Mexico Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Published on January 10th, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut

Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Guadalajara, Mexico.

10 Museums in Mexico You’ve Got To See

Mexico is known for its wealth of cultural attractions, and museums are among the best places to connect with the nation’s history, art and culture. And while the big cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey naturally have a large percentage of the top cultural institutions, you might be surprised by the number of noteworthy museums in smaller cities, towns and even Mexico beach resorts.

With that in mind, here are 10 museums in Mexico that should be on your itinerary.

  1. Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Anthropology Museum)
    Mexico City
    Considered one of the best anthropology museums on the entire planet, this Mexico City institution is worth an entire day’s visit, as you trace the fascinating story of the local cultures and populations.

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2. Museo Nacional de Historia; Castillo Chapultepec (National Museum of History; Chapultepec Castle)
Mexico City
This castle, which sits dramatically stop a hill in the city’s largest park, is home to an interesting array of period furniture, documents and paintings from when the building served as home to viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez and emperor Maximiliano I.

3. Instituto Cultural Cabañas (Cabañas Cultural Institute)
This massive former institution opened in early 19th century to provide shelter for disadvantaged residents. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a museum and a great place to see masterpiece murals by Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco.

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4. Museo de las Artes (Museum of the Arts)
Set in a lovely French renaissance building that once housed the administrative offices of the University of Guadalajara, this venue exhibits an impressive variety of contemporary Mexican art on a rotating basis, and is also home to large murals by Orozco.

5. Museo de Historia Mexicana (Museum of Mexican History)
An expansive collection of exhibitions provides a fascinatingly detailed overview of Mexico’s history, from before the arrival of Spanish colonists through to modern times.

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6. Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Museum of Contemporary Art)
Often referred to simple as MARCO, this noteworthy museum exhibits an impressive array of contemporary art.

7. Museo Maya (Maya Museum)
Many travelers associate Cancun with big hotels, sun and sand. But this excellent museum, located right in the Hotel Zone, is an excellent place to view ancient pre-Hispanic artifacts and learn about the cultures and traditions of the region (consider a visit here before heading off to Mayan ruins elsewhere on the Yucatan peninsula). Don’t miss the ruins on site.

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8. Casa de Ignacio Allende/Museo Histórico de San Miguel de Allende
(Ignacio Allende Home/San Miguel History Museum)
The historic city of San Miguel de Allende draws lots of culture-loving vacationers and expats, and a good place to start any history tour of the destination is this museum, set in the former home of Ignacio Allende, a key play in Mexico’s independence movement. The 1759 structure houses period furnishings and history exhibits.

9. Museo Guadalupe (Guadalupe Museum)
Near Zacatecas
A surprisingly impressive collection of 17th- and 18th-century paintings make this worth the trip.

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10. Museo Amparo (Amparo Museum)
Founded in 1979, this museum is set in two colonial-era buildings, with a permanent collection of artifacts, art and items that tell the story of Mexico’s development — from pre-Hispanic arts and tools to architecture, religion and decor through the centuries.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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