Housed in an 18th-century palace, the gory Museo de la Medicina Mexicana (Museum of Mexican Medicine) showcases the history of medicine in Mexico, offering some pretty graphic wax replicas and scary-looking medical instruments that are fortunately no longer in use today. With a huge collection of artefacts and displays spread through more than a dozen rooms, the museum is also hugely educational, and provides a fascinating insight into medical methods used in pre-Hispanic and colonial Mexico, as well as giving visitors the chance to explore a realistic model of a 19th-century pharmacy.
Museo de la Medicina Mexicana, Centro Històrico, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City, Mexico +52 01 55 5623 3123
One of Mexico’s most iconic museums, the Mummy Museum in picturesque Guanajuato displays a collection of spookily well-preserved mummies still bearing the expressions of their final moments. The mummies were discovered in the nearby cemetery after the local government began charging a tax for burials. The bodies of the dead who were unable to pay the tax were exhumed and those that had been buried above ground had been accidentally mummified as a result of the dry weather. The most startling exhibits include the mummy of a small child and a woman whose posture indicates she was accidentally buried alive. A truly macabre and one-of-a-kind museum.
Lifelong toy collector Roberto Shimizu opened this museum in 2006 to display his impressive and extensive collection of playthings. The four-story building in the historic Doctores neighborhood of Mexico City is crammed with model cars, superhero figures, robots and Hello Kitty toys. The museum also showcases a huge range of Mexican toys, with a particular focus on lucha libre masks and memorabilia.
Mexico’s most secretive and exclusive museum is undoubtedly the Museo del Enervante (Drug Museum) in Mexico City. Since 1985, the museum has displayed a collection of artefacts relating to Mexico’s decades-long battle against drug cartels. Exhibits include gold-plated automatic rifles, cartel uniforms and a shrine to Jesús Malverde, the folk saint who has become extremely popular with drug traffickers. The museum is only open to Mexican soldiers and the occasional journalist, so you’ll need press credentials if you’re going to visit yourself.
Museo del Enervante, Industria Militar, Lomas de Sotelo, Mexico City, Mexico +52 01 552 122 8800