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Palacio Nacional
Vacation Travel Guide

Palacio Nacional featuring a city, night scenes and heritage architecture

Learn about centuries of Mexican history and marvel at a remarkable collection of murals by Diego Rivera at Mexico City’s national palace. 

Step inside Mexico City’s Palacio Nacional (National Palace) to discover over five centuries of national history. Admire grand colonial architecture, explore courtyards, spot work by revered Mexican artists and peek inside presidential offices. This site was originally the 16th-century Aztec residence of Moctezuma II and was later the palace of Hernán Cortez and then the home of the Spanish viceroys. It became the Palacio Nacional in the 1800s and is today the seat of the federal government.

Stand back from the building’s main entrance to appreciate its grandiose façade, flanked by two imposing towers. Above the main door is the Campana de Dolores, the bell rung by Padre Miguel Hidalgo to proclaim Mexico’s liberation from Spanish rule in 1810. Visit at 11 p.m. on September 15th to watch the president ring the bell and signal the start of annual independence celebrations.

Walk through the Baroque-style doorway to the palace’s main courtyard, characterized by a three-tiered arcade and Renaissance columns. Inspect the central fountain, crowned by an elegant bronze statue of Pegasus.

Take the stairs to the courtyard’s second floor to see the magnificent murals by Diego Rivera. Painted over a period of 22 years, they portray significant Mexican events from the Aztec era to the early 20th century. Peak inside the palace’s rooms to see period furniture, colonial decorations and objets d’art.

Find the palace on the east side of the Zócola, Mexico City’s main public square and the heart of its historic city center. Public buses, the metro and a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus all stop close to the palace. Visit nearby attractions, such as the 16th-century Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México (Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral) and the ancient Aztec ruins of the Museo del Templo Mayor (Great Temple Museum).

The Palacio Nacional is open daily, although it may close without notice for government events. Admission is free and you’ll need to present a form of photo identification to enter. Unofficial English-speaking guides are available and can provide insightful information about the palace and its history. Guide prices are negotiable, so be prepared to bargain.

Top Hotels Close to Palacio Nacional

Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico
Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico
4.5 out of 5
Av. 16 de Septiembre #82, Col. Centro, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$3,088 per night from May 18 to May 19
Located in Historic Center, this luxury hotel is steps from Plaza de la Constitucion and Zocalo. Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana) and Palacio ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (986 reviews)
"It’s a wonderful experience! It’s like a time travel back to the beginning of 19 hundred century! Especial thanks for Celia and Jose Luis! A really especial time! Food is amazing!"

Reviewed on 2021/4/16

Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico
Zocalo Central Mexico City
Zocalo Central Mexico City
4 out of 5
Cinco de Mayo 61, Centro Historico, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$2,663 per night from May 4 to May 5
Located in Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), Zocalo, and Templo Mayor. Palacio Nacional ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (1,151 reviews)
"Everything was real nice and helpful everyone in hotel real nice"

Reviewed on 2021/4/16

Zocalo Central Mexico City
Hotel Ritz Mexico City
Hotel Ritz Mexico City
3 out of 5
Madero 30 Col Centro, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$1,242 per night from Apr 30 to May 1
Located in Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Madero Street and Torre Latinoamericana. Palacio de Bellas Artes and Zocalo are also within ...
4/5Very Good! (990 reviews)
"Staff was very friendly and Jesus was awesome! No buffet available which is completely understandable due to the pandemic, however they will bring up a meal to your room if you'd like to purchase one. Taking all the necessary precautions and more by sanitizing and wearing masks. Thank you! Great ..."

Reviewed on 2021/3/22

Hotel Ritz Mexico City
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Reviews of Palacio Nacional

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
888
5 - Excellent 64.81751824817518%
4 - Good
401
4 - Good 29.27007299270073%
3 - Okay
70
3 - Okay 5.109489051094891%
2 - Disappointing
6
2 - Disappointing 0.43795620437956206%
1 - Terrible
5
1 - Terrible 0.36496350364963503%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 4, 2020

There are free licensed guides outside whom you can use. Well worth it. They give you so much info you would never have gotten and they give detailed explanations of the Diego Rivera murals - fabulous!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 24, 2019

Murals of Diego Rivera are beautiful

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 4, 2019

Remember to take photo identification to enter the palace area!

3/5 - Okay

PatScan

Aug 11, 2019

Difficult to approach. Too many protestors. Did not feel welcoming.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 28, 2019

Unfortunately there are no postcards or other reproductions of the murals offered at the site itself.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 7, 2019

If you love art, go and see Diego Rivera murals.

Popular places to visit in Palacio Nacional

Palacio Nacional

Best Lodging Options Near Palacio Nacional

Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico
Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico
4.5 out of 5
Av. 16 de Septiembre #82, Col. Centro, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$3,088 per night from May 18 to May 19
Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico
Zocalo Central Mexico City
Zocalo Central Mexico City
4 out of 5
Cinco de Mayo 61, Centro Historico, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$2,663 per night from May 4 to May 5
Zocalo Central Mexico City
Hotel Ritz Mexico City
Hotel Ritz Mexico City
3 out of 5
Madero 30 Col Centro, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$1,242 per night from Apr 30 to May 1
Hotel Ritz Mexico City
Hotel Punto MX
Hotel Punto MX
3.5 out of 5
Calle República de Uruguay 47, Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$2,035 per night from Apr 19 to Apr 20
Hotel Punto MX
Downtown
Downtown
3 out of 5
Isabel La Catolica 30, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$4,135 per night from May 4 to May 5
Downtown
Hampton Inn & Suites Mexico City - Centro Historico
Hampton Inn & Suites Mexico City - Centro Historico
3 out of 5
Calle 5 de Febrero No. 24, Colonia Centro, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$1,445 per night from Apr 19 to Apr 20
Hampton Inn & Suites Mexico City - Centro Historico
Best Western Majestic
Best Western Majestic
3 out of 5
Av Madero 73 Col Centro, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$1,991 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
Best Western Majestic
Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral
Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral
2 out of 5
República de Guatemala No. 4, Col. Centro Histórico, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$255 per night from Apr 19 to Apr 20
Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral
Hotel Roble
Hotel Roble
3 out of 5
Uruguay No. 109, Col. Centro, Mexico City, CDMX
The price is NT$859 per night from Apr 23 to Apr 24
Hotel Roble
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.