Queretaro is a very safe, centrally located city in Mexico and is home to a number of major universities. It is beautiful and easily walkable. The food, architecture, and beauty make it a must-see when traveling through central Mexico.
A Day trip in Queretaro
Visiting Queretaro from Guanajuato, even for just a day trip, is easy. Affordable Busses leave regularly from the Guanajuato city center. If you want a little more comfort, go to the Centro Terminal de Autobuses and buy a ticket via ETN, the VIP of busses, and enjoy a reclining chair and complimentary snack. We left early and arrived in Queretaro by 10:20 for $15 USD.
A quick 80 peso taxi will take you to El Templo de La Cruz in the Centro Historico from which you can walk leisurely to the Querétaro sign, Plaza de las Armas, Plaza de la Constitución and other accessible and historic sights of interest.
We recommend a stop for snacks or lunch at Maria y Su Bici, a restaurant specializing in food from Oaxaca and Mexico City. The extensive menu features favorites like cochinita pibil, mole, pozole and some Mayan dishes that we had to try for the first time. Pair these dishes with the right mezcal (all espadin joven of course).
If you’re up for a little tourism and history, we found it worth it to spend the one hour (90 pesos) to take the
You’ll also learn some interesting explanations for why men traditionally walk on the outside of the sidewalk and women on the inside and why people often say “aguas!” as a substitute for “watch out!”. Hint: it has to do with how people innovated for drainage back in the day. This is also a good way to see Avenida Zaragoza, also known as Avenida de Los Arcos for the 75 beautiful brick arches that run along the road.
On the tour, you’ll also get some context about why Queretaro is considered Mexico’s 3rd cleanest city. I noticed the lack of trash, street dogs and that plastic bag have been banned.
If you have a few minutes before your tour leaves, stop for a cold brew or a coffee tonic at Coffee Lab and check out a few of the 25 cathedrals the city has to offer.
After the tour, head about 15 minutes north-ish to Jardin Hercules. It’s a brewery inside a brick factory, one of the first industrial sites of the now primarily industrial economy, Queretaro. Even for these San Diegan tourists who have a host of breweries to choose from at any given corner of our city, this was a pretty cool stop. On tap; several IPAs and a few European style wheat beers.
New and Old Queretaro
Some friends of ours took us to the “new Queretaro”, full of high rise buildings and flashy malls. It was a nice change of pace and we ran into a lot of live music, but definitely be aware of traffic during “hora pica”/ rush hour. Moving around via taxi and uber was easy. Each ride was around 80 pesos.
If you’d rather keep checking our the old Queretaro/ Centro Historico, here are a few local tips from our awesome Airbnb host, Marcela. Her born-and-raised point of view was helpful in the extreme. If you’re spending the evening in the Centro Historico, you’ll likely run into some Cumbia- either live music or locals dancing- mixed with some salsa.
Before heading back to Guanajuato, treat yourself to breakfast at
We booked tickets on ETN to return to Guanajuato at 1:30pm but wish we had another 4 days to spend in lovely Queretaro! Maybe you’ll be more fortunate!
Extend your time in Queretaro…
Rachel is a San Diego-Tijuana borderlander who spends lots of weekends and work trips in Mexico. During the workweek, she spends her time helping social entrepreneurs get started. When she’s not doing that, she eats good food with good friends in good places. Follow her on instagram @transfronterista.
Photos by Rachel Christensen and Raul Lozano, used with permission.