25 Famous Landmarks in Mexico You Must See

13 min read
Ancient Mayan ruins on a rocky hill with green shrubs and the blue ocean behind
Mexico has a mix of historical sites and fun activities for you to enjoy

Mexico is full of wonders you'll want to see. If you wonder what are some famous landmarks in Mexico, this article will help answer that curiosity!

Below, a light will be shown on the ancient Mayan landmarks that define Mexico's early history. Mexico also has landmarks like magnificent churches, art museums, cenotes, and so much more.

If you are interested in visiting the famous historical places in Mexico and other attractions, keep reading to learn more!

  • 25 Mexico landmarks

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25 Famous Landmarks of Mexico

Mexico Landmarks Map

A map of Mexico landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

Arena México

This famous Lucha Libre arena is home to the Mexican-style masked Lucha Libre wrestling. Arena Mexico was once the largest wrestling venue in Mexico. Now this venue continues to be the most atmospheric place to watch fantastic entertainment.

Arena Mexico always has the "goodies" against the "baddies," which is unique to Mexico. This landmark allows tourists to enjoy authentic masked luchador wrestling, including all the series of acrobatic bouts and suspended disbelief.

© Jackkrier via Depositphotos
A brown Roman basilica with a yellow dome, a clock in the middle, & tourists outside
Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe is one of the most famous landmarks in Mexico

Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe

Tourists often visit the Basilica de Santa Maria as a religious pilgrimage, but it is also visited by architecture fanatics from around the world. The interior of the Basilica is full of elegant embodiments.

As you mosey your way through the self-guided tour of this Basilica, you will walk through a particularly beautiful side chapel. Then you will work your way to the new church with a green copper room. Since this is one of the many famous Mexico landmarks, expect crowds throughout the day.

© Byelikova via Depositphotos
An ancient mural on a partly blue wall showing Mayans standing in a line
Bonampak Murals depict the ancient Maya rituals of bloodletting, torture, & sacrifice

Bonampak Murals

Throughout Mexico, there are Mayan artifacts. The Bonampak murals exemplified the real life of the ancient Maya people. These floor-to-ceiling murals were curated in 790-792. They depict warriors decked with jaguar pelts and raids on neighboring communities.

The murals also show the ancient Mayan rituals of bloodletting, torture, and sacrifice. These are the murals that confirmed the ancient Maya were not a serene and peace-loving community.

© kmiragaya via Depositphotos
A table with painting utensils, a mirror, & a painting of fruits hanging on the right
Blue House is where Frida Kahlo grew up and where she lived after getting married

Museo Frida Kahlo

You can't miss this cobalt blue house that holds artwork from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. This house was Frida's birthplace. It is called La Casa Azul, or the Blue House in English.

The Blue House is also where she grew up as a child and lived after she married Diego. After she had a horrific bus accident, this is where she spent the majority of her life bedridden.

Diego Rivera donated the house in Frida's honor. It looks much like it did in the 1950s when it was donated, including memorabilia and the original furniture. Although the house is small and a quick walk-through, the backyard is gorgeous, and you can spend a lot of time there.

The Frida Kahlo Museum is one of the most famous monuments in Mexico because of how it portrays the renowned artist. It is an honorable devotion to the surrealist painter that put Mexican folk art on the map.

A neoclassical-style castle with the Mexico flag on top, in the middle of a lawn
Castillo Chapultepec houses the Museum of National History which is a must-see place

Castillo Chapultepec

This Castle encapsulates Mexico's modern history. This palace was said to reside on a holy Aztec site and is one of the most famous landmarks in North America.

Castillo Chapultepec was built in the 18th century and is known for its exquisite gardens. This was where the Mexican president would reside until 1939.

Previously, this Castle was a military academy, imperial residence, presidential residence, and observatory. Since the 1940s, Chapultepec Castle has been open to the public as the National Museum of History.

One of the most famous landmarks in Mexico is Catedral Metropolitana
Catedral Metropolitana is one of the largest churches in Latin America!

Catedral Metropolitana

Whether you are religious or not, this is a Mexico must-see! This is one of the largest churches in Latin America and was finished in 1813. The cathedral is impossible to pass without being the highlight of your view.

The Catedral Metropolitana, or the Metropolitan Cathedral in English, houses incredible paintings and has one of the most beautiful high altars.

If you have the opportunity to visit this church during a mass, you will enjoy the large pipe organs. This cathedral houses two famous pipe organs that can be heard outside.

Even having a coffee outside the Catedral Metropolitana during mass will allow you to hear the beauty bursting out of the church.

An ancient limestone pyramid structure with a castle on top under a partly cloudy sky
El Castillo in Chichen Itza is designated as one of the seven wonders of the world

Chichen Itza

When looking at historic landmarks in Mexico, a lot of Mayan temples and ancient buildings will pop up. The Chichen Itza, one of the unique things to do in Cancun, was presumably made and occupied by the Maya people.

This is a ruin of the ancient Mayan city, and the area spans 4 square miles in Cancun. This area would have housed around 35,000 people at the time and was used for the religious, military, and political community centers. It's also a great place to explore if in Cancun with kids.

Chichen Itza was designated as one of the new 7 wonders of the world in July of 2007, making it a highly sought-after landmark for tourists. If you have the time, you can also visit the observatory, the temple of warriors, and the Mayan ball game court that is also in the vicinity of this temple.

Cineteca Nacional

Built in 1974, this cinema brought Mexican art and folk films to light. This space became famous after showing the movie called "A Clockwork Orange," when over 153,000 people viewed the film in a 153-day run.

Unfortunately, a massive fire ruined rare movies and killed an unknown number of people. Besides the artistic movies that are played here, there is also stunning architecture to enjoy. This building is placed in an area that allows for beautiful sunset views.

© ChepeNicoli via Depositphotos
Looking up at a brown building filled with mosaic-tiled murals against a clear sky
The library building is covered in a mosaic-tiled mural designed by Diego Rivera

Ciudad Universitaria

Ciudad Universitaria is the oldest university in Mexico. It is declared a World Heritage Site for being one of the exemplary monumental ensembles of the twentieth century of modernity.

This University was built in the 1940s and wanted to stress the identity and values of the Mexican people. The Mexican culture shines through in the architecture in this area.

The most well-known building on this campus is the library. It is covered in a mosaic-tiled mural designed by Diego Rivera. The mosaic-tiled wall is an iconic 1940s historical landmark in Mexico.

If you are interested in public education or university campuses in general, you can't miss out on the library at Ciudad Universitaria!

Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon is one of the major landmarks in Mexico since it is four times larger than the Grand Canyon in the United States, which is deeper and narrower.

It has the status of a national park and world heritage landmark. Located in the middle of the legendary Sierra Madre mountains, it is inhabited by the Tarahumara natives.

This Canyon also has a train that goes through the terrain. The train route through the canyon is approximately four hours long and offers some of the most beautiful scenes of Mexico.

Looking at a flooded cave with a surface above and visible blue water below
Dos Ojos Cenote is one of the most famous natural landmarks in Mexico

Dos Ojos Cenote

As one of the most famous places in Mexico, the Dos Ojos Cenote is located near Cancun. An underground tunnel connects the two cenotes, and it is one of the largest cave systems in Mexico. You can go on your own or rent gear and join a private tour.

The visibility through the water is amazing, and the temperature is ideal all year long for snorkeling. Since this is a famous cenote, expect other tourists.

The Dos Ojos cenotes are fantastic natural landmarks in Mexico. The entire cenote is surrounded by hammocks to hang out in, giving it the ultimate Cancun vibe!

© cristinna.stoian via Depositphotos
Looking towards a waterfall with cascading water streams surrounded by green trees
Cascadas El Chiffon has many stopping areas to enjoy scenic sites along the way

Cascada El Chiflón

The Cascadas El Chiflon has relatively flat trails to the waterfalls. Tourists love this area because there are crystal-clear waters. You can spend the entire day here; there is a lot of walking and going up the mountain to see the waterfalls.

Make sure to bring your hiking shoes, sunblock, and mosquito repellent. The best part of the El Chiflon Waterfalls hike is the many stopping areas along the way called miradors, providing for an incredibly scenic experience!

© a_medvedkov via Depositphotos
Aerial of a stadium with a dense town and buildings in the back
Estadio Azteca is one of the most famous places to visit in Mexico for futbol fans

Estadio Azteca

Estadio Azteca has hosted futbol world cups and NFL games. You can buy tickets to watch a match at the stadium or enjoy the stadium from the outside. If you are a futbol fan or an American football fan, this is one of the most famous places in Mexico to visit for followers of the sport.

The outside of the stadium is as magnificent as the inside! There are guided tours and self-walking tours offered throughout the area, but the best experience to be had is to come during a game.

The community is like no other - you will be surrounded by fanatics that chant and have a wave of energy you won't be able to find or re-create anywhere else!

A waterfall-like rock formation with a hot spring, surrounded by rolling green hills
Hierve el agua is known for its shallow hot springs that have an infinity pool effect

Hierve el Agua

Hierve el Agua waterfalls in Oaxaca means "boiling water," and this waterfall brings the heat! The area is known for its shallow hot springs with an infinity pool effect as they go over the cliff's edge.

Hierve el Agua made it on this Mexico landmarks list because of the IG-worthy experience it provides. The water is so blue it looks teal, and the hot springs create a petrified waterfall look.

The road can be a little bumpy, so expect some off-roading sections. It is best to get a shared taxi, but you could also drive here yourself. There aren't any safety measures, so mind the cliff and be aware of your surroundings.

A pyramid-like plateau with stairs & another pyramid structure surrounded by trees
Monte Alban stands tall as the buildings were designed to be earthquake-prone

Monte Albán

Monte Alban is considered a world heritage property. It is located in the valleys of Oaxaca, between the Sierra Madre mountains.

This area of ancient ruins was inhabited for over 1500 years and carved out of the side of a mountain. Its citizens built terraces, dams, canals, and pyramids within that time.

The archaeological site of Monte Alban is one of Mexico's most-visited sites. It still stands tall since buildings were designed to be earthquake-prone in a region with high seismic activity. Luckily for us, we can still admire them today!

© Leonid_Andronov via Depositphotos
A monument with a tall arch on each side and an orange dome under a partly cloudy sky
Monumento a la Revolución has a viewing deck on top and a museum in the basement

Monumento a la Revolución

The Monumento a la Revolución is one of the most important monuments in Mexico. It was originally meant to host legislation, but eventually, it was adapted to house the museum of the Mexican revolutionary war. It is considered unfinished as a building, so it was declared a monument instead.

There is a small basement museum that will allow you to learn more about the Mexican revolution. After a walk through the museum, you can take an elevator to the top of the monument to enjoy the viewing deck.

If you take a further climb inside the dome, you will find a small coffee shop with spectacular city views.

© diegograndi via Depositphotos
A round basalt disk with a face-like shape in the middle and a sun-designed border
The most famous exhibit in the National Anthropology Museum is the Aztec Sun Stone

Museo Nacional de Antropología

As one of the must-see attractions in Mexico, the National Anthropology Museum will continue to answer all the questions you may have about the Chichen Itza or Teotihuacan sites.

This world-class museum should not be rushed and instead be enjoyed in a way to avoid becoming overwhelmed with its size. Being one of the many national landmarks in Mexico, the Museo continues to amaze tourists throughout the years.

This museum is one of the world's most comprehensive anthropology museums and has over 23 rooms of exhibitions. Some artifacts have been found in Mexico that date back to pre-Mayan times.

San Ignacio Lagoon

Whales migrate to the San Ignacio Lagoon each year. It is the primary calving ground for the Eastern Pacific Gray Whales.

The San Ignacio Lagoon is a part of a biosphere reserve, making it one of the largest wildlife refuges in Latin America. That being said, the reserve is strict on how many tourists can go out in the skiffs (small boats) to visit the whales.

The reserve prides itself on having minimal impact on the whales while educating people on the importance of biosphere reservation. Plan to spend a few days here, which will guarantee time with the whales in such a strictly regulated area.

Looking up at a modern skyscraper and other structures against a clear sky
Torre Latinoamericana is one of the only buildings to withstand an earthquake

Torre Latinoamericana

Torre Latinoamericana was the tallest skyscraper in Mexico for 27 years. This is one of the important landmarks in Mexico because it sits in the historic city center, and it has proven to withstand earthquakes other buildings couldn't.

After the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, this building proved to be an engineering feat for a place that is a highly active seismic zone. It is a must-see on any Mexico City itinerary!

A tall pyramid-like stone structure with an entrance above surrounded by stone ruins
Uxmal was founded in 700 A.D. and abandoned by its inhabitants after the 10th century

Uxmal

Uxmal is the pride and joy of Mexico's landmarks. This Mayan town in the Yucatan Peninsula was founded in 700 A.D. and proves that the Mayans knew astronomy. Uxmal is known as the ceremonial center of the town.

Next to this town is the hydraulic works and reservoirs for storing water, showing that they were ahead of their time. Uxmal could have had 20,000 inhabitants and complex structures for entertainment and politics. Its inhabitants abandoned Uxmal after the 10th century.

Zipolite

Zipolate was discovered by tourists in the '70s when it became known for its nude beach. To this day, it is the only nude beach in Mexico, and it continues to host the peaceful vibes of the '70s. There are no building codes enforced, so the shacks and huts along the coast vary in materials and quality.

There are no banking services here either, and they do not take credit cards, so make sure to bring a small amount of cash with you everywhere you go.

The best part of Zipolatee is the large yoga community - there are often free or donation-based classes offered at the Alquimista and Loma Linda.

A golden statue of an angel standing with a jacaranda tree in front under a clear sky
Angel de la Independencia is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico

El Ángel de la Independencia

The Monumento a la Independencia, also known as the Angel de la Independencia, is located on a roundabout on the major thoroughfare of Paseo de la Reforma. The best way to view this monument is by taking a bus tour.

The angel stands on top of a mausoleum made for the country's most important heroes in the War of Independence. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City. Since it has a centralized location, it is also the site for many celebrations and protests.

A pyramid with each side covered in stacked rows of small niches under a clear sky
The pyramid of Niches is the main attraction at El Tajin, situated in Veracruz

El Tajin

This is one of the most remote Mexican landmarks and monuments. El Tajin is a lot quieter than other ancient sites in the area. This makes it the perfect spot to self explore in complete detail.

Historians believe this temple was abruptly abandoned in 1200 AD and could have homed around 20,000 people.

The majority of the city is in the thick of the jungle, but the temple has been cleared to allow visitors to explore. The main attraction at El Tajin is the Pyramid of the Niches, which is well preserved.

An ancient palace & an observatory tower made with white stones against green trees
Discovered in the 16th century, it is believed that Palenque dates back to 200 AD

Palenque

One of the many ruins in Mexico, Palenque was first unearthed by a Spanish explorer in the 16th century. After some research, it is believed that this area dates back to 200 AD.

While searching through the area, the most important discovery was inside the tomb of Pakal the Great. Some inscriptions have been hidden away for centuries. Pakal was a ruler at age 12 and was the one to rebuild much of Palenque.

He was also the ruler to demand that events be recorded in detail. It was such an advanced find for archaeologists - it's where we find the majority of insight into what life could have been like during this time.

© ratherton via Depositphotos
A rusty car with greenish-brown color underwater with a small yellow fish in front
Museo Subacuatico de Arte is one of the largest underwater museums

Museo Subacuatico de Arte

A fun fact about Cancun is that it has one of the largest underwater museums in the world. The entire museum was built with the ocean in mind. The statues are made from marine-grade cement, allowing ocean life like coral and algae to grow on their surfaces.

The best way to view this famous Cancun landmark is with a guided snorkeling tour or on a glass-bottom boat. Cancun has a ton of great attractions, but the Museo Subacuatico de Arte isn't as busy as some of the other landmarks mentioned.

In Summary

There are stunning places to see in Mexico apart from just Cancun or Mexico City. This list of 25 Mexico landmarks and monuments is an excellent place to start when creating your Mexico bucket list.

If you are planning your trip to Mexico or are just looking to do something in Mexico today, any of these landmarks will create memories to last a lifetime.

Whether you just want to enjoy the beaches or visit ancient ruins, Mexico has something for everyone. You are guaranteed to have a good time!

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.

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Written by Rachle Morgan

Rachlemorgan WRITER As a travel blogger and writer, I want to provide the most accurate information for my fellow travelers. I have been to all 50 states and 16 countries. I'm grateful for travel because now I have friends around the world.


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