Besides food Markets, there are many Parks, Plazas and squares where traditional Handcrafts are placed on weekends.
One of the most famous places is the Mercado de los Sabados en San Angel (Saturday´s Market of San Angel). Where in the main square there are tons of little "puestos" in the street where you can buy clothes, jorongos, jewerly, hand made paper, textiles, traditional mexican candies, etc.
Some of them are made or brought by ethnic groups from Oaxaca, Michoacan and other cities.
What to buy: In Mexico city, and specially in Open markets, you can find all kind of handicrafts, comming from different States of the country.
Each State is still represented by several indian groups which have a unique style each one of them.
Normally, textiles, mexican traditional candies, and "ceramicas" are found in these kind of Markets.
As we were exploring the neighborhoods around the Zocalo, we came across a garment district behind the National Palace. There were numerous stores selling the most gorgeous children's dresses.
We found a store that sold extremely high quality dresses, much better quality than the typical dress one can find in a US department store.
My daughter, in this picture, is wearing the beautiful dress we bought in Mexico City - for the equivalent of about USD $15.
What to buy: Buy dresses. Lots of them.
I regret that I did not buy a dress in successively larger sizes, so my daughter could have a beautiful new dress from Mexico City every year.
Now she won't wear them. :-(
Plaza de La Ciudadela is more like a marketplace - rather than a shop - where you will find a lot of little locals/stands selling all kind of local crafts... Jewelry, clothes, embroidery, wool stuff, big Mexican sombreros, pottery, etc... You can find a lot of nice stuff here and the prices are very decent!! It's one of the places where you'll find better prices in town...
What to pay: Even though the prices are low, you can still bargain some with the vendors, especially if you buy several items. Of course it also depends on what you're gonna buy: it's not the same buying a pair of earrings worth $2 US dollars than a big hand-painted wooden box or a hand-embroidered dress that may cost over $50 USD.
Mexican Artesanías can be found even in fancy department stores but a lot more expensive than in the original place.
The indian people selling their handicrafts at open Plazas and streets normally come from their Town, traveling hundreds of Kms to preserve their customs.
More than handicraft, their objects are certainly artistic and for one hand-made textil Shirt, they spend several days.
What to pay: It is said that in Mexico is easy to dodge to get a cheaper price. If you come from the States or Europe, you will find Mexico city already cheap, I think is not recommended, or fair, to ask for a cheaper price for indian products. They are already an art and it requires them a lot to come and offer their products.
This once quiet residential neighbourhood now is filled with offices and apartments buildings, hotels, restaurants, chic boutiques, and shopping centers.
For a sophisticated dose of modern Mexico City, visitors should head to Polanco neighbourhood to spend the afternoon or just shopping.
Everything is very expensive.
(San Angel Neighbourhood).
The southern area of the city has excellent restaurants several hotels offering a complete range of business and tourist services.
San Angel, a traditional neighborhood, lies to the southeast of the city.
The resident artists and writers, winding cobblestone streets, colonial mansions, Saturday afternoon crafts bazaars, local chops and colonial churches give this area its own cozy and fun atmosphere San Angel would be a good choice for a day out of the city center.
It's an elegant, old neighborhood with lovely colonial architecture.
Many of the local houses, with their capricious architectural details, today serve as centers for different cultural, artistic and commercial activities.
San Angel is also home to many excellent restaurants, and nightclubs as well as boutiques offering irresistible displays of fine handicrafts.
Not only for conventional shopping.
Just north and east of the Zocalo, you'll find all kinds of crowded streets packed with locals buying and selling all kinds of things. Clothing, cheap toys, street food, electronics . . . you'll find it all here and you'll be hard-pressed to find too many tourists. This area isn't too safe at night, so don't stay past dark.
Alternatively, if you're staying near the Zocalo and you really want to do some shopping, head to La Merced, the city's largest market where you can buy just about everything. Just take the Metro to the La Merced stop and you're there.
In here you can find lot of crafts. It's near "Balderas" Metro station.
The market is big enough to find what you are looking for.
What to buy: Handcrafts, Rebozos, Sombreros, Chal, pottery, silvery jewerly (if you have time and going to Taxco - there you can find it cheper), traditional toys.
What to pay: Depend what you want if you just want some suvenierse from US4 to maybe US10
If you are looking for something more like US 10 - US 30
What to buy: ...these shelves full of Nativity sets amaze and amuse you. Think about getting one for a friend back home, then think better of that because remember, you have to tote everything you buy in your carryon and it all adds up and the weight will eventually growing to a crushing amount and...it's the thought that counts anyway. ;-O
Coyoacán (Coyoacán neighbourhood).
This place has an intellectual and bohemian feel.
It’s most lively on Saturday and Sunday, when street vendors set out their wares: handcrafts made by native indians; ballons, soap bubbles, snacks.
A little kid came around selling flowers while you are waiting for your pancakes.
People go looking for the shade of a generous tree and the delicious flavor of the mango or banana ice cream.
Plaza Hidalgo (Hidalgo Square) and Jardín Centenario (Centennial Garden) are twin central plazas separated by a small street, this is where you will find most of the 'happenings' on a weekend, with vendors, music, and artists. The square is bordered by shops and restaurants.
There are also artists painting everyday scenes of Coyoacán, still life, portraits, cartoons and other themes; street musicians playing, mimes and many people enjoying these cultural activities while other just dance 'danzón' at the kiosque.
Stroll the cobblestone streets, take your time on every one of the market stands that interest you and bargain for what you want to buy.
Well, it is a typical place where you can find and enjoy the essence of Mexico City.
A place to relax yourself and have a good day.
Not only for conventional shopping.