If you’re visitingMexico City this year, you’ll be able to do something no previous visitor could: tour the presidential palace. Off-limits to visitors during prior administrations, the palace is now a designated cultural center and open to the public. Andres Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s new president who was sworn in on December 1st, 2018, decided to open the palace as part of his effort to make Mexico’s government more transparent. Keeping his promise to limit government extravagances, Obrador sold the presidential jet, reduced his security detail, took a 60 percent salary cut, and will reside in a Mexico City apartment rather than the presidential palace. The palace will solely be used as an office.
The palace was the official residence of Mexico’s presidents from 1935 to 2018, and visitors are taking advantage of its new accessibility. The complex encompasses several houses where leaders like Miguel Alemán, López Mateos, Miguel de la Madrid, Venustiano Carranza, and Lázaro Cárdenas have lived. At nearly 603,000 square feet, the palace complex is 14 times larger than the White House.