Because Xochimilco isn't the easiest are to reachthere is public transit, but itíll take you at least an hour from the center of city and involve switching from the metro to light rail or a local busitís not a bad idea to shop around with some of the tour companies offering daytrips. Look for one that also includes a tour of Coyoacan, the neighborhood made famous by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
Speaking of Coyoacan, the most famous sight is Casa Azul, aka the Blue House, Frida Kahloís home which is now a museum. Give yourself at least two hours here, especially if youíre a big fan, since this attraction is almost always crowded. You will have to pay an extra fee in addition to your ticket if you wish to take pictures at the museum; after forking the 60 pesos photo fee, youíll get a sticker which must be displayed on your camera (or on your person, if the cameraís too small) at all times. A new highlight is an exhibit of Fridaís clothes, as well as designer clothes which were inspired by her style, all on display in partnership with Mexican Vogue.
Once youíve finished up at the museum, stop for coffee at one of the many local shops, then stroll through Jardin Hidalgo, the pretty main plaza of the neighborhood. From there, itís a short walk to Casa de Cortes, named for the Spanish conquistador who led the destruction of the native peoples. Though Cortes did live in Coyoacan, he never lived in this building, which is purely used for local government.
If youíre not museumed out by now, itís also worth visiting the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares (National Museum of Popular Culture), which has exhibits on everything from Day of the Dead artwork to Lucha Libre wrestling.
Tomorrow: Getting lost in Chapultepec