Puebla, Mexico’s fourth-largest city, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, Puebla offers visitors an array of exciting activities and attractions. Whether you’re a history buff eager to delve into the city’s colonial past or a food lover looking to indulge in mouthwatering Mexican cuisine, Puebla has something for everyone. From exploring ancient ruins and visiting colourful markets to sampling traditional dishes and admiring beautifully tiled buildings, this article will guide you through the top things to do in Puebla for an unforgettable experience in this captivating city.
Are you planning a visit to Puebla?
Puebla, a popular day trip from Mexico City, is worth more than a day trip.
Wondering what you can see in Puebla? We share with you our 19 fun things to do in Puebla Mexico.
- 1. Visit the Zocalo
- 2. Explore the Cathedral de Puebla
- 3. Admire the colonial architecture
- 4. Visit the Parian Market (mercado el parian)
- 5. If you have a sweet tooth visit Calle de Los Dulces
- 6. Plan to spend May 5 at the Cinco de Maya parade
- 7. Spend time at the Museo Amparo
- 8. Visit the Capilla del Rosario
- 9. Take a bus tour of the city
- 10. Try your hand at a local cooking class
- 11. Stroll down Frog Alley
- 12. Spend time at the Church Santo Domingo
- 13. Visit the Fuertes de Loreto y Guadalupe
- 14. Take a tour to the Cholula Pyramid and Churches
- 15. Visit the Africam safari on a private tour
- 16. Indulge in your passion for books at the Biblioteca Palafoxiana
- 17. Taste the local cuisine including Mole Poblano, Chiles en Nogada and Cemita
- 18. Ride the Teleferico
- 19. Hike to the two volcanoes – Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl
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Where is Puebla
Puebla is the Capital City of the State of Puebla located in southern Central Mexico, a 2-hour drive from Mexico City.Need to book a bus ticket from Mexico City or another destination to Puebla - check out latest prices and schedules here
Top Things To Do in Puebla
Some of the top tourist attractions in Puebla are:
1. Visit the Zocalo
The heart of every Mexican town is the Zocalo. The city was founded in 1531 and the Zocalo was the first block built, all other buildings were constructed around it.
In Puebla, you can find the Municipal Palace, the Portals, the Cathedral and the San Miguel Fountain. The area around the Zocalo contains 2619 monuments distributed across 391 blocks allocated over 6.9 sq km making Puebla the city with the largest number of monuments in the Americas.
Once the Zocalo was used for bullfights and hangings, these days you can find buskers, balloon sellers, food vendors and families enjoying themselves.
2. Explore the Cathedral de Puebla
In the centre of the Zocalo is the Catedral de Puebla. This beautiful building is considered the most representative icon of Puebla City. The Catedral has the tallest towers on the continent and houses an important art collection.
The Catedral was constructed in the Baroque style in 1575 but it was not consecrated until 1649.
Address: 16 Septiembre between 3 and 5 Oriente.
3. Admire the colonial architecture
Puebla boasts over 2,600 historic buildings which awarded it UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage site title in 1987. Puebla is famous for its use of azulejos (colourful glazes) on many of its colonial buildings.
4. Visit the Parian Market (mercado el parian)
Talavera ceramics have been made for more than four centuries in Puebla and are recognised as one of the most important folk art expressions in Mexico. They can be found in the Parian Market which was established in 1796 plus other souvenirs such as textiles, leather, jewellery and more.
5. If you have a sweet tooth visit Calle de Los Dulces
More than 40 stores offer the best of Mexican sweets from Puebla and the famous Santa Clara pancakes. The aromas from the sweets will entice you to visit many of the 40 stores as you wander down the street.
Address: 6 East Puebla (6 Oriente)
Open: from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm
6. Plan to spend May 5 at the Cinco de Maya parade
What is the Battle of Puebla and why it is celebrated all over Mexico now on May 5?
Back in 1862 the President of Mexico Benito Juarez owed money to many countries and decided to stop paying interest on the loans. One of the unhappy countries was France. They decided to invade Mexico under the captainship of Napoleon III. It was not only France that had monies owed to them it was also the UK and Spain. France saw a chance of capturing Mexico and creating a new empire.
Mexico had only 2000 soldiers whilst France had 6000. Mexico secured Puebla stopping the French troops from moving onto Mexico City. The fighting lasted all day with France losing 500 men and Mexico 100.
Cinco de Maya is celebrated all over Mexico with parades and celebrations.
7. Spend time at the Museo Amparo
Museo Amparo is one of the most important historical museums in Mexico containing collections of pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern art from 2,500 BCE to today.
Address: 2 Sur 708 Centro
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 6 pm.
8. Visit the Capilla del Rosario
Opened on April 16, 1690, the Capilla del Rosario has been considered the 8th Wonder of the New World. The Chapel is attached to the Templo of Santo Domingo and took 40 years to build. The artworks that adorn the chapel walls have been painted by the artist Jose Rodriguez Carnero and the three vaults in the ceiling represent faith, hope and charity. The chapel has been built in the late 16th-century Mexican Baroque style.
In 1987 the Chapel was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
Address: 5 de Mayo and 4 Poniente, Puebla
9. Take a bus tour of the city – hop on hop off bus Puebla
60-minutes panoramic tour on board of a double-decker bus with the retractile ceiling and live comment of a professional guide. You will be passing by the Zocalo, Cathedral, Los Sapos Alley, Analco neighbourhood, Convention Center, Loreto and Guadalupe forts where we stop to take beautiful landscape pictures of Puebla. We continue to the Parian flea market, Artist neighbourhood, Candy Street and Revolution museum. At the end of this tour, you will take a big picture of Puebla.
10. Try your hand at a local cooking class
Visit the home of a local restauranteur where you will spend 2 hours preparing the two Mexican dishes before you sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
A sample menu can consist of:
• enfrijoladas – a tortilla stuffed with beans, chicken, avocado, onion and sour cream
• cemitas – a typical Poblano sandwich filled with cheese, ham, avocado and a chipotle chilli sauce
• enmoladas – rolled and lightly fried tortillas stuffed with chicken or cheese, topped with a savoury cocoa mole and sprinkled with sesame seeds
• a variety of fresh salsas
• traditional Poblano sweets and seasonal fruit
11. Stroll down Frog Alley
Looking for souvenirs to take home with you for friends and family? Head to Frog Alley or “Callejon de Los Sapos” for markets, handicrafts, souvenirs and colourful architecture.
12. Spend time at the Church Santo Domingo
Address: Avenue 4 Centro Historico Puebla
The Roman Catholic Church was built between 1571 – 1659. Its patron saint is the Archangel Michael. It also houses the Chapel of the Rosario, the 8th wonder of the world, built in the new Spanish Baroque.
13. Visit the Fuertes de Loreto y Guadalupe
The historic fort has been converted into a museum that highlights the Battle of 5 de Mayo of 1862 when the Mexican Army led by Ignacio Zaragoza battled against the French Army and won.
14. Take a tour of the Cholula Pyramid and Churches
Explore the archaeological site of Cholula, with its sprawling pyramid and ornate church. Encounter Mexican and indigenous history that dates back to the 3rd century BCE.
- After pickup from your accommodation in Puebla, you’ll head straight to the archaeological site of Cholula, home to the largest pyramid in existence. Explore the underground tunnels, and elaborate altars, and climb to the top of the pyramid. Wander the large plateau on the top of the pyramid, taking note of the ornate church and views of the surrounding volcanoes.
- Afterwards, head to the Church of Santa Maria Tonantzintla in the town of Cholula, a chapel famous for its elaborate interior decorations and significance to local religious tradition. Afterwards, you’ll head to a pottery studio for a tasting of artisanal spirits, including eggnog and other locally-crafted liquors.
- You’ll end your day by heading to the brilliantly colourful Church of San Francisco Acatepec to explore the exquisite details of the mosaics, inside and out. Afterwards, you’ll head back for drop-off in any point in Puebla City.
- Check availability here
15. Visit the Africam safari on a private tour
Puebla’s Mexican Safari showcases over 5,000 mostly free-roaming animals which you can see from the comfort of your own car or bus at Africam Safari. Look out for rare white tigers, rhinos, and elephants.
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
Address: Blvd. Capitan Carlos Camacho Espiritu Km. 16.5, Tecali de Herrera, Heróica Puebla de Zaragoza, Pue. Mexico, 75240
Check availability here
16. Indulge in your passion for books at the Biblioteca Palafoxiana
Biblioteca Palafoxiana is considered to be the first public library on the American continent. It was given the title of ‘memory of the world’ in June 2005 by UNESCO as an important place to safeguard the written memory of humanity.
Location: 5 Oriente 5 Puebla
Book a 3-hour walking tour that includes a visit to Biblioteca Palafoxiana:Check availability here
The tour also includes:
- Puebla Cathedral
- Rosary Chapel
- Taste sweet treats in Sweet Street
- Artist Quarter
- El Parian for handicrafts
- Alley of the Frogs
17. Taste the local cuisine including Mole Poblano, Chiles en Nogada and Cemita
Enjoy a 5-hour tasting tour of traditional Mexican cuisine in markets and small traditional restaurants whilst learning about the history of Puebla.Check availability here
18. Ride the Teleferico
Ride the 2 x 35 passenger cabin on the Teleferico Cable Car that runs from the Forts of Loreto and Guadelupe to the Exhibition Convention Centre for spectacular views over Puebla.
Puebla’s 5-hour modern attractions tour includes the cable car ride.Check availability here
The tour also includes visits to:
- International Museum of the Baroque
- Star of Puebla – the largest observation wheel in Latin America
19. Hike to the two volcanoes – Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl
The two volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl are Mexico’s 2nd and 3rd largest volcanoes. The Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park is around a 2-hour drive from Puebla.
You can take a tour to La Joya and from there you can begin your hike, climbing to the first scenic viewpoint at 13,914 feet above sea level. Gaze out across the breathtaking vista before climbing even higher, to 14,340 feet, where you’ll pause again, finally ending your hike at an unbelievable 14,842 feet above sea level.Check availability here
More Things To Do in Puebla
Where To Stay in Puebla
We stayed at the Suites La Concordia at 11 Poniente 301 Puebla for a week. We chose this accommodation due to its proximity to the centre of Puebla and that the accommodation included a fully equipped kitchen, seating area, fitness centre and balcony. There was a supermarket within a 5-minute walk which made self-catering easy. We would stay there again.
Guest review: “Loved my stay here. Modern, functional, clean, well organized, good wi-fi, quiet (can’t tell about the suites facing the street though). Friendly staff, free maps and tourist info materials. Unbeatable price. Definitely, the place to stay in Puebla. I booked for one night, ended up staying three, and would happily stay for longer.”Check availability here
Located in central Puebla the 4-star Hotel Gala is a popular hotel with travellers. The hotel offers free parking, free wifi, family rooms and a restaurant and bar.
Guest review: “Very central in town, 12 pm checkout, friendly staff, breakfast included (very light), clean, comfy beds, good shower”Check availability here
The 4-star Hotel 5 de Mayo offers rooms with city views, a fitness centre, free parking, an indoor pool, and a bar and terrace.
Guest review: “Breakfast was really great! The restaurant staff were always so friendly and welcoming. The location was perfect for us – close to town but not too close. Great proximity to a beautiful park!”Check availability here
The 3 star centrally located Hotel Frida offers guests rooms with private balconies in the centre of Puebla with family rooms available and free wifi.
Guest review: “The hotel is nice and clean, the room was decent size with an outstanding shower. The bed was comfy and the place relatively quiet.”Check availability here
The 5-star boutique hotel located in a 17th-century house in the centre of Puebla offers suites surrounded by patios, family rooms, free wifi, a swimming pool, fitness centre and bar.
Guest review: “Beautiful hotel, very comfortable, great location and delicious restaurant”Check availability here
For more Puebla Hotels:
Where To Eat in Puebla
Tripadvisor Puebla has produced a list of the top 10 best restaurants in Puebla – you can check it out here.
Eat a Typical Pueblan Dish
Puebla is well known for its traditional dish of Mole Poblano (chilli chocolate sauce). You can even try Chiles en Nogada another traditional dish which is spicy peppers filled with mince and covered in butter and nut sauce.
For fine dining head to La Noria at 41 Poniente 2120 for Mexican and American cuisine.
Rated in the top 5 of the best restaurants in Puebla is Casa Reyna at Privada 2 Oriente for Mexican and International cuisine.
Centrally located Vittorio’s at Calle 2 Sur 106 is popular for Mexican and Italian cuisine and pizza.
Top Mexican cuisine at El Mural de los Poblanos at Avenida 16 de Septiembre 506.
FAQ’s on Visiting Puebla
What is the capital of Puebla state?
Puebla is the capital of the state of the same name. Puebla is the 4th largest city in Mexico.
What can you see in Centro Historico de Puebla?
Start at the Zocalo and head towards Puebla Cathedral and then onto Museums, colonial buildings, great restaurants and bars. It is easy to explore on foot.
When is the best time to visit Puebla?
The best months for travel to Puebla are February to April and October to November.
Aeropuerto de Puebla (PBC)
Puebla’s airport is located 23 km from the city. Puebla’s airport is also an alternative to Mexico City Airport 125 km away.
Flight Deals to Puebla
Find the cheapest flights with Skyscanner to Puebla and Mexico City. They are our ‘go-to’ for finding the best value flight deals.
If you are planning to hire a car and travel around Puebla – check out the latest rates here.
Do you need an International Drivers Licence? You can obtain one online here in minutes.
Bus Travel to Puebla
We have travelled the whole of Mexico with ADO Buses.
Puebla to Oaxaca by Bus – 339.3 km with an average driving time of 4 hours 40 minutes
Mexico City to Puebla by bus – 133.2 km with an average driving time of 2 hours 56 minutes.
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In conclusion, Puebla offers a plethora of activities and attractions that cater to all interests and preferences. Whether you are a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a food lover, this vibrant city has something for everyone. From exploring the colonial architecture and UNESCO World Heritage sites to indulging in delicious culinary delights and immersing oneself in the rich cultural traditions, Puebla promises an unforgettable experience. So plan your visit to Puebla today and prepare to be captivated by its beauty, charm, and endless possibilities for adventure.
We hope you have enjoyed the top tourist attractions in Puebla and our suggestions on where to stay when you next visit. Feel free to share our article with family and friends.
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