10 Museums Off the Beaten Track in Mexico City

Take an alternative day out to these lesser-known places

By Google Arts & Culture

Mexico City

¡Hola! and welcome to Mexico City. Did you know there's been a city here since 1325, when the Aztecs founded Tenochtitlan? Given its long and eventful history, it's no surprise there are many unusual museums to see, so let's get going.

Museum of Mexican Medicine

In the former Palace of the Inquisition you'll find the Museum of Mexican Medicine. Among its collections are a room devoted to indigenous herbal medicine, old medical equipment and machines, studies of human development, and a collection of wax medical models.

Museo de la Caricatura

The Caricature Museum was opened in 1987 to preserve and promote the art of cartooning in Mexico. The museum is also home to the Mexican Society of Cartoonists, and hosts regular workshops, book launches, and conferences.

On the ground floor, you'll find the permanent collection, which comprises political cartoons dating to Porfirio Díaz' presidencies, 1877-80, and 1884-1911. This controversial figure provoked much coverage in the press, and some caustic caricatures.

House of the First Print Shop in the Americas

You might have already guessed, but if not, this red building was the very first print shop in the Americas. At least 35 books were printed here by Juan Pablos between 1539 and his death in 1560. It's now the home of the book museum.

Museo de la Luz

The Museum of Light is a science museum in the historic city-centre, dedicated to the phenomena of light. The permanent exhibitions are organised around six themes: light in nature, astronomy, colours, art, biology, and vision.

Museo del Caracol

Don't be disappointed by the Museo del Caracol, or Snail Museum, the name refers to its spiral architecture. Inside you'll find a history of Mexico, from the war of independence to the Mexican Revolution, illustrated by photographs, documents, and dioramas.

Leon Trotsky House Museum

If you ever find yourself asking, 'whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?' head down to the Leon Trotsky House Museum in the borough of Coyoacán. The house is in exactly the same condition as it was on that fateful day in 1940 when Trotsky was murdered.

Museo del Pulque y las Pulquerías

Pulque is an alcoholic drink that has been brewed in central America for millennia. The sap of the maguey plant is fermented, and eventually makes a slightly sour, milky-white drink. Until colonisation, pulque was used for religious ceremonies, and only drank by the upper class.

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Antonio Ruiz, Concha Michel, and other public figures at the unveiling of the murals at the "pulque" bar "La Rosita" in Coyoacán (ca. 1943) by CasasolaFototeca Nacional, INAH

The twentieth century saw a major decline in the status & popularity of pulque: traditionally, women were banned from pulque bars and beer became to be seen as more sophisticated. However pulque has seen a revival in recent years, and the museum aims to keep the pulque flowing.

La Casa-Estudio de Leonora Carrington

This unassuming house looks normal from the outside, but inside was where the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington made some of her weirdest and best-known works. This tiny house museum was renovated in 2019, and is now open to the public.

Castillio de Chapultepec

It would be hard to miss the Castillio, given it stands proud of the peak of Chapultepec Hill, but we couldn't leave it out. The hill was once a sacred site for the Aztecs, and offers some of the most beautiful views across the city. Now, it's the home of the National Museum.

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