Just a couple hours due east of Mexico City — past the country’s most famous volcanos and some beautiful mountainous terrain — is Puebla. By no means a small town, the capital of Puebla state and its largest city is a bustling, charming place to visit. We recommend spending at least a couple of days here to soak up the cool atmosphere and local culture, as well as giving yourself ample time to see its sights.
You should visit Puebla, if for no other reason than to sample its amazing local cuisine. Mole poblano, tacos al arabe, and cemitas are just a few of the options you’ll find in restaurants and at street stalls throughout the historic Centro and Zocalo. The city and region is also famous for its eye-catching sweets — there’s even a street (known as the Calle de los Dulces) near the Zocalo that’s famous for its abundance of sweet shops. Here you’ll find tortitas de Santa Clara and camotes among the many colorful and edible offerings.
Food aside, Puebla is bursting with culture — both high and low. Atop the highbrow list is Museo Amparo. Situated right in the center of town, this is easily one of the best museums in the Americas. The collection includes cutting-edge contemporary exhibitions alongside an incredible selection of artifacts from the region’s indigenous and ancient cultures, creating a striking juxtaposition. Museo Amparo’s rooftop cafe is a great place for a cup of coffee with a view of Puebla’s baroque cathedral. A bit farther outside of town, you’ll find the actual Baroque Museum (Museo Internacional del Barroco). This straight-from-the-future building holds a mind-bending collection of equally dazzling and over-the-top Baroque artwork. It’s one of the city’s most famous destinations.
After all of that high culture, it’s time to indulge in some guilty pleasures. And there’s no better place to do that in Puebla than at Arena Puebla. Here, you’ll find Mexico’s lucha libre matches in all of their no-frills, dramatic glory. Where Mexico City’s lucha libre arena is all flashing lights and LED screens, Puebla’s wrestling scene feels far more down to earth and all the more thrilling for it.
When it’s done, head up the street to grab churros at Puebla La Churreria — you’ll see the line — and tuck into your sweet snack in the busy Zocalo. If there’s not enough in town, couple your time in Puebla with a trip to Cholula, which is less than 30 minutes west and is home to the largest pyramid in Mexico (albeit subterranean), colonial charm, and lovely restaurants (it also has livelier nightlife than Puebla thanks to its university students).