There is a lot that families can love about the central Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende. With fantastic food, historic architecture, and beautiful landscapes, adding a visit to San Miguel de Allende with kids to your Mexican family vacation is worth the effort.
It’s easy to tack on a couple of days in San Miguel de Allende with kids to your Mexico itinerary. But to really experience this San Miguel de Allende itinerary, you’ll need at least a week. Take a look at what San Miguel de Allende has to offer for families!
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San Miguel de Allende is a city of 60,000 people located in Central Mexico. It’s set at a higher elevation than some other parts of Mexico, so the climate can get pretty cool in the winter time. There is a large percentage of expats and foreigners who are residents of San Miguel de Allende.
In 2008, San Miguel de Allende was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ten years later, in 2018, it was named the world’s best city for the second year in a row by Travel and Leisure. Tourism is so popular in San Miguel de Allende, it accounts for more than a third of the city’s economy!
While tourism and foreign residents do make a big impact locally, the city does hold on to a very rich culture. The city’s Day of the Dead celebrations last for several days, and the streets of the town center, as well as the cemeteries, are filled with people honoring their past loved ones. If you have the chance, you certainly won’t want to miss this wonderful cultural event when you're visiting San Miguel de Allende with kids!
Find out why San Miguel de Allende is also one of the most romantic cities in Mexico!
Before diving into this San Miguel de Allende itinerary, take some time to familiarize yourself with details like getting to and around San Miguel de Allende with kids, where to stay, money matters, and communicating with locals. Here are some basic tips to prepare you for your visit.
San Miguel de Allende is about a four hour drive from Mexico City. To travel there by bus from Mexico City, you can take either ETN or Primera Plus.
Alternatively, you can rent a car from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende. Rental cars range between $40-$90 per day, depending on the company. You can rent them through international rental brands or locally owned companies.
Another option to get to San Miguel de Allende with kids is to take a shuttle. BajioGo offers private and shared shuttles from the airport. They specialize in shuttle transfer to San Miguel de Allende from Léon, Querétaro, and Mexico City airports.
Most visitors to San Miguel de Allende will want to stay near Centro, the city’s historic center. Hotel Real de Minas is a beautiful hotel located within walking distance from Centro. Alternatively, you can look for vacation rentals in neighborhoods within or around Centro.
Besides Centro, other good neighborhoods to consider are Azteca and El Parque. San Antonio is also a good neighborhood to look for vacation rentals, although it is a little farther away from Centro.
Here are some other highly rated hotels in Centro to stay in San Miguel de Allende:
Walking around San Miguel de Allende with kids is relatively easy. And San Miguel de Allende is a safe city in Mexico for walking around. However, taxis and Uber cars are available to get you around the city. There are also public buses that drive set routes around the city. The fare is roughly 8 pesos per ride per person.
If you are renting a car in San Miguel de Allende, there are public parking lots, called estacionamiento, located around the city. The lots will usually charge an hourly rate, around 20-30 pesos.
Mexico uses the peso for its currency. At the time of this writing, $1 USD is worth roughly 20 pesos. The bills come in the following denominations: 500, 200, 100, 50, and 20. For the coins, they include 20, 10, 5, 2, 1, and .50.
The main banks you’ll find in San Miguel de Allende are BBVA, Banamex, and Santander, and Scotiabank. All these banks have ATMs that can accept foreign bank cards. However, they will have varying amounts of fees. There is usually a daily cap on how much cash you can withdraw.
Much like the rest of Mexico, the main language spoken in San Miguel de Allende is Spanish. However, some hotels and restaurants do have people that can understand English. Museums may also have English language translations, but most of the exhibits will be written in Spanish.
Before traveling to San Miguel de Allende with kids, brush up on some basic Spanish phrases such as hola (hello), por favor (please), and gracias (thank you). Desculpe is used when trying to get someone’s attention, and lo siento is used when apologizing.
Want to explore more of Mexico after visiting San Miguel de Allende with kids? Learn more about the other regions of Mexico.
For families visiting this city, there are so many things to do in San Miguel de Allende with kids. It’s easy to tour this Spanish colonial city on your own, and experience some of the fun things the city has to offer.
This San Miguel de Allende itinerary is geared towards families with kids. Most of the activities are suitable for kids who are toddler aged or older. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out Moon’s San Miguel de Allende: with Guanajuato and Queretaro travel guide.
The best way to enjoy this San Miguel de Allende itinerary is to plan for a stay of at least six days. This will give you a chance to enjoy the city at a much slower pace. However, if you have limited time in San Miguel de Allende with kids, you are welcome to omit a few items in order to condense your San Miguel de Allende itinerary.
Start the first day of your San Miguel de Allende itinerary with an exploration of the city’s Centro neighborhood. It’s full of colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and relaxing parks. Be sure to wear some comfortable walking shoes, as there are many cobblestone streets in this part of town.
The Artisan Market, known as the Mercado de Artesanias in Spanish, is a great place to buy souvenirs while in San Miguel de Allende with kids. It's full of crafts, pottery, metalwork, and textiles that made by local artisans. And it's a perfect place to buy art for Mexican holidays like Dia de los Muertos.
Adjacent to the Mercado de Artesanias is the Mercado Ignacio Ramirez, where you can find local flowers, produce, meat, and clothing. Both markets are located just north of the main central area of town. It’s open every day of the week, from 8am to 8pm. On Sundays, the market closes early, around 6pm.
The central part of the city is called the Jardin Allende. This town square is located next to the main Catholic church, the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel.
Free and open to the public all day, every day, the Jardin is a fun place to spend an afternoon. Restaurants and stores line the circumference of the square, while snack and ice cream vendors occupy spaces within the square. On most evenings, you can find mariachi bands playing at the Jardin.
Located near the Mercado Artesanal, the Mask Museum is the private collection of Bill LeVasseur and is a wonderful educational place for visiting San Miguel de Allende with kids. It’s located in the bed and breakfast that Bill owns, and is open for viewing by appointment only. Admission is 100 pesos per person. Children are free.
The museum contains over 500 masks. Bill, who has been living in San Miguel de Allende for almost two decades, enjoys collecting masks used by the various cultures throughout Mexico, and learning about the stories and traditions behind those masks.
His wife, Heidi, is also a collector, but of the folk art variety. Her gallery of San Miguel de Allende art features works by various indigenous and Mexican artists. The gallery is also located at the bed and breakfast.
Spend the second day of your San Miguel de Allende itinerary diving into Mexican culture. Explore Mexican art, and then end the day taking part in a popular Mexican past-time. You may want to bring along a copy of Lonely Planet’s Mexican Spanish phrasebook to help with communication.
One place to see fine art for free in the city is at the Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez El Nigromante. The Spanish style building is a former convent that has since been converted to a cultural center.
The central courtyard has chairs and trees, so families are free to take a break in the shade while they enjoy the relaxing sounds of the fountain. Around the main floor is a cafe, as well as rooms with artwork that you can view for free. Classes and workshops are also available at Centro Cultural El Nigromante.
The Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez El Nigromante is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10am to 6pm, and Sundays from 11am to 2pm. Admission into the center is free.
If you’re lucky enough to be in San Miguel de Allende with kids when a Lucha Libre match is happening, you certainly won’t want to miss it. Lucha Libre is Mexican style pro-wrestling. The wrestlers are known for wearing masks, which hide their true identity.
Like American pro-wrestling, the matches are full of theatrics and acrobatics. Wrestlers jump across the ring, and sometimes out into the audience. They throw each other in the air and onto the ground, and pretend to slam each other down. The crowd gets really into the spectacle.
Lucha Libre matches happen at various locations around the city. Check the Lucha Libre San Miguel Facebook page for any upcoming matches that are planned. The matches generally start at 7pm, and will last for a few hours. Tickets to a Lucha Libre match usually cost 100 pesos for all ages.
For the third day of your San Miguel de Allende itinerary, spend some time taking tours of the city. Get to know the sights of the city, and also the tastes, with these entertaining tours.
One fun way to tour San Miguel de Allende with kids is to take a trolley tour with Tranvia Turistico. You can pick up one of the trolleys in front of San Francisco Church, between Mesones and San Francisco Streets. Currently, the tours only run on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 8pm.
The trolley takes you around the city’s Centro area. You’ll be able to see some of the popular sights, and learn a bit of history about the city.
Trolley tours cost 65 pesos for adults, and 45 pesos for kids under 8. The tours are in Spanish, but you may be able to catch English language tours at special times of the week. Check with the trolley company.
To get a taste of Mexico’s vibrant cuisine, take a tour with Taste of San Miguel. There are five San Miguel de Allende tours that Taste of San Miguel offers: Downtown San Miguel; An Evening in San Miguel; Tacos and Tequila; Chocolate and Cobblestone; and Landmarks and Lunch.
Each tour runs between two and a half to four hours long, and is priced between $43-$80 per person. All of them are walking tours, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes as you visit all the San Miguel de Allende restaurants on the tour. You can also arrange to privately tour San Miguel de Allende with kids. Private culinary tours start at $45 per person.
The San Miguel de Allende tours are led by knowledgeable guides who infuse stories of the city’s history into the food experience. The guides can also give you some helpful pointers on the best Mexican food phrases to use at restaurants.
Make the fourth day of your San Miguel de Allende itinerary all about your kids. Start the day off checking out toys from a bygone era, and then end the day letting off some steam at the public playground. You’ll want to bring along a water bottle to keep your kids hydrated from all that play!
The Museo La Esquina, located on the corner of Nunez and San Francisco, houses an enormous collection of Mexican toys. The museum has toys made from wood, made from plant fiber, and made from cloth. There are wind up toys, puzzles, dolls, kitchen toys, cars, and puppets.
All the toys are enclosed behind glass cases. So, it’s not an interactive museum. But it is worth seeing the old-fashioned toys.
Museo La Esquina is open from 10am to 5:30pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and from 11am to 3pm on Sundays. It is closed on Sundays. Entrance to the museum is 50 pesos for adults, and 35 for kids.
Build in some play time to your visit to San Miguel de Allende with kids. The only public park with a playground in the city is Parque Benito Juarez. Located south of the main central area of the city, Parque Benito Juarez is a beautifully landscaped park, with a children’s playground and an area for playing basketball.
On some evenings, you can find music playing at the park’s gazebo. And on weekends, there is a small market along the main pathway. The park is open every day, and is free to use.
A popular spot for an evening meal is Mercado del Carmen, located in Centro on Zacateros, in between Pila Seca and Umarán. As the name suggests, Mercado Del Carmen is actually a handful of restaurants all in one. A market of restaurants, so to speak.
Families enjoy coming to Mercado del Carmen because there really is something for everyone. You can sample Mexican tacos, Peruvian cuisine, Japanese sushi, or just order upscale hamburgers. The open area seating gives kids some room to run around if they need to, and you can occasionally hear live music.
Enjoy the fifth day of your San Miguel de Allende itinerary with a field trip. Choose any of the following excursion ideas. You’ll want to bring along a hat and some sunscreen, as the Mexican sun can get quite hot.
You can’t experience this city without a visit to the botanical garden! El Charco del Ingenio, located in the northeastern part of town, is a relaxing retreat from the busy city. It houses native plants such as various types of cactus, agave, and local trees and shrubs.
There is also a conservatory and children’s garden with a slide. A walk around the botanical garden will take you along the reservoir at Presa Las Colonias. You can walk along the dam and explore some of the rocks. Just be careful not to fall in the water!
Tickets to El Charco del Ingenio cost 50 pesos for adults. Kids are free. The garden is open every day from 9am to 5pm.
With its close proximity to mountains, San Miguel de Allende has several hot springs nearby. La Gruta Spa is a family-friendly hot spring spa that is located 12 kms outside of San Miguel de Allende.
Families can enjoy thermal pools, as well as restaurant services. There is also an option to experience a traditional temazcal Mexico ceremony, a sweat lodge ceremony originating from the Nahuatl people of Mesoamerica. A temazcal ceremony offers many benefits to travelers, including detoxification and cultural immersion.
La Gruta is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 7am to 5pm. Admission is 250 pesos for anyone aged 3 and older.
Cañada de la Virgen is an archaeological area located 31 kms outside of San Miguel de Allende. It was a pre-Hispanic settlement dating back to 600-900 AD. The structures are organized into five groups of monuments. There are also remains of a pyramid at the site.
Entrance to Cañada de la Virgen costs 39 pesos for adults aged 12 and older. Admission for kids between the ages of 5 and 12 is 12 pesos. And children under 5 are free. Cañada de la Virgen is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
Have some extra time for a multi-day excursion? Head over to Michoacan state to see the breathtaking Monarch butterfly migration!
Treat yourself to a chill out day on the last day of your San Miguel de Allende itinerary. Spend the day leisurely hanging out in the city, taking in the sights one last time.
The Biblioteca Publica de San Miguel de Allende has a large selection of English language books, both for adults and kids. It was created by a Canadian, though it serves the general population of the city. For families, this library is a great way to have access to English-language books.
Visitors can get a temporary membership to the library for a deposit of 100 pesos and two photocopies of your passport or driver’s license. A Bronze membership costs 170 pesos, and allows you to check out 4 books. Silver membership costs 270 pesos and allows you to check out 8 books. A Gold membership costs 550 pesos and allows you to check out 6 books and also gives you a ticket to a house and garden tour. The check out period for books is 15 days.
A relaxing place to enjoy art is at the Fabrica La Aurora. It’s a former textile factory that has since been converted to a cultural arts and design center. The center is a great place to see local art, as well as art from throughout Mexico. Fabrica La Aurora is located in the northern part of town, on the other side of Arroyo de las Cachinces.
La Aurora hosts art workshops and classes. There are also art galleries, furniture shops, and cafes throughout its grounds. It’s an all around fun place to hang out for families looking to spend the last day of their San Miguel de Allende itinerary.
Since there’s only one public park with a playground in the city, families have to find other places that allow for kids to play. Fortunately, many of the restaurants and cafes in the city have kids play areas.
One local favorite for meetups and playdates is Geek and Coffee. This cafe is located adjacent to Fabrica La Aurora. It has a good selection of drinks, food, and desserts. However, the best part for families is the outdoor play area where kids can run around and play.
Itching to explore another historical city in Mexico? Why not visit the beautiful city of Merida!
Families will have so much fun exploring all the things to do in San Miguel de Allende. It’s a great introductory place to get to know Mexican culture, and a great way to explore the rest of Central Mexico.
While many of the restaurants, shops, and hotels in San Miguel de Allende cater to foreigners, there are still several places that are popular among the locals. The city is so easy to get around, and you will find so many family-friendly activities to fill up your San Miguel de Allende itinerary.
If you’re planning to visit this city with kids, consider doing some exploring of your own. You’ll be surprised at what you might find.
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Curious to explore a different side of Mexico? Take a look at our ideas for exploring Cozumel for kids.