Mexico City: Places to Explore

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La Condesa and La Roma

Next to Bosque de Chapultepec, two nearby colonias, known simply as La Condesa and La Roma, are filled with fading 1920s and 1930s architecture, sun-dappled parks, and a wide variety of eateries that cater to the city's young and trendy. The capital's elite were concentrated here at the turn of the 20th century. In the late 1990s a tide of artists, entrepreneurs, and foreigners brought a wave of energy. La Condesa and La Roma are a must-see in spring, when the jacarandas are in bloom.

La Condesa is the sprucer, hipper area of the two. Grittier La Roma is now home to a group of important art galleries, as well as some of the city's best cantinas, and it is becoming increasingly trendy. Many say that the Roma is on the verge of becoming the next big thing for those edgy young things who are always on the lookout.

Although it's possible to walk to Colonia Condesa from the Bosque de Chapultepec, you'd have to trek along busy, heavily trafficked roads; it's best to take a sitio taxi to the circular Avenida Amsterdam. Loop around Amsterdam until you reach Avenida Michoacán, where you can check out the boutiques and peek down the side streets. On Avenida Michoacán you'll find a sitio taxi stand—hop in for another short cab ride, this time to Colonia Roma's Plaza Río de Janeiro and more atmospheric strolling. The Condesa's nucleus is the restaurant zone (ask your taxi driver to take you to the neighborhood's zona de restaurantes).

La Roma and La Condesa border each other along Avenida Insurgentes Sur, so once you're in one, the other's relatively close on foot. What could be more perfect than a morning visit to a museum or two in Bosque de Chapultepec, a late-afternoon stroll in La Roma, and dinner in La Condesa? Keep in mind that art galleries tend to close on Sunday.

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