Whether it is classical music, Latin, jazz, or rock, going to a gig is always an exciting way to spend an evening. Mexico City, a capital city bursting with life and activity, offers a variety of excellent venues where you can catch live music. Check out our eight favorite spots in the city for a musical rendezvous below.
Excellent acoustics and a spectacular capacity of 10,000 people are two of the best features that the Auditorio Nacional, one of the world’s best live music venues, has to offer. Designed by two Mexican architects, Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Gonzalo Ramírez del Sordo, the building, which houses Latin America’s largest pipe organ, stands proud on the Paseo de la Reforma. Events held at the Auditorio Nacional include music concerts, theater, dance performances, and much more.
Located within a stunning Art Nouveau and Neoclassical building is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which has an even more beautiful interior, designed in an Art Deco style. The Palacio de Bellas Artes is the most important cultural center in the country and is home to many professional orchestras and ensembles, such as the National Symphonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Bellas Artes, and National Opera Company. Visit the Palacio de Bellas Artes for excellent concerts which will keep you in awe from start to finish.
The Sala Nezahualcóyotl is part of the Centro Cultural Universitario and is home to the Philharmonic Orchestra of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This concert hall is a monument and a contribution from the Mexican conductor and composer, Eduardo Mata, to the country’s cultural scene. This venue also happens to be specifically designed for symphonic music, creating a wonderful intimacy between the players and the audience.
Behind the Metropolitan Cathedral is the Centro Cultural de España, an excellent example of Mexico City’s thriving art scene. Located inside a 16th-century building which housed the Conquistadores, this cultural center is alive with art, theater, cinema, and, of course, music. Ideal for live music lovers, the Centro Cultural’s bar-restaurant offers a terrace where independent national bands and singers perform. You are most likely to catch electronic music here, but indie and rock bands and DJs also occasionally perform. Spend an evening at the bar after viewing an exhibition to capp off the evening in style.
Bulldog Café is a classic venue that all lovers of rock need to visit at least once. Generally frequented by a younger crowd, this club has three floors and one huge stage, on which the best rock and metal bands in the world have performed, including Metallica, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Zinco Jazz Club is arguably Mexico City’s most popular jazz bar, known for its vibrant atmosphere and excellent music selection, bringing a little bit of New York to the heart of Mexico City. Located inside the basement a former bank — the old vaults are still visible — this small and intimate club has hosted a number of famous jazz players, one of whom is Charlie Parker. A high standard of music and a relaxed evening of entertainment is guaranteed at Zinco.
The Salón Los Ángeles is a favorite spot among locals who enjoy Latin music. As their slogan states, “He who does not know Salón Los Ángeles does not know Mexico,” With décor recalls the Mexican golden age, this bar is brought to life by local musicians and dancers with their amazing sounds, bright colors, and irreplacable enthusiasm. All sorts of Latin music is played here, such as mambo, salsa and cumbia, and dance classes are even offered here on Mondays for those who are looking to take their listening experiences to the next level.
Mambocafé, contrary to its name, is in fact a club dedicated to salsa. The most popular Latin bands from all over Latin America perform here, making it a very attractive destination for those who want to listen to classic and modern Latin music. Salsa music at its best, professional dancers perform alongside the bands that grace its stage. Visiting Mambocafé is a great opportunity to watch Latin at its most authentic.