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Mexico City/Chapultepec

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North America : Mexico : Central Mexico : Mexico City : Chapultepec
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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.

Get in

Walk. You can easily walk from the Metro subway station (the Auditorio station may be more convenient than Chapultepec).

See

  • Museum of Modern Art (Spanish: Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno), Paseo de la Reforma. Permanent exhibitions include the work of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and David Siqueiros. It showcases temporary exhibitions of Mexican and international art.
  • National Anthropological Museum. 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." Hours: Tues - Sat 9AM - 7PM. Closed Mondays. Admission of 01/08 is 48 MXP; 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 was 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. Admission to the Castle is 48 MXP as of 01/08. A fee is charged to use a video camera and flash photography is not permitted. 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 observatoria (observatory) on the roof of the building. The castle also boasts a fine view of Mexico City and its surroundings.
  • 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 libra masks.

Do

  • 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.

Buy

  • A luche libre mask from from a sidewalk vendor.

Eat

  • 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.

Sleep

  • Marquis Reforma
  • Four Seasons Mexico City, Paseo de la Reforma #500, [1]. The most luxurious hotel in Mexico City, it is built in a square around a large open-air courtyard containing tropical gardens, a fountain, sculptures, a cafe, and a restaurant. All rooms are fitted and finished to a high standard and great service from the staff, especially the concierge
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