Planning a vacation and wondering what to do in San Miguel de Allende?
This pretty town will have you returning time and time after again. We cannot wait to return.
(Editor update 2021)
Our guide covers all that you need to see, do, where to stay and where to eat. We lived like a local for 6 weeks in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and we stumbled across new areas, cafes, bars and things to do every day.
There is too much to fit in in just one week, maybe plan for at least 10 days.
A city that you will probably fall in love with straight away. Think cobble-stoned streets, boutiques, rooftop restaurants and bars, incredible architecture and beautiful hotels. Did I mention great Mexican cuisine as well and yummy icecream.
Discover San Miguel de Allende with a local through an Airbnb Experience.
Taken from the Airbnb Experience Website:
“If you have visited San Miguel de Allende before or if this is your first time this Tour is for you!! You´ll learn History of the town, we will visit Houses that were Big Haciendas in The XVII, Galeries, Shops, etc. I´ll help you to get oriented in San Miguel so you can go around anywhere by yourself.
We will visit the main points of the city as the main parish, followed by some historic buildings in the first block, the convent, Bellas Artes (Cultural Center). We visit some galleries where you can learn San Miguel folklore and art. We make a small stop in a coffee shop where you can taste 100% organic delicious chocolate for free as well their chocolate ice cream mixed with different flavours such as mezcal, red wine, cardamom, and other exotic flavours.
We will go through the handicraft market and some workshops where they will be doing some crafts by hand followed by the local market. At the end, I´ll show you 2 buildings called “concept house” where you will find different shops in a single building as art, painting, food, wine, restaurants, fashion, jewellery, etc. In the tour, also I´ll give some suggestions for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner as the best terraces to see the sunset.”Book your local San Miguel de Allende experience here
- 1 Where is San Miguel de Allende
- 2 San Miguel de Allende Interesting Facts:
- 3 The Best of Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende
- 3.1 Pick Up You Free Edition of the San Miguel Walking and Shopping Guide
- 3.2 2. Pick Up A Copy of the Friday Atencion Newspaper at the Biblioteca
- 3.3 3. Visit San Miguel de Allende’s Artisan Bakeries
- 3.4 4. You Will Be Spoilt For Choice with Great Coffee Shops
- 3.5 5. Do You Love Markets?
- 3.6 6. Try The Local Icecream
- 3.7 7. Time Your Visit For the Locos Parade in June
- 3.8 8. People Watching
- 3.9 9. Enjoy Drinks and Dinner From Roof Top Bars and Restaurants
- 3.10 San Miguel de Allende Restaurants
- 3.11 10. Get Lost Around The Colonial Streets
- 3.12 11. Visit The San Francisco Galleries and Gift Mall in San Miguel de Allende
- 3.13 12. Plaza Norman
- 3.14 13. San Francisco Church
- 4 Tours in San Miguel de Allende
- 5 San Miguel de Allende Hotels (hotels en San Miguel de Allende)
- 6 Airbnb San Miguel de Allende
- 7 San Miguel de Allende Weather
- 8 How to get to San Miguel de Allende
- 8.1 San Miguel de Allende Airports:
- 8.2 Flight Deals
- 8.3 Bus Travel San Miguel de Allende
- 8.4 Car Hire in San Miguel de Allende
- 8.5 For further reading:
- 8.6 Our Mexican Posts:
- 8.7 Travel Insurance
- 8.8 To Travel Too Travel Shop
- 8.9 Pinterest
Where is San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato is located in the centre of Mexico in the state of Guanajuato. Mexico City is 266.7km away.
San Miguel de Allende Mexico Map
Mexico is one of our favourite countries to travel to and we have spent quite a lot of time travelling around. We have written an e-book on A Mexico Travel Guide.
Our guide covers all the destinations that we have travelled to within Mexico, where to stay, where to eat, what to do and tips and tricks.
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We love San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage site that needs to be on your bucket list to visit. A city situated in the middle of Mexico in the coolness of the mountains. A happening city where you can never be bored, lots of weekly activities, a vibrant art scene and some of the best restaurants and meals we have enjoyed in Mexico.
San Miguel de Allende Interesting Facts:
- During the 20th century, it was in danger of becoming a ghost town as a result of the Mexican War of Independence
- It was originally called Izcuinapan by the local indigenous people
- During the 1930s and 1940s, the town attracted many artists and writers
- In the 60s and 70s, San Miguel de Allende had an influx of hippies and the city took on a Bohemian quality
- Many of the old colonial homes that fell into ruin have been sold at higher prices than homes in Mexico City this is due to foreign buyers flocking to this city
- In the historic centre there are over 2000 thousand doors and hiding behind those doors are 2000 interesting courtyards
- Most residents are retirees from the US, Canada and Europe
The Best of Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende
Pick Up You Free Edition of the San Miguel Walking and Shopping Guide
Our top tip is to pick up the English Free Edition of San Miguel Walking and Shopping Guide. The Guide publishes 10 easy walks around San Miguel de Allende with maps that you can do in our own time, but unfortunately, when checking their website they do not list the free walks.
We spent over 6 weeks in total in San Miguel de Allende and did one of the walks every couple of days. We learnt so much and saw so much. Our tip is to look into every doorway that is open when you pass by. There are so many colourful courtyards filled with colourful flowers and even fountains. You will find the Walking Guide in many of the shops around the colonial town.
2. Pick Up A Copy of the Friday Atencion Newspaper at the Biblioteca
Every Friday “Atencion” a weekly newspaper in Spanish and in English can be purchased from the Biblioteca and at various outlets. It is a great resource for what is happening the following week in San Miguel de Allende. It is your ‘go-to guide‘ on what is on and where to go and includes the local art galleries and the Sunday Biblioteca Tours to Homes in San Miguel de Allende just to name a few.
3. Visit San Miguel de Allende’s Artisan Bakeries
San Miguel de Allende has some interesting Artisan Bakeries. Try La Buena Vida at Plaza Golondrinas (across from de Bella Artes) and Cumpanio at Centro San Miguel de Allende. They were 2 of our favourites. The rustic loaves of bread, yummy cakes made our daily visit one of the highlights of our time in San Miguel de Allende. A pity about our waistlines.
4. You Will Be Spoilt For Choice with Great Coffee Shops
Enjoy a great cup of coffee at Buen Dia Coffee Shop down a quaint side street Calle Del Pueblito #3A. Buen Dia was our favourite but there were other coffee shops as well:
- Cafe Oso Azul at Calle Zacateros 17
- Lavanda Cafe at Calle Doctor Ignacio Hernandez Macias 87
- Inside Cafe at Avenida Insurgentes 66
5. Do You Love Markets?
After your coffee wander through the Artisan Markets located at Lucas Balderas. The markets cover over three blocks and at the end you will find the green market – full of the freshest fruits and vegetables and local stalls selling cheap Mexican food and juices.
6. Try The Local Icecream
Enjoy an ice cream from our favourite stand situated between Insurgentes and Hernadez Macias in front of a small park. Wonder which flavour will you choose? We loved the coconut and chocolate.
7. Time Your Visit For the Locos Parade in June
The first Sunday after 13th June each year head to Insurgentes early to get your spot to view the Locos Parade. Be prepared to be there for a few hours of fun and laughter, catching the sweets and dancing to the music from the floats. Ensure you have water and sunscreen.
8. People Watching
Enjoy some time sitting and crowd watching in the Jardin and watch the strolling musicians and activities that happen throughout the year. We were even fortunate to watch a display from the local Indians on a Sunday afternoon in traditional dress performing their traditional ceremonies. Which San Miguel de Allende Church to visit? The famous and iconic 17th-century Parroquia with its stunning pink spires is the main attraction in the Jardin of San Miguel de Allende.
9. Enjoy Drinks and Dinner From Roof Top Bars and Restaurants
San Miguel de Allende Restaurants
More top places to eat in San Miguel de Allende are:
Tostevere at Codo 4 in Colonia Centro. Perfect for lunch and dinner with Mexican, International and Vegetarian options.
El Pata Barbacoa y Mixiotes at Calzada de la Estacion 112. A family restaurant which is open for breakfast and lunch for Mexican, Latin and BBQ.
Casa Nostra Restaurant Terrace Rooftop & Bar at Calle Terraplen 8 Zona Centro. For great views and lunch and dinner offering Italian, Swiss, European, International, Continental with Vegetarian options.
10. Get Lost Around The Colonial Streets
Get lost in the colonial streets, wander into hotel courtyards and marvel at the architecture and the colours.
11. Visit The San Francisco Galleries and Gift Mall in San Miguel de Allende
There are many galleries in San Miguel de Allende. Local artists display their works here in this colonial building. Take some time to visit the local craft shops as well.
Address: Prolongacion, Calz de La Aurora SN, Aurora, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico
12. Plaza Norman
Local artisans display their crafts, here you will find the colourful ceramic skulls that Mexico is well known for.
13. San Francisco Church
The Church commenced construction in 1778 and was completed 20 years later.
Tours in San Miguel de Allende
Evening Food Tour in San Miguel de Allende – Embark on a guided 3-hour culinary and walking tour in a small group with 5 carefully chosen food tastings. Discover some of the award-winning restaurants in San Miguel de Allende as you learn about Mexican cuisine and eat enough for a satisfying dinner.
Half-Day Horseback Riding Tour Through San Miguel de Allende riding through canyons, rivers, cattle ranches with lunch at the cattle ranch.
Tacos and Tequila Food Walking Tour of San Miguel de Allende – Wander the beautiful streets of San Miguel. Learn about the history and culture while enjoying delicious dishes and drinks in favorite local spots, including gourmet restaurants, family-owned restaurants, and even a taco stand and a cantina.
San Miguel de Allende Hotels (hotels en San Miguel de Allende)
Recommended Hotels in San Miguel de Allende:
Rosewood Hotel: Nemesio Diez 11 Col Centro, San Miguel de Allende Historic Centre. Our favourite hotel in San Miguel de Allende with incredible views over San Miguel de Allende from their rooftop terrace where you can enjoy drinks and tapas nightly. The hotel offers excellent facilities for families such as kids club and kids swimming pool. The 5-star hotel also offers an outdoor pool, sauna, restaurant and bar.
Hotel La Morada: Correo No 10 Col Centro, San Miguel de Allende Historic Centre offers excellent facilities for families. The 4-star hotel has a golf course, jacuzzi and swimming pool, beauty centre and restaurant.
Casa del Tio Hotel Boutique: Hospicio 21, San Miguel de Allende Historic Centre – the 2-star hotel with 6 rooms offers an in-house restaurant, outdoor terrace and rooms with private terrace in the centre of San Miguel de Allende.
Casa 1810 Hotel Boutique: Hidalgo No 8 Colonia Centro, San Miguel de Allende Historic Centre. The 5 – star 15 room boutique hotel offers guests an outdoor swimming pool, beauty centre and sun deck.
Airbnb San Miguel de Allende
There are many options for Airbnb stays in San Miguel de Allende.
San Miguel de Allende Weather
Weather in San Miguel de Allende is pleasant all year round.
The driest months are February and March.
The hottest month is May and the wettest month is June.
How to get to San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende Airports:
For airports near San Miguel de Allende you have two to consider; Queretaro or Leon Airport. Leon Airport is the closest airport to San Miguel de Allende (BJX). Leon Airport is located 1.5 hours from San Miguel de Allende. You can expect to pay up to USD100 for a taxi.
Start researching your flights as soon as you have made the decision to visit San Miguel de Allende. We would also recommend signing up for their fare alerts. We normally book our flights 3 months out.
For the latest flight deals compare prices on Skyscanner here:
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Bus Travel San Miguel de Allende
Bus travel is an affordable and safe way to travel around Mexico. For the latest schedules and ticket prices click here.
Car Hire in San Miguel de Allende
For further reading:
Our Mexican Posts:
We have spent quite a bit of time travelling around Mexico here are some of our favourite posts for you to enjoy:
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