I recently revisited one of my favorite cities in Mexico, a place I have been to countless times with family and friends, and can never get enough of… San Miguel de Allende! It’s a magical city that shows off the best of central Mexico and there’s a picture perfect moment waiting for you everywhere you turn.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, and voted the World’s Best City by Travel & Leisure in 2017, the city of San Miguel de Allende (or St. Mike as the expats call it) is located in central Mexico in the state of Guanajuato. Here you can get lost in the picture perfect cobblestone streets, admire Spanish colonial architecture, feast on delicious foods, take in the art and culture available at every corner, and so much more. It’s no wonder so many foreigners decide to get married, live, or retire here!
This last visit was a very important one for me because my younger sister and her husband got married there. It was the most spectacular wedding, and now San Miguel will forever hold an (even more) special place in my heart.
There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with San Miguel de Allende, but I want to share with you my top 5 favorite things about the city. And who knows, maybe you’ll want to plan your wedding here too!
My favorite street to walk down and the best starting point to get into the city is Calle Aldama. This cobblestone street lined with colorful houses and palm trees provide a stunning backdrop to the cathedral which peeks out at the end of the street. It’s really the best “first look” of the iconic cathedral, and I recommend starting your visit here.
The main town square, also known as Jardin Allende, is my favorite place to walk around with an artisanal ice cream and “people watch”. I like to daydream here about how things must have been in earlier days when elegant women would stroll around the plaza just to “be seen”.
Things haven’t really changed much in the past 200 years, except for the fashion and technology… but you can still see plenty of people walking around the square wanting to “be seen”. All around the square are street vendors that sell ice cream, fried snacks, flowers crowns and more. Oh, and you get the most amazing view of the cathedral from here!
LA PARROQUIA DE SAN MIGUEL
The Cathedral, known as La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this city. Its impressive neo-gothic style and pink spires are a beauty to admire (and photograph) and can be seen from many rooftops around the city. I highly recommend going to Luna Bar at the Rosewood Hotel to get the best view of the city and the cathedral. It is a highly coveted church for people to get married in and I think the wait list is about 3 years long!
By the way, if you happen to be around the cathedral and see a group of people with two exaggeratedly large figures of a man and a woman, this is called a Callejoneada. It’s a typical pre-wedding procession that occurs only in this Mexican city and is so much fun to watch and be a part of!
St. Mike’s largest green area, Parque Juarez, is most definitely worth a visit to escape the heat! This park is filled with trees, fountains, a playground for children, and is the center of many cultural and art displays.
This is probably one of the most underrated places to visit, and it would be a shame to miss out on a taste of what the locals in this city live like. Around the park, you can buy fresh fruit or tasty chips with salsa, and then sit down on one of the many benches and just enjoy a quiet and well-deserved walking break.
TEMPLO DE SAN FRANCISCO
My second favorite church in this city (after the cathedral) is the Templo de San Francisco not only because of its gorgeous facade but also for the green areas and fountain in front of the church. It’s another one of my favorite places to relax at and is less crowded than the main square (Jardin Allende). Also a great place to “be seen” and people-watch…
These are only a few reasons why San Miguel de Allende is a place you’ll love when you visit!
There is definitely something for everyone in San Miguel! It has become a great destination for international visitors in recent years and there are a variety of cuisines available for all budget types.
Leave a comment if you’ve already visited my favorite Mexican City or if you plan on going soon, and I’ll be happy to give you personalized recommendations on where to eat, drink or stay