Last Updated on January 12, 2023
By Jim Ferri
In Mexico one Friday night, when my friend Greg and I were driving to San Miguel de Allende. We were coming from Mexico City and decided to make a stop in Queretaro. What a wonderful and magical hour we found in this old colonial city!
When you first see the modern, bland architecture of Queretaro, you’ll likely wonder what the fuss is all about. After all, very little looks the least bit colonial. But keep driving; you’ll find the old colonial center captivating. It’s this center that makes it a great day-trip from Mexico City.
It’s a UNESCO world heritage city and just reeks with history. It was once a wealthy and prominent town in the territory of New Spain. Later, briefly, in the mid-19th century, it was even designated the capital of Mexico by invading US troops.
A Picture-Perfect Center
Today, you’ll find the center of Queretaro picture-perfect. That’s especially true on the blocks surrounding Plaza de Armas, where bougainvillea cascading down white-washed walls. In addition, throughout the beautiful and charming old center, there are beautiful churches and nunneries and interesting museums. If you’re lucky, on a Friday night you may even find the Ballet Folklórico performing in the plaza.
According to UNESCO, “the old colonial town of Queretaro is unusual. It retains the geometric street plan of the Spanish side by side with the twisting alleys of the Indian quarters. The Otomi, the Tarasco, the Chichimeca and the Spanish lived together peacefully in the town. It’s notable for the many ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments from its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries.”
Visit Queretaro and you’ll see those monuments from the 17th and 18th centuries. And they’re all so perfectly woven into the tapestry of the modern city. Go visit Queretaro – you’ll fall in love with the place.