News, Tips & Bargains : Trolley Tales in Mexico City

Eight tourist sites in the downtown historic district of Mexico City are now linked by shiny, red-and-green tourist trolleys ( transvias ) that make a continuous loop through the area.

The six battery-operated trolleys cover the same route at about 30-minute intervals. Patrons can jump on and off all day, staying as long as they want at the museums and other sites along the way.

The starting point is in front of the Museum of the City of Mexico (Pino Suarez 30), despite the fact that it is closed indefinitely for renovations. Passengers cannot begin the tour at other stops.

Heading north a few blocks, the trolley stops at the Zocalo (get off here for the Cathedral, the National Palace and the Museo del Templo Mayor). A few blocks north, another stop is the Plaza de Santo Domingo.

The trolley heads west to the north side of the Alameda (one of the city's most popular parks). Jump off here for the Palace of Fine Arts (a Tiffany stage curtain and paintings by Mexico's leading artists), Museo Franz Mayer (housed in a charming 16th-Century building, the permanent collection features European furniture, but the temporary exhibits are quite eclectic) and the Museo de la Estampa (the history of printing).

On-board guides describe the passing sites in either Spanish, English or French. The guides rotate; there are no set times for the English tour.

The fare is 18 pesos (about $2.50). Running daily except Monday (when the museums are closed), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information call INFOTUR at 011-525-525-9380 or 525-9383.

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