All things Museums!

This will be a start.  In December of 2011, my first year here, I stayed in Mexico all Christmas and took in museums.  LOVED it, I mean LOVED.  So I will slowly begin to go back and recap the best, worst, and unique in various museums for your curating pleasure…:)  As always, ALWAYS bring your ASF id  as well as a student card if you are taking courses/classes anywhere!  Important if you want to save $$$.  Cameras allowed in most, but restrictions on flash usually apply.

Some Museum Resources

Mexico’s Coolest Museums

Recommended Museums from Hotbook

Facebook – Noches de Museos

Centro Area for Museums

Directory of some museums and how to get there (Thanks Deb!)

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*MUSEO DE ARTE POPULAR     Calle Revillagigedo 11, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, 06050 Ciudad de México, D.F.
This is one of the best exhibits I have seen in any of the Museums. AMAZING exhibits from all over Mexico. FREE! No pictures/cameras allowed, but this treasure trove of exhibits, sponsored by Banamex, took my breath away. From basics like clothing, pottery, silver craft, textiles, baskets, might sound boring but NO WAY.  Need to check your bags into the front lockers as you enter, but AWESOME exhibits the light Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 11.07.58 PMand open nature of this museum, (cameras okay but no flash!) along with a total look at how biodiverse Mexico is represented (and maybe the best Museum store ever!) – Love this museum!


Belles Artres – Av. Hidalgo #1, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc,  México,  DF  06050

Until later in August (the 23rd?) – Da Vinci Exhibition –

Everything about Belles Artres is GREAT – from the performances, to the murals, to now the Davinci Exhibit – amazingly free with a teacher ID – that is a DEAL 🙂   The architecture is amazing and when I go to Centro, I always see this as a centerpiece.  Normally entrance fee is 49 pesos, but still a deal with the beauty you see inside.  Programming can also be seen here of events at Belles Artres.


Av. Juarez 8, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, 06010 Ciudad de México, D.F.
This is a word of beauty in many ways different than the Holocaust Museum in the states.  Exhibits such as Richard Geres photographic Dalai Lama expoisition, now Yoko Ono, and many social issues related to tolerance are well represented.  Get the audio recording if you can that accompanies exhibits, a very good companion.  With id for students and teachers you get a discount and 60 pesos / 80 pesos with recording, is nothing to see the impotance of this museum right across from Plaza Alameda.

Palacio Postal Museum    Tacuba No. 1 Centro Historico  Mexico D.F.  Tel: 5510-2999

Should you visit the Mexico Postal building?  Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 4.30.37 PMYES!  It is amazing like King Midas touched it- and you can send a few postcards to friends!  Upstairs, after you check all the ground floor areas and find the showcases of exhibits on the on side!) – check out the Naval Historical Museum at the very top – and the VERY cool banister and elevator – but the Naval Museum – SUPER Cool.  You will see models of fleets in specific battles and of course iconography tied to what many did not even know about a Mexican Navy – spacious and worth the checkout.


Museo Mural Diego Rivera    Calle Balderas y Colon  Centro  Tel: 01 55 1555 1900

I loved the entrance alone just because the location? – right on the edge of Parque Alameda, and tables of chess players were present – I was excited before I even entered.  I loved the diverse artwork onto the side as you go in, but literally, it is like a chapel in being so reverent – the Diego Rivera mural space is hallowed.  You cannot hear a pin drop and seeing the whole mural, along with identified characters – it is simply breathtaking.  You forget where you are at the time, and this is worth the visit and then some.  Sunday is free, (as most museums) – Ask for Arturo – amazing guide within the museum!  Normally 21 pesos – with ID – FREE (students and professors) but worth every peso as well – 🙂


Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso     Justo Sierra 16, Historic Center of Mexico City 06020 Mexico, DF       Tel (+ 52-55) 5702 2991

IMG_6391Love the architecture, the special exhibits and the beauty of the inner courtyard!   IMG_6344     Only 22.50 pesos with a legit id for students and professors.  GREAT murals, ad if you are lucky, some workshops occur where you can make items that shadow exhibits at this museum.  Great and easy location behind the Temple Mayor – go EARLY – later in the day lines lines lines.  Photos allowed but no flash!


*TEMPLO MAYOR and Museum
I was sure this would be just like the Archaeological Museum in Reforma, but this is so much more.  You feel the energy of Centro with the discoveries of a time that existed a long time ago – you will not want to miss this opportunity to go, so worth it. Free admission with ID and you need to check your backpacks, no flash allowed, but camera allowed.  Specific exhibit info. here.


Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 4.19.05 PMMuseo San Carlos – Puente de Alvarado 50,  Tabacalera   Cuauhtemoc  06030                  Tel:  01 55 8647 5800

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but you should DEFINITELY NOT judge a museum by its front door or entry fee.  Case study, I walked in with my teacher id, and thought, free right?  NO – it is 25 pesos or 40 pesos with the ability to take pictures.  I was surprised but realized, almost  EVERY museum I have gone to as a teacher I have been into for free, and I am feeling a complaint?

Really?  – However, whoa.  The amount of volume in art that you find here? – MUCH more than you’d expect, you have a hall of images that are mesmerizing, representing India.  You have every single major artistic period represented detailed explanation as well as hall after hall of examples showing highlights of that particular period,be it Baroque, the Romantic Period, or the Renaissance.

The kicker was there was a direct reference to Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at Belles Artes and the impact it had here, someone did good, VERY good.  Also, the immersion areas for children where they can actually be a part of artistic in the museum – priceless. (Several areas for this too!)  Add to that the fact that there was a salsa concert happening with dancers that just seemed to make the museum picture perfect, the art that lines the second floor of this museum area, and a stairway that makes you feel truly appreciative, with the side halls of exhibits, this was ABSOLUTELY worth the pesos with or without an id, hands down.  The back area to exit with the park that is easy to miss behind the museum is a PERFECT place to to let it all flow through you and realize, this was a GREAT find.


Reforma Area for Museums

Museum of Modern Art     Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi s/n | Bosque de ChapultepecMexico City 11560Mexico   Phone: 86-47-55-30                                                                       (Odd is the main website for the Museum is not working!)

Show your id and it is free as a teacher!  YEAH!


*Tamayo Museum  and Restaurant

Free with your professor credentials!  A GREAT deal!   I first walked to my right where there was a lounge-type area, and very cool – all the explanations and a majority of books on the artists, as well as the exhibits and detailed explanations were provided in a whole area constructed of fresh-looking wood, and neatly organized by exhibits.  Underneath the collection of materials for each exhibit that was currently on display, inquiry logs were available for you to describe your reactions and responses to each of the exhibits.  I loved the look and the comfortable space created by this area.

The cafe was a perfect ending to an amazing experience, beautiful outside, individuals enjoying the park, a delicious omelette, great Chai tea, the atmosphere, the service, the food – everything, reasonable and DELICIOUS.  I walked away realizing what an amazing and generous individual Rufino Tamayo was, and what an honor it was to tour his museum.


Constituyentes Area for Museums

Luis Barragan House!   Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 11.04.54 AM

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Surprising and amazing details to be found and nearby to the American School Foundation in Observatorio!


Roma Area for Museums and Cultural Centers

*Museo Modo

While regular admission is $40.00, with an id you get a discounted (I think it MIGHT be $25.00). This corner museum has several floors and at the time I went in this was El Rock en Mexico, which was a great look into rock in Mexico and many many artists and artifacts.  This was well worth it as the inside is much larger than looks like from the outside and right in the middle of some great places in Roma Norte!

Polanco Area for Museums

*Museo Tuvie Maizel and Museo Jumex

Breathtaking and AWESOME and Very comparable to Washington D.C’s Holocaust Museum.  Bring your ID for a discount and it is VERY VERY worth it to get the audio tour in English along the way.  Plan on three hours to take all in completely. 

 If you’re staying in town for the holidays, here’s another museum to put on your list.  I’ve heard great things about the Jumex collection 🙂  And one of our moms, Lisa, has shared this.


Tlatelolco Museum

On -Site Museum

From (

“The Tlatelolco Museum (Museo de Tlatelolco) is open Tuesday through Sunday; 10am to 6pm; entrance fee is $30 pesos; Ricardo Flores Magón 1, Nonoalco-Tlatelolco.

This is a new “must” on my list of basic sites for tourists and residents alike! Visit or re-visit Tlatelolco – you won’t be disappointed!”



Iztapalapa Area for Museums

Museo “Fuego Nuevo” Iztapalapa

In the often referred to area of Iztapalapa, as a little to be wary of, this is a GREAT museum!  Nestled in between the National Park:
Cerro de la Estrella National Park
Carretera Escenica al Cerro de la Estrella S/N Km 2, Iztapalapa, Ampliacion Veracruzana, 09856 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico
01 800 008 9090

and one of the fastest growing areas in Mexico – this museum has a history of Christ’s crucification and this area is also the area of the recreated walk Christ takes with the cross – HUNDREDS of people, well maybe, thousands come! The museum is very large, open spaced, and only 5 pesos to enter.  Inside the murals of the recreated walk Christ takes as well as a history of the area exist.

A short video as well helps acquaint you with this museum.  Although small, at the time we entered there was an inauguration as well as special exhibit of art that was great. I liked the personal aspects of this museum and that it helped enhance the area and an awareness of the customs in this area.

Specific hours and the metro stop are found here at TimeOut.  I think if you plan a morning an afternoon, you will have time to take the park and museum in easily.


Doctores Area for Museums

MUJAM Museo del Juguete Antiguo 

Neighbors.   Sometimes we often forget how close we are to someone and never quite know them.  When I brought a pile of extra materials to my house from friends moving back to the states, (file cabinets, plants, pots, more) and gave a lot of extras to them – boy did I also come across a discovery.  Meeting Roberto Shimizu, REALLY meeting him, after sharing an apartment floor with him for over 2 years was one of the largest educations I received in one day, and I was able to learn just from the observations of his collections at the Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 3.53.49 PMMuseo del Jugete Antiguo in Mexico City.  Mr. Shimizu found ME  Mr Shimizu and meon the first floor Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 2.52.20 PMwithin minutes of entering the building and had this ease and proudness of a collection that I had yet to realize – but by the end of the day, I would be stunned into being unaware of this magical spot up to this point, as well as privileged to be able to discovery so much history of Mexico, the United States, and other countries ALL in one location.

In seeing a father and daughter in front of before even entering, I has one complimentary ticket and they obviously did not have the funds to enter, I slipped them a ticket and I think this made their experience possible  🙂  I felt that was a good deed needing done for the day. and this was an opportunity it felt was not to be missed!

The memories that hit you from floor to floor of toys of the past – they are just amazing, then you learn about the amazing history of so much, the original neon sign of what was the symbol of this first location of display, the huge (two story) Mardi Gras mask in the center of the museum (from a famous nightclub in Mexico in Doctores)  that still has moving eyes and yet, people scraped the real gold off the one tooth that you can still see, the amazing collection of Mexican historical pieces that define all levels of Mexican history, the largest display of Harry Potter in the WORLD (heck, I thought I just walked into Ollivander’s Shop on Diagonal Alley, of every wand possible on one wall alone, then there is a real snake, the collections of magazines of Harry Potter, figurines, spells, more than you can ever imagine, and you only get a TIP of the iceberg of what you will experience in the GEM of a museum.  Downstairs the food is amazing in Japanese style, and you continue to see pieces of collections that will truly just blow your mind.

The collector that brought this collection to Museo del Juguete Antiguo, is a real estate lawyer Menahem Asher Silva Vargas has been certified by Guinness Awards as the largest anywhere but there are so many secrets to discover on every floor.  In fact, you are not sure if the exhibits that are being held by some of the most creative cases are the art or if the exhibits themselves are the art (Sputnik relics, former movie theatre showcase lights, an old Dodge spree wooden wheel, these are nothing compared to some of the other showcases themselves allow you to take them in before you even get to the exhibit!

From Batman to Robin, to EVERY imaginable item you knew or didn’t know – overwhelming is just a small little way to describing the wonder of this amazing amazing museum backed by culture so thick, it is easy to get lost in the nostalgia and volumes of culture.

Add to that an amazing guide, Jonathan Sanchez that came over to guided us through some amazing aspects without us even asking.  He showed us a very unknown roof that houses illustrations from artists all over the world, and the like that you just have to take it all in, that your are not dreaming, while the background of Mexico surrounds you as you lose yourself in the art.

I have way too many pictures than I can show here, but perhaps one will show you just how amazing of things you will find here, Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 3.38.31 PM(the details of every exhibit is what will amaze you as well) and this is a drop in an ocean of what you will see, and more importantly, feel!

You have until June 30th to see the Happy Potter exhibit, you will not be disappointed!


Let us know if you’ve been to a neat place and have a review or suggestions (even something like “if you go, avoid Thursdays because of x, y or z”)…
Thanks!     Karen

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