/ The Mexico City Guide
Mexico — By Laura Nazimiec on July 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Filed under: attraction, museum, Outdoors & Recreation, park, top-feature

Chapultepec Park Attractions

Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, locally known as the Bosque de Chapultepec (map), is the largest park in the capital.  Translating to Hill of Grasshoppers in the Nahuatl language, Chapultepec Park was once a refuge for wandering Aztecs and later became a summer residence for Aztec rulers.  Today it’s a favorite outdoor recreational and cultural destination among both Mexico City residents and tourists.

Bosque de Chapultepec

Paddle Boats on the Lake, Chapultepec Park, Mexico City

Covering 1800 acres, Chapultepec Park is home to lakes, forested areas, the Chapultepec Park Zoo, a botanical garden, an amusement park, several excellent museums, monuments and the current presidential residence.  It’s also one of the city’s best budget destinations.  Especially if you visit on Sunday when general admission to most of the museums in the park is free.

Chapultepec Park is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor sports and recreational activities in Mexico City.  In the mornings runners and bikers take over the park’s trails and on Sundays the Paseo de la Reforma (the main avenue linking the park with the zocálo) is closed to traffic to accommodate the city’s fitness enthusiasts who bike, skate and jog between the two landmarks.

Sundays are the busiest days in Chapultepec Park.  Vendors line the paths and walkways, families arrive with picnic lunches and navigate the lake in rented rowboats.  Visitors stream into the park to tour the museums, visit the zoo, check out the monuments and sight-see.  While I personally can’t think of a better time to visit Chapultepec Park, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds consider coming during the week instead.

Museums

The National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia) (map) is housed in Chapultepec Castle at the top of Chapultepec Hill.  The museum features interesting historical exhibits of colonial Mexico.  The museum is open to the public from 9am-5pm Tuesday through Sunday.  Admission is M$45 ($3.60) and free on Sundays.

The Museum of Modern Art (Museo de Arte Moderno) (map) is located on the corner of Paseo de la Reforma and Ghandi.  Exhibits feature work by prominent 20th-century Mexican artists including Frida Kahlo.  The museum is open to the public from 10am-6pm Tuesday through Sunday and admission is free on Sundays.

The National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antroplogía) (map), also located at the corner of Paseo de la Reforma and Ghandi, is the largest museum in the park and features multiple exhibits dedicated to pre-Hispanic and contemporary Mexican cultures.  The museum is open from 9am-7pm Tuesday through Sunday and admission is M$48 ($4).

Volodores de Papantla

Performing the Voladores Rite, Chapultepec Park, Mexico City

Outside the National Museum of Anthropology the indigenous Totonac people perform their traditional voladores (fliers) ritual several times each day.

The Tamayo Museum (Museo Rufino Tamayo) (map) is located just east of the National Anthropology Museum.  The mueum houses the personal modern art collection of the Tamayo family.  The museum is open from 10am-6pm Tuesday through Sunday.  Museum admission is M$15 ($1.20) and free on Sundays.

Attractions

The Chapultepec Park Botanical Garden (Jardín Botánico) (map) is located just east of the National Museum of Anthropology.  On display are plants from across the country with a special focus on the plants and trees of central Mexico.  The Botanical Garden is open from 10am-4pm and admission is free.

Mexico City’s Chapultepec Zoo (Zoológico de Chapultepec) (map) is home to a wide range of animals housed in large outdoor enclosures.  It is recognized as the first location outside of China where pandas were born in captivity.  The Chapultepec Zoo is open from 9am-4:30pm and admission is free.

The Chapultepec Water Works feature a series of Diego Rivera murals known as Water, Origin of Life (El Agua, El Origen de la Vida).  The Chapultepec Water Works are located west of the Papolote Children’s Museum and open to the public from 10am-6pm on Saturday.  General admission is M$10 ($0.80).

For The Kids

The Papalote Children’s Museum (Papolote Museo de Niño) (map) is a hand-on children’s museum with an IMAX theater.  It’s open from 9am-6pm Monday through Friday and until 7pm on weekends.  Admission to the Papalote Children’s Museum is M$85 for adults and M$80 for children ($6.80/$6.40).

Located nearby to the Papalote Children’s Museum is La Feria Amusement Park, an old-fashioned amusement park for the kids.  La Feria is open from 10am-6pm Tuesday through Friday, from 10am-7pm Saturday and from 10am-8pm on Sunday.  A park pass costs M$50 ($4).

Photo Credits: Laura Nazimiec

Related places:
  1. A
    Bosque de Chapultepec, Distrito Federal
    Bosque de Chapultepec, Distrito Federal, Mexico
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Museo Nacional de Historia, Bosque de Chapultepec, Distrito Federal
    Museo Nacional de Historia, Bosque de Chapultepec, Distrito Federal, Mexico
    View Details and Book
  3. C
    Museo de Arte Moderno
    Museo de Arte Moderno, Mahatma Gandhi, Bosque de Chapultepec I, 11580 Miguel Hidalgo, D.f., Mexico
    View Details and Book
  4. D
    Museo Nacional de Antropologia - INAH
    View Details and Book
  5. E
    Museo Rufino Tamayo
    Bosque de Chapultepec I, Miguel Hidalgo, Distrito Federal, Mexico
    View Details and Book
  6. F
    Jard?n Bot?nico
    Calz. Chivatito, Bosque De Chapultepec I, Miguel Hidalgo, Distrito Federal, M?xico
    View Details and Book
  7. G
    Zool?gico de Chapultepec
    Paseo de La Reforma, 06068 Ciudad de M?xico, D.f., M?xico
    View Details and Book
  8. H
    Museo del Ni?o Papalote
    Avenida de Los Compositores, Daniel Garza, Miguel Hidalgo, Distrito Federal, M?xico
    View Details and Book
Tags: attraction, museum, Outdoors & Recreation, park, top-feature


    2 Comments

  • Jon Rochetti says:

    I remember having a great time at this park and the museums as a child on a week-long visit to Mexico City. The gardens are beautiful and the Anthropology museum was so very interesting.

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