A Brooklynite’s Quick Museum Guide to Mexico City

By Christine Stoddard | [email protected]

Right now, local museum-lovers gushing over the Spike Lee exhibition, which was recently extended at the Brooklyn Museum. But what if you are a museum nerd who longs for warmer locales? You might consider a trip to Mexico City, which is in some ways comparable to New York City for its size, cultural touchstones, and diversity in arts and entertainment.

A round-trip flight from JFK to MEX is typically $400-600 this time of year, and I swung a private Airbnb for just under $40 a night during my six-night, mid-January stay. During the day, temperatures reached highs in the 70s and, at night, the lows hit the mid-40s. With a currency exchange rate 16 times in our favor as Americans, the cost of eating out (and just about anything else!) is a gift to a Brooklynite’s wallet.

A view of Teotihuacan, a pre-hispanic archeological complex northeast of Mexico City.

Here are some of the Mexico City museums you might visit:

Museo Nacional de Antropología/National Museum of Anthropology: A massive museum full of Indigenous and ancient, pre-Hispanic wonders. Lose hours here.

Castillo de Chapultepec/ Chapultepec Castle: The Viceroyalty of New Spain lived here, so the visit feels like a mini escape to Europe. You will find many artifacts from the 1700s and 1800s. Think Hamilton-era but Spanish.

Teotihuacan: Not technically within the city, but nearby (and worth the hour drive), this archeological wonder is unlike anything in the Tri-State area. Giant pyramids call for your comfiest sneakers!

Museo Mural Diego Rivera/Diego Rivera Mural Museum: You have probably seen it in a thousand art history textbooks, but here you can soak in its full splendor: the sweeping Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central mural.

Museo Frida Kahlo/Frida Kahlo Museum: This cobalt blue house museum is sometimes referred to as la Casa Azul. A must-see for Frida fans.

Museo de Arte Moderno/Museum of Modern Art: A unique collection of Mexican Modern art (roughly 1860s-1970s), including work by Rivera and Kahlo in its permanent collection, but also artists less frequently known to Americans. It is similar to the Mexican version of our MoMa. The gorgeous sculpture garden truly distinguishes the experience.

Museo de Tamayo/Tamayo Museum: The contemporary art museum, full of exciting work by international artists working today. It is our equivalent of the New Museum or the Whitney Museum of Art.