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22+ Exciting Things To Do In Puebla, Mexico

Puebla, Mexico, offers a unique blend of warm hospitality, delectable cuisine, vibrant landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage that makes it an ideal destination for travelers. Its proximity to Mexico City, just a few hours away by car or public transportation, makes it easily accessible. As you plan your trip, here are the top experiences to have in Puebla.

Why Visit Puebla?

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While planning your trip to Cancun or Tulum, it’s worth considering that there’s more to discover beyond just checking off a list of activities. Instead, focus on crafting an experience that truly stands out and leaves a lasting impression. Once you’ve explored the coastal regions, why not venture further inland to Puebla, a city shrouded in mystery and magic? This unexpected detour can lead to unforgettable memories and a fresh perspective on your travels.

Getting to Puebla, Mexico

Puebla city is situated in the heart of central Mexico, approximately two hours from Mexico City. Depending on your travel style, there are several options to reach this historic city. For many international travelers, flying into Mexico City’s airport is the most convenient method. From here, you can take a connecting flight to Hermanos Serdán International Airport, which lies about 28km outside of Puebla. However, flights to and from this airport are limited, making bus travel or car rentals viable alternatives.

The bus ride takes around two hours and offers multiple departure times throughout the day. Companies like ADO and AU operate this route, with fares ranging from $18 to $22 USD. For travelers seeking greater flexibility upon arrival in Puebla, renting a car may be the best option. This can be done directly at Mexico City’s airport, though be prepared for challenging traffic conditions and confusing road turns on your way to Puebla.

Best Things to do in Puebla, Mexico

Puebla, Mexico’s fourth-largest city and one of its oldest, is often overlooked as a tourist destination. However, this hidden gem boasts a rich history and stunning architecture, offering visitors an abundance of exciting activities to enjoy. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Puebla has earned its reputation as a must-visit destination in Mexico.

From exploring the city’s historic landmarks to scaling volcanic peaks, there are countless ways to experience the best of Puebla. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor adventure, this vibrant city has something for everyone.

Marvel at The Rosary Chapel

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The Rosary Chapel’s breathtaking beauty has captivated visitors from far and wide. Its ornate gold fixtures and stunning paintings create an atmosphere of opulence that’s hard to resist. This 17th-century gem has earned its reputation as the unofficial ‘eighth wonder of the world’, making it a must-visit attraction in Puebla. As you step inside, you’ll discover two distinct areas: the first is filled with intricate paintings that surround you like a work of art, while the second is an explosion of gold from floor to ceiling. Walking through this regal space, you can’t help but feel like royalty yourself.

Climb the “World’s Smallest Volcano”

Cuexcomate, often dubbed the ‘smallest volcano in the world’, is an unmissable attraction on any Puebla itinerary. This ancient geyser-like structure, situated in Libertad neighborhood of Puebla City, boasts a unique charm that will captivate visitors. Measuring just 13 meters tall, Cuexcomate features a staircase that descends into its crater, granting a rare and up-close view of its interior. Although not technically a volcano but rather a limestone formation born from a geothermal spring, this intriguing site offers a quick yet memorable stop for those seeking to experience something out of the ordinary.

Taste Test along the Street of Candies (Calle de los Dulces)

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In stark contrast to the ornate Rosary Chapel, The Called de Los Dulces – or The Street of Candies – was a three-block stretch of unadulterated fun and excitement. Every inch of the street was a feast for the senses, with candy stores overflowing with an array of sweets that rivalled the vibrant hues of the buildings themselves. This was a veritable paradise for confectionary enthusiasts! GERARDO HUITRON, a self-proclaimed sweet-tooth, was in awe of the sugary offerings on display. As he wandered the street, his eyes widened at the sheer variety of treats on offer – from traditional Mexican sweets to baked goods and beyond. Though his taste buds ultimately proved overwhelmed by the cloying sweetness of it all (a confession that no doubt left his blog readers in stitches), Huitron couldn’t help but be captivated by the infectious energy that permeated every corner of this sugary wonderland. While The Street of Candies may not have satisfied his sweet tooth, it more than met his content cravings – and is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Mexico’s cultural offerings.

Hang out with the Fish at the Michin Aquarium

A visit to Michin Aquarium in Puebla is an excellent addition to any travel itinerary. This attraction offers something for everyone, whether traveling solo or with children. The aquarium provides ample opportunities for exploration and learning through its various exhibits. For an enhanced experience, visitors can opt for upgraded tickets that include interactive animal encounters. One such activity could be a unique dive experience amidst the marine rays.

Shop at the Talavera Uriarte Factory

The Uriarte pottery and traditional Talavera enterprise in Puebla, Mexico, has been perfecting its craft for centuries. As you wander through the workshop, it’s clear that every item that leaves the premises is a labor of love. Each piece begins as a rough-hewn lump, which is then carefully molded and dried before being dipped in a rich yellow base coat. The resulting product is then baked to perfection in a traditional oven, imbuing each ceramic with a warm, earthy quality.But the true magic happens when the artisans take up their brushes. With precision and flair, they bring each piece to life with intricate designs and patterns. It’s a painstaking process that requires patience, skill, and a keen eye for detail. And yet, as you gaze upon the finished products, it becomes clear that all that effort is well worth it. The end result is a testament to the enduring power of traditional craftsmanship, where every item is imbued with a sense of history, culture, and human touch.

Ride the Estrella de Puebla

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The Estrella de Puebla Ferris wheel stands out as a major tourist attraction in the Parque Lineal, boasting breathtaking views from its 260-foot height. As the tallest of its kind in Latin America, this giant structure offers a unique experience, especially during sunset when the skyline takes on an otherworldly beauty. Its name, Estrella de Puebla, translates to ‘The Star of Puebla’, evoking a sense of being transported to celestial heights. If you’re a traveler who craves panoramic views and spectacular sunsets at every stop, this attraction is sure to impress. In fact, it might just be one of the top places to visit in Mexico for an unforgettable sunset experience.

Sample Puebla Favorites Along a Food Tour

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Indulge in a culinary journey through Puebla’s historic streets with Eat Mexico’s guided walking tour. This three-hour adventure takes you on a gastronomic exploration of over six beloved local specialties. You’ll discover the city’s best-kept secrets, from the revered cemita to the iconic Mole, and leave feeling pleasantly full.

Explore the Biblioteca Palafoxiana

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The Biblioteca Palafoxiana, Mexico’s first public library, is a treasure trove of knowledge and history. Founded by Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, who donated 5,000 books to create a shared resource for the community, this iconic institution has evolved over time to house more than 45,000 books and manuscripts today. Recognized by UNESCO as the oldest public library in the Americas, it is celebrated for its authenticity and bibliographical wealth. Even for those who don’t typically read, the Biblioteca Palafoxiana offers a unique experience, allowing visitors to marvel at the architectural beauty of the building and its ornate bookcases, while absorbing the rich cultural heritage that permeates every corner of this esteemed institution.

Admire the Temple of Saint Francisco

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The Temple of Saint Francisco is a 18th-century colonial church that boasts an exterior as stunning as it is historic. Built in 1760, this architectural masterpiece is a photographer’s dream come true. The facade is a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours, with ceramic tiles and red bricks expertly blended to create a visually striking effect. From a distance, the building appears a riot of colour, but upon closer inspection, the intricate detailing and precision that went into designing each element become apparent. This beautiful structure is an absolute must-see when visiting Puebla, earning its place as one of the top attractions in the city.

Go on a Safari at Africam Safari

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While a trip to Aricam Safari in Mexico might not be on every traveler’s agenda, it’s an unexpected delight that can add a fun twist to your itinerary. This expansive wildlife park, situated just outside Puebla’s city limits, invites visitors to embark on a unique adventure from the comfort of a double-decker bus. As you traverse the park, you’ll have the chance to observe animals thriving in vast open spaces designed to mimic their natural habitats, much like traditional safari experiences. With over 5,000 animals representing 450 species from around the world, including majestic lions, towering giraffes, playful lemurs, and elusive jaguars, this safari park is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Take in the Panoramic View of the Domes at the Amparo Museum

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Experience two unique attractions in one convenient location at the Museo Amparo. Upon entering the museum, you’re treated to an array of fascinating exhibits. But that’s not all – take the elevator or stairs to the café on the upper level and be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of Puebla’s cityscape. As Alberto Loyo so aptly put it, ‘seeing all the domes from the top of the museum was an amazing experience.’ This dual offering is a must-see for any traveler visiting Puebla, Mexico – don’t miss the chance to marvel at the numerous chapels that dot the city’s skyline.

Stroll through the El Parian Market

Step into the vibrant atmosphere of Puebla’s oldest and most traditional artisan market, where local craftsmen and artists proudly showcase their wares. The scent of freshly made mole poblano wafts through the air, enticing you to explore the colorful stalls and discover unique souvenirs. El Parian Market is a treasure trove of intricate Talavera pottery, handwoven textiles, and detailed silver jewelry – all made with love and care by skilled artisans. It’s impossible not to be charmed by the lively atmosphere and the chance to take home a piece of Puebla’s artistic heritage. And beyond the shopping, El Parian offers a glimpse into the daily life and traditions of this enchanting city.

Cholula Pyramid

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One of the most impressive aspects of this massive pyramid is its enormous base, which stretches all the way to the outskirts of town. I had the unique opportunity to explore the underground tunnels within the pyramid, and it was an unforgettable experience, despite my initial reservations about confined spaces. The journey proved worthwhile, as I gained access to a network of additional tunnels, although most were sealed off from view. This gave me a glimpse into the vastness of the pyramid’s internal layout and its impressive design. From the exterior, the pyramid appears somewhat modest, thanks to the imposing chapel built on top – a bright yellow structure that offers a breathtaking panorama.

Take a Historic Walking Tour

For a truly immersive experience, consider kicking off your city exploration with a guided walking tour. As you set foot in an unfamiliar metropolis, this is an ideal day-one activity that provides unparalleled insight into where to allocate the remainder of your time. With numerous options available in Puebla, each lasting anywhere from one to three hours, there’s something for every interest and appetite. Some tours even go a step further by incorporating sweet treats and spirited sips – think candy and liquor tastings! This unique blend of culture and indulgence will have you feeling like a true local, with the expert guidance of your tour guide serving as the perfect introduction to this vibrant city.

Puebla Cable Car

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As we rode the cable car from The Exhibition Centre in Puebla, we were treated to a bird’s-eye view of the city’s architectural treasures and got to experience its rich history firsthand. We passed by the site of the Battle of Puebla, where Mexico fought against France in 1862, as commemorated by this ABC 7 article. It was fascinating to see the area where such an important event took place.

Our ride also coincided with the city’s vibrant carnival celebration, which added to the excitement and energy of our experience. From 40 meters high, we had a panoramic view of Puebla’s stunning parks, buildings, and landmarks, making it truly breathtaking.

The cable car offered us a unique perspective on Popo and Izta, the country’s highest peaks, which are part of the Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park. These local volcanoes stood out against the cityscape, giving us a sense of awe at their sheer scale.

While this ride is definitely not for those with a fear of heights, it’s an unforgettable experience that reveals Puebla from a whole new angle. If you’re more cautious, however, the Estrella de Puebla offers a great alternative way to take in the city’s sights.

Tour the Forts of Loreto and Guadalupe (Fuertes de Loreto)

For enthusiasts of historical significance, the historic forts of Loreto and Guadalupe offer a fascinating opportunity for exploration. These landmarks played a pivotal role in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, where Mexican forces emerged victorious against French invaders, solidifying their reputation as symbols of national pride and resilience. Visitors can now delve into the preserved grounds and museum exhibits within the forts to uncover the tactical maneuvers, military armaments, and personal narratives of those who fought in this pivotal conflict. This immersive experience provides a unique chance to deepen one’s understanding of Mexican history.

Church of Santa Maria

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As we stepped into the Church of Santa Maria, my senses were immediately overwhelmed by the kaleidoscope of colours and patterns that surrounded me. Unlike its unassuming exterior, the interior is a visual feast, with every inch of wall, ceiling and floor covered in vibrant plasterwork. I half-expected to feel like I’d been hit with a sugar rush from too many visits to The Street of Candies! But no, it’s not just my imagination – this church really does boast an extraordinary level of decorative splendour.

The fusion of indigenous and European design elements is striking, with bold colours and patterns clashing in a way that’s both jarring and fascinating. Of course, you’d expect to see religious imagery inside a church, but the execution here is truly unique. If your eyes are ready for this level of visual overload, then this is definitely a stop you won’t want to miss. Be sure to have your camera or phone at the ready to capture the stunning details that surround you.

Admire the Art inside the Museo Internacional del Barroco

For connoisseurs of elegance, a visit to the Museo Internacional del Barroco in Puebla should be at the top of your must-do list. The museum’s futuristic structure, designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, is an architectural masterpiece that’s sure to leave you impressed from the outside in. But it’s what lies within that truly sets this cultural gem apart. Step inside and discover a treasure trove of exquisite baroque art, featuring paintings, sculptures, furniture, and decorative pieces that are a testament to the style’s opulence and grandeur. If you have the time, be sure to plan your visit during the museum’s opening hours, Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Wander the street of Frogg Alley (Callejon de los Sapos)

Puebla’s downtown is home to a treasure trove of colorful streets, each one more enchanting than the last. Frogg Alley, in particular, stole my heart with its vibrant antique shops, artisanal boutiques, and street art that seems to come alive on weekends. The alleyway transforms into a bustling market, filled with local vendors, musicians, and traditional performances that showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Tour the Catedral de Puebla

Puebla Cathedral, a stunning Roman Catholic Church, awaits your visit in the heart of downtown Puebla. As you wander through the historic center, make sure to add this architectural gem to your itinerary. Not only is it free to enter, but timing your visit just right might even reward you with a choral performance to elevate your experience. And don’t forget to stroll down the street to the nearby Templo de Santo Domingo and its beautifully attached Capilla del Rosario – both are well worth a quick detour!

More Things to Do Near Puebla, MX

If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience in Puebla, Mexico, having your own car can be a game-changer. Not only will it give you the freedom to explore the city’s surroundings at your own pace, but it’ll also allow you to discover some of the most incredible day trips just outside its borders. From ancient ruins to picturesque towns and vibrant markets, there are countless opportunities to experience the real Mexico when you venture out from Puebla.

Embark on an Iztaccihuatl Hiking Tour

This dormant volcano, also known as Izta, stands out as the third-highest mountain in Mexico, beckoning adventure-seekers with its thrilling challenge. The journey begins with a 3-hour drive from Puebla to the trailhead, where hikers embark on an immersive experience through diverse ecosystems, encompassing pine forests and high-altitude alpine environments, culminating in breathtaking vistas of the surrounding valleys and the adjacent Popocatépetl volcano. Due to its all-day, demanding nature, I highly recommend tackling this hike as part of a guided tour, which offers numerous options, including transportation from Puebla.

Explore La Malinche National Park

Escape to the serenity of La Malinche National Park, located just under 1.5 hours from Puebla’s urban bustle. This scenic day trip offers a tranquil respite from city explorations, with an array of trails to discover and awe-inspiring panoramic views spanning the states of Tlaxcala and Puebla, providing breathtaking vistas that stretch across the horizon.

Is a Visit to Puebla Worth It?

Mexico beckons, and Puebla is a must-visit destination that will leave you enamored with its rich history and cultural heritage. As soon as you step foot in this picturesque city, you’ll be struck by the ancient wisdom embedded in every stone and brick. The urge to absorb it all will be overwhelming, and you’ll want to make the most of your time exploring its many wonders.While Puebla is chock-full of attractions, it’s essential to tailor your itinerary according to your unique travel style. Are you a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure-seeker? Let your interests guide you as you navigate this vibrant city.Puebla is undoubtedly one of Mexico’s crown jewels, and visiting it will be a decision you won’t regret. Be sure to check out my vlog on YouTube for a more in-depth look at my travels in Mexico.

So Many Things to do in Puebla!

Puebla’s versatility is a major draw, offering a diverse array of experiences for history enthusiasts, sunset seekers, nature lovers, and those with a sweet tooth. This magical Mexican city caters to adventurers, those seeking stunning views, and locals who have preserved their customs throughout the centuries. The cultural heritage of Puebla is palpable, with memories from bygone eras still alive in its people today. Collaborating with Visit Mexico, this blog post celebrates one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets – a destination that has earned my gratitude for supporting me and my work.