Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca#3 in Best Things To Do in Oaxaca
The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca is a regional culture museum that walks visitors chronologically from ancient times all the way to modern-day Oaxaca. Other halls are thematic, featuring Oaxacan medicine, music, language and pottery – and show that much of the cultural traditions have endured. One of the museum's real gems is the "Treasure of Tomb 7," a cache of delicate gold jewelry, precious stones and carved bone discovered in a Monte Albán tomb. Keep in mind that the museum's signage is in Spanish, though there are audio tours available in English. Visitors should also take some time to visit the museum's gift shop, which contains a diverse collection of books on Oaxacan architecture and art.
Some recent travelers said they almost didn't add the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca to their itineraries, but were pleased they did: Many were pleasantly surprised with its offerings, citing the stunning architecture and the fascinating and well-executed exhibits. Recent visitors also recommended popping by the museum's gift shop and enjoying the second-floor balcony's view overlooking the botanical garden.
You'll find the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca inside the adjoining buildings to the Templo de Santo Domingo. Both the church and the museum are located about a 10-minute walk north of the Zócalo. Take the Andador de Macedonia Alcala pedestrian walkway for a scenic route. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the last entrance at 6:15 p.m. Admission costs 70 pesos (around $4). For more information, visit the Mexican Secretary of Culture's website.
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#1 The Zócalo
Oaxaca's main square – formally referred to as the Plaza de la Constitución de Oaxaca, but colloquially called the Zócalo – is a must-see. Skirted by cafes and eateries and bounded by the Palacio de Gobierno (the State Government Palace) on its south side, the Zócalo is a prime spot for people-watching, picking up a souvenir or two and watching day fade into vibrant night. Thanks to its leafy landscaping and many trees, it's also a relaxing place to cool off in the shade. Plus, the Mercado Benito Juárez sits just minutes from the square.
Recent visitors gushed about the Zócalo, saying it's a nice spot for an afternoon coffee or an evening margarita. Others suggested visiting at night when the Zócalo fills with live music. You'll find the Zócalo in the heart of Oaxaca; it is free to enjoy at all hours of the day (though businesses operate on their own hours). For more information, check out Visit Mexico's website.
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