The famous Palacio De Bellas Artes might be the most popular tourist attraction in Mexico City. Its striking Art Nouveau exterior and yellow and orange tiled roof make it fascinating to see from the outside.
And the inside is just as exciting with huge murals by Diego Rivera and others, as well as a museum and theater!
Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) can be seen from many different angles, depending on where you’re viewing it from.There are the street-level outside views, the views from the interior, and the views from above.
Let’s take a look at each of these views, and reveal how you can get the best photos of one of Mexico City’s most famous attractions.
Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City: Exterior Views
First, you will see the palace from the outside, at street level.
When you come up from the Bellas Artes subway stop, you’ll see the top of the colorful dome peeking from behind the trees.
Then the Palacio comes into view with Torre Latinoamerica behind it.
Walk around the building to get selfies and glorious views from every angle.
The palace looks so imposing from the front! It’s very busy, so you will have to wait for people to pass in order to get a selfie without other tourists around.
Inside Palacio de Bellas Artes
Make sure to go inside for murals, an art museum, and some magnificent architecture from the interior perspective. Walk through the fancy lobby and look up at the interior view of the dome.
You will have to pay to go inside Palacio de Bellas Artes. As of this writing, the entry fee is about 75 pesos, which is only $4 or so in U.S. dollars. It’s a small price to pay to see the interior of the structure.
Another way to see the interior of the Palacio is to attend a show there. It’s still an active venue. I saw a theater performance there, and got to walk around inside without paying an additional fee. I just had to pay the price for my theater performance ticket.
Pictures of Palacio de Bellas Artes From Above
If you’ve ever seen aerial photos of the Palacio de Bellas Artes like the one at the top of this post and wondered, “How the heck did they get that shot?,” here’s the secret.
Walk across the street to the Sears department store. Head up to the cafe on the 7th floor. They have an outdoor balcony where you can enjoy an iced coffee and take numerous photos of the Palacio from their outdoor terrace.
This is the best place to zoom in for closeups of the top of the dome and the tiles themselves.
Finally, for a real bird’s-eye view of the palace (and the rest of Mexico City), walk over to Torre Latinoamerica and buy a ticket to the Mirador observation deck on the 44th floor.
From way up there, you can see the Palacio and all of the people walking around it. You can also take cool selfies up here if you can work out the shadows and light.
The Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City is one of the most iconic structures in the city, so you should definitely visit, one way or the other. At least see the exterior, if you’re not able to make it inside.
History of the Palacio de Bellas Artes
Construction of the palace began in 1904, but it was abandoned for a couple decades before being completed in 1934.
The outside of the building is largely Art Nouveau style, while the interior is primarily Art Deco. The dome was designed by Geza Maroti, a Hungarian architect and artist.
The current capacity of the theater is about 1000. Roughly 10,000 visitors come to Palacio de Bellas Artes each week.
If you’re in Mexico City, be sure to read about the many other places I also recommend visiting, including Chapultepec Castle, the Frida Kahlo Museum, the Tequila Museum, and the Coyoacan neighborhood. Or, read my complete list of 85 things to do in Mexico City for tourists!
Have you ever visited Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City?