Mexico City Part II – Full of surprises

If you have more than a day in the city then you will need a place to stay. The wonderfully relaxing and well kept Casa Gonzalez comes highly recommended. Its tranquil with a lovely terrace and walking distance to Reforma, Zona Rosa and transport options. Better yet its reasonable and the staff are very helpful. 

Mexico City has a a diverse array of neighborhoods. Here are a few of my favorites;

Coyoacan

First stop, the town square. It is market day often and the square is surrounded by restaurants to stop in and watch the action. My suggestion is grab a cup of cafe de olla,  coffee brewed with cloves and cinnamon, and take it to go for your wandering. Next stop is the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera residence. Two houses, one for each of them, and an intricate maze through the rooms, their art and their lives. Symbolizing how they lived, surviving neither too far apart nor too close to one another.

San Angel

San Angel is home to a great arts market and is a good spot to pick up gifts. Goods come from all over the country so you have a good selection but you need to bargain hard as it is a tourist haven, especially at weekends. Wander into the many buildings and shops which open up into leafy courtyards for some reprieve.

Condesa

Condesa is the hip area of the city – full of young professionals, free wifi and bars and restaurants of all genres. An area you find in all cities but it is home to my favourite restaurant in Mexico City, Rojo Bistrot, which happens to be French.

For the truly authentic Mexican experience try the Arroyo on a weekend – its full of Mexican families feasting on an array of delights. Their barbacoa may just change your life.

  

Xochimilco

The riverboat world of Mexico City. Canals filled with hundreds of brightly decorated waterboats. It makes for a wonderous afternoon but do beware as there are plenty of scams for tourists on the river. Negotiate your price by the hour and bargain hard, and know that your price does not include the extras – the food, beer or music you will enjoy. Your riverboat will pull up alongside a cooking boat or a mariachi boat or a beer boat and the two boats will be tied together as you peruse whats for sale and make your purchases. If you go on Saturday? Be sure to see the flower market – which against the riverboats adds to the cacophony of colours feeding the senses.

Teotihuacan

No trip to Mexico City is complete without a trip to Teotihuacan. The pyramids tower above you and climbing to the top, of both, is well well worth it. The enormity of the site and the seeming order with which is was constructed can’t help but impress. Instead of taking a tour you can easily get there on public transport. Take the metro to Indios Verdes and then one of the many combi vans that go to “las pyramides”.

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