San Miguel De Allende has been a long-time city of choice for many expats from around the world. With a coffee scene that rival’s Seattle, excellent international cuisine, and a quaint charming town, it’s no wonder people select San Miguel De Allende for their permanent residence.
We visited San Miguel de Allende on a day trip from Guanajuato, where we spent the weekend. (We’re living in Puerto Vallarta, so it’s easy to take weekend trips to nearby cities!) In this post I’ll share how to spend the perfect day in San Miguel de Allende!
Because foreign tourists are at virtually zero at the moment, the city had quite a different feel than what I imagine it normally is. Everybody told us that San Miguel de Allende (SMA for short), is normally packed with expats, but we didn’t see a single non-Mexican around!
Below I’ll dive into how to spend a day in SMA, but if you’re staying longer, there is plenty to do in this fun small town! Be sure to bring your swim suit and check out Escondido Place & La Gruta for thermal baths!
- Breakfast at Inside Cafe
- La Fabrica la Aurora
- Ignacio Ramirez Market
- Lunch at Kab’an Cocina de Origen
- El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden
- El Mirador for sunset
- Tapas at the Luna Rooftop inside the Rosewood Hotel
- Enjoy the city at night
Your first stop should be brekkie at Inside Cafe, a hidden gem that we nearly walked right by! This place has a multi-level terrace with steep steps leading to the rooftop, where the views are incredible!
Try their Oaxacan hot chocolate – perfect on those chilly winter mornings! I couldn’t believe I was wearing a puffy jacket and a sombrero simultaneously! Temperatures actually drop to the mid-40’s and even below freezing in the evenings and mornings during the winter, so bring layers!
After your bellies are full and you’ve warmed up with a nice hot cup of chocolate, head over to Fabrica La Aurora, a converted textile mill now housing hundreds of galleries featuring many different types of art from patio decor to sculptures to hand-made scarves, to paintings. You can often even meet the artists themselves and have a chat with them about their work! An art-lover could easily spend all day here. Admission is free.
After you’ve got your art fix in, head over to Lavanda Cafe, a cafe themed all around fresh lavender. Try their unique beverage of a shot of espresso over tonic water, their fresh made-in-house lavender syrup, and slice of lemon. I really didn’t think this would be a good combination, but boy it was tasty! Very refreshing after walking around in the strong sun. This is right next to the entrance of a craft market.
Head on over to Ignacio Ramirez Market to explore locally made crafts from the region.
By now you’re probably ready for a bit of a break from all the walking! One of our favorite cafes is called La Cabra Iluminada (which means “the illuminated goat – cutest name ever.) They have tasty kombucha, speciality coffees, brewed-in-house cold brew, and the tastiest cookies I’ve had in all of Mexico!
Enjoy lunch at Kab’an Cocina de Origen where you can try local regional cuisine from all over Mexico. The highlight of this place is the beautiful decor.
After you’ve rested your feet and are yet again well caffeinated, grab an Uber up to El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden (or if you’re not too tired from walking, you can walk it!)
Located about half an hour’s walk from the city (or a very bumpy 15-minute slow Uber ride over wide cobblestone streets), you’ll find this unexpected gem, which includes many different types of cacti, a canyon, columnar rock formations, and a small lake!
We decided to walk back to town because the walk was so beautiful! You’ll be in a ritzy area with gorgeous homes and well-manicured trees.
Be sure to time your walk down to ensure you’re back in the city in time for sunset from the Mirador. During Covid, the Mirador is unfortunately closed off with caution tape so you can’t get right up to the edge, but not to worry, there are a few restaurants with stellar views where you can enjoy some guacamole and a refreshing margarita.
A very popular thing to do is enjoy tapas on the Luna Rooftop Bar inside the Rosewood Hotel. However, keep in mind that it’s first-come-first served, and once they fill up, they will not allow people in, so you’ll need to go early to stake out a spot!
Once you’ve enjoyed supper at one of the many delicious eateries in San Miguel De Allende, set out on foot yet again to enjoy the nighttime vibes in the city. This is the beautiful Parish of San Miguel Arcángel church.
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