Chapultepec Castle (Mexico’s National Museum of History)

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Sitting high above one of Mexico City’s best green spaces is Chapultepec Castle. It sits on top of a hill that has been a sacred place for Aztecs and housed a military academy, imperial residence, and presidential home. Now, it’s a museum.

Stained Glass Windows of Greek Goddesses at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City

Sitting high above one of Mexico City’s best green spaces is Chapultepec Castle. It sits on top of a hill that has been a sacred place for Aztecs and housed a military academy, imperial residence, and presidential home. Now, it’s a museum.

The castle that was once home to Mexican Emperor Maximilian I how houses the National Museum of History (in Spanish: Museo Nacional de Historia) featuring rooms dedicated to various stages of Mexican history.

Large, colorful murals are a highlight, as is a room devoted to jade furnishings. On the top floor, there are former residences surrounding a landscaped courtyard and observatory that have been restored to their former opulent glory. And patios surrounding the building offer wonderful views out over Chapultepec Park (Bosque de Chapultepec) and Mexico City.

Photos of Mexico’s National Museum of History

Patio Gardens at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Patio Gardens at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Chandeliers at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Stained Glass Windows of Greek Goddesses at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Drawing Room at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Patio Gardens at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Patio Gardens at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Patio Gardens at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Patio gardens. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Patio Gardens at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Torre de Chapultepec at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Statues at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Marble Lion at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Statues at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Grasshopper Fountain at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Bedroom in Residential Quarters at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Bedroom in Residential Quarters. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Lookout from Patio at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Lookout from Patio. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Residential Quarters at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Dining Room at Residential Quarters at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Residential Quarters at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
View down Paseo de la Reforma from Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Lookout from Patio at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Chandelier at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ornate Stagecoach at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ornate Stagecoach at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ornate Stagecoach at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Jade Hall at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Jade Hall at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Portraits at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Jade Hall at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Jade Hall. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Stairway at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Statue in the Gardens at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Building at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
View out over the Forest at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Tourists at the Courtyard at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

What To Know Before You Go

  • The museum is generally open Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 to 5, but check with the official website to confirm the current opening hours.
  • You’ll have to check your bag at a checkpoint at the bottom of the hill by renting a locker for a small fee.
  • It’s a bit of a hike uphill to get to the castle.
  • In general, you can wander around self-guided, although there is a preferred direction in the flow of traffic.
  • It’s a pleasant and easy walk from the National Museum of Anthropology to Chapultepec Castle.
  • On weekends it can get quite busy, as can the rest of Chapultepec Park as families, especially with children, flock to the area.

Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »