Castillo de Chapultepec
Museo de Arte Moderno
It goes far beyond the Mexican School of Painting (Escuela Mexicana de Pintura). Yes, it of course has classic works of Frida Kahlo. It has huge paintings of the Big Three Muralists, our newfound friends Diego Rivera (Kahlo’s husband), Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.
This overdose of paintings is topped off by the architecture of the building. The atrium has a round, semi-transparent roof, that has been slowly degraded by nature into a beautiful yellow-brown hue. Let yourself fall on your back in the centre and just let your mind float a while, before embarking on the next stage of this incredible one day journey.
Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo
This one has even better temporary exhibitions than its neighbor, and is housed in an astonishing building that seems to rise from the earth. It has both green slopes and raw concrete walls on the outside, and on the inside the various levels ingenuously blend into eachother, in a maze of exhibition spaces.
During my visit the main draw was the work of German Venegas. Never heard of the guy before? Me neither. And to say his works are batshit crazy is one way of explaining it. You could also admire his discipline. What his series do is take an existing piece of art, copy it, and then make new slightly changed versions of it. Dozens of times, until the original is completely unrecognizable anymore. It is almost like Groundhog Day. Just the sheer volume of work is already fascinating. Pleasant surprises like this make every museum worth a visit.
Museo Nacional de Antropologia
Casa Estudio Luis Barragan
Museo de Historio Natural
So you probably convinced yourself of a second day in Chapultepec park, dedicated to Barragan and sector 2? In that case this museum is a nice visit as well, especially if you have kids. They will love the stuffed animals.
La Feria de Chapultepec
A theme park is usually located far outside a city. Not in Mexico though of course, where La Feria is dead-bang in the middle of Sector II of Chapultepec.
Big it ain’t, on an international scale it is actually an innocent affair. The rides are more like the ones you will find on a fair in a bigger city near you, except for the huge wooden coaster. Again though: if you have kids, bring it on, they will LOVE this place and you will be happy they can release their energy there.
Casa del Lago
This villa near the biggest pond is an extension of the UNAM museum on the university grounds. It houses exhibitions but sometimes also performances, see the official Casa del Lago site.
One of the biggest and most beautiful fountains in the Chapultepec park, this is the work of sculptor Luis Ortiz Monasterio. Located on the western edge of the first part of the park.
Altar a la Patria
When coming from the Paseo Reforma and / or the Chapultepec subway station, this is the first big monument you will encounter. It is better known as the Monumento de Ninos Heroes, six military cadets that gave their lkife defending Mexico City in 1847. Their death is now commemorated with a civic holiday in the city, and this massive six-column monument.
Good to know:
- Chapultepec comes from the Aztec word chapoltepec (at the grasshopper’s hill)
- Getting there and away: it is within walking distance from especially the Polanco district. More likely is that you come by subway. In that case either take line 1 and exit at Chapultepec (at the eastern edge of the park, closest to the main museums) or line 7 and exit at Auditorio (northwest corner of Sector I) or Constituyentes (southwestern corner).
- Food and drinks: the museums obviously have cafetarias and sometimes restaurants. Especially in Sector I around between Tamayo and Antropologia museums you will find plenty of food stalls. The nearest neighborhood, Polanco, is around fifteen minutes walking from the northern edge of the park and is a relaxed way to finish your day.