Palacio Nacional#12 in Best Things To Do in Mexico City
The National Palace holds the federal executive branch of the Mexican government and sits along Mexico City's main public square, El Zócalo. The palace itself is a massive, ornate building that contains several gardens, murals and fountains. Its highlights are the Diego Rivera murals painted in panoramic style across the palace's walls, which visitors say are a must-see. These murals depict the stages of Mexican history, from pre-Columbian days to the current age.
Admission is free and travelers say that a typical stop should last about one to two hours. Be sure to bring your passport or other identification to gain admittance. The palace is open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information can be found on the government's website.
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#1 Museo Nacional de Antropología
Located within the famous Chapultepec Forest, the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) holds artifacts from Mexico's pre-Columbian era, dating from about 100 B.C. to A.D. 1521. The facility houses artifacts, including the famous Aztec Calendar Stone, known as Piedra del Sol, as well as the famed 16th-century statue of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of art, games, beauty, dance and maize (among others). The museum offers a look at how tradition, culture and life were formed in all regions of Mexico.
The museum is so extensive that many travelers claim you can spend a whole day exploring the many collections and exhibits and recommend giving yourself plenty of time to explore. As one of the largest and most visited museums in Mexico, the grounds are also home to a gift shop, a cafeteria, a locker room and the National Library of Anthropology and History.
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