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Polanco is considered one of the top ten neighborhoods of Mexico City due to it’s clean streets, delicious restuarants, and access to museums. If you happen to be staying in Polanco or can escape there for a day here’s a comprehensive walking tour centering around the most important part of town: the Bosque de Chapultepec park! Enjoy this Museo Antropologia and Polanco walking tour!
Stop 1: Leonora Carrington Statue Block
The Museo Antropologia (Anthropology Museum) is the #1 activity in Mexico City. As you enter Mexico City your taxi driver, best friend, or waiter probably told you to come to the museo. It’s a huge museum that features different rooms which display the Mayan culture from Lucy to luchedors, and you really should go if you have 2-3 hours to spare. You don’t have to enter the museum to enjoy this walking tour, though, because the grounds are almost as impressive as the museum!
Start your walk on the west end of the Bosque de Chapultepec and walk east towards the museum via the sidewalk on the main road, the Paseo de Reforma. For the block leading up to the museum you’ll pass giant statues by Mexican artist Leonora Carrington. Many of these statues feature fantastical animals or human depictions which are as thought-provoking as they are interesting. The statue walk is also great for kids- they’ll love the creatures they see! The wide sidewalk also happens to be lined on either side by a row of trees which protects the street cars from view and creates a beautiful landscape as you walk.
Stop 2: Museo Antropologia
Turn left when the roads converge on Av. Grutas to get to the main entrance for the museum. There is an impressive museum sign at the corner of Av. Grutas and Paseo de Reforma which is perfect for a quick pic!
As the #1 attraction in Mexico City, the museo gets pretty busy. It opens daily at 9 a.m. and a line starts to form at the single entrance by 1o a.m. If you plan on visiting the museo (and you should!) we suggest getting there by 9 a.m. to beat the crowd. The museum itself is huge and features a popular plaza, so it won’t feel as crowded in the display rooms as the line would lead you to believe! Plan on 2-3 hours to fully enjoy the displays and the inner plaza.
Stop 3: Voladores De Papantla & Park Entrance
Straight out of the museo exit (same as the entrance) is the Parque Tamayo. Hang out on the sidewalk in front of the museum for traditional demonstrations by Mexican actors. A fire dance is performed on the sidewalk and flying acrobats, Voladores De Papantla, perform at the blue pole beyond the entrance for the park, both daily. We saw them at 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m., but I assume they occur throughout the day! Keep some change on you, though, because these acts are worth seeing and will ask for donations.
Stop 4: Dog Park and Parque Tamayo Center
Continue past the blue pole down the main sidewalk through the park. You’ll pass a dog park on your right, which is famous in the city. Locals drop off their dogs to Dog Whisperers here for obedience training, and you’ll be able to see the plethora of dogs follow commands, sit, run, etc. all without leashes! You don’t have to be a dog lover to enjoy the sight for a few minutes.
Enjoy the beautiful water installations and lounge benches as you walk through the park and past the Museo Tamayo. Cross the small road, Calle de Mahatma Gandhi, and continue through the park until you get to a large intersection of Tolstoi and an unnamed road.
Stop 5: Tolstoi for Lunch (or skip)
Continue straight on Tolstoi (past the Grand Fiesta Americana Chapultepec hotel). It’s probably lunch or dinner time, or, if you’re like me, you’re just always hungry. You’ll find many street restaurants on the first block of tolstoi to choose from. We went to Los Panchos based on favorable Yelp reviews, and it was good. Not the best Mexican food we’ve found, but we did love their salsa, horchata, and carnitas. Other places looked delicious, though, so follow your heart! (or tummy.)
Stop 6: Bosque De Chapultepec
Backtrack back to the Tolstoi and Unnamed Road intersection and cross back over. Keep left this time, to follow the sidewalk as it parallels the Paseo de Reforma. Follow this sidewalk a block or two until you see the Museo Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art). There is an easy cross walk over the Paseo de Reforma to the right of the museum, Av. del Rey, with a large public entrance to the Bosque de Chapultepec. At this park entrance you’ll also find bikes available to rent. At this point the path is cobblestone, but soon the different paths are paved so don’t be afraid to rent a bike if that interests you. The Bosque de Chapultepec is one of the largest public parks in Mexico City, and has lots and lots of paths to explore!
At this point the paths of Bosque de Chapultepec become winding and confusing, so I’ll give you our landmark places to see and you can enjoy finding them and the other wonderful things about the park at your leisure!
Stop 7: Castillo de Chapultepec
Follow Av. del Rey straight to see the Castillo de Chapultepec up the hill and to your right. This is a stunning castle in the middle of the park. Why? I have no idea. But it sure is cool! It’s been turned into a history museum, so if you’re in the mood for another museum please visit! There’s another long line to get to the entrance of this castle, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the park from the top if you’re patient! It’s still worth seeing and walking around even if you don’t enter.
Stop 8: Calzada de los Poetas
Follow Av. del Rey past the Castillo de Chapultepec and around and take a slight right on Av. Acuario. After Av. Acuario rounds to the right veer left at the first opportunity and then take a right onto the Calzada de los Poetas. This path will lead you past a beautiful lake and back to one of the main paths of the park as you pass busts and writing segments of famous Mexican poets. We happen to love Mexico’s recognition of the arts and how they’ve worked to preserve the artistic history of the country!
Stop 9: Av. H. Colegio Militar
This is one of the main paths of the Bosque de Chapultepec and features tons of street food and gift vendors. You’ll see bags of multicolored cotton candy, cups of ice cream and sorbet, drinks, balloons, toys, etc. We enjoyed walking up and down this street people watching! It’s also a great stop if you need a desert after your meal on Tolstoi!
Stop 10: Carousel & Food Stalls
Walk down (West) Av. H. Colegio Militar and turn left when you see a roundabout with a fountain. This unnamed path leads you to a beautiful, double-decker carousel which costs $15MX pesos/ person. If you choose to forgo the classic horses, opt for the turning teacup-esque seat. If you twist the center disk you’ll spin as the carousel spins, which is really fun! The carousel ride lasts for a few minutes, so you definitely get your money’s worth.
Beside the carousel is a children’s fun house and food stalls inside rows of storage garages. Each food stall is incredibly spray painted with different nature scenes. It’s worth looking at even if you aren’t hungry!
There’s also a public bathroom here which costs $4MX pesos to enter.
Stop 11: Pedal Boating on the Lago de Chapultepec
Turn back onto Calzada de los Poetas to get to the entrance to the large of the two park lakes, Lago de Chapultepec. You’ll soon see a boat house offering to rent pedal boats by the hour. It costs $100MX pesos to rent a 4-person boat for 1 hour, which includes PFD’s for each person. Since it’s so cheap the lake can get crowded with boaters during warm hours, but it’s still fun to pedal around and laugh with the other boaters! You’ll also get a great view of the Castillo de Chapultepec from the lake. An hour is plenty of time to get around the lake, especially since your legs are probably getting tired from all of your walking so far. Take a break while on the water to relax- you’ve earned it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the Museo Anropologia and Polanco walking tour! This walking tour mostly covers the area around the Bosque de Chapultepec. We hope you feel adventurous and take some time to explore the rest of Polanco!
All-in-all, this day only cost us around $600MX pesos ($31USD)!
- $70MX pesos for 2 adults to the Museo Antropologia
- $10MX pesos as demonstration donation
- $300MX pesos for lunch (which was high!)
- $20MX pesos for cotton candy snack
- $30MX pesos for 2 carousel admissions
- $100MX pesos for 1 hr. pedal boat ride
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