El Jardin (Zocalo)#1 in Best Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende
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- 4.5Food Scene
El Jardin is San Miguel's main plaza, located in the heart of the city. At the Zocalo, as El Jardin is often called, you can spend time people-watching, perusing the nearby shops and restaurants and reorienting yourself should the town's winding roads lead you astray.
Depending on when you find yourself in El Jardin, you may witness a political rally or have the chance to listen in on a live concert. According to one TripAdvisor reviewer, there's always something happening in El Jardin: "You'll hear mariachi bands, you'll see dance performances, you'll find arts and artisans, and religious ceremonies and every other possible entertainment experience here in the center of San Miguel." Early evenings and weekend afternoons are particularly busy times in the plaza; this is when you'll find expats and locals catching up with friends or simply relaxing on the wrought-iron benches.
To help visitors get oriented with the area, local children's charity Patronato Pro Ninos hosts a popular city walking tour that meets in El Jardin on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. and includes a stop at the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel (on the south side of the main plaza). A tour fee of 150 MXN (about $12 USD) is donated to the nonprofit. For more information about the tour, visit the charity's website.
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#2 Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel
Intricate, pink pinnacles poking through the skyline will help you locate the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, a towering parish church overlooking El Jardin from the southern side of the plaza. The prominent church's neo-Gothic design is the vision of the self-taught stonemason and architect Zeferino Gutiérrez, who is rumored to have used European lithographs of Belgian and German churches for artistic inspiration.
Visitors often use the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel as a point of reference when navigating the city's winding streets. But when you're not relying on the church for navigation, travelers recommend spending extra time gazing at the castle-like structure. "What's really great is how it changes throughout the day from the moving sun. It changes colors and illuminations," one TripAdvisor reviewer said.
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