Mexico City houses the world’s most significant number of museums, some of which are among the best. As such, a visit to this destination will only be completed by visiting at least one. However, if you have a limited time and can only visit a few, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia should be one of them.
If you’re planning to visit this museum, you’ll need this guide to know more about it. Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know before visiting the place. This information includes everything, from location to operating hours and fees, and nearby establishments if you want to maximize your tour.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
About The Museo Nacional de Antropologia
The Museo Nacional de Antropologia is the most extensive out of all the 180 museums (or more) in Mexico City.
It stands out as one of the most recognized museums in the world, and its vast space, with a handful of exciting exhibits, attracts thousands of tourists every year.
This one is a beautiful museum that sits amid Chapultepec Park’s forest. As such, it’s near several other famous places in the city.
Due to the massive Mesoamerican artifact collection and its scale, it is highly recommended that you visit the place more than once.
However, if you’re pressed for time, we’ll cover the must-see exhibits in this museum later in the article.
Like most museums in the city, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia operates from Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays. It opens by 9:00 in the morning and closes by 5:00 in the evening.
You can also enjoy some free guided tours every day except Sunday. These tours are scheduled at the following hours:
- 10:30 AM
- 12:30 PM
- 1:30 PM
- 3:00 PM
- 5:00 PM
General admission to this museum costs 75 MXN, around 4 to 5 USD. However, the entrance is free for Mexican citizens and residents every Sunday.
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma s/n, Polanco, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone Number: +52 555 553 6266
Website: Museo Nacional de Antropologia
The Museo Nacional de Antropologia sits amid Chapultepec Park, particularly in the first section. You can find it between the Paseo de la Reforma and Mahatma Gandhi Street.
How to Get to Museo Nacional de Antropologia
This museum is easily accessible since it sits within Chapultepec Park. You can get to this museum by riding either a Bus or a Metro.
If you’re visiting this museum using the Metro, get off at Chapultepec Station on Line 1. When you exit the metro station, you will find a wide walkway leading straight to the Niños Heroes monument. From there, you can walk to the museum.
If you’re visiting this museum using the Bus, you can reach the park’s first section where it sits. From there, you can walk to the museum.
Since this museum sits within Chapultepec Park, you can always find parking nearby. Of course, it’s best to commute when visiting the place since public transportation is cheaper and better. However, you won’t find any problem with parking spaces in this area.
Activities To Do at Museo Nacional de Antropologia
The Museo Nacional de Antropologia is the most extensive of the museums in Mexico City. Nonetheless, like in other museums, most activities you can enjoy here are mainly exploring and sightseeing.
Now, if you’re searching for other activities in the museum, you can find several shops to buy gifts or local Mexican products.
You can also find an on-site cafeteria called Sala Gastronómica if you want to grab some snacks while touring the place.
In general, many of the museum’s visitors, and even locals, recommend that everyone should allot plenty of time if they want to explore the most out of this museum.
Of course, you can enjoy other activities in this vast city. If you want more options, read our list of the best Things to See and Do in Mexico City.
Attractions at The Museo Nacional de Antropologia
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need at least several days to explore every exhibit in this vast museum. However, if you’re short on time and you want to pay a visit to this museum, here are the exhibits you shouldn’t miss:
Piedra del Sol
The museum’s most famous exhibit is Piedra del Sol, commonly called the Aztec Sun. It’s a massive Sun Stone with a diameter of around 3.5 meters and a weight of around 24500 kilos.
It dated back to the early 1500s and was found during renovations to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City. With carvings depicting cycles of life, battles, and Aztec gods, much of the stone’s original meaning is still controversial.
Another popular exhibit you’ll find in the museum is Moctezuma’s Headdress. For those unfamiliar, Moctezuma II led the Aztec empire during the Spanish Conquest, and this headdress is one of his belongings.
The headdress is made with peacock blue and green quetzal feathers (and feathers from other birds). Further, it’s sewn with gold thread in a semicircular arc around the crown.
As such, it represents an integral part of Mexican history. It should be noted, however, that the museum possesses only a replica since the original can be found in Vienna.
The Xochipilli Statue is a 16th-century-old artifact found at Popocatepetl’s base, the second-tallest mountain in the country.
This statue shows a figure of Xochipilli, an Aztec god of games, dance, and art, in an ecstatic state of intoxication.
Besides the apparent psychoactive plants carved throughout, his body posture and language support this interpretation.
Overall, it’s a stunning example of Mesoamerican sculpture depicting cultural experiences not seen in European art and is worth seeing.
Pakal’s tomb contains a replica of Pakal I’s tomb. This famous Mayan emperor oversaw Palenque for around seventy years until passing away in 683 AD.
The original tomb was found in Palenque’s archaeological remains in the 1950s and still exists today.
The most stunning aspect of the copy, which is kept at the museum, is Pakal’s jade mask, which perfectly conveys the mystique and majesty of the original grave.
Jade Mask of the Zapotec Bat God
The Jade Mask of the Zapotec Bat God, formerly a part of the Zapotec culture, existed from around 100 BC to 200 AD.
The mask was found in Monte Alban, a crucial archaeological location in the modern city of Oaxaca, which was formerly a significant Zapotec metropolis.
Bats were highly valued in the native customs throughout the pre-Columbian era.
These winged animals were believed to have a unique link to the netherworld since they lived in caves.
El Paraguas, which means The Umbrella, is another building you should notice even though it is neither a piece of the museum’s exhibit nor a historical artifact.
This substantial building perfectly embodies the museum’s avant-garde, bold design, which was revealed in 1964.
A vast concrete column called El Paraguas dominates the middle of the central square.
The building is intended to symbolize the relationship between man and the environment with its flowing water element.
If you want to grab a bite as you explore this museum, you can find an on-site cafe, the Sala Gastronomica, below.
However, you can also find several restaurants about a block away, such as the other two below.
Address: Av. Gandhi S/N Dentro del Museo Nacional de Antropología, Polanco, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
Website: Sala Gastronómica
Address: 11560 Campos Eliseos, Lamartine 133, Chapultepec Morales, esq, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Operating Hours: 7:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Website: Saks Polanco
Cafe Toscano Polanco
Address: Temístocles 26, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Operating Hours: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Website: Cafe Toscano Polanco
If you’re planning to spend several days exploring this museum, you can find accommodation options nearby for easier access. Here are some of the nearest options:
Lamartine Residencial 619
Address: Lamartine 619, Polanco, Polanco V Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone Number: +52 557 030 9910
Website: Lamartine Residencial 619
Orchid House Polanco
Address: Campos Elíseos 76, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone Number: +52 555 183 2798
Website: Orchid House Polanco
Address: Campos Elíseos 170-156, Polanco, Polanco V Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Website: Campos Elíseos
Mexico City’s Museo Nacional de Antropologia offers stunning architecture, design, and some of the country’s most interesting artifacts. As such, any trip to the city will only be complete when you check this museum off your list. With this guide, we hope you enjoy your exploration of the museum.
Of course, besides the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, you can find other options in the city. To learn more about the best ones, read our article about the Museums in Mexico City.