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Hello Coyoacán

Progressive, leafy Coyoacan is only ten kilometers south of the Zocalo, but with its leafy, cobbled streets, open green spaces and downbeat cafe culture, that distance feels a lot greater. The pace of things here is just that little bit more relaxed, especially during the week when the neighborhood hums along relatively free of the shoulder-to-shoulder type crowds you'll encounter in Centro Histórico. Colonial-era architecture and colorful facades are trademarks of Coyoacan, with La Casa Azul – the bluest of these, if not the most dazzling – housing the Museo Frieda Kahlo. This was where the celebrated Mexican artist was born, grew up and, later, lived with her husband Diego Rivera, himself a celebrated artist. Leon Trotsky spent his final years living in Coyoacan as well, and the neighborhood's countercultural, independent spirit is still evident by way of its popularity with bohemian, creative types. You'll spot some of them relaxing in the cafes and bars around the Museo Anahuacalli, and others selling arts and crafts at the weekend market on Plaza Hidalgo. Throw public performances, great street food and plenty of pretty plazas into the equation, and it's easy to understand why the government of Mexico City saw fit to award the neighborhood's historic center 'Barrio Magico' status.

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