If you have wondered which are the best cities to visit in Mexico, you will find that Querétaro is one of the options that you cannot miss. Its large number of cultural and architectural attractions and nightlife suitable for all requirements make this Bajío metropolis a true recommendation for vacationing, spending a weekend, or taking it as a stopover to undertake a trip to the interior of the state.
Nor can we talk about Querétaro and its great cosmopolitan life without mentioning that everyone who has visited the city and its metropolitan area has recognized, and you will be able to verify, that it is one of the cleanest and safest places in Mexico.
That is why we share three keys to enjoy this wonderful heritage city and organize an itinerary if you choose it for your next trip.
Querétaro: from a provincial city to a cosmopolitan city
In recent decades, Querétaro has undergone unmatched economic development that has led it to become one of the 10 best cities in Mexico and one of the 5 best tourist destinations in the interior of the country, as growth has filled streets and avenues of top quality services that harmonize with the beauty of the capital.
Since the view leaves the road landscape behind and the city opens, you will be able to realize its magnitude and, the best, as in art, is in the details.
- Security: We are certain that when you visit this city you will be able to walk without worries at any time of the day through the beautiful streets of the Historic Center, undoubtedly the most spectacular part of the capital of Queretaro. Its streets are quiet and you can find the same security on the state highways that wind their way to the Sierra Gorda.
- Cleanliness: You do not have to think about it too much, because it is enough to see it to believe it. Querétaro has exemplary cleanliness in its streets and the beauty of the city could not be the same without this factor. Above all, now that a new social stage is beginning as a result of the pandemic, it will be visible that not only the clean streets allow a more pleasant view of the city, but also within the different establishments that seek to offer their customers a safe and healthy environment in all the senses.
- Nightlife: Querétaro has a wide infrastructure of bars and restaurants that fill the night with fun and pleasant moments to enjoy as a couple, friends, or with the family. There will never be a lack of quiet cafes, snack shops or places where you can have a beer, in the bohemian atmosphere of a canteen or an elegant space to dine on exquisite international dishes.
- Recreation: Something that can not be missing are public spaces for recreation. Querétaro has several ideal spaces for children or fans of board games, skating rinks, or parks, such as the Bicentennial, where you can enjoy a long family outing.
In addition, thanks to the accelerated development of the city, there are large shopping malls that are a meeting point for thousands of people due to the innovative environment of their spaces and the variety of restaurants, bars, and exclusive commercial brands, which together form a healthy family environment for all generations.
- Rest: In every big city the lodging options define the quality of the services. In Querétaro the offers are innumerable, whether you are looking for rooms in the large hotel chains or a place with its own concept, the services are first class.
In the Historic Center of Querétaro, by its nature, it is normal to find old houses redesigned to give you accommodation in a unique environment, a few steps from squares, temples, and other attractions that the heart of the city offers; Whether in an exclusive viceregal environment or in an environment of modern minimalist and holistic designs, your stay will be something that you will add to the pleasant experience of your trip to this city.
The Historic Center of Querétaro is a place that you should definitely visit on foot. Through its streets the splendor of its architecture of a city became the third most important during the viceroyalty in the 18th century, when some of the buildings and monuments that today are emblematic of the city were built, were visible. In fact, since 1996 it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, as a Zone of Historical Monuments.
- Heritage city: In the Historic Center there are several buildings that have immense historical value due to the important events that took place in them and that marked the country through the centuries. Among the most outstanding is the Casa de la Corregidora, key at the beginning of the armed struggle for the Independence of Mexico; the Cerro de las Campanas, where the Second Empire ended with the execution of Maximiliano, and also the Theater of the Republic, where the Magna Carta and the Political Constitution of Mexico were signed in 1917.
- Temples: Due to the importance of the city for the viceroyalty, various religious orders were established in the Queretaro capital, leaving behind a series of architectural testimonies in the more than 15 temples that are located in the center of the city, and some of them are extraordinary beauty, such as the Temple of Santa Rosa de Viterbo or the courtyard of the cloister of the Temple of San Agustín, considered by many the most beautiful in Latin America.
It is also worth going in and discovering the impressive golden baroque altarpieces that can be found, such as the one in the Temple of Santa Clara and others that you will soon discover when you go.
- Squares and walkways: All the beauty of the heart of the city of Querétaro is appreciable in each square, where you can sit in the shade of the trees or in the walkways that thousands of people walk through enjoying a walk and the shops and restaurants that are they find in their wake. These are special places to contemplate the richness of daily life in the city of Querétaro, where diverse customs, ages, and nationalities converge, without any distinction whatsoever.
Among the most important are Plaza Fundadores, Plaza de Armas, Jardín Guerrero, and Jardín Zenea, in which it is common to find concerts and outdoors or guides with their groups of tourists who entertain themselves with anecdotes behind the places they visit.
Querétaro is a cultural city in every sense. People of different nationalities come to the city, in the same way, that from other states of the republic or from nearby rural communities they have decided to make it their place of residence; A reflection of this multiculturalism, it has various spaces to house the different artistic and craft manifestations that converge in this fabulous city.
- Museums: In the Historic Center of the city of Querétaro there are more than ten museums and galleries that give space to art exhibitions and collections from different approaches; from exhibitions of historical, archaeological, and thematic collections, to those of contemporary, classic, or emerging artists, the museums of Querétaro enjoy great cultural activity open to different disciplines and diverse audiences.
A cultural tourist walk through this great city, you should not miss visiting the Museum of Art of Querétaro, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Libertad Gallery, or the Calendario Museum, but you will know that they are not just half of those that are nearby.
- Venues: Spaces for artistic expression are an essential part of a good cultural tour of the city of Querétaro. Most of the museum rooms occupy fabulous buildings, the experience is exponential, not only because you can stop to admire the architecture of the place, such as the Art Museum, the Regional Museum, and the City Museum, but also because of its characteristics, they are the ideal place for other manifestations such as music, independent cinema, plays, social gatherings, and book presentations, as well as for artistic training workshops and entertainment for children.
- Artisan centers: Querétaro has a great artisan production originating from different municipalities and rural and indigenous communities throughout the state, so space for them could not be missing in the city.
The Indigenous Handicraft Development Center (CEDAI) and the House of Handicrafts are the places of exhibition and sale of this type of creations that have a traditional feature of the communities and municipalities where they are made, making it very attractive for visitors. acquire and know the Queretaro culture from another dimension.
- Festivals: The city and its metropolitan area have been characterized in recent years by the festivals that take place in public spaces and venues in the cultural venues of the Historic Center. Every year it is possible to attend festivals dedicated to jazz music, Trova music, contemporary dance festivals, theater, documentary film, among other shows that can be enjoyed outdoors.
Top of the 10 places you must visit in Querétaro
- El Cerrito Archaeological Zone: An archaeological zone? It is right. Just a few minutes from the Historic Center of the city, in the metropolitan municipality of Corregidora, there is a great pyramid of pre-Hispanic origin that was the ceremonial center of the Teotihuacan, Chupícuara, and Toltec cultures, as well as later for the Chichimeca and Otomí cultures before arrival. of the Spanish.
It is considered that its time of splendor occurred between 900 to 1200 AD, but today it is a great tourist center due to its magnitude, its site museum, and the particularity of finding an immense pre-Hispanic vestige surrounded by the modern urbanization of the metropolitan area.
- Art Museum: With more than 40 years in operation, the Querétaro Museum of Art stands out for the magnificent enclosure where it is located. The courtyard of the ex-monastery of San Agustín has incomparable architectural details.
This baroque construction from the 18th century is an obligatory act to be contemplated every time one enters its interior, which harmonizes in an unbeatable way with the permanent exhibitions of Renaissance painting or the Academia de San Carlos, as a preamble to the temporary rooms of contemporary art.
- Government Palace: Beyond being the seat of the State Government, it was the so-called house of the most emblematic woman of the Independence of Mexico, in short, Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, known as the Corregidora.
This place, today adorned with large murals that represent the country’s struggle for independence, was the site of the conspiracies that, once discovered, gave rise to the armed movement that would culminate years later in the Independence of Mexico as part of the Spanish crown. So the anecdotes that you will find, with the right guide, will be part of an invaluable cultural experience.
- Santa Rosa de Viterbo: Undoubtedly the most spectacular temple in the city for its unique and distinctive architectural details, this building was built in the 18th century, attributed to the illustrious Ignacio Mariano de las Casas, an artist full of gaps in his biography, it is possibly the most emblematic temple in the city.
It is said that it was the first to have a four-sided clock tower in all of Latin America and the Arabic details make it unique in the region. In front, in the square dedicated to its famous architect, they currently have a show of dancing fountains that at certain times is accompanied by a spectacular video mapping on the facade of the temple.
- Congress Center and Metropolitan Theater: This venue is one of the modern works, carried out by the renowned architect Teodoro González de León. In addition to its contemporary structure, which due to its location dominates an unbeatable view of the city of Querétaro, it is a place for shows, concerts, mass events, not to mention that it is currently the headquarters of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Querétaro.
- The Aqueduct: This impressive structure with a maximum height of 28 meters and an extension of more than 1,200 meters runs along a long stretch of one of the main avenues of the city.
It was built by Juan Antonio de Urrutia y Arana, a Spanish marquis who came to the city of Querétaro to accompany his wife to visit the foundation of the Capuchin order of nuns, but who would carry out the most important architectural work in Querétaro at that time. and that today, almost 300 years later, it is the main icon of the city and the state of Querétaro.
- Temple of the Cross: Although there are those who think at first glance that it is a temple like many of the seventeenth century, the reality is that being in this place is to attend where many consider the legend of the founding of Querétaro, in 1531, originated.
In addition to a large quarry cross that is inside as a symbol of that mythical anecdote, where the battle between Chichimecas and Spaniards ended with the appearance of the Apostle Santiago in the sky next to a resplendent cross; A curiosity of this temple is that in its garden there are trees that produce thorns in the shape of a cross, which for decades have been valuable souvenirs for the believers who visit Querétaro.
- Calendario Museum: This particular museum contains a vast collection of copies and paintings of the most important artists that adorned the commercial almanacs throughout the 20th century. From a wooden replica of the Aztec calendar, the images that can be seen throughout its exhibition rooms show you a large part of the traditions and cultural traits of Mexican society from the late 19th century to the present.
In addition, it has access to the roof with a great view and a pleasant garden with a food area to have a cup of coffee or lunch to calm hunger in a quiet environment.
- Plaza de Armas: Although it is a must for any tourist, it is worth stopping, sitting in one of its planters, enjoying the people who walk by and good ice cream in the afternoon, when the light allows you to appreciate the architecture of the buildings that surround it, especially the House of Ecala, a family of nobles in the 18th century, and at night you will be contagious with the music and the atmosphere of the restaurants, the happy voices of the student woman who travels singing through the center and the Disguised artists who stage and narrate passages from the popular history of Querétaro in their tourist tours that, of course, we recommend you take.
- Cerro de las Campanas: Today it is a great park for outdoor activities, but you cannot leave the city without knowing the exact place where the Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg was shot, a historical fact that meant the end of all imperial government in Mexico.
This site must be accompanied by a prior visit to the Museum of the Restoration of the Republic, a couple of streets from the first painting of the city, where objects, documents, and paintings related to this passage of history are exhibited, right where he was imprisoned. the emperor before his death.