San Miguel de Allende is a cosmopolitan and picturesque colonial city, internationally renowned.
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San Miguel de Allende
Its beautiful architecture and pleasant environment have made this city to become an important tourism center, visited by writers, artists and foreigners, some of which have made of San Miguel de Allende their home. Today high quality artistic and cultural events are carried out here, like the International Hall Music Festival, the Winter Classic Music Festival, the Wool and Brass Fair, the traditional Pamplonada in September, and the Jazz Festival, among others.
There are also numerous art exhibitions presented in San Miguel de Allende during the year. Our visitors can take part in the cultural activities, visiting different artistic areas and/or taking classes there with acknowledged teachers.
Located near San Miguel de Allende there are many thermal hot springs and spas for those who wish to relax and unwind. The warmth and friendliness of the people and the awe inspiring colonial architecture have enveloped many who are spellbound forever by this city of unparalleled charm.
San Miguel de Allende Tourist Attractions
San Miguel de Allende is considered the main tourist area of Guanajuato and of course, together with its sister city of Leon, they form incredible places to visit in Mexico. So right now, let’s get to know what are the main attractions of San Miguel de Allende that you can’t miss.
Located in the heart of the City, is the meeting spot for most people anytime. Its surrounded by beautiful buildings and archways from the colonial era.
La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel
This spectacular church was built at the beginning of the 18th Century. Its neogothic facade was erected by the famous master stone-mason Zeferino Gutierrez.
Built in 1736, the interior houses a painting depicting the creation of the first City Council of independent Mexico (September 17, 1810).
Templo de la Concepcion
Best known as “Templo de las Monjas”, was also built by Zeferino Gutierrez between 1755 and 1891, inspired in the Church of the Disabled in Paris.
Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez
The building was erected as a convent for the Conception’s nuns in 1754, nowadays its a beautiful art institute which offers classes in painting, drawing, sculpture, music and dance. It has two art galleries that constantly show the works of well known artists.
Instituto Allende Allende’s Institute
Venerable mansion built in de 17th Century and was originally used as a weekend retreat by Count Tomas de la Canal and currently used as a cultural institute (arts and language school). The house appears much like a ranch, with high walls and small windows; the palatial patio, with its magnificent neoclassical font more likely originates from the 19th Century; the chapel still retains some of its fresco paintings and colonial works of art.
Templo de San Francisco
Churrigueresque church from the 18th Century. Its neoclassical tower was built in 1799 by the architect Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras. The neoclassic interior contains paintings depicting the death of St. Francis.
Santa Casa de Loreto
A reproduction of its namesake in Italy, the chapel was built in the 18th Century and its facade is baroque in style.
Templo de Nuestra Señora de la Salud
Designed by Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro, this church dates back to the 18th Century. The facade is churrigueresque in style and the interior houses oil paintings depicting religious scenes.
Casa del Mayorazgo de la Canal
Neoclassic style building. Its enormous wooden carved main door has beautiful baroque details.
Casa del Inquisidor
This house dates back to the end of the 18th Century and its elaborate facade denotes a strong French influence.
Teatro Angela Peralta
This neoclassic theater was inaugurated on May 20, 1873 with a performance by renowned Mexican opera singer Angela Peralta. Now provides a luxurious setting for performances.
Oratorio de San Felipe Neri
Built at the beginning of the 18th Century, its facade is a beautiful and original example of baroque architecture and its interiors contain beautiful neoclassic altars as well as works of art by Miguel Cabrera.
Paseo del Chorro
This water spring was originally used by local indigenous tribes before being discovered by the Spanish in the 16th Century. It is now a shady and peaceful park which contains a colorful public washing area.
Santuario de Atotonilco
Just 15 minutes away form San Miguel, on the road to Dolores Hidalgo, this extraordinary spot has been a place of pilgrimage since colonial times. The church was built between 1746 and 1810.
The walls and domed ceilings of the church are filled with 18th Century murals depicting the life of Christ. Other murals depict sinners doing their penance. Historical place where the priest Miguel Hidalgo having given the “grito” (shout) for independence in Dolores and rushing with a group of followers toward battle, took up the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe as the insurgency’s unifying coat or arms.
Museums to visit in San Miguel de Allende
The city of San Miguel de Allende also has several museums that you have to visit and of course, some of them are:
Museo Casa de Don Ignacio Allende y Unzaga
This two story baroque style colonial house dates back to the 18th Century and was the birthplace of insurgent hero. Don Ignacio Allende y Unzaga. It currently houses archaeological artifacts, historical documents from the 1700’s to the Mexican War of Independence, along with works of contemporary art. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Charco del Ingenio
A local ecological park perfect for hiking, rappelling and mountain biking.
Jardin Botanico Cante
One of the most comprehensive botanical gardens in Mexico which contains over 1,000 different types of cacti. Be sure to see the wonderful orchid garden. Open Monday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo y Parque Ecologico
An open air art gallery where you can also participate in eco-tourism activities, mountain biking and horseback riding.
Main Celebrations and Festivals
We can not leave out of our list of things to do in San Miguel de Allende, enjoy some of its main celebrations, so if you are out for those dates, you can not miss it.
Natalicio del General Ignacio Allende y Unzaga
On January 21st., military and civic parades are held to commemorate the birthday of Insurgent hero General Ignacio Allende.
Semana Celtica y Dia de San Patricio
This Irish celebration is held on the 17th of March, with a parade through the city and features traditional Irish food and music (Gaelic).
This celebration is held in March or April and begins with the dedication of altars to the Virgen de Dolores (our Lady of Sorrows) and culminates on Good Friday with a solemn procession of the Holy Burial.
Fiesta de San Antonio de Padua
This traditional and very popular festival is held on June 13th. It is characterized by the “Los Locos” (Crazy ones) parade, where people dress in costume and masks and dance through the streets of San Miguel. Live music and parade floats add to the joyous atmosphere.
Festival de Cortometraje “Expresion en Corto”
This Festival of Short Films is held in July and highlights both national and international works.
Festival de Musica de Camara
This cultural event is held each year (August 1-15) by the INBA (Institute of Fine Arts) at the Angela Peralta theater.
Held the third Saturday of September in the Main Garden of San Miguel, bulls are let loose to run among people, brave enough to enter the square. Similar to the running of the bulls in Pamplona, España.
Fiesta de San Miguel Arcangel
This festival is in honor of the Patron Saint of the city of San Miguel and is celebrated on September 29, every year. Cultural, social, artistic and sporting events are held throughout the city, along with bullfights.
Feria Nacional de la Lana y el Laton
National and international artisans display and sell their products the last two weeks of November.
Festival Internacional de Jazz
The last week of November, the city hosts this festival with performances by national and international Jazz bands and artists.
Fiesta de Navidad
Festivities begin on December 16, with the traditional posadas, pastoral plays, music, canticles and parades.
In addition, San Miguel de Allende is known internationally by its great variety of handicraft works, such as tin ware, wool, stonework, papier mache, hand-blown, glass and pottery, to name a few. Outstanding works of art are also on display year round in a wide variety of art galleries.
In the vicinity of San Miguel de Allende you will find the Begonias Dam and the beautiful Taboada Spa and so you don’t leave without knowing more, we invite you to read about:What to do in San Miguel de Allende and Best hotels in San Miguel de Allende.