What’s not to love about Morelia? The capital of Michoacan is not only one of Mexico’s oldest and most beautiful colonial cities, but also a relevant and thriving cultural environment.
Join us in this quick guide to Morelia’s hot spots for sightseeing, cultural exploration, fun having and gastronomic endeavors. It’s all here!
A little bit about Morelia
It’s one of Mexico’s oldest cities -it was founded in 1541, only 20 years after the fall of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire. It used to be called Valladolid until 1828, when it was changed to its current name, in honor of the Mexican Independence general Jose Maria Morelos.
Most of the buildings in the downtown area were built with pink stone, giving the district its distinctive look -this part of town was granted World Heritage Site status by Unesco in 1991. Since the colonial era, the city has been a hotbed for art and cultural activity. Nowadays, it is home to the country’s main film event, the Morelia International Film Festival.
The church circuit
As with most colonial towns, there’s a list of beautiful religious buildings that you do not want to miss. The cathedral tops this list, with its mixed style that somehow managed to catch a snapshot of the transition between the baroque and the neo classical schools of architecture.
The Templo de San Francisco, in Plaza Valladolid, is another church worth checking out. If possible, visit on a friday night for an astounding video mapping show, featuring the entire history of the city, projected on its walls.
Finally, you must find a place in your schedule for the Santuario de Guadalupe, a place with an interior decoration that will blow your mind away.
Culture in Morelia
Two museums that you must check out are: Museo del Dulce, where you can dive deep into Michoacan’s candy-making tradition and taste the actual candy; MACAZ (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Alfredo Zalce), where you’ll be able to explore local, domestic and international contemporary art.
Shop for amazing, regional crafts at the Instituto del Artesano Michoacano, which holds a comprehensive collection of the various incarnations of indigenous art forms in Michoacan.
There’s something for everyone in Morelia’s nightlife. Chic spots like Tata, Mezcalería y Cocina de Autor, are great for kicking the night off. Hang out with the city’s young adults while you get a taste of some of the best mezcal in Mexico.
There’s a live experience every night at Zacarias En Vivo, a downtown club featuring everything from local rock bands to gentle-singing troubadours. For a full blown electronic dance music party, hit Sak club at midnight.
Where to eat
Last -but most certainly not least- is the food issue. You can go in several directions, depending on your budget and preference. For a contemporary spin of regional and Mexican cuisine, stop by Chango, one of the city’s most beloved restaurants.
Mercado Don Lucas is the new kid in Morelia’s gastro scene. It gathers several alternatives that range from tacos de asada to crafty seafood.
Speaking of tacos, head over to El Rey del Taco for the best in town. In the same range of delicious street food: check out corundas, a local tamal, at Mercado Independencia.
That’s it! With this quick guide you’re ready to explore Morelia. One last thing. You’ll need a place to stay and there’s no better way to do it than to catch a hotel in the downtown area. City Express Morelia is located at the heart of the city and near its main attractions, we’ll see you there!