The City of Palaces lives up to its nickname, and although many of the places that led Charles Joseph La Trobe to call Mexico City that way no longer exist, there are new places that keep the name alive. If one of the biggest attractions is the City’s more than 150 museums, it is essential to visit the most representative ones. These are the museums in Mexico City that EVERYONE should visit.
Mexico City is fascinating for its history, but also for its architecture, and many museums are really unique and make us understand our past, present and future through the space in which we live together. These museums in Mexico City not only keep exhibitions full of priceless grandeur, they coexist in a place full of history, a place that is a work of art in itself. It doesn’t matter if they stay even for a weekend. One of the following seven museums has to be a must-see.
Museo de Arte Moderno
The museum opened its doors on September 20, 1964 as part of the mega cultural proposal of President Adolfo López Mateos. With the architecture of Pedro Ramirez Vázquez, the circular structure of the buildings served to give the museum a public and inclusive aspect. Today the museum is a benchmark for Mexican art, especially painting, and as its name implies, modern art of the 20th century is its specialty.
Address: Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi s/n Bosque de Chapultepec
Tel: 8647 5530
Diego Rivera Anahuacalli
The Anahuac house was a project that Diego Rivera was unable to see completed, but that his daughter, together with the genius of Juan O’Gorman, culminated in the south of Mexico City and served to display Rivera’s great collection of pre-Columbian pieces. Today this museum is one of the most striking in the city, because its architecture, illusory from pre-Hispanic times –it has the shape of a teocali, which means “house of the gods” and was built with volcanic stone–, its location away from the noise of the city and its beautiful courtyards are perfect for learning and enjoying all day.
Address: Museo 150, Col. San Pablo Tepetlapa, Coyoacán
Tel: 5617 4310
Website: Museo Anahuacalli
The Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as the Tamayo Museum or the Rufino Tamayo Museum, is located within the Bosque de Chapultepec, near The Anthropology Museum and de Modern Art Museum in Reforma. Since it opened its doors in 1981, the Tamayo Museum has been dedicated to presenting the most significant national and international modern and contemporary art.
Address: Paseo de la Reforma 51, Bosque de Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo
Museo Nacional de Antropología
Another architectural jewel that Pedro Ramirez Vázquez built at the request of Adolfo López Mateos and that today is surrounded by mysticism thanks to the thousands of pre-Hispanic works it houses, as well as the fact that the day the statue of Tláloc arrived at the museum – mention that this statue is not of Tlaloc but of Chalchiuhtlicue, the female goddess of water – an unusual rain fell for Mexico City. This museum is worth visiting over several days, as its huge rooms contain so much information that they are not enough for a single day.
Address: Paseo de la Reforma y Calzada Gandhi s/n Col. Chapultepec Polanco
Tel: 5553 6266
Luis Barragán paused in what seemed like a definitive retirement to carry out this work at the request of Martin Luque and his partner from the advertising agency, Pancho Gilardi, who approached Barragán to take on this project, although he resisted in at first, until he was inspired by the jacaranda that is inside the house. This latest project by the Mexican architect stands out for its color and minimalism that revolves around the jacaranda that inspired it. The visits are reservation-only.
Address: Calle Gral. Antonio León 82, San Miguel Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, Ciudad de México
When Diego Rivera died, he asked Dolores Olmedo to buy his collection of works, as well as Frida’s. She did it reluctantly because she and Frida were never good friends, but without a doubt it was the best investment of her life, because today the two of them are two of the most important artists in the world and their works are extremely valuable. The Dolores Olmedo Museum has one of the most important collections of Frida and Diego, so we can only wait for its reopening to be able to see them again.
Address: Museo 150, San Pablo Tepetlapa
Website: Museo Anahuacalli
MUAC: This museum is inside Ciudad Universitaria and is one of the most relevant in the city due to the important exhibitions it always presents. A great space to experience contemporary art and cultural exhibitions inside UNAM’s campus.
Address: Av. Insurgentes Sur 3000, C.U., Coyoacán
Tel: 55 5622 6972
Inaugurated in 2013, the Museo Jumex has become one of the main platforms for contemporary art in Mexico. Although the museum mostly shows the work of international artists such as Andy Warhol or Marcel Duchamp, the interest it generates in the public that is not close to contemporary art leads them to discover other museographic jewels such as the Tamayo Museum, the Laboratory Alameda Art or the El Eco Experimental Museum.
With a design by David Chipperfield, the building responds to the landscape of this section of Polanco, which stands out next to Plaza Carso and the Soumaya Museum – another great museum and contemporary architectural gem.
Address: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada
Tel: 4431 5994
Website: Fundación Jumex
Museo Nacional de Arte
The museum is located on what was the Old Palace of the Secretariat of Communications and Public Works, dating from the Porfirio Díaz regime, which explains its majesty. It is a museum that houses the best of national production, from the colonial era to the first half of the 20th century. A visit to the Historic Center is not complete if you do not stop by to admire some of the great works of Dr. Atl, Saturnino Herrán, María Izquierdo and more.
Address: Tacuba 8, Centro Histórico
Tel: 8647 5430
Palacio de Bellas Artes
The maximum of art in the city. The place where European opera meets revolutionary murals and the best exhibitions you will find in the city. This true palace responded to the need for an opera house that would compete with those in the United States and Europe, so Porfirio Díaz left Adamo Boari in charge of the exterior and Federico Mariscal of the interior, resulting in a perfect blend of art nouveau and art deco Here you can spend hours just admiring the architecture and all the details inscribed on the building.
Address: Av. Juárez, Esquina Eje Central, Centro Histórico
Tel: 8647 6500