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Museums In Guatemala

A day at the museum in Guatemala is great if you're into ancient relics, trade route maps, and textile displays. Those interested in Guatemalan history, art, and culture will find lots to explore, but don't expect to be wowed by enormously expansive (or expensive) fine art collections found in other major cities. You'll be wise to not assume museums come with english translations, too, so consider bringing your Spanish-to-English dictionary as a backup if necessary.

Guatemala City

In Guatemala City, musems range from quirky to contemporary, and most are centered around Zona 1, 10 and 13. In Zona 1 (Centro Histórico), you'll find the unusual but intriguing Railway Museum, where you can explore passenger carriages parked on the tracks of the city's old main terminal. The Museo Ixchel in Zona 10 is a favorite for those interested in Mayan culture, particularly indigenous clothing and other textiles.

The Museo Nacional de Historia Natual in Zona 13 is not as extensive as natural history collections in other major cities, but is worth a visit if you're interested in flora and fauna native to Guatemala. Nearby is the Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno as well as the Museo Nacional de Arquelogia y Etnolgia, home to Guatemala's largest collection of Mayan artifacts.


A simple stroll around the colonial city of Antigua will have you popping your head in several one-of-a-kind museums. The Handicraft and Kitchen Museum and the Pharmacy Museum are windows into the way Guatemalans have lived in years past. Art lovers will love to explore the dozens of art galleries throughout the city, plus the Central American Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Museum, and the VIGUA Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and Modern Glass, which displays ancient objects juxtaposed next to contemporary glass pieces.

Those curious about Guatemalan culture should visit La Azotea Cultural Center in nearby Jocotenango. The complex includes a coffee plantation, botanical gardens, and trio of exhibits dedicated to coffee, costumes, and music. To get there, hop on a Chimaltenango-bound bus from Antigua's terminal.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala: Guatemalan Culture, The Quetzal and Art In Guatemala.

10 Jun 2010

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