tastes are catered for, from gentle supper clubs with floorshows and loud, brash nightclubs to ritzy piano bars, rusticantros (or disco-bars) and bars specialising in traditional Mexican music. The chunk of city directly to the east of Chapultepec, formed of La Condesa and La Roma are still very much the places to find the best nightlife in Mexico City. However the Juárez neighbourhood, sandwiched between Avenida Chapultepec and Paseo de la Reforma, is being lauded as the hottest new thing in bohemian circles of late. Honourable mentions also go out to Zona Rosa and Polanco.
Bar-hopping at high altitude can have a dramatic effect on the body, from spells of dizziness and heightened intoxication to bouts of serious nausea. One drink in Mexico City can be the equivalent to two elsewhere in the world - so it pays to proceed with caution. Crime in the capital is another consideration after dark. Pickpockets are rife in crowded nightlife areas where wallets and bags should be well guarded.
Mexico City's rich cultural heritage boasts a colourful artisan tradition, from vibrant pre-Hispanic folk-art to the bold, brave works of the great muralists of the 20th century. A strong legacy of music and literature spans many centuries, styles and genres from hip-hop poets and graffiti maestros to Mexico's classic romantics. Perhaps the most typical Mexican music is themariachi, where roaming groups of trumpeters, violinists, guitarists and a singer peddle their tunes.
For details of what is happening across the capital, pick up Tiempo Libre (www.tiempolibre.com.mx), Mexico City's comprehensive listings guide, published every Thursday. The monthly programme, Guía de Programación, is available free from the Bellas Artes bookshop and tourist offices, while government website Conaculta (www.conaculta.gob.mx) provides an excellent detailed guide to a wide range of cultural events. Ticketmaster (tel: +52 55 5325 9000; www.ticketmaster.com.mx) sells tickets for most major events in Mexico City and publishes the monthly entertainment guide, ¿Qué hacemos? ('What shall we do?').
Bars in Mexico City
Nothing proves that central Mexico City has a hip bohemian atmosphere like a cocktail bar. Baltra Bar is intimate and cosy, with an excellent mixologist crafting inventive drinks, like the Twinings tea-based cocktail range.Address: La Condesa, Iztaccíhuatl 36D, Mexico City,
Telephone: +52 55 5264 1279.
No trip to Mexico City would be complete without a stop at a traditional cantina, the densest concentration of which is in the Centro Histórico. La Coyoacana, however is located in the heart of Coyoacán and offers a nostalgic step back to older times. Without doubt one of the better cantinas in Mexico City, it's all about delicious food, great mezcal and vibrant atmosphere. Like any cantina, the furnishings and décor have a rustic authenticity. There is likely to be live music as well.Address: Coyoacán, Higuera 14, ,
Telephone: :+52 55 5658 5337.
The Beer Box
Mexican beer already has a good reputation; therefore The Beer Box is already onto a good thing. Their huge variety of Mexican and American craft beers are joined by a number of brews from the other side of the Atlantic. They have a number of branches now, but the one in Juárez has the trendy ambience to match the suds.Address: Juárez, Londres 216, Mexico City,
Telephone: +52 55 5207 7441.
Clubs in Mexico City
In the bohemian Condesa district, AM Local is one of the most popular places for lovers of all things House, Techno and Electronica. With a great range of guest DJs from all over the world, a night out here will whisk you through to the early hours.Address: La Condesa, Avenida Nuevo León 67, Mexico City,
Telephone: +52 55 2079 1283.
Mama Rumba is one of Mexico City's best spots for salsa dancing, especially for those who are new to the sultry rhythms of salsa. There are free classes for beginners at around 8pm on Wednesdays. Stay on for the club proper, which gets going soon after the class ends, and watch the salsa masters tear it up.Address: Roma Norte, Queretaro 230, Mexico City,
Telephone: +52 55 5564 6920.
Mono has fantastic electronic music and good prices. That combination means it can get busy and queues can be long. They are open to the public most nights, so consider heading out there midweek if the weekend is a no go.Address: Juárez, Versalles 64, Mexico City,
Telephone: +52 55 2666 8474.
Live music in Mexico City
Bar El Jorongo
For over quarter of a century, Bar El Jorongo has been one of the city's most acclaimed nightspots. Dubbed the 'House of Mariachi', this atmospheric music hub attracts the biggest names in Mexican music.Address: Cuauhtémoc, Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel, Paseo de la Reforma 325, Mexico City,
Telephone: +52 55 5242 5555
El Imperial is still one of the coolest live music venues in the city. The price is right, the drinks and the music are excellent and there's an air of antique decadence that on paper does not sound like it befits a rock club. Somehow they pull it off though.Address: Roma Norte, Avenida Álvaro Obregón 293, Mexico City,
Telephone: +52 55 5525 1115.
For traditional Mexican music, visit Plaza Garibaldi, on Eje Central between Republica de Honduras and Republica de Peru, where umpteen mariachi bands fill the tree-lined square until dawn. Arrive 2000-2400 to watch the mariachi bands gather dressed in black silver-studded suits and wide-brimmed hats. Salón Tenampa is a long-standing institution on the square; a bar where clients are serenaded by mariachis.Address: Centro Histórico, Plaza Garibaldi 12, Mexico City,
Telephone: +52 55 5526 6176.