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The Best Things to do in Coyoacán

The Best Things to do in Coyoacán

Wondering what the best things to do in Coyoacan are? This extensive list of what to do in Coyoacan will fill you in.

I’ve been living in Mexico City for five years now and although I don’t call this part of the city home, I’ve visited it many times.

The village was home to conquistador Hernán Cortés and was used as the base for the Spanish while they took apart the Aztec Empire.

Eventually, it became the capital of New Spain and what was left behind is what you still see today, a colonial village of colorful buildings, cobbled streets, and beautiful churches.

It also has some of the best markets I’ve been to in the city so far. On our day out in Coyoacán we ate well, drank well, and feasted our eyes around every colorful corner.

Getting to Coyoacan

If you are not staying in Coyoacan, then you will need to get yourself here. It is quite far south of the center of the city.

The first option is to take an Uber. Taking an Uber in Mexico City is one of the safest and easiest ways to get around. 

From Roma or Condesa to Coyoacan it takes about 30-45 minutes in a car. It should cost roughly 180-220 Pesos. That’s between $9 and $11 USD.

The price of the Uber and the time it takes to get there depend on traffic. Traffic in Mexico City is brutal. If you are trying to go to Coyoacan during rush hour, it will of course take longer and cost more. 

If you are on a budget or you want to make sure you don’t sit in traffic, you can take the metro.

The metro is the fastest way to get around Mexico City. You can follow the olive green line from Hidalgo in the city center all the way down to the Coyoacan stop.

The metro costs 5 Pesos (25 cents). It takes about 40 minutes from the city center. 

Read this article all about the Mexico City metro. I tell you the best app to get to know the route. I tell you the cost, how to get a ticket, and explain some safety tips as well.

Once in Coyoacan, it is a 10-minute walk to the Frida Kahlo Museum.

What to Do in Coyoacan

There are so many fun things to do in Coyoacan that you won’t want to miss. For other guides to the city check out these:

For a complete guide to the city all in one place, grab a copy of my most recent Mexico City guidebook here.

1. Fonoteca Nacional

This 18th century building was once the home of Octavio Paz, Mexico’s most celebrated poet. It is now the museum of sound. The best part of the museum is definitely the building itself. It is an excellently preserved example of ajaracas, bas-relief patterns that were popular during colonial times.

The courtyard is stunning and it’s free to walk into this part of the museum if you just want to explore what it looks like.

However, if you are interested in the art and history of Mexico, this is a worthwhile visit.

They have one of the only sound clips of Frida Kahlo that exists. For decades, no one knew what her voice sounded like. But thanks to the work done here, you can now listen to a recorded interview she did when you visit the museum.

what to do in coyoacan mexico city

2. Plaza Santa Caterina

This small park just up Francisco Sosa, is a great place for people-watching, especially on a Sunday. The church in this square is packed to the brim for Sunday services, often with people standing outside because there’s no more room inside. The square is surrounded by nice places to grab a coffee and a meal.

It’s a popular spot for Quinceñera photos because of how colorful it is. So most weekends you’ll spot plenty of family photos being taken!

what to do in coyoacan

3. Casa de la Cultura Jesús Reyes Heroles

This little hidden gem across from Plaza Santa Caterina is a lovely community center. There is a cafe in the courtyard that does great coffee. The tiles and colonial architecture are worth the visit alone, but you can take up a salsa class here too.

Personally, it’s one of my favorite places in Coyoacan. Perhaps in all of Mexico City.

It’s so peaceful in this courtyard. You can come here with a book and just sit and relax. The cafe serves up some seriously great coffee and is a popular spot for locals to come for weekend brunch.

4. El Jardín Centenario and Jardín Hidalgo

The main square is split into two parts, the Jardín Centenario and the Jardín Hidalgo. Both are great places to relax, to people watch, and to have a snack from one of the passing vendors. Here you’ll see the fountain of the coyotes, the animals from whom Coyoacán takes its name.

This is the heart of Coyoacan and before exploring all of the things to do in Coyoacan, you’ll want to start here. Or perhaps, everything else starts from here, so you’ll just have to follow suit.

The plaza is surrounded by markets, restaurants, bars, the basilica, and plenty of benches to sit on.

There is usually someone playing music here. There are always teenagers skateboarding or riding bikes. On Sundays, families from around the city come here for a nice walk through the cobbled streets and for the incredible food on offer here. 

what to do in coyoacan

5. San Juan Bautista

A former convent, this church was built on top of a school for the children of the Aztec nobles.

It’s over 300 years old, making it one of the oldest Catholic places of worship in Mexico City. It’s a baroque style cathedral with incredible frescos on both the walls and the ceiling. It has even been declared a national monument.

The square outside the church is often filled with people pedaling balloons, snacks, bookmarks, pictures of the Virgin Mary, or simply asking for spare change.

6. Mercado de Antojitos

This is one of the best street food markets I’ve ever been to. In the world. 

On your left when you turn down Calle Higuera, this little covered market is the best spot to get yourself some fried quesadillas. This is the Google location of the market.

Most vendors in there sell them, but #14 is always the busiest (and the one I personally go back to again and again).

Hover around a group that looks like they’re almost finished so that you can get a seat once your food arrives.

The woman who runs the stall will give you a pad of paper when you stroll up to the counter. Write your order on it clearly. Something like:

  • 1 quesadilla de flor con queso
  • 1 quesadilla de pollo con requeson (a very delicious cheese I highly recommend that you try

Put your name at the bottom and hand it back to her. She will call your name when it’s ready.

As you see from my above bullet points, you have to specify if you want cheese on your quesadilla in Mexico City. This is the only part of the country where you have to say whether you want cheese or not (con queso/sin queso).

what to do in coyoacan mexico city

7. Museo de Culturas Populares

A museum that is packed with colorful art from around the country. The outside of the museum might be my favorite part. Each building is painted a different color and the murals and sculptures in the courtyard are a bright and intricate. It’s well worth a quick peak.

The museum is free to visit on Sundays, like many museums in Mexico City. It’s not absolutely packed with art and history, so I would recommend planning a trip to Coyoacan to visit this place on a Sunday.

ceviche tostada from mercado coyoacan

8. Mercado Coyoacán

This market is one of the best things to do in Coyoacan.

It’s a traditional Mexican market, so a must if you haven’t visited one yet.

It’s packed with furniture, shoes, leather goods, butchers, fish mongers, fresh produce, and some of the best tostadas in the city.

There used to be two tostada restaurants right next to each other near puerta 8 (door 8) and both have given themselves the same name, Tostadas Coyoacán. However, the original one was so popular that the other one eventually closed. Now there is no confusion. Find the yellow tables and order the best tostadas in Mexico.

They also have fresh juices that are absolutely delicious. The guayaba (guava) is the best.

what to do in coyoacan mexico city

9. Museo Frida Kahlo (La Casa Azul)

This bright blue house around the corner from the market is hard to miss.

If not for its color, for the huge line that is always snaking from the entrance.

This is where famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was born, where she spent most of her life, and indeed where she died. Her ashes are still inside her childhood bedroom in a little urn.

The house is full of her personal items: furniture, jewelry, clothing, artwork, as well as a small part of her personal collection of pre-hispanic art. Both she and Diego Rivera lived here at different points in their marriage. You can walk through their studio where they did work and where many of their books and painting supplies still remain.

There are tons of letters and diary entries (many of which have been translated into English) which you can read. 

More recently, huge trunks full of Frida’s clothes were discovered. They are now on display in a separate building at the back of the property (near the bathrooms). This is where you can learn even more about this fascinating woman and the impact she made on the world.

Be sure to book your tickets in advance. You schedule a time for your visit and then you never have to wait in line. You simply arrive at the time of your scheduled visit and walk to the front of the line.

You can book your tickets in advance here.

what to do in coyoacan mexico city

10. Mercado Artesanal Mexicano

This is a great spot to end the day. It’s one of my favorite souvenir markets that I’ve found so far and I’ll definitely be going back. 

This two-level market is packed with hand-painted ceramics, locally made artisan jewelry, leather shoes (huaraches), clothing, and keychains and other souvenirs with Coyoacán embossed on them.

There are stalls to get scarves, hats, henna tattoos, and dreadlocks. Although I cannot attest to the quality of all of the products the market, it is definitely a great spot to pick up reasonably priced Mexicana. I have purchased excellent quality jewelry, shoes, and pottery here.

11. Museum of Leon Trotsky

If you love history and want to know even more about the influence that Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo had here in Mexico (and an intriguing love triangle that unfolded), then you won’t want to miss this museum.

Leon Trotsky was exiled from the Soviet Union and due to the work (and fame) of Diego and Frida, he was granted asylum in Mexico. After living with Diego and Frida for a short time, they helped him find a home. That home is where the museum of Leon Trotsky is now housed.

anahuacalli museum in coyoacan

Museo Anahuacalli is such a beautiful building and houses one of the largest collections of pre-hispanic art in the country.

12. Museo Anahuacalli

This is one of the best things to do in Coyoacan. 

Coyoacán has quickly made it’s way to the top of my list of places to visit in Mexico City. It’s definitely a must-visit on your trip to Mexico City.

Museo Anahuacalli houses Diego Rivera’s personal collection of pre-hispanic art. Before his death, he personally designed this building in order to have a place to show his fellow countrymen more of their history.

Now anyone can come here and experience this stunning work of architecture. It has been designed so that you walk through the different periods of time in Mexican history until you reach the top of the building. 

The rooftop is a beautiful place to soak in the views of Coyoacan.

It is not located right in the center of town. I recommend taking an Uber here from the center of Coyoacan.

13. Stroll the Cobbled Streets and Parks

Coyoacan is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Mexico City. 

If you have the time to simply wander the streets, you’ll see for yourself. Since the time of the Aztecs, Coyoacan has been home to the wealthy of the city. The Spanish built homes all over the city and wealthy Mexicans have maintained these colonial-style homes.

The buildings are colorful. The architecture is unique to the area. The streets off of the plaza are quiet and safe to explore and photograph. 

I particularly love the streets that criss-cross between the Frida Kahlo house and Viveros de Coyoacan.

Viveros is a huge park in Coyoacan. If you are staying in Coyoacan, this is a great place to come for a morning walk or jog.

Frida Kahlo Mural in Mexico City

Frida Kahlo is all over Mexico City (this mural is in Roma Norte). In Coyoacan, you’ll see dolls of Frida, t-shirts with Frida’s face on them, even earrings with Frida on them. She is the heart of this neighborhood.

14. Bazar Sabado

Every Saturday in the neighboring suburb of San Angel, there is a market. It’s called Bazar Sabado or Saturday Bazaar. 

It was started back in the 60’s by two artists who wanted a space for local artists to be able to sell their work. It has since grown into one of the best art markets in the entire country.

People from around Mexico flock here for paintings, sculptures, textiles, and furniture. It has expanded out into the courtyard and down the street now. There are entire stores that have built up around the plaza selling even more art.


 

P.

Sunday 26th of May 2019

I have heard there are some good nurseries over there to get house plants, do you know if this is true!