COYOACAN: THE BOHEMIAN CENTER OF MEXICO CITY

By Valeria Bigurra Monday, May 25, 2015 comments

Once upon a time in Mexico City this neighborhood was the home of many historical characters. Today it is one of the greatest cultural and typical places of the big city.

Inside Mexico City there exists a place named Coyoacan. It is one of the 16 delegations of the Federal District, located 10 km south of the Zócalo (main square) of Mexico City.

The name Coyoacan comes from the Nahuatl “Coyohuacan”, which stems from Coyotl, which means “Coyote”, and Huacan, which means “abound”: “place where Coyotes abound”.

The historical center of Coyoacán is a fundamental piece of Mexico City, considered to be one of the intellectual and bohemian corners of the capital. Historical characters, national and foreign, have made their homes in this neighborhood, which was designated as a “Barrio Mágico” (Lit. Magical Neighborhood) by the city in 2011.

When you reach the center of Coyoacán you’ll find markets, churches, restaurants, theaters and a a great deal more. Lots of people gather around the area looking for a good time, visiting the market or tasting some of the culinary delicatessens that street vendors offer.

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The first stop is the San Juan Bautista Church, located at Coyoacan Villa, which has become an emblematic place in the delegation throughout the years, and a significant piece of novohispanic baroque architecture. Today, weddings are often celebrated at this church, so it´s very likely that if you decide to visit you may see one taking place.

You will also find the museums of Anahuacalli, of León Trotsky, the famous Frida Kahlo museum, the National Museum of Interventions, the Watercolor Museum, the Automobile museum, the museum of Popular Culture, among others.

You can also visit the famous Kiosk, which is surrounded by vendors. Don’t forget the Houses of the Camilos; the Colorada house; the Municipal House; the House of Diego Ordaz; of “Indio” Fernández, among others. You can also find the General Vicente Guerrero Library, and the regional zoo “Los Coyotes”, where you can appreciate the native fauna of the Mexico Valley.

Across the San Juan Bautista church, you can find a little tram, which for 60 pesos will take you around Coyoacan with a guide that will explain you a little history about this place.

If you’d rather have a beer, a pulque, or a mezcal, you should try “La Coyoacanita”, a famous bar of the area, where you can sit back and appreciate the view, recoup a little bit and relax.

travel mexico coyoacan

If after all that you what to eat something, you can go to the food market of Coyoacan, where you’ll find Pozole, Chapulines (Grasshoppers), quesadillas, and other typical Mexican dishes, all cooked with the city’s authentic seasoning. Everything is surrounded by food cars, where you can buy esquites (grains of corn boiled in salted water), hot cakes, typical goodies, and much more.

Make sure you visit the famous “El Jarocho” coffeehouse, an iconic place of Coyoacan, where you will taste some of the best coffee there is. Usually there lineups of people trying to get one, but I assure you it is worth the wait.

And if what you want to do is go shopping, you can also visit the market located at the center of Coyoacan, in a small plaza, where you can find clothing, shoes, craft, toys, accessories and many other things.

If you ever visit Mexico City, don´t miss this fundamental piece of this huge metropolis, where you can appreciate a little of what it is and what it was.