As Mexico City’s major cultural center, the Palace of Fine Arts hosts art exhibitions and a range of live events, including music, dance, theater, and opera. The building is a mix of art nouveau, art deco, and baroque architectural styles referred to as Porfiriano, after Mexican President Porfirio Diaz who commissioned the project.
Located on the western side of the city’s historical center, next to Alameda Central park, the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) is surrounded by manicured gardens that offer contrast to the opulent columns and domes of the impressive structure. In addition to hosting live performances, it also houses a permanent art collection with statues and murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, and José Clemente Orozco.
One of the highlights is Rivera's Man at the Crossroads mural, which was originally commissioned for New York's Rockefeller Center but was destroyed and painted over by the Rockefellers because of its anti-capitalist imagery. Rivera recreated the work for the palace in 1934. Many tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the venue, including its theater curtain that’s made of almost a million pieces of colored glass from Tiffany's.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Umbrellas, bags, backpacks, and large packages are not allowed.
- The museum is equipped with elevators, and standard and electric ramps for those with disabilities.
- Entry to the building is free, but you must pay a fee to be admitted to the museum.
How to Get There
The Palace of Fine Arts doesn’t offer a parking lot, but there are private parking lots located nearby. Since the museum is situated by the historical center, it is easily accessible by the Metro Lines 2 and 8; hop off at the convenient Bellas Artes stop, which is right next to the palace.
When to Get There
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm, with Sundays attracting a bigger crowd. In addition to the museum, you can also attend a performance at the theater, including regular shows by Mexico City's Ballet Folklórico de México. Tickets to the performances are typically available on the day.
National Palace (Palacio Nacional)
Diego Rivera fans will also want to visit the National Palace to take in the artist’s The History of Mexico mural, painted between 1929 and 1951, which depicts Mexico's history from ancient times to the present.