Looking for the ideal getaway spot for a weekend? Somewhere amazing to have fun, to learn, to eat, to experience? Take it from me, The Abundant Traveler, a trip to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico will never disappoint.
Even if you have only 48 hours to get away – a solo two-day weekend, a romantic weekend for two, or a special girl’s weekend to celebrate a birthday – it’s well worth the trip. Below are some travel tips to make the most out of your stay in San Miguel de Allende
Check out my San Miguel de Allende travel tips vlog below!
Where is San Miguel de Allende?
San Miguel de Allende is located in Central Mexico in an area known as the “central highlands.” Because of its location, there’s a misconception that it is difficult to get to. Getting to San Miguel de Allende is much easier than you think, even though there is no local San Miguel de Allende airport where you can fly directly.
The best way to get to San Miguel is by going through the Queretaro airport or the Leon airport. Those are the best airports near San Miguel. Many San Miguel hotels offer airport transportation, which are often trusted locals who can give you some personal insights as you drive. Or you can call Julian Cartas at Go San Miguel, who not only offers safe and reliable transportation to and from the airport, but also provides excellent San Miguel de Allende tours.
Best Time to go to San Miguel de Allende
The best time to visit San Miguel de Allende is ALWAYS.
OK you want more detail… While there are variations in temperature, for the most part the San Miguel de Allende weather is almost always beautiful, and the temperature in San MIguel de Allende is almost always warm during the day (note — in the wintertime it can get a bit chilly at night). November to April are likely going to be the driest months, but I have been there in May and June and never saw a drop of rain. As far as things to do in San Miguel throughout the year, every month offers different festivals, events, art openings, and architectural tours to educate, entertain, and amaze you.
Where to stay in San Miguel de Allende | San Miguel de Allende Hotels
There’s a wide variety of hotels in San Miguel de Allende, depending on the size of your group and the reason you created your 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende in the first place. You’ve got the luxury hotels, like Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, which is a bit of a walk from Jardin Principal in the center of the city but offers large-hotel amenities like guaranteed air conditioning, room service, spa, 24-hour concierge, fitness center, meeting space, and a pool. Then you’ve got hotels near Jardin Principal like Hotel Matilda that are sophisticated boutique hotels with local charm and limited amenities that cater to an upscale clientele. And then there’s the smaller boutique hotels like Casa Rosada, Casa 1810, or Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, smack-dab in the center of everything, neat and tidy and dripping with local custom and charm.
For these smaller boutique hotels, make sure the room you’re getting has air conditioning, if that’s important to you. It’s not a given here. And finally, if you’ve got a large group and want to stay together, there are myriad Airbnbs to rent out that are often quaint, architecturally beautiful homes that provide space to gather around a living room or in a pool. Beware that often these airbnbs come with a cook, and if you’re interested in checking out the foodie scene in town, you don’t want to pay for something you won’t use.
- Rosewood San Miguel de Allende – Nemesio Diez 11, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico
- Hotel Matilda – Aldama 53, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico
- Casa Rosada – Cuna de Allende 12, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico
- Casa 1810 – Hidalgo 8, Zona Centro, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico
- Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada – Hospicio 35, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico
Looking for the best things to do in San Miguel?
San Miguel de Allende Tour
This town is dripping with history and architectural wonders, from the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel to the colonial homes to the magnificence of the cobblestoned streets and parks. I recommend a tour as one of the first things to do during your weekend. Check out these tours on Viator. This tour will likely only take up a couple hours of your first morning in town, and it’ll orient you for the rest of your weekend. Local tour guides are also a great way to get insider information on non-touristy restaurants.
Where to Eat in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel is a foodie town. Even if you aren’t a self-described foodie like me, you must get on the bandwagon when in San Miguel. And may I say — a San Miguel de Allende food tour might just be the perfect addition to slide in to your 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende, allowing you and your companion(s) a great way to taste everything from the best tacos to the best desserts to the best local, traditional foods.
Most likely your hotel or Airbnb will offer breakfast as a part of your room rate. I highly recommend taking advantage of this. Most often you’ll find yourself in an airy, breezy, beautiful courtyard eating what is surely a home-cooked breakfast. At Casa Rosada, for two mornings in a row, I had the most delicious chilaquiles and fresh fruit, accompanied by rich hot chocolate. Then, my first stop of the day was just around the corner to Lavanda Cafe, which serves a huge assortment of coffees and teas. Yes — hot chocolate and then coffee — gotta cram it all in in 48 hours, and I have no regrets. My personal favorite breakfast in San Miguel is a Cafe Muro. Think huevos divorciados with beans, tortillas, Chaya juice, coffee all for about $3.00.
For lunch there are multiple options. If you plan to visit the Mercado Ignacio Ramimrez, you’ll have to reign in your salivary glands from the litany of smells emanating from the vendors rolling fresh tortillas and building tacos right in front of your very eyes. Or pop into a hole-in-the-wall, local spot on a side street wherever you happen to be when your tummy begins to rumble. Or stand in line at a crowded street cart, where you can treat yourself to everything from incredible local fare to fruit drinks to desserts. Or, not far from the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, pop into tiny Tostevere for lunch or dinner, especially if you’ve got a vegetarian in your midst. If you are looking for local flair, delicious ceviche and a little live music, check out Los Milagros just off the square.
I love casual and sophisticated dinners, and some of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende are more elegantly laid back than you’d expect. Try Trazo at Casa 1810 or The Restaurant just off Jardin Principal. If you want to get a bit dressed-up one night, go for Moxi at Hotel Matilda, which offers wonderfully creative dishes as well as a clever tasting menu.
Not up for a sit-down restaurant? I have been known to extend happy hour through dinner and well into the night. Some of the best bars in San Miguel de Allende have some of the best views and some of the best drinks, but they also have delicious appetizers and entrees. Try Quince, which overlooks the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel cathedral, Antonia Bistro for a beautiful panoramic view of the city, or the Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende for one of the best sunset happy hours you’ve ever witnessed.
If you’re with a group of people (or if you’re just not the kind of person who likes to “wing it”), I suggest making reservations at least for dinner. Restaurants can easily book up. And finally, my most important tip from me — order guacamole whenever and wherever possible. You can thank me later.
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Shopping in San Miguel de Allende
Unless you’re willing to wander and shop aimlessly along the cobblestoned streets (which can be costly for only a 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende, there are a few hot spots to hit for shopping in San Miguel. Often, these spots can be sprinkled into your days while on the way to something else, since most are near Jardin Principal. For art, head to Fabrica Aurora, an enormous warehouse with dozens of galleries representing all kinds of art and pottery and textiles. And surely you’ll be passing by Mixta, a beautiful store filled with local textiles, accessories, and sundries. Tao Studio Gallery is a mesmerizing display of textiles, art, and home decor. Go to Talula de la Lune for the coolest purses you’ll ever see. And check out Finca Luna Serena to taste local olive oils. Finally, Armida Decoraciones, near Rosewood Hotel, offers unique local home decor ideas.
What to Wear in San Miguel de Allende
Ok, so put all the pieces together — warm days, lots of walking, casual atmosphere… Take my advice and pack light — a 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende requires minimal changes of clothes. Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes that will go with everything. Note: there are lots of cobblestone streets and pot holes in San Miguel, so make sure to bring wide healed shoes and sturdy walking shoes. Bring a couple of loose-fitting outfits to ward off the heat during the day, and tie a sweater around your waist so you don’t have to head back to your hotel before dinner. San Miguel is in the highlands, and it does get cool in the evenings, so make sure to bring a wrap or jacket.
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San Miguel de Allende Extras
So this seems like a lot, right? I’ve packed your weekend. But you might surprise yourself — that morning dual-punch hot cocoa/coffee combo might just do the trick to shuttle you through two incredible days. However, if your 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende has any room for extras, consider treating yourself to a massage. The larger hotels will have spa services, like the Sense Spa Rosewood Hotel or the Laja Spa at the Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada hotel, or your boutique hotel front desk will no doubt have a local referral. Or look up Cindy Juarez, who has gotten quite the following and will come to your hotel. Another special extra, but a must-do if you have the time, is the unique Casa Dragones Home Tour and Tasting Room. Casa Dragones is a 17th-century elegant private home that is now the locale for Casa Dragones sipping tequila. Tour the home and reserve your spot for a tasting. Reservations required, max of six people.
As you know, I am always up for a side trip, but with so much to do — food, art, shopping, history — I recommend staying in town so as not to waste precious hours and saving the day trips from San Miguel de Allende for a longer vacation. I promise that your 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende will fly by, leaving you certainly fulfilled but for sure wanting more. I can’t wait to return, so if you have the luck to make a trip to San Miguel yourself, and you’ve gathered your own list of fun things to do in San Miguel de Allende, please send them along!
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