Mexico City Murals

Photo Credit: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/GettyImages

Mexico City is one of the best places in the world to view street art – new and old. There is art with great historical significance and great beauty all over the city. In addition to painstakingly thoughtful monuments and memorials, there is also plenty of spontaneous street art that adds strikes of color and cultural context to sides of buildings, old trolley cars and any other blank space. The combination of new and old pieces have drawn art enthusiasts to Mexico City from all over the world. Most of Mexico City’s reputation as an art capital of the world can be traced to Diego Rivera.

Murales de Diego Rivera en la Secretaria de Educacion Publica
Republica de Argentina, 28
Centro, 06010
Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

The murals by Diego Rivera have become one of the most important historical landmarks in all of Mexico. In fact, these modern political pieces have great significance around the globe. Diego Rivera painted the murals in the 1920s, and he was a communist at the time so used the murals to convey a communist message of the plight of the rural agricultural workers and mine workers in Mexico. These beautiful, but disturbing political pieces of art signified the political unrest in Mexico – and around the world – in the 1920s. They symbolized the rising communist movement in Mexico at the time and are now world-famous examples of modern art.

All City Canvas
Distrito Federal
Centro, 06010
Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

Diego Rivera’s murals inspired street artists and mural painters around the globe. And to honor Mexico City as the birthplace of politically important, critically-acclaimed street art, nine of the world’s most famous street artists were invited to Mexico City in 2011 for a year of painting as part of “All City Canvas.” The artists were invited to to work on the facades and sides of the Distrito Federal’s prime real estate as just that – a canvas. The project included pieces by Portugal’s Vhils on the Dolores Building near La Alameda, Germany’s Herakut on the side of the oldest newspaper in Mexico El Universal, and the U.S.’s El Mac signature portrait on the side of the Hotel Reforma Avenue. The project drew interest from sponsors and attention from art enthusiasts and promoted Mexico City to the status as one of the most important art centers of the world.

Related: Mexico City’s Neighborhoods, Broken Down

Plaza Manuel Tolsa
Square of the Three Cultures
Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas
Tlatelolco, 06900
Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

“Raices,” the Spanish word for roots, is the title given to a huge, beautiful sculpture at the Plaza Manuel Tolsa. The roots, or branches, were placed on the facades of 14 historical buildings surrounding the plaza by Mexican artists in 2012. The realistic roots were made out of 28 metric tons of fiberglass and steel. The roots symbolize this area’s traumatic history connected to the 1968 massacre of students and protesters in the Plaza of the Three Cultures.

“The Angel of Independence”
Paseo de la Reforma y Eje 2 PTE
Juárez Cuauhtémoc
Ciudad de México, D.F. Mexico

“The Angel of Independence” is a 150-foot-tall monument symbolizing Mexico’s freedom. Erected in 1910, The Angel of Independence is the oldest work on this list and is also one of the easiest to find since it is located in the Paaseo de la Reforma in the city center, near some of the most important historical sites in the country including the National Palace. The monument is a tribute to Mexico’s freedom from Spanish colonization. The monument is especially important because it includes the remains of some of the revolution’s key heroes including Padre Miguel de Hidalgo y Costilla.

Related: Mexico City’s Best Historic Landmarks

Cameron Bruns is the founder of and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on