By Emily Rappaport
February 06, 2015
La Casa Luis Barragán
Credit: © John Mitchell / Alamy

From the stunning collection of pre-Hispanic art at the Museo Nacional de Antropología to the modern paintings at the Museo Frida Kahlo to the contemporary work at young, independent galleries like Lulu, Mexico City is one of the world’s most dynamic cities for art and architecture. It is no wonder, then, that this week, people have traveled to the “Distrito Federal” from around the world to see Zona MACO—one of the most important Latin American art fairs—and Material, its young satellite. Spending time in the D.F.? Here's what Artsy recommends:

Start your day with a sit down brunch—complete with pastries, fresh fruit, and espresso drinks—on the lovely patio at Pandería Rosetta in Zona Rosa. Schedule a mid-morning tour at the Casa Luis Barragán, the home and studio of the iconic Mexican modernist architect (pictured above). The house features brightly colored walls, contemplative sitting rooms, and a treasure trove of art ranging from figurative religious painting to Mathias Goeritz’s metallic canvases that reflect soft, golden light. Barragán also designed a number of private homes in the southern El Pedregal neighborhood, some of which can be accessed on architecture tours of the city.

For a further taste of Mexican modernism, take a walk around the Parque México in the colonia Condesa to see colorful Art Deco facades and cast-iron terraces. While you’re here, stop by contemporary galleries like House of Gaga on Avenida Amsterdam. You can also catch Gaga, and a number of other Mexican and Latin American art spaces, across town at Zona MACO. There, you’ll find work by international art stars like Yayoi Kusama, who just had a popular retrospective at the Museo Tamayo, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Lorna Simpson.

At sunset, look out over the sprawling city and surrounding mountains from the rooftop bar at the hotel Condesa DF. For dinner, try El Califa’s tacos al pastor (a gyro-style Mexico City specialty that dates back to mass Lebanese immigration here at the turn of the century)—then head to a D.F.-style cantina like Codavonga to drink margaritas alongside young people chatting and old men playing dominos.