Museo de Anthropologia Mexico City

MARSO Gallery

A handsome mansion in the Juárez neighbourhood is home to this contemporary-art gallery promoting both Mexican and international artists. MARSO collaborates with cultural institutions, runs residency programmes, publishes books and represents rising talent such as Virginia Colwell, Michael Conrads and Jong Oh. Check out their “salaseis” room, meant for the exchange of ideas between design, architecture and invention.

Museo El Eco

Founded by renowned architect Mathias Goeritz in the 1950s, El Eco still upholds his vision of an interdisciplinary meeting space for the arts. Those who know Barragán (who collaborated on the museum) will recognise his play on light and space within the building’s walls and corridors, as well as his signature architecture in which visitors experience the space as a penetrable sculpture to interact with. The annual architectural competition Pavilion Eco takes place in the museum’s central patio.

  • +52 555 535 5186
  • Go to Website
  • Calle James Sullivan 43
    San Rafael
    06470

Cordoba 25

The brainchild of branding agency Savvy Studio, this building in La Roma is home to the the Machete art gallery and Casa Bosques bookshop, which has the city’s largest selection of international press and magazines. Cordoba’s feel is at once cosy and industrial. It also has several in-house stores including the Naked Boutique, a venue for emerging Mexican fashion designers and Avery, a concept store with brands such as Arquiste, Simple by Trista, Parabellum and Ruiz Musi.

  • Córdoba 25, Villa Milpa Alta
    Santa Cruz
    12000

Cine Tonalá

A neighbourhood favourite, this is an independent cinema which holds daily screenings of rising Mexican talent as well a rotating selection of international films. In the cinema’s dimly lit antechamber, vintage Jodorowsky posters line the walls along with popcorn machines, a café serving pizza and communal tables where you’ll find people discussing the latest film. Tonalá also holds concerts, workshops, comedy nights and other events, so check their calendar to see what’s on while you’re in town.

El Palacio de Bellas Artes

This striking white-marble palace is the city’s main concert and arts hall. It has several quirky architectural details as it was built in phases by various architects of different nationalities. Its exterior is principally neoclassical and art nouveau (interlaced with indigenous mythological symbols and characters, such as depictions of Tlaloc and Chaac, the Aztec and Maya deities of water) while inside art deco and marble reign. On the top floor you’ll find sweeping murals by Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera and Siqueiros among others.

UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Located in southern Mexico City, UNAM is Latin America’s largest university and houses some incredible architecture (it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as the MUAC museum and a sculpture garden from some of the country’s greatest artists. Its main campus was built during the 1950s on an ancient solidified lava bed and is almost a separate region within Mexico City, with its own regulations and councils. Wander the university passages and stare up at the thought-provoking murals, which illustrate different strains of intellectual thought. Check out their website for the latest concerts and events, as MUAC often holds some of the best exhibitions in the country and the Neza concert hall has fantastic acoustics.

Museo Anahuacalli

An imposing structure towering over a hill in the city’s south, el Museo Anahuacalli epitomises the magnetism and force of its founder, artist Diego Rivera. Made from volcanic stone, the museum almost resembles an Aztec temple and was indeed constructed to form a teocalli (god house) influenced by the Teotihuacan culture with Mayan and Aztec touches – note the hexagonal and rectangular arcs that serve as entrances to the different showrooms. Among the 50,000 pieces of pre-Hispanic art are funerary urns, masks and sculptures and an exhibition of papier-mâché sculpture relating to the Day of the Dead.

Onora

This is the store for high-quality Mexican crafts. Founder Maggie Dalton has spent years immersing herself in local culture and developing close ties with indigenous communities around the country. Working alongside local artisans, she has produced items such as woollen throws, embroidery, beadwork, pottery and wooden objects, each with a contemporary finish.

El Museo Nacional de Antropología

Designed by architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, this museum is a journey through the tapestry of cultures and history that make up Mexico. The 12 ground-floor halls are each dedicated to a different pre-Hispanic region or culture, while the upper-level showcases contemporary Mexican society. As you wander the rooms, you’ll enter gardens with full-scale replicas of tombs and the renowned Aztec sun stone that was discovered under the city in 1970. Anyone wishing to understand the dynamics of Mexico at all should pay a visit. 

  • +52 554 040 5300
  • Go to Website
  • Av Paseo de la Reforma & Calzada Gandhi
    11560

El Museo Jumex

A contemporary-art museum designed by David Chipperfield, el Museo Jumex exhibits part of one of the largest private collections of contemporary art in Latin America (works include Jeff Koons, Andreas Gursky, Olafur Eliasson and Gabriel Orozco). The museum’s unique saw-tooth roof is made from white concrete and was designed to imbue the upper levels of the museum with natural light, while each space is adapted in an original way every time a new curator intervenes.

  • +52 555 395 2618
  • Go to Website
  • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303
    11529

Plaza Garibaldi

Plaza Garibaldi surpasses every clichéd expectation one could have of mariachis in Mexico. The sprawling square in the historic downtown of Mexico City is lined with traditional cantinas and full of mariachi bands in the most marvellous outfits looking for business at all hours. Mexicans will still head to the plaza to secure a band for a family event or spend the evening drinking and singing among friends. Secure a table in the well-known Salon Tenampa on the north side of the plaza, order some mezcal and embrace Mexico at its finest.

  • Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 43
    Centro
    06000

Lucha Libre

Mexico City offers some of the most fashion-forward cultural and culinary experiences of any major metropolis, but it is also the home to many Mexican stereotypes – so park your incredulity at the door and spend a Friday night among the colourful and flamboyant characters of Mexico’s lucha libre. Purchase a mask on your way in, grab a salt-rimmed michelada (a Mexican drink made with beer, lime juice, and assorted sauces) and choose your técnico (a good guy) or a rudo (a bad guy) to cheer on. The energy of the arena is exhilarating, and you’ll find yourself screaming obscenities in no time at all.

San Angel Mercado

If you don’t have the opportunity to visit one of Mexico’s pueblos mágicos, the Saturday market in San Angel is the closest you’ll get to experiencing the cobblestoned charm of rural Mexico. Fountains splash lazily in the centre of squares surrounded by beautiful historic buildings painted in antique shades of red, yellow and pink. Wander through the local artist’s market, sidestep the diners overflowing onto the pavements and take a moment to roam the gardens of San Jacinto. Finish the afternoon in the courtyard of San Angel Inn savouring a perfectly prepared margarita.

Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela

No trip to Mexico is complete without a few souvenirs and La Ciudadela is the place to peruse some of the finest artisanal gifts from around the country. Brightly painted Mexican ceramics, hand-blown glasses and woven textiles in the form of purses, cushion covers and ponchos make it difficult to leave without spending a few pesos. For those less inclined to shop, the square next to the market holds impromptu dance lessons at the weekend and older Mexican couples can be found learning new routines to a retro ghetto blaster. On the other side of the square, the Jose Vasconcelos library is a majestic example of an old building being re-appropriated  and a wander among its vast collections is inspiring.

  • Calle de Balderas
    Centro

MARSO Gallery

Museo El Eco

Cordoba 25

Cine Tonalá

El Palacio de Bellas Artes

UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Museo Anahuacalli

Onora

El Museo Nacional de Antropología

El Museo Jumex

Plaza Garibaldi

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