Visiting the Frida Kahlo museum (also known as “Casa Azul” – the blue house) is a highlight of any trip to Mexico City. Kahlo, known for her signature monobrow and self-portrait paintings, is one of the most famous Mexican figures to have ever lived.
Her house in the leafy, artistic district of Coyoacán is where she was born, spent her childhood, lived with her husband Diego Rivera, and eventually died. Today, her ashes are interred in a Pre-Colombian urn within the property.
Whether you are an art enthusiast or not, visiting the house is essential for gaining a deeper understanding of Mexico’s history and culture. In this Frida Kahlo museum guide, we will cover everything you need to know about visiting the museum, what to see inside it, how to get there, and where to buy tickets.
Visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum
Feet – what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?Frida Kahlo
Visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum gives a fascinating insight into the personal life and art of one of Mexico’s most enigmatic women. The house was transformed into a museum in 1958, four years after Kahlo’s death.
Many rooms in the house remain virtually unchanged from how they were when Kahlo occupied the property, seemingly frozen in time. There is the ramshackle kitchen, with a collection of large and small clay pots mounted on the walls, and old casserole dishes laid out on the tables.
The studio, where Kahlo worked and created many of her timeless masterpieces, is home to an easel that was gifted to the artist by Nelson Rockefeller. Kahlo’s bedroom is where you will find a collection of butterflies given to Kahlo by the Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi, as well as a four-poster bed, Mexican folk art, and a vast collection of personal artifacts, and some of her most famous pieces.
Throughout the decades, Kahlo and her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera, hosted many famous international and Mexican artists, dignitaries, and celebrities at the property.
Nickolas Muray, Kahlo’s artist friend and former lover, Mexican movie director Sergei Eisenstein, Mexican artist Dr. Atl, painter Isabel Villaseñor and many other prominent figures shared meals with the power couple at the property.
Buying tickets for the Frida Kahlo Museum
The Frida Kahlo Museum is one of Mexico City’s most popular attractions. Whatever season or day of the week you stop by, you will always see long lines of people queuing around the block to get inside.
Weekends are especially crowded and it has become virtually impossible to simply rock up to the house and buy your ticket at the door. Tickets to the Frida Kahlo Museum must be purchased online in advance.
You can buy them from the official “Boletos Frida Kahlo website”. Admission is 230 pesos (circa $12 USD) per person. Mexicans can enter for 100 pesos (circa $5) provided they show their national ID.
Concessions are available for the elderly, children, students, and the disabled.
If you want to take photos inside, you need to pay an additional photography fee of 30 pesos. This is well worth paying if you want to remember your experience.
Frida Kahlo Museum tickets often sell out days in advance. So, it’s a good idea to buy them in advance of your trip.
You will be given a specific time slot for entering the museum, and you should then show up at the site at least 10-15 minutes before your slot. It is also possible to purchase combination tickets t that include access to both Frida Kahlo’s house and the Diego Rivera-Anahuacalli Museum. Click here for more information on the combined ticket.
If you want to gain more history, background, and context to the Frida Kahlo Museum, you might want to consider visiting as part of a tour. A number of reputable tour companies operate in Mexico City and offer guided tours of the city’s neighborhoods and important cultural sites, and include a visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum.
Mexico City tours which include a visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum
A selection of excellent options is detailed below for your consideration. Book your place online in advance to avoid disappointment!
- Private tour of Coyoacan neighborhood, Frida Kahlo Museum, and Xochimilco canals
- Visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum and Diego Rivera studio with tickets
- Xochimilco and Coyoacan tour
Things to look out for in the Frida Kahlo Museum
Casa Azul was built in 1904 by Frida’s father, Guillermo Kahlo. Today, the museum it has been transformed into does an excellent job of showcasing her life and works.
Some of the most important items and exhibits that you should look out for during your visit are detailed below.
Kahlo’s most famous art pieces
Some of Kahlo’s most famous self-portraits are displayed throughout the rooms of her former home. Even if you are not an art aficionado, you may have seen some of these paintings online or in books and media coverage about Frida Kahlo.
Some of the most notable pieces to look out for are:
- Viva La Vida (1954) – A still life of watermelons with the inscription “viva la vida” which was one of the last pieces Kahlo produced before she died.
- Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940) – A self-portrait of Kahlo wearing a necklace of thorns with a dead hummingbird hanging from it.
- The Broken Column (1944) – A self-portrait depicting Frida Kahlo’s broken spine after having a bus accident
- Frida and Caesarean (1932) – An unfinished painting depicting a life-threatening miscarriage that Frida had in 1932
Kahlo’s personal effects
The various trinkets and personal items scattered throughout Casa Azul provide an insight into Kahlo’s life, personality, and illnesses. In particular, look out for her wheelchair and her prosthetic leg.
Kahlo struggled with her health throughout her life. Yet she continued to paint and create in spite of all of the pain and challenges that she faced.
She contracted polio at a young age which left her limp and with one leg shorter than the other.
At age 17, she was involved in a horrific bus accident. The incident caused multiple fractures, a spinal cord injury, and chronic back pain which Kahlo would have to deal with throughout her life.
In 1953, she eventually had her right leg amputated due to gangrene – hence the prosthetic leg on display in the museum today.
Paintings by Diego Rivera
Frida Kahlo had a long and tumultuous relationship with fellow artist Diego Rivera. The couple married twice and Rivera, despite being a portly and unattractive man, constantly cheated on Kahlo with other women. (He even had an affair with Kahlo’s sister!)
Frida is quoted as saying “I suffered two serious accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar knocked me down. The other accident was Diego.”
Still, despite their sometimes toxic relationship, Rivera’s presence and importance in Kahlo’s life is evident when you visit Casa Azul. Some of his art is on display in the museum including:
- Portrait of Natasha Gelman (1943) – Portrait of a Russian-Mexican art collector that was friends with Rivera and Kahlo.
- Calla Lily Vendor (1943) – Painting of a female street vendor carrying a basket of white lilies.
- The Sun Breaking Through the Mist (1936) – Painting of a landscape with mountains and the sun breaking through a cloudy skyline.
Pre-Colombian urn with Kahlo’s ashes
After her death on the 13th of July 1954, Kahlo was cremated. Her ashes were then stored in a Pre-Colombian urn that resembles a frog.
You can see the urn on a shelf in Kahlo’s bedroom. The frog is said to represent Diego Rivera who was affectionately nicknamed “little frog”.
Frida chose the urn herself before she died. Rivera died three years later in 1957.
His initial wish was for his ashes to be mixed with Kahlo’s and stored in the same Pre-Colombian urn. But instead, after his cremation he was buried at the Pantheon of Dolores.
Traditional clothing from Tehuantepec
When you visit Frida Kahlo’s house, you will see a large collection of vibrant, colorful clothing from the region of Tehauntepec in Southern Mexico on display. Mexican traditional dress differs from state to state.
Although Kahlo was born in Mexico City, she was enamored by the clothing worn by strong Tehuana women.
She started purchasing and wearing this type of clothing herself, and it became an extension of her own identity and personality. Kahlo even painted herself wearing Tehuantepec clothing.
You can see it in her famous works “Self-portrait with cropped hair” (1940) and “Self-portrait as a Tehuana” (1943).
The garden at the Frida Kahlo Museum
At the rear of Kahlo’s home, you can see and explore a beautiful lush garden that was designed by Diego Rivera. It was added to the property between 1937 and 1938.
This was during the period when Leon Trotsky lived in the house with Kahlo and Rivera when an adjacent plot of land was purchased to expand the property.
There is a small gift shop that you will pass through when finishing your tour of the Frida Kahlo Museum. Here, you can purchase prints of Kahlo’s paintings, books, postcards, and other Mexican souvenirs.
How to get to the Frida Kahlo Museum
Museo Frida Kahlo sits at the corner of Calle Ignacio Allende and Londres in Coyoacan, Mexico City. It is unmissable and immediately recognizable by its bold blue coloring.
Kahlo’s father chose this color in 1937 in order to match the sky and contrast the red, white and green of the Mexican flag.
Although the neighborhood of Coyoacán is a little way (10km) out of the center of CDMX, it is easy enough to get to by bus, metro, and cab.
The closest metro station to Casa Azul is Coyoacán on Line 3. From there, it is about a 15-minute walk to the house.
A one-way metro ticket on the CDMX subway is 5 pesos or around $0.25 USD cents.
Uber in Mexico City is a safe and affordable way to get around. As far as most Mexicans are concerned, it is safer to take an Uber in Mexico rather than a random street cab.
After all, there is more accountability via the app and you have the driver’s details, vehicle info, license plate details, and past reviews. You can get from the center of Mexico City or from neighborhoods like Polanco and Roma to Casa Azul for less than $10 USD.
It is generally not recommended to take a random street cab in Mexico City due to the risk of falling victim to a scam. If you don’t want to use Uber or a ridesharing app, the best way to get a cab is to ask the receptionist/concierge at your hotel to call one for you.
Mexico City has a public bike-sharing system called Ecobici. This can be a fun and eco-friendly way to get around the city.
There are several Ecobici stations near Frida Kahlo’s house.
In total, there are 1,200 bikes at 90 stations around the Mexican capital. Coyoacan is a peaceful and safe place to cycle, with some lovely parks and green areas too. Just be careful on some of the busier roads.
FAQs about Visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum
Do you have any further questions about visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum or learning more about the inspiring Mexican artist? The answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic are detailed below.
Hopefully, you will find the information you are looking for there. If not, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!
What is exhibited in the Frida Kahlo Museum?
There are a number of interesting things on display at the Frida Kahlo Museum, including the artist’s clothing, dresses and shoes, Mexican folk paintings, paintings by Kahlo, pre-hispanic artifacts, and personal items.
How long is the tour in the Frida Kahlo Museum?
You should allow yourself 1-2 hours to explore the Frida Kahlo Museum. If you have a strong interest in Kahlo and want to spend time reading all the information plaques and taking lots of photos of the various objects in the house, you can dedicate slightly longer to your visit.
Where can you see Frida’s works?
Some of Frida Kahlo’s most famous pieces are on display in her home in Coyoacan. Besides that, most of them are on display in various museums in Mexico City and throughout the United States.
In CDMX, you can stop by the Dolores Olmedo Museum (Av Mexico 5843, La Noria, Xochimilco) to see some of her works, including “The Accident” (1926), However, the museum is currently temporarily closed until 2024.
In the United States, you can see Frida Kahlo pieces on display at the MoMA in New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Among others).
How much does the entrance to the Frida Kahlo Museum cost?
It costs 230 pesos (approximately $12 USD) to enter the Frida Kahlo Museum. If you want to be able to take photos inside, an extra fee of 300 pesos (circa $1.50 USD) applies.
Is the Frida Kahlo Museum worth visiting?
Yes. This historic house museum is one of the most visited museums in Mexico. The collection of artwork and original furniture here gives valuable insight into Frida Kahlo’s life and romantic relationships.
Final thoughts on visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum
Visiting Frida Kahlo’s house is a unique and fascinating experience that offers a glimpse into the life of one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century. From the vibrant colors of the Blue House to the intricate details of her personal belongings, every aspect of the house tells a story about Frida’s life and art.
Before their deaths, Kahlo and Rivera already had in their minds that they wanted to transform their home into a museum and open it to the Mexican public. By visiting, you are helping to keep their legacy alive.
Coyoacan, where Frida’s house is located is also a lovely place to explore. It’s a nice idea to spend the afternoon exploring the area at a leisurely pace after your visit.
People watch at the bustling Coyoacan Mercado, grab a coffee at El Jarocho, and admire the neoclassical architecture and quaint catholic churches found around Kahlo’s former barrio.
Do you have any further questions about visiting La Casa Azul? I live in Merida in the Yucatan and I am always happy to help out where I can.
If this is your first time traveling to Mexico City, you might also like the below articles.
- Is Mexico City safe?
- Where to stay in Mexico City in 2023
- A suggested four-day Mexico City itinerary for 2023
Safe travels and enjoy Mexico! Bien Viaje! Xo