For the fourth year in a row, Travel + Leisure magazine chose San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, as the top city travel destination in Mexico.
In the magazine’s “World’s Best” rankings, which are chosen by surveys of over 17,000 Travel + Leisure readers, San Miguel placed second in the World’s Best Cities section.
The colonial city that is home to a large expat community won World’s Best City in 2017 and 2018, but this year narrowly fell behind Hoi An, Vietnam, which jumped from eighth place in 2018.
The magazine describes San Miguel as “a glamorous and sophisticated city in the heart of Mexico, surrounded by wonderful vineyards and beautiful landscapes to do some adventure tourism without losing its traditional touch . . . . One reader called it ‘a unique art community in the mountains, with a mix of rich history and amazing food.’ Another fan of the city praised its architectural diversity: ‘Gorgeous, sumptuous modern interiors are mixed with 500-year-old façades. You never know what delights you’ll find behind one of the beautifully carved doors.’”
Mexico City jumped from 11th place to fourth place this year, while Oaxaca city came in fifth place. Describing the former, one reader said, “One of the most exciting cities in North America. I go at least once per year, and every time I do it’s a new and exciting experience.”
Oaxaca earned kudos for its food scene and cooking schools.
Mexico was the only country with three cities among the world’s top 15; Italy, Japan, the United States and Thailand each had two.
San Miguel’s Matilda Hotel & Spa came in 18th place in the World’s Best Hotels rankings, the top spot for a Mexican hotel. Matilda was one of eight Mexican hotels in the world’s top 100. Of the top five city hotels in Mexico, three are in San Miguel de Allende, while the other two are in Mexico City.
The World’s Best survey was designed by Travel + Leisure and the research firm M&RR, and asked readers to rate cities, islands and various travel services in an online questionnaire. Before publishing the results, the magazine screens for and eliminates false responses.