The incredible food and kind people make Michoacán one of our top favorite states in Mexico! That, along with the colonial streets of Morelia combined with the culture and tradition found in places like Patzcuaro are really special and unique to the state. But what really makes Michoacán so incredible are the kind people found throughout the state!
In this post we are going to focus our attention on two of the main destinations in Michoacán: the capital city of Morelia and the Pueblo Mágico (magic town) of Pátzcuaro. Though you must know that the beauty of Michoacán is not limited to these two cities.
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.
What to Do
While there are a ton of the traditional “things to do” in Morelia, one of our favorite things to do in colonial cities in Mexico is to relax and take a stroll around downtown! There is no need to “attack” a place like Morelia with a list of things you have to see. Relax, grab a coffee at Cafe Europa Portal, check out the cathedral, walk towards the beautiful aqueduct, stroll down the Callejon de Romance, and visit the beautiful Jardin de Las Rosas! Take your time, a place like Morelia is best enjoyed slowly.
Where to Eat
♦ Hotel Casino-- The breakfast at Hotel Casino is absolutely delicious! Be sure to try one of the juices! We actually had dinner here one night too and really enjoyed it too. Reasonably priced and right on the plaza with good food?! Count us in! Address: Portal Hidalgo 229, Centro Histórico, Morelia
♦ Cafe Europa Portal-- Can you tell we like this place!? Order the "huevos cazuelos" for breakfast, you won’t be disappointed! Eggs mixed with cheesy goodness and some veggies all baked in a delicious bread bowl. Address: Av Francisco I. Madero Pte 143, Centro Histórico, Morelia
♦ Marceva Fonda-- This place has one of my favorite things from the entire state--"aporreadillo". This is a dish with dried, shredded meat mixed with a touch of eggs all in a soupy, spicy sauce with garlic and cilantro. Sounds strange? Tastes INCREDIBLE. Address: Calle Abasolo 455, Centro Histórico, Morelia
♦ Gazpacho--Gazpacho is sort of similar to a fruit salad...sort of. It has mangos, pineapples, and jicama pieces all diced up and served in a cup with orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, and a bit of salt (and salsa, if you choose). It is delicious and refreshing and absolutely a Morelia must-try! Address: There are several gazpacho places just right off of the main plaza on Hidalgo Street between Allende and Corregidora. Choose the busiest one to try--you can't go wrong!
Where to Stay
We have actually stayed at two hotels in Morelia and would highly recommend either one!
♦ Hotel Casino Morelia-- This hotel is absolutely great! The rooms are air conditioned and clean, the bathroom is spacious and nice, and the stay includes breakfast--nicely served on the patio overlooking the main plaza. You can book Hotel Casino by clicking here.
♦ M Hoteles Concepto Morelia-- This is a smaller hotel of only 7 rooms a few blocks from the main plaza. Awesome rooftop space as well as a delicious free breakfast are included! The rooms are nicely updated and modern making this a great option if you're looking for a place that is quiet yet only a few blocks away from all the action! You can book M Hoteles Concepto by clicking here.
Pátzcuaro is a lakeside mountain town that just seems too good to be true! The weather is amazing, the food is incredible, and just like Morelia, the people are extremely kind!
What to Do
♦ Visit the Island of Janitzio-- Only accessible by boat, Janitzio is a small town on a tiny island in the middle of a lake...that is not something you see every day! Don’t forget to climb to the top of the hill to catch some amazing views from inside the top of the Monument de Jose Maria Morelos while you're there.
♦ Explore the beautiful cobblestone streets-- Pátzcuaro is defined by its picturesque red and white buildings and cobblestone streets. Beauty is around every corner in a place like Pátzcuaro, so while it is important to see the main square and the básilicas, don’t forget to walk around aimlessly in order to truly take in the magic of Pátzcuaro.
♦ Hike (or take a taxi) to the Mirador Estribo--If you are up for a challenge, take the hike to the top of the Mirador Estribo! The views are absolutely incredible! If you are short on time or you just don’t want to hike, you can take a taxi to the top as well! We paid $200 pesos (about $10.50 USD) for a cab to take us to the mirador, wait around 30 minutes while we wandered around, and then bring us back into town.
Where to Eat
♦ Restaurante Gardenias-- Excellent food, great prices, and amazing people. What more could you ask for?! Gardenias is the kind of place that you go back to day after day after day- it’s that good! Tell them we said hello! Address: Dr. Coss #4, Centro, Pátzcuaro
♦ Carnitas Las Plazas-- If you want something more typical from Michoacán, this is THE place to go! People line up and wait for hours just to eat here so be sure to arrive early and order a LOT of tacos. Address: Iturbe 26, Centro, Pátzcuaro
♦ Nieves La Pacanda-- This is seriously the best ice cream we have ever eaten! Try the local speciality “Nieve de Pasta” which tastes like carmelized milk...uff it is delicious! If you aren’t feeling as adventurous, our absolute favorite is the chocolate. It may sound boring and like nothing exquisite, but their chocolate ice cream is similar to a rich, creamy brownie. Its just THAT good. Address: Main square, just outside La Surtidora
Where to Stay
We have stayed at a wonderful Airbnb that is about a 10 minute walk from the main square as well as a wonderful hotel that is just a two minute walk from the main plaza. Here is a bit more information about each--
♦ Grand Casita Home-- This house is incredible. It is modern and safe and has two bedrooms and two (and a half) bathrooms and is a great, spacious, affordable option. The home must be booked for a minimum of 14 nights, so while that may be difficult to swing for some people, at only $26 USD (about $500 pesos) per night, this is the absolute best money for the quality option we have ever seen! You can book this awesome airbnb by clicking here.
♦ Hotel Posada La Basilica-- This is an affordable hotel in a great spot right in the heart of town! The people are extremely friendly and the hotel itself is nice and quaint--it almost reminds us of an hacienda. The rooftop views are also great and you can even see the island of Janitzio! We didn't love the restaurant at the hotel, but everything else about our stay was great! You can book Hotel Posada La Basilica by clicking here.
Michoacán Day Trips
If you are staying in Morelia or Pátzcuaro for more than a day or two and would like to venture out a bit to see what else the state has to offer, we highly recommend the Pueblo Mágico of Santa Clara del Cobre! Santa Clara is known for their copper products, so be sure to bring a few extra pesos to do some shopping! The craftsmanship you will find in Santa Clara is astounding. The pueblito of Tzintzuntzan is another great day trip option. Be sure to visit the Ex Convento de Santa Ana and the huge archaeological site!
We hope you have a great time exploring one of our very favorite states! If you have any questions, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help!
Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.