View from our apartment Rodin / Photo by Mariana Ricaud
By Carolina Bruno
Knowing Mexico City could become an endless experience, because its diversity, cultural offerings, and architectural sites make it an exciting capital with endless attractions. There are several ways to get to know a city, at The Local Way we want to share one of the most wonderful, to know it through its museums.
It is the second city in the world with more museums, the list ascends to more than 150 precincts waiting to be visited. Only in the Cuauhtémoc delegation, there are more than 76 possibilities and in the Miguel Hidalgo, more than 19. The variety is huge and knowing where to start could be a difficult decision, so we want to help you to take the first step and discover them on our way: as a local. That is why we propose the following list with information about each museum that you may not have known.
1. Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso
Located in the Historic Center of Mexico City, stands out as one of the most important colonial buildings and for being the birthplace of the Mexican Mural Movement. Within this enclosure, in addition to the temporary exhibitions, one can appreciate the work of great artists such as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, Ramón Alva, Fermín Revueltas, among others.
Also, you can enjoy extra activities such as workshops, film screenings, theater, music, reading club, guided tours and more activities that are both for children and young people, as well as for the adult public.
Address: Justo Sierra 16, Historical Center of Mexico City. See map.
Opening hours: Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso
2. Museo Jumex
Designed by the British architect David Chipperfield – being his first work in Latin America – it is located in Polanco and is distinguished for hosting one of the most important private contemporary art collections in Latin America.
Address: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 202, Colonia Granada. See map.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
3. Museo de Arte Popular
This museum is dedicated to preserving Mexican folk art. It has a collection that includes rugs, ceramics, glasses, piñatas, alebrijes, furniture, toys and kitchen utensils. In addition, the museum organizes activities in public spaces such as the annual Noche de Alebrijes that runs through several avenues in the center of the city.
Another point to take into account to visit this museum is its architecture, it is considered the second most important Art Deco building in the city, built in 1927 by the architect Vicente Mendiola and with works by the sculptor Manuel Centurión, who made reliefs with pre-Hispanic motifs that decorate the stone facade.
Address: Calle Revillagigedo 11, Colonia Centro. See map.
Opening hours: Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thursday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Museo de Arte Popular
4. Museo Nacional de Antropología
Undoubtedly, it is one of the most important museums in Mexico and America, built in 1963 by the renowned Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, which, in addition to having the largest collection of Mesoamerican pre-Hispanic art in the world, presents outstanding international temporary exhibitions. In it, you can learn about the prehispanic culture of Mexico and exhibit emblematic pieces such as the Piedra del Sol.
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi s/n, Col. Chapultepec Polanco. See map.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Museo Nacional de Antropología / Lars Plougmann
5. Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros
Before dying, the Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros expressed his desire that in this space, his works and ideas be preserved and disseminated; that they were centers of analysis and experimentation for the “public art” of the future. Thus, the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, became a legacy for Mexico, along with an important collection of easel work, graphics, drawings, studies and mural projects, as well as its personal archive and library.
Nowadays, in addition to being a museum, where the Siquerios murals can be appreciated, it is a center for consultation and research and space for conferences and discussion tables on contemporary art.
Address: Tres Picos 29, Col. Polanco. See map.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros
6. Museo Universitario del Chopo
With more than 100 years, is a museum with a lot of history, its structure comes from the colossal building of Möhring, which was dismantled and shipped to move to Mexico City after being acquired by the Mexican Company of Permanent Exhibition SA in 1902 at the end the Düsseldorf Fair. The building looks like a cathedral for its iron towers that resemble bell towers.
After having hosted very varied collections and being the Museum of Natural History, it currently exhibits contemporary and experimental art including the realization of cultural events, being a reference in the exhibition of living arts and contemporary thought.
Address: Dr. Enrique González Martínez 10, Col. Santa María la Ribera. See map.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Museo Universitario del Chopo / Chilpas