What to see in Mexico
Tourist attractions Oaxaca
For colourful and authentic Mexican culture, a vacation to Oaxaca is sure to deliver! Oaxaca city, known as Oaxaca de Juarez or simply Oaxaca, is the capital of the state of the same name. Situated in southern Mexico, Oaxaca city is famous for its production of mezcal, a traditional Mexican liquor, and for its thriving food scene. Furthermore, the brightly coloured houses of its Centro Historic add another layer of charm making a trip to Oaxaca a truly joyful experience.
Within easy reach of the incredible pre-Hispanic ruins of Monte Alban and the beautiful forests of the Sierra Norte, a stay in Oaxaca is ideal for those looking to explore the cultural and natural treasures of southern Mexico further. Oaxaca’s historic centre is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts many well-preserved colonial-era buildings, including a convent, cathedral and elegant public square. If you’re here to delve deeper into Mexican culture and history, you’ll find plenty of excellent museums and galleries. In recent years, Oaxaca’s contemporary art scene has gained a lot of attention, a nice addition to the already thriving traditional arts and crafts that this delightful city is known for.
When it comes to the best time to visit Oaxaca, there’s really no bad time to take a trip here. In fact, the spring-like climate is pretty consistent throughout the year. On the other hand, to experience the city in its most exuberant form, you should visit Oaxaca in July during the annual Guelaguetza festival, a celebration of indigenous cultures featuring authentic Zapotec and Mixtec traditions and much more. Ritual dances, parades and concerts take place across the city and the event is considered an integral part of Oaxacan culture owing to the city’s largest population of indigenous Mexicans.
A must-visit destination, travel to Oaxaca and you’ll surely fall in love with a city filled with authentic culture, mouthwatering cuisine, eclectic architecture and utterly immersive history!
Things to see in Oaxaca
If you’re thinking of taking a tour of Oaxaca city, the best place to start is in the elegant heart of the Centro Historico. Here, you’ll find Zocalo, the city’s bustling main square. Flanked by beautiful colonial-era architecture, restaurants and cafe terraces, this is the ideal place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere of Oaxaca. At its centre is a bandstand, but the real treasure of this square is the imposing Oaxaca Cathedral, one of the most popular sights in the city. Dating back to 1535, the facade is built from green cantera stone, a local material typical of Oaxacan buildings from this period. Although it has been reconstructed several times, Oaxaca Cathedral is still an important landmark, featuring a beautiful Neoclassical interior, and a functioning place of worship.
Another of the best things to see in Oaxaca is the Templo de Santo Domingo, perhaps the most impressive of all the city’s churches. Its finely carved facade is Baroque in style and the structure was originally used as a Dominican monastery. Today, the Templo de Santo Domingo houses a fantastic museum, the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, home to an array of interesting ancient books and religious and pre-Columbian artefacts, including those excavated from the Zapotec tombs of Monte Alban. Inside the complex are various courtyards whilst the former monastery garden is now an ethnobotanical garden, containing a large collection of native plants.
Finally, you cannot visit Oaxaca without picking up a few authentic souvenirs. After all, the city is well known for its rich arts and crafts traditions, and there’s no better place to go shopping for a unique reminder of your time in Oaxaca than the Mercado de Artesanías. Embroidered textiles, pottery and handcrafted jewellery are amongst the most popular things to buy here.