castillo chapultepec castle in chapultepec park mexico city

20 Best Things to Do in Chapultepec Park Mexico City [2021]

Wondering What activities can we do in Chapultepec park?

Bosque de Chapultepec, which means Chapultepec Forest, though it’s more often called Chapultepec Park, is one of the most-visited urban parks on the planet. It joins the likes of Central Park in NYC, Showa Memorial Park in Tokyo, and Bois de Boulogne in Paris to share this honor.

Like these other parks, Chapultepec Park in Mexico City is massive — as in 1,700 acres massive —and divided into three distinct sections. You could spend weeks there, exploring the nine museums, two lakes, the Mexico City Zoo, and much more, so you’ll have to be selective with your time in Chapultepec Park.

🚴‍♀️ Discover Chapultepec on Bicycle Tour: The best way to cover the most ground in Chapultepec Park is by bike. Join Alberto, a Mexico City cyclist and runner, who will guide you to all the must see spots in this huge park.

With so many options, you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Chapultepec Park. Rather, you might run out of time to see all the best things to do in Chapultepec Park.

Below, you’re going to discover many of the highlights in this massive urban forest, so you make sure can see everything you want to. After planning your itinerary, check out all the Chapultepec Park FAQs at the end, with all the general information you need about visiting Chapultepec Mexico City.

Chapultepec Park Map

Below is a map of Chapultepec Park Mexico City, and though it’s in Spanish, will give you an idea of the park’s layout. At nearly 1,700 acres, it has been subdivided into these three sections of Chapultepec Park. For more information on the three sections, head here.

Where is Chapultepec Park located?

It’s located in the center of Mexico City, bordering neighborhoods including Reforma, Polanco, San Miguel Chapultepec and Cuauhtemoc, and near Roma and Condesa. You can get to Chapultepec Park by walking, taking an Uber or taxi, or from the Chapultepec Metro Station.

Looking for hotels near Chapultepec Park Mexico City? You’re in luck as many of the best hotels in Mexico City are within a mile of Chapultepec Park! ▶︎ Book your hotel near Chapultepec now!

chapultepec park map
Click here to see the Google Maps Chapultepec page. (Chapultepec map photo: Sarumo74 via Wikimedia)

20 best things to do in chapultepec park

1. Chapultepec Castle (Castillo Chapultepec)

The Castillo de Chapultepec is the only true castle in North America, as it was only the official residence of royalty! Formerly the home to Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota, the Chapultepec Castle and adjoining National History Museum, and among the best sites in Mexico City.

🤑 Mexico City Travel Tip: Admission to Chapultepec Castle is free on Sundays; but arrive early to beat the large crowds. Otherwise, Chapultepec Castle tickets cost $80 MXN pesos ($4.50USD).

It’s a little bit of an uphill climb to get to the castle, but once you get there, you’re rewarded for your efforts. The Chapultepec Castle has some of the most beautiful views in Mexico City, as its located hight atop a hill overlooking the whole park, Reforma Avenue, Centro Historico, and the rest of the city.

Chapultepec Castle in Bosque Chapultepec Park
Chapultepec Castle is the only true castle in North America, because it’s the only home on the continent that once housed members of a royal family — Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota.

2. Museo Nacional de Historia (Mexico City National History Museum)

Much of the inside of the Chapultepec Castillo is actually a museum — the National History Museum. As the name says, it chronicles Mexico City and Mexican history through exhibits and fine art pieces from the Colonial Period. As you’re inside of a castle, the interior itself is a work of art as well!

Stained glass windows in Chapultepec Castle in Chapultepec Park
The Mexico National History Museum is one of the best museums in Chapultepec Park.

3. National Museum of Anthropology

This Museo Nacional de Antropología (Mexico City Anthropology Museum) is the most visited of all Mexico City museums. It is also massive — spanning 23 exhibition halls and 3,225 years of history. You could spend hours there and not see it all.

They offer one-hour English tours, but it barely scratches the surface at this Mexico Anthropology Museum. You’ll really only see the highlights on the free tour, like the Piedra del Sol (Aztec calendar, or Aztec sunstone), Olmec heads, Coatlicue statue, Moctezuma’s headdress and a few more pieces.

🗿 Mexico Unearthed at Anthropology Museum Tour: If you’re truly fascinated by Mexico’s extensive and profound history, consider the Mexico Unearthed Tour, led by a female anthropologist and archaeologist who has 25 years of experience studying Mexican history.

giant Olmec stone head sculpture at Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, located in Chapultepec Park
One of the giant Olmec head sculptures in the National Museum of Anthropology. The mysterious Olmec civilization is the oldest known civilization on the Americas continent, in existence from about 1500BC to 400BC.

4. Bike Ride Chapultepec Park

One of the most fun ways to see the park is by bicycle. Mexico City has the great EcoBici bike share program available, and you can buy a one week pass for less than $20USD. With your EcoBici membership, you can explore Chapultepec Park and other areas of Mexico City.

Muevete en Bici Sunday Bike Ride

Wondering, What is there to do in Mexico City on a Sunday? For those who will be in Mexico City on Sunday, don’t miss the Muevete en Bici Mexico City bike ride. The 20-mile route goes straight through Chapultepec Park, from the Reforma neighborhood to the Polanco neighborhood.

5. Chapultepec Park Tours by Bike

You can also do the Discover Chapultepec on Bicycle Tour with Alberto, a Mexico City local. As they say, having a local is a travel game changer, so Alberto can also show you some of the hidden spots in Chapultepec Park — the ones only locals know about.

sunday mexico city bike ride on reforma avenue, heading towards chapultepec park
Biking on Reforma Avenue on Sunday morning for Muevete en Bici, a Mexico City bike ride through Chapultepec Park and other popular parts of the city. (Photo: Ryan Fennell)

6. Museum of Modern Art at Chapultepec Park

The Museo de Arte Moderno features contemporary art by both international and Mexican artists. The big names from their permanent collection include Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo. While visiting, take a leisurely stroll through the Sculpture Garden outside.

7. Chapultepec Angel Wings Sculpture

Alas de la Ciudad, or Wings of the City, are a pair of giant bronze angel wings, made by famed Mexican sculptor, Jorge Marin. You can take at photo at this popular Mexico City Instagram spot just outside of the National Museum of Anthropology and Librería Porrúa Bookstore, on Avenida de la Reforma.

8. Paddle Boat Ride on Chapultepec Lake

Rent a paddle boat at Chapultepec to see some of the park from the water. There are two lakes in this park; the rental boats are at lake in Section 1, near the Chapultepec Zoo and the small Casa del Lago (Lake House Museum).

9. Casa de Lago Cultural Center

This is one of the smallest museums in Chapultepec Park, but is worth a quick visit. They have rotating exhibits outside of this charming lake house, and a small but interesting gallery inside. If you’re boating on the lake or eating at El Lago restaurant, check out the Chapultepec Lake House Museum.

boats on the lake at chapultepec park mexico city
The Lago de Chapultepec Mexico is a visitor favorite in this popular Mexico City park.

10. Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum

Founded by Mexican artist, Ruffino Tamayo, his namesake Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo houses a large collection of international contemporary art. The Tamayo Museum is the second largest Mexico City contemporary arts museum, after the MUAC Museum on the UNAM campus.

💧 Walk the Water Mirror Path: The Tamayo Art Museum and National Anthropology Museum are next to one another. When walking between the two, make sure to take the pretty Water Mirror Path.

11. Niños Heroes Monument

The six niños heroes (boy heroes) are part of Mexican patriotic folklore. Debates abound as to the true story of the boys’ death, but these child cadets did die defending Mexico. The Monumento a los Niños Héroes (Boy Heroes Monument) is one of the nicest sculptures found in any parks in Mexico City.

tree-lined streets and skyscrapers along Reforma Avenue
The white pillars of the Niños Heroes Monument, one of the tallest public art displays in the city.

12. Moctezuma Baths at Chapultepec Park

The Baños de Moctezuma historical monument was built in the 15th Century, during the reign or Aztec king Moctezuma. It was used a type of perhispanic spa bath, a place for breeding exotic fish, and as a place to store water collected from nearby springs.

13. Experience the Audiorama Sound Bath

When you need a take a break from a long day of exploring the Mexico City Chapultepec Park, head to Audiorama. In this area, there are colorful benches where you can relax, listen to music coming for speakers all over the area, and tune out the world.

🤐 Note: There is no talking allowed in Audiorama Chapultepec, so many read or just relax.

audiorama at chapultepec park mexico city
Audiorama at el Bosque de Chapultepec Mexico City. (Photo: Mexico Bike Tour)

14. Eat at the Best Restaurants in Chapultepec Park

Wondering, Where to eat near Chapultepec Park? Well, you don’t even have to leave the park to get a great meal, as there are some Chapultepec Park restaurants you’ll love. However, if you’re looking for Mexico City tacos, check out these options.

El Lago Restaurante

El Lago, which means The Lake, does in fact overlook one of the lakes in Chapultepec Park. Grab an outdoor table to enjoy the nice views, and enjoy their menu of Mexican classics prepared with a twist. They also what many call the best brunch in Mexico City; it’s served buffet style and only on weekends.

Bistró Chapultepec

An indoor/outdoor restaurant with lakeside tables and an upscale casual vibe. Bistro Chapultepec Restaurant serves a fusion of European and Mexican cuisines, during breakfast, lunch, dinner services. ▶︎ Check out their menu here.

15. Chapultepec Weekend Street Food Market

🤔 Wondering, What’s the best time to visit Chapultepec Park?

While weekend are certainly more crowded, they are also more fun! There’s a carnival atmosphere on weekends in Chapultepec Park, with souvenir vendors selling Mexican handicrafts and food vendors linking the walkways and selling yummy Mexican foods and snacks at this unofficial street fair.

chapultepec park mexico city

16. Chapultepec Water Garden & Carcamo de Dolores Museum

This space is the result of a multidisciplinary vision, combining architecture by Ricardo Rivas, engineering by Eduardo Molina Arevalo, and art by Diego Rivera. You’ll often see it referred to as just the Water Garden, but it’s really two spaces next to one another, located in Section 2 of the park.

  • Carcamo de Dolores has murals by Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, and a small hydraulic structure which the outdoor water flows through. Admission to the Carcamo de Dolores Museum $26 MXN pesos ($2USD).
  • The Water Garden is a large garden that has fountains built around hidden reservoirs. Its highlight is the large sculpture of the Aztec rain god, Tláloc, made by Diego Rivera, which is partially submerged. Admission to the Water Garden is FREE.

17. Chapultepec Park Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Garden at Chapultepec Park is said to be the first botanical garden in Mexico, made with exotic plants brought in from other parts of the country. Today, it has more than 300 varieties of plants, fruit trees, succulents, agaves and cacti, and 14 species of wild dahlias.

El Parque de Chapultepec Botanical Gardens are a visitor favorite.

Best Things to Do in Chapultpec Park with Kids

18. Papalote Children’s Museum

Located in Section 2 of the park, kiddos will love the Chapultepec Children’s Museum. It has indoor exhibits, an outdoor garden space and a 76-foot (23 m) Digital Dome to explore the Solar System while visiting the premier Mexico City children’s museum. Admission is $199MXN pesos ($10USD).

19. Parque La Hormiga (Ant Park)

The Ant Park is a 9.5-acre (3.8 hectare) outdoor play space, with areas designed for children of different age groups. The main play area is a climbing structure made of ropes, which resembles a large ant’s nest. La Tapatía is another great children’s area in Chapultepec Park.

20. Visit the Pandas at Chapultepec Zoo

The Zoológico de Chapultepec boasts more than 200 species of animals, including giraffes, jaguars, lions, tigers, and even two panda bears. The zoo in Chapultepec Park is open Tuesday to Sunday, 9am-4:30pm; Admission is free.

panda bear eating bamboo at chapultepec zoo mexico city
🐼 Wondering what is Chapultepec Park’s top attraction for kids? The pandas at Chapultepec Zoo certainly rank high!

Chapultepec Park Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chapultepec park Safe?

Yes — For the majority of travelers, Chapultepec Park is safe. You will, of course, want to stick to designated pathways and remain aware of yourself, your surroundings and your belongings at all times to ensure you stay safe. The park closes at sundown, so you can’t be there at night.

How big is Chapultepec Park?

The Chapultepec Park size is close to 1,700 acres (7 km², or 688 hectares).

Is Chapultepec bigger than Central Park?

The Bosque de Chapultepec is almost double in size of Central Park in New York City. Central Park spans about 845 acres, so Chapultepec wins in the Chapultepec Park vs Central Park size category!

Can you bike Chapultepec park?

Yes — You can book the Discover Chapultepec on Bicycle Tour, or rent of the Mexico City public bikes via EcoBici.

Chapultepec Castle
Located atop Chapultepec Hill, the Castillo Chapultepec castle offers the best views of the park and of Mexico City.

What are the Three Sections in Chapultepec Park?

The massive Bosque de Chapultepec Forrest Park is divided into three sections — Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3. Of the three, you can only go to Sections 1 and 2, which have the most things to do in Chapultepec Park.

Chapultepec Park First Section

  • Chapultepec Castle & National History Museum
  • National Anthropology Museum
  • Modern Art Museum
  • Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum
  • Lago Mayor: The biggest lake in Chapultepec Park
  • Lago Menor: A smaller lake
  • Chapultepec Fountain & Chapultepec Aqueduct

Chapultepec Park second Section

  • Papalote Children’s Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • Carcamo de Dolores Museum & Water Garden
  • Chapultepec Botanical Gardens

Chapultepec Park third Section

There’s are no Chapultepec Park attractions in this section; it’s basically just natural forrest areas.

Lake at Chapultepec Park
Lago Mayor, the largest lake in Chapultepec Park.

When does Chapultepec Park close?

Wondering, Is Chapultepec Park open right now? That answer depends, as Chapultepec Park hours vary by section.

  • Section 1 is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 5am-8pm during Daylight Saving Time, and 5am-7pm during the rest of the year.
  • Sections 2 and 3 remain open daily, 24 hours a day.

Is Chapultepec Park closed Mondays?

Only Section 1, which gets closed for maintenance each Monday. Note that Section 1 of Chapultepec Park contains some of the most popular attractions — Chapultepec Castle, National History Museum, National Anthropology Museum, Modern Art Museum and Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum.

How much does it cost to get into Chapultepec park?

It is FREE to enter the park itself, but the museums in Chapultepec Park have an admission cost. The Chapultepec Castle is free on Sundays, but arrive early because it gets very busy.

What is special about Chapultepec park?

Known as the Lungs of Mexico City, this park keeps the city breathing. Besides that fun fact, there’s so many great things to do in Bosque Chapultepec — like visiting the biggest museum in Mexico, the National Anthropology Museum, and the only castle in North America, Castillo Chapultepec.

Parque Chapultepec is called the Lungs of Mexico City, as the trees within this massive green space filter the air.

Final Thoughts: Is Chapultepec Park Worth Visiting?

Yes! In fact, it’s one of the top things to do in Mexico City. There’s something for everyone in El Parque Chapultepec — like the Anthropology Museum for history buffs, Tamayo Museum and Museum of Modern Art for art lovers, and miles of walking, running and hiking trails for fitness and nature lovers.

🤑 Besides all that, admission to Chapultepec is FREE, so the park is definitely worth checking out, even if you’re not visiting any museums.

Which parts of Chapultepec Park will you visit?

I’d love to hear from you! Join the conversation in the comments down below and let me know which places in Chapultepec Park Mexico City caught your eye. Know any fun Chapultepec Park facts? I’d love to hear those as well.

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