Top Ten Mexico City Museums

Mexico City, once the biggest city in the world and still the biggest city in the Americas, has more than enough museums to keep its 20 million + residents satisfied: over 100, the most of any city in the world.

An exact count is not really possible considering that new museums and galleries open every month, but seemingly every subject is covered. Do you like classic cars? Check out the Museo del Automóvil (Automobile Museum), in the south of the city. Are you fascinated by European decorative arts? You won’t want to miss Museo Franz Mayer, near the Alameda Central and home to a rich collection of tapestries, furnishings, and garments. Eager to learn more about the struggle for indigenous women’s rights? You should visit the Museo de la Mujer (Museum of the Woman), a few blocks east of Plaza Garibaldi. Curious about the agave harvest? The Museo del Tequila y El Mezcal, (Museum of Tequila and Mezcal) in Plaza Garibaldi itself, is for you – and admission includes a free tequila shot!

Some of the museums are real oddities. The delightful Museo de Arte Popular (Popular Art Museum), housed in an Art Deco firehouse south of the Alameda Central, displays fanciful alebrijes – colorful folk art sculptures that feature in an elaborate parade each October. The Museo de la Medicina (Museum of Medicine), near Plaza San Jacinto in the Centro Histórico, has more exhibits of aborted fetuses and genital warts than even the strongest stomach can handle. The adjacent Museo de la Inquisición (Inquisition Museum), which shares the same building, is of the disturbing-and-yet-I-can’t-avert-my-eyes variety. And Anahacualli, south of Coyoacán, is a cool and spooky stone hacienda that resembles an Aztec temple of sorts and that houses Diego Rivera’s formidable collection of pre-Hispanic idols.

I was inspired to write this post at the suggestion of my fellow blogger William, a retired English teacher who now spends half the year in Mexico City. (Life goals – en serio!) Check out his writings at In the meantime, here are my Top Ten Mexico City Museums:

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Barrios Bravos: Doctores

The next Barrio Bravo that I have decided to revisit digitally is south/southwest of the Centro Histórico. Although the “tough neighborhood” in question is neither as sprawling as Iztapalapa, nor as dense as Tepito, nor as jam-packed with history as Tlatelolco, it houses several hundred thousand Chilangos and has just enough points of interest to merit a few paragraphs in this blog series.

Doctores is so named because several of its streets are named after various doctors of some renown. Dr. Olvera, for example, was an 18th-century forensic scientist. Roughly speaking, the large colonia stretches runs from Arcos de Belén in the north to Viaducto in the south, and from Avenida Cuauhtémoc in the west to Eje Central in the east. The entirety of Doctores lies within Cuauhtémoc delegación (borough), which also governs the always-bustling Centro Histórico.

Eje Central 6

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