Visit Museo Frida Kahlo or the Frida Kahlo Museum when you’re in Mexico City. The museum located at La Casa Azul, her home, is an intimate look at her life and work.
I made plans to visit Museo Frida Kahlo because it’s been noted as a popular place in Mexico City to visit, but leading up to the trip and even the day before our visit, I wasn’t convinced. I heard about the long lines even if you had already bought a ticket. I read accounts saying the place was overrated. I learned from other travelers that the museum didn’t feature a lot of her art.
I hadn’t thought the museum would have an impact on me, and I hadn’t planned to write its own post about it before visiting. But here we are. Read on for more thoughts!
Museo Frida Kahlo Tickets, Lines, and Audio Guides
The museum opened at 10 a.m. on a Sunday and we arrived at 9:45 a.m. to get into an already growing line. There were two lines. On the left is the line for people with tickets and the right is the line for people without tickets. We had bought our 10:30 a.m. entrance tickets online in advance, which is highly recommended unless you want to wait in the ticket-less line for at least two hours. The ticket-less line works as standby, letting people through based on how many who have already bought tickets show up. We saw plenty of people show up, figure out they were out of luck, and leave.
Tickets are $235.40 pesos ($11.50 USD) and you can purchase one for a specific day and time two months in advance. I couldn’t get a credit card to work on their website but a debit card worked fine. Be sure to bring a print out of your ticket.
If you want to take photos with any type of camera (even phones) inside, you’ll pay $30 pesos ($1.47 USD) at the entrance and they’ll give you a special sticker.
They also have audio guides for $75 pesos ($3.66 USD) available at the entrance. They have detailed panels in English and Spanish throughout the museum that gave plenty of information. The audio guide would have provided even more details but I learned a lot at the museum without it.
Frida Kahlo, Artist
I wouldn’t say I was a strong Frida Kahlo admirer. I knew she was a Mexican artist famous for her self-portraits. I knew feminists rallied around her. I knew she married artist Diego Rivera. I knew she had an eclectic, bohemian style.
I didn’t know her life had so much physical pain. She had polio as a child that left one leg shorter and thinner than the other. She was nearly killed in a bus accident at 18 years old. She was impaled through her pelvis and had fractures in her ribs and legs. Her injuries caused her physical and mental pain throughout the rest of her life. She turned to paintings as a way to discover a new passion and she expressed her emotions in her paintings, especially those of wanting to be free from pain and constraints.
Even with her pain, she didn’t seem to care what others thought when it came to what she wore, did, or believed in. She was a fashionista. If you picture Frida Kahlo in your mind, it’s likely similar to how most people picture her. Braids on top of her head, colorful jewelry, long skirts. One exhibit in the museum features her clothing and accessories, highlighting how she honored her culture and made political statements. She decorated her corsets with political symbols. She wore mixed patterns and statement pieces.
La Casa Azul and How She Lived
The museum is La Casa Azul, where Frida was born, grew up, and lived the last 13 years of her life. (She died at 47 years old.)
The museum takes you through room after room. The first two rooms you go through are galleries of her art with a few unfinished pieces. The next rooms are art she collected and photographs taken of her by her photographer father and photographer friends. Throughout the museum you’ll see art she collected or was gifted by artist friends and admirers.
After visiting the museum, I realized that much of the museum’s focus was about how she lived. Her life was considered art and we have come to hold every piece of her life as an inspiration. Can you imagine your life being immortalized by the books on your shelf, the trinkets on your dresser, and the art on your walls?
One of my favorite parts of the museum was the kitchen. This colorful room seemed like a place I’d want to cook with my family and host friends at the table.
It was strange walking around the house, imagining what Frida Kahlo’s life was like and analyzing her every possession. Much of it was left as it was when she died (as they say). Her studio had a mirror used for her self-portraits.
Her ashes are held in the brown toad-shaped urn in her bedroom. No big deal. Read all the description signs carefully and you’ll find interesting details.
Should You Visit Museo Frida Kahlo?
While the museum shows some dark and painful sides of her life, it also omits details to put more focus on the beauty Frida’s life evoked. The museum honors her life, her artistry, the importance she has in Mexico, and her romantic relationship with Diego Rivera (minus the hard times in their relationship and all the affairs both of them had). It perpetuates the “Fridamania” after her death caused by the fascination with her life, the recognition her art has received, and the idealization we’ve held of her as a fighter and a tragic hero.
Visiting the museum was a unique way to get to know Frida Kahlo, and I left feeling very inspired by her life and the art of her life. I can see why she is so dear to Mexico. That said, while the museum made me intrigued by the impact she has had, Boyfriend was indifferent to the museum.
If you’re interested in Frida Kahlo as an artist, have a few hours to spare, and are able to get tickets ahead of time, it’s worth a visit. Maybe it’ll inspire your artistic side or make you re-examine the details of your life.
Near the Frida Kahlo Museum
The museum is in the Coyoacán neighborhood, south of downtown and about a 15-20 minute drive. A few blocks away is the Coyoacán market where you’ll find souvenirs and food stalls. Nearby the market you’ll find the main square with the Coyoacán Cathedral and a line of bustling restaurants. It’s a nice neighborhood to walk around in.
After a 30-minute wait in line, we spent about an hour walking through the museum. It was a perfect, slow morning activity in our bustling weekend in Mexico City and I’m glad we did it!
Museo Frida Kahlo
Entrance fee: $235.40 pesos ($11.50 USD)
Highly recommended to buy tickets online ahead of time
P.S. Did you see my post about another popular Mexico City sight – Teotihuacan?