The most important thing to see in the Chapultepec Park area is the Anthropology Museum, which covers thousands of years of Mexican history. Just like the size of the city, the museum can be pretty overwhelming, so don’t think you have to look at every single piece in every single room or you’ll give yourself a headache. Instead, hit the rooms you’re most interested in seeing and make sure that you stop by some of the museum’s most legendary offerings, such as the Aztec “Sun Stone” calendar and the statue of the goddess Coatlicue. Head upstairs in the museum to peek at modern Mexican history, as downstairs focuses on pre-Hispanic cultures. If you need a break from all that history, check out the beautiful open plaza or the well-organized gift shop.
Where you venture next will depend on your taste; if you’re up for more history check out the Castillo (Castle) de Chapultepec, which was formerly a home of Mexican rulers, but if you’re a modernist head for the Museo Rufino Tamayo, which has paintings from the master himself, works by contemporary artists who were influenced by Tamayo, plus pieces from the artist’s personal collection. (Bonus: the museum has free wifi and a dog park full of cute pooches.)
If you’re an architecture buff, make the trip to the Luis Barragan House, which was designed by the famous architect. The admission is quite pricey and you will have to book an appointment in advance, so this is only for hardcore Barragan fans or people who want to cross another UNESCO site off of their list.
Within the green spaces of the park, local vendors sell everything you could want at that moment, from kids’ toys to Lucha Libre masks to knockoff handbags. You’ll have fewer food optionsit’s mostly sweets, juices, and water. If you have kids with you, they won’t get bored since there’s a hugely popular zoo, an amusement park, and plenty of space to just run around.
If it's a hot day (and it most likely will be), stop by one of the park’s several beautiful fountains (the largest is the Monumental Fountain, which is the biggest in Latin America) or go for a paddleboat ride on the Lago Menor (smaller lake). Even just thinking about the variety of activities is making us want to take a vacation from the vacation.
Tomorrow: Taking on Teotihuacan