Mariachis are the most well-known and popular form of traditional entertainment in the capital and can be found in bars and restaurants throughout the city but the best place to find these unique entertainers is around the Plaza de Garibaldi which lies five blocks north of the Palacio de Bellas Artes. The square is literally crawling with musicians who will also play your request for a small fee. Playing a variety of music ranging from the greatest hits of Abba to Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, they captivate audiences of all ages. Dressed in the traditional costume of tight black trousers with silver studs, decorative short jackets and huge sombreros, you’ve probably seen them on TV or in magazines but there’s something about seeing them in the flesh which makes them all the more impressive. A word of warning, however. Garibaldi Square is rife with pickpockets as is most of the city so be careful with your possessions.
For those of you who like something a little livelier, don’t despair. With thousands of nightclubs to choose from, the clubbing scene is well and truly alive in Mexico city with most clubs staying open until 3.00 or 4.00am. Some are open as late as 6.00am if you feel you’re up to it. You will find music of every variety, salsa, Caribbean, rock, techno disco – just follow your ear. Like the restaurants, the main regions for clubs are the Historic Centre, Polanco and the Zona Rosa and for those of you who want to stick to what you’re used to the Zona Rosa is the place to go for English speaking music. Otherwise, regardless of where you go be prepared to party.
And if you’re looking for a happy medium, check out the bars and cafés which litter the city. These range from cosmopolitan cocktail bars to traditional Cantinas which even today remain very much male territory. Many have live music nightly where the entry fee may only cost a dollar or two and the festivities go on into the small hours. Others offer the perfect chillout facility so whatever you feel like doing, you can certainly do it here.
Finally, to keep up to date with what’s going on about the city during your stay try to get your hands on the Friday edition of The News or Tiempo Libre which is a weekly magazine detailing all the goings on in Mexico City. The latter is in Spanish but you should manage to get the main points without any problems.
Eje Central, Between Calle Republica de Honduras and, Mexico City, Mexico
You can’t come to Mexico without seeing and hearing the traditional mariachi musicians and there is no better place to do so than this city centre plaza. Dressed in silver studded black suits the musicians wander the square until the small hours and you can even request your own song if you have the finances to do so. A truly cultural experience.
Maria Isabel Sheraton, Paseo de la Reforma 325, Mexico City, Mexico
A modern day institution in the city, this place serves the masses as a pub, club and restaurant. Among its speciality are the live mariachi music and the endless choice when it comes to the local tipple – TEQUILLA. Entertainment begins at 5.00pm but if you want to make it to the end it’s probably not advisable to show up quite this early.
Plaza Loreto, Mexico City, Mexico
One of the most popular nightspots in the city, this club combines a host of excellent DJs with live music ensuring that there is something for everyone. Home to a thousand and a half revellers when it’s at its busiest be prepared to party hard as soon as you get inside the door.
Queretaro 230, Colonia Roma, Mexico City, Mexico
For those who like nothing more than to shake your booty hit Mama Rumbas. With live Cuban music nightly and a DJ who plays more of the same you can try the cha cha and the salsa with the best of them. You’re on holidays after all.
Local 4, Gloria Insurgents, Mexico City, Mexico
Lively bar and club featuring live music from all over Latin America. Bands play nightly from 6.00pm onwards and with a cover charge somewhere in the region of US$2 this is certainly somewhere you should try at least once during your stay in the capital.
Rodolfo Gaona 3, Lomas de Sotelo, Mexico City, Mexico
Another top club in the city which is at its best on Friday and Saturday nights. Latin pop and techno are the order of the day so wear your dancing shoes because when you see everyone else doing it you’ll want to too. A wild place where the festivities go on well into the night.
Avenue Revolucion 1655, San Angel, Mexico City, Mexico
A happening jazz bar where those of you who think you have any talent are more than welcome to join in. Open between 1.00am and 1.00pm with music starting at 8.00pm this is a good chill out live music venue.
Presidente Masaryk 407, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico
Lively bar restaurant with disco from the decades playing nightly. Also has live music on occasion and you get to dance around your table – an interesting way to work of your meal. Open until midnight from Monday to Wednesday and until 2.00am from Thursday to Saturday so it’s not an exceptionally late night for those of you worrying about your beauty sleep.
No. 10 Calle 5 de Mayo, Mexico City, Mexico
Turn of the century decorated, this old bar has only been open to women since 1970. Serving an excellent selection of cocktails and snacks try to avoid it before the Belles Artes Concerts and on Saturdays if you don’t like your drinking spots too crowded. Otherwise any time is good.
Palacio de Bellas Artes, Plaza de las Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico
With performances on Sunday at 9.30am and 8.30pm and on Wednesdays at 8.30pm this is another must while you’re in the city. Not your classical ballet but a combination of dances representing Spanish, Indian and Mexican cultures with amazing costumes which is guaranteed to impress.