Travellers say Palacio de Bellas Artes is one of the most beautiful buildings in Mexico. First and foremost a theatre, the Palace of Fine Arts hosts a range of events in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, opera and literature, firmly establishing itself as a cultural icon and the most important creative space in Mexico City. The exterior alone is worth admiring; art nouveau-dominated architecture differentiates it from the surrounding buildings in stunning fashion, and earnt the Palacio a place as a UNESCO-listed artistic monument. It has hosted some of the biggest international names, though it is worth trying to catch Mexico’s Ballet Folklórico de México or the National Symphonic Orchestra for something a little more local.
The Ballet Folklórico are actually based in Palacio de Bellas Artes, and perform here twice a week. They celebrate pre- and post-Hispanic dancing, combining Aztec rituals with modern fiesta dancing, to a soundtrack of mariachis and orchestras. The performances are usually on Sunday and Wednesday, but it pays to check in advance. The theatre at Palacio de Bellas Artes also hosts other dance performances through the week, both local, national and international acts.
The Palacio also hosts an exceptional art exhibition, filled with a permanent collection of statues, murals, paintings and other works of art. If you’re visiting, definitely head to the second floor to view Rufino Tamayo’s work Nacimiento de la Nacionalidad, ‘Birth of Nationality’, to appreciate the symbolic depiction of the people of Spain. Touring exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography are always open to the public.
Metro Lines 2 and 8 head stright to the Bellas Artes stop, right next to Palacio – head towards the blinding white marble hall to find yourself at one of the most important cultural sites in Mexico City.