San Luis Potosí, one of the top 15 cities. San Luis Potosí, one of the top 15 cities.

Mexico’s nicest cities: a list of the top 15

Some of the architectural and cultural jewels that make Mexico beautiful

Mexico has many cities that are truly architectural and cultural jewels, according to the website MéxicoDestinos, which has come up with a list of what it believes are the top 15, the prettiest cities in the country.


Readers who know of others they think should be on the list are invited to send a good quality photo that is representative of the city of their choice to

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. A cosmopolitan city of more than 130,000 inhabitants, 10% of whom are foreigners. In 2008 it was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and by Condé Nast Traveler magazine as the best city in the world.

Guadalajara, Jalisco. The best tequila, cultural centers, plazas and universities, excellent restaurants and a beautiful climate. And also the gateway to destinations such as Puerto Vallarta.

Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. Walking through Oaxaca is like walking through a great museum, with the colonial legacy on one side and the pre-Hispanic on the other in its gastronomy, traditions and people.

Guanajuato, Guanajuato. Home of the Festival Internacional Cervantino, a World Heritage Site and capital of a state that welcomes more than 20 million tourists a year.

Puebla, Puebla. When one thinks of Puebla, its gastronomic delights come to mind, as well as its talavera pottery and its many churches. Another World Heritage Site, its historical center offers beautiful monuments to colonial architecture.


Mérida, Yucatán. At the heart of the Yucatán Peninsula is the beautiful city of Mérida, where one can enjoy fine cuisine along with the charms of Yucatán. It is a place of many contrasts, where you’ll encounter the features of a modern city but with colonial touches such as its famous Paseo de Montejo, people who speak the Mayan tongue, and women in huipiles and men in guayaberas.

Mexico City. The capital is an architectural miracle in all respects. One can see the evidence of its origins as the city of the Mexicas, built on a huge lake, and the colonial period, along with contemporary and modern Mexico. Walk through the historic center to the Paseo de la Reforma and discover its numerous museums and note that every corner and every building has a story or legend to tell.

Morelia, Michoacán. Morelia was one of the most important cities during Spanish rule, for which it now enjoys beautiful colonial architecture reflected in more than 1,400 buildings, an aqueduct, plazas and parks. It is also a city known for its gastronomy and is a World Heritage Site.

Zacatecas, Zacatecas. One of the most beautiful cities in the north of Mexico, there are corners of Zacatecas where you’ll relive Mexico’s past. It is famous for its hospitality, gastronomy, architecture and traditions.

Querétaro, Querétaro. The historic center of the city is another proud World Heritage Site. Many of the city’s stone buildings and other structures date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, and its agreeable climate makes it a great place to visit during any season.

Monterrey, Nuevo León. This is Mexico’s most forward-looking city, where you might find a big cattle show going on at the same time as business and technology-related events. This northern metropolis is sprinkled with contrasts and traditions, and is well worth a visit.

Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes. This is a cultural city with great artistic traditions and architectural jewels of incalculable value. Its Feria de San Marcos welcomes more than 8 million visitors every year. Enjoy its theaters, markets, museums, churches, fine wines and agreeable climate.

San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí. This city is in a multicultural region in the heart of Mexico with a variety of gastronomic delights. It is known for its baroque architecture and has been a World Heritage Site since 2010.

Campeche, Campeche. In addition to its 5.5-kilometer Malecón, this city’s defensive forts and bastions are obligatory points of interest. Enjoy a stroll through the historic center and admire the colorful mansions in this World Heritage Site.

San Miguel de Cozumel, Quintana Roo. This city offers beautiful views of the sea and during a stroll on the Malecón one can see the cruise ships and enjoy the sunset. It is a paradise for divers and anyone who desires total relaxation in the Caribbean.

  • Aguascalientes-Aguascalientes
  • Campeche-Campeche-2
  • Ciudad-de-Mexico
  • Guadalajara-Jalisco
  • Guanajuato-Guanajuato
  • Merida-Yucatan-Mexico
  • Monterrey-Nuevo-Leon
  • Morelia-Michoacan
  • Oaxaca-de-Juarez-Mexico
  • Puebla-Puebla
  • Queretaro-y-sus-Arcos
  • San_Miguel-cozumel
  • San-Luis-Potosi
  • San-Miguel-de-Allende-Guanajuato
  • Zacatecas-Zacatecas

Source: MéxicoDestinos (sp)

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  • Paxton

    Colima, Colima is one of my favorites, off the beaten track!

    • Michael Hogan


    • DebraJean Sullivan

      Collins was a great place to stop on the way out to the coast. From central Mexico. What a surprise! On the drive back we stopped for three nights. I highly recommend a visit here.

    • Steve Galat

      True…back in the day, my wife & I’d take the Passenger Train to Colima from Manzanilla. There was even a music conservatory where I strolled in once and gave an impromptu recital. Then on a bus-ride a bit north, we met Sr Peralta, dynast of a retailing empire who invited us to stay in his rustic mansion in the woods….and then he left us alone there for a week….Priceless!

  • Wendy Widder

    Xalapa, Ver. is the state capital and home to the University of Veracruz. It has a great symphony orchestra and cultural activities.

    • marcoselmalo

      That’s on my list of places in Mexico I want to check out.

      • Wendy Widder

        Lots of interesting towns in the mountains around Xalapa.

  • piotrek2802

    I was visiting almost all of them. Very nice cities and I was happy to be there. Some of them like Gunajuato or Gudalajara I visited few times. Generally I like Mexico and people are nice there for foreigners. I have only nice memories from this wonderful places in Mexico.

  • Wayne Smyer

    where is Cuernavaca listed??:The City of eternal spring??:

  • DebraJean Sullivan

    What a nice list. I agree with everything except once beautiful Monterrey. The air quality has truly compromised this historic place. Most times I just want to drive around it anymore – cement plants have dusted her over. In a clear day – amazing.

    • geoffyjoe

      I found air quality in Guanajuato City to be very poor at the lower part of town. It’s not for me. San Miguel de Allende has more fresh air.

  • been to all many times

  • Nemacolin

    How about Chapala?

  • Michael C

    Loved my time in Aguascalientes! “Cleanest city in Mexico”!