Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Colonia Condesa, Mexico City’s most charming neighborhood, blends faded glory with gleaming hipness. It has more trees than any part of the city, more pedigree dogs, more jazzy restaurants, shops, galleries, and even a big bookstore. The mayor lives here. You can take a tango class in the park, then head off to a sáke bar to relax. You can dunk your Krispy Kreme donut in Starbuck’s coffee. And best of all, you can walk everywhere (or hop on your eco-bici).

Aside from all the green, a lot of the charm in Condesa comes from its Art Deco architecture. The height of chic in the 1920's when Condesa was flourishing, Art Deco is based partly on Aztec motifs, so its ornamental geometry feels right at home in Mexico City. Condesa is one of the best preserved Art Deco neighborhoods in the world.

You can tour the area on foot, but bring a map. The street plan here is unusual, incorporating ovals and radiating, non-parallel streets, making the area delightfully or frustratingly confusing. The following walking tour begins in Parque Mexico and takes you along some of the best streets to see the Art Deco architecture of Condesa.

Walk around Avenida Mexico, which borders the park, and nearby Avenida Amsterdam. Both streets are big ovals, so you can’t get lost--you’ll just end up where you start. Benches and lamposts along Amsterdam are original designs from the late 1920’s.

Follow Avenida Michoacán (in the direction of traffic) past Tamaulipas to reach the commercial hub of Condesa, mostly bars and restaurants which are hopping on weekend nights. It's great for watching the beautiful people of Mexico City.

Continue along Michoacán to Avenida Mazatlán with its central camellón (green walkway). Turn right and stroll 5 blocks to Avenida Veracruz, then turn right again, which will lead you to Parque España. Stop for a drink at the super-hip rooftop bar at the Condesa DF Hotel.

Walk across the Parque España (head toward the Pemex Station) and walk down Sonora back to Parque Mexico--they're only a few blocks apart.

Almost anywhere you wander off this suggested itinerary will turn up something interesting. Colonia Condesa is a great place to explore.

Getting there: There is a taxi sitio in Parque Mexico (right in front of the naked lady statue).The nearest metro stop is Chilpancingo, nearest metrobús stop Sonora.

Sunday afternoon is a particularly lively time to visit Parque Mexico.

If you’re in Condesa on a Tuesday, don’t miss the tianguis on Calle Pachuca..


Ruth said...

All my favorite doorways and buildings!

Great Art Deco route .....

Don Cuevas said...

Gorgeous! I love to walk around and through Parque Meexico.

Don Cuevas

Spanglish said...

Looks Great!!

Eduardo Fernandez said...

Super!!!!! Colonia Condesa un lugar donde encuentras de todo y para todos....que buenas fotos Jim...

rental mobil said...

Very nice, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Love the photos. I will definitely have to go check out this place next time I visit.

Great new profile pic, btw :-)


David Dick said...

Love Condesa. No better place to dine outside than Bistro Rojo!

Rochelle Cashdan said...

Eye opening photos, Jim, and thanks for the map too.

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