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Last Updated on November 14, 2020

Walking through the urban sprawl of Mexico City, pay close attention to your surroundings. Scattered throughout the concrete maze of streets you will find images of fantastical, phantasmagorical and life-like creatures staring back at you from throughout town. These, and other unique images, constitute a good example of the Mexico City street art you’ll find.

You’ll see these urban art canvases adorning everything from walls to the shutters of shops, and from the gable ends of buildings to the perimeter fencing of construction sites. We’ll show you where to find these, although many have likely been replaced by other works. Join us on an easy, self-guided tour of these Mexico City street art locations with bonus information on displays found belowground in the Metro stations.


Mexico City Street Art in Centro Historico

Where: The intersection of Calles Emiliano Zapata and De la Santísima, five blocks east Mexico City’s Zocalo. Take Calle Moneda (north side of the National Palace), which becomes Emiliano Zapata. This entire area is pedestrianised.

An example of colorful street art in Mexico City featuring a dragon and an old sailing ship.

A colorful mural in Mexico City depicting many different faces.
The Many Faces of Mexico City Street Art.

Colorful urban artwork in Mexico City featuring two armadillos.

A Mexico City street art mural showing two men dressed as jaguars engaging in a fist fight.

A painting on the side of a wall in Mexico City depicting a Chinese dragon.

A stylized painting on a wall in Mexico City of a deer wearing a native dance costume.

A man walking above a colorful Mexico City street art mural.

Spend Some Time in Mexico City and See More During Your Visit

This great city is full of free sights and activities; we spent six weeks here and found plenty of non-touristy things to do which didn’t cost us a peso. Combine your Mexico City street art tour with some (or all!) of our free attractions.

Take an Easy Day Trip to the Ancient Site of Tula

You’ve already heard of Teotihuacan – how about the ruins of Tula? Don’t overlook this impressive sight as a day trip, easily reached from Mexico City. Our article shows you how to visit Tula independently. Of course, make sure this site is open before you go!

The images above are some of our favourite street art installations, located just several blocks from Mexico City’s most famous tourist attractions. This area is free from vehicle traffic, making this a great spot for admiring the prolific amount of urban art on display.


Mexico City Street Art South of the Zocalo

Where: Avenida 20 de Noviembre, beginning on the south side of Mexico City’s Zocalo. The streets on either side of 20 de Noviembre, José Maria Pino Suárez and 5 de Febrero, feature very similar street art.

Metal storefront shutters featuring some examples of the various types of street art in Mexico City.

An example of street art on the steel shutters of a storefront.

Two storefront shutters in Mexico City decorated with stylized graffiti.
Mexico City Street Art is Always Open for Business!

An example of street art painted on the steel shutters of a storefront showing a woman in an astronaut helmet.

An image of urban artwork depicting a woman with a blue folding fan.

Shopfront shutters in Mexico City spray painted with an image of a woman with a skull-like face holding a blue rose.
Window Shopping for Mexico City Street Art!

A good example of Mexico City's street art showing a spray painted work of a woman with a spider web tattoo on her face.

Due to the nature of the chosen canvases above, these works are best seen before the shops open (when the shutters are down!), vehicular traffic begins gathering and the sidewalks become congested with pedestrians.


Finding Inspiration for the Art

Mexico City’s street artists draw inspiration from history, mythology, cultural norms, societal deviants, social upheavals, religious symbols, pop icons, pop art and just about anything that causes them to level that can of spray paint and take aim. Their talent is as unique as their subject matter. Their urban masterpieces sit easily alongside the scrawled graffiti tags of the hasty amateurs and the resident grime of city life.

Looking For Someplace to Stay in Mexico City?

You’ll always find somewhere special to stay through Airbnb. From trendy lofts and apartments to unique luxury spots in the city, Airbnb’s Mexico City listings offer something for everyone. Find your ideal place to stay and wake up ready for more of Mexico City! 

Looking for conventional accommodation? We recommend Hotels.com for the best deals and selection in Mexico City and throughout all of Mexico. Choose from resorts, familiar national chains or smaller independent hotels.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to products and services whereby we receive a nominal commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. This comes at no extra cost to you. Please see our Disclaimer for full information.

Mexico City's street art, as seen on the side of a building with the Virgin Mary painted on it.
Discover Mexico City’s Street Art Everywhere!

These pieces aren’t under the protection of a curator and their transitory state is dictated by, well anyone really. All it takes is someone to paint over them or simply deface a piece with their own tag. However strangely enough it seems there may be an unknown code, or respect at least amongst graffiti artists. If you look closely at many of the photos, often you will see the quick scrawl of other tags nearby the focal pieces.


When Mexico City’s Street Art Goes Underground

Accolades must be given to the city for having the foresight to recognise how drab it must be for pedestrians to commute about their daily lives through 140.7 miles of rail and subterranean tunnels linking the labyrinth of 195 Metro stations. Their solution to this conundrum: Provide distractions in the form of sculptures, installations, murals, rotating exhibits and archaeological displays, all for the enjoyment of the general public and all for the meagre fare of 20 MXP (.30¢).

Where: Bellas Artes Metro Station

This sprawling Metro station serves one of Mexico City’s most famous attractions: Palacio de Bellas Artes. You’ll likely find yourself passing through this station at some point; enjoy the wealth of belowground art located here during your commute!

An mural of Olmec heads in the Bellas Artes Metro Station in Mexico City.

Where: Garibaldi/Lagunilla Metro Station

A colorful mural from the Garibaldi/Lagunilla Metro Station in Mexico City depicting a man riding the Metro.

Where: Auditorio Metro Station

This station features an interesting caricature mural of famous rock musicians. Hop out here and spot your favourite group or musical performer. These murals, by artist Jorge Manjarrez, are worth a good look – is your favourite musician included?

A general view of the famous rock 'n roll murals in Auditorio Metro Station in Mexico City painted by artist Jorge Manjarrez.
An Example of Underground Street Art in Mexico City.

Where: Chabacano Metro Station features more rock stars, this time perched above a library also located underground.

A famous rock 'n roll mural in Chabacano Metro Station in Mexico City painted by artist Jorge Manjarrez.

A famous rock 'n roll mural in Chabacano Metro Station in Mexico City painted by artist Jorge Manjarrez.

We have only experienced a fraction of what’s on offer in this netherworld. Who knows what treasures lay in any of the subway stations we haven’t passed through but as you can see, that 0.30¢ fare could keep one occupied all day if seeking out subway art is your thing.


Mexico City Street Art Will Grow on You

The city itself is a canvas for many artists who display their works anywhere and everywhere, from the prominent to the discreetly tucked away.

Where: Calle Regina, between Avenidas Simon Bolívar and Isabel de Católica in Mexico City’s Centro Historico.

A live grass wall, one the most unique examples of Mexico City's street art.
Street Art in Mexico City is Full of Life.

Sometimes it takes a little effort to seek out art and sometimes you just happen upon a find. Perhaps a vertical garden is just what you were looking for! You never know what you’ll see just by looking up.


Mexico City’s Parks Feature Art, Too

Small local parks offer exhibit opportunities too. These spaces attract young hipsters, skateboard kids, dog-walkers, young and old lovers, joggers, local residents making their way home and indeed often these parks serve as the home to many of the city’s more unfortunate residents. Art and life cohabitate side by side.

Where: Plaza de la Concepción, located next to Hotel Diligencias on Calle Belisario in Mexico City’s Centro Historico.

Artists Jorge Manjarrez (see the Auditorio murals above) and Sebastian Cast were featured in this display at Plaza de la Concepción. It’s gone now, likely replaced by some other creative installation. Stop and see what’s on display if you’re passing by.


Discover Street Art Almost Anywhere in Mexico City

Why not get out and see what colourful displays will be revealed on your next visit? To inspire you we’ve included random images of street art found throughout Mexico City during our travels. What and where will your favourite street art be?

 Mexico's City's street art features plenty of buildings like this purple one painted with an image of a skeleton wearing a suit and smoking a cigar on its side.


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An example of colorful urban artwork of a lady on the streets of Mexico City.

An example of colorful urban artwork of a skull on the streets of Mexico City.

An example of colorful urban artwork of a lady on the streets of Mexico City.

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16 Comments

  1. Lovely

  2. Glenda Johnson

    You guys are awesome! Beautiful photos–thank you for sharing!

    • Glenda,
      Thanks for looking into the post! Mexico City is a favourite of ours for many reasons. The urban art throughout is quite amazing and it adds another dimension to this city.
      Please keep following along on our site, as we hope to post more of Mexico City in the future.
      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

  3. I’m in the basement with the dog trying to minimize the effects of fireworks on July 4 and thought it would be the right time to check in on you! I’m glad I did! I hope you can still realize your plans to take off at the end of the summer. Love to you!

    • Hi Barbara,
      Hope the pup got through the fireworks o.k. We just bought a second-hand tandem kayak for paddling around the Baja Peninsula for the beginning of our planned adventure – Phase I! We’ve got a ton of stuff to do but all plans are go. Thanks a million for following us and please check in on our preparations to hit the road and travel along with us as our adventure unfolds…
      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

  4. Donna Scott

    Amazing photos and very talented artists.
    Jerry and Fiona you can write a book of all your drifts.
    I am so proud of you two. This blog is awesome and very interesting.

    • You are right, the artists are very talented; these works do a great job of adding even more vibrancy to Mexico City. Sometimes we feel we can never run out of things to write about when it comes to Mexico and Mexico city, for we are so captivated by the whole country. We hope you keep enjoying and sharing the blog, and we thank you for all of your support!
      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

  5. Johanna Conlan

    Well said! I quite enjoy both of your literary voices. 🙂

    • Thanks Johanna for reading our wee insights! We really appreciate it and we enjoy writing them. Please continue to follow our travels and travails!
      Thanks a million,
      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

  6. Hey there drifter’s ?. It’s so fun to read your blogs! Have a blessed week!!?

    • Ronda,
      It is always good to get a few comments. We are very happy you enjoy the posts, and it is always lovely to hear from you. Do keep reading them!
      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

  7. Thank you for this post Fiona. And Jerry. You have heard the phrase “eye candy” I’m sure. This art satisfies many a sweet tooth. Jerry….your Gr!andfather would be jealous in that he never thought to use a Venetian blind as his “canvas.”. Nice. DAD

    • Eye candy is a great way to put it! A visual feast for certain. We have fallen hard for Mexico City. You never really know what is around the next corner; the artwork is everywhere. Although we have spent 5/6 weeks there we feel like we still have so much more to see. In this way Mexico City is like an unfinished piece for us! Thanks for the comment and encouragement. They mean so much to us.
      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

  8. Awesome art. The vertical garden I would have probably walked by without looking up. The word graffiti takes on a new meaning when I look at some of the street art. Thanks for sharing.

    • Bill.
      Mexico City is certainly like no other. Even after 5/6 weeks there, we feel there is much more to see. And the food…
      There is a definite spirit to the people in Mexico, and that spirit is turned up a notch or two in Mexico City. It can be a bit overwhelming when we think of all the graffiti photo opportunities we may have missed.
      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

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