Best art museums in Mexico City: discovering the city's artistic wonders

Dive into the heart of Mexico's art scene with this guide to the best art museums in Mexico City, from classical to contemporary.

Mexico City’s museums offer a tantalizing array of collections spanning pre-Hispanic times to the present day, and there are countless amazing art collections to discover. Whether you're drawn to the masterpieces of Rivera and Kahlo or intrigued by the work of the city's emerging artists, Mexico City's art museums are bound to inspire and captivate you.

In addition to the well-known institutions, the city's bustling art scene includes a diverse array of smaller galleries and alternative spaces that sit among its best hidden gems. These art galleries in Mexico City showcase a dynamic mix of styles and media, reflecting the city's eclectic creative spirit. Here’s how to uncover some of the best art in Mexico City.

Best art museums in Mexico City

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1. See painterly history at the National Museum of Art

Explore the evolution of Mexican art from the 16th to the 20th century at the National Museum of Art. A walking tour of historical buildings includes entry to the museum and its vast collection, showcasing pieces from iconic artists such as José María Velasco and Diego Rivera.

Highlights:

The architectural grandeur of the museum is a work of art in itself, dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

Address and opening hours:

C. de Tacuba 8, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México. Open Tuesday-Monday, 10:00 AM-5:30 PM.

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2. Encounter modernity at the Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum

The Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum provides an avenue for modern and contemporary art, with international works and pieces by its namesake, Rufino Tamayo.

Highlights:

Take advantage of free admission on Sundays. Children under 12, students, teachers, and seniors can also enjoy the museum for free.

Address and opening hours:

Av. P.º de la Reforma 51, Polanco, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11580 Ciudad de México. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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3. Discover the colorful collection at the Frida Kahlo Museum

The Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as the Blue House, was the birthplace and home of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. With a Frida Kahlo and Anahuacalli Museum ticket, you can take an intimate look at the life and work of this extraordinary woman.

Highlights:

The museum houses a vast array of Kahlo's works and personal items, providing insight into both her artistic and personal life.

Address and opening hours:

Londres 247, Del Carmen, Coyoacán, 04100 Ciudad de México. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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4. Get contemporary at the Jumex Museum

The Museo Jumex houses one of the most important contemporary art collections in Latin America. It provides a platform for emerging artists and promotes a dialogue between local and international contemporary art.

Highlights:

Visitors can enjoy a variety of rotating exhibitions showcasing international contemporary artists, educational programs, and workshops.

Address and opening hours:

Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11520 Ciudad de México. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Open until 7:00 PM on Saturdays.

Best design museums in Mexico City

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5. Appreciate the architecture at the Museo Soumaya

The Museo Soumaya is as much about its architecture as its collection. The building, a work of modern architecture covered in a façade of mirrored tiles, is as compelling as the art within.

Highlights:

The museum is free to enter, and in contrast to its ultra-modern exterior, there’s art dating as far back as the 13th century inside.

Address and opening hours:

Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11529 Ciudad de México. Open daily, 10:30 AM-6:30 PM.

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6. Experience cultural grandeur at the Palacio de Bellas Artes

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is not only an art museum but also a cultural center and a stage for music, dance, and theater performances. Its stunning Art Nouveau and Art Deco design is a work of art in itself. You can easily find the museum as part of a nighttime walking tour of the city.

Highlights:

Don't miss the impressive murals on the top floor, especially Diego Rivera's "Man at the Crossroads," which was famously commissioned, then destroyed and later recreated, for New York's Rockefeller Center.

Address and opening hours:

Av. Juárez S/N, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06050 Ciudad de México. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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7. Discover tradition and beauty at the Dolores Olmedo Museum

Set in a lovely 16th-century hacienda, the Dolores Olmedo Museum houses the art collection of Dolores Olmedo, works by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and pre-Hispanic, colonial, folk, and contemporary art. You can also see the home of Dolores Olmedo on the tour of the best of Acapulco.

Highlights:

The extensive collection of Diego Rivera's works is one of the largest in the world, making this museum essential for Rivera fans.

Address and opening hours:

Av Mexico 5843, La Noria, Xochimilco, 16030 Ciudad de México. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

Alternative art museums in Mexico City

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8. Engage with the past at the Museum of El Carmen

The Museum of El Carmen is a former Carmelite monastery that now houses a remarkable collection of Baroque art. The real draw, however, is the crypt, where you can find naturally mummified bodies from the colonial era. All of this is included with the Bazaar Saturday, Convent of Carmen, and San Angel tour.

Highlights:

Visit mansions filled with history in San Angel, and enjoy the colorful Bazaar Saturday, filled with handicrafts and fine works of craftsmanship.

Address and opening hours:

Av. Revolución 6-no 4 y, San Ángel, Álvaro Obregón, 01000 Ciudad de México. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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9. Journey into the pre-Hispanic past at the Templo Mayor Museum

The Templo Mayor Museum is an archaeological site and museum dedicated to the life and religion of the Aztec people. Unearth the rich history of Mexico before the Spanish Conquest with a Templo Mayor tcket.

Highlights:

Don't miss the colossal stone disk depicting the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, one of the most significant findings in Mexican archaeology.

Address and opening hours:

Seminario 8, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06060 Ciudad de México. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

FAQs

Are there any free-entry days for art museums in Mexico City?

The Museum of Modern Art offers free entry on Sundays, and the National Museum of Anthropology offers free admission on Sundays for Mexican residents and permanent residents. Entry to the Museo Soumaya is free.

What are some unique and lesser-known art museums worth visiting in Mexico City?

The La Casa-Estudio de Leonora Carrington is an intriguing place dedicated to the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. The Museo del Estanquillo houses the personal collection of the writer Carlos Monsivais, which includes paintings, photography, and more.

Which art museums in Mexico City have works by famous artists?

Frida Kahlo's former residence, the Blue House, contains a collection of her works. The Dolores Olmedo Museum and the Anahuacalli Museum feature works by Diego Rivera.

Are the art museums in Mexico City wheelchair accessible?

Most of the prominent art museums in Mexico City, including the National Museum of Anthropology, the Jumex Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Are there any art museums in Mexico City that are suitable for children and families?

The Universum, Museo de las Ciencias, with its interactive exhibits, the Museo del Chocolate, offering chocolate-making workshops, and the Papalote Museo del Niño are great choices for a family outing.