15 best Mexican cities to visit [best cities to visit in Mexico guide]

Looking for your next Mexico vacation destination? Discover the best cities to visit in Mexico, including travel tips, safety advice, and more!

📧 Hello, Trisha! I found your blog online and I must say that your Mexico content is impressive! I know that you live there now and I am looking into moving to Mexico. But first, I want to travel there to have a glimpse. Can you recommend the best cities to visit in Mexico for travelers? I know you already have the best places to live in Mexico in this blog but my girlfriend and I are city people. Safety tips are always welcome although we’re never scared to travel in Mexico! Also thinking if we should ditch the Mexican cities trip and go for the beaches? Would love to pick your brain – thanks for all that you do!

Simon S., Denver (CO)

Hola, Simon!

Thanks for reaching out! I am glad you are keen to explore Mexican cities, as it is not that popular to travelers! A city vacation in Mexico can offer a unique cultural and historical journey that beach destinations may not provide.

You can explore ancient Mayan ruins, visit colonial churches and plazas, shop local markets, and experience vibrant nightlife when visiting cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, or Cancun.

mexico

On the other hand, a beach vacation in Mexico is best if you’re seeking rest, relaxation, and an opportunity to recharge your batteries away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Ultimately, what type of Mexican getaway best suits your needs will depend greatly on personal preference as well as budget considerations – both types of holiday experiences come with their own unique advantages when considering a trip south of the border!

In this best cities to visit in Mexico guide, I will tell you everything you need to know when traveling to these Mexican cities. I also lived in some of them, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Xx,
Trisha

Cities to visit in Mexico
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🗺️ Best cities to visit in Mexico map

🌟 Top cities to visit in Mexico

#1: Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the best cities to visit in Mexico. It uniquely blends modern and traditional attractions, boasting a rich cultural history, vibrant nightlife scene, and incredible culinary experiences.

There are also plenty of museums, art galleries, historic sites, and parks throughout the city and so many things to do!

best cities to visit in mexico
Mexico City was founded in 1325, making it one of the oldest cities in the Americas. | Photo: @elcadejo

Mexico City was once the largest city in North America. This incredible feat was accomplished by its founders, who established it as the capital of New Spain in 1521. The city’s population today is estimated to be over 8 million people!

The cuisine in Mexico City is not to be missed either, with influences from Spanish, Aztec, and Mayan cultures all coming together to create a unique flavor experience.

Mexican food lovers will find plenty here — think tacos al pastor (pork tacos), enchiladas, pozole (a traditional stew) and so much more!

#2: Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City is an exciting destination with its vibrant culture and stunning colonial architecture. It’s also home to some of the best food in Mexico, with delicious local dishes such as mole oaxaqueño and chapulines (grasshoppers).

Plus, it’s an excellent place for outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Oaxaca City is one of the best cities in Mexico to visit!

best cities to visit in mexico
Fun Fact: Oaxaca has one of the highest concentrations of native languages in the entire world. | Photo: Frank Coronado

Oaxaca City is known as “the land of seven moles” due to the variety of complex sauces made with dried chiles, nuts and spices. Each dish has its unique flavor profile, making it a popular spot for foodies!

This city is also home to numerous archaeological sites, making it the perfect destination for history buffs. You can visit the ancient ruins at Monte Alban and El Tule Tree, which are over 2,000 years old!

#3: San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Mexico. It features stunning colonial architecture and a vibrant cultural scene, making it a great destination for art and history lovers.

The city also offers stunning views of the picturesque Sierra Madre mountain range, while its cobblestone streets are lined with colorful buildings.

mexico city
Fun fact: San Miguel de Allende is home to one of North America’s oldest public libraries, The Biblioteca Pública. | Photo: @elias_guerrero_fotografia

San Miguel de Allende also boasts excellent restaurants serving traditional Mexican cuisine, music festivals, markets, galleries, and lively nightlife options. You’ll find plenty to explore in this charming Mexican city!

San Miguel de Allende is a UNESCO World Heritage site (2008). Most buildings were constructed during Spanish Colonial times and have been well preserved throughout centuries. This makes it a fantastic destination for sightseeing and exploring!

San Miguel de Allende also has several festivals yearly, including Carnival every February. During this festival, residents celebrate with parades and special events throughout the city streets.

#4: Queretaro

Santiago de Queretaro is an excellent destination for travelers exploring the best Mexican culture and history. It offers a variety of attractions, from colonial architecture to street art, as well as delicious cuisine and vibrant nightlife.

The city is also conveniently located close to several stunning natural attractions like aqueducts and canyons, making it one of the top cities to visit in Mexico. Queretaro is also the cheapest city to visit!

best cities to visit in mexico
Queretaro City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 for its beautiful colonial architecture. | Photo: @el.leyvas

Queretaro is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico. The historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and features stunning churches and plazas, including the Plaza de Armas and Templo de Santa Rosa.

#5: Guanajuato City

Guanajuato City has beautiful colonial-era architecture, cobblestone streets, and plenty of traditional markets and restaurants serving delicious local cuisine.

In addition, the city is surrounded by picturesque mountains offering amazing views and plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and caving.

best cities to visit in mexico

Guanajuato City was founded back in 1559 by the Spanish Conquistadors! It’s now one of the most important cities in central Mexico and home to over 170,000 people.

It’s also known for its unique street layout, which follows a series of tunnels built below the hillside. This makes getting around on foot or by bike easy but can be tricky for first-time visitors!

#6: Tijuana

Tijuana is a great destination for travelers looking to experience an exciting cultural city. It offers delicious Mexican cuisine, vibrant nightlife, intriguing street markets, and unique attractions like the Bullring by the Sea.

With its mild climate and beautiful beach resorts nearby, Tijuana is perfect for those wanting to soak up some sunshine on their trip.

Plus, it’s close enough for day trips to San Diego and other cities in Southern California.

best cities to visit in mexico
With its booming start-up scene and numerous galleries showcasing emerging talent from around the world, Tijuana become an epicenter for art, technology, and culture. | Photo: Digital Nomad Mx

Tijuana is the largest city on the U.S.-Mexico border. With over 1.6 million people, it’s a vibrant, diverse metropolis with plenty to explore!

It’s also home to some of Mexico’s best nightlife spots – from cantinas to nightclubs, there’s something for everyone in this lively destination.

One of Tijuana’s most iconic landmarks is Avenida Revolución – it’s filled with shops, restaurants, and bars that make up the heart and soul of the city!

#7: Monterrey

Monterrey has a vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and incredible historical landmarks, it’s a must-see city for anyone visiting Mexico.

Monterrey has something for everyone: outdoor activities at beautiful parks like Macroplaza and Cerro de la Silla to world-class shopping at Plaza Fiestas del Norte or Citadella.

best cities to visit in Mexico
Monterrey has one of the most active nightlife scenes in North America. Locals and visitors love to enjoy the city’s many bars, clubs, and restaurants. | Photo: @rodrigoalser

Monterrey is home to Latin America’s highest mountain. Cerro de la Silla stands at 2,903 meters (9,523 feet) high above sea level and offers breathtaking city views.

Monterrey also has a diverse wildlife population. The nearby canyonlands are home to rare species like ocelots and jaguarondi cats that visitors can sometimes spot!

And if you’re up for an adventure, there’s plenty of opportunity to go hiking and camping in the wilder parts of Monterrey’s surroundings.

#8: Puebla

Puebla City has an interesting history and culture, amazing food, and some of the best-preserved colonial buildings in Latin America.

There are also plenty of outdoor activities nearby that many visitors enjoy. Puebla City is a vibrant city full of life and bursting with color. I consider Puebla the most beautiful city in Mexico.

best cities to visit in Mexico
Puebla de Zaragoza boasts the world’s oldest still-operating university. The National University of San Antonio Abad del Cusco dates all the way back to 1692 and continues to offer students a top-notch education in science and other fields. | Photo: __algodemexico

Puebla de Zaragoza has one of the highest altitudes in all of Mexico. The average elevation here is 7,215 feet above sea level. This makes it an ideal spot for outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.

Plus, with its stunning views across the Valley of Analco, you’ll be able to appreciate nature in all its glory. Another fun fact about Puebla de Zaragoza is that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its many beautiful colonial buildings.

#9: Merida

Merida is one of the best cities to visit in Mexico due to its vibrant culture, beautiful colonial architecture, excellent local cuisine, and welcoming people.

Merida offers something for everyone – from beaches to archaeological sites and shopping centers to day trips. With plenty of activities for the whole family, it’s an ideal destination for those looking for a great vacation experience!

best cities to visit in Mexico
Merida has one of Latin America’s longest zocalos (main square). This sprawling square is great for people-watching and offers plenty of entertainment options for visitors. | Photo: @danielguzman7

Merida is also known as the safest city in Mexico, so you don’t have to worry about your safety here! The locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming; they’ll ensure you feel right at home during your stay!

Merida is often called “the white city” because of its abundance of beautifully painted white-washed buildings.

#10: Morelia

Morelia has preserved its colonial architecture and offers over 300 historical monuments, including the impressive 16th-century aqueduct, which spans 2.3 miles across the city.

Additionally, the city boasts a delicious regional cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and natural wonders like Cuitzeo Lake and Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve nearby.

best cities to visit in Mexico
Morelia first served as an important cultural hub during the colonial period until it transitioned into a modern metropolis. Its historical sites and buildings reflect its rich heritage and culture. | Photo: @turismomorelia.mx

Morelia is nicknamed “The City of Pink Stones” because of its pink stone buildings. This is due to the many baroque churches and palaces made out of pink quarry stone around the city.

You’ll love walking through these old streets and taking in the beautiful views! In addition, Morelia has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its rich cultural heritage.

#11: Guadalajara

Guadalajara is known as the “Pearl of the West” and offers various activities and attractions. You can explore areas such as Tlaquepaque, home to art galleries and colorful markets; Chapultepec Castle, the former residence of Mexican president Porfirio Díaz; or La Minerva, a neoclassical monument erected in honor of Mexican Independence.

Guadalajara also has a lively nightlife with plenty of restaurants and bars. Guadalajara is not only one of the best cities to visit in Mexico but also the cheapest.

best cities to visit in Mexico
Guadalajara is home to the world-famous Mariachi music. This type of traditional music can be heard in restaurants and festivals throughout the region. | Photo: @marriocontreras

Guadalajara is known for its traditional mariachi music, where musicians wear elaborately decorated outfits while they play their instruments. It is also a popular destination for tequila lovers.

As Mexico’s second-largest city, many distilleries are located nearby so that visitors can sample the local wares. In addition to tequila, there are plenty of restaurants with delicious regional cuisine like tacos al pastor and pozole. You’ll never go hungry in this Mexican paradise!

#12: Campeche

Campeche City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its ancient fortifications, colorful colonial buildings, unique local cuisine, and beautiful beaches.

It’s also a great spot for outdoor lovers, with many traditional markets, fascinating archaeological sites, and fantastic natural parks nearby.

Cities to visit in Mexico
Did you know that Campeche City is encircled by fortifications dating back to 1686? The fortifications were constructed in response to pirate attacks on the city, and today they form part of an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site. | Photo: @ibonogo

Campeche was once an important port city, as ships would bring goods from Europe and Central America to Mexico back in the day. This led it to become one of the most prosperous cities in New Spain.

Today, it’s well known for its beautifully maintained colonial buildings, which were built during this period. Its old town center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with bright-colored houses, cobblestone streets, and impressive fortifications.

#13: Aguascalientes City

Aguascalientes City has beautiful colonial architecture and a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries. There are also many attractions, such as Plaza Patria and Los Tarascos Art Museum for visitors to explore.

The best time of year to visit is from November through May, when the temperatures are milder. You will also find plenty of fantastic restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and markets in Aguascalientes City making it one of the best cities in Mexico to visit!

Cities to visit in Mexico
Aguascalientes has one of the oldest bullrings in Latin America! Construction on El Palenque de la Feria started back in 1828, with renovations taking place over time. | Photo: @aguascalientes_mx

Aguascalientes City was founded in 1575 by Francisco de Sandoval and the city has been growing ever since. It’s known as one of the oldest cities in Mexico due to its longstanding roots in Mexican culture and history.

Not only that, but it also serves as a popular tourist destination with plenty of attractions like the incredible Museum of Contemporary Art or The Cazuelas Park. The local cuisine of Aguascalientes City adds to its appeal as well!

#14: Mexicali

Mexicali is one of the best cities to visit in Mexico because it offers a variety of attractions and activities. It has a vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, delicious food, and stunning architecture.

Additionally, Mexicali boasts various events throughout the year, such as festivals, while also providing tourists with many outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking and biking trails.

Mexicali is known for having some of the best weather in all of Mexico. It is also close to the Mexico-US border (Calexico, USA), making it easy to access from the US.

Cities to visit in Mexico
Fun fact: Mexicali is home to Mexico’s first and only ice hockey team, Los Halcones de Mexicali.

What many don’t know about Mexicali is that it has strong Chinese influences! This exciting blend of Mexican and Chinese traditions adds to the city’s charm and makes it an even more exciting place to visit.

Chinese roots can be traced back in Mexicali’s history to the late 19th century when immigrants from China immigrated to work at cotton plantations. Many of their descendants still live there, giving Mexicali a unique cultural mix you won’t find anywhere else.

#15: San Cristobal de Las Casas

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas is the best-loved Mexican city for travelers. Its cobblestone streets, year-round temperate climate, and cultural variety make it an ideal destination for exploring Mexico’s colonial past.

Chiapas surrounding countryside provides ample opportunity to explore awe-inspiring natural beauty with lush jungles and stunning hidden waterfalls waiting to be explored.

Cities to visit in Mexico
San Cristobal was founded in 1528 by the Spanish conquistador Diego de Mazariegos. | Photo: @el.leyvas

It was then named Ciudad Real de Chiapa and served as an important regional commercial center. Today it remains one of the oldest cities in Mexico!

Another interesting fact about San Cristobal is its unique language known as Tzotzil. This language is still used today by many local indigenous people living in the area who maintain their traditional customs.

⁉️ Mexican Cities FAQ

The most beautiful city in Mexico is undoubtedly San Miguel de Allende, renowned for its vibrant colors, stunning Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture, and picturesque cobblestone streets. It’s also home to incredible art galleries, bustling markets, luxury spas and resorts, plus plenty of historical sites – making it a popular destination for tourists worldwide.

Some of the safest cities to visit in Mexico include Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Tulum, and Merida. Each of these cities have very low crime rates and are known for their charming colonial architecture and stunning beach views. Visitors should always take precautions when traveling in any city though; be aware of your surroundings, don’t bring valuables with you, avoid walking alone at night or after dark, and try to stay in well-lit areas. With a bit of caution and common sense you can explore these amazing cities safely!

Mexico is a country full of culture, history, and attractions. If you’re looking to explore the country, five major cities should be on your radar: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, and Cancun.

Mexico City is the nation’s capital and largest city – it’s a perfect mix of modernity and cultural heritage with plenty to do for tourists of all ages. It’s home to ancient Aztec ruins plus colonial-style buildings from the Spanish era. You’ll also find countless museums here as well as parks, markets, and other popular attractions.

Guadalajara is Mexico’s second-largest city – a vibrant place bustling with life! Here you can experience traditional folkloric dances such as mariachi music or visit its many art galleries and churches.

Still have questions about the best cities to visit in Mexico?

If you cannot find an answer to your question in our FAQ, leave your question in the comment box below, and we’d be happy to update this post. Follow our social media channels, where we answer questions without a cost!

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