A cultural capital of the world, Mexico City has an amazing 170 museums and 43 galleries spread across its streets — the second-highest number in the world! From grand palatial spaces to intimate specialty institutions, the vibrant cultural scene of Ciudad de México is represented from every angle, be it the great pre-colonial empires, modern history, visual art, anthropology, decorative art, science, architecture, cinema, and more.

To go through every worthwhile cultural museum in Ciudad de Mexico, it’d likely take several lists, but this one is a starter for travelers who wish for a head start on the top museums in the cultural constellation that is Mexico City.

10 Museo Nacional de Antropologia

Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology was founded in 1964, with the objective of curating, preserving, and exhibiting the country’s most important ethnographic and anthropological findings — and given Mexico’s extremely rich archeology and indigenous history, that’s quite the responsibility.

At over 45,000 m² and 20 rooms, Museo Nacional is the biggest museum in Mexico and one of the most important anthropology museums in the world. It’s a quintessential place to visit for anyone who wishes to bask in Mexico’s archeological heritage, Mayan and precolonial findings, and historical artifacts.

  • Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Tickets: $85,00 pesos

9 Museo de Artes Populares

Celebrating popular artforms and artisanry, Mexico City’s Popular Art Museum opened in 2006 and has been supporting the work of nearly 8 million artisans ever since.

MAP’s museography will take visitors across Mexico’s different regions and its exuberant art and craftwork, highlighting artists and artisans across the country, their regional differences, and beautiful similarities.

  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm
  • Tickets: $60.00 pesos general entrance

8 Palacio de Bellas Artes

Known as the “Cathedral of Arts in Mexico”, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) has been one of the major cultural centers in the country since its inauguration, in 1934.

Both an art museum, architecture museum, theater and performance hall, and an architectural feat, some of the most important cultural events happen inside its walls — and lots of those walls feature murals from key Mexican artists like Siqueiros and Diego Rivera.

  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 5 PM
  • Tickets: $55.00 pesos

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7 Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporanea

The University Contemporary Art Museum is located in one of the most beautiful universities in the world, the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Opened in 2008, the museum is part of UNAM’s large-scale cultural complex and is the first museum in Mexico to be entirely focused on contemporary art.

Through their already impressive collection and temporary exhibits, the MUAC always seeks to show and celebrate new ideas and new talent, pushing Mexican art forward.

  • Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 6 PM
  • Tickets: $40.00 pesos, 50% discount on Sundays

6 Museo Frida Kahlo / Casa Azul

The most popular of single artist-focused museums, Casa Azul, or Museo Frida Kahlo, is a house museum completely dedicated to Mexican surrealism’s most renowned voice, Frida Kahlo.

Casa Azul, meaning “the blue house” is the home Frida Kahlo grew up, lived with her husband Diego Rivera, and produced a large part of her artwork during her lifetime, opened to the public as a museum in 1958 per Kahlo and Rivera’s wishes.

Today it boasts an incredible collection of Kahlo’s artwork, studies, craftwork, documents, photographs, books, art supplies, and more to give insight into this great artist’s life.

5 Universum Museo

The Universum Museum is a science and technology museum, also a part of the cultural complex of the Autonomous University of Mexico.

Opened in 1992, the Universum has 13 rooms dedicated to permanent and temporary exhibits offering immersive experiences on everything from outer space, ancient history, biology, the laws of physics, and more.

  • Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Tickets: $90.00 pesos

4 Museo Soumaya

Founded in 1994, the Soumaya Museum counts over 60,000 priceless works in its collections, spanning fine arts, decorative arts, and historical documents and artifacts; it’s one of the most important and wide-reaching archives in Latin America.

The Soumaya has a standout collection of 380 Rodin sculptures, studies, and paintings of the Mexican Muralists and several Rufino Tamayo and modern Latin and Mexican art pieces.

  • Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM
  • Tickets: Free

Related: Toniná: Guide To Mexico’s Lesser-Visited Mayan Ruins

3 Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli

The Anahuacalli Museum is a museum and art center designed by Mexican artist Diego Rivera and opened in 1964. Anahuacalli comes from Nahuatl for “land between two seas” and is meant to celebrate the union of mesoamerican and modern realities in Mexico City.

Built with volcanic rock from its own site, the architecture is inspired by Mayan and Toltec architectures and showcases Rivera’s vast collection of pre-colonial art, artifacts, and mosaics.

  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Tickets: $100.00 pesos

2 Museo del Templo Mayor

One of the top things to do in Ciudad de Mexico, the Templo Mayor Museum was founded in 1987, built to showcase the archeological findings of the site of what used to be the Templo Mayor (main temple) of the Mexica people.

The site comprises both the archeological dig site of the temple and the museum structure with exhibits of the artifacts and findings in the site, detailing the life and customs of the Mexica.

  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Tickets: $85.00 pesos

1 Museo Nacional de Arte

The National Museum of Art of Mexico was created in 1982 with the intent to preserve and exhibit primarily Mexican art from the 17th to the first half of the 20th century.

MUNAL is located at the heart of Mexico City’s historical district and is an architectural landmark. It counts with national and international iconic works both in the permanent collection and temporary exhibits.

  • Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Tickets: $80.00 pesos