Housed in a 1964 structure whose modern lines and central fountain greatly complement what’s on view, this anthropology museum is a repository of the most important pre-Hispanic treasures modern Mexico has discovered. The works are displayed in exhibits that trace the entire history of the Americas’ indigenous population, from the Bering migration to the present day. Exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) in scope, many visitors choose to jump ahead to “greatest-hits” galleries focusing on name brands like the Aztecs (to see their misnamed calendar stone); the Maya and their artifacts; or the Olmec culture, famed for its colossal (and quite sensual) head sculptures dating back to Mesoamerica’s earliest recorded eras.
Mayans and Aztecs and Olmecs... Oh My!
During a business trip to Mexico City, I had a lunch hour (or two) to peruse the Museo Nacional de Antropología and took full advantage. As recommended, I picked up the audio guide in English and wandered the Teotihuacan exhibit in preparation for a day trip to the ruins outside of Mexico City. There was still time to check out the Aztec and Mayan exhibits and see a giant Olmec head sculpture. This is definitely a museum to spend a day in!
Museo Nacional de Antropología: The World's Coolest Museum?
Mexico City’s Museo Nacional de Antropología is hands-down one of the world’s coolest national history museums. Other travelers agree. It’s the highest recommended Mexico City attraction on TripAdvisor, nabbing more than 2,200 “excellent” ratings. The thoughtfully laid out museum tells the stories of civilizations that called Mexico home way before the Spanish arrived. Plan to spend at least a few hours exploring the expansive collection of relics, statues, and personal artifacts.