Castillo de Chapultepec, a historic hilltop castle once used for royalty and now serving as the National Museum of History, offers stunning views, a rich history, and impressive architectural feats. The castle stands 7,628 feet above sea level, so you'll be able to see out for miles when you reach the highest viewpoint.

Visitors of all ages can enjoy a visit to Castillo de Chapultepec, as kids and adults alike are sure to feel awed by such an imposing structure. To see everything this castle and museum have to offer, you should plan to spend about 2 or 3 hours, though you may find yourself staying even longer just to take in the picturesque views available from the terraces. These views have been described by explorers like James F. Elton as being unlike anything else in the world.

Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City - one of the highlights of 11 Best Family Things to Do in Mexico City and 11 Best Things to Do in Mexico City (Read all about Mexico City here)

What are the highlights of Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City?

The central highlight of Castillo de Chapultepec is the Museo Nacional de Historia it houses, which includes an impressive collection of Mexican historical artefacts and exhibits. You'll find objects from various stages of Mexican history, from the foundation of the Spanish Empire to the Revolution of 1910. Several exhibits on the Colonial epoch, or Vice-regal era, and the Mexican War of Independence are displayed as well.

On the top floor of the Castillo de Chapultepec, you'll be able to look into the past to see what this castle was like during the residence of Emperor Maximillian von Hapsburg and his wife, Princess Carlota. The dioramas here recreate the rooms to showcase exactly what they would've looked like when the royals lived in them. This top floor also contains a library offering additional information into the fascinating history of Mexico.

A brief history of Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City

The history of Castillo de Chapultepec goes back centuries, as its construction began in 1785. It was completed shortly after and purchased by the city's municipal government in 1806 after several failed attempts by the Spanish Crown to sell it. In 1864, it was the residence of Emperor Maximilian I for 3 years until he was executed. Those 3 years caused some serious changes, however, as several upgrades were made, and a thoroughfare from the city centre to the castle was established that stands today as Paseo de la Reforma.

After the time of the emperor, Castillo de Chapultepec was used for various purposes at different times, including an observatory and military college. It was even once a guest house for foreign dignitaries to Mexico City. In 1939, it became the site of the Museo Nacional de Historia and remains as such to this day.

What else is good to know about Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City?

Before you visit Castillo de Chapultepec, there are a few factors to keep in mind. You'll want to bring any credentials you have as a teacher or student with you, as you can use them to get in for free. Guests younger than 13 or older than 60 can enjoy free admission as well. The castle is massive, as you might expect, so you may want to download a map of its layout beforehand.

Visiting Castillo de Chapultepec will put you close to several other iconic attractions. The castle is located within the larger Bosque de Chapultepec area, which also contains a zoo and the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. To the west, you'll find Auditorio Nacional, which frequently hosts concerts, along with Parque la Tapatia and its vibrant greenery.

Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City

Location: Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11100 Mexico City, Mexico

Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed Sunday–Monday)

Phone: +52 55 7601 9811