What to do in San Miguel de Allende

What to Do in San Miguel de Allende

Welcome to San Miguel de Allende, or San Mike, as some call it. It is a city founded in the 16th century that effortlessly weaves together old world charm and modern world amenities. You’ll find a lively nightlife, and the best restaurants, historic sites, art, and cultural delights. Let’s dissect all this captivating Mexican city has to offer. We’re bringing you the top 10 things to do in San Miguel de Allende

1. Wander the Cobblestone Streets

There’s much to appreciate in San Miguel. From the beautiful cobblestone streets, to the historic center and admire the well-preserved colonial architecture. The colorful facades, ornate balconies, and charming courtyards lend an undeniable charm to the city. I have truly loved the architecture in Mexico, and the cobblestone streets and colonial buildings have my heart forever. No other cobblestone streets in the world have the same pull for me. 

2. Visit the Iconic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel

No visit to San Miguel de Allende is complete without seeing the stunning Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. This iconic pink church dominates the city’s skyline and is a testament to the city’s architectural splendor. You cannot miss this pink church as it is towering over the Spanish-style buildings sprawled around the square. Stand in awe of its intricate neo-Gothic facade and step inside to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of its interior. You can even go into the nearby artisan market to pick up handmade goodies. 

3. Explore the Mercado de Artesanías

Delve into the vibrant local culture by visiting the Mercado de Artesanias. This bustling market is full of traditional Mexican handcrafts, artwork, and textiles. You will want to get your hands on everything! Lose yourself amidst the colorful stalls, interact with local artisans, and take home a piece of San Miguel de Allende’s artistic heritage.

4. Uncover Hidden Art Galleries

San Miguel de Allende is renowned for its thriving art scene. You have to go look for these small intimate art galleries. You will stumble upon these as you wander through narrow streets, showcasing works by local and international artists. From contemporary masterpieces to traditional Mexican art, you’ll find a wealth of artistic inspiration at every turn.

5. Discover the Charms of El Jardín

El Jardín, the ‘true pulse of San Miguel de Allende’ is the central plaza that is a hub of activity, filled with picturesque gardens, fountains, and shaded benches. Every town in Mexico has a central square, and while in most other cities the’re known as the zocalo, in San Mike they’re called El Jardín. Observe observe street performers, sip on a refreshing beverage, soak in the city’s vibrant ambiance, and enjoy the energetic atmosphere. 

Discover the Charms of El Jardín

6. Attend a Traditional Mexican Cooking Class

Ah, my favorite activity in Mexico. I mean you go to the place that has all the authentic Mexican food and come back having learned nothing? Nope, can’t do that. So immerse yourself in the flavors of Mexico by participating in a traditional cooking class. Learn to prepare authentic dishes such as mole, tamales, or chiles en nogada. Engage with local chefs who will share their culinary secrets, and savor the delectable fruits of your labor. It’s a hands-on experience that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Plus, you can bring a true Mexican dish at your next pot-luck with friends! 

7. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Witness the beauty of San Miguel de Allende from new heights by embarking on a hot air balloon ride. For about 45-60 minutes, float gently above the city and marvel at the panoramic vistas of rolling hills, colorful rooftops, and the majestic Parroquia. This is truly a once in a lifetime kind of experience, so better not miss it! 

8. Explore the Magical Sanctuary of Atotonilco

Venture just outside the city to discover the mystical Sanctuary of Atotonilco. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its baroque-style architecture and intricate religious artwork. Wander through the chapel, adorned with detailed murals and sculptures, and feel the spiritual ambiance that surrounds this hidden gem. This one is known specifically for its stunning murals and is one of the most unique churches in Mexico. 

9. Indulge in a Spa Day

Treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation by indulging in a spa day in San Miguel de Allende. Pamper your senses with rejuvenating treatments inspired by ancient Mexican traditions. From soothing massages to herbal baths, let the expert hands of therapists transport you to a world of tranquility and bliss.

10. Experience a Traditional Mexican Fiesta

Immerse yourself in the vibrant celebrations of San Miguel de Allende by attending a traditional Mexican fiesta. From colorful parades to lively music and dance performances, these festive gatherings offer a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural heritage. Join the locals in celebrating with laughter, music, and delicious Mexican cuisine. There are multiple festivals and events happening in San Mike all around the year, so keep a look out for them. 

You can even take a day trip out of San Miguel de Allende and go to La Gruta and La Escondida. These are both within 15 minutes of the town. You’ll see park like grounds encompassing swimming pools, hot tubs in graduated temperatures. Visitors can swim through tunnels to an artificial cave to a waterfall. And you won’t believe what you can get there. The most perfect shoulder massage! So go ahead and take that trip. 

Well, I promised 10 things to do in San Miguel de Allende, but I gave you 11. That is the beauty of this city. There will never be a dull moment when you’re here, so go on ahead and make those travel plans. Also check out all the other beautiful cities in Mexico.


Aemilius Dost is originally from the Netherlands but moved to Mexico more than two years ago. He started traveling when he was 19 and visited over 20 countries spread over North, and Central America, Europe and Asia. He currently works as a freelance SEO specialist and has worked with companies such as Surfshark, SafetyWing, and BP.

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