20 Awesome Things To Do In Querétaro (+ Yummy Food Tips!)

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Santiago de Querétaro is a city that is unknown to most travelers to Mexico. It is usually only people that spend a lot of time exploring Mexico that discover this place. But it is a beautiful, clean, safe city and there are many things to do in Querétaro so it is well worth visiting.

The location of Querétaro is also great because it is close to the amazing cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato in Central Mexico. Both of these cities have to be among the most beautiful in the whole of Mexico.

The Pueblo Magico of Bernal is also very close by and a great day trip from Querétaro. On the outskirts of Querétaro is the hidden gem El Cerrito, a full-on pyramid that we only found out about once we arrived.

There is a lot to discover so keep reading to find out all the top things to do in and around Querétaro.

Brief History Of Querétaro Before We Start

The area where Querétaro exists today was first settled by Mesoamerican groups around 200 AD. Different groups lived in the area and established sites such as El Cerrito which was an important ceremonial center for hundreds of years.

The first Spanish arrived in the area around 1526 and a Spanish town was first established around 1531. Throughout the 1600s the city grew in size with many important religious institutions built in town.

Querétaro grew in size and importance over the years and played a key role in the Mexican War of Independence. The conspiracy of 1810 occurred in Querétaro where rebels gathered weapons in order to overthrow the government.

The group was unsuccessful but it started Mexico’s battle to gain independence from Spain.

In recent times Querétaro has seen a boom in its economy and it now has the 2nd highest GDP per capita of any city in Mexico. You can really see the city is doing well economically when you visit as most of the streets are super clean, tidy and well looked after.

This economic boom has encouraged immigration from many parts of Mexico. It has also started to become popular with expats because of the year-round nice weather and beautiful architecture.

1. Explore Centro Historico

The historical city center of Querétaro is big, beautiful, and kept super clean and tidy. It is an awesome place to go wandering and discover all the parks, squares, and streets full of colorful old buildings.

The Centro Historico of Querétaro was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996 and is full of interesting places.

One thing we particularly like about Querétaro is the way they trim all the hedges in town. They trim them with perfectly straight edges which gives the city a special nostalgic touch.

A park in Querétaro with carefully trimmed hedges
So cool!

The historic center of Querétaro covers a large area so you can easily spend a few hours exploring and people-watching.

One of the best things to do in Querétaro at night is to walk here when the city is beautifully illuminated. Many streets also have lanterns to light the streets which gives them a real traditional feel.

Querétaro Centro Historico light up at night
Centro Historico at night time

2. Relax At Plaza De Armas

Plaza de Armas is a beautiful square located right in the middle of the historical center. It is a green square lined by some of Querétaro’s perfectly manicured hedges.

The edge of the square has some restaurants if you want to grab a meal or drink. Otherwise, it is a great place to relax on a bench and do some people-watching.

The square is particularly nice at night time as there is usually live music at one of the restaurants.

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Sitting next to the fountain at Plaza de Armas - one of the best things to do in Querétaro
Sitting next to the fountain at Plaza de Armas

3. Check Out Museo De Arte

Museo de Arte is an art museum in the heart of Querétaro housed in a beautiful old convent. Visiting the building is worth visiting on its own as it is one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen in Mexico.

The interior courtyard of the museum is lined with beautifully detailed archways with all the exhibitions in rooms around the edges.

The art in the museum itself is also good and interesting with exhibitions from a range of different art styles, mostly modern when we were there.

The entrance is free! So it is a must-visit when you are in Querétaro even if you are not. big art fan.

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Looking up at the Museo de Arte de Querétaro from its courtyard
The courtyard of Museo de Arte
A sculpute of an alien like figure at the entrance of the art museum
Interesting sculpture at the entrance

4. Visit Museo De Arte Urbano (Best Unknown Thing To Do In Querétaro!)

Visiting the Museum of Urban Art surprised us the most. It is an area of the city containing a museum, sports fields, and other facilities that have been covered in art.

Calling. this area an art walk would probably describe it better than a museum as everything happens outside. All of the paintings are done in super bright colors and cover a huge area on massive buildings. There are also some cool sculptures to check out.

We discovered it by simply clicking on locations on Google Maps so it is not well known by tourists. Also, we have not read about it on any other travel blogs yet.

It’s completely free to visit so make sure it’s on your list of top things to do in Querétaro.

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Katharina standing in front of the painted dome of the urban art museum
Colorful art at one of the side walls
A sculpture of a head with three faces
The whole art walk blew us away – make sure to visit it

5. Do A Day Trip To Magical Bernal

Visiting Bernal on a day trip is one of our favorite things to do in Querétaro. It is a pretty little Pueblo Magico that is just under 1-hour drive away from Querétaro.

The town of Bernal is located next to the Peña de Bernal a huge rock mountain that is one of the largest monoliths in the world. One of the best things to do in Bernal is to go on a hike up the mountain for an awesome view of the surrounding countryside.

But if hiking is not your thing Bernal is still a great town to visit as it has many rooftop cafes and restaurants with amazing views.

Read here: How to get to Bernal and what to do there here

Katharina sitting on the Bernal sign
Bernal is one of the largest monoliths in the world

6. Overlook The City At Querétaro’s Aqueduct

The Querétaro Aqueduct is an impressive structure that is one of the city’s most well-known symbols. The aqueduct is 1280m long and used to supply the entire city with its water.

The aqueduct was completed in 1738 because the river in Querétaro had become polluted by butcher shops and therefore the city’s water supply. Unfortunately today the river in Querétaro is still badly polluted. It is crazy to think it was already polluted over 300 years ago!

With the aqueduct, clean water was transported from outside the city so residents could have clean drinking water. It is of course no longer in use but is an impressive structure to see.

For one of the best views, you should head to Mirador de los Arcos (View of the Arches) where you get an awesome view of the aqueduct from up on a hill. It’s a great thing to do in Querétaro day and night.

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Allan standing under the brick aqueduct in Querétaro Mexico
The aqueduct in Querétaro became a city monument

7. Enjoy A Craft Beer At Ceveceria Hercules

Before arriving in Querétaro we had heard from multiple people that Ceveceria Hercules was a must-visit. I was a bit skeptical about it at first but after visiting I have to agree it deserves to be a top thing to do in Querétaro.

Ceveceria Hercules is located inside an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Querétaro. The location is amazing and has enough space to seat hundreds of people. It is definitely not an authentic Mexican Cantina but is a unique place to have a nice drink.

Craft beer is brewed on-site and you can see the beer tanks. So beers are quite pricey starting from 100 pesos / 5 USD for a pint. But it was really good and they also have great food such as wooden-stove pizzas on their menu.

They also have an outdoor screen for movie nights and live music on the weekends so make sure you check out their schedule. As it is located quite a long way from the city center I recommend catching an Uber or taxi, especially at night.

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People sitting at tables at Ceveceria Hercules one of the top things to do in Querétaro
The huge seating area at Cerveceria Hercules

8. Time Travel At Mucal Calendar Museum

The Mucal Calendar Museum is located in Querétaro’s city center and is all about calendars. That might sound quite boring but it definitely isn’t. The building itself is worth a visit as it is inside a beautifully restored old building with a garden, a cafe, and a rooftop.

The museum starts off by telling you the history of calendars in different cultures around the world. This section is only in Spanish but the rest of the museum mainly displays old calendars and art for which you don’t need to know the language.

It felt like traveling through time seeing all the old calendars with ads from cigarettes to alcohol on them.

The entrance to the museum is 40 pesos / 2 USD so it is well worth paying the small fee to see it.

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An old calendar at Mucal Calendar Museum in Querétaro
An old calendar from 1940, look at all the cigarettes and the display of a typical Mexican family life 😉

9. Grab A Gordita (Top Thing To Do In Querétaro For Foodies)

Gorditas are a popular street food throughout Mexico that we particularly liked in Querétaro. In other parts of Mexico they can be heavily fried in oil but in Querétaro, they usually use minimal oil which we much preferred.

Gordita means chubby in English and consists of a corn dough that is stuffed with a filling of your choice.

There can be a wide range of fillings such as meats, eggs, veggies, guacamole, and peppers so there are options for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters.

There are plenty of places to grab a gordita in town but we particularly liked Gorditas Los Pinos. So head here if you want some cheap traditional Mexican food.

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10. Check Out Templo De Santa Rosa

Templo de Santa Rosa is a beautiful old church with a special exterior in Querétaro. It is also conveniently located across the street from a park where you can take a picture with the Querétaro letters.

The Templo has a beautiful chapel inside and you can also take a walk around the grounds if you would like. The interior of the building is not super impressive but if it is a free day to visit it is worth wandering around.

Visiting this church is also one of the top things to do in Querétaro at night as there is a music and light show at the fountain next to the museum.

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The Templo de Santa Rosa is one of the top things to do in Querétaro
Templo de Santa Rosa from the outside
Katharina sitting on the colorful Querétaro letters in front of Templo de Santa Rosa
Make sure to snap a photo with the colorful Querétaro letters

11. Visit The National Park Cerro De Las Campañas

The National Park Cerro de las Campañas is a beautiful historically significant park in Querétaro. It is on the hill where Maximillian the once emperor of Mexico was executed.

Maximillian was a duke from Austria who was installed as the Emperor of Mexico from 1864 to 1867. There were of course lots of Mexicans who were not too happy with an Austrian ruling their country.

While Maximillian was in power republican guerillas were battling to remove him from power. Eventually, they trapped him in Querétaro and captured him while he tried to escape the city.

Maximillian was executed on the hill at Cerro De Las Campañas after being captured and today there is a chapel built in his honor.

Even if you are not so much interested in history it is still a beautiful park to visit. The park also has a large statue of Benito Juarez a famous president of Mexico which is impressively big and worth seeing!

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Dark grey statue of Benito Juarez surrounded bz pink flowers
Massive Benito Juarez statue
Pink chapel surrounded by trees
The Chapel built in honor of Maximilian

12. Appreciate History At Teatro De La Republica

The Theater of the Republic is another historically significant site in Querétaro. It was the first place where the Mexican national anthem was ever performed in 1854 and where the Mexican Constitution was signed in 1917.

When we visited the theater was closed to tourists but it may open again. So you will have to check when you are in town if you are able to visit.

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Teatro de la Republica in Querétaro from the outside
Teatro de la Republica from the outside

13. Eat Fresh At Taco Green

While traveling we are always looking for healthy restaurants and Taco Green was our favorite in Querétaro. Taco Green is a vegan restaurant that does super tasty tacos, wraps, and burgers.

It can be quite hard in Mexico to find restaurants that make meals with decent amounts of fresh salads. But Taco Greens has plenty of fresh salad on their burgers and wraps and they also tasted great.

Taco Green is located in a courtyard shared by multiple restaurants so if you are looking for non-vegan options you can also find them here. The courtyard has a super nice atmosphere I can highly recommend grabbing a meal here.

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Read here: How to eat healthy and cheap while traveling

Taco Green courtyard surrounded by plants and lights
The seating area at the food court where Taco Greens is located
A wrap full of salad at Taco Greens
Delicious vegan and healthy food

14. Get A Muñeca (Best Thing To Buy In Querétaro)

A muñeca is a traditional doll created by the indigenous people of Querétaro state. You will see them for sale in shops and stalls all over town.

Muñecas are handmade by locals and a great small authentic souvenir that is not shipped in by a factory from overseas. They come in all kinds of colors and sizes and you will see them on street lights, magnets, keyrings, and as patterns on fabrics too.

If you would like to bring a piece of Querétaro home and support locals this is the souvenir to go for.

Fun Fact: Muñeca means wrist and doll in Spanish 🤓

A display of colorful munecas stacked up on shelves
You will see colorful muñecas everywhere

15. Stroll Through Alameda Hidalgo Park

Alameda Higaldo Park is a green leafy park located near the historical center of Querétaro. It’s a nice place where locals like to come for a stroll and escape the busy downtown area.

It is not a super spectacular park but a nice green area to relax on a bench. The park is located close to Museo de Arte Urbano de Mexico so it is a nice thing to do in Querétaro centro on the way there.

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Locals walking through Alameda Hidalgo Park full of high trees
Locals walking through Alameda Hidalgo Park

16. Visit The Museum Of Contemporary Art

At the Museum of Contemporary Art, you will see a range of interesting modern exhibits and art installations. We found the ones outside in the courtyard to be particularly cool.

A lot of rooms were under construction when we were visiting but the entrance to the museum is totally free so it is worth having a quick look around when you are in the area.

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An art display with a ladder coming out of the top of a VW car painting in blue with white clouds
An art exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art

17. Have A Drink At La Fabrica

La Fabrica is a cultural center in Querétaro that holds different events throughout the week. You can see plays, live music and a market on Saturday.

There is also craft beer and food for sale. It is a cool place to go to, especially on weekends. If you visit on a night when there are no events scheduled it can be very quiet.

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The entrance to La Fabrica
The entrance of La Fabrica

18. Eat Nun Farts (A Fun Thing To Do In Querétaro)

Pedos de Monja or Nun Farts is a chocolate praline made in Querétaro that taste great despite the name 💩

The chocolates were originally made in Barcelona in the 19th century. Once the chocolates arrived from the Spanish in Querétaro the locals altered the recipe and made their own creation.

They are called Nuns Farts because the original name in Barcelona, when said with a regional Barcelona accent, sounded like the word fart to Mexicans. So Mexicans started calling them Nun Farts!

If you would like to try a Nun Fart you can find the chocolates for sale in many shops in the center of Querétaro. There are not cheap (about 100 pesos / 5 USD for a few pieces) but they are homemade and it’s a fun thing to buy in Querétaro centro. Make sure to buy the original ones.

A sign advertising Pedos de Monja, one of the top things to do in Querétaro for foodies
Many souvenir shops are selling them

19. Check Out Plaza De Los Fundadores

Plaza de los Fundadores (Square of the Founders) displays statues of important people from Querétaro’s past. It is a nice open square with some restaurants along the edge and a big church across the street.

Go there for a stroll in the late afternoon and you will see lots of locals hanging out there too. You will also see vendors selling corn and hand-made muñecas.

The Plaza is located right next to the Museum of Contemporary Art and close to the Mirador de los Arcos, so it is a good idea to combine all three top things to do in Querétaro centro with each other.

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Male statues at Plaza de los Fundadores
Some of the statues
A statue in front of the yellow church at La Plaza de los Fundadores
The square in front of the church is full of locals in the afternoon

20. Visit At Christmas For The Amazing Street Lights

On our second trip to Querétaro, we visited at the start of January and were surprised to find the whole city center covered in Christmas lights.

They really go all out with their Christmas lights in Querétaro. At Plaza de Armas they had a huge tree with a canopy of lights which was awesome.

Nearly every square and street in the center had different lights and displays, and most of them were moving. It was the most Christmas lights I have seen in Mexico by far so if you are in the region around Christmas head to Querétaro.

🎄 See videos in our Instagram highlight

Katharina standing in front of the big Christmas tree at Plaza de Armas
The Christmas tree at Plaza de Armas
Arches of Christmas lights
Tons of different Christmas decorations spread out throughout the city center

More Things To Know About Querétaro

To round up our top things to do in Querétaro I have listed here more useful things to know that will help you plan your trip.

How To Get To Querétaro? 🚍

Santiago de Querétaro is located in the state of Querétaro in Central Mexico. Most people refer to the city as Querétaro.

To get to Querétaro the easiest way is to catch a bus from Mexico City. Primera Plus has very comfortable buses that leave multiple times a day for 400 pesos (20 USD) and takes just under 3 hours to reach Querétaro.

How To Get Around Querétaro? 🚶

While in Querétaro we explored most. of the city on foot as it is a great city to walk in.

However, if you want to explore areas outside of the historical center the best option is Uber. it is super cheap in Mexico and much easier than organizing a regular taxi.

Local buses are also super cheap (10 pesos / 0.50 USD) per ride. But they are often very crowded and follow different routes so only recommended if you are traveling on a super tight budget.

Where To Stay In Querétaro? 🛏️

Querétaro is a big city and has accommodation for every budget.

On our first visit, we stayed in an Airbnb, on our second one we booked a private room in an arty hostel via Hostelworld for about 400 pesos / 20 USD a night.

I recommend looking for a place in Centro Historico so you can explore most of Querétaro’s sites per foot. A good quality hotel that is located right next to the centro historico is Hotel Real Alameda De Queretaro. They have good quality hotel rooms and an awesome rooftop view for around 70 USD.

How Many Days Do You Need in Querétaro? 🗓️

There is for sure enough to see to fill a whole week, especially if you plan a day trip to Bernal and visit a few places outside the city center.

But spending a weekend or three days in Querétaro is a great start as well. You will be able to see plenty of the top things to do in Querétaro that are on this list.

Is Santiago De Querétaro Worth Visiting? 🤠

Yes! Querétaro is off the beaten tourist track in Mexico and has so much to offer. If you like colonial buildings, walkable cities, lively squares with locals, historical sites, and great food and vibes Querétaro is absolutely worth visiting.

Now You Know All The Top Things To Do In Querétaro

Querétaro has many amazing things to do and see and is for sure a great city to visit. It’s also a great place to visit other cities and sites nearby.

Besides Mexico City and other Mexican cities, we fell in love with, we could even imagine living in Querétaro as many other expats choose to!

Let us know in the comments below what are your top things to do in Querétaro and if you could imagine living here too.

Also, make sure to check out our other travel guides in and around Querétaro which are listed below.

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Travel, health and fitness fanatic from New Zealand. Co-founder of Happy Healthy Nomads and always on a hunt for good food.

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