The Anthropology Museum, a must-go

TOP EXPERIENCES · Arts & museums, Family, History
Take 3 hours


If there is one museum you should go to in Mexico City, it is the National Anthropology Museum, which has the largest collection of Mesoamerican pieces in the world. Nestled besides the Chapultepec Forest, the museum attracts millions of visitors every year.

When you enter, go to the large central courtyard which connects all the museum halls. Stop to observe the huge water umbrella, it is one of the largest hanging structures in the world. Begin your tour through the halls on the right. First you’ll find an introduction to anthropology and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Then the exhibitions start, arranged by period and culture: the Pre-classic period in the Central Plateau, the Teotihuacan hall -which you can't miss- and the space devoted to the Toltecs and the Epiclassic period. At the back, the Mexica room houses the museum’s jewel: the imposing Sunstone, a huge Aztec calendar that was found underneath the Zocalo.

Continue along the left side, with halls dedicated to the cultures that settled in Oaxaca and the Gulf of Mexico. The Mayan culture hall is a must-see, with spaces dedicated to important sites like Palenque, plus the western and northern cultures.

If you have time, we recommend you go upstairs, which is dedicated to living cultures. Over 15 million Mexicans belong to an indigenous ethnic group and over 60 languages are spoken. It makes for an interesting tour of the main indigenous peoples and their history and customs.

At the exit you can enjoy the amazing spectacle of the Papantla voladores (flying men). Don’t miss it!

Plan for two or three hours for a quick visit, focusing on the Teotihuacan, Mexica and Maya halls. For a full visit plan for three or four hours. If you like archaeology, plan to spend the whole day!

The museum offers audio tours in Spanish, English and French.

Entry to the museums with backpacks and large packages is not permitted, so they have to be left at the cloakroom.

Next to the Museum of Anthropology is the Tamayo Museum, dedicated to the avant-garde art, and opposite, the Modern Art Museum, a magical contrast.

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Av. Paseo de la Reforma s/n, Col. Chapultepec Polanco. 11560

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