San Miguel de Allende travel guide

San Miguel de Allende Tourism | San Miguel de Allende Guide

You're Going to Love San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel De Allende is a popular destination for tourists, retirees, and artists. The downtown area of this small city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and will amaze you with its mixture of Baroque, neoclassical, and colonial architecture.

This small city is 170 miles from Mexico City and 60 miles away from Guanajuato. It is an ideal destination if you want to discover Central Mexico and be far away from everything.

San Miguel De Allende has a fascinating history as the first city to be declared independent from Spanish rule during the Mexican War of Independence. You can learn more about this period as you discover the unique Hispanic and Mesoamerican influences that have shaped this small Mexican city nestled in the hills.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit San Miguel de Allende

1. Discover the Architecture and History

The Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel is one of the most popular tourist attractions with its pink granite stones. Other notable buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries include the Templo de la Concepcion and the Templo de San Francisco. You also need to visit the Santuario de Atotonilco to see the Baroque murals painted on the chapel walls.

2. Enjoy the Gardens

The Jardín Botánico, with its large collection of cacti and excellent birdwatching opportunities, is another must-see. Another interesting natural site lies west of the city known as Canada de la Virgen, which includes a garden and a pyramid.

3. Experience the Festivals

San Miguel De Allende is an ideal destination if you appreciate music and the arts. There are several art galleries, and you can enjoy live music during the San Miguel International Jazz and Blues Festival in November or during the Festival de Música Barroca in March. There are other amazing celebrations throughout the year, including the Dias de los Locos in mid-June, Independence Day on 16 September, and the Semana Santa parade during Easter.

4. An Ideal Escape

San Miguel De Allende is a small city that is far away from everything and that is part of its charm. Getting there is an adventure in itself and this is the perfect destination if you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a small Mexican town and forget about the outside world.

5. Learn about Mexican Independence

Visit the Museo Casa de Allende to learn more about the Mexican War of Independence or head to Casa del Mayorazgo De La Canal to learn more about the city's colonial past and admire the historic paintings.

What to do in San Miguel de Allende

1. Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel: Iconic Steeple

Located at the heart of San Miguel de Allende, this church shares its name with the city towers that look over the central square, El Jardin. The original 17th-century cathedral was upgraded in the 19th century with a baroque facade based on a Belgian Church the designer had seen on a postcard, recreated here with Spanish flair. The gothic spires can be seen all around the city; the interior is peaceful and resonating. Enjoy the nature in the plaza outside for a little break.

2. Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez: Bellas Artes

Once the hallowed cloisters for the adjoining monastery, this museum of fine arts is beloved in the small city of San Miguel de Allende. Dedicated to Ignacio Ramírez, also known as "El Nigromante" or "the Necromancer," the cultural institution lives up to this activist's values, with classes and workshops that reach the whole community. A museum and two galleries also inhabit the space, along with a delightful courtyard café. There's always something going on and something to see!

3. Biblioteca Pública de San Miguel de Allende: A Quiet Escape

This public library and cultural center houses a huge collection of magazines and books on Latin America. The volumes are extensive and offered in both English and Spanish, making this a fascinating place to dig for knowledge. The 18th-century building also sits in a neighborhood full of colonial treasures, and walking tours offer a hands-on way to uncover the history chronicled in the institute's collection. The library is a true social gathering point - there is even a café and a theater.

4. Cañada de la Virgen: The Past Rediscovered

These Prehistoric Pyramids were discovered only a few decades ago, and the lure of the archaeological site is overwhelming. The indigenous Otomi people who have called the valley of San Miguel de Allende home for thousands of years are responsible for the stunning constructions, and excavations have revealed details of their history. Let yourself be transported to a world and lifestyle of the past as you walk among these ruins.

5. Fabrica La Aurora: For Art Lovers

A prosperous textile factory throughout the 20th century, this mill was recently converted into a multi-purpose social center for culture and art. Among traces of an industrious heritage, contemporary shops with trendy art and products line the halls. Browse for local art, shop for souvenirs, or simply ogle the unique trinkets on display. The fun doesn't end here either, as a plethora of culinary experiences are just waiting for you!

1. Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel: Iconic Steeple

Located at the heart of San Miguel de Allende, this church shares its name with the city towers that look over the central square, El Jardin. The original 17th-century cathedral was upgraded in the 19th century with a baroque facade based on a Belgian Church the designer had seen on a postcard, recreated here with Spanish flair. The gothic spires can be seen all around the city; the interior is peaceful and resonating. Enjoy the nature in the plaza outside for a little break.

2. Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez: Bellas Artes

Once the hallowed cloisters for the adjoining monastery, this museum of fine arts is beloved in the small city of San Miguel de Allende. Dedicated to Ignacio Ramírez, also known as "El Nigromante" or "the Necromancer," the cultural institution lives up to this activist's values, with classes and workshops that reach the whole community. A museum and two galleries also inhabit the space, along with a delightful courtyard café. There's always something going on and something to see!

3. Biblioteca Pública de San Miguel de Allende: A Quiet Escape

This public library and cultural center houses a huge collection of magazines and books on Latin America. The volumes are extensive and offered in both English and Spanish, making this a fascinating place to dig for knowledge. The 18th-century building also sits in a neighborhood full of colonial treasures, and walking tours offer a hands-on way to uncover the history chronicled in the institute's collection. The library is a true social gathering point - there is even a café and a theater.

4. Cañada de la Virgen: The Past Rediscovered

These Prehistoric Pyramids were discovered only a few decades ago, and the lure of the archaeological site is overwhelming. The indigenous Otomi people who have called the valley of San Miguel de Allende home for thousands of years are responsible for the stunning constructions, and excavations have revealed details of their history. Let yourself be transported to a world and lifestyle of the past as you walk among these ruins.

5. Fabrica La Aurora: For Art Lovers

A prosperous textile factory throughout the 20th century, this mill was recently converted into a multi-purpose social center for culture and art. Among traces of an industrious heritage, contemporary shops with trendy art and products line the halls. Browse for local art, shop for souvenirs, or simply ogle the unique trinkets on display. The fun doesn't end here either, as a plethora of culinary experiences are just waiting for you!

Where to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

You will find a lot of foods that are typical to the state of Guanajuato if you explore the food stalls at the Mercado Ignacio Ramírez. Make sure you try enchiladas mineras (fried tortillas with cheese or chicken, chili sauce, and toppings), pacholas (deep-fried beef patties), and fiambre (lettuce topped with fruits, vegetables, and meats). Andaza is an ideal choice for dining and La Posadita is probably the best romantic restaurant in town. If you want a unique rooftop experience, Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar is a great choice. If you want to discover how the locals eat, try Juan's Cafe, Don Lupe Mexican Grill, and Baja Fish Taquito. You should be able to eat for Mex$70 in these restaurants and a more upscale meal should not cost more than Mex$300.

When to visit San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende in May
Estimated hotel price
C$ 15
1 night at 3-star hotel
San Miguel de Allende in May
Estimated hotel price
C$ 15
1 night at 3-star hotel

The climate in San Miguel De Allende is warm all year round. The dry season lasts from November to April and the nights can be cold. There might be some showers in July and August but this is a good time to visit if you want to get cheaper rates.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to San Miguel de Allende

Plane

The Del Bajío International Airport (BJX) located in León and the Querétaro International Airport (QRO) located in Querétaro are the two nearest airports. A shuttle or cab ride from one of these airports to San Miguel De Allende should last an hour and cost between Mex$600 and Mex$1,200.

Car

You can reach San Miguel De Allende by driving south on Highway 57 if you are in San Luis Potosí or another city North of San Miguel De Allende. If you are in Mexico City, take Highway 57 North. You can also get to San Miguel De Allende from Guadalajara via Highway 110.

Bus

Taking the bus is your cheapest option. You can take a bus from the Querétaro Airport to San Miguel De Allende for Mex$200 to Mex$300 with Estrella Blanca or Omnibus de México. You can also purchase a Primera Plus bus ticket to San Miguel De Allende for Mex$500 at the Mexico City airport. Services from Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Celaya, and more also stop in San Miguel De Allende.

Airports near San Miguel de Allende

Airlines serving San Miguel de Allende

United Airlines
Good (2,838 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,152 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,377 reviews)
KLM
Good (348 reviews)
Air France
Good (399 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,414 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,206 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,414 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (777 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (146 reviews)
Avianca
Good (801 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (821 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (139 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (465 reviews)
GOL
Good (262 reviews)
WestJet
Good (468 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (338 reviews)
Volaris
Good (448 reviews)
VivaAerobus
Good (325 reviews)
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Where to stay in San Miguel de Allende

Centro – this is a typical traditional Mexican neighborhood with narrow, one-way streets paved with cobblestone. You are going to love walking through the Centro. This is where you will find historical buildings such as the Parroquia or the Templo de San Francisco and El Jardín. You will also find many art galleries and restaurants.

Popular Neighborhoods in San Miguel De Allende

Guadalupe – this is a small neighborhood just a few minutes away from the Centro. It is worth visiting for the Fabrica La Aurora Art & Design Center where you will find many art galleries and craft stores. The artistic community is very active in this area and you will notice many graffiti murals as you walk through this neighborhood.

San Miguel El Viejo – this is the original city of San Miguel and is located west of San Miguel De Allende. San Miguel El Viejo is worth visiting for its chapel from the 1540s, which is the town's oldest building.

Where to stay in popular areas of San Miguel de Allende

Most booked hotels in San Miguel de Allende

Hacienda El Santuario San Miguel de Allende
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
C$ 312+
Hotel & Spa Doña Urraca San Miguel De Allende
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 124+
Real de Minas San Miguel de Allende
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
C$ 118+
Mirador del Frayle
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 68+
Casa Blanca San Miguel
Good (7.9, Good reviews)
C$ 58+
See all hotels

How to Get Around San Miguel de Allende

Public Transportation

There are many bus routes through the Centro. Look for a street called Insurgentes and walk to the top of the hill. This is where most bus lines leave from. The fare is typically Mex$5. There are also sightseeing trolleys that will take you through the Centro for Mex$60.

Taxi

Finding a taxi should not be difficult. Look for taxis with green and white colors near the Plaza Principal or call a taxi service. A cab ride within the Centro should cost Mex$25 to Mex$30, and most drivers will agree to an hourly or a daily rate if you negotiate with them.

Car

Driving is not ideal since the streets are very tight in the Centro area and there are no parking spaces. If you want to drive a car, you can rent one at the airport where you land. If you land in Querétaro, you will find a Hertz and an Avis location inside of the airport. If you land in León, book a rental with Thrifty Car Rental or Mobility. A car should cost between Mex$200 to Mex$600 a day plus Mex$300 a day for insurance.

The Cost of Living in San Miguel de Allende

Shopping Streets

Go to El Jardín to find stores that sell souvenirs, art, furniture, and clothes. The Mercado Ignacio Ramírez is a good place to find jewelry, curiosities, and original home items. You will also find a traditional food market. There are countless stores in the Centro area where you can buy ceramics, paintings, folk art, crafts, textiles, clothes, and antiques. If you want to see more art galleries and antiques, head to the Fabrica La Aurora.

Groceries and Other

You will find a Bonanza in the Centro area but can also buy fresh food at the Mercado Ignacio Ramírez. There is a Soriana Super in the southeast part of San Miguel De Allende and a Tosma and Natura if you go to the southern portion of the city. Groceries tend to be very affordable and you should pay Mex$23 for a loaf of bread, Mex$37 for a pound of chicken, Mex$32 for a dozen eggs, and Mex$18 for a quart of milk.

Cheap meal
C$ 5.24
A pair of jeans
C$ 51.53
Single public transport ticket
C$ 0.34
Cappuccino
C$ 2.37