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Plan your next adventure to Mexico’s most awarded city

by sanmigueltimes
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San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato has been a bit of a hidden jewel in Mexico’s tourism crown for quite a while. Known—and loved—by globetrotters and those who routinely seek off-the-beaten-path locations for its charming colonial architecture and laid-back artist’s vibe, this city of fewer than 75,000 people has come into its own.

Readers of Condé Nast Traveler recently named the city as the friendliest city in the world, thanks in part to a pleasant blend of locals and ex-pats, great weather and its Spanish Colonial town center. San Miguel de Allende also earned top marks among readers as being among the best small cities in the world no doubt in part because of its charming cobblestone streets and leafy squares that dot the historic Old Town.

San Miguel de Allende’s charm is evident throughout the city, but perhaps no place is singularly more representative than El Jardin. This is the main plaza which serves as a fabulous place to have a drink or to get in some serious people watching.

Cafes abound and park benches are a plenty—the square invites people to get out into the fresh air. Vendors selling ice cream and balloons make it a favorite destination for families, and bands can frequently be found playing to the crowd. It’s also home to the pink Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel church, a great meeting place thanks to its towering spires that can be seen from throughout the city.

Fans of locally made art will find their bliss when they visit San Miguel de Allende. The city has a long tradition of artisan-produced crafts and textiles. The Fabrica La Aurora, a former textile factory, has been converted into a space for art galleries, jewelry designers, and home furnishings.


Take a break from shopping (window or otherwise) and grab a quick bite to eat at Café de la Aurora. Those in search of something heartier should try El Grandpa&Son Burgers, specializing not surprisingly in burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes.

Continue the artsy theme with a visit to La Otra Cara de Mexico (Another Face of Mexico), a mask museum that houses a carefully curated collection of more than 500 ceremonial masks. Visitors can also browse through the owners’ collection of indigenous textiles, including traditional dolls and handmade paper.

Don’t pass up the chance to relive your childhood with a visit to La Esquina Toy Museum, where more than 1,000 handcrafted toys are on display. Just a few blocks of El Jardin, this fun-filled museum is divided into three sections: The Dollhouse, Unforgettable Mates (transportation-focused toys from horses to trucks) and The Fair (musical instruments, Ferris wheels, etc.) Be aware the museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

This summer, Travel+Leisure ranked San Miguel de Allende first among 15 of the world’s best cities in its World’s Best Awards. To compile the list, the magazine asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences covering such areas as spas, cruise ships, airlines, islands and top cities. Cities are ranked on such criteria as their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping and overall value.

Visit the Guanajuato Tourism Board for more information on San Miguel de Allende today.

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