Mexico City has many incredible areas for you to explore. The city is full of history and culture with enough attractions to keep you busy for weeks. There is no doubt in our minds that Mexico City exceeded our expectations and we would recommend anybody to visit the city.
One of the misconceptions of Mexico City is that it would be unsafe. However, what we experienced from the city is that it is a very safe place to wander. Of course whenever we travel, we are aware of where we are and our environment to stay safe. Still, our time in Mexico City kept us feeling at ease wherever we were.
One particular area that we fell in love with was Coyoacan. It is an area that is full of culture most known for being the home of Frida Kahlo which you can now tour as a museum. This was the main attraction that we planned to see when traveling to the area. Little did we know how much the area has to offer.
Our list of things to do in Coyoacan quickly began to pile up as we did more research into the area and what was meant to be a quick trip to the Frida Kahlo House became a one to two day trip to the area depending on how much we were able to accomplish. As soon as we arrived via Uber to the Frida Kahlo House, we fell in love with the area. It was like night and day compared to the hectic streets of Mexico City to the suburban streets of Cayoacan.
With so many things to do in Coyoacan, we figured we would cover them all in this post. From the things we accomplished while we were touring the area for a couple of days to the things that we missed that we wish we could have fit in.
What to Do in Coyoacan, Mexico City
With so many things to do in Coyoacan, we have broken down what we did while we were in the area and what we wish we could have added if we had more time. This makes for the perfect itinerary for you to look at and decide which attractions stand out to you the most.
The things we did in Coyoacan left great impressions on us and even looking back at the things that we missed, we would not have changed our itinerary in the area. This is not to say that we do not wish we had more time to go to these places, but given our limited time we would definitely recommend doing the same things that we did.
Where is Coyoacan?
Coyoacan is an area just south of Mexico City that is known for its culture, including museums and artists that have lived in the area. Think of it as the hipster area of Mexico City filled with a fresh vibe, cobblestone streets, restaurants with patios, gated houses, and really clean and open areas.
This makes this part of the city the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Mexico City. It is about a $100 peso Uber ride from the city center, it is worth it to be able to have a more intimate time with your significant other and get to experience more of Mexico City’s culture.
Attractions in Cayoacan
Frida Kahlo House and Museum
Mercado de Coyoacan
Mercado Artesanal Mexicano
This is where we began our Coyoacan day. Located at the very north end of Coyoacan is the Blue Hose. This is where Frida Kahlo was born and lived in eventually with Diego Rivera. It is where they hosted many important figures while they were in Mexico, including Leon Trotsky (who’s house and museum is just a short walk from here). Frida Kahlo passed away in one of the rooms and later Diego Rivera would donate the house and its contents to have it turned into a museum in her honor.
The house is painted a beautiful blue and is filled with some impressive artworks. After purchasing your tickets just inside the gates, it opens up into a beautiful courtyard filled with lovely gardens and walkways. There is a building where souvenirs are sold, another that houses some of her wardrobe collection, and another that is a walking tour of the house. This tour includes artifacts and works of art from Frida Kahlo’s life.
If you are a fan of Frida Kahlo, love art, or want to learn more about Mexican culture, then this is a must. Frida Kahlo was such an important figure culturally to Mexico and there is no better way to learn more about her and her impact on Mexico than seeing this place.
Weekday admission is $230 pesos and weekend admission is $250 pesos. An additional $30 pesos is charged for photography. The museum is closed Mondays and open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the exception of Wednesdays it opens at 11:00 a.m. This cost of admission includes entrance into the Anahuacalli Museum, though it is an Uber ride away from this museum and would fit better into your schedule later in the day.
We arrived on a Wednesday just before 11:00 a.m. At this point we had to wait about 45 minutes to an hour in line to get in. This is normal. We would definitely recommend booking your tickets online in advance to get in sooner. If you book your tickets in advance, you will still have to wait in line, but in a much smaller one.
A short five minute walk from the Frida Kahlo House, this market is primarily a food market. And there is nothing wrong with some food! Mostly around the outside of the market are stalls selling various Mexican souvenirs that you are likely to find in several different markets around Mexico City with some more unique crafts. There is also one smaller side of the market selling things like costumes and more handcrafted larger items.
The other side of the market is home to a lot of different Mexican cuisine from pork rinds to mole. It was really interesting to see the interactions and the different food being sold. We had no idea what mole looked like. Nor did we think that we would be trying crickets. Yes, crickets.
We purchased some smaller snacks like desserts and candied fruit to keep us fed while we wandered more of Coyoacan.
Another five minute walk from the Mercado de Coyoacan is this market which is exclusively a souvenir market with some pretty unique items. It is a two story market with some items that you will be familiar with, but also some items that are pretty unique that may cause you to empty some of your pockets.
At this point in our trip, we had already purchased the things we had wanted to buy while in Mexico City. However, we did enjoy walking through the stalls and seeing the different souvenirs that were on sale.
This market is right near Jardin Hidalgo and Jardin Centenario which are two plazas that have several different restaurants lining the streets and a nice green area in the middle. This is where we visited our second restaurant of the day, Los Danzantes.
This museum was built using black volcanic stone and was created by Diego Rivera. He decided to build it because of his interest in Mexican culture and to house the thousands of artifacts that he had found during his life. It is a pretty impressive collection.
The artifacts are pre-Hispanic pieces that show a life through statues, sculptures, and works of art that had been preserved. Along with each display is an explanation of what you are looking at in English so it makes for a very interesting walk through. There are several floors in this museum and you can spend more than an hour just wandering around this building and reading everything that is there.
There is some very beautiful works of art located in the building and along with the beauty of the building itself and the artifacts, this is a place that you will want to add to your itinerary possibly at the end of your day like we did. General admission is $90 pesos, but it is free if you purchase an admission ticket for the Frida Kahlo Museum.
What We Missed
Leon Trotsky’s House and Museum
Zoológico Los Coyotes
Parroquia San Juan Bautista, Iglesia De Coyoacan,
National Museum of Popular Culture
Like we said, we would not have taken back anything that we did while in Coyoacan. What we wrote above is the perfect day that we had planned and executed while in the area. However, if we would have had more time in Coyoacan then we would have added these:
Located right near the Frida Kahlo Museum, learn more about the life and exile of Leon Trotsky.
If you have kids and want to see a zoo while you are in Mexico City.
If you are looking to catch a soccer match while you are in Mexico City, then this is the place to check it out while in Coyoacan.
There are several religious structures within Cayoacan that you can add to your list of places to visit, but these are exceptionally beautiful and worth a visit.
Looking for a more contemporary artwork museum? This is your place.
Hop on this tram tour of the area. It is hard to miss and is easily spotted passing by Jardin Centenario.
Churreria General de la Republica
Located right near the Frida Kahlo Museum is this lovely little place for brunch. It is a small shop, but there is another one of the same name right across the street which is a little bit more busy with a larger interior. It was here that we ordered some pastry and a waffle with coffees. It was the perfect place to fuel up before walking a couple of minutes to the entrance of the Frida Kahlo Museum.
The perfect restaurant right near Jardin Hidalgo and Jardin Centenario by Mercado Artesanal Mexicano, it is the one that stood out to us as a place that we needed to try. Natalie is the one who does the restaurant researching and she usually nails it. This is no exception.
We had to wait about 15 minutes for a table and we sat outside, still able to enjoy the busy atmosphere of the park right by. While we were here, we ordered tacos, octopus, and ice cream for dessert. Either of these plates are highly recommended, and as an octopus lover Natalie loved the dish.
This is a small storefront that was recommended to us. A very simple shot that does one thing really well. Make churros. Here you enter the store right to where you order and have a very simple selection. Churros and a selection of chocolate or caramel sauce. We just ordered the plain churros for about $20 pesos.
Hotels in Coyoacan
Coyoacan is a beautiful area of Mexico City that is home to some wonderful cultural spots. There is enough here to easily keep you busy for a few days while you walk through the various museums and attractions that the area has to offer.
When we stayed in Mexico City, we stayed in La Condesa which is closer to the main attractions within the city including Chapultepec and the Historic City Center. We still think that this is the perfect area to stay when in Mexico City, but this is dependent on whether or not the attractions on your list to see are situated in that area.
We believe there are two main things you need to start with when looking for accommodation. Number one is safety. Number two is that it is close in proximity to the attractions you want to see. In our case, most of the places we wanted to see while in Mexico City were close to La Condesa and it was a safe area. However, if you have a lot of places at the top of your list to see in Coyoacan, then you will want to stay in close proximity to the Frida Kahlo Museum.
This is because of the general safety of the area as well as the proximity to all of the main attractions that Coyoacan has to offer based on the list covered above. The area is well gated and is a beautiful area that is maintained and has some lovely restaurants to visit while you are here. While we were here for the day, we enjoyed the atmosphere it had to provide and thoroughly enjoyed walking the streets to see as much of the area as we could.
If we were to return to Mexico City and wanted to stay in a different area than we did, we would definitely choose this area of Coyoacan.
Here are two places that we would stay at:
- Top Quality and Reviewed Property
- Steps from the Frida Kahlo Museum
- Approximately $100 USD per night
- Good Budget Accommodation and Well Reviewed Property
- Five Minute Walk to the Frida Kahlo Museum
- Approximately $40 USD per night
Whether you are running out of time or you are looking to have no worries about how to get from one place to the other, then booking a tour is the right path for you when visiting Coyoacan. There are a lot of things to do when you are in the area, so having somebody that is local and knows the area best can be beneficial to getting you around to the major attractions and also explaining things that you would not have known if you were touring for yourself.
We generally do not book tours, but in Mexico City it may be worthwhile for some travelers to book a tour to get them around from place to place. When it comes to getting around the city, we always recommend using Uber. This is because the public transit is the perfect place for pick-pocketers to strike. Not that we ever had this happen to use while we were in the city or met somebody that had this happen, but our host did warn us about this. Also, taxis look very rundown and unreliable so we avoided taking these. Uber is extremely convenient in Mexico City, comfortable, and worth the minimal extra cost compared to public transit.
The best way to get around from place to place beyond using Uber is to have a local transporting you around because they know where to go and how to get there. You do not have to worry about directions or getting on your phone to book your next Uber and making sure that you have a charged phone. Booking a tour is the best way to stay safe, it takes the headaches out of your travels, and it is the best way to see attractions and get the full experience while learning as much as you can from a local.
If you are looking for the perfect tours to get you to the main attractions of Coyoacan, then you may want to check out these tours:
What Else to Plan While in Coyoacan
If you are looking for more to do while you are in Coyoacan, then you should definitely add a trip to Xochimilco. If you want to learn more about Xochimilco, click on the link.
For now, the best way to describe it is a fiesta on a canal. Basically you pay for a one hour or more boat ride on the canal. The boats are intricately decorated and once your are on the canal, smaller boats will approach your boat selling you a mariachi band for a certain amount of time, snacks, drinks, photos, and more. Couple this with there being hundreds of boats on the canal all enjoying the atmosphere, it quickly becomes one big party.
This is a must-do if you are in the area anyways or a trip on its own. Weekends are much more of a party and weekdays are a little bit more quieter. The area also has some souvenir stalls around its entrances.
Coyoacan is a beautiful area of Mexico City with a lot to offer travelers. It is evidently a culturally and historically important area of the city with the epicenter being the Frida Kahlo Museum. The streets are well taken care of and we felt very safe walking the streets on a sunny weekday.
If we chose a different area of Mexico City to stay if we were to return, this would be the area. We were impressed with La Condesa, but Coyoacan is a much more livable area. It is much more quiet compared to the main areas of Mexico City. The streets are much smaller and there is less traffic.
It is the perfect area for you to escape from the hectic chaos that is the streets of Mexico City. The restaurants are great places to relax at and provide great environments to sit down and relax for hours on end.
Thinking back to our time here, it was the perfect break in our week in Mexico City where we were constantly on the go checking things off of our list. It was our next to last day that we visited Coyoacan and it was a complete change of pace. The next day we even returned to visit Xochimilco.
If you are in Mexico City, make sure that you plan a day or two in Coyoacan to escape.
Have you ever been to Coyoacan? What were your favorite attractions? Did you see anything else that was of interest to you? What restaurants would you recommend? Leave a comment below!