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Chapultepec Castle

Located on a hill in Chapultepec Park, Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec), is the only Royal Castle in the Americas, previously housing royals Maximilian I and Empress Carlota and several Mexican presidents. It also served as a military academy and an observatory, and now the National Museum of History (Museo Nacional de Historia).

There is quite a nice garden on top, a view over the park and out to the city (you can spot the giant Mexican flag in the Zocalo), beautiful stain-glass windows, red-carpet staircase, etc.

Entrance MX$51
Walk from Metro Chapultepec.
Daily 09:00 ~ 17:00

Xochimilco

In the south of the city is Xochimilco, where remaining canals from an old system connecting settlements offer a “Venice like” experience. Here you can rent ‘trajineras’ (canal boats like gondolas) for a couple of hours and they will take you up and down the canals, New Pier Market, and pass by houses & stalls on ‘Chinampas’ (man made islands). The most famous is Santana Barrera’s Chinampa, where old dolls were hung in the trees by the island’s occupant, Julián Santana Barrera, to ward off evil spirits.

The boats are all painted in bright colours with the boats name in large letters, and often flags from various countries. Best with a group of 8-10 people, stock up on alcoholic drinks and snacks before hand, bring your own music, and hire a boat for several hours! If you can’t get a group its still a nice way to spend the afternoon with 2 or 3 people, but solo would be pretty boring.

Cost depends on how many people you have and how long you want to go for, but its roughly around MX$100 per person for 2hrs. So if you have four people for 2hrs, about MX$400 total. The main place to get a boat from is Caltongo Pier, but there will be people trying to get your business even from right outside the station. Either way, just sure you know what you are getting (how long, number of people, where it goes etc) and that their boat is not docked too far away.

You can actually walk to the New Pier Markets and over bridges to some of the Chinampas, but its more fun to get a boat. There’s also Xochimilco market closer to the station where you can get snacks and the usual market stuff.

Its quite far from the city centre, but easy enough by public transport. Take Metro line 2 all the way south to Tasqueña, then transfer to the ‘Ligero’ (Light Rail) and get off at the last stop, Xochimilco. Allow a bit over an hour from Hidalgo to Xochimilco Station. From here you can walk down to the canals and grab a boat.

 

National Museum of Anthropology

The National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropología) is within Chapultepec Park in Mexico City. The museum houses archaeological & anthropological artifacts from the pre-Columbian heritage of Mexico and is definitely worth checking out. There are some great artefacts including the Aztec Stone of the Sun, Olmec colossal heads, Mayan Ruins etc.

Much of the information is also translated in English if you want to read up on what your looking at, and you can spend an entire day here if you really wanted to do. However if you just want to walk around and look at the cool stuff it takes 1-2hours. Don’t miss the outdoor sections with larger artefacts too.

Tickets are MX$50
Walk from Auditorio or Chapultepec Stations, in the general Chapultepec Park area but on the main road.

Tues – Sun – 09:00 ~ 19:00