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If you’re looking for a luxurious weekend away in one of Mexico’s most colorful cities then you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to discover my San Miguel de Allende Travel Itinerary for everything you need to know! From where to stay, what to eat, and where to explore, this guide covers it all!
Let me start by saying that I was a bit disappointed when I first arrived in San Miguel de Allende. After spending some time in the bustling city of Guanajuato, I couldn’t wait to explore what has been given the title of “Best City in the World” a handful of times. I will start by saying that it does not, in my opinion, live up to that title. In many ways San Miguel felt like a smaller Guanajuato City, with more expensive restaurants, luxury hotels, and heaps more tourists. It doesn’t possess the local charm that Guanajuato does. That being said, it is definitely one of the most beautiful cities that I’ve ever been to! And while we had to search a bit harder, we managed to dine at some of the most delicious restaurants!
The Basics on San Miguel de Allende
Where is San Miguel de Allende located?
San Miguel de Allende is located in central Mexico, in the state of Guanajuato.
When to visit San Miguel de Allende?
While winter is the high season, with summers being a bit wetter, there really isn’t a bad time to visit San Miguel de Allende. The city seems to exist in a never ending spring season. Although, San Miguel de Allende has gotten quite popular over the years with tourists, so you may want to consider visiting during one of the shoulder seasons to avoid the crowds.
How to get to San Miguel de Allende:
The closest airport is the Guanajuato International Airport (BJX), located approximately 1.5 hours from San Miguel de Allende. Flights to this airport are listed as going to Leon, but the actual airport was moved to Silao years ago. You can find direct flights from all over Mexico, as well as from US cities such as Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
From the airport you can either take a car to Leon, where you can catch a direct bus to San Miguel. For those with a larger budget, an Uber between the city and the airport costs approximately 850 MXN pesos ($40USD).
If you are already traveling in Mexico, then you can easily reach San Miguel de Allende by bus or car. The bus between Guanajuato and Mexico City takes approximately 3.5-4 hours, whereas the bus from Guanajuato City takes 1.5 hours.
How much time to spend in San Miguel de Allende?
Many people visit San Miguel on a day trip from Guanajuato, however I think it is nice to dedicate at least a night or two exploring this charming city. This guide will cover everything you need to know for a weekend stay.
Where to Eat and Drink in San Miguel de Allende
Begin your weekend escape with a sunset cocktail at the QUINCE rooftop bar. With perfect views of the famous Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, this is a spot that you can’t miss!
Bovine Brasserie is a luxury dining experience that is not to be missed! Located right in the center, this is the perfect way to jumpstart your weekend away! I highly recommend the tomato salad, with fresh buffalo mozzarella, peaches, and basil, as well as the grilled octopus over a bed of hummus.
If there is one restaurant that you shouldn’t miss while in San Miguel de Allende, it is this one! You’ll recognize El Camaroncito by the long line of local waiting for a table. Come early and place your order, two different sizes of the same classic shrimp ceviche. The sauce is super mild, but you’ll find tons of spices on the table to add more flavor.
Baja Fish Taquito
It can be a bit difficult to find good, affordable restaurants in San Miguel de Allende. This one checks all of the boxes for cheap and delicious tacos. The shrimp are definitely the way to go, washed down with some fresh juice or a beer.
Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende
If you have the budget for it then I definitely recommend checking into Hotel Matilda for your stay. Located right on Aldama Street, the location is prime! From the attentive service to the gorgeous rooms, a stay here is definitely a good one! In fact, it was named Mexico’s Best City Hotel by Travel + Leisure for the second year in a room.
Cool down by the pool or enjoy one of their incredible spa treatments. I enjoyed the 90 minute Honey Lymphatic Drainage massage which felt great, and was super energizing after a couple of long days exploring (and late nights sipping tequila).
If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, that still possesses the boutique feel, then I recommend checking out Hacienda el Santuario. Just a few minute walk from the main church, you’ll find the hotel tucked away on a quiet street.
What to Do in San Miguel de Allende
There aren’t too many activities to add to this San Miguel de Allende travel itinerary, as I felt that the best way to see the city is to wander and get lost.
Visit the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel
This famous church, which was named a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2008, it quite the beauty. Located right in the center of town, the city seems to revolve around it. Spend some time exploring inside the church, before grabbing a table at a nearby rooftop bar to enjoy the view.
Take a Stroll Down Aldama Street
Aldama Street, where Hotel Matilda is located, is quite possibly one of the prettiest streets that I’ve ever stepped foot on. With every color building you can imagine lining the streets, and a perfect view of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel at the end of the road, it is hard not to fall in love.
Browse the Endless Art Galleries
San Miguel de Allende has quite the art scene. As you wander the streets you’ll come across a number of art galleries. While the pieces were definitely out of my budget, they were still much to browse.
Enjoy the Food Scene
While there isn’t quite as much of the local street vendor food scene in San Miguel that you’ll find in other cities such as Guanajuato and CDMX, you can still find some incredible spots. I recommend splurging at either the Bovine or the Moxi for a truly incredible dining experience.
Experience the Main Square in the evening
Head to the Main Square in the evening and you’ll find the life of the city! With ice cream vendors, balloons, and live music, this is the perfect spot to sit and people watch. Not to mention the church looks absolutely gorgeous lit up at night.
Go on a Horseback Riding Trip
This is something that we unfortunately didn’t have enough time to do, however I’ve only heard good things. There are number of tour companies with half and full day tours to add to your San Miguel de Allende travel itinerary.
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