Folk Art and Crafts in Mexico City

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Curated By

Anne Damon

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  • Arts & Culture

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Mexico City

  • Mexico

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Shopping

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Curator’s statement

Mexico City is an enormous city with residents from all over the country. Though many now call themselves "Chilangos," there are lots of people who have migrated from other regions of Mexico and brought their traditional folk arts with them. Knowing where to look for quality folk art has been my business, Zinnia Folk Arts, since 2008. Getting around the city to visit shops, galleries and markets looking for quality handmade goods is my expertise! I've also learned where to stay, where to eat and how to get around the city. Let me help you plan a trip that is focused on high-quality folk art and affordable hotels and restaurants.

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Where to stay in Mexico City

Zócalo Central Hotel

A historic oasis in the heart of Mexico City, offering modern comforts amidst vibrant cultural landmarks.

DOWNTOWN MEXICO HOTEL

Immerse yourself in vibrant culture and contemporary comfort at DOWNTOWN MEXICO HOTEL.

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Círculo Mexicano

At this boutique gem in downtown CDMX, nothing is overlooked: the design, architecture and gastronomy epitomize fantastic taste.

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  • $25 food and beverage credit per room, per day.

  • Complimentary welcome drink per guest, per stay.

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Things to do in Mexico City

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Folk Art Museums & Markets to Visit in Mexico City

  • Visit the Museo de Arte Popular in the Centro Histórico. The museum is a small gem located very near Alameda Central and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. The upper floors of the museum give an excellent overview of the types of crafts made in many of the 32 states of Mexico and is a great starting point for your folk art education. They have a beautiful and expensive shop on the first floor.

  • Franz Mayer Decorative Arts Museum is close by and has wonderful permanent collections and interesting design exhibitions.

  • Many people love the Frida Kahlo home and museum in Coyoacán. I agree that it is incredible to see Kahlo's inspirational home and use of color and design. It's a must-plan museum! You must purchase tickets in advance or you will not get in due to the lines.

  • The Museo de Culturas Populares in Coyoacán is worth checking out if you are in that neck of the woods. There is a lovely park just down the street and the Coyoacán mercado is close by if you'd like to indulge in some aguas frescas and tostadas.

  • Fonart, the government-run craft store, has reduced its footprint in Mexico City, so there are only a few left. Some are better than others regarding quantity and quality, and our advisees get directions on which ones are best to visit.

  • Bazár Sábado, an artisan market, occurs every Saturday in San Angel. It's a fun thing to do if you are in Mexico City for the first time. Most of the park is occupied by painters of varying levels of quality, which is true too for the artwork in the small booths surrounding the park. There are some outstanding artisans at the market and people I visit every time I'm there. Those I share with my travel advisees!

  • Travel advisees also can get access to where to go in the large artisan market, La Ciudadela. This too is located in the Centro Histórico and there are some special items that I always purchase from this market. A lot of it can be skipped, but I have about 10 or 12 vendors I love to visit to see what's new or to purchase repeat winners for my shop.

Places to eat & drink in Mexico City

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Yes, there are many expensive, delicious restaurants in Mexico City. But there are also yummy, budget-priced places which allow you to spend your money on folk art rather than fancy meals!

Favorite breakfast for me is at Los Bisquets de Obregón. I eat there every day when I'm in Mexico City. The cafe con leche is incredible. And I find that a bisquet with strawberry jam can last me until the late afternoon. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I've only ever eaten breakfast there. Locations are all over the city, but my favorite is in the Centro Histórico.

Street food smells delicious when you're walking along the streets of Mexico City. I enthusiastically recommend taking a food tour when you're visiting this foodie destination. There are street food tours and market tours to introduce you to the delicious traditions of Mexican cooking. In addition to trying things you might not recognize, you are assured of being taken to clean and safe food vendors where you won't get sick.

I love eating dinner overlooking the Zócalo, the extra grande public square, in the Centro Histórico. Or overlooking the back of the National Cathedral from Guatemala Street. Or eating at some of the famous touristy spots. Some of them are delicious, even if they are touristy! One I always try to fit in to my itinerary is Cafe Tacuba, located on Calle Tacuba.

Eating good food is pretty high on my priority list, but I find that you don't have to spend a fortune to find good food in Mexico City.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Aimee Suthann’s guide, Girl's Weekend in Mexico City.

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Travel Advisor

Anne Damon

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mexico City.