Instituto Allende

#4 in Best Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende
Instituto Allende picture
Courtesy Instituto Allende

Key Info

Ancha de San Antonio 22, Zona Centro, 37700

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Cafes, Museums, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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.

Located less than half a mile southwest of the city center, the Instituto Allende is open to all travelers looking to take workshops, explore the property and peer into galleries. You'll find plenty of open space on campus in the form of parks and gardens, as well as artsy cafes and restaurants. One recent TripAdvisor reviewer described the atmosphere as full of "beautiful architecture, meandering passages, galleries, a nice cafe, and an amazing view of the Parroquia from the back patio."

The campus is open to visitors on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visiting the school is free, but art workshops can cost up to 3,800 MXN (about $290 USD) for three- or four-week courses. One-day workshops in things like clay modeling, photography and painting are available for $95 to $105 USD, depending on the course. For more information, visit the school's website.

See all Hotels in San Miguel de Allende »

More Best Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende

El Jardin (Zocalo)
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 9
#1 El Jardin (Zocalo)

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.

Read more
RightIndex/Flickr
See full list of Best Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende »

Explore More of San Miguel de Allende

Recommended

The World's 30 Best Places to Visit in 2019-20

Using reader input and expert analysis, U.S. News identified the latest can't-miss vacations.

Tilly PeckerJune 25, 2019

The 16 Best San Diego Tours

Take advantage of the adventures this coastal city has to offer with a guided trip.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

12 Top Napa Valley Wineries to Visit

Set your sights on these can't-miss wineries during your next visit to California's wine country.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

The 6 Best Denver Brewery Tours

Discover the buzz about Denver's craft beer scene with these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 21, 2019

The 10 Best Charleston Walking Tours

Experience true southern hospitality as you explore Charleston on one of these strolls.

Claire LawtonJune 20, 2019

The 15 Best Charleston Tours

See everything this historic South Carolina city has to offer on one of these guided excursions.

John RodwanJune 19, 2019

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019