The Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church is one of the most prominent attractions in San Miguel de Allende.
The pink church spire of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel rises above the colorful buildings and cobbled stone streets of one of Mexico’s most beautiful colonial cities – San Miguel de Allende.
Three-and-a-half hours from Mexico City in the state of Guanajuato is San Miguel de Allende, one of Mexico’s Pueblo Magicos founded in 1542. Widely known for its Spanish baroque architecture, arts and culture, and large American expat community, San Miguel de Allende offers travelers a chance to experience Mexico’s highlands in one of the most picturesque places in the country.
In this guide, we’ll touch on the best place to stay, our favorite activities in San Miguel de Allende, and exactly how to get there. While the pictures of San Miguel de Allende on Instagram and TikTok are vibrant, nothing beats an actual visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Let us show you why.
Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende
One of the best amenities at Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende Urban Resort is the pool. (Photo via Alex Temblador)
San Miguel de Allende has a ton of boutique hotels, many of which surround the central plaza, El Jardín. The drawback of this? The central area can be quite noisy, especially during festivals and events. Even ear plugs can only do so much. This is why we suggest a stay at Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende Urban Resort.
Set along a dam near the Presa del Obraje river, the hotel is surrounded by hills covered in arid plants, making it feel secluded in this busy town. Even so, it’s just a 13-minute walk from the hotel to the main plaza.
The luxurious rooms at Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende Urban Resort are spacious and stylish. (Photo via Alex Temblador)
Thoughtfully designed with open air courtyards full of sculptures and plants, the overall atmosphere is relaxed and upscale. Rooms are luxurious with deep tubs, waterfall rain showers, and comfortable beds next to sitting areas. Small details like aromatherapy sprays for your pillows add to the magic of the rooms. In terms of amenities, Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende Urban Resort has a pool and hot tubs, plenty of spaces to lounge and gather with friends, as well as a gym with high-tech equipment, and a spa that offers oxygen treatments, massages, and a soothing pool, shower, and sauna circuit.
The numerous restaurants invite guests and locals to gather for delicious meals in beautiful spaces. Zibu Allende is the perfect spot for Mexican favorites during breakfast and lunch. Many seek out seafood flavors at Mario Canary, the outdoor pool bar, during the day. Spice Market offers Asian cuisine and fun tiki drinks, while the Casa Dragones bar’s outdoor patio is the perfect spot to sip tequila and have a cigar.
What to Do in San Miguel de Allende
Explore the amazing work by the artists of San Miguel de Allende at Aurora Fabrica. (Photo via Alex Temblador)
San Miguel de Allende offers travelers a wealth of activities and experiences. Spend your first day exploring the city. Start in the central plaza, El Jardín, home to the majestic pink church, Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. Go inside and be mesmerized by the art and beauty of the space. If you love that church’s architecture, you’ll be equally impressed by the designs of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Templo del Oratorio de San Felipe Neri, Church of our Lady of Health, and the Iglesia de San Francisco.
Shopping is a great experience in San Miguel de Allende. Markets like Mercado San Juan de Dios and Mercado de Artesanias are great places to pick up souvenirs. Spend hours at Fabrica la Aurora milling through art galleries, boutiques, and antique shops. Some art classes are available at Fabrica la Aurora, but we suggest a mojigangas workshop at Mojigangas 62. You’ll learn about the giant paper mâché mojiganga puppets of San Miguel de Allende, how they’re used at festivals, and even get a chance to make your own.
Mojigangas 62 is a fantastic place in San Miguel de Allende to learn about the cultural significance of mojigangas. (Photo via Alex Temblador)
Fans of tequila and wine have a wide array of opportunities for tastings in San Migeul de Allende. The San Lucas Vineyard is a beautiful winery with a stunning tasting room. Have a wine tasting, visit the store to buy lavender oils (which they make on-site), and then enjoy a lunch at their exquisite outdoor restaurant. As far as tequila goes, you can’t visit San Miguel de Allende without going to the “Smallest Tequila Bar in the World” at Casa Dragones. The tequila brand was created by the first woman tequila master and is a fantastic sipping tequila.
Adventure seekers may want to consider a hot air balloon ride over the highlands of San Miguel de Allende or an ATV or horseback riding tour. Don’t forget to check out Cañada de la Virgin, an Otomi archeological site with a pyramid that’s a 45-minute drive outside of the city.
The San Lucas Vineyard has a great wine tasting room and beautiful grounds. (photo via Alex Temblador)
How to Get There
Unfortunately, San Miguel de Allende doesn’t have its own airport. The two closest airports are Del Bajio Airport in Leon or the Queretaro Airport in Queretaro. The Queretaro Airport is about an hour’s drive away, while Del Bajio Airport takes an hour-and-a-half by car.
Taxis will cost a pretty penny to take you from these airports to San Miguel de Allende, which makes a shuttle or a private driver a more affordable option. Some hotels in San Miguel de Allende, like the Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende Urban Resort, offer transportation from the airport to the hotel.
San Miguel de Allende is full of Spanish baroque architecture and colorful buildings. (Photo via Alex Temblador)
Some travelers find that flying into the Mexico City International Airport is easier, as it offers far more direct connections from the U.S. Rather than drive the 3.5-hour drive to San Miguel de Allende right after you land, it might be fun to visit Mexico City before making the drive.
Our suggestion? Stay at the Grand Fiesta Americana Chapultepec next to the Chapultepec Forest for a few days, then hit the road, stopping at the gorgeous Fiesta Americana Hacienda Galindo Resort & Spa.
Stay overnight on this beautiful property and have a hacienda getaway before making your way to San Miguel de Allende the next day.