San Miguel De Allende, The Most Beautiful City In Mexico

San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful city with its colorful houses, baroque-style architecture, and cobblestone streets. Its historic center was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.

It´s a popular city where you will find tourists, ex-pats, and locals everywhere you go. It is often named one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in the whole country and was voted the best city in the world two years in a row.

San Miguel de Allende was named a coffee-lovers paradise and its diverse dining scene and many rooftop bars, beautiful architecture and parks make for the perfect spot to spend a few days.

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First of all: Is San Miguel de Allende safe to travel to?

Yes, it is. San Miguel de Allende is safe to travel to. While the state of Guanajuato is considered a medium risk due to crime, San Miguel is a safe city to travel to. There are many ex-pats living here and you can walk around without worrying. Other great cities in Guanajuato state, that are totally safe to visit are Guanajuato city and León.

Now let´s explore the 11 best things to do in San Miguel de Allende:

1. Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel

This neo-gothic church is the main symbol of San Miguel de Allende and one of the most representative religious temples in the country. It was built in 1709 and the current facade was made between 1880 and 1890. It is absolutely stunning not just in pictures but also when you stand in front of it. The dramatic pink towers and the beautiful architecture are admirable.

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel

The entrance to the church is free and you can go inside and look at the beautiful interior and the altar. This is an amazing thing to do in San Miguel de Allende considering it´s the main attraction of the city and completely free.

2. Jardín Allende

Right in front of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel is El Jardín Allende. It is the main park of the city of San Miguel. It is a bustling park lined with cafes and boutiques. You can relax under the trees on a bench or admire the stunning gothic church from the park.

Jardin de Allende

Because it is the main square of the city, a lot of streets lead here and you can easily walk to most attractions starting from the Jardín Allende. Also if you don´t have much time in San Miguel, I would recommend booking a hotel close to the main square. It is the perfect location to check out the rest of San Miguel.

3. Stroll around the beautiful cobblestone streets

San Miguel de Allende is known for its beautiful colorful houses and narrow cobblestone streets. Most of the buildings are in a vibrant yellow and red color which makes them the perfect picture spot. I think I took like a million photos of the streets of San Miguel because they are just so pretty.

cobblestone streets San miguel de allende
san miguel de allende streets

Walk around the town up and down the hills and admire the stunning streets and houses.

Tip: Wear comfortable shoes!

There are tons of shops, restaurants, cafes, and art galleries to stop and look at. This brings me to my next point:

4. Shopping & Art galleries

San Miguel de Allende is known for its thriving art scene and cultural festivals and there is an Art gallery on almost every street. There are also a ton of shops where you can find anything from jewelry, home decor, clothing, crystals to souvenirs, and more.

There are little Plazas where you can find different shops and cafes for example Plaza Colonial. I found a really nice crystal and interior design shop with all kinds of crystals, wood, and decor pieces. Also, I loved El Vagabundo, a super cute and affordable boutique where I found the cutest gold earrings. And there is a really nice jewelry store in Calle Aldama called Julio Jordan Concept Store.

5. La Fábrica la Aurora

La Fábrica la Aurora used to be a textile factory and today houses cafes, shops, and art galleries. It is one of the main attractions and therefore one of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

La Fabrica la Aurora

There are various galleries with canvases, sculptures, and artisan products from local artists who live in San Miguel. It is huge and you can spend easily half a day here if you´re into art. There is a lot to see and each gallery is different.

La Fabrica la Aurora
La Fabrica La Aurora

The best part? La Fábrica la Aurora is free.

And in case you need a coffee break or a little lunch, there are cafes to relax and hang out. One of the best cafes in San Miguel de Allende is Geek & Coffee, so why not check out the art galleries at La Aurora and then have a break at a great cafe? Sounds like the perfect day to me.

6. Biblioteca Pública de San Miguel de Allende

If you have enough from all the walking up and down the hills of San Miguel, this public library is the perfect spot to relax. You can enter it through their bookshop which has a lot of books from local authors and also a ton of English books you can buy.

They have a really nice courtyard with a fountain and chairs to sit, grab a book and read. It´s one of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende if you want to relax for a bit and completely free.

7. Take pictures of this stunning city

There are many photo opportunities in San Miguel de Allende. One of my favorites is Calle Aldama, where you have the beautiful street and the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel in the background. If you have a great camera you will love this spot for taking pictures.

Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción Las Monjas
Quebrada street bridge
Calle Aldama

One of my other favorite spots is the Quebrada street bridge, where you have the church Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción Las Monjas in the background. You also have a great view from the other side of the bridge, especially at sunset. There is also a viewpoint called El Mirador and you can walk there from the Jardín in 15 minutes.

8. Instituto Ignacio Allende

The city is known for its thriving art scene and the Instituto Allende is an Art Institute in San Miguel the Allende. They offer different workshops where you can learn how to acrylic paint or make sculptures or jewelry.

If you plan to spend some more time in the city and you want to learn more about art there is no better way than doing that in a city that is known for its beautiful art and talented artists. They offer everything from 3-day to 4 week-long workshops.

If you´re only in the city for a short time you might not be able to do a workshop but they´re still worth visiting because they have many art galleries, patios, and gardens to look at.

9. Take a day Trip

If you have a couple more days in San Miguel de Allende than we did, you can take a day trip or half-day trip to different sites and do different activities. There is Cañada de la Virgen an archaeological site with pyramids of different styles and forms.

Or you can go to the Escondido Hot Springs to relax and they are open every day from 8 AM-5:30 PM. (as of February 2022)

Take a day trip to nearby cities

You can also do a day trip to nearby cities like the beautiful Guanajuato which is only a one-hour drive away or you can visit León. It is a two-hour drive to get there.

You can also stay in these cities for longer which I would actually recommend doing.

Al Pipila Guanajuato
Take a day trip to Guanajuato

There are also various different tours you can take like food tours, horseback riding tours, visiting nearby vineyards, or doing a chocolate tasting. The options are endless, it only depends on your budget and how much time you have. Taking a tour is for sure one of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

10. Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden

Unfortunately, we didn´t have enough time to go here but I´ve read in multiple other Blogs that this Botanical Garden is well worth the visit. It´s only a 15-minute car ride from the city center of San Miguel and you can drive your own car or take a taxi there.

They have a big cactus collection, indigenous flora, and endangered plants. You can easily spend hours walking around because it is that big.

11. Eat and Drink your heart out

As I mentioned earlier San Miguel de Allende is a coffee-lovers paradise and foodie heaven and its range of culinary treats are really impressive. There are so many different restaurants no matter if you´re in the mood for Mexican food, Italian, or something else. There are also many cafes and rooftop bars to visit.

San Miguel really has it all. Here is a list of my favorite restaurants and cafes we visited and a couple of extras that got recommended to us:


  • Inside Cafe: Let´s start with my favorite cafe in San Miguel de Allende. Inside cafe is a small cafe and you have to walk up steep steps in order to get there. They have a small cafe for coffee on the first floor and a restaurant on the second. They also have a couple of tables outside on a little rooftop terrace. We came here for breakfast on our last day and it was amazing! We had the sweet and the savory french toast, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. Everything was delicious and affordable so I can highly recommend this place for breakfast.
Inside café San Miguel de Allende
  • Ki´bok Cafe: This is a really popular cafe and this is actually their second location. The first one was openend in Tulum in 2014. It´s popular among locals, ex-pats and tourists alike for its good coffee and great Wifi. You can easily work hours away here on your laptop and you will see a lot of people doing that. They also have great Matcha lattes and a lot of seating space.
Ki´bok Café San Miguel de Allende
Ki´bok Cafe San Migue de Allende
  • Lavanda Cafe: Lavanda is a popular cafe among tourists because they offer lavender-infused coffee. There is almost always a line to go here when you come early in the morning but we came for a late brunch and didn´t have to wait at all. I wasn´t that impressed with their lavender infused coffee, I´d rather order a normal coffee but their breakfast is really really good. I had their eggs benedict and my boyfriend tomato and mozarella toast and everything was delicious so I would recommend coming here for breakfast.
Lavanda cafe
  • Geek & Coffee: This is a really nice coffee right at La Fábrica la Aurora. So it is a little bit of a walk if you´re in the city center but it´s really worth it. They have great coffee and chai lattes and they have a cute duck pond, a huge outdoor garden with tables and a playground for kids. This is one of the best cafes in San Miguel de Allende and they have great Wifi which makes it the perfect spot to work from.



  • Trattoria Antigua: This is an Italian restaurant and their Interior really reminds me of a restaurant in Florence or Rome. They have amazing wine and the food was absolutely delicious. We had Spaghetti, Lasagna and Tiramisu for dessert. It is also really affordable for the portion size you´re getting. We loved eating here and found it one of the best Italian restaurants we have tried in Mexico. It´s also perfect for date night!

Traditional and Mexican

  • Restaurante Pueblo Viejo: This restaurant was a recommendation from our receptionist at the hotel we stayed at. They offer classic Mexican food like tacos and fajitas and serve great cocktails on the rooftop bar. Even though we didn´t end up eating here it seems like it has great Google reviews and it´s worth checking out if you´re in the mood for Mexican food.
  • Ka´ban Cocina de Origen: This was also a recommendation from our receptionist and they offer everything from soups to salads to all kinds of meats. They have an amazing Google review score and people say they have great food and service.
  • El Manantial: I´ve read about this restaurants on multiple blogs and websites and it is a traditional restaurant recommended by food professionals. They offer Mexican food like tacos and fresh seafood and great cocktails.

Fine-dining and rooftop bars

For more of a high-end dining experience check out Moxi, Aperi, or Bovine Brasserie. For a great rooftop cocktail bar check out Lunas Tapas bar.

Or read about the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende here or here.


These are the 11 best things to do in San Miguel de Allende. No matter if you explore the city on foot, stroll through the beautiful alleyways and cobblestone streets, or shop and eat your heart out, San Miguel is the perfect place to relax for a few days and a truly beautiful city.

What do you think about the city? Have you been to San Miguel de Allende before?

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Jessica Buck

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