Mexico City, or D.F. as the locals affectionately call it, can come across as somewhat overwhelming to the first-time visitor, says this week’s guest blogger, Anna Maria Espsater. There is such a wealth of things to see and do in this mega-metropolis of over 21 million people, that it’s nice to also seek out a few oases away from the bustling city vibe.
There are many surprisingly picturesque areas spread around D.F.’s different barrios and with almost 200 different stations and 12 lines, the city’s efficient underground system, the Metro, can whisk visitors off to almost any part of town. Many of D.F.’s most pleasant neighbourhoods are served by the Metro, including Coyoacán, in the south. This leafy suburb was where famous artist couple Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo lived for many years in Casa Azul (the Blue House), the Kahlo family’s original home. Not far from this colourful artists’ abode, lies the more sombre building where Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, living in exile from Stalin, was assassinated in 1940. Both houses have been turned into fascinating museums and the area also has a weekend market, cafés and restaurants in the main square.
Although visitors to the Museum of Anthropology are many, far fewer fully experience the park that surrounds it. Known as Bosque de Chapultepec, this park is the largest in the Western Hemisphere and truly deserves a good exploratory amble. This is where many chilangos, as the locals are known, hang out and at the weekends it gets pretty busy. The rest of the week it’s more sedate, but there’s still lots to discover any day of the week; several museums, a castle, boating on the lake, a funfair, cafes, restaurants, entertainment and of course lots of pleasant walking, while sampling some of the goods on offer from the various stalls. Everything from mangoes to tacos or traditional sweets with cajeta, a sticky toffee-like treat, can be enjoyed in Chapultepec.
Take a look at our tours to Mexico here.
By Anna Maria Espsäter
First UK Rights
Anna Maria is a London-based travel and food writer, originally from Sweden. With 87 countries visited to date, she’s still trying to get to 100 long before retirement. She has authored, co-authored or contributed to over a dozen books, including the Footprint Handbook Mexico, the Footprint Handbook Colombia, the Michelin Green Guide to Colombia and the Berlitz Pocket Guide to Norway, as well as several food anthologies. She also writes features for a variety of publications and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.