Coyoacán is a beautiful small part of Mexico City steeped in rich Mexican history. My last week in Mexico (for now anyway) was two weeks ago and I was determined to make the most of it. I insisted that my fiancé, Arturo and his family take me to explore Coyoacán, Frida Kahlo’s home, for this reason. This is all about my visit to la Casa Azul in Coyoacán.
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Frida Kahlo was an extremely talented and famous Mexican artist whose legacy still lives on today. Frida was born and raised in Coyoacán, Mexico. At the young age of 6 Frida contracted polio. Due to this she suffered the thinning and shortening of her right leg.
Then when she turned 18 she was in a terrible accident. The bus she was riding crashed into a trolley car and left her body mutilated with injuries. Frida ended up breaking her spine, collarbone, some ribs, and her pelvis. She dislocated her right foot, received eleven fractures in her right leg, and dislocated her shoulder. On top of all of this an iron handrail sliced right through her abdomen and uterus severing her chances of ever bearing children. Frida eventually had her leg amputated due to gangrene years later. Frida Kahlo spent her entire life in tremendous pain thanks to these injuries.
She expressed her pain vividly in her artwork. She used art to express and maybe even understand the amount of pain she felt. Frida painted self-portraits, mainly, and almost all of them showcase the pain she felt in her body.
The Frida Kahlo Museum is held in La Casa Azul (The Blue House) and is where Frida was born and grew up. Visitors can explore the house and plant-filled courtyard to their heart’s content. Some of the rooms showcase Frida’s paintings while other show off the materials and areas she used to paint in, as well as where her bedrooms were. She had a day time bedroom and a night time bedroom! Some rooms also show the different kinds of devices that Frida used to deal with her injuries such as a prosthetic leg and back supporting corset. The courtyard is particularly beautiful with all sorts of plants and decorations.
Guests can also stop by a colorful gift shop and buy everything from handbags, wallets, postcards and even passport covers! If you want to be able to take photos in the museum you have to pay a little extra but it’s well worth it you’re like me and want some keepsakes.
After spending a significant amount of time at the Frida Kahlo Museum, we headed to the Frida Kahlo Park. There’s a playground for kids there making it family friendly. Long stretches of pathway surround the park and are shrouded in romantic overhanging vines. Many of the bushes are cut into animal shapes. There are two statues at the park as well. A woman sitting down with her head rested on her knees as if she is crying is the first one visible as you enter the park. I’m not totally sure what the story is behind that statue as it doesn’t look much like Frida but it is beautiful nonetheless. The other statue is one of Frida Kahlo wearing a tehuana dress.
Next we decided to go check out the Anahucalli Museum. Diego Rivera designed this museum and had a tumultuous marriage with Frida Kahlo. Diego, a muralist, collected pre-Hispanic art. The Anahucalli Museum houses thousands of relics and paintings collected by Diego. He had it built out of volcanic stone. With all the intricate stonework and tools it was definitely a lot different than visiting the colorful Frida Kahlo Museum. Still, the artifacts were stunning and so were the views from the building’s tall windows.
Frida Kahlo was one of the most influential Mexican artists of her time. If you’re ever in, or near, Coyoacán, definitely don’t miss out on seeing these Frida infused places.
April is the founder and main author for Just Leaving Footprints. She has written for numerous blogs and publications such as Explore Magazine and Snow Pak. April loves writing about sustainable tourism, and promoting other sustainable travelers on her Facebook Group and Instagram Community, Ladies Leaving Footprints. Currently, April is living and teaching English in Mexico City with her husband Arturo and they don’t plan on stopping their travels anytime soon.