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6 Must-See Museums in Mexico City and How to Visit

From National History Museum to the Frida Kahlo Museum, here are our top picks.

One of Mexico City's modern museums
Hi, I'm Zoë!

Zoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

With more than 175 museums dotting the city, covering everything from art and history to chocolate and antique toys, Mexico City has a museum to suit all tastes. It would take months to visit them all, but here are six favorites that should be top of your list.

1. National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia)

Ancient stone sculptures inside the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia)
Inside the National Museum of Anthropology.Fotograf: BondRocketImages / Shutterstock

For Mesoamerican artifacts.

Located in the grand Chapultepec Park, the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) is one of Mexico City’s most impressive museums, home to the world’s greatest collection of Mesoamerican artifacts. You could easily spend an entire day in the museum’s 23 halls, but with only a couple of hours, be sure to see the Sun Stone and the ancient Aztec calendar.

2. National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia)

The beautiful park around the National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia).
Outside the National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia).Fotograf: Kamira / Shutterstock

For a deep dive into Mexico's history.

Also in the vicinity of Chapultepec Park is the National History Museum, located within Chapultepec Castle on a hill overlooking over the park. Aside from the sweeping view of the city, the museum has over 150,000 items pertaining to Mexico’s history—from the initial conquest all the way through Mexico’s independence.

3. Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo)

Frida Kahlo's paints at the Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo).
The artist's paints on display at the Frida Kahlo Museum.Fotograf: Kamira / Shutterstock

For honoring the life of a legendary artist.

Located in the Coyoacan district, the colorful Frida Kahlo Museum—nicknamed the Blue House for its bright blue walls— explores the life of the legendary artist, a Mexico City native. Displays include works by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and other artists, as well as personal items and photographs of Kahlo.

4. MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo)

The modern exterior of the MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo).
The ever-popular MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo).Fotograf: Victor SG / Shuterstock

For contemporary works.

One of Latin America’s most renowned contemporary art museums, the MUAC is located on the UNAM campus of the Mexico City University. Head there to marvel at temporary exhibitions by both established and upcoming contemporary artists.

5. Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes)

The hugely grand exterior of the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes).
The grand Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes).Fotograf: Diego Grandi / Shutterstock

For architecture and culture.

With its cathedral-like façade and magnificent murals by artists including Diego Rivera and Siqueiros, the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) is must for art lovers. It’s also the National Theater of Mexico and an important cultural center, as acclaimed for its beautiful architecture as its top-floor art gallery.

6. Soumaya Museum (Museo Soumaya)

Huge sculptures on show at the Soumaya Museum (Museo Soumaya).
Items on display at Soumaya Museum.Fotograf: BondRocketImages / Shutterstock

For modern-day pieces.

Owned by millionaire Carlos Slim and located on Plaza Carso, the Soumaya Museum (Museo Soumaya) boasts an extraordinary collection of modern art, including pieces by Rodin, Dalí, and Rufino Tamayo. Even more dazzling is the building itself—a futuristic tower designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero.

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