Located in the historical heart of Mexico City, the National Museum of Art (Museo Nacional de Arte) houses an extensive collection of Mexican artwork from the 16th century to the 20th, including early paintings by Diego Rivera and landscapes by Velasco. While the permanent collection is impressive, temporary exhibits are often also worth the trip.The Basics
This popular museum in the Centro Historico was formerly the Communications and Public Works Palace. Built between 1905 and 1911, the historical structure boasts ornamented ceilings, Corinthian columns, and intricate wrought-iron staircases. Today an expansive network of galleries and halls display artwork and handicrafts that show the progression of the country’s development through traditional Mexican artistry.
Visit the National Museum of Art independently or as part of a Mexico City sightseeing tour, including the hop-on hop-off bus.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The National Museum of Art is a must-see for art lovers.
- Buy skip-the-line admission tickets in advance to avoid waiting at the ticket booth.
- Expect to spend a few hours exploring the museum’s collection, and be sure to pick up a map, as the galleries can be difficult to navigate.
- There is an on-site library, shop, and cloakroom.
- The museum is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
There are several ways to reach the museum, located in Mexico City’s Centro Historico. Most visitors arrive via hop-on hop-off bus or public transport—the subway (Lines 2 and 8), metrobus (Line 4), and trolleybus all stop at Bellas Artes, just steps away. If you’re driving, follow Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas to Donceles Street.When to Get There
The National Museum of Art is open 10am to 5:30pm Tuesday through Sunday; it is closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Mexico City can be visited year-round. Winter sees large numbers of tourists, whereas spring and fall strike a nice balance between pleasant weather and more manageable crowds. Wet weather is likely from June to September.Centro Historico
The UNESCO World Heritage–listed Centro Historico is a sprawling historic district and the modern epicenter of Mexico City. It centers around the Zócalo (main square) and is full of museums, shops, restaurants, and hotels. Notable landmarks include the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes), the Torre Latinoamericana skyscraper, and Alameda Central park.