San Miguel de Allende is a charming and colorful city located in the central highlands of Mexico, approximately 3.5 hours drive from Mexico City. Characterized by its colonial baroque architecture, its unique Disneyland castle-like Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, and its thriving art scene, the city has drawn attention for decades from both Mexicans and foreigners. San Miguel is historically important as the birthplace of Ignacio Allende, a protagonist in the Mexican War of Independence, and ultimately was the first city to be liberated from Spanish rule. In the mid 20th century, San Miguel began to attract a large number of artists and writers to the city, which has continued into present day. The city and adjacent sanctuary were declared UNESCO world heritage sites in 2008.
Where to Stay
Hotel Boutique Hacienda el Santuario - Conveniently located in the Centro, the hacienda is where you'll get the most bang for your buck. With a charming courtyard, a friendly staff, and spacious rooms, the Hacienda has everything you'd need for a short stay in San Miguel.
Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada - All the luxury you would expect from a Belmond property coupled with the character and charm of San Miguel
AirBnb or Home Rental - As always, AirBnb is a good option in San Miguel. Unlike other cities, however, San Miguel has a robust house rental market through other sources as well (Premier San Miguel, VRBO, Realty San Miguel, etc). Home rentals are a great way to experience the authentic San Miguel.
Where to Eat
Moxi - 3rd outpost of famed Mexican chef Enrique Olvera located inside the posh Hotel Matilda. Recommend the tasting menu!
La Posadita - Cute rooftop restaurant with views of the Parroquia featuring Mexican staples.
Panio - A cozy, modern bakery featuring pastries, breads, and breakfast/lunch options. Two locations in Centro.
Cumpanio - Same team as Panio above, but more of a restaurant setting serving Mediterranean inspired dishes.
Jacinto 1930 - Traditional dishes meet modern flavors and techniques at Jacinto. A charming recently renovated space with tiled floors and exposed walls. Recommend the tasting menu!
Luna Bar at the Rosewood Hotel - A great place for a drink while taking in the sunset and the late afternoon light over San Miguel. They have a full bar, a pleasant staff, and an extensive food menu as well.
La Parada - Peruvian food & cocktails.
What to Do
Take the Walking Tour of Town going out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from the main square. Proceeds benefit nonprofits for children in the area.
Visit the Parroquia and any of the other large quantity of churches throughout town
People watch in the Jardin (main square in the center of town)
Have a drink and enjoy the sunset from Luna Bar (listed above)
Visit Fabrica de la Aurora - a sprawling art & design gallery plus shops and cafes
Get a nature fix at El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden, a 30 min walk northeast of town or a quick taxi ride
Explore some of the museums in town including the Toy Museum or the Instituto Allende
Side trip to Canada de la Virgen
Make your own House & Garden Tour and get a taste of the local vernacular by having a local real estate agent tour you through some properties in town. (The library offers a formal tour every Sunday if interested, but we were disappointed with the size of the group, the non San Miguel feel of the homes on the tour, and the general disorganization).