The Top Things to See and Do in Coyoacán, Mexico City

The Fountain of the Coyotes in Coyoacán is one of the best known fountains in Mexico City
The Fountain of the Coyotes in Coyoacán is one of the best known fountains in Mexico City | © Brian Overcast / Alamy Stock Photo
Paula Zamorano Osorio

Coyoacán (meaning the place of coyotes in Nahuatl) is a relatively quiet neighborhood in Mexico City. Formerly a rural village, Coyoacán has become a rich pocket of art and history in the capital of Mexico. Explore the many museums, cafés, bookstores and markets of this typically Mexican neighborhood to uncover the local history. Here are the best places to start your journey.

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Museo de Frida Kahlo

Coyoacán is where Frida Kahlo spent most of her life, having lived in the same house until her death in 1954. This house is known as La Casa Azul (The Blue House) and was donated by Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, with the intention of making it a museum in her honor, the Museum of Frida Kahlo. Here, you will find works by Kahlo and Rivera, plus photographs, artefacts and personal items, all of which provide an insight into the life of this celebrated Mexican artist.

The Los Coyotes Zoo is the third zoo opened in Mexico City and has been open to the public since 1999. Unlike the Chapultepec or San Juan de Aragón zoos, the Los Coyotes Zoo only houses native fauna or that from the Basin of Mexico, which contains two percent of the biodiversity of the country. It is also home to two coyotes, after which the zoo was named. Furthermore, Los Coyotes Zoo offers the chance to get involved with many activities, including sports, camping and sculpturing.

Vivero Coyoacán

At the entrance of the Coyoacán park, Vivero Coyoacán, stands the Fountain of the Coyotes, one of the most iconic fountains in the city. Joggers, martial artists and families tend to visit the park, as the open space offers excellent spots to gather or practice a sport. There is a diverse selection of flora at Vivero Coyoacán, including tropical plants and different types of cacti.

Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli

Diego Rivera, one of the most celebrated Mexican muralists, created the Anahuacalli Museum, a popular tourist attraction not only for the contents but also for the building itself. Having collected almost 60,000 pre-Hispanic pieces, and motivated by his own deep interest in Mexican culture, Rivera designed the building in which his collection is still exhibited. It is an impressive pyramid-shaped structure made of black volcanic stone, holding items from almost every indigenous civilization and is an excellent resource to learn about Mexican history.

Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones

In a building dating back more than 300 years, and which was a monastery built on top of an Aztec shrine, is the Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones. This museum is split into two sections: the first shows the history of the site during the period when it was used as a monastery, while the second displays artefacts related to the conflicts that have occurred on Mexican soil, showing how the modern Mexican republics have been shaped by them. It is a good idea to book a guide in English or Spanish to get the most out of your visit.

Church and Ex-Convent of San Juan Bautista

The church of San Juan Bautista, in the heart of Coyoacán, is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in Mexico City. Being one of the oldest Catholic sacred places of worship in the Mexican Valley, this church was declared a national monument in 1934 and was in fact built on top of a Calmecac, a school for the children of Aztec nobles. This church, which has baroque architecture, has a spiritual atmosphere which exudes beauty and positivity. Take a look around the former convent which is attached to the church to can see ruins of the Calmecac.

Mercado de Coyoacán

Stop by the Mercado de Coyoacán to get a feel for a typical Mexican market. You can find anything and everything you may need, from groceries to artisan items. Particularly good for local handicrafts, the Mercado de Coyoacán is the perfect spot to hunt for souvenirs at prices generally lower than those in central Mexico City. Apart from shopping, this site also makes a good place to grab a bite to eat during your sightseeing adventures.

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