Coyoacán, named for the coyotes that once roamed around this former village, previously separate from Mexico City, has been home to everyone from Cortés and his Indian mistress La Malinche, to Frida Kahlo, Leon Trotsky, and Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz. Cobblestone and quaint, this area is a favorite with Mexican families for a traditional Sunday stroll and has maintained its bohemian flavor.
Start in (1) Frida Kahlo’s Blue House (Calle Museo 150), and then head south on Allende and enjoy a coffee in the famous (2) Jarocho (Cuauhtémoc 134, www.cafeeljarocho.com.mx), sitting on a street bench and watching life go by.
On to the Plaza Hidalgo with its ornate bandstand and grand church (3) Templo de San Juan Bautista where little remains of the 16th-century building except its facade. Cross over Carillo Puerto Street onto the Jardin Centenario to browse in (4) El Parnaso (Carillo Puerto 2), one of the oldest bookstores and cultural hangouts of this neighborhood. Pass the fountain of the coyotes through the ancient archway and on to Francisco Sosa to sneak a look into the (5) Jesus Reyes Heroles Cultural Center (Francisco Sosa 202) and admire the beautiful facades of elegant homes here.
When you reach the Plaza Santa Catarina, stop for a typical and inexpensive lunch in (6) Las Lupitas (Plaza Santa Catarina 4) and then follow the road to the end and crossover to take the cobblestone street Arenal up to the Jardin de La Bombilla and the (7) Monumento al General Alvaro Obregon. The swank Avenida de la Paz, rife with trendy eateries, will lead you up to Avenida Revolución where you can take a left and enter the (8) Museo del Carmen (Avenida Revolución 4; www.museodeelcarmen.org), a former monastery that boasts an exquisite gilded altarpiece in the first-floor chapel.
Finally, cross over Revolución and take Madero onto the delightful Plaza de San Jacinto, which will be heaving with activity for the (9) Bazar del Sábado (Plaza de San Jacinto 44) on a Saturday or enjoy a more leisurely pace on other days, looking in at the church, (10) Templo de San Jacinto and catching a safe taxi from the stand on the square up to Altavista where you can enjoy an elegant supper or cocktail in the (11) San Angel Inn (Diego Rivera 50, www.sanangelinn.com).
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