The streets of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

The Streets of San Miguel de Allende

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San Miguel de Allende is beautiful, our friends in Mexico City had told us. We believed them, but based on what we’d read and heard we somehow expected a Disney version of a Mexican town, with perfect buildings and immaculate streets, with all the gritty character and atmosphere painted over and scrubbed away. The streets of San Miguel de Allende, are just a little more genteel than most.

The streets of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Sure the facades are in better condition than they are in most towns, and the cobblestone streets are well-paved, but we were relieved to find that San Miguel was as grungy and authentic as the next Mexican town, with paint peeling from walls, hand-written signs, and saloon doors half-swinging off their hinges.

The streets of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Sure our holiday rental had been restored to within an inch of its life, but them moneyed expats lived their lives somewhat separated from the locals. They went to bars with other expats or ones frequented by tourists and listened to cover bands playing Hotel California. They ate Tex-Mex food with the other tourists. They were flour tortilla people, not becoming enamoured with the corn tortillas of the street food carts – if they were brave enough to eat from the street food carts.

The town has plenty of character and charm – even with an expat population hiding in plain sight.


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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

6 thoughts on “The Streets of San Miguel de Allende”

  1. Gorgeous photos, I love the tones, they remind of typical Mexican sensuality. Looking forward to finding out where you are heading next!

  2. Lovely set of photos. I was initially planning a trip to San Miguel de Allende for Sep 14-20 but had to cancel because our basement took in some storm water and we had to hire a contractor to dig and seal the house. Argh! I wish I was travelling now. I just know that I’d have an awesome time in SMA – just me, my little girl, and my camera!

  3. Just beautiful! And as I remember it – perhaps a little more tarted up? I sat out on my terrace last night in a poncho from San Miguel – five years later! I wish I could go back… Enjoy! R

  4. Rowena, no idea whether it’s been tarted up, but the expats buying up properties are restoring some pretty rundown places that the locals can’t afford to. Nothing’s too over-the-top, though, you can’t remove all the grit and life from a Mexican town!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. It’s such a photogenic town. We had not heard of San Miguel before. A chance meeting with some other travelers ended in us renting their casita for 3 months there. We fell in love with it.

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