San Miguel de Allende is one of the most picturesque cities in Mexico. Its colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, immaculate facades, and impressive churches make every block of the historic center a photo op. But there are also interesting gardens, markets, and hot springs nearby to visit. This San Miguel de Allende guide will give you ideas for the best things to do, what to eat and where to stay in this beautiful town.
What to Do in San Miguel Allende
Walk the Beautiful Historic Center
The first thing to do in San Miguel de Allende is walk all around the beautiful historic center. You can start at the impressive Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel (tip: arrive early to beat the crowds), and wind your way through the cobblestone streets. Be sure to pass through the Parque Benito Juarez, the Lavaderos del Chorro (public laundry basins), the Temple de San Juan de Dios, and as many of the small charming streets as you can.
Botanical Garden: Charco del Ingenio
The large and gorgeous Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden should not be missed. This garden is outside the centro, so you’ll want to take a taxi. Plan to spend a couple hours making a large circle around the well maintained trails that wind down next to the presas (dams or lakes), and back up the hill, offering a sweeping view of the valley and San Miguel de Allende below. Admire the huge variety of agaves, succulents, and amazing plants in the greenhouses and around the whole property.
Hot Springs and Spas
Spend some time soaking in thermal springs in one of the nearby hot spring parks and spas like La Gruta or Escondido Place. These spas have various pools with warm thermal waters to enjoy in a peaceful natural setting. You can spend a full afternoon, adding on massages, meals at the restaurants, and more. These spas are only about 15-20 minutes drive outside the city, so can easily be reached by taxi.
Visit the Artisan Market
The Artisan Market is another must-visit to get a feel for the local traditional artisan work. You’ll find lots of metal work, like jewelry, decorative metal wall hangings, lamps, and more. You’ll also see ceramic bowls, decorative ceramic signs, some textiles, woven goods, as well as produce and fresh flowers.
Walk up to the Mirador at Sunset
San Miguel sits in a valley with a steep hill rising up on one side. This is an excellent place to watch the sunset over the city. My favorite mirador is simply called “El Mirador” and it is a long overlook with a sweeping view of the city below. Have a bite at El Manantial (see below) before or after heading up to the Mirador.
What to Eat in San Miguel Allende
El Manantial was my favorite place to eat in San Miguel de Allende and it will be my first stop on any return trip. This cantina has a cozy and cute atmosphere, and delicious food. Order the artichoke, chile relleno, tostadas topped with seafood, and the margaritas.
Via Organica is a farm, a specialty health food store and also a farm-to-table restaurant. Visit their store and restaurant to stock up on fresh, organic goods, and eat a tasty healthy meal. The store and restaurant have moved to the farm outside the city, but the 20 minute drive brings you to a beautiful location to enjoy the natural surroundings.
Lavanda Cafe is always busy, so arrive early and be sure to order the unique and tasty lavender latte. This is a great spot for breakfast, to sip some specialty coffee or to have a sandwich or salad.
Don Taco Tequila
Don Taco Tequila is a stylish spot in the centro that serves tasty vegan tacos and delicious cocktails.This restaurant has a great atmosphere at night and doubles as a bar.
Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar Rosewood
For the best views around, head to the rooftop of the Rosewood hotel for a sunset cocktail. Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar is a luxurious and beautiful setting to enjoy the colors of the city skyline.
Ki’bok is a coffee shop with some of the most delicious premium, organic coffee in the city, and plenty of space to hang out for awhile or work from your laptop.
Dos Casas hotel has an excellent restaurant for lunch or dinner called Aperi. Everything is fresh and well prepared. Make a reservation here for a special meal in a beautiful setting.
Where to Stay in San Miguel Allende
Luxury: Dos Casas
For an unbeatable, luxurious experience, stay at Dos Casas hotel. The suites are huge with king beds, large bathrooms with bathtubs, and private rooftop terraces including a jacuzzi and sweeping views of the city. It’s quiet, comfortable, and stylish in every corner.
Mid-Range: Selina San Miguel de Allende
For a mid-range rate in a beautiful setting, check out Selina in San Miguel. The spacious rooms feature colorful hacienda style decor, and Selina locations always promise strong, reliable wifi, and an onsite bar and restaurant.
Budget and Unique Stays: Airbnb
Check Airbnb for budget rooms and apartments, as well as special and unique places to stay in San Miguel de Allende.
San Miguel de Allende will charm you with its beauty and history. Be sure to give yourself enough time to wander, find hidden nooks, and eat and drink the tastiest things the city has to offer!
For more travel to Mexico
- 44 Things to Know About Living in Mexico as an Expat
- Where to Stay in Mexico City: Trendy Areas Near Top Attractions
- 20 Essential Mexico City Travel Tips For First-Time Visitors
- 50 Unmissable Things to do in Merida, Mexico
- 10 Delicious Things to Eat & Drink in Oaxaca
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