Things to do in San Miguel de Allende + Colonial Cities

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For a small town a mile high in the middle of Mexico, San Miguel has more than one might expect to occupy the day. After all, you can only shop and e... Read More

For a small town a mile high in the middle of Mexico, San Miguel has more than one might expect to occupy the day. After all, you can only shop and eat so much. Right on the city’s main square, El Jardín, you’ll find La Parroquia, the European-style church that’s the iconic symbol of San Miguel. Its gothic façade was supposedly inspired by Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Anytime, day or night, it’s a meeting place for locals, cultural events, and any number of painters, photographers and tourists looking for a perfect backdrop.

In the 1950s, WWII vets came here for the GI Bill-approved art classes at the Belles Artes. As the number of visitors grew, the options of what to do during the day multiplied. Now they include hot air balloon rides, excursions into the country by four-wheeler, mountain bike, horse, or on foot, tours of private homes and cantinas. Outside town there’s the pyramid complex at Canada de la Virgen, the Sanctuary at Atotonilco (an ancient religious sanctuary about seven miles out of town) or the funky Chapel of Jimmy Ray in Cieneguita. There are cooking classes in the country, photography classes in the Centro, Spanish classes for any level, hot springs for all ages, and the largest cactus and succulent botanical garden in Mexico.

What to do in San Miguel de Allende with kids? There are two museums that will fascinate them: the Mask Museum of San Miguel, a collection of 500 masks housed at the Casa de la Cuesta B&B, and La Esquina: Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano, an in-depth museum about Mexican toys, with interactive features for kids.

Whether you’re here to discover a different side of Mexico or just to kick back and relax, T+L’s guide will keep you informed about the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

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  • Albert Coffee Archaeotours in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Albert Coffee Archaeotours

    Historian Albert Coffee offers tours of the Cañada de la Virgen, a partially restored pyramid that's the most important pre-Hispanic site discovered in... Read More

  • Bici Burro Bike Tours in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Bici Burro Bike Tours

    Bici Burro is the premier mountain bike store in San Miguel and its owner, Alberto Martinez, leads fantastic bike tours throughout the countryside. His... Read More

  • Casa Dragones Tequila in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Casa Dragones Tequila

    There are very few tequilas in the league of Casa Dragones joven, very likely the best sipping tequila made. It is the pronounced favorite of world... Read More

  • Chapel of Jimmy Ray in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Chapel of Jimmy Ray

    The Casa de las Ranas and the Chapel of Jimmy Ray are the fanciful, psychedelic creations of the eccentric artist Anado McLaughlin and his husband... Read More

  • El Charco del Ingenio Jardin Botánico Garden in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    El Charco del Ingenio Jardín Botánico

    This ecological preserve and botanical garden—the largest of its kind in Mexico—is home to hundreds of rare and endangered species, cacti, and... Read More

  • La Esquina Toy Museum in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    La Esquina Toy Museum

    It's worth a trek up the hill to see the toys owner Angelica Tijerina has collected over the last fifty years. Focused primarily on the preservation and... Read More

  • La Gruta Hot Springs in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    La Gruta Hot Springs

    La Gruta—the Grotto—is aptly named. There are a variety of open air pools, but the star attraction is the grotto where hot water gushes from a tube high... Read More

  • La Otra Cara de México Mask Museum in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Mask Museum of San Miguel

    This collection of more than 500 masks collected by the owners of Casa de la Cuesta B&B is the largest assembly you'll see in San Miguel. Nowhere else... Read More

  • Mineral de Pozos Town in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Mineral de Pozos

    If there's time, consider making the trip out to Pozos, founded in the 16th century and now a semi-ghost town about an hour away from San Miguel. During... Read More

  • Parque Juarez El Chorro Park in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Parque Juarez

    Parque Juarez—also called the French Park—is the largest green space within San Miguel's city center. It's got fountains, winding paths, basketball... Read More

  • Patsy DuBois Cooking Classes in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Patsy DuBois

    Patsy DuBois has been catering and teaching cooking classes from her place in the country long before anyone else. She has a huge tiled kitchen and the... Read More

  • Rancho Zandunga Ranch in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Rancho Zandunga

    The Sunday afternoon concerts at Rancho Zandunga are a wonderful chance to experience the country lifestyle while enjoying quality jazz or blues and... Read More

  • Santuario Atotonilco Church in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Sanctuary of Jesús de Nazareno de Atotonilco

    About nine miles from San Miguel is the Sanctuary of Jesús de Nazareno de Atotonilco, desigated a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site in 2009. The fortified... Read More

  • Saturday Organics Market in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Saturday Organic Market

    The San Miguel Organic market is a Saturday institution for many people, who come here to meet, shop, and consume. There is a row of organic produce ... Read More

  • Tuesday Market in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Tuesday Market

    The Tianguis de los Martes (Tuesday Market) is a giant market held every Tuesday across the Queretaro road from the Luciernega mall above town. It... Read More

  • Warren Hardy Spanish Language School in San Miguel de Allende Ann Summa
    Warren Hardy

    Warren Hardy has been teaching foreigners Spanish for 25 years and his methods work. They're aimed at students who need either basic or functional... Read More

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