With Mexico City ranking high among cities most densely populated with museums, it can understandably be difficult to narrow down where to go to make the most of your trip. Set your cultural itinerary with ease using our list of top museums and galleries in CDMX you can’t miss!

1. Casa Luis Barragán

Named to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2004, this museum pays homage to the career of the internationally renowned and Pritzker Prize-winning architect after which it is named. The property sits on two adjacent lots in the Daniel Garza sector of Mexico City and served as both Barragán’s residency and studio during his lifetime. The museum’s combination of austere minimalism with bold touches of color delight design and art-lovers alike. Read more about how to visit Casa Luis Barragán.

house of gaga
House of Gaga

2. House of Gaga

Along the tree-lined Avenida Ámsterdam in Condesa you’ll find House of Gaga, a contemporary art gallery whose curatorial focus centers on supporting the work of emerging international artists. Open since 2008, the gallery was founded by artist-curator Fernando Mesta and architect José Rojas.

Photo credit: Julia Alejos via TimeOut

3. Museo Nacional de Antropología 

The largest museum in the country, boasting 22 rooms spread across 45,000 square meters, is often recognized for the towering umbrella-shaped inverted fountain in its central patio. However, it merits a spot on this list for the vast scope of archeological artifacts from the indigenous cultures and civilizations of present-day Mexico that it houses within its sprawling museum campus.

4. Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo

What was first the private collection of highly-regarded Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo and his wife Olga now exists as its own museum. Comprising more than 850 works in total, the artist’s mission in opening the museum was to provide a space for the public to be exposed to and learn about key figures in modern and contemporary art on an international level. The collection includes artwork by Pablo Picasso, Isamu Noguchi, Franz Kline, Helen Frankenthaler, and Louise Nevelson, among others.

5. Museo Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso

This historic landmark was one of the first buildings to benefit from a government-sponsored program during Mexico’s post-revolutionary era which hired artists to adorn its walls with murals. Walk the grounds of the site today for a firsthand view of the building’s beautiful colonial baroque arches as well as the massive painted works by many of the most celebrated muralists of this period including Ramón Alva de la Canal, Fermin Revueltas, Fernando Leal, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Mooni Gallery Mexico City
Photo credit: Mooni

6. Mooni

If you’re new to buying art, drop by one of the two locales of Mooni to enjoy the gallery’s eclectic and colorful selections of affordable originals, prints, and functional art. Many of the Pinterest-worthy works come framed and ready-to-hang to expedite your transition from art aficionado to collector in a snap.

7. Museo de Arte Popular

Opened since 2006 in a converted firehouse, this four-floor gem of a museum hosts exhibits of exemplary Mexican folk art. Explore the various rooms to learn about traditional handicrafts and the artisans who created them. A handy tip to abide by if you’re a budget-savvy traveler: many of the museums on this list offer free entry on Sundays, including this one!

8. Museo Soumaya

Many an Instagrammer has posted a selfie with the glimmering curvilinear silhouette of the Museo Soumaya as thier backdrop, but don’t miss the opportunity to go inside. Founded by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim and designed by architect Fernando Romero, within its futuristic walls the institution holds collections of colonial coins and Mesoamerican art as well as artwork by modern European and Mexican masters. 

Museo soumaya
Museo Soumaya, Photo credit: Axcell crz

9. Museo Jumex

If you’re already at the Museo Soumaya in the Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City, you only have to head across the street to cross another top museum off your list. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, Museo Jumex houses the private collection of Eugenio López Alonso and ​​includes works from world-renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Damian Hirst, Cy Twombly, Marcel Duchamp, Jeff Koons, Donald Judd, and Bruce Nauman, among others. 

10. Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo

Enter the sleek, angled facade of the MUAC to enjoy this public museum with the primary objective of collecting, researching, and displaying Mexican artwork from 1952 onwards. Located on the main campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the museum has welcomed over five million visitors to see shows of national and international visual culture since its inauguration in 2008.

11. Museo Nacional de Arte

For those who enjoy experiencing history through art, a visit to the Museo Nacional de Arte is a must. The museum’s collection focuses solely on Mexican artwork produced between the mid-sixteenth century and 1954. Currently celebrating 40 years since its inauguration, the museum’s location in the city’s historic center means it is only a three-minute walk from the also popular Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Museo Nacional de Arte Mexico City
Museo Nacional de Arte

12. Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes

An architectural gem in its own right, combining elements of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes was the first dedicated art museum in Mexico. Although it has played host to performances and events in dance, music, opera, and theater over the years, its permanent exhibitions of murals alone are worth a stop at this eminent institution. 

You may notice that the Museo Frida Kahlo is noticeably absent from this list and that’s only because the beloved Casa Azul is incredibly popular museum that we figured you'd likely already know. We hope you enjoy exploring the best galleries and museums in Mexico City with the help of our guide!


Alicia Puig has been a contributing writer for Create! Magazine since 2017.