Coyoacan was among the first of the Mexico City’s neighborhoods to receive the Secretary of Tourism’s Barrios Magicos (Magic Neighborhoods) designation. Coyoacan’s tree-lined cobblestone streets, colonial-era estates hidden behind high walls and several interesting churches, museums and artisans’ markets make it one of the most pleasant places to visit in the capital.
Mid-morning is an excellent time to tour one of the neighborhood’s top attractions, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), a bright cobalt blue building at the corner of Londres and Allende in central Coyoacan (Londres 247). La Casa Azul, the former home of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, was converted into a museum shortly after her death in 1954. It is here where the artist was born, spent much of her life and later passed away.
The museum houses several pieces of artwork as well as many of the artist’s personal possessions, including clothing, jewelry, collections of folk and pre-Hispanic art that once belonged to Frida and her husband, famed Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera.
A few blocks south of La Casa Azul, Coyoacan’s market is another find. Vendor stalls overflow with fresh produce, dried chili peppers and a variety of handicrafts. Adventurous eaters might try chapulines (spicy dried grasshoppers), a delicacy from the southern state of Oaxaca.
Need a jolt of java? Nearby, at El Jarocho, a Coyoacan institution (Cuauhtemoc 134), serves some of the best coffee in town. Buy some traditional Mexican churros and bunuelos (deep fried fritters topped with sweet syrup) from the street vendors. Continue past the plaza and take a quick left on Hiquera to arrive at one of the best places to eat in Mexico City, the Mercado de Antojitos, a large open-air food market with numerous stalls selling a variety of deep-fried snacks including quesadillas and flautas.
Across the street from the market, Coyoacan’s central square, the Plaza Hidalgo, serves as the neighborhood’s main gathering place. In the center of the adjacent Jardin Centenario sits one of Coyoacan’s most iconic and charming landmarks, the fountain featuring the coyotes that gave this neighborhood its name. Coyoacan translates to “Place of Coyotes” in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs who once inhabited what is now modern day Mexico City.
In the evening enjoy outdoor dining at one of the many bars and restaurants lining the square. Los Danzantes (Plaza Jardin Centenario 12) and Corazon de Maguey (Plaza Jardin Centenario 9) serve delicious traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine.