Colonial Cities and Towns

One-Day Trips

Querétaro

Querétaro is the capital of the state of Querétaro and is famous for its aqueduct and the Church and Convent of San Francisco. Querétaro is about three hours away from Mexico City. It is accessible via car or bus.  Close to Queretaro is Tequisquiapan, a nice town famous for its baskets and thermal baths.
 

Cuernavaca

Cuernavaca is better known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its temperate climate. It has beautiful colonial architecture, especially near the town center. Be sure to visit the Palacio de Cortés to see Diego Rivera’s murals and Los Jardines Borja where Maximillan and Carlota spent weekends. Cuernavaca is about an hour drive by car or bus from Mexico City.
 

Puebla

Puebla is famous for its mole, a chocolate based sauce usually served with chicken,  the Santa Rosa museum of ceramics, the Church of Santo Domingo, the Convent of Santa Mónica and the Church of San Francisco, the oldest church in Puebla. Buses usually leave from the Mexico City airport every hour.
 

Weekend Trips

Guanajuato

Guanajuato, one of Mexico’s most famous colonial cities, was once a center for gold and silver mining. The streets of Guanajuato are narrow and winding, and there are many beautiful colonial buildings. The main street, built over a riverbed and lit by colonial-type lanterns, is one of the most unusual and romantic streets in Mexico. In October the Cervantino Festival is held with special performers from around the world. In May there are special performances of classical theater. It is a four-hour car or bus trip from Mexico City. If you plan to visit during one of the festivals be sure to make hotel reservations ahead of time.
 

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is a colonial city in the state of Guanajuato. San Miguel de Allende is famous as an American art enclave. It is a four-hour car or bus trip from Mexico City.
 

Taxco

Taxco, famous for its silver, is also famous for its colonial architecture. Be sure to visit the Santa Prisca Church. It is a three-hour car or bus trip from Mexico City. There is a silver market on Saturdays. Since silver is no longer mined in Taxco, but imported and crafted there, you may find cheaper prices in Mexico City.
 

Oaxaca

Oaxaca is famous for its ruins, cuisine and indigenous markets. This city and surrounding areas really should be a must on your list of places to visit. It is accessible via plane, car or bus.
 
Monte Albán is a former Zapotec ceremonial center and its ruins are famous for Tomb No. 7, a site where magnificent examples of gold jewelry and pottery were found. It is a short car or bus ride from Oaxaca
 
Mitla, an ancient Mixtec-Zapotec center, is well known for its intricate construction. It is a forty-five minute car or bus ride from Oaxaca.
 
Tlacolula has a Sunday market, which is famous for its woven blankets, rugs, shoulder bags and pillow covers. It is a half-hour car or bus ride from Oaxaca.
 

Morelia

Morelia is a lovely colonial city and the capital of the state of Michoacán. Be sure to visit the Colegio de San Nicolás founded in 1537. Other places to visit are the cathedral and the convent temple of Santa Rosa. Morelia also has antiques and native artisan crafts. It is a three-hour car or bus trip from Mexico City. While there you may want to travel around Lake Patzcuaro and visit the small towns. Each community is famous for a different handcraft.
 

Mérida

Mérida, known as the “White City,” is the capital of the state of Yucatán. It is ideal for visiting the Mayan ruins of Uxmal, Chichen-Itzá, Dzibilchatun and Kabah. It is accessible via plane, car, or bus.
 
Uxmal is one of the loveliest Mayan sites in the Yucatán. Be sure to visit the Casa del Gobernador and the Cuadrángulo de las Monjas. It is a 78 km. car or bus ride from Mérida.
 
Chichén-Itzá is the site of one of the greatest Mayan cities. It has pyramids, ballparks and an observatory. It is located 119 km. from Mérida on the road to Valladolid.
 

Guadalajara

Guadalajara, one of the largest cities in Mexico, is the capital of the state of Jalisco. It has many colonial buildings, and a visit to the Ospicio Cabañas to see the murals by Clemente Orozco is a must. It is accessible via plane, car or bus.