Mexico Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Mexico

There is no shortage of shopping opportunities in Mexico, from fashionable clothing boutiques to bustling market places selling traditional indigenous crafts. Taxco is renowned for fine jewellery and silverware; Oaxaca for mezcal, alebrijes (fanciful animal figurines) and distinctive black pottery; Saltillo for beautiful sarapes (colour-banded shawls); León for leatherwork and cowboy boots; Mérida, Yucatán for hammocks; and Guerrero state for masks, all of which make great gifts. The best woodworkers are in Guadalajara, but furniture from the region is on sale in Mexico City, as are crafts from all other parts of the country.

Market buildings are fun to explore throughout the country, as much to observe the activity as to pick up souvenirs. La Merced in Mexico City and Mercado La Libertad in Guadalajara are among the biggest, most frenetic markets in the country. However, many Mexicans do their shopping in glitzy, modern malls with all the usual department stores, boutiques and franchises.

Shopping hours

Mon-Sat 1000-2000 in big towns and cities; shops in smaller towns may close midday for lunch, usually from 1400 to 1600.

Nightlife in Mexico

Every larger city has its nightlife zones. In Mexico City it's the Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) near the business centre, and Condesa and Polanco on either side of Chapultepec Park; in Monterrey, it's the Barrio Antiguo; in Puebla, the Plazuela de los Sapos; in Acapulco, 'La Costera,' the coastal strip. These areas generally feature some combination of antros - rowdy drinking halls for a younger set, often with live music - and dance clubs. The latter don't usually get going until late, opening around midnight and closing at dawn.

In the hinterlands, you're more likely to catch accordion-driven norteño combos pumping out polkas and cumbias in crowded dancehalls or at street festivals. Mariachis - brass and string ensembles in charro outfits - perform beautiful renditions of traditional ballads wherever they can find employment, whether at weddings, restaurants, bars, or designated zones such as Mexico City's Plaza Garabaldi. Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey all attract international rock and pop acts and Latin music stars, as well as some fine ballet and orchestra companies.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.