Morelia is a Mexican city that often flies under the radar. Though smaller in scope than Mexico City and Guadalajara, this beautiful town on the banks of the Rio Grande boasts structures dating back to the 1500s, with more than 200 sites attaining UNESCO World Heritage status. It’s one of the hidden jewels of Mexico, and is affordable enough to visit on a budget.
Begin with a quick bite at Cafe Michelena. This quaint little eatery is well known for its delicious hot chocolate, but also boasts excellent coffee and sandwiches for less than $10. Then, make your way to the Morelia Cathedral. One of the oldest and most impressive buildings in the city, the cathedral features an incredible array of sculptures, paintings and one of the largest organs in Latin America. Entrance is free.
Next, seek out the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This national treasure is arguably the most beautiful church in Mexico, and possibly the world. The brilliant gold and red colors, combined with large and extravagant paintings, make it a must. Admission is free. From there, head to the Morelia Aqueduct. The 300-year-old Romanesque structure is an iconic part of the city and features more than 200 arches.
For lunch ,have a scrumptious meal at Cuish Cucina Boutique. A meal here will run you $10.
In the afternoon, head over to the Clavjero Palace, which houses a Jesuit church built in 1681 and Morelia’s public library. It’s free to tour. The nearby Mercado de Dulces, or Sweet Market, is also a must for candy lovers. Expect to drop $10 here.
Then seek out the Casa de la Cultura and the Carmen Church to learn about the history of Catholicism in Morelia. Inside you’ll find the Museum of the Mask, a definite highlight of the city. The admission fee is just less than $10.
Finally, make your way to San Miguelito for dinner. Not only is the food for sale here, but so is much of the decoration, which changes daily. Expect to drop $40 here.
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