Hotel Milan is certainly not the prettiest CDMX hotel, but I've been bringing groups here for years because of its wonderfully connected location, traveler-friendly price, friendly staff, and basic + safe accommodations; the staff has been here for years and I know them all. Single rooms are $50 USD night and the best of Roma Norte is right outside the front door, including a plaza with a fountain, a delicious late-night taqueria to the right, and a super cool bookstore called El Pendulo, which is where I host the sketchbook reviews. A no-frills breakfast is included in the price of the room, so after everyone's done eating, we start our workshop lessons in their open-window dining room.
I've often held the opening night welcome dinner here for one very big reason: we can hear each other in this restaurant! It's a less than a 10-minute walk and they welcome us with an old-school Guerrero-style meal; their main dish is a hearty pork green-spiced soup served family style, with all accoutrements on the table. People can eat and drink as much as they like, the margaritas are solid, the price is reasonable and the ambiance is old-school comfy Mexican, often times with a musician at the door. It's a great way to toast each other and kickoff a workshop. I ask everyone to hold off on dessert so we can walk to the gelato shop for dessert, which is on the way back our hotel.
A must-see Mexico City museum, it holds the country's Grand Masters' folk art as well as whimsical and fun exhibits. It's about 1.5 kilometers away from the hotel, and I arrange a private van for door-to-door-transportation. The museum is located closed to an El Cardenal, one of Mexico City's oldest and most traditional restaurant serving ant eggs and other insects, moles, and old school Mexican, plus the grand dining room features a large Diego'esque style mural. The restaurant is always full of Mexicans, not gringos, and this is what I look for :)))
Av. Álvaro Obregón 86, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX https://pendulo.com/especial/quienes-somos
This bookstore is two doors down from our hotel, and historically it's where everyone can have a drink and/or dessert as we do a sketchbook review. Super fun ambiance but not too loud and we can usually find a space.
Hipódromo, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX Wonderful park in Colonia Condesa, one neighborhood over. We'll take our private transportation here before the flower market tour; you can do your lesson here if you wish or we can make other plans. Popular churro cafe CHURRERIA MORO located on the park, as well as several cafes. I walk here twice a day with my dogs :))
Flower Mercado Tour
Guided Tour with food and history of largest flower mercado; we start at Parque Mexico, walk towards the subway, stopping and eating along the way. Once in the mercado (the subway stops in the mercado) we visit a few vendors and then we stop to sketch. More eating, exploring then back to the subway where we return to our neighborhood. We can curate this day as you wish once I share the options with you. I have hired a guide for this in the past because I am both the instructor and organizer and it's good to have two people at the mercado; we can discuss other options.
SUGGESTED CHANGE: Frida Kahlo Museum + Coyoacan (surrounding neighborhood) https://www.museofridakahlo.org.mx/?lang=en
Museo de Sitio de la Secretaría de Educación Pública
República de Argentina 28, Centro Histórico, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000, CDMX https://www.gob.mx/sep
Now we head into the Centro Historic by way of a private van. The first stop is the government's Secretary of Education that's FULL of Diego Rivera murals, it's mind boggling how many murals are here! Architecturally intense building, usually very tranquil and there's often a stellar seasonal exhibit in the interior.
El Zocalo, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06050 , CDMX
After the Diego mural, we walk about 5 minutes to the Zocolo, with the Palacio Nacional (the president's offices) and the grand Metropolitan Cathedral. The Aztec dancers are always performing limpias next to the church, there's often times a protest. Originally I thought the jutting Aztec pyramids were just a hectic construction site, but the pyramids are currently being excavated and new historic discoveries are being found almost daily. It's very moving; the Centro is sinking from the weight of the Spanish buildings, yet the pyramids are popping up becasue of their lightweight materials. The energy is intense! We walk a few block to the historic "contemporary old school" restaurant, "Azul Historico" for regional Mexican cuisine. Azul Historico: Isabel La Católica 30, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, CDMX
SUGGESTED CHANGE: For lunch, instead go to El Mayor which overlooks the Aztec Pyramid Ruins https://www.elmayor.com.mx/#inicio
This plaza's very close to our hotel, and will no doubt be well-visited by the group because it has some of Roma's best cafes and restaurants. It's also a lovely park with a replica of Firenze's The David, and has a building that looks like a witch, a bar called Las Brujas Bar, and is legendary for the actual witch who lived there in the days of the Mexican Revolution and was basically a top advisor to the Mexican President and cabinet at the time. Our closing night restaurant in on the the street level, called, "Pigeon", and I like to close the event here because it's contemporary French/Mexican fusion, and I like everyone to see that Mexico City is not just tacos) although tacos are delicious). I usually go for a coffee at Rosetta before the workshop gathers, which is hugely popular and absolutely an adorable cafe to start the day. I think sketching here (or giving your lesson) should happen here before we got to he Antropologia museum on Saturday, but we may have already been to the plaza before that outing.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
Av. Paseo de la Reforma s/n, Polanco, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX https://www.mna.inah.gob.mx
An absolutely stunning anthropology museum, located in the Chapultepec Park. The museum has a decent restaurant as well.
I love this bistro on the park and it's a marvelous setting for our last night of the workshop. The manager and I worked together to create a menu that was just for the table; everyone had a choice of a speciality cocktail, small plate, plato fuerte and dessert. There was water available on the table and people were free to order a glass of wine. It started to rain yet we were protected and truly enjoyed this wonderful meal before everyone departs the next day.