From the ancient Aztec ruins to the modern boutiques and lively nightlife, Polanco Mexico City is a must-visit destination for any traveler. In this article, we explore all that this vibrant city has to offer – from the best restaurants and museums to the most popular tourist attractions. Get ready to put on your walking shoes and explore the beauty of Polanco Mexico City!
History of Polanco
Polanco is a historic neighborhood in Mexico City, known for its luxurious high-rise buildings, high-end restaurants, upscale boutiques, and world-class museums. It was originally a rural area outside the city, but it has undergone a significant transformation over the past century. In the late 19th century, the Mexican government began developing the area that is now known as Polanco into an upscale residential neighborhood for wealthy families. Many of the first residents were diplomats and wealthy Mexicans, who built large mansions and estates in the area.
During the 20th century, Polanco continued to grow and develop, with more high-end residential buildings and commercial establishments being built. The neighborhood also became home to several embassies and consulates, further solidifying its reputation as an exclusive and prestigious area.
In the 1980s, Polanco underwent a significant transformation, with many of the historic mansions and estates being replaced by high-rise apartment buildings and modern commercial developments. The neighborhood became even more upscale and exclusive, attracting wealthy residents and visitors from around the world.
Today, Polanco is one of the most popular and affluent neighborhoods in Mexico City, with a vibrant cultural and social scene. It is home to some of the city’s top museums, galleries, and restaurants, and it continues to be a desirable location for both locals and visitors alike.
Things to do in Polanco Mexico City
There are many things to do in Polanco, Mexico City. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:
- Visit the Soumaya Museum: This striking museum houses an extensive collection of artwork, including works by Salvador Dali, Diego Rivera, and Vincent van Gogh. The building’s design is a testament to the neighborhood’s commitment to contemporary design and innovation.
- Explore the Jumex Museum: This contemporary art museum showcases some of the best contemporary art from Mexico and around the world. The building’s architecture, designed by David Chipperfield, is a marvel in itself, with its clean lines and minimalist aesthetic.
- Stroll through Chapultepec Park: Located just a few blocks away from Polanco, Chapultepec Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. It is home to many attractions, including a zoo, a castle, and several museums.
- Indulge in high-end shopping: Polanco is known for its luxury boutiques, high-end department stores, and designer brands. The Presidente Masaryk Avenue is particularly famous for its upscale shopping.
- Dine at a world-class restaurant: Polanco is home to some of the best restaurants in Mexico City, with a mix of traditional Mexican cuisine and international flavors. Some of the most renowned restaurants in Polanco include Pujol, Quintonil, and Dulce Patria.
- Take a food tour: For a more in-depth exploration of the neighborhood’s culinary scene, consider taking a food tour. These tours often include visits to local markets, tastings at various restaurants, and insights into the history and culture of Mexican cuisine.
- Visit the National Museum of Anthropology: Located in Chapultepec Park, the National Museum of Anthropology is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the history and culture of Mexico. The museum’s extensive collection includes artifacts from ancient civilizations, such as the Aztecs and the Mayans.
- Enjoy a concert or performance: Polanco is home to several cultural venues, including the Auditorio Nacional and the Teatro Telcel. These venues host a variety of concerts, performances, and other cultural events throughout the year.
- Relax in a park or plaza: Polanco has several parks and plazas where visitors can relax and enjoy the neighborhood’s beauty. Lincoln Park, for example, has a lovely fountain and is a popular spot for picnics and outdoor activities.
- The Museo Nacional de Antropología is one of the largest and most important museums in Mexico. It houses an extensive collection of artifacts from Mexico’s ancient civilizations, as well as exhibits on the country’s modern history and culture.
- The Chapultepec Zoo is a large zoo located in Polanco. It is home to over 2,000 animals from all over the world, including lions, tigers, elephants, and gorillas. The zoo also has a children’s petting zoo and a reptile house.
- The Bosque de Chapultepec is a large park that covers almost 1,700 acres. It is located in the heart of Mexico City and is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. The park has many activities and attractions, such as a lake with boat rentals, a museum, an outdoor theater, and two 18-hole golf courses.
Mexico`s Eye, the first AI sculpture at Polanco
Mexico’s Eye is a unique and innovative sculpture located in the heart of Polanco. It is a collaboration between the artist Refik Anadol and the architecture and design firm Arquitectura 911sc, and is the first-ever AI (artificial intelligence) sculpture in Mexico.
The sculpture is made up of a large, curved metal structure, which is covered in a dynamic display of LED lights. The lights are controlled by an AI system, which is designed to respond to different data inputs, such as social media posts and weather patterns. The AI system uses machine learning algorithms to analyze the data and generate patterns and colors that are then displayed on the sculpture. This creates a dynamic and constantly changing display, which is different every time you visit.
The Mexico’s Eye sculpture is intended to be a reflection of the city of Mexico, capturing its energy and vibrancy in a unique and innovative way. It is a landmark and cultural attraction in Polanco, drawing visitors from around the city and beyond. The sculpture is located in the central plaza of the Parques Polanco development, a mixed-use development that includes residential, commercial, and office space. The plaza is open to the public, and visitors are encouraged to come and experience the sculpture for themselves. It is truly a one-of-a-kind attraction, and a must-see for anyone visiting Polanco.
Shopping and Dining
Some of the best shopping in Polanco can be found on Avenida Presidente Masaryk. This street is lined with designer boutiques, jewelry stores, and other luxury shops. If you are looking for something more affordable, there are also several malls in the area. For a truly unique shopping experience, visit one of the many art galleries or antique shops in Polanco. Here are some of the top shopping and dining destinations in Polanco:
- Antara Fashion Hall: This high-end shopping center features a variety of luxury fashion and lifestyle brands, as well as restaurants and cafes.
- El Palacio de Hierro: This upscale department store is a Mexican institution, offering a range of designer fashion and beauty brands.
- Presidente Masaryk Avenue: This street is known as the “Rodeo Drive of Mexico,” and is home to a variety of luxury boutiques, including Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.
- Paseo de la Reforma: This major thoroughfare is home to several high-end shopping destinations, including the stylish shopping center, Reforma 222.
When it comes to dining, Polanco offers an incredible variety of options. From Michelin-starred restaurants to casual cafes, there is something to suit every taste and budget. For a truly luxurious dining experience, make a reservation at one of Polanco’s upscale restaurants. Or, if you want something more relaxed, there are plenty of great places to grab a bite to eat on the go. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it in Polanco Mexico City.
- Quintonil: This restaurant is widely regarded as one of the best in Mexico City, offering innovative, contemporary Mexican cuisine.
- Pujol: This upscale restaurant is known for its inventive cuisine, which draws inspiration from traditional Mexican ingredients and techniques.
- Rosetta: This charming restaurant serves contemporary Italian cuisine, with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
- J&G Grill: This high-end restaurant is located in the St. Regis Hotel, offering an elegant atmosphere and a menu of international cuisine.
- Dulce Patria: This stylish restaurant serves traditional Mexican cuisine with a contemporary twist, and is known for its creative presentation and flavorful dishes.
Nightlife in Polanco
Polanco is one of the most popular areas in Mexico City for nightlife. There are many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from, so you can find the perfect place to suit your mood. Whether you want to dance the night away or simply enjoy a few drinks with friends, Polanco has something for everyone.
- Jules Basement: This speakeasy-style bar is located in the basement of a building on Presidente Masaryk Avenue. It has a dark and moody atmosphere, with exposed brick walls, low lighting, and a menu of creative cocktails.
- Hanky Panky: This bar has a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere, with a vintage-inspired decor and a focus on craft cocktails. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
- Terraza Cha Cha Chá: This rooftop bar is located on top of the Hotel Habita, offering stunning views of the city skyline. It’s a great spot to enjoy a drink and some small bites while taking in the views.
- King Cole Bar: Located in the St. Regis Hotel, this bar has a classic and refined atmosphere, with a focus on high-end spirits and classic cocktails. It’s a popular spot for a nightcap after a night out in Polanco.
- La Santa: This multi-level nightclub is a popular spot for dancing and socializing in Polanco. It features a variety of music, from Latin to electronic, and has a lively and energetic atmosphere.
- Gin Gin: This cocktail bar specializes in, as the name suggests, gin cocktails. It has a sleek and modern atmosphere, and the bartenders are known for their creativity and expertise in crafting unique and delicious cocktails.
If you’re looking for a 5-star hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City is a great option. Located in the heart of Polanco, the Four Seasons offers elegance and luxury at every turn. From the moment you step into the lobby, you’ll be impressed by the grandeur of this hotel. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, with views of either the city or the courtyard garden. And if you want to pamper yourself, be sure to make use of the hotel’s spa and fitness center.
For those who prefer a more intimate setting, there are plenty of smaller boutique hotels to choose from in Polanco. The Hotel Habita is a stylish option that has won numerous awards for its design. The rooms are minimalistic yet comfortable, and the hotel boasts an excellent restaurant and bar. Other good boutique hotel choices include Hotel Geneve and Hotel La Purificadora.
Here are some of the top accommodation options in Polanco:
- The St. Regis Mexico City: This luxurious hotel is located in the heart of Polanco, offering stunning views of Chapultepec Park and the city skyline. It features spacious rooms and suites, a spa, an indoor pool, and several restaurants.
- Las Alcobas: This boutique hotel is located on Presidente Masaryk Avenue, Polanco’s premier shopping street. It features 35 stylishly appointed rooms and suites, a spa, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city.
- Hyatt Regency Mexico City: This hotel is located within walking distance of many of Polanco’s top attractions, including the Soumaya Museum and the Jumex Museum. It features spacious rooms and suites, a spa, a fitness center, and several restaurants.
- Airbnb rentals: Polanco offers a variety of rental apartments through Airbnb, which is a great option for those who want a more home-like experience. These apartments range from studios to multi-bedroom units, and they offer a range of amenities and price points to suit different needs and budgets.
Transportation in the Area
Turibus is a popular sightseeing bus tour in Mexico City that offers visitors a convenient and affordable way to explore the city’s many attractions. The tour buses are double-decker, open-air buses that offer panoramic views of the city, and make stops at many of the city’s top landmarks and attractions.
The Turibus tour routes cover many of Mexico City’s most popular neighborhoods, including Polanco, Chapultepec, Zona Rosa, and the Historic Center. The tours are available in several different languages, including English, Spanish, French, and German.
Passengers can purchase tickets for the Turibus tour at various locations throughout the city, including major hotels and tourist attractions. The tickets are valid for one day, and allow passengers to hop on and off the bus at any of the designated stops along the route.
Metro & Taxis
The metro is probably the quickest and easiest way to get around Polanco. There are two stations in the area – Sevilla and Chapultepec – which both serve the neighborhood well. If you’re looking for a more leisurely way to get around, there are plenty of taxis available, as well as Uber.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even rent a bicycle! There are plenty of bike lanes throughout Polanco, so it’s a great way to explore the area. Just be sure to stay safe and wear a helmet!
Tips for Visiting Polanco
- Start your day with a stroll through Chapultepec Park. This massive urban park is perfect for getting some fresh air and enjoying the scenery. Don’t miss the castle, ponds, and museums located within the park grounds.
- Grab a bite to eat at one of Polanco’s many delicious restaurants. From traditional Mexican fare to international cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this foodie paradise.
- Shop until you drop at reforma 222, an upscale shopping mall with designer stores and high-end boutiques.
- Take a break from sightseeing and relax at one of Polanco’s many parks or green spaces. The neighborhood is full of lovely gardens and public squares where you can take a seat and people watch for a while.
- End your day with a stroll down Presidente Masaryk, Polanco’s main street lined with designer shops, trendy bars, and upscale restaurants.
Polanco is generally considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Mexico City, due in part to its upscale and affluent character. The neighborhood has a strong police presence and is well-lit and well-maintained, which helps deter crime.
However, it is still important to take basic precautions to ensure your safety while in Polanco or anywhere in Mexico City. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded or touristy areas.
- Avoid walking alone at night: It’s generally best to avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar or isolated areas.
- Use trusted transportation: Use trusted transportation services, such as licensed taxis or ride-sharing apps like Uber or Cabify, especially at night.
- Keep valuables out of sight: Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or electronics, and keep your wallet and phone in a secure location.
- Follow local news: Keep an eye on local news and social media to stay informed about any safety concerns in the city.
Overall, as long as you take basic precautions and stay aware of your surroundings, Polanco is generally a safe and enjoyable place to visit in Mexico City.
Polanco Mexico City is a beautiful place and one of the best places to explore in Mexico. With its stunning architecture, vibrant culture, lively nightlife and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder why Polanco is such a popular destination. Whether you’re looking for an exciting night out on the town or simply want to explore the many cultural attractions that this area has to offer, Polanco Mexico City will not disappoint. If you’re visiting soon make sure you take some time to explore all there is to see in this amazing city!