Think of Mexico City and the first image that may come to your mind is a sprawling metropolis, a maze of streets and avenues packed with buildings and houses. And you wouldn’t be completely wrong. However, the city does have its fair amount of green, which not only makes it prettier but also helps keep us 20 million chilangos sane. The city’s biggest and most important park is Chapultepec—some even call it “the city’s lungs”—and as a visitor, there’s a good chance that you will find yourself there more than once during your trip, since it not only has lovely green areas, but also houses many of the city’s main museums and biggest attractions. But whether it’s for a run, a stroll or a picnic, don’t forget to check out the rest of the parks, which may be smaller but have a good amount of personality and charm.
Bosque de Chapultepec
With more than 1,600 acres, this is the largest park in Latin America, and is divided into three sections: the first one is culture-oriented (with five museums and the zoo), and the second one, recreational (with three restaurants, four more museums and an amusement park); while the third one consists mostly of lawns and trees.
This park got its name because of the statue of Abraham Lincoln at one of the ends—to be fair, there’s one of Martin Luther King, too—and has won over the love of Polanco residents because of its friendly vibe and convenient location, steps away from many of the neighborhood’s best restaurants, bars and shops.
Parque Luis G. Urbina
Lovingly known as parque hundido (or “sunken park”), this below-ground-level park moonlights as an archaeology museum, where you can check out more than 50 copies of pre-Hispanic sculptures. Other highlights: two illuminated fountains and a floral clock, which works with Japanese technology but was built by artisans from Zacatlán, Puebla.
This leafy area was once the entrance to the Condesa’s race tracks, and today, serves as the main green area in the neighborhood, always populated by jogging locals, many of them with their pets. Take a stroll around its small lake, cross the rustic bridge, and when you’re relaxed enough, head to one of the cool restaurants in nearby Nuevo León or Tamaulipas avenues.
Designed in the 1920s, this beautiful park doesn’t just boast a swan lake and several tranquil paths, but is known for being one of the best spots for art decó style in the city. The Lindbergh Open Air Theater, its surrounding pergola, and the clock tower give a stylish touch to any afternoon in the park.