First of all and so there is no confusion let me explain that Puebla de Zaragoza and Puebla are two different things. When we talk about Puebla we refer to the State of Puebla and, Puebla de Zaragoza also known as the City of Puebla or Heróica Puebla de Zaragoza is basically the city and capital of the State of Puebla.
The city of Puebla is a place with history, culture and an enviable gastronomy. For us it is a place that we are very fond of, it is the place where we met the walking Frenchman and the Japanese-speaking flamenco dancer. If you read our blog you will know what I mean and if not, then I suggest you do.
Now, let’s talk about everything you need to know about the City of Puebla.
If you want to get a better idea of what this place is like, I recommend you watch our videos about Puebla.
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13 Things to do in Downtown Puebla
If you are looking for things to do in the historic center of Puebla, I have good news for you, in the city of Puebla you will find a lot of things to do.
From admiring what is considered the Eighth Wonder of the World to spending all your money in a street dedicated to selling typical Puebla and Mexican sweets.
This is the best of Puebla’s Historic Center and what you can’t miss.
The Cathedral of Puebla
Its total construction took almost two centuries and when you see it you understand why. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is one of the main attractions of downtown Puebla.
From the moment you see it, this one surprises you with the enormous size of its towers, which measure more than 70 meters. And, although seeing it from the outside is a delight, seeing it on the inside leaves you speechless. The choir area, the chapels, the altars and the large number of pews make you feel that there are 5 churches inside one.
The Cathedral of Puebla was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its beauty and great cultural importance. It is one of the monuments and places that you must visit.
To visit the Cathedral of Puebla
- Entrance fee: Free
- Hours: From 9:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00
- Tip: On Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm you can see on the facade of the cathedral of Puebla a light show and videomapping on the history of Puebla de Zaragoza, called Mosaico Poblano.
- Location: The Cathedral of Puebla is located at Calle 16 de septiembre s/n, Centro, 7200, Puebla, Puebla; next to the zocalo of the City of Puebla.
Admire the Palafoxiana Library
Inside the Casa de Cultura de Puebla is the first public library in America: The Palafoxiana Library. One of the places you should definitely visit in the historic center of Puebla.
It is named after Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, who donated 5,000 books to the Seminary of San Juan, requesting that they could be used by anyone who could read.
Today, the library serves only as a museum and not as a public library; however, if a scientist needed to conduct specific research, he or she could request permission to consult any book.
The Palafoxiana Library is a National Historic Monument and is considered a Memory of the World by UNESCO.
To visit the palafoxiana library
- Entrance fee: $40 pesos mxn.
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Location: Avenida 5 Oriente 5 esquina con 16 de septiembre, Centro, 72000, Puebla, Pue.
The House of the Serdán Brothers
The House of the Serdán Brothers, also known as the Regional Museum of the Revolution, was one of the places we enjoyed the most in the historic center of Puebla. It was here that our love and curiosity for the Mexican Revolution was born.
In this museum you will learn about the Revolution and you will be able to see what the houses in Puebla were like during this period, especially the house of the Serdán family.
For us, this place is a must-see in Puebla and we highly recommend it to learn about the Mexican Revolution.
- Cost of access
- Adults: 40 pesos per person.
- Children under 12 years old: 20 pesos.
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00- 18:00.
- Location: Av 6 Ote 206, Centro, 72000 Puebla, Pue.
El Parian Puebla
El Parián Puebla is an arts and crafts market in downtown Puebla ideal for buying souvenirs and crafts from Puebla.
This market is considered the first artisan market in the city, it is easily recognizable because it is mostly covered in brick with talavera tiles.
The market is worth a visit for the history and for the great amount of products it has. It is a nice place that even serves to take some pictures.
In this place you can find products from several of the regions of Puebla such as: talavera style handicrafts, regional costumes, sarapes, shawls, bags, briefcases, wallets, belts, tableware, decorative items, guitars, masks, wax dolls, papel picado, blown glass, etc.
To visit the Parian Puebla Handicrafts Market:
- Hours: From 10:00 to 21:00.
- Location: Calle 6 Nte 205, Downtown, 72000 Puebla, Puebla
Walking through the Barrio del Artista
Next to the Parián you will find another interesting place to visit in the historic center of Puebla, the Barrio del Artista.
This is a space dedicated to artists of all kinds so that they can exhibit their art while working on it.
You can even find some artisans teaching and following up with students of all ages (from toddlers to seniors).
In front of these places you can find cafes to take a break, enjoy a dessert or coffee while you enjoy the work of the artisans.
Dying of cravings in Calle del Dulce
If you have a sweet palate, hold on! because this street will drive you crazy. Among the highlights of the beautiful Puebla de Zaragoza is strolling (and obviously shopping) in the Calle del Dulce.
Here you will find stores with all varieties of typical Mexican sweets and, of course, Puebla sweets: sweet potato, Santa Clara pancake, borrachitos and, in season, mollete (and no! I’m not talking about the one with beans and cheese).
Visiting the Chapel of the Rosary
This chapel is located inside the Templo de Santo Domingo, it was decorated by Oaxacans and it is A JEWEL.
The expression of all the people when entering is of total amazement and it is not surprising since the whole interior is very detailed and covered with gold leaf, which makes this place shine before our eyes.
In its time it was considered the Eighth Wonder of the World and, when Pope John Paul II visited Mexico, he named it “reliquary of America”.
For this reason and more, it is, without a doubt, another of the things to visit in downtown Puebla.
To visit the Chapel of the Rosary:
- Entrance fee: Entering the Rosary Chapel is totally free!
- Visiting hours: Every day from 10:00 am. to 12:15 pm. and from 16:30 pm. to 18:00 pm.
- Location: It is inside the temple of Santo Domingo in Victoria del 5 de Mayo, Centro, 72000 Puebla, Pue. To get there you only need to walk, from the zocalo, on 16 de septiembre street until you reach 4 oriente street. You don’t need further instruction, believe me, when you walk around you will know which one it is.
- Tip: Every 10-15 minutes they give free explanations about the rosary chapel that are worth listening to in order to learn all about this place. The only thing they ask for this explanation is a voluntary cooperation.
We almost missed out on this experience and I’m glad we didn’t because I have to tell you that, for us, it became the number one activity to do in the historic center of Puebla.
At Casa Uriarte they take you on a tour of the workshop so that you can see step by step the process that the talavera goes through: from the creation of the clay, the molding of the piece, the firing, the enveloping, the tracing of the design, to the decoration with the 6 natural pigments.
The whole process is fascinating as you get to see craftsmen and craftswomen working on real pieces and deliveries.
If you want to know when to visit and how to get a free tour check this article: How to go to a talavera workshop in Puebla.
Conventual Temple of San Francisco
This beautiful temple, which seems to have three architectural styles merged into a single construction, is nothing more and nothing less than the place where the founding mass of the City of Puebla de los Angeles was celebrated.
This temple should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Puebla Centro because its great height and details in the facade will leave you stunned.
It is also believed that this temple could be the oldest in Puebla. In addition, inside the temple you can find a sort of family tree of the First Twelve Franciscan priests who arrived in Puebla with the mission to evangelize New Spain.
To visit the Temple of San Francisco
- Admission fee: Free of charge
- Visiting hours: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily.
- Location: Avenida 14 Oriente 1009, Barrio del Alto, 72290 Puebla, Pue.
Strolling through the Toad Alley
Although its name suggests it, you will not find these amphibians in this place. It is said that a river used to run along this street, which caused it to be full of toads and that is why it was named this way.
What you will find here are different places with furniture, decorations, ornaments and many curious objects that usually have a hipster or vintage style; with telling you that we found iron irons that were heated with firewood.
Discover the Secrets of Puebla
Although its name suggests it, you are not about to learn state secrets. The secrets of Puebla is the name of a series of subway tunnels of which you can only visit a small part since they are still being excavated.
It is not known what they were built for, only that they were used in the battle of May 5th and were one of the key pieces to defeat the French army.
Throughout the tunnels they will explain different aspects of the period, the battle of Puebla and the ghost Díaz (chan chan).
Take a tour of downtown Puebla.
Many of the places mentioned in this list can be visited using the guided tour of Puebla.
With this tour you will visit the most important tourist sites in downtown Puebla and you will be accompanied by a guide who will give you context about each of the monuments you visit.
Visit the Forts Zone
The route of the tunnel ends in the area of the forts, where the battle of Puebla of May 5th was fought.
In this area you can visit the Forts of Loreto and Guadalupe as well as their respective museums, the Interactive Museum of the Mexican Revolution (which we enjoyed very much), enter the planetarium or the museum of evolution and stroll through the viewpoint mantarraya while enjoying the view of Lake Concordia.
In the evenings, there is a night of legends, a videomapping on the lake in which a Puebla legend is told, which if you have time, you could stay to admire.
Eating Mole Poblano
The city of Puebla is the birthplace of mole poblano, if there is something you definitely can’t forget to do in Puebla is to eat this gastronomic delight.
Where to eat it? The truth is that it doesn’t matter, there are hundreds of places where you can enjoy this delicacy and most of them are of great quality.
You can get mole poblanos in both fancy restaurants and market stalls.
For what it’s worth, we enjoyed a delicious chicken with mole at the restaurants in front of the Parián.
Visit the Regional Museum “Casa de Alfeñique”.
I must admit that when looking for things to do in Puebla, I only thought of visiting this place to admire its famous façade, which is known because it seems to be made of a candy from Spain: the alfeñique.
As I walked by, I was amazed to discover two things: first, you really feel like you can eat the white decorations, like a Mexican version of Hanzel and Gretel.
The second: the museum is very worthwhile! We learned about the china poblana, the origin and process of the talavera, the Mexican independence movements in Puebla, textiles and the commercial evolution of Puebla de Zaragoza since the arrival of the Spaniards.
Visit the Ex Convent of Santa Rosa
Recognized today as the place where mole poblano was invented, the ex-convent of Santa Rosa is a must-see in downtown Puebla City.
Here you will visit a former convent full of legends that today serves as a museum.
Of course, the main attraction of the Santa Rosa convent are the spaces dedicated to the history of the convent and the story of how the traditional dish we know today as chicken with mole was created. During the tour you will learn about the origin of Mole and how it was created. You will learn about the kitchen, how it worked, and the privileges or luxuries that the nuns had for having created such a delicious dish.
You will also find rooms dedicated to the “seven” regions of the state of Puebla, the “china poblana”, the “talavera”, the carnival of Huejotzingo and the popular festivities of the indigenous regions of Puebla.
To visit the former convent of santa rosa
- Price: 40 pesos per person.
- Schedule: From 10:00 to 17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday.
- Location: 3 Nte Street no. 1210, Centro, 72000 Puebla, Pue.
Definitive guide to visit Puebla Centro
The 8 Places to visit in Downtown Puebla
If we have to summarize the list of attractions to the most important then these are the tourist places that you should consider as a priority in your visit to the Heróica Puebla de Zaragoza.
▷ Click on the ones you are interested in visiting to get more information about the attraction.
Did you know that…?
The word Puebla comes from the old Spanish and means: town or towns. And the reason it is so called is because it is a city founded by Spaniards.
Other activities to do in Puebla Centro
Here are some other activities that may be of great interest during your visit.
What to do in 1 day in Puebla
Watch our video
Do you know why they call it the city of angels?
It is known as the City of Angels because of the legends that are told about this place and it was named Puebla de Zaragoza in honor of Ignacio de Zaragoza, a historical character recognized for defeating the French on May 5, 1862 in what we know today as the famous Battle of Puebla.
Where to Sleep
After evaluating hotels in downtown Puebla, these are the ones we recommend:
El Sueño Hotel & SPA
We recommend it for couples; however, it is also a good option for families and tourists.
An economical option with an excellent price, excellent location and great quality.
Ideal for families.
🏨 If you need accommodation, we recommend looking here 🏨
Puebla de Zaragoza Tourism
How many days are needed to visit Puebla?
Boy, this is a tough question. We planned to stay for two weeks and stayed for a month. It really depends on the type of traveler you are.
If you are one of those who like to take it easy, enjoy quiet walks, rest suddenly and all this while getting to know the museums, gastronomy and culture, we recommend 3 to 4 full days.
If you have less time or your plan is to walk and walk and see until your feet hurt you could visit Puebla de Zaragoza in 2 full days.
Back to page of the State of Puebla