Museums, gardens and great food: a guide to downtown San Luis Potosí

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Downtown San Luis Potosí is one the most pleasant places in Mexico to take a walk. The constant parade of visual, sonic and olfactory stimulus keeps travelers intrigued.

Like many other cities in Mexico, San Luis is the result of the mining industry. In the late sixteenth century, silver deposits were found in the area near Cerro San Pedro, where there was a waypoint called, precisely, San Luis.

The discovery drawed numerous Spanish immigrants, who established the first haciendas and neighborhoods. The mining activity was the beginning of San Luis Potosí’s prosperity which, around the same years, was upgraded with stunning buildings of European design and beautiful plazas.

The city’s downtown is all that’s left from that era. The core area was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 2010. Keep reading to find out more about what you can see, eat and enjoy during a walk through this amazing neighborhood.

City of Gardens

The sheer amount and variety of parks and public gardens has earned San Luis the “City of Gardens” moniker. The best part about walking through the streets in the downtown area is turning around a corner and finding one of these magic little places.

You could set up a route that starts at the Plaza de Armas and goes on to Plaza Fundadores, Jardín de San Juan de Dios, Plaza del Carmen, Jardín de San Francisco and, finally, Jardín Colón. Each and every one of these sites has its own personality and is crowned by beautiful fountains and monuments.

For a next level experience, swing by Alameda Juan Sarabia, a huge park at the very heart of downtown and the ideal place for chilling among nature after a good, long walk.

Museums for every taste

Museums in San Luis Potosí are so many and so varied that you’ll probably have a hard time choosing which ones to visit.

Museo del Virreinato is allocated inside an old Barefoot Carmelite cloister and contains an impressive collection of colonial era art. If you’re into contemporary art, you have to check out Museo Federico Silva and Museo Regional Potosino -the latter features work by young, local artists.

The Museo del Ferrocarril will take you a couple of centuries back to a time when railroads connected the country’s most important cities. If you wish to go even further back, at Museo Nacional de la Máscara you’ll be able to see beautiful, original, and ancient masks from Mexico and around the world.

Also not to miss is Teatro La Paz, where you can catch a music or theater show, if the season is right. If not, it works as a museum and there are guided visits to its stunning interior.

Food tips

Downtown San Luis is full of great food. We suggest you kick off your gastronomic adventures at Café Cortáo, a pleasant, very traditional, unpretentious joint that serves Mexican and regional cuisine. It’s great for breakfast, try the eggs abolengo: fried, on top of crispy bread, bathed in mushroom sauce and grated cheese.

For the main meal of the day, head over to Rincón Huasteco -it might be the best place to have some authentic potosino food, from the exotic zacahuil to the classic enchiladas potosinas.

The best part of downtown San Luis is that you can walk through the whole thing. At every corner, you’ll find some breathtaking building, garden or church, that’s just how beautiful it is!

Final tip: City Express Junior San Luis Potosí Carranza is less than 10 minutes from downtown in Carranza Avenue, a main street that has intersections with other important roadways. We’ll see you in San Luis!


Museums, gardens and great food: a guide to downtown San Luis Potosí