See + Do
The city is filled with lesser-known gems. Below, four that top our list.
Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso: Once you’ve seen Diego Rivera’s historical murals in the Palacio Nacional, walk a few blocks north to this 18th-century former Jesuit school, whose placid porticoes are lined with bitingly satirical works by his contemporary José Clemente Orozco.
Casa Luis Barragán: The former residence of the great Mexican Modernist is a must for architecture fans. Barragán created intensity by distilling color and structure: a long wall of intense pink, for example, or a window positioned so the shadow aligns with the wall opposite.
Museo del Juguete Antiguo: Japanese-Mexican architect Roberto Shimizu began collecting toys in 1955; now his son oversees the exhibition of 45,000 pieces in a space wedged between auto-body shops south of downtown. The displays of soldiers, Barbie dolls, and more are sure to induce joyful nostalgia.
Museo Nacional de Antropología: Among the pre-Columbian treasures housed here is the Piedra del Sol, a stone disk whose carvings reveal the cosmological sophistication of Aztec beliefs. But there are quieter riches, such as a jadeite mask from Palenque and a Toltec armored vest made from seashells.