On an article published today Tuesday July 11 on Travel + Leisure´s website, San Miguel de Allende has just been designated “Best City in the World”.
Every year, Travel + Leisure asks its readers to rate the best cities in the world, and the results continue to surprise the whole world.
Not only do newcomers sometimes float to the top, but longtime favorites also continue to reappear — a testament to a destination’s enduring popularity. This year’s group of winners span the globe, from market-filled Hoi An in Vietnam to Florence, a European culture capital. Of note, however, is what ties these contenders together: Almost all are pedestrian-friendly, possess ample green space, and have a rich history that’s being thoughtfully preserved as the city grows.
This year’s No. 1 winner — for the first time ever in the World’s Best Awards’ 22-year history — is Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende. “San Miguel is one of the most authentic, creative and cost-effective destinations we’ve visited,” says a T+L reader of the colonial city, a part of which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. “Over the years we’ve discovered more great restaurants and activities, but the town still maintains its Mexican heritage, culture and charm.”
There’s a lot to love about San Miguel, a colonial treasure anchored by El Jardín, a leafy plaza marked by open-air cafés and the pink Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church. Art and textiles are big here: Mexicans and expats alike pop into independent boutiques selling artisan-made goods, and no trip is complete without a visit to the Fábrica La Aurora, a former textile factory that’s been converted into a series of contemporary art galleries.
Restaurants serving delicious Mexican dishes (rich moles, hot gorditas, stuffed chiles) are tucked along cobblestoned streets lined with historic houses. For one of the best views of the city, make a reservation at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende’s Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar (this hotel also ranked as the No. 2 City Hotel in the country); margaritas pair well with the chiming church bells at sunset.
The World’s Best Cities list also speaks to T+L readers’ growing interest in Asia, as seven of the top 15 urban destinations are in the region. Kyoto, home to some of Japan’s most well-preserved traditional architecture, Chiang Mai, Thailand, best known for its walled Old City, and Siem Reap, Cambodia, the jumping-off point for Angkor Wat, all made repeat appearance.