The Ultimate Puebla Travel Guide

The baroque St. Michael fountain (1777) in the main plaza and the Cathedral (1649) behind it

Puebla is a town in Mexico. It is in the Puebla Valley, enveloped by snow-capped mountains and volcanoes, slightly over 68 miles (110 km) southeast of Mexico City.

Once a center of Catholicism, conservatism, and tradition, Puebla has come out of its ancient colonial-era enclosure. The town retains a stunning cathedral, an exceptionally well-preserved center, and a stock of beautiful churches. Younger poblanos embrace the town’s increasingly thriving nightlife scenes and art.

Traveling within Puebla can be stressful as the regional public transportation system is privatized, leading to tonnes of bus routes, none of which are properly mapped out. If you know where you want to go, you can ask which path will take your destination. Still, transfers are often necessary for long distances, which can be confusing, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the language. Taxis are the best and the safest options.

Top Attractions in Puebla

Museo Internacional del Barroco

This architecturally spectacular, monumental white museum is devoted to the baroque movement – fashion, art, literature, and music. The museum, outlined by Japanese architect Toyo Itō, rises from behind a lake, 5 km south of Puebla’s zócalo, summoning the 17th and 18th-century CE drama. Reserve a full afternoon to enjoy and relish the building and the art. Expect action-packed paintings by Rubens, rare violins, stained glass, performances by actors in period costumes, gold crowns, and polished everything to carry the vitality of baroque.

Iglesia de la Compañía

This Jesuit church with a 1767 CE Churrigueresque facade is also called Espíritu Santo. Beneath the platform is a tomb said to be that of a 17th-century CE South Asian princess who was traded into slavery in Mexico and ultimately freed.

Catedral de Puebla

Puebla’s grand cathedral, which rose on Mexico’s M$500 bill until 2019 CE, fills the entire block south of the zócalo. Its design is a blend of hard Herreresque-Renaissance and early Baroque styles. Construction started in 1550 CE, but most of it transpired under Bishop Juan de Palafox in the 1640s CE. At 69m, the towers are Mexico’s biggest. The frescoes, dazzling interior, and beautifully decorated side chapels are awe-inspiring; most have bilingual signs explaining their significance and history.

Top Things to do in Puebla

  • Night Life: If you love the nightlife, try the clubs (antros) in Cholula. Many clubs don’t charge a cover. Alcohol is cheaper. There is also great live music throughout Puebla. Smaller and less popular antros are also situated in the Los Sapos community, only a couple of blocks from the Zocalo.
  • Bus Tour: Take a tour around the town on one of the tour buses. This may appear very tourist-ish, but this is a cheap (80 pesos) easy way to get a quick view of some of the most incredible attractions in the town. It also is a way to get a great bearing before you decide to set off and dive into some of the charms the town has to offer. 
  • Eat: Street food should not be missed. Travel books will always tell you not to, but normally speaking, it is totally safe and can be one of the best cultural experiences (Arushi and Nikhil must go with this) of your trip. Quesadillas, Gorditas, Elote, and Cemitas are unmissable. 

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