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The City of Oaxaca is a clean, safe, beautiful, and relaxing place to visit. You should spend at least three whole days in order to fully appreciate the different aspects of the town and its surrounding communities. Be sure to visit Monte Alban, but rather than spending your time on a tight schedule, try to just relax and enjoy the city by walking through its historical district. The character of the town is very different in the evening than it is during the day, so be sure to go for a walk at night. There are numerous public squares and pedestrian streets which serve as gathering places for a wide range of people. There are also many different markets, stores, and galleries which sell local arts and crafts, so be sure to visit several places before you buy your souvenirs. The quality and price vary quite a bit from place to place, so don't buy until you've gotten a good sense of what is a good deal. There is a large artisans market in the southern section of Oaxaca's historical district (on Zaragoza and J. P. Garcia). They have a wide range of products, from textiles, to leather, wood carvings, pottery, and paintings. If you are looking to buy one of the beautiful rugs that the region is famous for, visit Teotitlan, approx. 12 miles from downtown Oaxaca. You can catch a taxi (or a bus if your timing is good) from the bus stop between the baseball stadium and the tall McDonald's sign in the northeast side of town (on Eduardo Vasconcelos and De Los Derechos Humanos). The collective taxis (look for one that says Teotitlan on the windshield) cost only 20 pesos. In Teotilan, you should be able to get a 5x7 foot (150x210 cm) rug for 2,000-2,500 pesos (depending on how hard you bargain). The same rug would would sell for at least 1,000 pesos more in downtown Oaxaca. Oaxaca is also famous for its black clay pottery. In Oaxaca City, the best selection and highest quality of this style of pottery is at Casa de las Artesanias de Oaxaca (105 Matamoros), and the prices are accordingly slightly higher than what you might see in other markets. Other fun gifts include alebrijes (wood animals which are hand-carved, fanciful, and colorful). Alebrijes can range in price from a few dollas for a basic one to several hundred dollars for an intricate, well-executed piece (typically sold in art galleries). Oaxaca also has an impressive numer of talented contemporary artists. You can find great paintings in the Santo Domingo mini-mall (on Macedonio Alcala, near the Santo Domingo church). Also keep your eyes open for amazing contemporary ceramic pieces by local artist Omar Hernandez. Be sure also to try the local cuisine, e.g. mole (pronounced MOH-le). You are likely to be offered samples of chapulines (crickets) as well as mezcal (artesanal tequila) on your visits to markets and stores. Most importantly: relax, enjoy the colonial architecture, and the company of friendly locals.