Originally a public green space in 1592, Mexico City’s Alameda Central features fountains, statues, and lush landscaping. The urban park is a popular spot for locals and visitors to relax, people watch, and explore historic, cultural, and artistic sights like Diego Rivera's famous mural, Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park.
In 1592, Viceroy Luis de Velasco planted dozens of poplar trees, creating the park and earning Alameda Central its name, which comes from the Spanish word álamo or poplar tree. Since then, the country’s leaders have put their mark on the green space, including President Porfirio Diaz, who commissioned the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) be built near the park.
In addition to wandering the area by foot, visitors can explore via bike and Segway tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Alameda Central offers free Wi-Fi.
- Food vendors aren’t allowed in the park, so be sure to bring snacks if you plan to stay.
- The area is considered safe for visitors.
How to Get There
As is the case with most of Mexico City, pricy parking lots are located close to the Alameda Central, but it’s better to forgo the car or cab and take the metro to this congested neighborhood. Metro Bellas Artes, accessed by Lines 2 and 8, opens up right onto the park, while Metro Hidalgo, via Lines 2 and 3, is right across the street.
When to Get There
Alameda Central is a popular spot, especially on weekends and on weekdays between 4 and 7pm when locals leave work. As for time of year, visit during the spring (late March and April) to see the jacaranda trees in bloom with large, vibrant purple flowers; they are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Mexico.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Located at the end of Alameda Central, the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) is Mexico City’s major cultural center and hosts art exhibitions, along with a range of live events, including music, dance, theater, and opera. It also houses a permanent art collection with statues and murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, and José Clemente Orozco.