Located high in the mountains of central Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is a jewel of Spanish Colonial architecture; a place of cobblestone streets and picturesque church domes, frozen in time. San Miguel de Allende is one of the most enchanting cities in the Americas. The town, with its colorful walls, massive wooden doors, and breathtaking hillside views, enjoys a moderate year-round climate.
In October 2013, San Miguel de Allende was named Best City in the World by Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards. It was also named one of the Five Best Places in the World to Visit by the readers of Travel & Leisure magazine. Back in 2008, it was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Virtually all the buildings you see in the central part of town date from the colonial era, and newer buildings are required by law to conform to existing architecture. Because so much of San Miguel remains as it was during the days of silver mining, many of the hotels, restaurants, and shops along its cobbled streets are housed in beautiful mansions dating from those years.
F.A.Q. about San Miguel de Allende
- I don’t speak any Spanish. Will I have any problems while visiting San Miguel de Allende?
- Mexico is a beautiful country, and its people are kind and helpful. If you do not know much Spanish, you will find that you can communicate quite well with some rudimentary sign language— and you will be surprised how many Mexican citizens know how to speak at least a little English.
- Where can I get a great, reliable and up-to-date map of San Miguel de Allende.
- I need transportation to/from the Mexico City or León (BJX) airport. Does LifePath Center provide that service, and how much does it cost?
- LifePath Center doesn’t have its own shuttle; but we always recommend Viajes San Miguel. They offer reasonable rates and their service is very professional. Plus: they’re also bilingual. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com. Shuttles are the safest, most convenient and direct medium of transportation from the León airport to San Miguel de Allende – airport taxis are not as reliable and usually cost much more. If you arrive via Mexico City, we strongly suggest you hire a shuttle from there directly to San Miguel (unless you know your way around Mexican buses).
- Is it safe to eat in restaurants at San Miguel de Allende? How about the water – can I drink from the tap like I do in my home country?
- The food you will find in San Miguel de Allende is clean, fresh, and nutritious. There are even plenty of options available in town if you eat organic or if you’re vegan or vegetarian. As in many countries around the world, you will be drinking bottled water, since Mexico’s tap water is not for drinking purposes.
- I’ve been reading a lot of bad press about Mexico’s lack of safety. How much of this is true? Is it safe for a woman traveling alone to visit San Miguel de Allende?
- While it’s true that there have been occasional bouts of violence throughout different cities in Mexico; San Miguel de Allende has remained incredibly safe. We only recommend our guests to take the basic precautions they would take when visiting any other city: common sense attitudes such as avoiding sharing too much personal information with strangers; not carrying too much cash or valuable items; paying attention to your surroundings; and asking for our support if you plan to return late in the evening so that we can book a licensed/verified taxi for you. If you’re a woman traveling by herself; San Miguel de Allende is the ideal place for you, provided you take the usual precautions.
- Does San Miguel de Allende have sidewalks/roads/paved streets/public lighting/etc?
- Yes. Please keep in mind that a huge majority of the city is paved with cobblestones, though. Bring reasonable shoes – you’re going to want to walk through the city a lot and the more comfortable your footwear is, the more you get to enjoy San Miguel de Allende!
- Can you tell me about events or festivals going on in San Miguel de Allende during the time of my visit?
- Can you recommend any restaurants/bars/stores/galleries/entertainment spots in San Miguel de Allende?
- What kind of clothing while in San Miguel de Allende?
- If you visit during late November and until late February, we suggest you bring some warm clothing and also a few lighter, fresher pieces. Layering is crucial for a city which can offer you a sample of all seasons throughout a single day. If you visit within March and August, bring sandals and plenty of cool clothing, along with sunblock and a good hat – yet always remember to bring a good jacket or two. We recommend you check the weather online a day or two before your arrival (if possible) so you know of any cold fronts or other unusual weather phenomenons.