Chaotic Mexico City wasn’t really made for cycling. The roads are overrun with cars, very few of which pay attention to the rules of the road, and the city is absolutely vast. However, that’s not to say that fans of two-wheel transport can’t find plenty of spots to explore when they’re in the Mexican capital – from set weekly routes to free-access parks, here are the best scenic cycling options in Mexico City.
Right at the heart of the city, just alongside the iconic Palacio de Bellas Artes you’ll find Parque Alameda. A logical criss-crossing of wide paths lined with benches, dotted with fountains and hemmed in by trees, this is the ideal spot for a quick cycle, perhaps better early in the morning when the majority of the city is still asleep. Whatever time of the day you go, there’s sure to be enough space for you to do a few laps – just watch out for the families playing in the water features and teenage roller-skaters honing their skills.
Parque Alameda, Av. Juárez 76, Colonia Centro, Centro, Ciudad de México, México +52 55 5518 7884
Paseo de la Reforma (Muévete en Bici)
The weekly Muévete en Bici event is a hugely popular free attraction in the Mexican capital for both residents and tourists, given that it closes off the emblematic Paseo de la Reforma to traffic and opens it up to joggers, skaters and cyclists instead. Take a few hours, rent a bike from one of the city’s many EcoBici stands (more on how to do that here) and enjoy the convivial atmosphere as you pass some of the most renowned sights in the city.
Paseo de la Reforma, Ciudad de México, México
Desierto de los Leones
If you don’t mind making your way to the outskirts of the city, you’ll be rewarded with the excellent biking options on offer at Desierto de los Leones, one of Mexico City’s biggest and best national parks. Admittedly, the rough and ready nature of this forest makes it better for mountain rather than road bikers, but it’s still worth checking out, not least for its easy accessibility and gorgeous old Carmelite convent.
Parque Nacional Desierto de Los Leones, Carretera Al Desierto De Los Leones, Cuajimalpa de Morelos, La Venta, Ciudad de México, México +52 55 5814 1172
Bosque de Chapultepec
Bosque de Chapultepec
For those who’d prefer to stay in the heart (or should that be lungs?) of Mexico City, the Bosque de Chapultepec is perfect. One of the largest urban parks in the Americas, up there with New York’s iconic Central Park, the Bosque de Chapultepec has plenty of winding, flat paths to traverse. And even though it’s a popular tourist attraction, it’s sheer size means you’re unlikely to find yourself held up by the masses.
Bosque de Chapultepec, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Ciudad de México, México
A much more petite alternative to Bosque de Chapultepec is the nearby Parque Lincoln, situated in Polanco. A haven for dog walkers, this small urban green space has flat, wide pavements and is relatively underrated so there’s usually lots of opportunity to cycle about freely. While you’re there, grab lunch at one of the nearby restaurants, check out the tiny plant nursery or take some time to sit by the lake.
Parque Lincoln, Emilio Castelar 163, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco, Ciudad de México, México
Busier than the aforementioned Parque Lincoln, but also bigger, Parque México makes for a beautifully scenic cycling destination in the Mexican capital. Crammed with families and hipsters selling homemade baked goods on a weekend, you should aim to visit during the week when it’s a bit calmer and you can cycle round the winding pathways at your leisure. As well as the two-wheel potential, Parque México is also known for its wealth of art deco features.
Parque México, Avenida México s/n, Cuauhtémoc, Colonia Hipódromo, Ciudad de México, México
Finally, if you happen to be in Mexico City on the final Sunday of the month, the Ciclotón makes for an unmissable cycling route favorite. Larger in scope than the Muévete en Bici event, which largely only closes off Paseo de la Reforma, the Ciclotón route takes practically a full lap of the city and covers some 32km. On this route, you’ll get the chance to cycle past plenty of the city’s main sights alongside some 50,000 other attendees, all with the security of medical and hydration tents dotted along the way.