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‘Travel & Leisure’ Readers Voted These Three Mexican Cities As The 15 Best Cities To Explore In The World

Every year for Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Awards survey, the magazine asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.

And this year, Mexico seriously stole the show. It’s the country with the highest number of cities on the list and aside from the US, Thailand, and Italy it’s the only country with multiple entries.

Mexico snagged three of the world’s top 15 cities on this year’s list.

Credit; @TravelLeisure / Twitter

When it comes to urban charms, Travel + Leisure readers just can’t get enough of Mexico. 

Mexico has more cities on the list than any other country.

Credit; @JourneyMexico / Twitter

From colonial San Miguel de Allende (full of architecture and fancy hotels) and cultural Oaxaca (home to a large Indigenous population) to the bustling capital of Mexico City (which has it all), people are flocking to Mexico.

And despite all the bas press about the record-breaking numbers of homicides in the country, people can’t stop falling in love with Mexico.

The #1 spot in Mexico, coming in at number two worldwide, is the colonial city of San Miguel de Allende.

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San Miguel de Allende is a colonial jewel, a UNESCO World Heritage city and one of a select few cities worldwide to be so honored for multiple years.

“Its central location and rich history, as well as its culture, gastronomy, art and people, are a part of what contributes to its nickname as ‘The Heart of Mexico,’” said Laura Torres, President of the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board.

In addition to the city’s art, culture, gastronomy, heritage and architecture, the fabric of San Miguel de Allende is so colorful primarily thanks to its people, who give of themselves daily to preserve the city’s unique culture.

The recent “Faces of Our People” campaign was a tribute to the San Miguelenses who help shape what makes the city so unique.For example, Guadalupe Ramirez, also known as “Bola,” has been a prime advocate and promoter of regional cuisine for decades. And then there’s Humildad Galvan, who acts as guardian of the tradition of ceremonial tortillas of the Otomi communities of the Laja River Basin.

It really is a beautiful ciudad with stunning churches, plazas, cobblestone streets, great hotels, and excellent comida.

Credit; la_rosahouse / Instagram

The best way to see San Miguel de Allende is to wander its streets and cobblestone alleys, where visitors will discover a storybook world of colorful homes and mansions, elegant balconies and historic doorways — and the beautiful people inhabiting them.

Just outside the city, travelers can get in touch with nature by bathing in hot springs, strolling vineyards, riding in hot air balloons or getting the heart racing atop an ATV.

Next on the list, the nation’s bustling capital – Mexico City – coming in at number four worldwide.

Credit: mexicodf / Instagram

The most populous city in North America, Mexico’s capital city of Mexico City is home to Templo Mayor, the baroque Catedral Metropolitana de México of the Spanish conquistadors, and the Palacio Nacional.

It’s food scene is always rated one of the best in the world – from corner taquerias to upscale award-winning restaurants.

Mexico City is often called the museum capital of the world, with more than 150 amazing museums to choose from. Check out Frida Kahlo’s house to Diego Rivera murals in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, or check out the city’s thriving modern art scene at Museo Jumex.

And just behind Mexico City, is Mexico’s cultural and food capital – Oaxaca – which placed 5th out of 15.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Oaxaca, Mexico, is known for its colonial buildings and lively, bustling atmosphere. It’s also known as the cultural capital of Mexico with more than a third of city residents speaking an Indigenous language – the hightest percentage for a large city.

The city is also nearby to incredible attractions. From the other wordly Hierve de Agua to the ancient ruin complex at Monte Alban, there is so much to enjoy about Oaxaca.

READ: Mexico City Is One Of The Must-See Cities In The World And Here’s Why

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