If you’re visiting Mexico City, your trip will only be complete with seeing the Angel of Independence. This towering monument is probably the city’s most iconic image, and it’s something every visitor to Mexico City should see.
As such, if you’re coming to this city, you’ll need to know more about the Angel of Independence. For this reason, we made this article to guide you and inform you about everything you need to know about it. We’ll also cover other related concerns you may have about this monument to maximize your stay and enjoy it better.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
About The Angel of Independence
The Angel of Independence goes by many names. Some of them are El Angel and El Monumento a la Independencia.
In essence, it’s a towering monument of a golden angel in the heart of Mexico City, and it serves as the symbol of the country’s capital city.
The monument was built to commemorate Mexico’s triumph over Spain’s quest to take over the city and the country, and it’s commonly called the War of Independence.
The monument’s construction took several years, but it was done in 1910 under the government led by Porfirio Diaz.
The monument became a mausoleum that honors the war’s heroes as years passed. From then on, it became a central point for Mexican protests and celebrations.
The monument resembles several other icons in other cities. Among them are Berlin’s Victory Column, New York’s Columbus Monument, and Paris’ July Column.
The Angel of Independence is made of bronze, but it’s covered in 24-karat gold, weighing seven tons when restored in late 2006.
As a monument sitting in a roundabout of Mexico City’s center, the Angel of Independence is accessible to the public 24 hours every day. However, access to the monument’s base and climbing inside the tower is generally available only during weekends.
Since the Angel of Independence is a monument, you can always admire it from afar without paying anything. It’s also free to get up close since it offers a vast open space surrounding the tower.
You can also tour the monument’s base, a mausoleum of the country’s war heroes. Further, you can climb the stairs to the top, but it requires a special permit.
The Angel of Independence is a towering column with the iconic Golden Angel on top. It sits on the roundabout along the main street of Paseo de la Reforma. You can easily reach it in the city’s downtown area since it’s in the center, and most transportation routes pass through it.
How to Get to The Angel of Independence
This monument, which sits in the city’s center, is the most popular starting and meet-up point of any tours, gatherings, protests, or meetings.
As a central point, it’s easily accessible through various public transportation methods or even by foot. For example, if you’re riding the Metro System, you can ride to the closest stop, the Insurgentes Stop for the Pink Line Metro and the Insurgentes stop for the Red Line Metrobus.
The monument sits in the center of a roundabout on a main highway. As such, expect parking to be minimal if you bring a car. It’s best to get there by foot or by public transportation. However, if you want to ride your car, you can find parking on the street within a block or two.
Activities To Do at The Angel of Independence
There’s little to do at the Angel of Independence since it’s only a monument. However, you can enjoy the following at the place:
Take Pictures from Outside
Countless pictures have been taken from outside the monument. It’s a favorite photo shoot location, and many people take selfies, especially tourists.
The vast space outside creates an excellent vantage point from below. However, you can also get a better view of the Angel when you’re far from the center.
Visit the Mausoleum
Besides being a monument, the base of the Angel of Independence houses a mausoleum of war heroes. As such, you can enter and see the mausoleum inside at the base level.
Climb the Top of the Tower
Visitors are allowed to enter the monument and climb to the top. However, if you plan on doing so, you’ll need to know the restrictions and rules regarding this activity.
What to Expect When Climbing the Angel of Independence?
While some tourists are already satisfied with seeing the Angel from the outside, some prefer to go inside and climb the stairs. If you’re one of the latter, here are some things to expect:
The Entrance is Free
The entrance to the monument is free. However, it would be best to secure a permit by showing identification. Then, you can submit it to the borough of Cuauhtemoc.
Limited Number of People Are Permitted at a Time
It is only permitted for groups of up to six people to enter the monument as part of a tour. The entry time is also limited to about 15 minutes to allow others to join the queue ahead of you.
Expect a Steep Climb
There are about 200 steps to climb, making it a challenging climb. However, climbing the first 15 stairs near the monument’s base is easy and comfortable. About 185 stairs are enclosed within the column, and they are circular, metal, very narrow, and don’t have landings or resting points.
Climbing is Discouraged For Inactive Tourists
The climb is physically demanding. In general, the experience is similar to climbing 14 stories at once. Thus, people uncomfortable with tight spaces should refrain from attempting it since there needs to be more room for others to bypass it.
Expect a Dark Climb
It is very dark along some staircases, with only a few slits letting in light. Even though the balcony up top is narrow, it provides a commanding vantage point of the column’s wide avenues.
Attractions at The Angel of Independence
The Angel of Independence’s main attraction is the Golden Angel itself. You can enjoy its view from afar or the base of the tower. However, you can also climb it (though you can’t see the Angel from the inside).
Another attraction within the monument is the mausoleum located at the base. Here, you can see the tribute given to the heroes of the War of Independence.
Other attractions you’ll see from the monument are the protests, celebrations, and gatherings.
Since the monument is a central point of the city, many events start or happen in this space.
If you want to see the Angel at its most vibrant, visit at the height of a parade or shortly after feminist marches. You’ll see the base usually covered in powerful protest signs and graffiti during such events.
If you’re visiting the Angel of Independence and you want to grab some snacks or have a meal in between, you can find several restaurants nearby. Here are some of the options near the monument:
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 333, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Operating Hours: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Website: Shake Shack
Cantina La 20 | El Ángel
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 342 PB, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone Number: +52 555 207 3252
Operating Hours: 1:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Website: Cantina La 20 | El Ángel
Restaurante Mallorca Reforma
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 365, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone Number: +52 551 268 5557
Operating Hours: 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Website: Restaurante Mallorca Reforma
Since the monument is a popular starting point for day trips and tours, many people want to spend their nights nearby. If you also want the same, here are some of the hotels you can book near the monument:
City Express Plus Reforma El Ángel
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 334, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone Number: +52 555 228 7800
Website: City Express Plus Reforma El Ángel
Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel Hotel
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 325, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone Number: +52 555 242 5555
Website: Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel Hotel
Hotel MX reforma
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 316, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone Number: +52 555 207 2515
Website: Hotel MX reforma
As the most famous image of Mexico City, your trip to this destination will only be complete with visiting the Angel of Independence. In essence, it’s a monument that will only take a few minutes to enjoy (if you’re not climbing or entering). However, it’s an excellent place to start your tour in the city, and it’s something you want to take advantage of when you’re around.
If you want to know more things to enjoy in the city, read our list of the best Things to See and Do in Mexico City.