Museo Frida Kahlo

Top choice museum in Coyoacán & San Ángel
Image by Paul Franklin / Paul M. Franklin / Getty Images

Renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was born in, and lived and died in, Casa Azul (Blue House), now a museum. Almost every visitor to Mexico City makes a pilgrimage here to gain a deeper understanding of the painter (and maybe to pick up a Frida handbag). Arrive early to avoid the crowds, especially on weekends; book tickets online to jump the queue.

Built by Frida's father Guillermo three years before her birth, the house is littered with mementos and personal belongings that evoke her long, often tempestuous relationship with husband Diego Rivera and the leftist intellectual circle they often entertained here. Kitchen implements, jewelry, photos and other objects from the artist’s everyday life are interspersed with art, as well as a variety of pre-Hispanic pieces and Mexican crafts. The collection was greatly expanded in 2007 after the discovery of a cache of previously unseen items that had been stashed in the attic. Since 2012 the exhibition Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo places the focus on Kahlo's image and famous style, displaying many of the dresses uncovered in her bathroom, alongside her spine-straightening corsets. The intersection of her disability, fashion sense, artistic themes and fame is a worthy exploration. In fact, a version of this exhibition toured in 2018 at the V&A Museum in London.

Kahlo’s art expresses the anguish of her existence as well as her flirtation with socialist icons: portraits of Lenin and Mao hang around her bed and, in another painting, Retrato de la familia (Family Portrait), the artist’s Hungarian-Oaxacan roots are fancifully entangled.

It's a pleasant 1.5km walk here from metro Coyoacán.