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Polanco is the most upscale and expensive neighborhood in Mexico City. So, it’s a great, quiet, relaxed place to spend a lazy Sunday.
Dan and I spent a day wandering around Polanco and had a blast all while barely spending a dime. Follow in our footsteps with this easy-to-use walking route through the neighborhood and my guide to the nine best things to do in Polanco!
Walking Route Through Polanco and Chapultepec Park
This route starts with the Soumaya and Joumex Museums, continues to St. Augustin Church, down to the shops at Pasaje Polanco and Mercado Escondido, stops for a quick churro break at Chirreria El Moro, heads to Lincoln Park and the Aviary, and finishes with an Ecobici bike rental and ride from Polanco to Chapultepec Park.
This walking route covers 3.1 km and takes 39 minutes to walk outside of the time you’ll spend in the museums and shops. It’s a full day, but you’re going to love it!
9 Best Things to do in Polanco
I enjoy going to Polanco just to see the insane penthouse apartments and gorgeous vine covered houses that I can’t afford but love to dream about anyway. And, yeah, these other nine things to do in Polanco are worth checking off your neighborhood bucket list as well!
1. Visit the Soumaya Museum
Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, 11529 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The Soumaya Museum is one of the most popular art museums in Mexico because it displays a comprehensive collection of European art from the 15th through 20th centuries.
For me, though, the main draw was the unique architecture of the building itself, which is incredibly sexy with its smooth metallic curves. The small park around the building is just a satisfying place to sit and people watch and day dream and snap a few photos before heading inside to check out the free exhibits.
Just expect a line to go inside if you go to the Soumaya Museum on Sundays as it’s the busiest day of the week.
2. Visit the Joumex Museum
Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, 11520 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Cost: 50 mxn / 2.55 usd, but free on Sundays
Right next door to the Soumaya Museum, the Joumex Museum is yet another art museum.
This museum actually houses the private collection of Mexican billionaire Eugenio López Alonso – described on Wikipedia as ‘the sole heir to the Jumex fruit-juice fortune,’ which sounds like the protaganist of a whaky but lighthearted Netflix comedy – and opened in 2013 in its own unique building.
Enjoy the massive ballerina statue that sits out front and then pay a small 50 mxn fee to go inside and take a wander before moving on to the next best things to do in Polanco!
3. Snap a picture of the San Augustin Church
Musset 44, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico is full of churches and you can’t explore any neighborhood properly without stopping at at least one or two.
In Polanco, the San Agustin Church is the most prominent church and definitely rocks some unique architecture I’m not used to seeing in other parts of the city. The inside isn’t quite as impressive as the exterior but hey, this chuch is on your way on the walk to central Polanco, so might as well stop in for a minute, right?
Pretty street in the Polanco shopping district
4. Window Shop at Pasaje Polanco and the Quaint Downtown Area
Oscar Wilde 29, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Now you’ve made it through the longest part of the walk and are in the cute, downtown part of central Polanco.
Walk through the Pasaje Polanco – an outdoor mall with artsy designer stores – and drool at all the gorgeous clothes you want but can’t fit inside your suitcase to bring back home.
Then, wander the streets as it gets more crowded and enjoy the ambiance of the many bars, restaurants, cafes, and storefronts spilling out onto the sidewalk and bustling with life.
It’s so clean and nice and peaceful that it does lose some of that Mexican flair that I love and feels a bit like you could be in an upscale neighborhood anywhere in the world, but it’s still definitely a nice place to spend an hour or two and do some shopping before moving on.
5. Browse the stalls at Mercado Escondido
Calle Julio Verne 102, Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Select weekends only, click here to see the upcoming schedule
Seriously, don’t visit Mercado Escondido unless you’re ready to drop some cash because everything on sale is incredibly tempting.
Now that I know it’s only open on select weekends I’m even more bummed that I didn’t buy every single piece of jewely that I saw. The market features small up and coming designers in Mexico so it’s a great place to get real handmade pieces and snag a some seriously unique and beautiful souveniers to bring back home, all while supporting local artists.
That’s definitely a win in my book.
6. Snack on Some Churros
Calle Julio Verne 90, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Cost: 4 churros for 24 mxn / 1.25 usd
Ok, I have a confession to make. This photo of the mouthwatering churros from Churreria El Moro is actually from the Parque Mexico location and not the one in Polanco.
But, the beauty of this ultra-popular churro chain is that their quality does not waver and it’s widely regarded as serving up the best churros in Mexico City no matter where you eat them.
In Polanco, the space is just as beautiful as the rest with their white and blue tiled aesthetic (I’m so enamoured by it that I follow them on Instagram) and the churros are four for 24 mxn – but, I doubt you’ll be able to stop yourself from spending more on the dipping sauces and hot chocolate as well.
This churreria is from 1935 and is an integral part of Mexico City’s food history, so indulging in the cinnamon-sugary dessert is totally necessary as a foray into the country’s culture and totally not a diet sin!
If you’re still hungry, consider taking this secret Polanco taco tour on Airbnb to explore more of the neighborhood cuisine.
7. Check out Lincoln Park + Aviary
Av. Emilio Castelar 163, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Cost: Aviary entrance is 7 mxn / .36 usd per person but the rest of the park is free
Is it just me, or is there a Lincoln Park in every major city?
This one in Polanco manages to stand out a bit because, yeah, its a super nice, green, and cool space, but also because it has a tiny aviary!
Step inside and pay the seven peso entrance fee to see an explosion of colorful parrots, cardinals, peacocks, and more.
There’s some info about them on the walls in Spanish to help you and the fam get a little educated on the birds while you pass through and lots of great photo ops with the adorable creatures as well.
8. Rent an Ecobici Bike to Ride to Chapultepec Park
Sign up online here or at some (but not all) of the Ecobici rental spots
Cost: 104 mxn for a one-day rental with unlimited 45-minute rides
Ecobici is a really cool initiative in Mexico City.
The bikes are set up in stations across the city so once you set up your account you’re free to rent them for 45 minute periods and drop them off at any other station in any other neighborhood. If you’re reading this before you head to Polanco, sign up online, but if you’re already out and about you can also sign up at some (but not all) of the stations.
Then, download the app to find the nearest station to you in Polanco (there are 8 scattered around the neighborhood, if you’re following the walking route above you’ll have to backtrack a bit to get to the final stop marked H on the map to find it) and rent your bike.
I recommend grabbing one in Polanco and riding to the nearby Chapultepec Park, where you can drop it off at one of the park’s stations (again, use the app to find it) and enjoy the biggest urban green space in the country before heading home for the day.
Chapultepec Park and Mexico City skyline
9. End Your Afternoon Among the Greenery at Chapultepec Park
This is one of the biggest urban parks in Latin America and similar to Central Park in NYC so, as you may imagine, there’s a lot to see and do here.
I created a roundup of the 8 best things to do in Chapultepec Park which includes seeing the pandas at the free zoo, visiting the most popular museum in Mexico, and taking a paddle boat out onto the lake, but the park is also a great place to just walk around or sit, relax, and people-watch for a bit.
No matter how much time you decide to spend here – the rest of your afternoon or just a few minutes riding through – I think it’s an essential part of Mexico City and definitely worth seeing on your tour of Polanco.
Bonus: Where to Stay in Polanco
If you want to stay in the nicest and most upscale neighborhood in Mexico City, Polanco is the place.
The Pug Seal Tennyson suites (which look just as unique as their name) and the JW Marriott Mexico City are the two top-rated hotels in the neighborhood, and did I mention that the Mariott has a rooftop pool?!
The Curie 10 B&B is the cheapest hotel in Polanco but you can also explore entire apartments on Airbnb that are all super modern and nice. This penthouse with a rooftop jacuzzi might be my favorite though!
Ready to go?
This article is part of the Mexico City Neighborhood, Parks, and Greenery Guide. Read the rest below:
Or, explore the complete Mexico Series for 40+ more articles on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country.