Day Trip To Coyoacán

Coyoacán is another district in Mexico City that was once an independent town, but has now been absorbed by the greater metropolitan area. The historical center is filled with shops, restaurants, and colonial architecture — it’s well-worth spending an afternoon and evening here.

The history of Coyoacán is complex (like everywhere, really), but was a key area during the Spanish conquest and colonial period. Residents of Coyoacán (apparently) welcomed Cortez, and the city was used as a base to attack the Aztec capital, and was later made the first capital of New Spain.

The coyote is the symbol of Coyoacán

So the streets are full of grand Spanish-style estates built for Cortez and his generals, along with churches and monasteries.

Details on the Casa de Cortez (not his actual house, just the name)

Tower above the Plaza Hidalgo

Interior of Parroquia San Juan Bautista

As the district was relatively rural for such a long period of time, the cobblestone streets and older lanterns were more or less preserved. The result is a charming and somewhat bohemian community (Frida Kahlo’s house is here, which you can visit too).

Street in Coyoacán

We spent an afternoon here wandering through side streets, and people-watching. I think we counted three weddings and two quinceañeras while roaming the main plaza.

Very busy Saturday afternoon!

We also did a great deal of eating in Coyoacán. Wonderful flautas and coffees and mezcal — go hungry!

Stacks and stacks of tortillas

One of the highlights was nieves de agua, which is a bit like the Sicilian granita. The shop we stumbled into had the “usual” flavors like strawberry, coconut, lemon, and pineapple, but with local additions like guanabana, hibiscus, cactus, tamarind, and a type of persimmon.

Tamarind was quite sour, the hibiscus a bit too sweet

Another favorite spot was the local market (I always love markets). Stalls overflowing with produce were interspersed with food stands and lunch counters.

Produce and piñatas

More produce, with clothing and handbags in the background

All the aisles were like this

Visiting Coyoacán

There don’t seem to be many hotels in Coyoacán proper, but there are a handful in neighboring areas, and of course a few airbnb options.

It’s also an easy enough trip from Mexico City, but is one of the few places that is a bit more complicated via public transportation. You can plan on about a 15-minute walk to the core from the nearest Metro stations, but the neighborhood is safe, and full of leafy streets.

We paired Coyoacán with our visit to Xochimilco, and hired a driver for the day. Uber would be a solid option as well.

Have you been to Coyoacán? Any favorite spots?

Filed Under: Travel
  1. Call me old fashioned, but I’m really diggin this trip report. 3 years in the game, and I’ve seen just about every F/J review published. At this point, a little inspiration for my next trip is exactly what I need.

    Thanks Tiffany–great write up!

  2. Favorite spot? For history buffs, the house where the NKVD finished off Trotsky shouldn’t be missed.

  3. yeah I’m really liking it too. Love Mexico City – not covered enough in general – and you’re doing an interesting take on this

  4. The place to eat in Coyoacan is “Tostadas Coyoacan”, a food counter inside the market. Avoid nearby imitators. It is hugely popular at lunchtime and you may not be able to sit. Skip the meat toppings, since everything is at room temperature or cooler; fish (ceviche, shrimp) works better.

    There is also a waiter-service restaurant just outside the market, “El Jardin de Pulpo”, also very popular. Large communal tables.

    Then coffee at Cafe del Jarocho, will put you off Starbucks forever.

  5. I lived in this area for six months many years ago as an exchange student. Lovely area. Thanks for the great review!

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