Mexico is full of beautiful places to visit. Oftentimes the beach towns come to mind but there is more to this pretty country than just its coastline.
There are tons of historic, colorful, colonial cities that aren’t located on the beach but offer just as much beauty and excitement.
There is also a lot of Mayan influence and well-preserved ruins. Towns throughout Mexico have UNESCO World Heritage Sites, historical significance, and so much to see. In this article, you’ll find a list of the top 12 prettiest cities in Mexico.
The list includes 4 pretty colonial cities, beach cities, and other pretty cities you may not have heard of. Keep reading to find out more about each city.
The last 4 cities on this list are located in some pretty cool spots throughout Mexico which is great if beaches or historical architecture isn’t your thing.
Top 12 Prettiest Cities in Mexico
Below you’ll find a list of the prettiest colonial and historic cities throughout Mexico. They’re full of amazing architecture and well-preserved history.
The historic influence has translated into the cultural hubs that they are today. If you want to visit an authentic Mexican city with tons of history, you’ll find the perfect location on the list below.
1. San Miguel de Allende
Located in Central Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is a colonial city that has stunning Spanish architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the state of Guanajuato.
The architecture in this city has been very well preserved. The Parroquia de San Miguel Arcánge is a 17th-century church with pink spires and is the most photographed and popular spot in the city.
There are cobblestone streets, great restaurants and cafes, and quaint establishments. Wandering the streets are just one of the many great things to do here.
Also, most of the best chefs in the entire country have restaurants in San Miguel de Allende. So you know there is going to be some amazing food here.
It’s also a major ex-pat location for people from all over including the US, Europe, and Canada. It’s a very safe and lively place, the perfect combo for a city to visit or live in.
Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatán and about a 3.5-hour drive from Cancun. It has Mayan history, mansions from the 1500s, colorful homes, and is one of the top cultural places in Mexico.
Mayan civilization first occupied Merida dating back to 2600 B.C. and the ancient sites are still well preserved to this day.
Merida has large, central plazas surrounded by colorful architecture in pastel pinks, greens, and light purples.
Plaza de la Independencia is the main square that has 16th-century mansions and one of the oldest churches in Latin America, San Ildefonso Cathedral.
Merida is a colorful paradise with tons of historic beauty. Merida is truly known for its vibrant and unforgettable colors and is super picturesque.
Located about an hour south of Mexico City, Cuernavaca is the capital of the Mexican state of Morelos.
For years, the city attracted celebrities and wealthy members of society because of its beauty and perfect year-round weather.
It’s near the Tepozteco Mountains and is a historic yet lush location. In the city center, you’ll find the Palace of Cortés, a 16th century home of Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés.
Another spectacular piece of architecture is the Cuernavaca Cathedral which was a monastery in the 1500s. You may not have heard of Cuernavaca but you’ll surely remember it forever after visiting.
Guanajuato has a ton of colonial architecture and was once a popular silver mining location. The city is very pedestrian-friendly because cars drive under the city through a network of tunnels.
The main historic center in Guanajuato is pedestrian-only which allows visitors to walk around and explore freely. There are plazas, museums, churches, and a 19th-century theater to explore.
There are also tons of narrow streets and alleyways that make it easy to get by on foot. Guanajuato is a beautiful historic town in central Mexico worth exploring.
Patzcuaro is located in the state of Michoacán Mexican. It was first founded in the 14th century and has maintained its colonial and indigenous background.
Most importantly in Patzcuaro, you’ll find Lake Patzcuaro. It’s surrounded by volcanic mountains with steep slopes and was formed by a volcano.
It’s home to unique sea life and is a great place to relax if you’re looking to spend time in a body of water other than the ocean. The lake is gorgeous and adds so much beauty to the city.
Chihuahua city is the capital of the state of Chihuahua. It has a ton of unique architecture including a Spanish Baroque Cathedral and an 18th-century palace with murals from Mexican historical events.
What might be the coolest, however, is the nearby Copper Canyon. From Chihuahua, you can get on the Chepe Railroad that leads to Copper Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Copper Canyon is made up of 6 massive canyons in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain range.
Together, the canyons are larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon in the US. It’s a must-visit if you get the opportunity.
7. San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas is located in the state of Chiapas in the Central Highlands. It was once the capital of the Mexican state and no longer holds that title but is still considered the cultural capital.
The city sits in a valley surrounded by hills and the area surrounding San Cristobal de las Casas is mountainous. The city has colonial Spanish architecture classified by red tile roofs, cobblestone streets, and iron balconies.
The most popular architectural landmarks include the pink Santo Domingo church, the Cathedral, and a museum. Besides the historic city, there is a ton to do.
San Cristobal de las Casas sits among the mountains and there are caves, rivers, forests, and many other things to explore. There are also many indigenous villages nearby that you can visit for a unique experience.
8. Mexico City
We can’t have a list of the prettiest cities in Mexico without having the mecca of all cities on it, the capital itself Mexico City. Most people don’t think about greenery when they think about Mexico city, but it is full of parks, trees, and nature.
It hosts Chapultepec park, which a lot of people compare to Central park, but it is hard to compare when it is double the size of central park.
Chapultepec Park is just one of the many parks here, besides an abundance of parks, there is great architecture, amazing food and so much to see. It is hard not to put Mexico City on your list of places to visit in Mexico.
9. Real de Catorce
Located in the state of San Luis Potosi, Real de Catorce can be found in the Sierra de Catorce plateau range. It’s not quite a city like the other locations but it’s absolutely worth mentioning.
From downtown Real de Catorce, you can view the mountains all around you, merging the town with the nature surrounding it.
Real de Catorce was once thriving for silver mining and is now a sacred place to visit. It is also nicknamed the “Ghost Town” You’ll also find an 18th-century church and other architecture worth exploring.
It’s a great way to immerse yourself in nature while still visiting an interesting town that is worth enjoying.
10. Oaxaca City
It is almost impossible not to fall in love with this beautiful city. Oaxaca has a deeply rich culture, Mexico’s best food, and jaw-dropping architecture. If you are looking for a stunningly beautiful city to visit on your trip to Mexico, you will want to add Oaxaca to the list.
There are plenty of things to do in Oaxaca, as well the state of Oaxaca host some of Mexico’s best surfing locations.
Puebla is located in eastern central Mexico, just southeast of Mexico City. It is a beautiful and unique city that is worth checking out. Famous for its delicious mouth-watering food, colonial architecture, and unique pottery.
It claims to be the cleaner, better version of Mexico City, and whether or not that is true. It is worth checking out.
Conclusions on the Prettiest Cities in Mexico
Mexico has so much to offer and you will enjoy any location you choose to visit. From beaches, forests, jungles, mountains, lakes, rivers, cenotes, caves, and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The country has an immense history that dates back to the Mayan civilization and the history of the country has been well preserved throughout the years and has had an important influence on its growth.
There is beautiful architecture to enjoy all over the pretty cities in Mexico. If you can visit every city on this list at some point you absolutely should but if that’s not possible choose the one that interests you the most and go out and explore a pretty city in Mexico.
Do you have a favorite pretty city in Mexico that wasn’t mentioned on this list? Say so in the comments below.