Which city in the world has more museums than any other city? (Hint – it’s not Paris.)
It’s Mexico City.
Mexico City museums
This may come as a surprise, given all the history and culture in Europe. But whether Mexico City does indeed have the most number of museums is irrelevant.
The fact is there’s an astounding collection of top-notch Mexico city museums – more than 150 museums!
In Mexico City, however, there are museums to suit every intellectual fancy, from shoe to cartoon museums – even a pen museum. But the grand-daddy of all Mexico City museums is the world-class National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia).
Highlights of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City
Very modern in design, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City tells the story of Mexico’s pre-Columbian past, from before the Mayan civilization through to the Aztecs and the Spanish conquest.
Built around a courtyard, it’s huge (20 acres in size) and has 23 exhibit halls. The most famous exhibit is the 24-ton Aztec Calendar or “Sun Stone” (almost 12 feet in diameter).
We could only allow a half-day here. (There was much more we also wanted to see in Mexico City!)
So we concentrated our visit on the most significant displays – the Teotihuacan, Maya and Aztec exhibit halls.
It was particularly interesting to learn more about the difference between the Aztec and Maya civilizations.
Mayans vs Aztecs
- The Mayans: They came first, starting around 2,500 B.C. They lived mainly in the Yucatan Peninsula and flourished between 200 and 900 A.D (building the cities of Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza).
- The Aztecs: They came later and founded Mexico City (then known as Tenochtitlan) on an island on Lake Texcoco in 1325 A.D. The Spanish eventually conquered them in 1521.
Here are a few photos of the cultural exhibits we saw:
If you visit Mexico City, don’t miss the National Museum of Anthropology – it’s one of the best museums we’ve seen.
Practical information for visiting the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City
- Hours: The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City is open every day, except Monday, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. See website for details
- Cost: 63 MX pesos (or about $5 USD).
- Tip: If time is short, head directly to the Teotihuacan, Maya and Aztec exhibit halls.
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We’re Janice and George Mucalov, professional award-winning travel writers, sharing tales of luxury travel with a twist of adventure.