A city is best explored on foot. That’s a fact. And many people enjoy doing it on their own instead of booking a tour. Myself included. I prefer taking my time during walking around, staying longer in places I enjoy and skipping others I do not like that much. I like to have time taking some photos, having a coffee or sitting a while on a square while people watching. All this is better done when you go independently without a guide and a huge group around you. Due to the fact that there is a lack of self guided walking tours online for certain cities, I thought it might be a good idea to start a series of independent and self-guided walking tours I have done.
First one coming up now: A self-guided walking tour through the neighborhood Coyoacan of Mexico City.
Distance: 4.3 km
Walking time: 55 min
Starting Point: Metro Station Coyoacan (Linea 3 direction Universidad)
End Point: Metro Station Viveros (Linea 3 direction Indios Verdes)
1. Museum Frida Kahlo
Your first stop will be the Museum of the most famous Latin American artist Frida Kahlo. Try to be here early to avoid the queues. Inside this blue house, a lush green garden is waiting for you. Take a small stroll around the garden before entering the museum.
Here you will see a lot of her art work, some quotes on the walls and a lot of her personal belongings. Her bed with the mirror on the top, so she could see herself while painting her own portraits. You can visit her kitchen with small tiles forming her name on the wall and the room where Tolstoi slept in. Her wheel chair is still standing there as well as her art equipment.
Address: Londres 247
Getting there: When getting out of Coyoacan subway station, you’ll see a big shopping mall (Centro Coyoacan in front of you. Go to the right and follow Av. México until the street Londres. Then turn left and you’ll find the museum after four blocks on your left.
Entrance fee: 120 MXN + 60 MXN if you want to take photos
2. Mercado de Coyoacan
Just a short walk from the museum, you will find the Mercado de Coyoacan. It’s not a very big market but you can take some time to wander around the little market alleys, admire some crafts or try some new fruits.
Then sit down at one of the stalls and have lunch here. What about trying a Tostada de cochinita?
Address: Ignacio Allende
Getting there: Enter the street Ignacio Allende in front of the museum and go 2.5 blocks. Mercado de Coyoacan will be on your left.
Download the GPSMyCity App and get the article here.
3. Café El Jarocho
After your lunch, you may want some coffee. Go to Café El Jarocho, not far from the market. It is a popular place and you probably have to stand in line for a cup of coffee. But when people stand in line for a cup of coffee, there’s a reason. It’s a good one.
There is no seating inside but you’ll find some benches in front of it, which is nice for people watching when the weather is good.
Address: Av. México 25-C
Getting there: When going out of the market again, go back to the street Xicotécatl. Turn left and go back to Av. México. Turn left again and you’ll find the cafe.
4. Centenario Garden & Plaza Hidalgo
Another good place for people watching is Centenario Garden & Plaza Hidalgo - two huge squares with a pre-hispanic church (Parroquia y Ex Convento de San Juan Bautista), a big fountain and a lot of benches to sit down and relax a bit while watching people coming along. It’s a place where families come together to let their kids play, couples wandering around hand in hand and friends meeting each other in one of the bars and coffees around the square.
On one side, you will also find a big handicraft market in case you are still looking for some souvenirs to bring home. If you don’t need souvenirs, go anyway. A market is always one of the best places to get to know the local culture. And this one is no exception.
Getting there: Follow Av. México further down until you get to the intersection with the street Centenario. Turn right here and you’ll arrive at Centenario Garden in the blink of an eye.
5. Av. Francisco Sosa
When going back to your accommodation or whatever your plan is for the afternoon. Go to Viveros Metro Station via the cobble stone street Av. Francisco. It’s quite a walk but very enjoyable with a couple of small stores, churches and cafes along the way.
Getting there: Av. Francisco can be found in front of Centenario Garden, to the right of Centenario street.
To get to the subway station Viveros, you can either go straight all the street Av. Francisco Sosa until you arrive at Avenida Universidad, turn right and you’ll find it. Or if you prefer a short cut, go until Parque Santa Catarina and turn right into Melchor Ocampo and then left into Calle Pérez Valenuela. Follow this street until Av. Universidad and turn right again.
And when you did the tour, let me know which place you liked the most. If you’re not going to Mexico City soon, which place do you think you’d enjoy the most?