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A Guide to the Best Colonial Cities in Mexico

Throughout Mexico, there are beautifully preserved cities with breathtaking colonial architecture. These colonial towns have charming historic centers, elegant plazas, and ornate architecture. Visiting each city is truly unique experience and below you can find all sorts of information on colonial cities across Mexico.

Mexico City

Mexico City is the largest city in Mexico and within the city, the best parts of the entire country can be found. From quiet, sleepy areas of town to the busiest streets in the country, Mexico City is absolutely worth visiting. While there are literally hundreds of things to do in Mexico City, here are 40 of our favorite things to do in Mexico City. Bonus: the best food of all different favors! If you are looking to travel to Mexico City for the first time (or you happen to be a frequent visitor of CDMX), you can check out our perfect three day Mexico City Itinerary for ideas and recommendations.

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

With a large expat population and tourism from within Mexico- San Miguel de Allende is a great place to discover the colonial side of Mexico. Beautiful architecture and wonderfully charming, San Miguel boasts one of the most incredible churches in Mexico! For tons more information on this charming popular colonial gem, you can check out our complete guide to San Miguel de Allende

Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Food, culture, traditions- everything tasty and fun about Mexico can be found in the state of Oaxaca. The state is deeply rooted in indigenous history and has an incredible feeling of this throughout the entire state but this is especially true in the city of Oaxaca. The streets are so bright and vibrant with culture and pride of everyone who lives there. For more information on one of Mexico's most treasured states, you can check out our ultimate guide to Oaxaca.

Guanajuato, Guanajuato

Guanajuato is a charming, vibrant, energetic, colonial town with plenty of incredible, fun things to do. The colonial, European influence is on full display around every street and alleyway in this beautiful city. Looking for a young, vibrant place to explore?--Guanajuato is the place! For more information about the unique town of Guanajuato, you can check out our top things to do in Guanajuato, Mexico.

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

If you love the outdoors and traveling off the beaten path, San Cristóbal de Las Casas and the entire state of Chiapas is the place for you! Full of waterfalls, ancient ruins, canyons and some of the best coffee you've ever had, Chiapas is easy to fall in love with! Chiapas is a fascinating place to visit with tons of traditions of ancient cultures as well as beautiful colonial streets. To find lots of information on the entire state of Chiapas, you can check out our complete guide to visiting Chiapas.

Puebla, Puebla

Did somebody say mole?! Just a few hours south of Mexico City, Puebla is one of Mexico’s most culturally rich cities. The culture isn’t the only thing that’s rich in Puebla--the food is some of the best across the country! Along with the delicious delicacies, the colorful, colonial streets in Puebla are absolutely breathtaking. Don't forget to check out the underground life in Puebla too! For tons more information on Puebla, you can check out our ultimate guide to visiting Puebla, Mexico.

Guadalajara, Jalisco

Mariachis, Tequila, and Charros--just a few fan favorites that originated in the state of Jalisco! Guadalajara is a big city that retains the culture and traditions of Mexico while boasting a modern side as a growing metropolis as well as a surprising amount of outdoor adventures! Looking to travel to Guadalajara? You can check out our complete guide to Guadalajara for information on things to do, where to stay, and the best food in town!

Taxco, Guerrero

Taxco might be the most unique place we have seen in Mexico. The streets are incredibly windy, the taxis are old VW Bugs, and every building is white with a red roof. This colonial mining town complete with waterfalls and incredible caves is a great weekend getaway from Mexico City and is truly one of a kind. For more information about the unique town of Taxco, Guerrero, you can check out our ultimate guide to Taxco.

Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes

Did somebody say “Feria”?! Aguascalientes plays host to Mexico’s biggest and most important festivals, the Feria de San Marcos, though Aguascalientes is so much more than that. Outside of the weeks the fair is going on, the town is a very calm and peaceful place to see. It is a nice mix of quiet, modern, traditional colonial architecture all wrapped into one place! If you are looking to visit Aguascalientes, you can find tons more information in our complete guide to Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Morelia, Michoacán

The incredible food and kind people make Michoacán one of our favorite states in Mexico. The colonial streets of Morelia combined with the culture and tradition found throughout the area are really special to the state. While cities like Puebla and Guanajuato get all of the love and attention internationally, Morelia tends to fly under the radar. In our opinion, Morelia is one of the most underrated colonial cities in Mexico. You can enjoy 15th century architecture and history without the crowds and noise of some of the more popular cities in central Mexico. For more information on Morelia and the entire state of Michoacán, you can check out our ultimate guide to Michoacán, Mexico.

Campeche, Campeche

Campeche often gets overlooked because of its relative proximity to Mérida, Yucatán, but this is a city that is absolutely worth a visit. It is a beautiful, colonial town that is situated right along an equally beautiful stretch of coastline. Campeche is well worth a day trip (or more!) from Mérida. Campeche is a World Heritage Site full of colorful, historic buildings, Spanish forts, and a Franciscan cathedral. Campeche might be one of the most picturesque cities in all of Mexico- yet you won’t find the crowds like you will in some of the more popular destinations across Mexico! For tons more information on all things Campeche, you can check out our ultimate guide to Campeche, Mexico.

Mazatlán, Sinaloa

Mazatlán, Mexico might be the most fun city in the entire country! Fresh seafood, a festive atmosphere, friendly people, and a unique mix of coastal and colonial Mexico all wrapped into one truly fun place! If you are looking to visit a coastal city in Mexico with a little more fun, culture, and tradition than other typical beach destinations like Cabo or Cancun, Mazatlán, Sinaloa is a great choice! For more information on things to do, where to stay, and the best restaurants in Mazatlán, you can check out our ultimate guide to visiting Mazatlán, Sinaloa.

Zacatecas, Zacatecas

Zacatecas is often overlooked by those traveling Mexico but a visit to the city of Zacatecas is truly worth it. The town is quite unique in that it has flavors and aspects of Northern Mexico culture and traditions mixed with central/colonial Mexico architecture and flare. You can check out our ultimate guide to Zacatecas, Mexico for information on things to do, where to stay, and the best food in town!

Querétaro, Querétaro

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! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must see city for anyone interested in exploring central Mexico. You can check out our complete guide to Querétaro for information on things to do, where to stay, and the best food in town!

From the quiet, charming streets of Querétaro to the hustle and bustle of the busy Mexico City, these are some our favorite colonial cities across Mexico. There is so much diversity in each of the cities above--there's truly something special about each one and something to do no matter your interests! Feel free to email us at with any questions about colonial cities across Mexico.

Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.

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