Queretaro City is a place that has a very special charm, and lately, it has become very popular for tourists looking for beautiful colonial sites. If you like to wander cities with magnificent historic buildings, museums, handicrafts, delicious food, parks, and artistic activities. Certainly, you’ll love this charming City.
The full name of the city is Santiago de Queretaro, but it is known only as Queretaro, and it is located in the state of the same name in Mexico.
Where is Queretaro City Located
It is located in the Bajio region in Mexico, less than 3 hours away by car from Mexico City. The City also has an Intercontinental Airport, which connects with several destinations in the United States and Mexico.
To get to Queretaro from Mexico City by bus, there are three options: Airport Terminal 1, North Bus Station and South Bus Station.
The one you choose will depend on where you stay or if you want to get directly from the airport.
What to do in Queretaro City
The Best Things to do
Due to its proximity to Mexico City, Queretaro can be visited in a weekend, if you want to explore more places of this beautiful state, you will need a few more days.
Exploring Queretaro City
One of the activities that I enjoy the most is walking on its attractive pedestrian walkways. There are several walkways and you can explore the historic center and appreciate the colonial architecture.
Historic Center of Queretaro
Walking through the historic center and visiting the Historical Monuments Zone that has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is something you can’t miss. Civil and religious buildings stand out for their mix of styles, baroque, neoclassical, and preserved in very good condition.
Some of the Monuments that you can visit are the Cathedral, Temples, Ex Convents, Casonas, many of them built since the 1700s.
The most representative landmark of the site is the Aqueduct, built 1726-1735 to bring water to the city. It has a length of 1280 m. and has 74 arches, and it was built by a Marquis spending a huge fortune.
Trolley Car Tour
If you want to learn more about this fabulous city in a simple way, you can do it on a trolley car tour. You can see the best of the colonial city and the best representative buildings, such as the Aqueduct. That’s a fun way of exploring this wonderful place.
However, you can decide to take one hour or two hours tour.
Museums in Queretaro
There are so many wonderful museums in the city where you can learn more about ancient Mexico. What may be difficult, will be to choose which ones to explore. Some of them are free and others you have to pay a small fee.
Located in a beautiful ex-convent, with modern, baroque and neoclassical works.
This is a museum you have to visit, a unique and interesting exhibition, in addition to an adorable cafeteria in the garden.
House of The Zacatecana
An important and big house of the 17th century, this is one of my favorites, not only for the marvelous collection and the beauty of the house but also for the legend that you will discover.
Museum Magic of the Past, Vermin Museum, Regional Museum, Railway Museum. In addition to many others, art galleries, and exhibitions.
Visit Enchanting Haciendas
The whole state stands out for its wonderful Haciendas, some of them located in the city and others just a few minutes away. Nowadays some of them are hotels or sites for spectacular events, especially romantic weddings.
Some of my favorites.
Jurica Hacienda (Hotel and Events)
El Salitre Hacienda (Hotel and Events)
San Miguel Hacienda (Events)
Food and Drink Tours
The trip is not complete without visiting a brewery or wine tour, a very different and fun activity.
The privileged climate of the state is very favorable for the production of wine, and for this reason, in recent years the wine industry has grown in this region.
Sala Vive by Freixenet Mexico
A few minutes from the city, this Finca offers different experiences and events. The place and the gardens are beautiful, its wine cellar is 25 m. depth and there are English speaking Tours!
It is also located near to the city. On the tour, you go through the vineyards while you make the wine tasting.
Hercules Beer Garden
This brewery is located within the city, it is possible to take a tour to know the elaboration of their beers. The tour is only on weekends and includes a beer served directly from the tank.
If you want you can also taste another of the many beer options, the place has a great atmosphere and good music.
Visit El Cerrito Archaeological Site
Not far from the city is this archaeological site, which was built in three stages from 300 BC – 1500 AD. El Cerrito was an important political and religious center, associated with the Toltec culture. Of course, it’s worth visiting.
Shopping Handicrafts and Street Art
Exploring Queretaro City on a weekend is the perfect moment to find on the streets, gorgeous handicrafts, embroidered clothing, jewelry, art pieces and more.
Local artisans take advantage of the pedestrian streets to sell their colorful merchandise, in other words, you’ll love it.
Magic Towns in Queretaro
As I have talked about in many posts, one of the wonders of Mexico is its Magic Towns. Of course, the state of Queretaro is not the exception, at this moment there are 5 magic towns in this state. In any of them, don’t forget to taste the traditional food.
The first three are only an hour away from the city.
In this beautiful Mexican town is the famous Monolith Pena de Bernal, the third-largest monolith in the world. If you want you can climb it or practice rappel. Enjoy the beautiful streets and architecture of this charming town.
If you like nature, this will be a great option, since this area has a great variety of ecosystems. You can go hiking, explore by bike, climb, visit waterfalls or just admire the natural wonders. Also, you can stay at the ecotourist hotel located on Tzibanza Island.
This Magic Town is famous for its Route of Art, Cheese, and Wine. As I explained, the area is perfect for the vineyards because of the altitude and weather. Here you can admire festivals, hot air balloon flight, museums, crafts and more.
Jalpan de Serra
This beautiful town is full of history and Buildings of Religious Missions that have been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Visit the natural area of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, do it walking, biking or at an ATV.
This charming and colorful mining town is considered the Capital of Huapango (Mexican musical genre) in Mexico. Enjoy ecotourism activities, some even for experts, such as pentathlon or a cycling route.
In any of these beautiful magical towns, you can stay for more than one day, since in all of them you will find accessible places of accommodation.
Where to Stay in Queretaro City
It will be very easy to find accommodation in this city, there are many options for all tastes and budgets. Charming Haciendas, luxury hotels, house rentals, hostels and more.
But I have to tell you about my absolute favorite!
Casa de la Marquesa
A beautiful baroque mansion, built-in 1756 and located in the center of the city, which makes it easy to explore at any time. You will not believe the beauty of the building and the rooms, each one unique and with charming decoration.
For that reason, if you have the opportunity, stay there. I’m sure you will love it!
Where to Eat
Talking about food in this state is a pleasure, but I will let my friends recommend the best since they are experts about the food of this beautiful city.
Great restaurants in Queretaro City Center by Epicurean Expats. Burned out on 70 hour work weeks, an hour commute each way and limited vacation time, Tiffany and her husband Tom decided to head for the hills (literally!) of Queretaro, Mexico. They spend a few years researching the planet for the best place to settle down, and Mexico always came up at the top of the list. Tom still has a business he manages remotely, and Tiffany now has the time to pursue her passion for writing and freelance work.
Now their lives are filled with travel every day trying new foods, testing their Spanish, and exploring the beautiful country of Mexico. They know all about the Expat Life in Mexico!
As you can see, there are many reasons to visit this incredible city or even to live in it. Please tell me what do you think about the beautiful colonial cities!