San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era city in Mexico’s central highlands, is known for its baroque Spanish architecture, thriving arts scene and cultural festivals.
In the city’s historic, cobblestoned center lies the neo-Gothic church Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, whose dramatic pink towers rise above the main plaza, El Jardín. The Templo de San Francisco church nearby has an 18th-century churrigueresque facade.
Other attractions by El Jardín include the Museo Histórico de San Miguel de Allende, which celebrates the life of Mexican independence leader Ignacio Allende within his former home, and the popular Mercado de Artesanías, where intricate indigenous handicrafts are sold.
Beyond the historic center rests El Charco del Ingenio, a botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary with extensive trails. The Instituto Allende is one of many schools throughout the expat-friendly city offering Spanish courses and art classes. The lookout point El Mirador, just outside town, provides far-reaching views.