Colorful streets, delicious food, volcanoes and stunning architecture: there’s plenty of things to do in Puebla, Mexico! Located 2 hours from Mexico City, Puebla is a true gem – discover why you need to visit it and the main Puebla attractions.
If you’re planning on taking a trip to Mexico, then Puebla should be in your itinerary. As one of the wealthiest cities in Mexico during the colonial period, Puebla has continued to thrive into the present day. If you are wondering what to do in Puebla, worry not: with stunning architecture everywhere you look and some of the most delicious local cuisine in Mexico, there’s so much to discover here. So once you’ve spent 3 days in Mexico City, head to Puebla for a more relaxed experience!
I really loved my 3 days in Puebla: I was alone for once, and felt perfectly safe wandering around, working at cute cafès, and exploring this super colorful city. Puebla is also very gay-friendly and has a very liberal feel compared to other places in Mexico. Here are my 8 top picks for the best things to do in Puebla, Mexico.
1| TAKE A RIDE ON THE ESTRELLA DE PUEBLA
An iconic part of the Puebla skyline, the Star of Puebla is a gigantic observation wheel, which gives visitors breathtaking views of the entire city. Enjoy a panoramic picture of Puebla, and see if you can spot some of the landmarks on this list. What better way to get your bearings in Puebla, than by taking it all in at once!
2| SAMPLE SOME MOLE POBLANO
If there’s one thing that Puebla is famous for, it’s mole poblano. While this delicious dish is often referred to as the national dish of Mexico, it’s particularly associated with Puebla. That means you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a place to eat, since people here take cooking seriously – and try mole is one of the best things to do in Puebla for sure!
I particularly recommend El Mural de los Poblanos– as well as a great selection of mole, they also offer a huge range of other Mexican cuisine, letting you get an authentic taste of this unique region. Another place you need to go for mole is Meson Sacristia de la Compañia: more about it in the last paragraph!
3| TRAVEL BACK IN TIME AT MUSEO AMPARO
While Puebla might be one of Mexico’s wealthiest modern cities, it actually has a history that stretches back thousands of years. Long before Columbus landed in the Americas, this part of Mexico had a rich culture, and the Museo Amparo will let you explore this culture in a truly interactive way.
With exhibits from 2,500 BC right up to modern art, Museo Amparo is one of the main Puebla attractions. It has a little bit of everything, from sculptures and jars to religious altars. Telling the story of Puebla from the pre-Columbian and colonial eras into the present day, this museum is a must for anyone who wants to discover the historic heart of this city.
4| GAZE IN AWE AT THE CATEDRAL DE PUEBLA
Dating back to the sixteenth century, the Catedral de Puebla is certainly a magnificent piece of architecture. With two imposing towers, which are the tallest in Mexico, it’s a glorious sight from the outside, but the interior is well worth a look, too. Whatever your religious beliefs, the Puebla cathedral is an awe-inspiring experience, and therefore not to be missed while visiting Puebla.
5| WANDER DOWN SWEET STREET
As well as for mole poblano, Puebla is also known for its incredible artisan candy. From muégano and camote to las tortitas de Santa Clara, you’ve never seen candy like this before- and it all tastes as good as it looks!
Whether you want to indulge your sweet, or just do a bit of window spotting, make sure you take a walk down the so-called Calle de los Dulces, or “Sweet Street”, where you’ll find a cluster of candy shops that look so good, they’ll make your mouth water.
6| EAT A CEMITA SANDWICH
Cemitas are a type of “torta” (sandwich) typical of Puebla, and you shouldn’t leave without trying one. It’s essentially a bread made with egg, filled breaded pork, avocado, the traditional string cheese (quesillo), onion and an herb called papalo. It’s so good! And incredibly filling, I was only able to eat half of it!
The most famous place to eat one is inside the Mercado El Carmen, a market where if you go at lunchtime you’ll see the longest queue ever. Everyone is waiting for cemitas!
7| TAKE A BUS TOUR OF PUEBLA
I usually never take bus tours as I consider them too touristy and overpriced, but as I was traveling solo in Puebla I decided to make an exception and gladly so. The ticket cost 60 pesos (3 euros) and the tour lasted 1 hour and a half. It starts with a quick tour of the city center, but the most interesting part for me was being able to see other colorful neighborhoods outside of the city center… all while sitting comfortably on the top deck of a vintage wooden bus!
The bus then proceeds to the Centro Civico 5 de Mayo park, where you should come back at some point to visit the forts of Guadalupe and Loreto that are famous for their role in the Cinco de Mayo battle. From here, you can admire a view over the whole city, and when the weather is good you can even see the peaks of Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanos (but don’t ask me to pronounce these names!).
My tour was only in Spanish and every other tourist was in fact Mexican, but there are other companies that provide tours in English. Just head to the main square in front of the Cathedral and you’ll see the buses parked there – make sure you ask in which language is the tour!
8| VISIT THE BIBLIOTECA PALAFOXIANA
I’ve heard wonders about this library, which is one of the first libraries in the American continent. The interiors are breathtaking and it treasures books from centuries ago. Unfortunately, when I visited the library was temporarily closed because of damage sustained in the 2017 earthquake. But now the library is open again so please go visit it! Just beware, Biblioteca Palafoxiana is closed on Mondays.
WHERE TO STAY IN PUEBLA, MEXICO
Book your accommodation by using the map below ⬇
MY RECOMMENDATION: MESON SACRISTIA DE LA COMPANIA
Don’t you love those quirky, colorful boutique hotels? I got lost in a sea of pink at Meson Sacristia de la Compañia in Puebla! I couldn’t have chosen a more instagrammable hotel.
• I dare you to believe in yourself. You are worthy of all things magic. • [D. Doby] • Don’t you love it when you get to your hotel and it’s so quirky and colorful? I got lost in a sea of pink at @mesonessacristia in Puebla. Consider it when you make your way there! Puebla, only 1hr away from Mexico City, was a great find.
When you arrive for the to check-in, you can already tell from the colorful exterior wall that this isn’t going to be one of those sterile hotels without a personality. It doesn’t surprise that Meson Sacristia de la Compañia is often referred to as one of the best hotels in Puebla, Mexico.
I usually prefer modern hotels, but Meson Sacristia de la Compañia was so fun and quirky, almost bordering kitsch, that made my visit to Puebla more special. The rooms are spacious and equally original, furnished with vintage pieces and paintings. My room also had a living room area with a desk and a coffee machine, and an all-blue, tiled bathroom.
The hotel is also known for being one of the best restaurants in town, and I can attest to this! I had some great mole, the specialty, and the atmosphere felt fancy but relaxed at the same time. I loved having breakfast every morning in the courtyard, and sipping my coffee while reading a book surrounded by all that colour – it really made me start my day with a smile!
I recommend staying at Meson de la Sacristia if you want to experience something comfortable and definitely boutiquey, but out of the ordinary – it’s definitely one that stands out among other Puebla hotels!
MEXICO CITY TO PUEBLA : HOW TO GET HERE?
Located just 110 km (68 miles) south of Mexico City, Puebla is really easy to get to. You have a few options to get from Mexico City to Puebla.
Bus from Mexico City to Puebla
Busing from Mexico City to Puebla is really easy. Buses are frequent (every half an hour), and you can choose to leave from either Terminal de Oriente (TAPO ADO) or Central del Norte, depending where your hotel is located. Search for the exact timetable on the ADO website.
When you get to the Puebla CAPU terminal, take a taxi or call a Uber as the terminal is not walking distance to the city center. The ride shouldn’t cost more than 80 pesos.
Bus from Mexico City Airport to Puebla
If you arrive to Mexico City and need to go to Puebla directly, there is a bus from Mexico City airport to Puebla that operates from terminal 1. If you get arrive at terminal 2, take the air train to terminal 1 first.
The Estrella Roja buses operate 24 hours a day every 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the time of the day.
Day Trip to Puebla from Mexico City
I definitely recommend spending more than one day in Puebla, but if you have limited time you can also opt for a day trip from Mexico City to Puebla. Some companies that offer this day tour to Puebla are Viator and Get Your Guide.
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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Meson Sacristia de la Compañia but every opinion is my own and my own only.