San Miguel de Allende is both a quaint and sophisticated city located in central Mexico. The city is completely landlocked. It has no beaches or dreamy blue waters like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, or Cabo. It also isn’t the easiest place to get to directly, even from a central travel hub like New York. But once you get there, you will fall in love. It’s easy to see why so many first-time visitors become repeat travelers. And why others go home and pack their bags to return permanently.
San Miguel de Allende was once an important stop on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City. Its cobblestone streets are narrow and steep with inclines forcing you to walk a little slower and appreciate your surroundings. The vibrant courtyards boast perfectly manicured greenery against the colorful benches and fountains. And the architectural details and interiors of the city are completely pin-worthy; any photo you take, even if on your crappy mobile phone, could arguably look like art.
5 Picture Perfect Backgrounds In San Miguel de Allende
Every picture you take in San Miguel de Allende is bound to turn heads. Here are 5 places to capture the colorful spirit and aesthetic of the city.
1. Home Is Where The Haute Is
The hotels in San Miguel de Allende are gorgeous but this is a city where house rentals really shine. So go on and live like a local. Many of the house rentals exude the same spirit on the inside as their exteriors do so you’ll be sure to get photos of that authentic San Miguel charm and decor.
2. To The Market
If you’re looking to bring home gifts as colorful as your visit, head to Mercado de Artesanias (right next to Mercado Ignacio Ramirez, an old world food market where many locals do their grocery shopping). Start at the top next to the food market (so you’re walking downhill) and take in the three blocks of stalls. You’ll find merchants selling handmade crafts, silver jewelry, rugs, clothing, ceramics, mirrors, masks, embellished animal skulls, calavera ornaments (aka sugar skulls), and more. And the prices seem to be better than what you’ll find in the city center. I personally scored a colorful oversized Mexican serape blanket like this for the beach and it still continues to make cameos in my personal and work photos.
3. Where The Artists Are
If you’re really into art or are in a wandering/browsing mood, Fábrica La Aurora is a good way to pass the time and learn more about the city’s artistic culture. It used to be an old textile factory that is now home to the art and craftwork of the talented artists of San Miguel. The space itself is gorgeous on its own but the artisans’ studios are definitely stand-outs. You will find few solid photo opportunities here.
4. Up On The Roof
For an amazing view of the city, grab drinks and tapas at Luna Bar on the rooftop of Rosewood Hotel. They also have table service for Mexican cigars and tequila tastings. La Azotea is another great place to gain higher ground especially at sunset. The restaurant is located just steps away from the Jardín (the heart of San Miguel). Everything we ordered was good but the shrimp jicama tacos were the most memorable.
5. Heart Of The City
Our friends got married at the Instituto Allende and it was drop dead gorgeous. In its early years, the Instituto was better known as a school for fine arts. While you can still take art and language classes there, it is also known for its weekend craft festivals, destination for weddings, and the home of Mi Casa restaurant as well as a few local galleries. But come for the courtyard and the murals and don’t you dare forget your camera! They are a photographer’s and traveller’s dream. Also, the outdoor plaza space (where the wedding reception was held) has another stunning and unique view of the center of the city as well as the La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the current parish church of San Miguel and the emblem of the town.