Cinco de Mayo is not just a day to score cheap tacos and margaritas. It commemorates a military victory over the French army during the Franco-Mexican war in Puebla in 1862. If you’re in Puebla, a 90-minute drive from Mexico City, on May 5, you’ll be swept up by the annual re-enactment, grand parade and festive concerts.
1) The 5 de Mayo memorial and museum
In the middle of a busy throughway on a hill overlooking the city sits a modernist stone monument decorated with bronze sculptures to memorialize the site where General Ignacio Zaragoz defeated the French at the famous battle of Puebla. While it’s an impressive sight, especially lit up at night, the best way to truly learn how the Mexican army won the day on May 5, 1862 is to visit the nearby twin forts of Loreto and Guadalupe.
Also in the area is an interactive museum that uses touch screens, 3D projections and downloadable content to transport visitors back in time to this pivotal clash that has become a symbol of Mexican defiance.