Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Keri Stooksbury
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Mexico City is home to hundreds of museums, galleries, and historical sites, all of which are worth visiting. Whether you’re a modern art lover or prefer to learn about history and ancient cultures, there’s something worth seeing in Mexico City. Here are the best museums to help kick-start your itinerary planning.
First opened in 1964, the Diego Rivera Anahuacalli Museum functions as an exhibit space and an art center. The structure was built to be a sort of temple of creativity.
Though the museum has an extensive collection, it’s particularly well-known for its pre-Columbian pieces. It also houses a selection of sketches from the artist Diego Rivera, who helped design the center. In addition to the facility’s sculptures, paintings, and other works of art, the museum houses a thriving ecological center that houses and preserves plant life native to this part of Mexico.
Some of the collection’s highlights are an ancient fire god sculpture, a ceramic funeral mask, and the initial designs for murals Rivera was commissioned to paint around the world. The center is also dedicated to the performing arts, with an on-site dance studio and multi-disciplinary spaces for artists of all kinds.
Admission is free for residents of specific Mexico City neighborhoods, people with disabilities, and children under 4, MX$20 (~$1) for preschool children and seniors, MX$35 (~$2) for students from elementary school to university and teachers, and MX$100 (~$6) for everyone else. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Museo – Grama.
After the death of writer Carlos Monsivais, his massive collection of over 20,000 works of art was donated and displayed in the Estanquillo Museum. This collection encompasses a wide variety of art mediums.
The museum and collection are broadly divided into 4 wings dedicated to photography, miniatures, drawings, cartoons, and engravings. Though the topics of these pieces are diverse, they are all connected to the history and culture of Mexico.
Of course, since the collection is so large, amassed over 30 years, only a fraction of its works are displayed at a time. The galleries are frequently rotated to showcase different pieces. Additionally, temporary galleries and events are also hosted on the premises to help dive deeper into the folklore and history of the city and the rest of the country.
Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Wednesday to Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Francisco I. Madero.
Also known as the Blue House, the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City is dedicated to the life and career of one of the country’s most prominent 20th-century artists.
Since Kahlo was born and lived much of her life in the building, many of her personal items, in addition to her art, adorn the exhibits of the home. As an avid art collector in her own right, along with her husband, Diego Rivera, the museum displays several works from other artists.
The house consists of 10 rooms, which have been virtually untouched since Kahlo’s death and act as the museum’s exhibition spaces. The house’s courtyard is also open to visitors. In addition to the permanent spaces, the museum rotates temporary galleries with pieces from the archives. It also hosts traveling exhibitions and cultural events to honor Kahlo and her work as an artist.
Admission is free for children under 6 and visitors with disabilities, MX$25 (~$1) for seniors and elementary and high school students, MX$50 (~$3) for high school students and teachers, between MX$110 (~$6) and MX$130 (~$7) for national admission, and between MX$250 (~$14) and MX$270 (~$15) for general admission. All tickets must be purchased online.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Circuito Interior Avenida Río Churubusco.
First opened in 2010, the Memory and Tolerance Museum aims to promote the concepts of peace and acceptance among people from all walks of life. In particular, the structure tackles topics including discrimination, violence, and cultural differences in a comprehensive but still accessible way so visitors of all ages can appreciate the facility. The museum is divided into 2 main sections.
One is devoted to memory and aims to showcase tragic moments in human history in which differences between people led to death, war, or violence. The main example in this wing centers around the Holocaust, but other similar events are also discussed.
The other wing tackles the broad scope of tolerance. In particular, this wing aims to promote discourse and showcase how media, empathy, and goodwill can help bridge gaps between groups. The museum also hosts educational events yearly, especially for school-aged children.
Admission is MX$92 (~$5) for students and teachers and MX$115 (~$6) for everyone else. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Av. Juárez – Luis Moya.
“The Museum offers a historical and human experience through each of its 43 permanent exhibition rooms in which the public can access more than 1,200 objects, documents and audiovisual pieces, including pieces and works that are only found in the museum.”Memory and Tolerance Museum
When it opened in 2010, the MODO, Museo del Objeto del Objeto was the first museum in Mexico entirely dedicated to communication and how it changed over time. The facility has a collection of over 30,000 artifacts collected between the 1800s and today. Many of these pieces once belonged to the businessman Bruno Newman, who acquired them over 4 decades.
The museum’s exhibits and archives can be divided into 11 different categories. These range from traditional forms of communication to commercial products, showcasing how marketing and advertising have been employed to change culture and society.
Some pieces housed by the facility are a 1930 Kodak Cinegraph 8 Film, a canister of borated water from 1900, and an antique Singer sewing machine. The facility also frequently presents special exhibitions that focus on particular periods or subject matter using pieces on loan from other collections or items from the archives.
Admission is free for children under 12, MX$30 (~$2) for students and teachers, and MX$60 (~$3) for adults. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Eje Vial 1 Poniente.
Though first opened in 1964, the origins of the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) can be traced back to 1947. The first rendition of the museum was a simple exhibition space since, at the time, modern art wasn’t yet seen as a style suitable for its own dedicated and large-scale museum.
However, this opinion has largely changed in the years since the MAM opened. Today, the facility not only aims to showcase artwork from modern artists but also to preserve the style and its evolution. In fact, the museum is one of the most highly-regarded modern art study spaces in the country.
The museum has pieces from around the world but focuses primarily on Mexican artists, including Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro, and Luis Ortiz Monasterio. However, the exhibits themselves are constantly changing to showcase contemporary works.
Admission is free for students, teachers, and children and MX$70 (~$4) for everyone else. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Chapultepec Station.
Mexico City’s Museum of Folk Art, officially called the Museo de Arte Popular, aims to showcase and celebrate hand craftsmanship and culture from around the country.
The museum’s permanent collection consists of thousands of textiles, pottery pieces, glass art, furniture, piñatas, and alebrijes sculptures. The latter is the subject of one of the facility’s most popular yearly events, the Night of the Alebrijes, during which new sculptures are built and taken on a parade through part of the city.
One of the most interesting parts of the museum is how it mixes historical and contemporary pieces. This shows how the country’s folklore and culture have changed over time while still holding on to many of its traditional characteristics. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the facility hosts art and educational workshops each year to help promote the longevity of folk art.
Admission is free for children under 18, visitors with disabilities, seniors 60+, students, teachers, and artists. General admission is MX$60 (~$3). The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Hidalgo.
Located in a historical palace that can be traced back to the 1500s, the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico aims to showcase the history and development of Mexico City.
The oldest artifacts in the facility tell the history of the ancient Aztec civilization, while the newest pieces are from the present day. The history of Mexico City is told through 26 different exhibit rooms, which use furnishings, art, clothing, and books to showcase the country’s evolution.
Temporary exhibits are also housed in the palace to help visitors take a closer look at certain periods or topics. These exhibits are in addition to the educational events held on the premises for people of all ages. The museum also notably houses the studio of the painter Joaquín Clausell and a library of over 10,000 books, most of which are dedicated to Mexico City.
Admission is MX$14 (~$1) for students and teachers and MX$28 (~$2) for general admission. All fees are waived on Wednesdays. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is República de Uruguay.
The Museo del Chocolate, often called MUCHO, looks at how the art of chocolate making has changed throughout history.
The structure has a variety of exhibits that display tools used in the cultivation of cocoa, as well as in the refining and production processes that turn cocoa beans into chocolate. The artistry behind making chocolate is also explored in-depth.
Of course, chocolate’s ancient history is also on display in the structure, with artifacts from Mexico, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the Americas showing how chocolate became a worldwide luxury.
The museum hosts various seminars, history talks, conferences, and workshops throughout the year with culinary experts and academics who have dedicated their careers to studying the history and impact of the chocolate industry. Chocolate tastings are a staple of each tour, allowing visitors to sample some of the chocolate available for sale on-site.
Admission is MX$80 (~$4). The museum is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Eje 1 Sur Av. Chapultepec – Eje 1 Poniente Av. Cuauhtémoc.
The Museo del Pulque y las Pulquerías is one of Mexico City’s most unique museums. The facility is entirely dedicated to pulque and ancient liquor that is central to numerous Mexican legends but often virtually unknown to tourists.
Located on the top floor of a tavern specializing in drinks using this alcohol, the museum aims to educate visitors on the history and origins of pulque and how it became an important part of the country’s culture.
The museum gives guests 2 visitation experiences. The exhibits can either be explored alone or with the input of an educated guide who can answer questions. Just make sure to contact the facility beforehand to ensure a guide is available. Due to the nature of the museum, it might not be of much interest to young children, so keep the ages of your travel group in mind.
Admission is MX$25 (~$1) for students and teachers and MX$30 (~$2) for everyone else. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Av. Hidalgo – Panadería.
First opened in 1986, the Museo Franz Mayer is the largest museum dedicated to the decorative arts in Latin America.
Originally, the collection belonged to Franz Mayer and consisted of art, books, furnishings, and other decorations acquired throughout his lifetime. While some pieces were new when purchased, many were historical. Some of the artifacts in the museum even date back to the 15th century and come from around the world.
Mayer’s collection was so large that his pieces continue to be the centerpiece of the structure to this day. However, since opening, the facility has also begun to host temporary exhibitions with items on loan from other collections or pieces that were not part of Mayer’s personal effects. Of the thousands of items in the museum, the Talavera pottery is one of the largest highlights.
Admission is free for children under 12, MX$40 (~$2) for students and teachers, and MX$85 (~$5) for everyone else. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Valerio Trujano – Av. Hidalgo.
The Museo Jumex, also known as the Jumex Collection, houses over 2,800 works of art from some of the most famous contemporary artists of the 1900s and 2000s. Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Nancy Rubins, and David Ostrowski are just a few of the celebrated names represented by the pieces in the facility.
The collection belongs to Eugenio López Alonso, who began acquiring art in the 1990s. In the following years, he became inspired to promote the contemporary art world to the public and began working toward opening his museum.
While the structure displays pieces from the Jumex Collection, it also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year. However, the museum often closes temporarily between exhibitions to set up the pieces in the gallery properly. Some highlights are Donald Judd’s “Untitled,” James Lee Byars’ “Is,” and Minerva Cuevas’ “Orange, Blue, and Green Kit.”
General admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The nearest transit stop is San Joaquín.
The Museo Nacional de Antropología (MNA) is the largest museum in Mexico. It’s also one of the most-visited facilities in the country.
The structure houses over 600,000 artifacts in its collection. Some of these items come from ancient Egypt, China, and Iran. In addition to the authentic pieces in the museum, there are also several perfect reproductions on display. Of course, much of the museum focuses on Mexico’s anthropological history.
The structure’s ground floor is entirely dedicated to the country’s pre-Columbian history, while upper levels tackle newer civilizations chronologically.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, the collection’s pieces belonging to international cultures can be seen at temporary galleries hosted throughout the year. Some of the museum’s highlights are a replica of the “Temple of Teotihuacan,” the “Disk of Mictlāntēcutli,” and a replica of the “Codex Borbonicus.”
Admission is free for children under 13, seniors 60+, visitors with disabilities, students, and teachers, and MX$90 (~$5) for everyone else. Residents in Mexico can visit for free on Sunday. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Paseo de La Reforma Y Av. Grutas.
The MUNAL, officially known as the Museo Nacional de Arte, houses one of the largest collections of art produced in Mexico between the 16th and 20th centuries. Originally opened to the public in 1982, the museum underwent many restorations, leading to a grand opening in 2000.
The restored space has allowed the museum to show off the many pieces it houses and offer workshops, conferences, and other educational events throughout the year. Though the museum’s collection is too vast to be completely displayed, pieces are handpicked to showcase the country’s comprehensive evolution of fine art.
The facility is broadly divided into 3 sections by period. The first wing spans the 1500s to the 1820s, the second spans the period following Mexico’s Independence, and the third covers the country’s revolution through the 20th century.
General admission is MX$85 (~$5). Permits to take photos and video add an additional fee to the ticket price. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Bellas Artes.
The Museum of World Cultures, officially called the Museo Nacional de las Culturas, is dedicated to preserving and celebrating customs and traditions from around the world. First opened in 1965, the facility is located on an Aztec site, thus grounding the museum in Mexico’s early cultures and history.
The museum houses over 14,000 items from around the world meant to represent different past and present cultures. Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, the Romans, and the Greeks are showcased, but so are traditions that have endured to the present day on virtually every continent of the world.
For example, the “Revolución” mural is one of the most recognizable images of the museum. It’s also one of the newest cultural pieces, painted on the site in 1938. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibit installations periodically.
Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Av. Miguel Hidalgo – Abasolo.
Housing over 66,000 pieces spanning over 3,000 years, the Museo Soumaya is one of the most comprehensive cultural institutions in the country. Of course, only a fraction of these pieces are displayed at a time. Though the facility is largely considered an art museum, it’s also an important historical center, as many pieces come from ancient civilizations.
The largest portion of the collection can be traced back to Europe between the 1600s and the 1900s, though there are also important works from Mexico and other more ancient societies. Perhaps most notably, the museum is home to the largest international collection of Rodin pieces outside France.
Some of the museum’s highlighted pieces are “Deploration of Christ” by Tintoretto, “Virgen del Huso” created in a Leonardo da Vinci workshop, and “2 de abril de 1867. Entrada del general Porfirio Díaz a Puebla” by Francisco de Paula Mendoza.
Admission is free for everyone. The museum is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Museo Soumaya.
Located in Chapultepec Park, the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo is one of the city’s premier modern and contemporary art exhibit spaces. In fact, the museum is divided into 2 main sections: 1 focuses on modern art and artists, and the other centers around contemporary art, regardless of style.
The contemporary gallery focuses on spotlighting contemporary artists. Thus, its exhibits constantly change to keep up with the art scene as it evolves. On the other hand, the modern art department can amass more of a collection.
The museum acquired pieces from some of the most important contributors to the style, including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Salvador Dalí. “Personaje I” by Picasso, “Le dernier venu de la dernière planète” by Dalí, and “Figure” by Kooning are just a few highlighted pieces.
Admission is free for students, teachers, seniors, and children under 12. Tickets are MX$85 (~$5) for everyone else. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi.
Tequila is easily one of the most famous alcohols produced in Mexico. Unsurprisingly, the Museum of Tequila and Mezcal has gained some notoriety among tourists in recent years.
The museum’s primary mission is to show the history of tequila and mezcal and how these 2 liquors grew to be such important parts of the local culture. The educational part of the museum also aims to show the complex steps of their production processes.
However, the museum also celebrates Mexico City’s lively culture in general. Exhibits are dedicated to the tradition of Mariachi music and the museum’s location on Plaza Garibaldi, one of the city’s social hotspots. Of course, there are also tastings available for visitors. For that reason, this site is recommended for adults only.
Admission is MX$70 (~$4). The museum is open Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The nearest transit stop is República de Perú.
Palacio de Bellas Artes, or Palace of Fine Arts as it’s called in English, is one of the most important cultural centers in Mexico City. This reputation is largely thanks to the wide variety of art celebrated and showcased on the premises during the year.
The museum hosts music, dance, and theater performances while offering gallery spaces for more traditional exhibits. There’s no main collection per se, and the galleries hosted here rotate periodically throughout the year.
The museum’s stationary art consists mainly of large murals, namely “El Hombre Controlador del Universo,” “Liberación,” and “La Nueva Democracia.” These murals were painted in 1934, 1963, and 1945, respectively, and have become symbols of the center. Due to the building’s particular Art Nouveau and Neoclassical architecture, it’s also one of the most easy-to-spot structures in the city, often called a chapel of the arts.
Admission is MX$75 (~$4), but this fee is waived on Sundays. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Av. Juárez – López.
Papalote Museo del Niño is one of the most beloved family-friendly museums in Mexico City. First opened in 1993, the facility was created to help children interact with scientific, artistic, and technological concepts and ideas in an interactive, fun, and educational way. The structure has over 250 immersive sets and exhibits divided into 5 main areas.
There’s a space dedicated to teaching children about the human body and emotions. Other spaces focus on communication, society and social circles and attachments, STEM topics, and creativity and imagination.
Special events are also routinely held at the museum throughout the year for kids and families. While guests of all ages are welcome, many of the exhibits were created with children 4 to 10 in mind, so younger toddlers and teens may be less engaged.
Admission is MX$215 (~$12). The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Anillo Periférico Blvd. Adolfo Lopez Mateos – Av. Constituyentes.
Templo Mayor Museum is one of the most unique museums in Mexico City. The facility is filled with artifacts discovered during archeological digs of Tenochtitlan, the name of the ancient Aztec city that once stood where Mexico City is today.
The excavation site that led to the discovery of this city’s ancient artifacts and ruins was first opened in the early 1900s and slowly grew over the years as more and more remnants of past civilizations were found. These ruins have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
That same year, the temple museum was opened to the public to display the items that are still being found in the dig. Today, the facility has 8 main exhibits, each with its own theme ranging from the deities Coatlicue and Coyolaxauhqui to the economics and societal norms of the Aztec civilization.
Admission is free for seniors, students, teachers, and children under 14, and MX$90 (~$5) for everyone else. Residents of Mexico can visit for free on Sundays. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Ciudad De México.
We’ve indicated with each museum whether or not children, students, or seniors receive free or reduced admission. Several other programs offer similar concessions.
The City Passport allows visitors the chance to visit several Mexico City attractions. The passes vary in length, with 3-, 5-, and 15-day options available. Some museums included in the City Passport are the Kids Museum Papalote, the Museum of the Pulque and the Pulquerias, the National Anthropology Museum, the Templo Mayor Museum, and the Tequila and Mezcal Museum.
Participation is subject to change; please verify participating museums and entry conditions before your visit.
With hundreds of museums, exhibits, and galleries in its city limits, Mexico City clearly has no shortage of things to see if you love culture, history, and art. Hopefully, this list has helped you narrow down your options so you know which of the city’s museums you should add to the top of your list.
Mexico City has a wide array of museums worth visiting. These structures vary in theme from traditional art to history and science, making it one of the country’s cultural hubs. That means there’s an exhibit or museum for virtually any type of visitor.
Many people say that Mexico City has more museums than any other city in the world. Mexico City has 150 museums, while Paris has 130.
While not all of Mexico City’s museums offer free admission to its guests, many do. Some of these attractions are always free, while others waive their ticket fees on Sundays for certain types of guests, such as locals and foreign residents. Others offer discounts.
Mexico City is unique for a wide variety of reasons. For one, it’s an incredibly historic city since it’s located near the ruins of the ancient Aztecs. The city has also become one of the most important cultural and artistic hubs in the Americas.
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