The Mexico City neighborhoods of San Ángel and Coyoacán were both separate towns before the arrival of the Spanish. After the conquest, Coyoacán briefly served as a Spanish colonial capital, and San Ángel has since been the urban elite’s favorite for “country” homes. Today, the two neighborhoods located in the south of the city are popular amongst Mexico City locals and tourists alike, especially on the weekends. Their colonial architecture, colorful markets, picturesque plazas, and lower pace lifestyle make for the perfect getaway inside the city.
Make breakfast reservations the day before at San Ángel Inn, an ex-colonial monastery-turned-restaurant. Aside from a meal that will leave your mouth watering, the Inn has a stunning, nearly magical, ambiance: a perfectly manicured courtyard, live music floating from table to table, and a ever-present feeling that you’ve turned back time.
After your delectable breakfast, top off your morning with a cultural stop. Directly across the street you will find the Museo Estudio-Casa Diego Riviera Frida Kahlo, a striking two-residence compound designed by the renowned Mexican architect, Juan O’Gorman, where the famous Riviera-Kahlo couple lived and created. Once you’ve satisfied your appreciation of art, take a 15-minute stroll to the Bazaar Sábado in the Plaza San Jacinto. This colorful indoor/outdoor market, open only on Saturdays, trades leather goods, pottery, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, clothing, etc., by talented local artisans. Outside, in the plaza and in the surrounding streets, there are mostly paintings and crafts for sale. Venture to the indoor market where you will find modern Mexican design items, such as stunning lamps from Candela or Macadero jewelry.
Around 1-2pm take a 15-minute Uber ride to Plaza de Coyoacán. Arriving at the plaza, savor the many sights and sounds — from food stands to performers with guitars. Instead of being one of Mexico City’s many neighborhoods, Coyoacán feels like a small town miles away from the city’s reach. By now, you’ll probably be ready for lunch, so make your way to Los Danzantes — a bohemian setting serving updated Mexican specialties.
If your hunger can wait and you prefer to keep moving, get lost in the streets or in the Mercado Coyoacán while snacking on your personal selection of Mexico’s famous street foods. Sample everything from potato chips with salsa Valentina, elote (corn on the cob) to skewered chicken sticks nearly as long as your torso.
After lunch walk to Casa Azul, which is also known as the Frida Kahlo Museum. Buy your tickets online a few days in advance, choosing one of the late afternoon time slots. Inside the museum, you will enter Frida Kahlo’s world — the home where she grew up and was inspired to create some of her greatest works. Various renowned paintings are featured in the museum.
If you are looking to stick around Coyoacán as day turns into night, try the mescal at Corazón de Maguey or have a cocktail at La Bipo. At the latter, you will find a menu with rich, smoky mezcals in a hip, young ambience. The former is a neo-cantina that fills with hipsters as the sun sets. Ask for a rooftop table if the weather permits.
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