Thirty to forty minutes south of the center of Mexico City by public transportation lie the adjacent barrios of San Angel and Coyoacan. These mostly quiet neighborhoods were once their own towns, eventually enveloped by the seemingly unending sprawl of Mexico City. Somewhat similar in appearance and attitude, they are noted for their shady cobblestone streets and laid back atmospheres, in recent years becoming popular and relaxed weekend destinations for the people of Mexico City.
The biggest reason to head down to San Angel is the Bazar Sábado (Saturday market) that takes place each Saturday in the Plaza de San Jacinto. Here artists and artisans converge each Saturday morning to set up their stalls and show off their creations. The Bazar Sábado is popular with both locals and tourists alike, and you might hear a dozen languages or more as you wander around browsing the paintings, sculptures, jewelry, fabrics, and countless other crafts.
A mostly quiet walk to the east will lead you to the neighborhood of Coyoacán. The streets of Coyoacán are like a step back in time, paved with cobblestones of unknown age and shaded by tall pines, palms, and jacarandas. Some houses here date to the sixteenth century, and the overall charm of this neighborhood is undeniable and unavoidable. The notable residences in Coyoacán are all now museums dedicated to their former inhabitants – those of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Leon Trotsky. At the center of Coyoacán are Plaza Hidalgo and Jardín Centenario, the original center of town and currently the center of activity on the weekends. The Plaza and the Jardín are ringed by restuarants, bars, and ice cream shops, and filled with families, couples, revelers, and street vendors of all kinds.