If people-watching is a favourite occupation when you're in a foreign city, the sidewalk cafes of Mexico City's Zona Rosa is the place for you. The is the smart end of town, a mix of gracious and grand apartment buildings, hotels, banks, expensive shops and embassies and modern blocks of glass and steel. The Paseo de la Reforma (Main Street, DF) marks the northern boundary as it cuts its diagonal swathe right through the city from the Alameda to the Bosque Chapultepec, and the gilded angel of the Monumento a la Indepencia spreads her wings over the roundabout at the junction of Avenida Florencia. Other monuments to look out for as you make your way towards the Zona Rosa along Reforma include the statue of Christopher Colombus ((the Glorieta Cristobal Colon) and the Monumento a Cuauhtemoc - the last Aztec emperor. Both of these sit in the middle of busy roundabouts too.
This may be the most expensive part of town, with lots of good, and pricy, restaurants, but there are plenty of cheaper options too, especially at lunch-time as the office workers in the area are well catered for, and there are plenty of reasonable cafes on the many pedestrianised streets and plazas where you can enjoy an evening drink or two while you decide what to do with th rest of the night..
Parts of the Zona Rosa have a slightly seedy air these days - or rather nights - as it has become something of the gay quarter of the city, but this is still the city's main spot for those looking for a good time, especially at weekends. Just keep a good eye on your wallet or purse, though here it's not only pickpockets that are after the contents - a long night out can put a serious hole in your holiday budget!
Zona Rosa (Pink Spot).
Built in the 1920's and reminiscent of Greenwich Village.
In 1951 a succession of whirlwind changes was initiated which would eventually transform the placid residential enclave into a center of business, commercial, social and tourist activity.
The decade of the 60's witnessed the inauguration of bookstores and art galleries under the patronage of artists and intellectuals such as Jose Luis Cuevas, Guadalupe Amor and Lilia Carillo who were proponents of the new international and intimist styles.
During 1967, a year clearly marked by the restlessness of the decade, a certain area of the Juárez neighborhood was named the Zona Rosa.
You'll know you're there by the street names, famous cities all: Hamburgo, Londres, Genova, Liverpool...
Both the general public and international visitors acknowledged the cosmopolitan attraction of Zona Rosa, which encouraged the construction of hotels and the opening of restaurants, handicraft markets, antiques stores and night clubs, not all of which operated within the boundaries of good taste.
Today the Pink Zone continues to undergo changes. Thus, beggars, discotheque hawkers, yuppies, foreign tourists, nocturnal rodents, revellers, druggies, ladies out shopping and business men blend together at any time of the day or night.
Most of the superior and deluxe category hotels are located here, as well as the city's finest restaurants, historic landmarks, public buildings, nightlife places and shops.
You should look for the constant activity, street entertainers, especially around the corner of Hamburgo St. and Florencia St., and incredible diversity of shops and places to eat and drink but remember that everything is very expensive.
You'll also find the highest concentration of beggars anywhere in the city.
The Zona Rosa was once one of the most happening areas for dining and nightlife, but according to most of the locals I spoke with it's more known as a "gay-borhood" nowadays. There are still some nice restaurants and clubs in the area, but the area seems more geared toward tourists than some of the other more authentic-feeling neighborhoods like Coyoacan and Polanco (great dining there!). Overall, however, Zona Rosa is still worth a look for some good shops and dining.
The Zona Rosa is reminds me a bit of Soho. It is a fusion of boutiques, bars, restaurants, mom & pop shops, and street vendors. Great place to shop, eat, hang out, etc., anytime day or night. The streets are cobblestone and there is a nice collection of art on the streets. Spend a day here just wandering around.
The original stretch of Paseo de la Reforma was a 12-km-avenue that linked Castillo de Chapultepec to the city center. Nowadays, this avenue is at least twice as long: its west end links up with Mexico City ? Toluca highway while its north end joins Calzade de Guadalupe.
In just over 130 years, the original sector of Reforma has been transformated into the city?s most important avenue because of its role as a major business and tourist corridor. On the other hand, the sight of this spacious urban road depicts virtually everything that this city and country have striven to become in modern times, beyond their treasured pre-hispanic and colonial past.
Along Reforma or just nearby are located, in roundabouts, the urban icons of Columna de la Independencia, Monumento a Cuauhtemoc, Fuente de Diana la Cazadora and Monumento a Cristobal Colon.
Like the rest of Mexico, Paseo de la Reforma is full of contrasts that visitors cannot help noticing.
Halfway between Alameda and Chapultepec, Paseo de la Reforma passes by the Zona Rosa; this is a fascinating place offering a wide range of options for families, tourism and business people during the day and a place featuring all sorts of adult entertainment at night.
In the late 19th century the Colonia Americana contributed with two things: diagonal streets unlike the traditional north-south orientation of the city, and residences in French style, adorned with grotesque faces, garlands, crowns and other floral applications. They also had mansard roofs, which is quite unusual in a city where it snows, if ever, three times in a century. As time passed, it was divided into Colonia Juarez and Colonia Cuauhtemoc, two neighborhoods separated by the financial and commercial center of the city: Paseo de la Reforma.
Part of Colonia Juarez was named Zona Rosa in the mid-1960s. Its name is said to have been coined by writer Luis Guillermo Piazza in an article he published in 1967. The spicy version suggests that this name was the result of a collective joke amongst a group of intellectuals who took to meeting in the bars and cafes of the area, bringing prosperity to all the other businesses ... including "the world's oldest profession" ... for not naming it with a stronger name.
Anyway ... this is the place where you can find excellent hotels, shops, galleries, fashion stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, banks, discotheques, ...
La Zona Rosa literally means "the pink zone", and is the gay district in Mexico City. There are a lot of bars, dance blus, strip clubs (for the gay and the straight) places to eat and shop. It is a crazy place to be at night, as there are lots of people and many are drinking, lively and flamboyant. I had a good time strolling around here, and I was happy to see the GLBT community of Mexico City with a place of their own where they feel accepted. Gay marriage is now legal in DF, yay! This zone is now quiet during the day, but lively by night.
This is the a place where you most likley meet other foreigners. The street is full of bars and restaurants. And you will always meet people there. The prices are a little bit higher as somewhere else.
It is filled with hotels, restaurants, boutiques, bars, discos and table dance. Very close is the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (Mexican Stock Exchange), lots of businesses, and the American and Japanese embassies. There is also the famous 'Angel'.
This represent an area downtown with a very high concentration of hotels, restaurants and stores.
Also high concentration of tourists.
This is a partially pedestrianized area south of the Paseo de Reforma. It is really overhyped, but if you just need to buy something like Gucci or Movado en Mexico City, this is the place to go.