San Miguel de Allende the Fascinating City

San Miguel de Allende the Fascinating City

San Miguel de Allende city makes us fall in love at the first moment was named by Travel +Leisure magazine as The Best City in the World in 2017 thanks to its artistic, gastronomic and cultural heritage.

A colonial city with a unique charm, where you can appreciate the old Mexico combined with the modern. 

The beauty of its cobbled streets, the warmth of the people, its beautiful architecture and delicious food are some of the reasons for having been named Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2008 and Magic Town in 2002.

The beautiful tradition of Mojigangos in Guanajuato Mexico
The amazing tradition of Mojigangas on the streets.

My first encounter with San Miguel was a long time ago when I was a child. Now more than ever, I can tell you this is a site you should visit.

San Miguel de Allende City at Night
Streets at night in San Miguel.

I want to share with you the best things to do when visiting San Miguel de Allende.

As in almost any place, the weekends are more folkloric and more visited. My recommendation is to visit it midweek until the weekend to enjoy the two faces of this Magic Town.

Fantastic view of the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende City, Mexico
Marvelous view of San Miguel de Allende

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Where is and how to get to San Miguel de Allende City

It is located in the beautiful state of Guanajuato, just 1 hour from Guanajuato City.

The easiest way to visit San Miguel is from Mexico City. The trip lasts about 3 and a half hours, but the buses are comfortable and you can watch a movie in the meantime. Buses leave from the North Bus Terminal very close to the airport in Mexico City. 

San Miguel from above.
Spectacular city view

If you are already in Guanajuato City, just take a bus and in only 1 hour you’ll be in San Miguel.

Colorful Center, museums, restaurants, delicious Mexican food, Mexico
Colorful Sunday at San Miguel de Allende

What to do in San Miguel de Allende

In the most beautiful city in the world, there are definitely diverse things to do, I want to share with you my favorites.

Visit Guanajuato City 

Of course, the best activity to do is combine these two fascinating cities, my recommendation is to spend a few days on each one, but if you can’t, easily get a one-day tour that takes you to visit the other city.

Parish Church of San Miguel Arcangel

The representative landmark of San Miguel de Allende is, without a doubt, the magnificent Parish Church of San Miguel Arcangel.

The tallest building in the city, Neo-Gothic style and built with beautiful pink quarry makes this Parish something to admire. By day you can appreciate the remarkable details, but you can’t miss it at night, it’s even more spectacular.

San Miguel Arcangel Parish
The landmark of San Miguel de Allende.

The original Parish was built in the 16th century but collapsed and was built again in the 18th century, taking inspiration on the European Gothic architecture. 

San Miguel Arcangel Parish Mexico
San Miguel Arcangel
Inside the old and beautiful Parish San Miguel
Inside the beautiful Parish

As I said you can not miss the opportunity to visit it again at night, the lighting makes it look very different and even more charming.

The iconic church in San Miguel de Allende city, Mexico
The Parish at night.

Walkthrough the park in front of the Parish or enjoy a delicious dinner in one of the cafes around, with a great view!

The marvelous organ inside the Parish of San Miguel, Guanajuato Mexico
So beautiful inside and outside the Parish.

Fascinating inside and outside the Parish, admission is free and you can not miss the great organ inside brought from Germany.

The must famous spot in San Miguel de Allende
Spectacular inside.

It is currently one of the most photographed churches in Mexico.

Walking through San Miguel 

Of course, the best way to discover this city is through its magnificent cobbled streets. Feel free to walk everywhere, in each street, you’ll find beautiful facades and different shades of old and colonial Mexico mixed beautifully with modern Mexico. 

In my walkthrough San Miguel, I found the craft market, delicious street food, art galleries, amazing places to photograph and most important for me the authentic life of this city.

You can take a bus tour that shows you the most important sites, but for me, it’s better to discover places walking.

art galleries and museums at the cobblestone streets of San Miguel, Mexico
Trinitate arts and crafts workshops.

Atotonilco Sanctuary near to San Miguel de Allende City 

It is a baroque style temple founded in 1740 and also designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is an extraordinary work because the walls and ceilings of the interior are almost completely covered with murals.

Sanctuary of Atotonilco, Mexico
Inside the Atotonilco Sanctuary.

It’s located only 15 minutes outside of San Miguel de Allende, at the small town of Atotonilco. It is colloquially called The Mexican Sistine Chapel.

Wonderful Mexican Sanctuary in Guanajuato
Details in the murals.

Most of the work was done by Antonio Martinez de Pocasangre. Because of the details, it took him almost 30 years to finish it!

The amazing and extraordinary Sanctuary in Atotonilco at the state of Guanajuato, Mexico
Atotonilco Sanctuary. You can’t believe how beautiful inside is.
The ceiling of the Sanctuary at Atotonilco, one of the best places in Guanajuato, Mexico
You have to visit this amazing Sanctuary.

Chapel of Jimmy Ray and Casa de las Ranas

For me, it is a place that reflects the folklore of Mexico in the eyes of a foreigner.

The house of the frogs (Casa de las Ranas) is a house-museum created by two artists. One of them, Anado Mclauchlin does the tour, only in English. Imagine a house and patio decorated with a lot of colors, unique style, and a design that makes you feel in a surrealist painting.

The fee is around 200 pesos, it worth the visit if you are in San Miguel.

The colorful and unique Chapel of Jimmy Ray at San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico
Colorful, Folkloric and Unique. Photo by Casa de las Ranas

Immaculate Conception Church (The Nuns)

A beautiful convent founded in 1775 by a young nun who invested her inheritance. Today is part of the National Institute of Fine Arts.

Admire its galleries, museum and the amazing dome inspired on Les Invalides in Paris.

House of Ignacio Allende

At that historic building was born and raised one of the most important heroes of the Independence of Mexico. It began its construction in 1760, and at the end of 1810, the viceregal government confiscated the house.

Museum Ignacio Allende and House
Casa de Allende Museum

Old Mexican kitchen and storage

The beautiful property with amazing Independence history became a museum in 1990. It is a very interesting museum and building that you can not miss in San Miguel. 

Museum at San Miguel
Inside the Allende Museum.

Exploring Museums in San Miguel

Fabrica La Aurora

Another place you should visit in San Miguel is Fabrica la Aurora, nowadays it is an Art Center, located in an old textile factory.

Textile Factory San Miguel
Textile Factory La Aurora

It is a wonderful place if you like paintings, antiques, sculptures, books and more.

A unique place that mixes the old and the work of new artists. Also, I recommend that you plan your visit with time to eat something in the place or at least have a coffee, I’m sure you’ll love it.

Ols textile machines in Mexico
Old Machines at La Aurora.

San Miguel Old Factory Mexico

Mexican Toy Museum

An incredible place to visit with your family, children will love it! In this museum, you can discover the creativity and colorful Mexican Toys.

Handmade toys that become a wonderful artwork, manufactured with different materials such as wood, metal, mud, fabric, etc.

Colorful Mexican Toys
Colorful and beautiful toys.
Toy Museum San Miguel de Allende
Mexican Wrestlers

Dolls, trains, Mexican wrestlers, Ferris wheel, carousel and a wonderful variety of beautiful old toys.

Handcraft Toy Mexico
Handcraft Theater
Colorful Toys Museum
Colorful Airplane

Where to stay in San Miguel de Allende

What do you prefer? Boutique Hostels, B&B, Fancy hotels, and Spa, you can find all options and a lot of prices.

If you are looking for something very special the Rosewood Hotel is a great choice, with an amazing view of the city, restaurants, spa, excursions and more.

Some of the hotels have Hot Springs in its facilities, restaurants with great views of the city, luxury suites or just clean and simple rooms to spend the night.

Hacienda Taboada Hotel at San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico
Hotel Hacienda Taboada and Hot Springs

Where to eat in San Miguel de Allende City

I love to try on different places, the market, street food, small cafes and why not a fancy style restaurant. The market is full of delicious Mexican food low-priced.

Hecho en Mexico is an expert in Mexican food at good prices.

Aperi Restaurant it’s a great option if you are looking for a pleasant evening in a stylish restaurant. Here you’ll find a small boutique hotel and spa.

There is a win everywhere! The food in San Miguel is delicious and varied, and you can also experience a Food Tour.

San Miguel de Allende Sunday outside the church in Mexico
Weekend life at San Miguel de Allende
Old and historic streets at San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico
Old historic and beautiful streets at San Miguel

Adventure activities in San Miguel 

Horseback Riding

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Zip Lines

ATV Tours

I promise if you visit San Miguel de Allende City, you will have an unforgettable experience!

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[…] San Miguel de Allende […]

1 year ago

I love your posts and how you cover so many places in Mexico. Mexico is my heartland. I was born in the US (my homeland) but I can’t get enough of Mexico (my heartland). Thanks!

10 months ago

This place looks exceptionally charming! I love seeing cities with a lot of history, so I’m sure we would love this one. That Mexican toy museum my daughter would love! I really want to photograph the church too!