Ranked THE best city in the world multiple times by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines, the walled city of San Miguel has it all, without sacrificing its soul for tourism. Whether you stay there as a couple or with family, here is our address book to discover it. Amazement guaranteed!
Decked out with the nickname of the “heart of Mexico”, the city continues to reap the favors of the public, as evidenced by its bewitching beauty as well as the many expatriates who have chosen to settle there. However, it still remains unknown to many Quebecers. It’s hard to imagine that an urban center in the heart of the continent and without access to the sea can guarantee an unforgettable trip – and yet!
With a resolutely bohemian-chic soul (and therefore, free from those endless souvenir shops in bad taste), there are no commercial banners and rather… a ton of gallery owners! What’s more, the city is surrounded by thermal springs where you can relax and admire the lush surrounding nature. An ideal destination for lovers of architecture, culture or simply those in search of design, exquisite addresses as well as aesthetes in search of tranquility and authenticity.
The Santuario de Atotonilco is nicknamed “the Sistine Chapel of the Americas”
GOOD TO KNOW
- San Miguel de Allende strikes with its atmosphere: you feel good there, the city is free of rubbish and beyond any doubt, you feel safe there. On-site, many expatriates operate shops and restaurants there, so the language of Shakespeare is spoken fluently.
- Colonial city founded in the 17th century, the latter is dotted with small hilly streets and in addition pebbles – so we provide comfortable shoes and we put a cross on the pumps!
- The standards are particularly high there compared to the rest of the country – and even here in America – as everything is neat. The attention to detail is omnipresent, the stalls are delightful, the tables just like the lodges are endowed with a neat decoration, and the residences are generally well maintained – everywhere springs a beauty without artifice.
- In addition, there are some of the most important sanctuaries in the country ( the Santuario de Atotonilco is also nicknamed “the Sistine Chapel of the Americas”). San Miguel de Allende is an important place of pilgrimage for Mexicans.
- We also plan a stay in one of its famous thermal springs, some of which are located less than 10 kilometers from the historic center, to cool off.
The doors of the San Miguel mansions alone are an invitation to travel! You can easily discover them on foot, especially by walking through its main area of interest: the historic center Zona Centro, from the narrow labyrinths to the colorful thatched cottages with windows lined with terracotta pots, such as those surrounding the Benito Juárez park.
The pretty little streets surrounding Benito Juárez Park in the central district
We walk the streets near the Plaza Principal, a square with flowery arcades full of flavored ice cream parlors, nice cafes, and bistros. The atmosphere is lively at all times, especially in the evening. For pretty shots, we borrow the Recreo 52 cobblestones.
The Ignacio Ramirez market and its stalls are worth a visit, while the Guadalupe district is a must, with its famous school of fine arts, its vibrant murals, and its multitude of art galleries.
Total love for the Fabrica la Aurora, a former factory that now serves as a showcase for cafes, galleries, stalls, crafts and household items, etc. Not to be missed because the shopping there is remarkable.
Dôce 18 Concept House is a super creative shopping and gourmet destination. It includes a bubble bar, well-stocked finds, and the private Casa Dragones tasting room (by reservation only), whose exceptional tequila has conquered Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, and Daniel Boulud.
Foodies take note – as much the street tacos as the large tables and small bars arouse interest because in San Miguel de Allende, it’s hard to look bad!
Head to Panio Atelier du Pain for a delicious croissant and an amazing elongated one.
In the evening, The Restaurant is a fashionable address, among other things, we love its cocktails and its hacienda-style interior courtyard, whose fountain is decorated with rose petals.
To have a bite to eat in the garden – Los Pirules offers an authentic Mexican menu prepared with skill! Absolutely exquisite, especially its outdoor grills and traditional preparations such as barbacoa or cochinita pibil .
Fatima 7 offers breakfasts with flavors from the Middle East. Succulent, just like the place: a hushed hacienda, groves, and a chef who advocates organic and seasonal ingredients.
Delicacy and skill are on the menu at Ruta de Milpa
Ruta de la Milpa for delicious rustic cuisine and its divine perched roof. The presentation is lovely, here we work with rigor.
To see and be seen, a lounge atmosphere however warm and without fuss, the most beautiful views of the city in the evening, Quince pulls out of the game! The bell tower of the adjoining cathedral gives it a special charm.
Quince and its lovely terrace
DO NOT MISS
The roofs of the city are sparkling, whether hotels, bars, or gourmet addresses. We do not fail to land there, when the cathedral shines with a thousand lights, in the evening. Among our favorites: is Trazo, facing the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, a majestic church with neo-Gothic architecture.
The Tres Raices vineyard stands out and impresses with its slick contemporary style. The place is magnificent and deserves that we linger there, in order to discover some of the local grape varieties.
The thermal hot water lagoons and pool of Los Sanders are the perfect nest to pamper your little toes after a day of urban exploration, as is La Gruta, a second popular thermal spring.
For the best panoramic view and the prettiest perched terrace, dazzling decor, a simply i-né-ga-lé romantic setting, and a location (in the heart of the historic city): Hotel Casa 1810.
The lush gardens of the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende invite you to relax
For a memorable stay or to highlight a special occasion: the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende and its swimming pool, manicured gardens, and fabulous bars and restaurants have everything to make it a luxury address of choice. Don’t fit our budget? No problem – you absolutely put it in your notebook, just to laze around, for an afternoon.
Nirvana Restaurant & Spa is an idyllic lodge, surrounded by nature, at a very low price! On site: a swimming pool, private huts and cabanas, a vast property full of palm trees and exotic flowers – it feels like paradise. The owner also owns an animal shelter, right next door. Count approximately $80 CAD per person for access to the swimming pool, a massage, and lunch. Delicious.
Between heaven and earth. Opposite: one of the huts of the Nirvana Hotel & Spa lodge