I’ll be honest, Colonia Polanco isn’t one of my favourite places in Mexico City, but I can see why this upscale neighbourhood, which boasts some of the most exclusive dining and drinking options in the capital, could hold appeal for many visitors. Filled to the brim with galleries like Museo Soumaya, restaurants like El Japonez Polanco and plenty of fancy shopping destinations like Avenida Presidente Masaryk and Antara Fashion Hall, if you’re looking for where to go in Polanco then you’re not short on well-trodden options.
However, if you’re wondering what to do in Polanco and would rather pay a visit to a more underrated, off the beaten path destination then I would massively recommend stopping by Polanco’s Parque Lincoln, a.k.a. Parque de los Espejos. I was actually strolling through Polanco, trying to kill time as I was being embarrassingly British and early for an appointment, when I stumbled across this park. A total hidden gem of what is arguably Mexico City’s poshest neighbourhood, Parque Abraham Lincoln (to give it it’s Sunday best name) is ideal for art lovers, stressed out parents, green fingered gardeners and even bird lovers…although perhaps not in that order. Here are all the reasons this is one of the best parks in Mexico City, situated right in the heart of the business district.
WHERE TO GO IN POLANCO? PARQUE LINCOLN
It’s one of the most kid-friendly destinations in Mexico City
Parque Lincoln is home to one of the biggest and most colourful kid’s playgrounds I’ve ever seen and, honestly, when I visited I kind of wished I was young enough to have a go on the swings without being side-eyed by suspicious parents and nannies. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that if you’re travelling with kids in Mexico City and just need to keep them occupied for a while so you can mainline caffeine and have two minutes of peace, then Parque Lincoln might be the ideal option.
Aside from the playground, there are also lots of potential animal sightings to be had, from shitting squirrels (don’t ask) to dogs and even birds. Either way, it’s definitely one of the best playgrounds in Polanco and arguably one of the better parks for kids in Mexico City as a whole.
Art lovers will also find plenty to admire
I was pretty surprised by the amount of sculpture, art installation and beautiful Instagram-snapshot spots that Parque Lincoln offered up, so I can happily recommend this Mexico City park to photography and art fans alike. From detailed stone carvings that feature lots of Mexican creatures, to installations dedicated (oddly enough) to Nelson Mandela and (less oddly enough) to Abraham Lincoln, for whom the park was named, there are endless pieces to look at. Some of my favourites included the Apoyo sculpture by Marina Pombar and the intertwined woman/ tree root/ dragon (?) piece. I’m still not sure what it’s meant to be, but it’s cool nonetheless.
It’s lined by plenty of restaurants and stores
If you’re looking for restaurants near Parque Lincoln Polanco then you’re not going to be short on options. As one of the dining hotspots of the capital, there are tons of places to choose from, whether you want to try out the famed El Japonez Polanco, or maybe give Portuguese food a try at Casa Portuguesa. I’ll be totally honest, I haven’t eaten at either of them (I’m not made of money and Polanco ain’t cheap) but I have it on good authority that the latter is an excellent restaurant and well worth checking out, whether you’re visiting Parque Lincoln or not. There’s also a branch of Butcher & Sons just round the corner too. I have been there (albeit to the Roma branch) and can definitely recommend – in fact, here’s my review.
Alternatively, you can dip your toe into the world of novelty dining at Ice Cream Nation where they use liquid nitrogen to create their icy treats, or stick to what you know at the legendary Nevería Roxy, one of the best ice cream spots in the city.
If you’re more interested in nearby stores rather than restaurants, then you’ve got Mexico City’s answer to Fifth Avenue, Avenida Presidente Masaryk, one block to the north, you’re very close to Polanco’s branch of El Péndulo, an excellent bookstore chain, and Paseo de la Reforma, one of the city’s principal streets, is situated one block to the south.
It’s home to the Aviario Abraham Lincoln
As previously mentioned, there’s also an aviary tucked away in this park which would be the perfect way to kill 15 minutes for the low, low price of roughly MXN$10 entry. I didn’t enter, but I did snap a few pictures of the impressive structure from outside and con confirm it at least looks worthy of a visit. Official sources inform me that the aviario in fact houses peacocks and Australian parakeets, as well as many other species, and has a soothing water feature in the centre.
You can find the famous Polanco Clock Tower in Parque Lincoln, too
One of the symbols of Colonia Polanco, the Torre del Reloj in Parque Lincoln makes for a fairly spectacular sight. Rumour has it that they exhibit works of art inside, but when I went there didn’t seem to be any activity. Even so, it makes for a decent photo.
There are literally hundreds of dogs
This was easily my favourite thing about Parque Lincoln – there were just sooo many dog walkers. If you’re a tiny bit obsessed with dogs like I am, then this will be a major plus point of the park and it’ll provide many opportunities for attempting inconspicuous selfies like the one below. The only downside is that I didn’t see a single shiba inu, which is possibly my favourite breed in the world.
It’s romantic…well, there’s an artificial lake there at least
There’s a widely held misconception that lakes, or any body of water, equals romance – want to take your partner for a nice stroll? Find a pond and wander in circles for an hour! I, personally, don’t really buy that, but if you’re a fan of an artificial lake and believe that it’s the perfect breeding ground for romance (rather than mosquitos and the odd duck) then this is just another reason to pay Parque Lincoln a visit.
Alternatively, if you’re a model boat nerd, then they hold weekly boat races here every Sunday.
There’s an open-air theatre
Known as the Teatro Ángela Peralta, which is one of the city’s few open-air options for viewing classic films, this theatre can seat hundreds, is one of the best places to visit in Polanco and would make a nostalgic day out.
You can learn more about nature in the allotment
Perhaps one of the coolest parts of Parque Lincoln was the small but perfectly formed allotment that I stumbled across while trying to discretely take a photo of the kid’s playground and not look like a total weirdo. It has beautifully arranged succulents and well labelled beds with various plants, herbs and flowers, making it another petite but recommendable aspect of Parque Lincoln. So, if you want to ~get back to nature~ in the heart of the city, then visiting Parque Lincoln’s teeny allotment is arguably one of the best things to do in Polanco.
HOW TO GET TO PARQUE LINCOLN POLANCO
If you’re sold on the idea of visiting but just don’t quite know como llegar a Parque Lincoln, then the closest metro stops are Metro Polanco and Metro Auditorio. If you get off at Metro Polanco, you can soak up the sights of Presidente Masaryk, whereas getting off at Auditorio will drop you right next to Chapultepec Park and you can stroll along Paseo de la Reforma to reach Parque Lincoln.
So, next time you’re wondering where to go in Polanco, that’s low-cost (read: free!), artsy, ideal for kids and hugely underrated, then don’t rule out the excellent Parque Lincoln, which is easily one of the best parks to visit in Mexico City.