San Miguel de Allende Travel Guide

Mexico  #5 in Best Places to Visit in January
Credit

Courtesy of Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images/Blend Images

Free Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende

If you have extra time, Fabrica La Aurora is worthwhile.
  • #1
    El Jardin (Zocalo)
    View all Photos
    #1 in San Miguel de Allende
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Tours, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Tours, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    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.

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel
    View all Photos
    #2 in San Miguel de Allende
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Intricate, pink pinnacles poking through the skyline will help you locate the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, 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.

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Fabrica La Aurora
    View all Photos
    #3 in San Miguel de Allende
    Cafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Museums, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Museums, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    A textile mill from 1902 to 1991, Fabrica La Aurora has since become an art-lover's paradise in northern San Miguel. Just a short walk north from El Jardin, the converted factory shows evidence of the site's history, including oil-stained floors and traces of cotton tucked into crevices. If you're looking to shop, you'll be satisfied by the diverse selection at furniture, jewelry and contemporary art stores that pepper the complex. After you've spent plenty of time eyeing paintings and sculptures, switch your focus from palette to palate with a stop at one of Fabrica La Aurora's restaurants like the Food Factory or Café de la Aurora.

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Instituto Allende
    View all Photos
    #4 in San Miguel de Allende
    Cafes, Museums, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Museums, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The picturesque Instituto Allende has been drawing art students to San Miguel de Allende for more than 50 years. Originally built in 1736 as the home of the noble Condes de la Canal family, the sprawling campus became an art and language school more than two centuries later. When the institute opened in 1951, American veterans flocked to the mountainside town after learning that the Insituto Allende qualified for study under the GI Bill. It wasn't long before word of the beautiful aesthetics spread and aspiring artists were heading to the school in droves.

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Public Library (Biblitoecta Pública de San Miguel de Allende)
    View all Photos
    #5 in San Miguel de Allende
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you wouldn't normally include a library on your vacation itinerary, you might want to reconsider when you're in San Miguel. The city's Public Library has an extensive collection of both Spanish- and English-language books and films, and offers a quiet respite from the sights and sounds of the city. In 1954, Canadian expat Helen Wale invited Mexican children to read through a collection of magazines in her home. Soon, the volume of visitors outgrew the space. In 1958, the library moved to its current location in an 18th-century building several blocks north of El Jardin in central San Miguel. Today, in addition to its abundant bilingual media, the library offers free classes for children on subjects like computers, painting and piano. The library also hosts cultural events and English-language tours that guide visitors through the neighborhood's colonial architecture. 

    ...Read More »

Explore More of San Miguel de Allende

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019