San Miguel de Allende, the Historic City in Guanajuato
PHOTO: San Miguel de Allende is one of the most significant sites in Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Guanajuato Tourism Board)
San Miguel de Allende is considered by many to be one of the hidden jewels among all of the towns in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.
Situated about 165 miles northeast of Mexico City, this is definitely a walking town. It is best navigated on foot, which is fine anyway because that gives you an opportunity to get a close-up look at all of the many stunning and awe-inspiring attractions you will find here.
This is a town with considerable historic, religious and cultural significance. Many years ago, the town’s claim to fame was as a major stopover point on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City. Those days are gone, but the city’s allure as a place to escape while immersing yourself into the local culture and traditions is still going strong. In fact, the town’s wealth of historical and architectural treasures—from a diverse range of time periods and design styles—has earned it a designation as a World Heritage of Humanity site by UNESCO.
The quant, charming village features cobblestone streets, traditional-style homes with Spanish architecture and stucco walls, and lots of narrow walkways that serve as your winding passageway around town.
There is a thriving art scene here, along with many museums and art galleries. So whether you are a budding artist or just a fan who appreciates creative works, you will be thrilled at all of the artistic talent you will find here.
The many revered religious landmarks in the town also contribute to its allure and regional value. Among the standouts: Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, a visually stunning church that has become symbolic of San Miguel de Allende and serves as the town’s parish. It’s impossible not to notice the church’s distinctive pink towers that dominate the local landscape.
You may also find that the friendly and welcoming nature of the local residents make you nostalgic for a time when small-town neighborly warmth was the norm.
READ MORE: Five Musts To Do In Guanajuato
The town has become an increasingly popular target for American expatriates and investors alike. As a result, it has now a combination of a unique blend of old and new. The town still has the many historic attractions and old, traditional flavor, but there are also new shopping centers and other modern amenities that many of today’s travelers want. This combination means you will have plenty of options to engage your cultural side, such as museums and historical landmarks. At the same time, there are many stores, restaurants and nightclubs to keep you busy and entertained.
Despite this trend toward embracing modern staples, the town has somehow still managed to retain the personality and atmosphere of a charming, old-time Spanish village. That also helps establish an intimate, cozy mood that keeps you from feeling overwhelmed by all of the action going on all around you. The many boutique hotels dotted throughout the town are also designed to help offer a calming place where you can rest and enjoy a quiet escape.
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