Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in the world, which is why I was really surprised to see as much green space as I did when I first visited. Of course, it can feel like a concrete jungle and there’s your share of skyscrapers and noisy traffic, but you also have beautiful tree-lined streets and lush parks! From micro-parks to one of the biggest urban parks in the world, Mexico City has a ton of green space worth exploring.
Bosque de Chapultepec
Bosque de Chapultepec is Mexico City’s largest and grandest park. It’s also the second-largest park in Latin America. It’s divided into three sections and section one is where most of the action is at.
You can visit Castillo de Chapultepec to tour the elegant castle on the hill. Nearby is Lago de Chapultepec where you can rent a paddleboat to explore the lake or even watch a movie on the big screen from the boats during the summer. The park is extra busy during the weekends so snagging a paddleboat may take longer.
There are several outdoor photo galleries. If you walk down the street Paseo de la Reforma, which divides the park, on the side opposite of the anthropology museum hangs beautiful photographs on the park’s fence for blocks.
Bosque de Chapultepec is the perfect place for picnics. My favorite spot is by the Tamayo Modern Art Museum where there are plenty of shady, grassy spots under the trees. It’s also a popular area to bring your dog and they have a playground for children.
Best for spending an afternoon exploring all of the attractions this giant park has to offer. If you’re looking for the perfect picnic spot, look no further.
Plaza Rio de Janeiro
Plaza Rio de Janeiro is located in the trendy Roma neighborhood right by the popular Panedería Rosetta and tons of bars and restaurants on Álvaro Obregon. It’s a smaller park, but still has lots of trees and benches so you can sit and relax while people-watching or sipping a coffee. For some odd reason there is a large fountain in the center with a giant replica of the statue of David. Plaza Rio de Janeiro is worth a walk-through if you’re in the area and want a glimpse of neighborhood life in La Roma.
Best for sitting and enjoying a pastry while dog and people watching.
Plaza Luis Cabrera
Also found in La Roma, this plaza is a nice little escape from the busy streets. There is a large fountain that stretches across the plaza and an outdoor photo galerie. There is also a Little Prince reference in the plaza.
Best for a quick walk thorugh to look at the art on display or maybe eat at one of the srrounding restaurants.
Parque México is the park closest to my apartment and my heart. I’ve always loved going to watch the dogs play in the dog park and now that we adopted a dog of our own I go almost daily to let Colima run around and make new friends.
The paths are super nice and it’s really enjoyable just to walk and see all of the lush vegetation. I’m truly in awe at all of the beautiful trees every time I go.
On the weekend it’s full with families enjoying the day. There is a Churrería El Moro next to the park if you want to snack on the most popular churros in Mexico City while you wander through the park.
There is a large paved section in the middle of the park that attracts soccer players, skaters, frisbee players, and dancers, making it a great place to sit and people-watch and enjoy the good vibes.
We love coming to Parque México. It’s fun to see what’s going on and I always leave in a good mood. If you’re staying in La Condesa or La Roma you have to visit this park.
Best for a relaxing walk around the park. Grab some eqsuites or elote (Mexican street corn) from a local vender and wander around.
Alameda Central is a park next to the Bellas Artes building in the Historic Center of Mexico City. This park’s shaded paths are nice to walk through to beat the heat. It’s a simple park with paved sidewalks, benches, and plenty of trees, but is worth visiting if you’re in the area. If you’re in town during the spring, you’ll likely see the jacaranda trees and their bright purple flowers.
Best for a short walkthrough to beat the heat and escape the hectic downtown streets.
Located quite a ways south is Parque Hundido, a large park in the Del Valle neighborhood. This park must be one of the greenest places in the city with plenty of grass and dense tree cover. It’s not within walking distance from the neighborhoods you’ll likely be staying in like La Roma or the Historic Center, but if you find yourself in Mexico City for more than just a couple of days then you might consider visiting this great park.
Best for those spending more time in the city or for those that want to explore beyond the typical tourist spots. It’s large enough for joggers and the grassy areas are great for picnics.
If you find yourself in the Polanco neighborhood then definitely take a stroll through Parque Lincoln. This long and narrow park makes for a beautiful walk. The paved paths stretch through some of Polcano’s most popular shopping areas.
Best for a leisurely walk while exploring Polanco or while out shopping.
Parque Barranca de Barrilaco
We discovered this park because Jorge’s boxing group needed an outdoor space to train during the pandemic and this park was centrally located for everyone that was involved. It’s truly a gem of a park and a real escape from the city without actually have to leave the city.
It’s a little bit of a hilly park due to its location in Las Lomas neighborhood (which translates to hills). The trails are nicely paved and weave through lush vegetation. It’s an extremely popular park for dog owners. I love it because it’s like a mini forest within the city and I can leave Colima off-leash to run around like crazy up and down the hills. When you’re in the center of the park it really feels like you’re outside of the city and immersed in nature.
It’s not near the touristic parts of Mexico City so it’s unlikely you will come across this park unless you take a short drive to explore this oasis in the city.
Best for joggers, down-owners, and nature-lovers who want a peaceful place to roam free.
Parque Nacional Los Dinamos
I don’t know how I lived in Mexico City for more than two years and never heard about Los Dinamos. It’s incredible. It’s around 45 minutes from La Roma, high in the mountains. The viewpoint you can hike to is at 11,000 ft (3,400m)! It’s significantly cooler up there and the trees feel very alpine.
Los Dinamos is nothing like these other urban parks I’ve mentioned. Even though it’s still in Mexico City, it feels like a proper national park. There are hiking trails and so much room to roam. If you plan on visiting, I’d recommend you drive to the very end. If you need to stop and ask for directions, ask for el cuatro dinamo. There are four dinamos but our favorite is the fourth one. There are plenty of street food options before you reach the walking path. Now that I’m writing this I realize that I should make an entirely separate post just on Los Dinamos. So keep a lookout for that if you want a detailed guide of this amazing national park within Mexico City limits.
Best for nature-lovers and hikers who want to explore a beautiful forest high in the mountains of Mexico City.