I took the Metro to the Balderas station, and from there walked a short distance to the "Plaza de la Ciudadela" (Plaza of the Citadel). In the center of the plaza is a monument to José María Morelos, one of the heroes of the Mexican War for Independence.
The plaza gets its name from the large colonial building on its south side.
The structure was originally built to be the Royal Tobacco Factory, but after the revolt for independence began, the Spanish converted it into a military fortress used to imprison rebels. (Morelos, whose statue stands on the plaza, was among those who were incarcerated here.) It continued to be used by the military into the 20th century, but in 1944 it became the National Library of Mexico.
But let's get back to the topic of shopping. On the north side of the plaza is the Ciudadela Handicrafts Market.
This is one of the best places in the city to buy handicrafts. Within this nondescript building there are 350 vendors from 22 Mexican states selling a wide variety of items. Now I will admit that a lot of the merchandise here is pure tourist junk, but you will also find a lot of high quality handicrafts. You can easily spend hours browsing through the eight aisles of stalls.
One stall which attracted my attention on this visit featured a large number of items from the Mexican state of Nayarit. Take a look at that enormous jaguar!
Perhaps one of these beaded Day of the Dead skulls would be more portable and affordable.