Chapultepec Park, named for the Aztec word chapoltepec (at the grasshopper’s hill), is one of the world's largest city parks. The green space spans 1,695 acres (686 hectares) and is dissected by walking paths connecting quiet ponds, monumental buildings, and museums, including the Museum of Anthropology and the Rufino Tamayo Museum.
Located in the center of Mexico City, Chapultepec Park (Bosque de Chapultepec) is found 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the zócalo, or central plaza, along the border of the popular upscale neighborhoods of Reforma and Polanco. Considered one of the world’s oldest urban parks, it’s believed to have been set aside as green space in the 1300s, but wasn't officially protected until 1428 by King Nezahualcoyotl.
In addition to exploring the grounds by bike, Segway, or on foot, many tours also provide the option to visit main attractions, such as Chapultepec Castle, which is home to the National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia) and the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropología).
Things to Know Before You Go
- Chapultepec Park is divided into three sections (Primera, Segunda, and Tercera Seccions); most of the popular attractions are located in the first section.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes, if you plan to explore the park all day, since it’s double the size of New York's Central Park.
- The green space features a zoo and small amusement park called La Feria Chapultepec Mágico, making it a must-see destination for families with young children.
How to Get There
Within walking distance to many Mexico City hotels, Chapultepec Park is easily accessible via public transportation. Take Line 1 to Chapultepec Station, which drops you off right at the park. The Turibus’ main line (Chapultepec–Centro Historico) also travels through the park.
When to Get There
Chapultepec Park draws both locals and tourists throughout the week (admission is free). It’s especially busy on weekends (particularly Sundays) and holidays. The first section is open during daylight hours, while the second and third sections are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
National History Museum
Found inside Chapultepec Castle, which is famous for being the only castle in North America to have housed royalty, the National History Museum features a permanent collection that includes paintings, documents, artifacts, and clothing from different periods in Mexican history. It also serves as a venue for concerts and theater productions. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 5pm.