There are tons of unique Mexico City landmarks and historical sites. Whether you’re a tourist visiting for the first time or a local who’s lived there your whole life, Mexico City landmarks provide a little peek into Mexican history, culture, and values.
After living in Mexico City for the better part of a year, I’ve managed to see many of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Now, I’m here to spill my picks for the top tourist attractions and hidden gems of Mexico City landmarks.
From Mexico City museums and churches to castles and ancient ruins, the historical sites and landmarks in Mexico City are diverse and spectacular. Exploring them one of the best things to do in Mexico City and an idyllic way to spend an afternoon.
Table of Contents
- 15 Famous Mexico City Historical Sites & Landmarks
- Plaza de La Constitución / El Zocalo
- The House of Tiles
- Palacio de Bellas Artes
- Templo Mayor
- The National Palace
- The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
- El Angel de la Independencia on Paseo de La Reforma
- Museo Mural Diego Rivera
- The Blue House
- Chapultepec Castle
- Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology)
- The Ancient City of Teotihuacan
- Basilica de Guadalupe
- Monumento de la Revolución
- Torre Latinoamericana
- FAQs about Mexico City Landmarks
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15 Famous Mexico City Historical Sites & Landmarks
Plaza de La Constitución / El Zocalo
Mexico City’s main square is filled to the brim with history.
Plaza de La Constitucion, also commonly known as El Zocalo, is the main square of the Historical Center neighborhood in Mexico City. It’s right in downtown Mexico City. The sprawling public square hosts rolling events and is surrounded by endless dining establishments.
It tends to get a little busy on the weekends, but in the morning and evenings, the area sometimes has a nice little lull in foot traffic. El Zocalo is one of those Mexico City landmarks that every person visiting Mexico City should see at least once.
The House of Tiles
A colorfully-tiled 18th-century palace featuring a delicious restaurant.
Only a few blocks from El Zocalo is the 18th-century House of Tiles known in Spanish as Casa de los Azulejos. You’ll know it when you see it because it’s almost entirely covered with white and blue tiles.
Funnily enough, the elegant facade actually ended up being home to one of Mexico City’s most popular restaurant chains, Sanborns. It might not sound like the traditional use of a historical site, but it’s really a noteworthy architectural piece for its traditional Pueblan style.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
A cultural hub featuring a marble concert hall and fine arts.
Palacio de Bellas Artes, or Palace of Fine Arts in English, is built in the architectural styles of art nouveau mixed with neoclassical, with an art deco interior. The building alone is a sight to behold.
Palacio de Bellas Artes is home to pieces by world-renowned artists like Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. It also has a performance theater with nearly a million pieces of colorful glass. Once you see the Palace of Fine Arts with your own eyes, you’ll quickly understand why it’s one of the most popular Mexico City landmarks.
The best day to visit Palacio de Bellas Artes is Sundays when the museum is free. On other days of the week, it’s only 70 MXN (3.70 USD) for admission.
An important archeological site and a museum with Aztec artifacts.
The Templo Mayor was the main Aztec temple in Tenochtitlan before it became modern-day Mexico City. It was actually destroyed by Spanish conquistadors over 500 years ago, and colonial buildings were put in its place until 1978 when electrical workers in Mexico City made some incredible archaeological discoveries. These led to finding Templo Mayor.
Since then, the excavated remains of the temple itself are available to visit. There’s also a museum that showcases the smaller pieces that have been uncovered.
Templo Mayor is also located in the Centro Historico neighborhood, right near the Zocalo. You’ll come to find that many of the famous landmarks in Mexico City are in this area, as well as plenty of Mexico City’s best hotels.
The National Palace
An architectural gem of a government building with artwork by Mexican artist Diego Rivera.
The National Palace in Mexico City is a massive government building with a few different notable features. Firstly, it’s the office and official residence of the President of Mexico works. Inside the National Palace, there’s also some art created by the famous artist Diego Rivera.
Like most historical sites and landmarks in Mexico City, it’s located only a few steps from the Zocalo.
📚 Related Reading: If it’s your first time visiting Mexico City, don’t step foot on a plane without reading our 23 Mexico travel tips.
The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
An enormous and beautiful Roman Catholic church in the Zocalo.
For people who like to see the local cathedrals and churches when they’re visiting a new country, the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral is a doozy. The huge Cathedral is located right on the edge of the Zocalo, and it’s pretty hard to miss.
The Cathedral is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm. It’s free to enter and you can wander around as you please.
El Angel de la Independencia on Paseo de La Reforma
One of the most famous landmarks in Mexico City.
Unlike the others on this list, this is a landmark in Mexico City that’s not located in the Centro Historico neighborhood. El Angel de la Independencia, or the Angel of Independence, is located on Paseo de La Reforma in the Juarez district.
The towering monument is meant to celebrate Mexico’s independence and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City.
Museo Mural Diego Rivera
An art gallery showcasing an ultra-famous mural by Diego Rivera.
Museo Mural Diego Riviera is a museum that holds one of Diego Rivera’s most famous pieces, Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park. One of the best things to see in Mexico City, the mural was painted back in 1947, and it covers nearly 40 feet of space.
The brilliant mural was once showcased in the Hotel del Prado, but after a massive earthquake in 1985, it was moved to the museum. In the museum, there are charts that you can use to identify all the characters in the mural, from Frida Kahlo to Riviera himself.
Like many of the other museums in Mexico City, Museo Mural Diego Rivera is free on Sunday and closed on Monday. It costs MXN 35 (USD 1.75) to enter the museum and MXN 5 (USD 0.25) to take photos.
The Blue House
An homage to the life and art of famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in her former home.
The Blue House, or La Casa Azul in Spanish, is one of the landmarks in Mexico City that doubles as an intricate museum. It’s a tribute to the life and artwork of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. It’s an extra special Mexico City museum because the Blue House is actually Kahlo’s former residence in Mexico City.
It’s a little glimpse into her life. Complete with her dresses, decorations, and other unique items that made her home distinct. There are also a number of Frida’s paintings to peruse, like “Portrait of my Father” and “Viva La Vida.”
👉 Pro Tip: The Frida Kahlo Museum is one of the few landmarks in Mexico City that isn’t located in the Historic Center. Inside, it’s about 40 minutes south in the beautiful neighborhood of Coyoacan.
A gorgeous castle with loads of history on a Chapultepec hill overlooking Mexico City.
Located in the heart of Chapultepec Park, in one of Mexico City’s best neighborhoods, is the masterpiece of Chapultepec Castle or Castillo de Chapultepec. When you think of famous landmarks in Mexico City, Chapultepec Castle is one of the first that comes to mind.
With its beautifully manicured garden and sweeping views over Mexico City, it’s one of the more tranquil landmarks in Mexico City. It also just happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Besides being visually appealing, the castle has a lengthy history to explore. So, this might be one of the historical sites that would be better to visit with a guide or tour, such as the Chapultepec Castle & National Museum of Anthropology Monolingual Tour.
Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology)
The largest and most visited museum in the entire country.
The National Museum of Anthropology is the most-visited and largest museum in the entire country of Mexico and is a great Mexico City itinerary item for history lovers. Every year, over two million people visit the Museum of Anthropology. As you can imagine, this makes it one of the most famous landmarks in the whole country.
There are millions of archaeological artifacts at the museum. Like an Aztec sun stone, a recreation of Pakal’s Tomb, and an Olmec Colossal Head. The Anthropology Museum is a must for any first-time visitor to Mexico. But, it’s an especially fun stop for families with kids.
The Ancient City of Teotihuacan
The ancient ruins of a pre-Aztec city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Teotihuacan is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Latin America, and one of the best day trips from Mexico City. It’s a huge archaeological complex that’s located a little over an hour from Mexico City.
There are a few big features of Teotihuacan, such as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the Pyramids of the Moon and Sun, and the Avenue of the dead that connects it all. There’s also a museum all about Teotihuacan culture on the complex that has a bunch of interesting artifacts.
It’s definitely possible to hop on a bus and make your own way to Teotihuacan, but it’s a long haul and you’ll still have to pay for the bus and entrance fees once you get there. Instead, I’d recommend booking a tour to Teotihuacan such as this Teothihuacan tour. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of things.
Plus, joining a tour usually ends up only costing a few dollars more than doing it on your own.
🚗 How to Get There: Another way to get to Teotihuacan is by renting a car for the day to drive yourself. If you plan on renting a car, make sure you do your research first by reading our guide to renting a car in Mexico.
Basilica de Guadalupe
A revered Catholic Church and shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe – one of Mexico’s famous landmarks.
The Basilica de Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic church in the Hidalgo neighborhood and is one of the most pivotal pilgrimage sites of the Catholic religion. The Basilica of Guadalupe’s architecture is superb. But beyond that, it’s an important part of Mexico’s identity and history. Both of these reasons make it a historical site that shouldn’t be missed.
📚 Related Reading: You’ll probably be getting pretty tired in between hitting all of these landmarks and historical sites. So, if you need a quick pick me up, just head over to my list of the 19 best cafes and coffee shops in Mexico City.
Monumento de la Revolución
A historical monument honoring the Mexican Revolution complete with an observation deck.
Monumento de la Revolucion commemorates the Mexican Revolution, a key piece of Mexican history. It’s located near Paseo de La Reforma in Plaza de la República and is the tallest triumphal arch in the world at 220 feet tall.
You can get acquainted with just how high the monument is by going up to the observation deck, which will also provide stellar views of Mexico City as a whole.
One of Mexico City’s tallest buildings in the middle of the historic center.
Torre Latinoamericana is a massive skyscraper plopped right in the Historic Center. It’s one of the tallest buildings in the capital city, although is much less historic than other famous landmarks. But, it’s still worth a visit for its jaw-dropping views on the observation deck, which will give you a real feel for just how expansive Mexico City is.
I recommend visiting Torre Latinoamericana towards the end of a long day of exploring. Right before sunset. There’s a nice Mexico City restaurant and bar with excellent views of the expansive skyline and Mexico City.
FAQs about Mexico City Landmarks
What are 4 famous landmarks in Mexico?
How many landmarks are in Mexico City?
There are hundreds of landmarks in Mexico City. These landmarks vary greatly from museums and town squares to castles and ancient cities. Mexico City is a place with a lot of history to explore.
What is Mexico City known for?
Mexico City is known for being one of the oldest and largest cities in the Americas. Throughout the city, there are thousands of years worth of history and culture. Additionally, there are a lot of historical sites to commemorate the city’s incredible history. It’s also the largest city in North America by population.
Is Mexico City worth visiting?
Without a doubt, Mexico City is definitely worth visiting. The capital city of Mexico is known for its rich history and culture. There are so many different ways to explore this aspect of Mexico City. From visiting the incredible museums to walking through world-renowned cathedrals.
Thanks for reading my guide to Mexico City landmarks! With all this info in hand, you’re well on your way to taking in all of Mexico City’s history. Still in the booking phase of planning your Mexico trip? Then check out this guide to where to stay in Mexico City.
Have a blast exploring Mexico City’s landmarks and the Mexican culture!
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