Mexico City completely took me by surprise. What other city in North America has pyramids, a castle, and the best tacos al pastor? Yes, all this in Mexico City. If you’re planning a trip soon, check out my quick, 48-hour guide and feel free to contact me with any questions!
Castillo de Chapultepec, now the National Museum of History, is located high on a hill within Chapultepec Park (fact: this city park is twice the size of Central Park in NYC). There’s a lot to do inside the park from paddle boating, souvenir shopping, visiting a zoo or exploring multiple museums. There’s even a theme park. I did none of that except for buying a cheap pair of sunglasses after asking one of the vendors which way the castle was.
At the bottom of the hill you have two options, wait in line and take the tram ride up or simply don’t bother with that and walk. I was tired having climbed up the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon earlier that day but I couldn’t find the tram and walked instead. The tram line was actually around the corner, I completely missed it because of my excitement. Also, they don’t allow bottled water inside. There was a man at the gate who turned away two tourists ahead of me making them either spill out the water, drink it, or pay to keep it at front. I quickly gulped down my water and tossed it before continuing.
By the way, this is the only royal castle in North America. Another fun fact: they used this castle in Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes “Romeo + Juliet”…I’m thinking movie night. Check out the castle grounds in the pictures below before you enter. I was in Mexico City shortly after Christmas and they must have held an event there considering they haven’t taken down the equipment. The castle was full of visitors and plenty tourists. I went on a Thursday afternoon on a nice sunny day. Such a relief because the day I arrived was cold and rainy.
Still wondering whether or not you should add Chapultepec Castle to your itinerary? Read on to get a glimpse of what you will see.
1. THIS AMAZING VIEW which only gets better the higher you climb. My favorite view of the city was from this beautiful terrace with black and white checkerboard floors (which is all over the castle). My iPhone pictures definitely don’t do the view justice.
2. HOW THE ROYALS USED TO LIVE. You can take a peak inside (without actually stepping foot) the many of rooms the royal family would use. From dining rooms, sitting rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. It’s very well-preserved and I loved picturing what life might have been like living in this luxury back in the day.
3. DON’T MISS THESE CEILING DETAILS. I love the ornate ceilings in these different rooms.
4. THIS LION STATUE. Made out of marble.
5. ANOTHER VIEW from the other side of the castle. There was a group shooting a drone video at the time as well.
6. WALL MURALS as you walk up a staircase. This one was beautiful!
7. DON’T FORGET TO LOOK UP! A ceiling mural by Gabriel Flores of Juan Escutia falling to his death.
8. BASICALLY YOU WILL SEE ARTWORK and lots of it! My favorite is the woman in pink.
9. THE CASTLE TOWER surrounded by gardens and artwork.
10. THIS STAINED GLASS HALLWAY on the second floor through the tower gardens.
11. BEAUTIFUL STAIRCASES to get you to the second level. The second one only for show. There was an old elevator beside that one as well.
12. MORE GARDENS stepping out to the side of the castle are gardens, views, statues and a water fountain.
Visit the official website for more info although everything is in Spanish. Castle hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM and open Tuesday to Sunday. Admission fee: $65 pesos.
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