Emperor Maximilian's carriage, in Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City.
Chapultepec is a district of Mexico City. "Chapultepec" means "Grasshopper Hill" (Chapul - Grasshopper / Tepec - Hill) in Nahuatl, the language of the "Aztecs". The hill and surrounding district has much significance in Mexican history. The Bosque de Chapultepec (Náhuatl, "hill of the grasshoppers") is Mexico City's principal park and, with an area of 4sq.km/2.5sq.mi, its largest.
Inside Chapultepec Castle is a series of stained glass windows depicting Roman goddesses.
Walk. You can easily walk from the Metro subway station (the Auditorio station may be more convenient than Chapultepec).
- Museum of Modern Art (Spanish: Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno), Paseo de la Reforma, hours Tu-Su 10:30AM-5:30PM price 35 pesos. It showcases temporary exhibitions of Mexican and international art.
- National Anthropological Museum, Av. Paseo de la Reforma y calzada Gandhi, Col. Chapultepec Polanco, . Tu-Su 9AM-7PM. An enormous complex with permanent exhibitions highlighting the development and cultures of Mexico's many indigenous peoples. Also, the museum itself is famous for its architecture. Delegate two hours at least and be sure not to miss the Aztec "calendar stone". 51 pesos; on Sundays, admission is free for Mexican citizens and foreigners with Mexican residence; admission is also free for children under 13, students and teachers with ID card, and seniors over 60.
- Chapultepec Castle, 1st section of Bosque de Chapultepec (metro Auditorio line #7 orange or Chapultepec line #1 pink), . Tu-Su 9AM-5PM. Once the home of the Spanish Viceroys, a military college scene of historic battle during the Mexican-American War, and the palace of Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota. It is now a museum. You can walk up the winding hill road, or take the tram that departs every twenty minutes for a fee of 13 MXP. There are two parts to the museum: the historical building itself, and the Museum of National History. Don't miss the Roman-style gardens and observatory on the roof of the building. The castle also boasts a fine view of Mexico City and its surroundings. 51 pesos, free on Sunday; a fee is charged to use a video camera and flash photography is not permitted; audioguide 65 pesos.
- Lago de Chapultepec. There are actually two lakes that are connected, a bridge spanning them at mid-point. Lounge around the shore, or rent a canoe or paddleboat to explore.
- Monument to the Heroic Cadets. This impressive white marble monument stands at the entrance to Chapultepec Park in front of the Castillo. It honors six youths who gave their lives defending the stronghold from US troops in 1847.
The park also includes a zoo, an amusement park, a botanical garden and landscape walks through the trees. Vendors line the paths of many areas where you an buy souvenirs, juices, tacos, ice cream, toys, and even lucha libre masks.
- Walk the trails through the park.
- Explore the historical and cultural museums.
- Rent a boat and paddle across the lake.
- Ride the roller coasters.
- Stop at the zoo to see the pandas.
- Catch an outdoor concert.
- Try the tacos from a sidewalk vendor or park restaurant.
- A lucha libre mask from a sidewalk vendor.
- Fishers, Horacio, 232 Mexico City 11560 Mexico, ☎ +52 55 5531 0567. 9:30AM-8PM. Serving fish and shellfish in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. It is worth paying the slightly high prices due to the ample variety of shellfish that is found here and is not available at other places.
- Rincón Argentino, Presidente Mazaryk 177 Mexico City 11560, ☎ +52 55 5254 8744. 12:30PM-12:30AM M-Sa, 12:30PM-11:30PM Su. Although somewhat commercial, (the restaurant is outfitted like an Argentinean ranch), this restaurant is well known for its exquisite cuts of beef. Its a meat lovers paradise, although vegetarians are catered for with delicous salads.
- Alfredo di Roma, Campos Elíseos 218 Mexico City 11560, ☎ +52 5 327 7700. 1PM-5PM, 9AM-11:30PM M-Sa, 1PM-7PM Su. Located within the Hotel Presidente Inter-Continental, this is a charming and luxurious restaurant which serves slighly expensive Italian fare that is surprisingly worth it. Be sure to try the Fettuccini Alfredo or the Torre de Pisa, which is mouthwateringly delicous.
- Chez Wok, Tennyson 117 Mexico City 11560, ☎ 52 55 5281 3410. 1:30PM-4:45PM & 7:30PM-11:45PM M-Sa, 1:30PM-4:45PM Su. Serving Cantonese to Pekinese cuisine, as well as some Szechuan and Shanghainese choices, this is the place to go when you're craving the flavor of the East. It's quite formal inside, and a great place to impress a special someone. You can't leave without trying the Peking Duck.
- Marquis Reforma, Paseo de la Reforma 465 Col. Cuauhtémoc. México, D.F. 06500, ☎ (52) 55 5229-1200. Awarded The Best Business Hotel in Mexico City" Travel and Leisure Magazine in 2004, this 5 star hotel is one of Mexico City's finest. Built in the Art Deco style, it has an exclusive feel through its high standards of fittings and furnishings. Ice sculptures are frequently used as decorations in this area. There are excellent views to be had of the woods and castle of Chapultepec, as well as the Glorieta de Diana Cazadora.
- Fiesta Americana Grand Chapultepec, Mariano Escobedo 756 Colonia Anzures Distrito Federal Mexico City 11590. The location of the Fiesta American Grand Chapultepec is perfect, being close to the restaurants of Polanco and Condesa. Rooms are clean, quiet and very confortable.
- Hotel Camino Real, Mariano Escobedo 700 Col. Anzures México D.F. 11590, ☎ 5 263-8888. This 5 star hotel surpasses hotel expectations to be somewhat of a work of art. It combines modern architectural profiles with obvious pre-Hispanic pyramid reminiscences. It has been the headquarters for two soccer World Cups and for the Olympic Games. It's a true example of opulence and well worth the indulgence.
- Four Seasons Mexico City, Paseo de la Reforma #500, .
- JW Marriott Mexico City, Andres Bello 29, Mexico City, Distrito Federal 11560 Mexico, ☎ 52 55 59 99 0000, . One of the premier Mexico City hotels, the JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City rises 26 stories high in the exclusive Polanco District. Located in the heart of the business and entertainment sector, this flagship Mexico City hotel is within walking distance to Auditorio Nacional, the city's financial hub, and some of Mexico's best shopping, dining and night life.
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