Mexico City art guide: Museo Frida Kahlo, Soumaya & Jumex

Mexico City is a rich, vibrant city filled to the brim with formidable art galleries and museums. I’m here to tell you all about my favourite three art museums.

If you like art then you’ll love Mexico City. The megacity is home to over 150 museums and countless galleries. That’s not including the plentiful street art to be found around nearly every corner. The art is just one of many reasons to plan a trip to CDMX, and I’ve got you covered with this guide to my favourite three museums in the city.

1. Museo Soumaya

Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, 11529 Ciudad de México, CDMX

The Museo Soumaya itself is even more remarkable than the art it contains. The building is a curved beauty, covered in pearly hexagonal tiles that sparkle against the blue sky. The museum is free and open 365 days per year, and houses a full six floors of classical and modern art.

The Soumaya collection presents art from early civilisations all the way up to present day. I especially loved the modern collection on the 4th and 5th floors, and the Impressionist-era sculpture collection on the 6th floor. The giant Diego Rivera mural on the ground floor is breathtaking as well.

2. Museo Jumex

Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, 11520 Ciudad de México, CDMX

Museo Jumex is conveniently located right across the road from Soumaya, so you can easily hit both museums in the same art-filled day. Whereas Soumaya’s collection is mainly classical with some modern art, Jumex’s is wholly contemporary. If, like me, you love contemporary art, then you will thoroughly enjoy Jumex. Their exhibitions change fairly often, but I was lucky enough to be there to see Michael Smith’s Imagine the View from Here! which takes the piss out of timeshares, in light of the current social and political climate between the US and Mexico. The museum’s larger exhibit on television was excellent as well.

3. La Casa Azul: Museo Frida Kahlo

This museum may well have been a large factor in my deciding to travel to Mexico City in the first place. If you aren’t familiar with the wonderful Frida Kahlo, she was an artist and activist from Mexico City who was way ahead of her time. She grew up in this house, later living there with her husband Diego Rivera, which is now filled with some of her most outstanding works of art.

Turns out I wasn’t the only tourist in Mexico City who wanted to see La Casa Azul—queues can wrap halfway round the block and take up to five hours. To avoid this, there are a limited number of tickets that you can buy in advance online. Otherwise, plan to arrive an hour or two before opening, bring a book and a coffee along and wait it out. Once you’re inside, it will all be worth the trouble.

At least the queue had a beautiful blue backdrop.

Several of the rooms in La Casa Azul have been converted into galleries. Others are left virtually untouched, like her studio, bedroom and kitchen.

Whatever you do, don’t miss the spectacular garden in the centre of the building. It is filled with lush green plants and sculptures planted throughout.

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