Top Things To Do in San Miguel De Allende
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato: El Corazon de Mexico (The Heart of Mexico).
Why has San Miguel De Allende been voted “Best City in the World for 2018” by Travel + Leisure readers two years in a row?...Because it’s better than a fairytale that’s why! Beating fabulous destinations like Venice and Santorini. It’s cobblestoned streets, baroque Spanish architecture, culture, food, and warm hearted people will leave you enchanted!
Since I can remember, San Miguel de Allende has been on my bucket list! We were finally able to visit this enchanting town and spend 8 wonderful days here. Below are our top things to do in this magical town!
VISIT PARROQUIA DE SAN MIGUEL ARCANGEL
One of the most famous sights in all of San Miguel! It can be seen from almost anywhere in town and it is one of the most photographed churches in all of Mexico. Zeferino Gutierrez, an indigenous bricklayer and self taught architect built the church in the 17th century. They say he drew his inspiration from postcards of Gothic churches in Europe. It has a Neo-gothic façade which many people compare to "La Sagrada Familia" in Barcelona, Spain. Do you see the resemblance?
LISTEN TO MARIACHI AT THE JARDIN
We are not going to lie... this is probably what we did most during our visit. Just hang out in the Jardin/Main Plaza and people watch. During the evenings on the weekends you will find the plaza filled with Mariachis waiting to play your favorite tune. Pick a bench, sit down and enjoy!
GET LOST WANDERING THROUGH THE STREETS
I could give you an entire detailed guide of San Miguel, but nothing will beat getting lost on your own wandering the streets. Every single street is more picturesque than the next. The city is very walkable so just go!
VISIT LOCAL MARKETS IGNACIO RAMIREZ AND THE ARTISAN MARKET
Local Markets are part of the everyday life of a Mexican. They are also very important for the economic growth of a town. We visited Mercado Ignacio Ramirez and El Mercado De Artesanias. They are both very close to each other. If you walk in through Mercado Ignacio Ramirez, this will lead you to the Mercado De Artesanias.
Ignacio Ramirez has fresh flowers, produce, meat, chicken, shoes (guaraches), as well as food stands that sell delicious authentic food.
El Mercado De Artesanias is a shoppers dream. From clothes to home goods, just make sure to have a big enough luggage for everything you will want to bring back!
If you are short on time or want to get your bearings on the city, this trolley ride will help you do just that. They sell the tickets and pick you up on the side of San Francisco’s Church. Tickets are around $65 MXP ($3.50 USD) per person. The tour lasts an estimated 1.5 hrs and will take you to the main attractions and tell you more about the history of San Miguel.
For a great view of San Miguel, you have to visit El Mirador. The trolley ride will take you here and let you roam around for about 15-20 minutes. It is also walkable from the center of town. It is located on the street "Salida Real a Queretaro". If you are thirsty, no problem! They sell cold Micheladas to enjoy the impressive view.
FABRICA LA AURORA
A gallery filled with art and items you can buy and take home. You might be able to catch a glimpse of the artists doing the work right then and there. Make sure to allocate some time, as this Fabrica has many rooms on display.
HANG OUT AT THE BENITO JUAREZ PARK
This park has tons of activity through out the day. You will find many artists displaying and selling their work. It is a great place to grab a snack from all the street vendors. Don’t miss out on "El Chorro" located near the park. Here you will find Los Lavaderos an area that was used for ladies to wash clothes. It was pretty neat to see.
BEST TORTAS IN TOWN
There are many great options for food too, but our favorite for good food at a good price has to be Tortas at Tortitlan! It is located right across from the trolley tours near the church of San Francisco.
You will find lots of rooftops for amazing sunset or night views all over San Miguel. We visited Chula Bar, Mama Mia Bar and Coronela Bar. Coronela is not a rooftop, but provides a neat old school Mexican vibe we loved.
It's the weekend in San Miguel de Allende and it means one thing..... Mojigangas! These tall and colorful giants will be dancing and partying all over the Jardín Principal. They are used for weddings, religious events and the famous Callejoneadas! These giant puppets were brought to Mexico by the Spaniards during the 1600's. They have become part of the culture and traditions in San Miguel de Allende! You will not have issues finding and taking a picture with them.
In San Miguel you will find some locals that speak English.
Download the XE Currency App to get live exchange rate info anytime, anywhere!
CREDIT CARDS AND BANKS
Cash is best for buying at mercados, street food or small stores as these do not accept credit cards.
ATMs are readily available.
VISA REQUIRED FOR US CITIZENS:
No, if you are staying less than 180 days.
(Make sure to check with your local embassy for visa updates.)
The easiest way to get to San Miguel de Allende is to fly into one of the 3 nearest airports:
(BJX) Del Bajio Airport, Leon/Guanajuato: The Leon airport is about an hour and forty-five minutes from San Miguel de Allende. It is by far the most used for people traveling to San Miguel de Allende.
(MEX) Juarez Intl, Mexico City: The Mexico City airport is about three and a half hours from San Miguel de Allende, Mexcio.
(QRO) Queretaro Airport: The Queretaro airport is about an hour and a half away from San Miguel de Allende.
From any of the above airports, there are taxis, shared shuttles and private shuttles available to take you to San Miguel de Allende.
Our preferred mode of transportation in Mexico is by bus. Mexico has an excellent bus system that can easily take you anywhere in the country. Our preferred bus is ETN. They are exceptional for long bus rides since they provide private screens for movies, games or music. They give you a snack/drink and your luggage is guaranteed to be safe. The seats are very comfortable. You can buy your ETN ticket at arrival at the Bus Terminal or online at the ETN website.
Although there are several travel warnings on the U.S. Travel website, I found it quite disappointing that many people are afraid to travel to Mexico due to this. We have traveled through Mexico for 2 months and have felt completely safe. Always keep in mind the advisory, but take it with a grain of salt. Use common sense like you would in any country. We always traveled in bus by day and made sure to steer clear of the roudy neighborhoods.