This UNESCO World Hertitage Site is a must see city for anybody exploring central Mexico. The first time we visited the city of Santiago Querétaro, we walked around for three days saying nothing except “WOW”. Querétaro remains a special place to us and is one of the cleanest, most pristine, and colorful cities in Mexico. If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful, tranquil place in Mexico, Querétaro is the perfect place for you!
Querétaro is absolutely stunning. Go for a stroll and plan to spend a little time getting lost! You never know what you may find! If you are looking for a little more guidance try finding the Jardin Guerrero, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Constitucíon, and the pedestrian-only walking street Cinco de Mayo.
What to Do
♦ Go for a Walk-- Get your head out of the guidebook and go for a walk! The streets of downtown Querétaro are absolutely stunning. Go for a stroll and plan to spend a little time getting lost! You never know what you may find! If you are looking for a little more guidance try finding the Jardin Guerrero, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Constitucíon, and the pedestrian only walking street Cinco de Mayo.
♦ Visit the Aqueducts-- Before moving to Mexico, we thought aqueducts were only in Europe! Wow we were wrong! Built between 1726 and 1738 the 1,280 meter long aqueduct in Querétaro is incredibly impressive! Visit the Mirador de los Arcos for an incredible view of the structure.
Address: Ejército Republicano 47, La Santa Cruz, La Pastora, Santiago de Querétaro
♦ See a Hidden Pyramid-- The ancient pyramid “El Cerrito” was only just recently rediscovered. The archeological site is one of the most beautiful that we have visited but you won’t have the crowds like some other archeological sites. NOTE: Archeological sites and museums are closed on Monday in Mexico.
Address: Miguel Hidalgo s/n, El Pueblito, Santiago de Querétaro
♦ Visit the Cerro de las Campanas
This historic site where the ex-emperor of Mexico was executed is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Querétaro. This is on a university in town so be sure to check out a dive bar/restaurant nearby during your time exploring this beautiful and peaceful park. Park entrance fee is $5 pesos (about 25 cents USD).
Address: Cerro de las Campanas, Centro Universitario, Santiago de Querétaro
♦ Hike the Parque Nacional El Cimatario
Are you looking to be a little more adventurous? Take an uber to the Parque del Cimatario and go for a hike or jog. If you can make it to the top of the hill you will be rewarded with some incredible views of the city. Even if you don't plan on making it all the way to the top (we didn't!), there are still awesome views along the peaceful trail throughout the entire adventure!
Address: Carretera Estatal 400, Km 5.5, Santiago de Querétaro
♦ Visit the Calendar Museum
This recommendation may seem a tad strange--and while the museum itself is really nice, the grounds are absolutely beautiful and well worth a visit! We also really, REALLY enjoy the restaurant in the back patio area. The museum has so many beautifully kept outdoor spaces and terraces and courtyards, you have to visit during your time in the city! The entrance fee is $30 pesos (about $1.60 USD) per person.
Address: Calle Francisco I. Madero 91, Centro, Santiago de Querétaro
Where to Stay
♦ Hotel Criol--This hotel is super (duper) modern and really cool and trendy but SO very reasonably priced. The best part? It's right in the heart of downtown in a great location. You can book Hotel Criol by clicking here.
♦ Markee Hotel Boutique-- Hotel Markee is another great option to stay in Querétaro. The hotel is located in an awesome place--just down from a pedestrian-only street that connects shops, restaurants, and beautiful plazas. The rooms are super modern and the bathrooms are huge..and beautiful! You can book Hotel Markee by clicking here.
♦ El Serafin Hotel Boutique--El Serafin is also one of our favorite places to stay in Querétaro. Since there are only 13 guest rooms, this is truly a boutique-type of experience. Bonus: free light breakfast included. While this isn't in the very best spot, it is still right in the heart of town and within walking distance from all of the main attractions. You can book Hotel El Serafin by clicking here.
♦ Airbnb-- We have created a list of some of our favorite places to stay in downtown Querétaro. Click here to discover some of the best airbnb properties in the area.
Where to Eat
♦ The Market-- The La Cruz Market in Querétaro has some of our favorite food we have ever had! Try a gordita there or even something we had never tried before--a chile relleno taco! Everything is so reasonably priced and the people at the market are so very friendly! Address: Mercado Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez "La Cruz" (sobre, Calle 15 de Mayo), Centro, Santiago de Querétaro
♦ La Mariposo-- This is a Querétaro staple! If you are looking for traditional comida Queretana, this is your place! The enchiladas queretanas are our go-to choice. If you are feeling crazy we highly recommend ordering a malt!
♦ La Vieja Varsovia-- The honest truth is we have never actually eaten a meal here, but we have indeed enjoyed a delicious cheese board and bottle of wine here...more than once! Great spot situated right on the plaza with an awesome view of the church.
Address: Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera 46, La Santa Cruz, Rinconada del Sur, Santiago de Querétaro
♦ Breton-- This place is located on my all time favorite street in Querétaro! It is pedestrian only and lined with the most adorable little cafes and restaurants with bright colored buildings lining the way. Breton is a cute, quaint, more fancy little place to grab a quiche or breakfast dish. Think more adorable brunch with your girlfriends. But don't worry, guys allowed too :) Address: And. Libertad 82, Centro, Santiago de Querétaro
♦ Café Tulipé--This is one of our favorite breakfast places in town! It is located right near the beautiful aqueduct and has such a nice, homey atmosphere. They have delicious eggs and coffee..and sweet bread too of course!
Address: Calz. de los Arcos 3, La Santa Cruz, La Pastora, Santiago de Querétaro
The fast-growing city of Querétaro is not only a perfect place to visit, but it could be a great retirement destination as well. It has the second-highest highest GDP per capita among Mexico's metropolitan areas with 20,000 USD after the city of Monterrey. What that means (or what it meant in our experience) is that Querétaro has a very strong middle class. If you are looking for a clean, safe, and quiet place to live, Querétaro is your best bet! Querétaro is also a GREAT place to visit in central Mexico without all the hubbub of other colonial towns like Guanajuato, San Miguel, etc.
We hope that you have a great time in Querétaro! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have.
Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.