How To Get To San Miguel De Allende + 11 Top Things To Do

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San Miguel de Allende is one of the prettiest towns in Mexico. Every street is full of colorful colonial buildings that have earned the city protection as a UNESCO world heritage site.

It is also a very artistic city that is full of art galleries, great restaurants, cafes and bars. So keep reading to find out how to get to beautiful San Miguel de Allende and the best things to do there once you arrive.

Where Is San Miguel De Allende

San Miguel de Allende is located in Central Mexico about a 4-hour drive north of Mexico City.

Map showing where San Miguel de Allende is located in Mexico
The red mark shows where San Miguel de Allende is located in Central Mexico

Getting To San Miguel De Allende

There are multiple ways to get to San Miguel de Allende. We have listed all flight, bus and private transport options with prices below for you.

Flights To San Miguel De Allende ✈️

Unfortunately, there is no airport in San Miguel de Allende so there are no direct flights. But there are still plenty of options to get there.

Map showing the closest airports to San Miguel De Allende
Map showing the location of the closest airports to San Miguel de Allende (circled red). Guanajuato Airport is where the blue circle is, Queretaro Airport is in the green circle

Queretaro and Guanajuato – Closest Airports To San Miguel De Allende

The closest airports to San Miguel de Allende are Queretaro (QRO) and Guanajuato (BJX) airport. Queretaro airport is 87km (55 miles) from San Miguel while Guanajuato airport is 93km (58 miles) away.

Both of these airports are international and have flights from a few locations in the United States. But they serve a very limited number of routes in California, Texas and Chicago. So it may be difficult to find a cheap flight to either of these airports.

However, they do have a lot of connections within Mexico. So if you are already in Mexico then going to one of these airports could be a good choice.

When we travelled to San Miguel we flew from Cancun to Queretaro airport for about 100 USD each one-way which was very convenient.

San Francisco Church in San Miguel de Allende at night time
San Francisco Church in San Miguel at night

Queretaro Airport to San Miguel De Allende

If you arrive at Queretaro Airport there are three options for how to get to San Miguel de Allende: By private shuttle, taxi and bus.

You can catch a shuttle with BAJIOGO for 28 USD per person. SanMiguelTransfers also offers private shuttles from 91 USD per vehicle. You can choose from a Sedan, SUV or Van.

You can take a taxi from the airport as well which should cost around 100 USD. But you can book a private shuttle in advance so it is the best option.

The cheapest way to travel to San Miguel de Allende from Queretaro Airport is to catch a taxi to the Queretaro bus station for about 300 pesos (15 USD) and then catch a bus to San Miguel for 112 pesos (6 USD) with ETN.

Queretaro to San Miguel De Allende

If you are in Santiago de Queretaro you can take a direct bus from the bus station of Queretaro to San Miguel de Allende. You can see the bus schedule and buy tickets online on the ETN website.

A ticket costs 112 pesos (6 USD) and the bus ride takes 1.5 hours. ETN is a very luxurious bus line so you will travel in comfort.

A statue in downtown Queretaro with colorful buildings in the background
Queretaro is also a beautiful city to visit

Guanajuato Airport to San Miguel De Allende

If you arrive at Guanajuato Airport also known as Leon Airport there are two options for how to get to San Miguel de Allende: By private shuttle and taxi.

You can catch a shared shuttle for 28 USD with BAJIOGO. SanMiguelTransfers offers private shuttles for the same price as from Queretaro Airport from 91 USD per vehicle.

You can also choose to take a taxi from the airport which should cost around 100 USD. But you can book a private shuttle in advance so it is the best option.

The cheapest way would be to catch a taxi from the airport to Leon and then take a bus from there to San Miguel de Allende. But since Leon is in the opposite direction of San Miguel this option adds a lot of additional time to your trip and might not save you money after all.

Red flowers covering the side of a pretty building
There are colorful flowers everywhere in San Miguel

Guanajuato To San Miguel De Allende

If you are in Guanajuato City and want to travel to San Miguel the best way is by bus. Primera Plus has regular departures throughout the day and is very comfortable. A ticket costs 180 pesos (9 USD) and takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

Katharina sitting inside a Primera Plus bus looking outside
There is plenty of legroom on the bus

Mexico City to San Miguel De Allende

The distance from Mexico City to San Miguel is 270km (168 miles) but for many people, it will be the most convenient airport to arrive at. The Airport has by far the most international connections and will have the cheapest flights for most people.

Once you arrive at the airport you can get to San Miguel by bus, shuttle or taxi.

Map showing the distance between Mexico City Airport and San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a 4-hour drive from Mexico City Airport (red pin)

Mexico City Bus To San Miguel De Allende 🚍

If your flight arrives in Mexico City the most convenient bus to catch to San Miguel is ETN. They have a bus that leaves Mexico City Airport and goes directly to San Miguel.

ETN is a luxurious bus company so you will have seats that fully recline and your own entertainment system. It will feel like you are in business class on a plane.

Tickets cost 666 pesos (34 USD) one-way and there is one bus per day at 4:15 pm. The ride takes 5 hours and 15 min.

Stretching our legs in the Primera Plus bus, one of the most comfortable ways to get to San Miguel de Allende
Travel with comfort

If you cannot take the bus with ETN from the airport you will need to go Central de Autobuses del Norte. This bus station is located in the north of Mexico City and you can catch a bus from there with ETN or Primera Plus.

There are more buses leaving throughout the day to San Miguel from this station than from Mexico City airport directly.

A Primera Plus bus parked at the bus station in San Miguel de Allende
A Primera Plus bus, very comfortable to ride with

Shuttle Mexico City To San Miguel De Allende 🚐

A private shuttle from Mexico City can be a good option particularly if you travel in a group. You can book a private shuttle for about 100 USD on Viator and choose the pickup location.

As the cost of catching the bus is around 30 USD per person it is almost the same price for a group of three to go with a shuttle.

You can also book a taxi or Uber from Mexico City to San Miguel. However, it is probably more convenient to pre-book a shuttle as the cost will be about the same and you can organize it in advance.

How To Get Around San Miguel De Allende

Now that to know how to get to San Miguel de Allende, let’s have a look at how to get around town once you arrive.

By Taxi and Uber 🚖

There are plenty of taxis in town which you will notice from their distinctive green color. There are cheap and convenient to get around.

Green taxis parking in front of San Miguel de Allende bus station
Taxis waiting in front of San Miguel de Allende bus station

Uber is also available in San Miguel and is also super affordable. However, there are not many drivers so you may have trouble getting a ride when it is busy.

By Bus 🚍

If you really want to save money then the cheapest way to get around San Miguel de Allende is by bus. However, we found during our time there that it was generally better to walk or catch a taxi.

There is a bus stop in front of San Miguel’s bus station, so you can get the city bus all the way into the center and back. A ticket costs 10 pesos (0.5 USD) and you pay it when you enter the bus to the bus driver.

A city bus waiting at a bus stop, a cheap way to get around San Miguel de Allende
One of the city buses that you will see driving around the streets of San Miguel

By Foot 🚶

One of the great things about San Miguel is that it is not a very big city. Because of this, you can walk almost anywhere in the city. This is great because the streets are super beautiful so you can admire them while you walk around.

Pretty red colorful building in San Miguel de Allende with a cactus in front
The streets of San Miguel are always pretty

The only negative about walking around is that the sidewalks in San Miguel are very narrow. So if it is busy in the city you will be constantly dodging other pedestrians.

Best Time To Visit San Miguel De Allende

San Miguel is very popular with retirees from the U.S. One reason it is so popular is that it has a pleasant climate all year round ☀️

San Miguel is located in a mountain desert at 1900m. This means that for a large proportion of the year, you will have sunny dry days with cool nights.

Even in the coldest months of December and January, the average high is 23°C (74 F). The hottest month is May when the average high is 30°C (86 F).

June to September is the rainy season. But even if you visit in these months you will still have a lot of sunny days. So no matter what time of year you plan to visit San Miguel there is a good chance that you will have nice weather.

We were in San Miguel in December with blue sky and sunshine almost every day

Fascinating History Of San Miguel De Allende

San Miguel De Allende was first established as a city around 1541 and is named after two people: Juan De San Miguel and Ignacio Allende. Both of whom were key figures in the fight for Mexican Independence.

During the 1700s the city became very wealthy due to silver mining in the region. At this time most of the beautiful buildings were constructed.

However, after the silver mining industry collapsed the population in San Miguel gradually declined and it almost became a ghost town. Then in 1937 an American artist Stirling Dickinson arrived and decided to try and establish an art colony.

The Insituto de Allende in San Miguel de Allende
The Instituto Allende was established by Stirling Dickinson as an art school. Today it is mainly used for events

Dickinson and other local artists established an art school and over the years more and more artists moved into town. Many Americans came to study at the art school and then returned to retire in San Miguel.

Over the years this has had a huge impact on the city and established it as a very artistic city with a substantial American population.

11 Top Things To Do In San Miguel De Allende

Now that you know how to get to San Miguel de Allende and how to get around town, let’s dive into the top things you need to see there!

1. See The Cathedral And Main Square ⛪

Jardin Allende is the central square of San Miguel and is a beautiful place to check out during the day or night.

You will find the La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel here, the famous gothic-style church that is an icon of San Miguel. The gothic design of the church is unique in Mexico and it is truly stunning at night time. Its design reminds you of the one in Barcelona.

Two people standing in front of a church dressed up in puppet costumes
During the day you will see Mojigangas at the square. They are a tradition bought over from Spain and are used at celebrations and weddings
The cathedral in San Miguel de Allende at night time with a food cart in the foreground
The cathedral is beautifully lit up at night time. Enjoy the atmosphere by eating tacos or corn at one of the many food carts around

Visiting the square at night time is great because you may also see some mariachi bands performing. They hang out around the square and wait for tourists to pay them to play a song.

It really creates a nice atmosphere and there are always food carts around if you want a snack while you relax at the square and watch people pass by.

2. Wander The Colorful Streets 🚶

San Miguel was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 and when you arrive it is easy to see why. Every street you walk down is lined with pretty colorful buildings.

View down a beautiful street in San Miguel De Allende with the roof of the cathedral in the background
Aldama Street which we nicknamed the Instagram Street
Allan standing in the middle of a cobblestone street taking a photo in San Miguel de Allende
Taking photos of the many beautiful streets in San Miguel

One of our favorite things to do in San Miguel was to choose a part of the town we hadn’t been to and just wander around.

If there was one street that I could single out as the most beautiful it would be Aldama Street behind the cathedral. But nearly every street in the city makes for a beautiful stroll around.

3. Overlook The City From El Mirador 📸

El Mirador (The Lookout) is a viewpoint close to the city center that gives you an awesome view over San Miguel and the surrounding landscape.

Walking up to El Mirador is also a nice walk up and will take you to some beautiful parts of town. But just remember that San Miguel is at an altitude of 1900m so you will get out of breath quickly. Take it easy and enjoy.

View over San Miguel de Allende with a church tower in the foreground
View on the walk up to El Mirador
View of the main cathedral in San Miguel de Allende from El Mirador
View of downtown from El Mirador

The short climb is well worth it and the views are beautiful. If you get hungry at the top I recommend going to get some Carnita Tacos from El Guero. It is a nice taco restaurant and they have some of the best tacos in San Miguel.

4. Eat At One Of The Best Restaurants 🍽️

San Miguel is well known for having great restaurants with all kinds of cuisines. It not only has fancy restaurants but there are also great street tacos and tasty vegan food. Pretty much something to make everyone and every budget happy.

One restaurant that we particularly enjoyed was Raices. It is located about a 25-minute walk out of the city center and they mainly do traditional Mexican dishes with a twist.

Every dish we tried tasted really good, was topped up with fresh ingredients, was very affordable and came beautifully presented. So I can highly recommend going there.

A bowl of veggies and beans at Raices one of the best vegan food in San Miguel de Allende
Colorful Bowl Azteca from Raices

👉 Find here the 10 best taco places in San Miguel de Allende (super cheap!) 🌮
👉 Or the 13 best places for vegan and vegetarian food in San Miguel de Allende (fresh, healthy and yum!) 🥑

5. Stroll Through Ignacio Ramirez Market 🍅

Ignacio Ramirez Market is the main market in San Miguel De Allende. It is a colorful traditional Mexican market where you can buy fruits, vegetables and hot food to go.

It’s a very clean market covering quite a big space. Even if you don’t want to buy anything it’s worth a visit or a good place to grab a healthy snack.

You can also find a lot of art and crafts if you are looking for a souvenir to take home. One side of the market is particularly focused on arts and crafts and called the Artisans Market. It comes next on this list of the top things to do in San Miguel so keep reading.

Inside of the Ignacio Ramirez market with colorful flags hanging from the ceiling
The colorful interior of the Ignacio Ramirez Market

6. Check Out The Artisans Market 👩‍🎨

Mercado de Artisanias is a colorful market where you can get all types of locally handcrafted items.

The Artisans Market starts in the same building as the Ignacio Ramirez Market. If you go across the street it continues down a narrow alleyway.

As San Miguel is a very artistic city there are all types of jewelry, hand-painted ceramics, skulls and more. So if you are looking into buying some unique souvenirs this is the place to go.

A sign welcoming people to the artesans market in San Miguel de Allende
The entrance to the Artisans Market

7. See The Amazing Streetart In Guadalupe 📸

Guadalupe is a colorful and unique neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende full of street art, cool cafes and restaurants.

The reason this neighborhood looks so different from the rest of the city is that this area is not protected by UNESCO. This means that there are fewer restrictions on the way buildings can be painted and decorated.

It is a great place to wander around and check out the street art and there are also some great places to eat. We particularly liked DeliQ which is a cool cafe that makes great cheap burritos and has many baked goods and healthy options.

Katharina standing next to street art of a womans face in Guadalupe in San Miguel de Allende
Check out the cool street art in Guadalupe
Colorful buildings from the Guadalupe neighbourhood
And its interesting buildings

8. Visit a Rooftop 🍹

San Miguel de Allende is full of rooftop bars and restaurants that are great places to have a drink and watch the sunset.

We went to the rooftop of the Selina hotel which is right next to San Miguel’s Cathedral. They advertise the best view in town and we agree. The view from the terrace is amazing and even though the drinks are a little expensive it is well worth it.

An empty table with two chairs overlooking an amazing view from the rooftop of the Selina hotel in San Miguel de Allende
These seats with the best view you will most likely need to reserve
Katharina sitting at a table on the Selina hotel rooftop in San Miguel de Allende
Katharina sitting at our table on Selina’s rooftop. What a view!

Try and go during the week to a rooftop as it can get very busy during the weekends. Or make a reservation otherwise you might not get a good seat. We needed two attempts to get a good seat on Selina’s rooftop without reservation.

9. Walk Through Benito Juarez Park 🌳

Benito Juarez Park is a pretty and shaded park located close to the center of town. It is a great place to go for a walk and has basketball courts and other sports facilities that locals use for free.

Artists selling their goods in Benito Juarez Park
Artists selling their goods in Benito Juarez Park

On the weekends local artists will have art for sale that they display along the paths. The weekends are also a good time to visit because you may see a wedding celebration.

Weddings and other celebrations ins San Miguel are fun to watch because often a band is hired along with Mojigangas, the giant puppets. Then everyone dances in the park which is good fun to watch.

A Quinciera celebration in Benito Juarez Park with a donkey and flowers
A Quinciera celebration in Benito Juarez Park. In Mexico a 15-year-olds birthday is a big celebration

10. Visit Fabrica La Aurora 🖼️

Fabrica La Aurora is an old textile factory that has been converted into a cultural center housing works by local artists. It feels like an art museum and every room is different.

There are many different styles of art to see and it is a super interesting place to walk around. Also as most of the artwork is for sale entrance is free.

There is also a nice cafe inside so you can grab a coffee or something to eat after walking around. Make sure to also check out the sculptures outside.

Machinery inside fabrica la aurora in san miguel de allende
Some of the old machinery with artwork inside La Fabrica La Aurora

11. Check Out All The Stores 🎁

Besides having great restaurants San Miguel is famous for its art and shops. It’s a well-known place for furniture, art and souvenir shopping.

As we live nomadic and minimalistic we didn’t buy anything but we still enjoyed looking into all the colorful windows and getting to know the artisans behind the crafts.

Especially for Christmas, it’s a great place to get hand-made gifts and unique locally produced souvenirs.

👉 READ ALSO: Spending Christmas in San Miguel de Allende and what to expect

Shop window with crafts and Christmas decoration
San Miguel is full of hand-made pieces

Where To Stay In San Miguel De Allende

We have been to San Miguel de Allende twice and put our recommendations down below for you.

La Catrina Hostel And Breakfast 🛌

On our first visit, we stayed at La Catrina Hostel And Breakfast, a 3-star hotel in the center close to the Guadalupe neighborhood. If you are travelling on a budget we found that it was a great option.

The private rooms are very affordable starting at 400 pesos (20 USD) and there is breakfast included which was very convenient.

There are also dorms attracting backpackers and a big rooftop from which you can see the main cathedral.

La Catrina Hostel entrance in San Miguel de Allende
The entrance to La Catrina hostel in San Miguel de Allende

Pet Sitting In San Miguel Allende 🐶

On our second visit, we spent 5 weeks in San Miguel petsitting in the beautiful neighborhood of San Antonio just a few blocks from the city center.

We absolutely loved our time there looking after dogs and can highly recommend it if you like pets and travel on a budget.

As San Miguel has a lot of retired residents from the U.S. there are quite a few people looking for petsitters. I recommend signing up to or you can ask in some San Miguel Facebook groups.

👉 Read here all you need to know about TrustedHousesitters
👉 Or use our friend referral code for 30% off the yearly membership!

Dog on Katharinas arm next to a laptop
Working online while pet sitting in San Miguel

How Many Days To Spend In San Miguel De Allende

As San Miguel is a small town and if you just want to see the main sights then 2-3 days (2 nights) is more than enough. But if you really want to take it all in and relax you can for sure spend longer here.

We stayed almost 6 weeks and never got bored as there are also many unusual things to do in San Miguel de Allende. Check them all out here!

Now You Know How To Get To San Miguel De Allende + What To Do There

San Miguel is a beautiful city in a unique setting and you will have a great time visiting. If there is anything else you would like to know feel free to ask me in the comments of this post below.

Also if you think I should add something to the list of the top things to do in San Miguel de Allende let me know in the comments below.

👉 READ ALSO: 29 Unusual Things to do in San Miguel de Allende you should not miss out on!

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Travel, health and fitness fanatic. Co-founder of happyhealthynomads.

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2 thoughts on “How To Get To San Miguel De Allende + 11 Top Things To Do”

  1. Greetings from San Miguel de Allende!
    Some comments regarding the street art in Colonia Guadalupe.
    Street Art was not permitted in San Miguel until 2013, when the Muros en Blanco project secured the permission. (please check out the YouTube video: “Inauguracion Distrito de Arte Guadalupe 2013” – there’s my house, artists, lots of paint…and me!)
    Neighborhoods go through changes and now more street art is found throughout other barrios. Colonia San Antonio has the most murals.
    I offer private drives through numerous barrios outside El Centro for a 10-year history of San Miguel’s street art – murals, artists, projects, changing neighborhoods. 3.5 hours (longer is available) It really is a terrific way to explore the murals over a large area and perfect for those who have some difficulties with lots of hills and cobblestones.
    Contact me on Facebook: Colleen Sorenson or Email:

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