For a more authentic Mexican experience than what you might receive on the coasts and a slightly less frenetic vacation than what you might experience in Mexico City, head to Guadalajara. The capital and largest city in Jalisco is known for its mariachi bands, its nearby tequila distilleries, its jaw-dropping architecture and its thrumming nightlife. Guadalajara also effortlessly blends tradition and modernity. For instance, some Tapatíos (Guadalajara natives) don sombreros, while others are more comfortable in skinny jeans. Some prefer watching rodeos or Mexican wrestlers, called luchadores, while others prefer sampling Mexican craft beers at El Grillo, a local pub. You can get a taste of it all on a trip to Guadalajara.
Mexico's capital is one of the liveliest and largest cities in the world, with a renowned arts and culture scene (an entire district was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and some of the best cuisine in the Western Hemisphere. Even better, Mexico City is affordable – and safer than you might expect. It promises visitors an unforgettable stay, perfect for the frugal, culture-loving traveler who feels at home in a large, crowded place. If you want the full experience, some say you should spend at least a week in the city so that you'll see most of the historic and popular sights. Even after a week, you'll find plenty more to explore. In short, it's best to plan extensively before diving in.
Vibrantly colored buildings line the cobblestone streets of San Miguel de Allende, a romantic city with 16th-century origins nestled among central Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains. Through the past 50 years, this quaint city has evolved into a respite for expats and a popular destination for tourists looking to delve into the music, food and arts scene of off-the-beaten-path Mexico. It's easy to swoon over the 500-year-old colonial city's narrow walkways, baroque architecture and artisan shops selling plenty of crafts, jewelry and handmade accessories. Breaks from shopping can be spent exploring the city's defining Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church, taking classes at the well-recognized Instituto Allende art school or discovering handcrafted Mexican masks at the Another Face of Mexico mask museum.
Best Places to Visit in Mexico