Museo Nacional de Antropologia

The National Museum of Anthropology is the largest and most visited museum in Mexico, which was opened on September 21, 1964, by then-President Adolfo López Mateos, who dedicated it to the people of Mexico.

The museum is located in the Chapultepec Park area of Mexico City. It was built during the early 20th century and designed by Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez.

It's home to an impressive number of ancient artefacts, including some that date back thousands of years. The museum boasts over 1 million pieces in all!

It's one of the largest museums in the world by square footage—and it's definitely worth a visit if you're looking for something new and exciting to do in Mexico City.

The building consists of three floors for permanent and temporary exhibitions. The permanent collections are divided into six main groups: Prehistory; Mesoamerican cultures from the Preclassic period to the Spanish conquest; Colonial period; Modern times (19th century); Ethnology; Archaeology (Pre-Hispanic).

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Mexico City
El Zocalo
One of the world’s biggest city squares with an iconic Bandera monumental, which was once the ceremonial centre of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire. Today it is known as Plaza de la Constitución.
Catedral Metropolitana
The Catedral Metropolitana in Mexico City is one of Mexico’s most iconic structures and a monument to the country’s history and the largest cathedral in Latin America.
Templo Mayor
The Templo Mayor or Great Temple (called Hueteocalli by the Aztecs) was the heart of the Aztec empire, a site where people would come to worship their gods. It was also a place of sacrifice, where human beings were killed as offerings to the gods.
Chapultepec Castle
Chapultepec Castle is an immense stone edifice that sits atop a hill in the heart of Mexico City built by the Spanish in 1725 as a large manor house for their viceroy and commander-in-chief of the colony, New Spain.
Museo Nacional de Historia
Shows Mexico's history from Cortes to the 1910 Revolution
Tlatelolco
Tlatelolco was the most important commercial centre in pre-Hispanic times. In Nahuatl, Tlatelolco can be translated to "terrace" (Tlatelli) or "sandy point" (Xaltilolli).

Related Tours

The Historic Heart of Mexico City: Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Embark on a journey through 700 years of history in the heart of Mexico City and discover its historic centre on a pleasant walking tour stopping at many of the most popular and important landmarks that not even the locals know. Your professional tour guide will share with you anecdotes and curious facts that will make your tour a cultural experience that you will never forget.

On this private half-day tour, you will:

  • Start your tour at the Anthropology Museum, where you will see the Sun Stone, also known as the Aztec calendar, the Coatlicue;
  • Discover the Statue of the Foundation of Tenochtitlan, about 50 meters tall located at the "El Zócalo",
  • Visit Templo Mayor, the most important building in the city of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) as it was the place where the religious ceremonies were performed;
  • Enter the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, one of the oldest and largest in Latin America;
  • Learn about "El Zócalo", officially known as Plaza de la Constitución, one of the recognisable places in Mexico and the main square of the city;
  • Walk along Francisco I. Madero street, one of the original pedestrian streets named after an important figure of the Mexican Revolution;
  • Visit the Church of the Profesa, a 16th-century Jesuit church;
  • See the Palace of Iturbide, a massive 18th-century mansion located in the historic heart of Mexico city;
  • Explore the House of Tiles (Casa de Los Azulejos), an 18th-century palace covered in hand-painted tiles;
  • Learn about the history of the Plaza Manuel Tolsá, the sculpture El Caballito (The Little Horse), the Palace of Mining (Palacio de la minería) and the Postal Palace (Correo Mayor or Main Post Office).

The centre of Mexico City is an area full of important places, and when walking around the Zócalo, it's common to experience a sense of awe. The square has been at the centre of Mexican history and culture since the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan and, with independence, the square has come into its own. 

With a huge flag above you, your guide will talk about the square’s history – an open space for the Aztecs even before Hernan Cortes chose to pave it – and how it is a focal point for Mexicans today. It is a tale which has seen conquerors, from Hernan Cortes to Winfield Scott, and political machinations behind the walls of its surrounding buildings. 

To the north of the Zócalo lies the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral). The largest cathedral in the Americas, it boasts a multitude of architectural styles which your guide will be happy to point out as you go around what was once named the “sinking cathedral”. 

Built using stones from the Aztec Great Temple, or Templo Mayor, the cathedral is not far from the ruins of that sacred site for the Aztecs. Walking through its ruins, your guide will tell you how the monumental building arose in layers over time, as well as the grisly details of the Aztec religion. 

The site marks where the Aztecs, in the period of their history when they were a nomadic tribe without a home, felt a divine command from the god Huitzilopochtli to be fulfilled when they saw an eagle eat a snake on a cactus. It was gradually built over a shrine marking the spot and many human sacrifices were performed at the top. 
Chapultepec & the National Museum of Anthropology: Private Tour
Chapultepec is a vast park that is home to dozens of museums, monuments and landmarks. Explore two of the most important sites: Chapultepec Castle, which has been the official residence of Mexican presidents since 1940; and the National Museum of Anthropology, where you'll find some of the most spectacular pre-Hispanic artefacts in all of Mexico with a private tour guide.

On this private full-day tour, you will:

  • Enjoy a guided tour of the Chapultepec Castle, the former residence for Mexican Emperors which still reigns as the only castle in North America that actually served as a residence for royalty;
  • Explore Chapultepec Castle gardens, one of the attractions of the park that locals and tourists alike love to visit;
  • Visit the National Museum of History, also known as MNH, and learn Mexico's history from the conquest of Tenochtitlan to the Mexican Revolution;
  • Visit the main rooms of the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA) and see The Sun Stone or Aztec Calendar, one of the main highlights of the museum.

Discover Chapultepec, in Nahuatl: “Hill of the Grasshopper”, where magic, history and art are connected. 

This iconic forest of Chapultepec is twice the size of New York's Central Park and is the largest green area in Mexico City, one of the largest and busiest cities on the continent. 

During your tour, you will visit the only "Royal Castle" in America, its beautiful gardens and the incredible view of Paseo de la Reforma. 

You will also enjoy a guided tour of the National Museum of History and the National Museum of Anthropology which are located inside the Castle exploring the main rooms and uncovering the symbolism of some of the most important pieces exhibited.
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