From handicrafts to the finest in designer apparel, Mexico City is a marvelous place for shopping. From malls to mercados, to kitschy boutiques, numerous places display fascinating native products and sophisticated goods.
The two best districts for browsing boutiques are on and off Avenida Presidente Masaryk, in Polanco, and the Zona Rosa. Polanco's shops include Burberrys of London, Christian Dior, Versace, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany's, and Cartier. Think Beverly Hills's Rodeo Drive, or Paris's Champs-Elysées, and you'll get the picture. The 12 square blocks at the heart of the Zona Rosa are home to antiques shops, boutiques, art galleries, silver shops, and fine jewelers.
For a taste of urban and hip, check out the shops that are sprouting up in Roma and Condesa, where you'll find the work of independent fashion designers, sneakers in every color of the rainbow, and even a boutique dedicated to lucha libre.
If you're looking for a centralized display of street art, visit Border, Zacatecas 43, Roma Sur (tel. 55/5584-7557; www.border.com.mx).
About the most convenient foreign- and Spanish-language bookstore in Mexico City, with a good selection of guidebooks and texts on Mexico, is Librería Gandhi, Av. Juárez 4, near Avenida Lázaro Cárdenas (tel. 55/2625-0606; www.gandhi.com.mx), right across from the Bellas Artes. It's open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm, Sunday from 11am to 8pm. The Museo Nacional de Antropología, in Chapultepec Park (tel. 55/5553-1902 or 55/5211-0754; www.mna.inah.gob.mx), also has a fair selection of books on Mexico, particularly special-interest guides. It's open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 7pm. Also in Chapultepec, the bookstore Otro Lugar de la Mancha, Esopo 11 Chapultepec near Avenida Presidente Masaryk (tel. 55/5280-4826; www.lamancha.com.mx), offers a small but outstanding collection of books, music, and art, plus an upstairs cafe in a historic home. It's open Monday through Friday from 8am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm.
Besides the shops mentioned, dozens of jewelry stores and optical shops are on Madero from Motolinía to the zócalo, in the portals facing the National Palace. Nacional Monte de Piedad (National Pawn Shop), also opposite the National Palace, has an enormous jewelry selection. The first Latin American branch of Tiffany's is on Avenida Presidente Masaryk in Polanco.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.