Header photo 1Header photo 3Headr photo 4

  • Home • Destinations • Top Travel  Picks • Travel Links • Contact us • Our other web sites •







Mexico - The Frida Kahlo Tour






The movie "Frida" (starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina, directed by Julie Taymore, released 2002) on the famous Mexican artist (1910 -1954) inspired us to do this tour.  We started planning it a year before.  Making it extra special was the fact that Ilania could join us in Mexico City to explain and interpret the works of Kahlo.  Ilania had done a thesis on Kahlo in her college studies.


As you see in the Taymore movie, Frida Kahlo's life was interwoven with her famous artist husband, Diego Rivera, and the Bolshevik Leon Trotsky.  Thus a proper tour on the Frida trail includes the habitats of those two gents as well.

The trail we followed (in a leisurely 3-day pace,  but could have been done in two) was:

  • The Blue House in the Coyoacán district:  Home of Frida's parents and Frida at various stages of her life, including her birth and death.  Painted blue to ward off evil spirits.  Self guided tour of the interior and gardens which appear to be, judging by old photographs, maintained as they were.  The easel in her 2nd story studio holds her last (unfinished) work, a portrait of Joseph Stalin.

  • The Leon Trotsky house:  a few blocks away from the Blue House;  the walled, heavily guarded complex where Trotsky spend his last years writing treatises on the Russian revolution, and where he was assassinated despite all the guards and guard towers.  (Since we were in no rush,  after Trotsky we walked over to the Coyoacán town center and had drinks at a bar on the square.  Good spot for people watching.)

  • Museo Dolores Olmedo.  The estate of Dolores Omedo, patron of the arts and especially of Frida and Diego, now a private museum containing the art works Dolores acquired from Frida and Diego.  It's quite far from downtown.  We rented a cab for the day (500 pesos) and the drive was  at least one hour each way.  The Coyoacán sights are in the same direction and can be done on the same cab fare.

  • Anahuacalli  (House of Mexico): an unbelievably large artist studio, designed and built by Rivera in his last year, but not really part of his & Frida's life, so only deserving a short stop on a Frida tour. 

  • Placio Nacional.  This is the Government building, including the office of the Presidente and the series of Rivera murals depicting Mexican history from "The Indigenous World" to its 20th century revolution.  Frida is a model in two murals.

  • Museo Mural Diego Rivera was built especially to house one famous Rivera mural: Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda), 1947, but also includes two floors of exhibits related to other Diego murals.  Engineers will find the special earthquake proofing construction of interest.  The Rivera mural floats.  See building model.

  • Placio de Bellas Artes (a.k.a the Opera House).  The Opera house doubles as an art museum which contains Rivera murals, murals by others, and other works of art.

There are many more Frida points of interest, but this is all we had time for.  Unfortunately we missed seeing the Museo Estudio Diego Rivera, the twin house (as depicted in the movie) where Diego worked and lived with Frida.


See our entire photo album of the Frida trip.  Sorry, no photos of Frida's home or art since photography was not allowed. 


And after a long day of Frida touring we headed for Eats in the Zona Rosa area Fortunately for us Ilania studied up Spanish before the Mexico City trip and was thus able to expertly deal with cab drivers as well as translate for us at the various museums.  In addition, her language ability enabled her to pick up these superb recommendations for restaurants in the Zona Rosa district:  Fonda el Refugio [**, $$-$$$] at Liverpool 166;  reservations recommended. We subsequently learned that this establishment was mentioned in a New York Times review as the "best Mexican restaurant in the world."  And a few blocks away: Cielo Rojo Tequileria [$$], a place with fun food and traditional and Mariachi bands playing in the early evening; DJ music afterwards.  The two are opposites:  first is a quite, refined setting suitable for great dining and conversation.  The second is a loud party atmosphere.  Food is very good in both. 




Street signs in the Coyoacán district guide you to the Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky houses, which are a few blocks apart.


Above and below: two of the Rivera murals at the Placio Nacional.  Above:  Frida is the model for the center figure in one of the pre-colonial images.  Below:  Frida (with a hammer and sickle pendant around her neck) and her sister Cristina (in red) are the models in the revolution mural.


The Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda) depicting Diego (as a child) holding hands with death;  his future wife, Frida stands behind.  The full length of the mural is shown on top, and a zoom on the center is below. Click on above images to enlarge.





© 2005 R. Abileah

Last updated February 27, 2008