Xalapa is, hands down, one of the prettiest and most pleasant state capitals of Mexico. There is much to discover in this city of perfect weather and forest scent. Located in central Veracruz, it is a gem that you will be happy to find.
Here are the sights, the activities and the food tips for Xalapa: everything you need to know for a first visit!
Sights in Xalapa
The first thing that might catch your eye when you’re walking through downtown Xalapa is the Catedral de la Purísima Concepción. It was built in the seventeenth century and it is one of the most beautiful sights in the city.
Walk one block to the south and you will see the iconic Parque Juárez. Go through it and you’ll land at Pinacoteca Diego Rivera, a space dedicated to plastic arts, which contains a fascinating collection of paintings by the famed Mexican artist and hosts temporary exhibitions by local, domestic and international artists.
The Universidad Veracruzana campus is also a visual delight, with its elegant combination of impeccable architecture and natural elements.
What to do in Xalapa
Get lost for a while in the city’s narrow and steep streets –it is, without a doubt, the best way to really know Xalapa and take in its essence.
You can also visit the alleys that are mentioned in famed legends, such as the Callejón del Perro, Jesús te Ampare, Diamante and La Perla.
The capital of Veracruz is full with stunning parks and gardens. You may not have enough time to check all of them out, but we suggest you set half a day apart for exploring some of them. Top choices are the enigmatic and intimate Los Tecajetes or the impressive Parque Natura, with its 200 acres of trails, bike lanes and sculptures.
If you’re looking for an adventure, we recommend La Cueva de la Orquídea (The Orchid’s Cave), an underground hole which was created after a volcano eruption and that has functioned as a dumpster and tomb before becoming a tourist attraction.
Food in Xalapa
Whenever you’re ready to eat, head over to Paseo Atletas, a gastro corridor where you’ll find snacks and delicious Mexican and regional dishes. Classics like the huevos tirados –scrambled with rice and beans–, picaditas or enchiladas veracruzanas can all be had here.
Restaurants like Nico’s, Vicky’s Seafood or Mariscos Bahía, you can try exquisite seafood, Veracruz style. A la diabla shrimp, huachinango a la veracruzana, chilpachole crab and the classic veracruzana soup, seasoned with serrano pepper, are some fine examples.
Also, you can’t leave Xalapa without trying authentic Veracruz coffee in Cafe Moretto, a charming joint with a beautiful view of downtown.
City Express Xalapa is the perfect place to stay during a short trip to this quaint city. We’re located on the Xalapa-Veracruz highway, at the eastern entrance to the city. See you there!