You don’t have to be travelling to Mexico to wonder about the country’s capital. So what is the capital of Mexico? It’s Mexico City.
The capital of Mexico is one of those tricky capital cities where not many tourists visit, so it’s not top of mind when considering which of the Mexican cities would be the capital.
But, interestingly, Mexico City, when looking at the history of Mexico, was a logical choice. Whereas tourist hot spots like Cancun or Guadalajara did not make sense as the Mexican capital. Here’s why.
History of Mexico City
Mexico City, formerly known as Tenochtitlan, has been the capital of Mexico since 1325, when the Aztecs named the city their capital. Tenochtitlan was the first city settled in Mexico, and legend goes that the Aztecs saw an eagle with a snake in its beak on a cactus, and understood that to be a sign to settle the region and develop the city at that spot.
Ancient Mexico City grew to be the largest city in the world over the next two centuries. When the Spanish conquered the Aztec empire in 1521, they decided to keep the city as their capital, and when Mexico obtained independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico City was chosen to remain the country’s capital.
So Mexico City has been the capital of the ancient historic country for almost 700 years!
The Capital of Mexico
It made sense to choose the oldest and largest city to be the capital in ancient times, and it continues to make sense to have Mexico City as the capital because it has so much history and significance.
Today Mexico City is associated with crime and negativity, but the historic city still maintains its cultural depth as one of the areas with the greatest concentration of museums in the world, with more than 170.
Whenever you think, “what is the capital of Mexico,” just remember that it’s a rich city named after the country – which makes it pretty memorable!
Let us know what you thought of Mexico City when you visited in the comments below.