Tourists flock to Querétaro City to see the well-preserved colonial streets of the historic downtown center and the rich history of the state capital. Expats are drawn to the city for the same reasons, while also benefiting from a significantly cheaper cost of living, compared to the U.S.
If art is your thing, the historic center is filled with a wide variety of museums to suit anyone’s needs. The Calendar Museum has calendars that can be traced back to the Aztecs, as well as vintage-style calendars from a few decades ago. Another standout is the Querétaro Regional Museum, which displays artifacts spanning the city’s indigenous roots through the modern era.
Visiting a local tianguis, or open market such as Mercado de la Cruz, is the perfect opportunity to try some of the local queretana cuisine. One of the favorites is the nopal de penca, which is a cactus-filled with tomato, onion, avocado, cheese and salsa. The nearby town of Santa Rosa is famous for its barbacoa de borrego, or lamb. Enchiladas queretaras and tortas ahogadas are also very much worth a try.
The city hosts an anniversary celebration each summer with city-wide events involving music, dance and art, and there are holiday events and festivals throughout the year. “El Grito” on Independence Day is an especially large celebration, as Querétaro is considered to be the birthplace of Mexican Independence.
The state of Querétaro has the second largest wine region in the country, so many cheese and wine tours are available. The most popular winery is the Finca Sale Vive by Freixenet Mexico. Freixenet is a world-famous wine producer from Spain. Their facility in Mexico produces up to 2 million bottles annually. Be sure to try the sparkling wine!
Querétaro’s rich indigenous history is still prevalent in the beautifully- handcrafted trinkets, clothing and jewelry. You will be able to find these vendors set up in many of the streets in or around the historic downtown. Do not worry – you will quickly be able to tell the difference between the well-made handicrafts and their cheaply-made imitations.
Outdoor enthusiasts will be excited to know that the city is just a short drive from amazing mountain ranges perfect for hiking, running or for capturing breathtaking photos. The world’s third largest monolith, La Peña Bernal, attracts tourists and locals alike. If you are feeling adventurous, be sure to sign-up for a session to climb to the top.
For people looking to stay active, La Juriquilla is a state-of-the-art sports-complex that has an Olympic pool, tennis courts and an 18-hole championship golf course. There are also both paid gyms and free running trails, as well as large public sports complexes, like Parque Querétaro 2000.
Just like any big Mexican city, Querétaro has beautiful plazas to sit down, people watch and enjoy the bustling atmosphere of downtown. The Plaza de Armas and Zenea Gardens are popular gathering spots to sit and enjoy tasty treats from the street food vendors.
If you are a soccer fan (futbol in Mexico), Querétaro’s local team, Los Gallos Blancos, competes in the Mexican Primera División. Los Gallos Blancos plays in La Corregidorastadiums, which was built for the 1986 FIFA World Cup and has a seating capacity of 33,102.