The Museo Nacional de Antropologia is a massive anthropology museum with an extensive collection of artefacts that come from Mexico's pre-Columbian history. With so much to see dating back centuries, it's one of the best places in the world to take a look into the past to see what Mexico was like before it was changed forever. Of course, you can see visiting exhibits as well that explore the history of other parts of the world.

Everyone can enjoy the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, including kids and adults alike. With intrigue and fascinating history around every corner, all ages can learn about the rich background of the region and see actual pieces of it up close. This massive museum is among the largest in the world, so it'll take about 3 hours or so to see everything, though you're welcome to stay longer if you like.

Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City - one of the highlights of 11 Best Things to Do in Mexico City and 11 Best Museums in Mexico City (Read all about Mexico City here)

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What are the highlights of Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City?

The primary highlight of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia is its extensive collection of archaeological artefacts. The original Aztec Sunstone is on display here, as are the giant stone heads of the Olmec civilisation. You'll also find treasures that were recovered from the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza, a notable Mayan structure. One of the most iconic exhibits is the model and layout of the former Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. The site of Tenochtitlan is where central Mexico City stands today.

The artefacts on display at the Museo Nacional de Antropologia include remnants from every pre-Columbian civilisation in current and former Mexican territory, going even as far as the southwestern United States. Additionally, you can see a comprehensive exhibit on native cultures and what they were like after the Spanish colonisation.

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A brief history of Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City

The Museo Nacional de Antropologia officially opened in 1964, but the foundation for what it would become was actually laid centuries before. Many of the artefacts on display here were curated in the 18th century at the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico. In 1825, the National Mexican Museum was established by the first president of Mexico, and many of the artefacts were moved there.

The collection grew over the years to the point where much of it had to be divided in between several museums. They would find themselves centred around a single museum in 1964 when the Museo Nacional de Antropologia as it stands today was first opened. This is also when the specific focus on pre-Columbian cultures and modern-day Mexican ethnography became a part of the museum's central mission.

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What else is good to know about Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City?

Before you visit the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, it's always good to check the local schedule first. Several different events are held throughout the year, including special exhibits focusing on other cultures, like Egyptian, Iranian, and Chinese ancient history, along with concerts and educational events. Teachers and students with valid credentials can get in for free.

While visiting the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, you'll find yourself close to several other attractions you may be interested in. Chapultepec Castle is just a short walk away without even having to leave Bosque de Chapultepec. To the northwest, however, you can find the Soumaya Museum, an art museum with quite a few notable European works. Directly north, in the Polanco area, you can enjoy a massive selection of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.

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Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City

Location: Av. Paseo de la Reforma s/n, Polanco, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed Sunday–Monday)

Phone: +52 55 5553 6266