Oaxaca is a great place to learn about Mexican culture, especially if you have an interest in the indigenous communities, as they play a far more active role in modern day Oaxacan life than in many other places. Make sure you delve in and enjoy Oaxaca's rich and unique culture to the max by exploring the city in its entirety from local Oaxaca markets and restaurants to top-notch art exhibitions and museums!
Culture Hotspots outside Oaxaca City Centre
- Museo Rufino Tamayo
Without a doubt this spectacular museum is one of Oaxaca's cultural highlights. A tribute to pre-hispanic artefacts, the museum contains a huge collection of impressive carvings, ceramics and other crafts donated by Oaxaca's most famous artist, Rufino Tamayo.
- One of the most unforgettable cultural experiences in Oaxaca is shopping with the locals and sharing in their love for good food - just three blocks south of the Oaxaca Zócalo you will find the Mercado 20 de Noviembre (C/20 de Noviembre and C/Cabrera). You can pick up some truly cheap eats here or just stroll around amongst the stalls and see some typical Oaxacan ingredients.
Similarly, the Centro de Abastos is another great place to pick up food but is also the site for some truly unforgettable cultural experiences. Saturday is the best day to go if you want to catch hoards of indigenous locals doing their weekly shop - the experience is incomparable as families mill about in traditional dress, talking dialects of Zapotec and Mixtec. This is by no means a tourist spectacle but a real way of life that will become a lasting memory for any visitor.
CULTURAL CENTRES AND THEATRES
- Casa de la Cultura Oaxaqueña
This well run Cultural Centre runs a varied program throughout the year - check what's on while you're in town! (González Ortega 403, Tel: (01 951) 516 2483)
- Auditorio Guelaguetza
On the outskirts of the city this dramatic and atmospheric amphitheatre is the place to be during Oaxaca's most important festival, the annual Guelaguetza. Celebrations including dancing and folk music amongst other things take place here on the last two Mondays of July. You can also catch Christmas festivities here as each year draws to a close.