Mexico's Colonial Cities: Where No Beach is No Problem

When you hear the word “Mexico,” do you think “beaches”? If you do, you’re not alone – the country’s stretches of soft sand and turquoise waves are well-known for very good reason. But Mexico doesn’t start and end at its coasts – inland, travelers will find a mind-boggling array of places to visit. Some of the best of those are the country’s colonial towns and cities, which blend cultural tradition, historic heritage, gorgeous architecture and more than just a dash of romance. So if you’ve never considered Mexico beyond the beach, get ready to be swept off your feet by these 10 classic colonial cities.

Cathedral and colorful houses [San Miguell De Allende, Mexico]
Unknown | CC BY 2.0

San Miguel de Allende|
If it’s your first time heading to Mexico to explore its colonial towns, this should be your first stop. A large expat population means that creature comforts for visitors are plentiful, but more than that, it’s simply one of the most beautiful places anywhere in the country. Stroll the cobblestone streets between art galleries, marvel at neo-Gothic splendor of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church and then drift off to blissful sleep in a tastefully decorated colonial mansion-turned-hotel.
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Gina Czupka

Gina’s first solo trip abroad, at age 16, changed her life. Since then, travel has been her passion and it’s her mission to convince others that they really can make travel a part of their lives. These days, she seeks out destinations where she can indulge her taste for adventure and shop for additions to her textile collection. Some of her favorite experiences from recent trips have included eating bun cha in Hanoi and feeding hyenas in Ethiopia.

Gina’s Favorite Travel Tip: When traveling abroad, learn enough of the language to be polite (hello, thank you, goodbye) and to shop and haggle (numbers and colors).