About five miles south of both the Historical Center and Chapultepec Park lies the neighborhood of Coyoacan. Considered by many to be the most livable section of town, it has a nice hipster vibe. Shaded small street, cafes, art galleries, and parks combine with modest homes and buildings to create a lovely scene to walk around.
Walking through the parks and squares, local artists have their works on exhibit. Stroll past, check some of them out, grab a seat near a fountain or church, and appreciate the “real” Mexico City.
The top tourist destination in Coyoacan – and one of the top in the entire city – is the Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as the Blue House.
Frida was the on and off wife of Diego Rivera, and a well-known artist in her own right. The museum is built in the house the two shared for years, and is half dedicated to her works, with the other half being restored rooms to see her life.
The museum is crowded, very crowded. Not having purchased a ticket online prior, the line took about 35 minutes to work its way in. Once inside, the crowds were even worse. You will be wandering through narrow hallways in the house, and will need to push your way through throngs to capture photos of Kahlo’s studio or other areas of interest.
I know this is blasphemy to say, but to me, unless you happen to be a huge fan of Frida Kahlo and her art – I am not – this is a place to skip. It is more than three times the cost of the magnificent Museum of Anthropology, with an added fee for photography, for a small and horrendously crowded museum focused solely on one artist and her life.
On the other hand, just a couple blocks south of the museum is the Coyoacan market, an indoor maze of food stalls, produce and meat vendors, and other souvenir merchants. It’s a great spot for lunch – perhaps a famous Coyoacan tostada and fruit juice – and to watch everyday citizens buying their fare.
Regardless of what you choose to do, spending a few hours in Coyoacan is a glimpse into a more regular Mexican life. I recommend the walk, though if you choose to skip the Frida Kahlo Museum, you can also have a similar walk in Polanco or another neighborhood.
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