FEASTS, FLOWERS AND FRIDA
Our Centro Historico looks fresher, cleaner and nicer, so Mexican people like to walk around again because there was a moment when people did not feel like going into the city,” Eva Luz Espejel says. Moving back to Mexico City after 15 years in Cancun, Urban Adventures guide Eva says she’s impressed at how much her city has changed for the better. The World Design Organisation agrees, naming the sprawling metropolis the World Design Capital for 2018, putting it on a pedestal for megacities using design to tackle the challenges of urbanisation. In a city this size it pays to have a plan, so here are Eva’s top tips for tackling CDMX (Ciudad de México).
I really love the cultural offering we have in this beautiful city. We have more than 100 museums, as well as venues offering concerts, ballet, theatre, wrestling (lucha libre) and more. Most of the museums are closed Mondays in Mexico City but all the archaeological sites are open 365 days.
There are markets in every neighbourhood in Mexico and you can find anything and everything you need. On the tour I host we visit three of the city’s lesser-known markets, starting with the Mercado Rodriguez where you can see some really interesting murals by some of Diego Rivera’s students.
The Sonoma Markets are fascinating to visit for their witchcraft section and the Jamaica Markets – named after the hibiscus flower, not the country – are three markets in one with a flower market you have to see to believe.
There is also a market called Mercado de San Juan in Centro Historico where you can buy or eat uncommon meat such as crocodile, skunk and venison, just to mention a few.
The vendors have grasshoppers, maguey larvae, ants and some other bugs so you can sample food Mexican people have eaten since pre-Hispanic time.
This market is visited by many chefs or students of gastronomy and foreigners who live in the city because there are products not only from Mexico but from Europe, North and Central America and Asia.
EXPLORE THE NEIGHBOURHOODS
There are many beautiful neighbourhoods in Mexico City, such as San Angel, especially on Saturdays when the Bazar del Sábado takes place. There are many painters and artisans who offer their works, besides the beautiful architecture of the area.
Coyoacan is another beautiful colonial neighbourhood where the house of Frida Kahlo is located, there are two interesting markets and you can walk enjoying the atmosphere of the place.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Sixteen million people move in the city each day. Sometimes I don’t know how it’s possible! I always like taking guests on the local buses because you get a real feeling for the city.
Our metro was supposed to open for the 1968 Olympics – it opened one year late (excavators kept unearthing archaeology sites) – and will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. It’s really easy to use and only costs five pesos per ticket.