A lot of people ignore Guatemala city because of the fame that it has for being dangerous. And some of that is true, I’m not going to lie to you, but it isn’t as dangerous as it is portrayed outside of the country.
The city is an amazing place to explore if you are interested in learning a bit more about Guatemala’s history and culture you should definitely take at least one day to explore the museums of Guatemala City.
Best Museums in Guatemala City
Here are some of the most interesting ones.
National Culture Palace (Palacio Nacional de la Cultura)
The palace was built as the presidential palace from 1936 to 1943 by prisoners who were forced to do it. With all the brutality attached to its history, it is one of the most interestingly architecturally composed buildings in Guatemala. All the government offices have been long moved and it’s now a museum.
Where is it? Parque Central, Zone 1
Schedule: 9 – 11:45 a.m., 2 – 4:45 p.m. Mon-Fri, 9 – 10:45 a.m., 2 – 3:45 p.m. Sat and Sun
Casa Mimi is an eclectic museum of art ranging from French neo-Rococo, Oriental, art deco, and indigenous artifacts.
Where is it? 8a Av & 14a calle, Zone 1
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 2 – 6 p.m. Mon – Fri, 9 – 5 p.m. Sat
National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia)
This museum focuses mainly on historical documents, lifestyles and paintings of the 19th century with an emphasis on photography. Here you will find all you need to know about the country’s civil war.
Where is it? 9a Calle 9-70 Zone 1
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mon. – Fri.
Train Museum (Museo del Ferrocarril)
This is a fun museum showing you Guatemala’s train history. You’ll see steam engines, train cars, photographs, and other train-related exhibits.
Where is it? 9a Avenida and 20 Calle Zone 1
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues. – Fri., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sat – Sun
Ixchel Museum (Museo Ixchel)
The building itself is built to resemble a Mayan Huipil, a hand-woven, embroidered blouse. Hence the theme of the Museum, is traditional weaving and costumes, fabrics, weaving tools, and folk paintings by native Guatemalan Indians.
Where is it? 6a Calle Final Zone 10
Schedule: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Sat.
Admission: $3.50 adults, $2 students
Popul Vuh Museum (Museo Popol Vuh)
The museum is well known for its impressive collection of archaeological records dating from Preclassic, Classic, Postclassic and Colonial times. However, its best known to house one of only three Mayan books to survive the burning during the post-conquest by the Spanish.
Where is it? 6a Calle Final, Zone 10
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon. – Fri., 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sat.
Admission: $3.50 adults, $2 students
Miraflores Museum (Museo Miraflores)
This impressive museum was built in dedication to the history and importance of the Mayan site of Kaminaljuyú. Here you’ll find replicas of their irrigation canal systems, what the city looked like in its heyday, and comprehensive history. Displays are of burial ceremonies, pottery, jade jewelry, sculptures and photographs of its excavations.
Where is it? 7a Calle 21-55 Zone 11, Paseo Miraflores
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tues. – Sun.
Admission: $2 adults, $1 children / students
Children’s Museum (Museo de Los Niños)
Where is it? 5a Calle 10-00 Zone 13
Schedule: 8 a.m. – noon and 1 – 5 p.m. Tues. –Thurs., 8 a.m. – noon and 2 – 6 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2:30 –6 p.m. Sat – Sun
National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology
This is one of the most impressive archeological museums in Guatemala housing beautifully carved stelae from different Mayan sites throughout the country.
It is also full of amazing jade masks, ceramics, carved stones, and sculptures. Plus, the ethnology section is known for the traditional costumes and
lifestyles of the ancient Maya.
Where is it? 6a Calle y 7a Avenida Zone 13
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tues. – Fri., 9 a.m. –noon and 1:30 – 4 p.m. Sat – Sun.
Carlos Mérida National Modern Art Museum
Although it’s a modern museum, it houses few pieces other than the most famous Modern artist of Guatemala: Carlos Merida.
Where is it? Hall No. 6, Finca Nacional “La Aurora”, zona 13.
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tues. – Fri., 9 a.m. – noon and 1:30 – 4 p.m. Sat – Sun
Jorge Ibarra National Natural History Museum
This is a small museum with taxidermy of native creatures and exhibits of Guatemala’s ecosystems.
Where is it? Zone 13 next to La Aurora Zoo
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tues. – Fri., 9 a.m. – noon and 2 – 4 p.m. Sat – Sun.
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