Querétaro is a large city in the heart of Mexico, founded almost 500 years ago; for two centuries, Spanish colonists and Otomi Indians coexisted relatively peacefully in it. Querétaro even managed to be the capital of the country, and even twice – in the middle of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th, during the Mexican Revolution – today it is a popular tourist center with cobbled streets, bright multi-colored houses and baroque monuments.
The old city of Querétaro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: a unique “hybrid” layout has been preserved here – perfectly straight avenues laid by the Spaniards wind around the winding alleys of the Indian quarters. Check clothingexpress for information about visa to Mexico.
How to get there
The fastest way to get to Quetetaro from Moscow or St. Petersburg is Wizz Air and Aeromexico flights with transfers in Budapest, Madrid and Mexico City, travel time is 38 hours. To save money, you can go from Mexico City to Querétaro not by plane, but by bus from the North Station: the trip will take 3 hours, but will cost 5-6 times cheaper.
You can get to the city center from the airport in half an hour by bus (60 MXN) or taxi (530 MXN).
Queretaro is located at the crossroads of federal highways connecting the northern and southern states, and from its bus station it is convenient to get anywhere in Mexico. 123 urban transport routes cover the entire territory of the metropolis, mainly private buses and collective taxis (essentially the same minibuses). There are also ordinary taxis – yellow cars with black checkers. A tourist trolley bus runs through the city center between its main attractions.
Luxury hotels are located in the central historical districts, surrounded by temples, museums and colonial-style houses. A room in a 5-star hotel will cost 1500-2000 MXN, whether it’s an old mansion with a flowering garden and a cozy courtyard or a modern building with a swimming pool and city views. In the center of Querétaro, there are simpler and cheaper options – from 700 to 1000 MXN, and you can spend the night in a hostel in the Old Town for only 150-200 MXN. Prices for apartments in the city range from 500 to 2000 MXN.
Cuisine and restaurants
You won’t be able to get away from the national cuisine in Querétaro, it is here at every turn: in cafes, restaurants, grocery stores and markets. Traditional corn soup is prepared with tomato paste, onions, garlic, hot peppers and butter, while fresh vegetable salads are served with pacholas – thin meat patties with guacamole sauce. A popular local fast food is gorditas de migajas, corn dough tortillas with baked minced meat, onions, herbs and grated cheese. But nopal de penca is already an Indian exotic, a cactus stuffed with tomatoes, onions, hot and sweet peppers. You can have a bite to eat on the go literally for 30 MXN, dinner for two in a restaurant with alcohol will cost 600–1000 MXN.
The popular gastronomic route “Wine and Cheese Trail” passes through Querétaro: sparkling wines are made from local grapes, and cheeses with herbs, nuts or blueberries are made from sheep’s and goat’s milk.
Sights in Queretaro
The architectural symbol of Querétaro is a grand aqueduct 1300 m long, built in the 18th century. With its appearance, water came not only to houses, but also to the streets of the city: once dozens of baroque fountains beat here, many still work today. In the labyrinths of ancient streets and spacious squares, many religious buildings of the 16th-18th centuries have been preserved – for example, the majestic Cathedral of St. Philip Neri, the Church of St. Clara with rich interior decoration, the Church of the Holy Cross with altars and a pink marble cross.
Hotels and museums are located in ancient temples and mansions: for example, paintings, clocks and other interior items are collected in the Zatekan house with a painted facade, and a hotel is opened in the Marquez house with a Mudéjar courtyard.
Querétaro adorns many gardens, parks and squares, the most famous are the Santa Clara Garden with the Neptune Fountain, the Garden of Arts with a summer theater at the monastery of St. Francis and the luxurious gardens of Zenea.
In spring, the city is immersed in fragrant clouds of blooming jacaranda – “violet trees” with lush crowns and purple-blue flowers.