Bosque de Chapultepec Museums and Galleries
Museum of Modern Art
Av. Paseo de la Reforma, Bosque de Chapultepec
Mexico City's Museum of Modern Art sits on the eastern edge of Chapultepec Park. The domed modernist building with its permanent collection of Mexican masters—Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo—inventive exhibits, and sculpture garden is a delight.
Museo de Antropología
Av. Paseo de la Reforma & Calzada Gandhi, Bosque de Chapultepec
For anyone who's even remotely interested in pre-Hispanic culture, this museum is a must. It houses many of the most important findings from archaeological digs across the country, from the original Aztec calendar which was unearthed in Mexico City, to enormous monolithic stone Olmec heads from Veracruz, to all the treasures found in the Mayan tomb of Pakal in Palenque. Meanwhile, outside the museum stands an enormous monolith of Tlaloc, the god of rain. Legend has it that when he arrived in Mexico City, there was an almost catastrophic rainstorm. In short, it's a lot to take in, but worth it: It's a 101 crash course into pre-Hispanic culture.
Paseo de la Reforma 51, Bosque de Chapultepec
While the arrival of the Museo Jumex certainly brings some stiff competition in the contemporary art arena, the Museo Tamayo, open since the 80's, housing muralist Rufino Tamayo's entire collection, has still got it. They've brought everyone from Sophie Calle, to Wolfgang Tillmans, to Francis Alÿs, to Yayoi Kusama—whose exhibition last year broke attendance records—to the Mexican audience, complementing each show with film series, talks, educational programs, and their famous jazz nights. Originally designed by two of Mexico's most prominent modernist architects, Abraham Zabludovsky and Teodoro González de León, the museum, which is nestled in Chapultepec park, has recently undergone an expansion and refurb. Meanwhile, the newly appointed curator, Juan Gaitan, will undoubtedly continue to shake things up in the years to come.