It's foolish to pretend that Instagram hasn't changed travel. Hotels now seem designed to cater to the platform's users, and once-obscure architectural works are overrun with hordes of tourists all hoping for that iconic pic.
So, in an effort to lessen the amount of time you spend in your vacation trying to get the perfect gram, every month we're going to give you our quick cheat sheet to some of the best spots. The list isn't exhaustive—but it has some gems you may not have seen, and some of the best spots for getting the quintessential destination shot.
One of those hidden gems is the fantastic Biblioteca Vasconcelos with its hanging book-cases. Opened in 2006, it's one of our favorite libraries in the world.
Café Don Porfirio
Want that aerial shot showing Mexico City's uniquely designed concert hall? Head up to the cafe on the 8th floor of the Sears across the street and out onto the balcony of the Café Don Porfirio for a pic that captures it all.
San Cristóbal Ecatepec de Morelos
Modern Mexico City for architecture lovers is all about Barragán. Whether it's the Casa Gilardi with its famous yellow hallway leading to the red and blue pool, the pink wall at the Casa Barragán, or the reflecting pool/horse trough at the San Cristóbal Ecatepec de Morelos (pictured above), your trip likely isn't complete without this experience.
While it's one of Mexico City's most famous attractions (with an insane backstory and lots of intrigue), Chapultepec Castle is difficult to capture. It disappears into the canopy of the surrounding park, the wonder of its rooftop garden is not easily conveyed, and its magical polished marble terrace is always jam-packed. However, if you're patient, the drop-dead stained-glass hallway on the top floor can often be had to yourself. And boy, is it worth it.
El Gran Hotel
While we're on the subject of stained glass, Mexico City has one of the most stunning stained-glass ceilings we've ever seen. Right in the dramatic lobby of the historic El Gran Hotel in the Centro is this show-stopper.
While the architecture snob (and art snob) may turn up their noses at the Museo Soumaya, the reality is that it makes a fantastic picture, especially just before sunset as the golden light plays with all the metal tiles.
Our favorite little find in Mexico City sits across the street from the popular Condesa DF Hotel. Once one of many such mansions built as Condesa and Roma became the city's fashionable locations at the end of the 19th century, it's one of the few that remain in all its fusion glory. Clamber up onto the waist-high wall, and stick your hand through the metal fence for a shot of this mansion that looks as if a drug lord has been reading too much Sir Walter Scott.
Palacio de Correos
We personally have never managed to snag a great photo of the spectacular interior of the Palacio de Correos right in the heart of Mexico City, recently because it was closed after the earthquake. But now it's back open, and this odd but awesome mix of architectural styles can't be missed.
Last on our little list is just a few blocks from the first (the Biblioteca Vasconcelos). The Kiosco Morisco has a kind of hilarious history, as this very un-Mexican elaborate structure was built to represent Mexico at a World's Fair. Now it sits in this charming park, and often you'll see photographers and filmmakers there taking advantage of its different aesthetic.