Mexico City is incredibly large and sprawling, in case you hadn’t realised (I say this because I hadn’t realised, or hadn’t really thought about it, before I got here).
There are hundreds of colonias (or neighbourhoods) spread across 16 boroughs. It’s no wonder I got confused when I tried to plan this trip. To add to the confusion, some of the colonias have the same, or very similar, names.
In the end I picked a neighbourhood I liked the sound of (Wikitravel said it was ‘a centre for counter-culture, art, students, and intellectuals’).
This area is Coyoacan.
The main downside with Coyoacan is that it seems to be the part of the city that the subway line forgot. It’s hard to believe that such a huge metro system could leave out any area, but don’t be fooled by the stop called Coyoacan either (I was) as this is a long walk away.
There are some little green buses that will transport you from the metro to where you want to go. If you use this method, be prepared to have to have a row of Mexican children sit in silence staring at you with big wide eyes.
It is a colourful area full of parks, markets, restaurants and lots of old colonial-style houses.
It is also home to the Casa Azul (Frida Kahlo’s house).
Leon Trotsky’s house (where he lived in exile after being kicked out of the Soviet Union) is nearby, now also a museum.
Also inearby is Anahuacalli museum, which houses Diego Rivera’s collection of Aztec sculptures in a kind of replica Aztec building that he had built as a workshop.
My airbnb turned out to be a huge room in a big, old colonial-style building. The area is full of these types of houses. My hosts were a nice old couple but they spoke to me very fast and I spent a lot of time nodding, smiling and hoping they weren’t telling me anything too sad. First lesson: My Spanish is not as good as I thought it was.
great post, makes me miss mexico very much. one of the first Spanish phrases i ever committed to memory was Hablan despacio, por favor. Speak slowly, please. 🙂
Yeah but however much you say it they don’t really slow down. I didn’t realise before how different Latin American Spanish is from Spanish Spanish and I’m struggling here.
sorry to hear it…i guess your ear needs time to adjust…plus people in smaller towns, as they do everywhere, will slow down for you. 🙂
Hi Sarah wow look at the fabulous colours here! It looks a really interesting place. Mind you, clowns terrify me lol so you can keep them! Trotsky’s gaff looks cosy lol.ni just love the gardens and the redness of the soil. Amazing. This is just reminding me how much of the world I gave yet to see. Safe travels my friend X
Well clowns are like marmite I think and I love them. I did a groupon day once learning how to be a clown. They were trying to sell a longer course but I couldn’t justify the money so i didn’t do it.
Trotsky’s house was somewhat bare and austere, which I suppose you’d expect of him really. .
At least you have some Spanish. I am moving to Argentina next year and haven’t done Spanish in 15 years. At least I am starting a class from tonight so hopefully I wont be completely useless come August!
There are really cheap classes in latin America you know so it will be quite easy to learn once you get there. I think the Argentinian accent is quite different again, so maybe you need to find an Argentinian to practice on. good luck :).
Great post! I loved hearing about Frida Kahlo and Diego Riveras, as we are from Detroit and they are very very well known here.
yes the Frida house really made the trip worth it for me
Wow, I never knew these type of places existed in Mexico, certainly somewhere we would love to pay a visit to and really get to see the culture. I love the colours and the energy.
As a former resident of Mexico City all I can say I’d love to go back! 🙂
Well I think it takes longer than a few days. Maybe like Bangkok and it grows on you. I didn’t dislike it, I just found it a hard place to get around.