Located two hours southeast of Mexico City, Puebla has an infectious spirit and passion all its own. The country’s fourth largest city is best known for a regional dish called Chiles en Nogada, the Battle of 1862 (Cinco de Mayo’s namesake) and a distinctive style of pottery, but that’s just scratching the surface of its rich mix of gastronomy, history, and design. See below for our top tips on how to spend a weekend in Puebla, Mexico.
Where to Stay:
The newly opened Rosewood Puebla luxury resort’s design, cuisine and atmosphere are grounded in the city’s vibrant cultural heritage. Guests can savor delicious Mexican cuisine at the three different on-site restaurants, each of which serves dishes on Talavera pottery, a type of pottery that is special to Puebla. One of the most enticing aspects of the ultra-luxe property is the rooftop pool and bar, providing some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the city. On a clear day, you can spot the tip of Popocatépetl, an active volcano that last erupted in 2016.
What to See:
Puebla’s full name is Puebla de Los Angeles, meaning “People of the Angels” – and the city streets, lined with churches, convents and other spiritual buildings, live up to the name. Stop by the Church of St. Francisco de Asis, just across the street from Rosewood Puebla, and chances are you’ll see a line of cars waiting to be blessed, a customary act in Puebla. In downtown Puebla you’ll find the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, the first public library in the Americas. Nearby, you’ll find the Museo Amparo – a historical museum with a dramatic history of its own. Originally a hospital, the building was then converted into a women’s college followed by the Deposito de Mujeres Casadas, which means “Refuge of Married Women.” Nowadays, visitors can explore 14 exhibitions of art before enjoying the rooftop coffee shop.
Just outside Puebla, you’ll find International Museum of the Baroque, a showcasing a curatorial medley of arts, fashion, and literature. Another neighboring must-visit is the town of Cholula, about 20 minutes from Puebla. There, the windy streets are alive with traditional food trucks, bodegas and charming local shops. Make your way up to the Great Pyramid of Cholula, which, according to the BBC, is the largest pyramid on the planet (with a base four times larger than the Pyramid of Giza) and the largest monument ever constructed by any civilization.
Where to Shop:
On Saturdays and Sundays, the streets of downtown Puebla are closed to all transportation and become bustling, outdoor markets, decorated with various toys, antiques, snacks and souvenirs. Visit La Calle de los Dulces, “the street of sweets,” to bite into Puebla’s native candy, Tortita de Santa Clara (named after its inventor, a nun in the Convent of Santa Clara).
What to Eat:
In August and October, signs in Puebla begin to advertise Chiles en Nogada, a seasonal dish made of poblanos, a walnut-based cream sauce, and pomegranate seeds. The colors of the dish – green, white, and red – signify the three colors of the Mexican flag.