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6-Day Itinerary for Exploring Puebla, Mexico

Known worldwide for its Talavera, Baroque architecture, and mole poblano, Puebla is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a true treasure of Mexican life from the past to the present. For travelers who enjoy history, food, and architecture, Puebla should be at the top of your list.

Plenty of day trips are offered from Mexico City, just two hours away, but a day is too short a time to explore all that Puebla has to offer. We’ve put together a 6-day itinerary to explore the city of Puebla and several magic towns.

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The state of Puebla is situated in the central part of Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Veracruz to the east, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala to the north, the state of Mexico (where Mexico City is located) to the west, Morelos and Guerrero to the southwest, and Oaxaca to the south. The state’s diverse geography includes mountains, volcanoes, valleys, and plateaus.

The capital city, also named Puebla or Puebla de los Angeles, was established in 1531. It is the 5th largest city (by population) in Mexico and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Puebla was established after the Spanish conquistadors arrived, unlike other cities that already had some settlement from indigenous tribes. It has been an important stop on the trade route from Veracruz to Mexico City for nearly 500 years.


The city of Puebla is located 129.2 km from Mexico City and 280.8 km from Veracruz on the coast. The best way to get to Puebla is to fly into Mexico City (MEX), and then take a 2-hour bus ride from the airport to Puebla.

Flying into Puebla’s airport (PBC) is more expensive than MEX, and the airport is almost an hour outside the city. You can find good deals from Cancun (CUN) if you want to combine the beach and a historical town for your vacation.

If you decide to drive to Puebla, highway 190 goes around the southern part of of the city and the toll road goes through the northern part of the city. A car is not necessary in Puebla. Parking is hard to come by, and many things are close enough to walk to. If you do need transportation, Uber and taxis are cheap.


Stay in or near the center of Puebla for ease of walking to markets, restaurants, and landmarks. We stayed in the neighborhood of Los Sapos which was the perfect location in the heart of the antique markets and a 5-minute walk to the Zocalo.

For those who want less traffic noise just outside the center, La Purificadora, a Design Hotel by Marriott, and Hotel Cartisiano Puebla luxury hotels offer a more tranquil stay but are still close enough to walk to major landmarks.

If you prefer boutique hotels within walking distance to Centro, Hotel Boutique Casareyna and El Sueño Hotel & Spa have won several awards including recognition as a Treasure of Mexico (Tesoro Mexico) for their hospitality and authenticity.

You can check the prices in Puebla Centro using Booking.com.


Puebla is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico with its well-preserved 16th and 17th-century Baroque architecture, elaborate churches, and world-famous cuisine. The historic center is laid out in a European grid pattern which makes it easy to navigate. Streets of colorful casonas, colossal churches, and tiled government buildings are a photographer’s playground. If a doorway is open, go inside. The courtyards and staircases are just as much artwork as a mural on a wall.

UNESCO.org has recognized Puebla not only as a World Heritage Site but also as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for its Talavera pottery making and gastronomy. Puebla is a true melting pot of cultures from pre-Hispanic to European and Arabic influences. The Talavera they make today still retains the patterns from the 16th century.

Day 1 and 2- Historic Center of Puebla

You could easily spend a week in Puebla and not see everything, but we are mentioning the highlights to get a good feel of the city and state of Puebla. From food tours to churches, museums and forts, there is something for everyone in Puebla.

Start With A Food Tour

The best way to get to know a city is to start with a food tour. Puebla is one of the most important gastronomic regions of Mexico. A combination of pre-Hispanic, European, and Arabic influences has made Puebla an international destination for foodies. Mole Poblano and Chili en Nogada, the national dish of Mexico, were created here.  Try 15 different dishes on this Delicious Culinary Tour of Puebla.

Cemitas, chalupas, and tacos arrabes are some of the specialties of the region. For the best mole poblano, a sauce made from 30 or more ingredients with the dominant flavors of chilis and chocolate, dine at Augurio. The more adventurous may want to try seasonal specialties such as escamoles (ant eggs) and maguey worms.

Read our post: 10 Dishes You Have to Try in Puebla (and the Restaurants to Try Them)

Mole Poblano at Augurio

Churches of Puebla

People will tell you there are 365 churches in Puebla, one for every day of the year, but that’s a bit of an exaggeration. While there are A LOT of churches, it seems like one on every corner, the number is closer to 287. Many of the churches were built between the 16th and 17th centuries and display exquisite Baroque architecture encrusted with gold leaf for maximum wow factor.

Be respectful of those praying inside at all hours of the day. Wear pants and be mindful that not all churches will allow photographs such as the Cathedral of Puebla (which is absolutely spectacular inside). With its 70 meter high towers, 5 naves, 3 organs, and main dome with a height of 43 meters, this is one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world. Other remarkable churches to check out are the Church of La Campania and the Convent Church of San Francisco both completed in 1767.

La Catedral Basilica de Puebla has the tallest bell towers of any church in Mexico.
Church of La Campania, Puebla, Mexico
Church of La Campania, Puebla, Mexico
Convent Church of San Francisco, Puebla, Mexico
Convent Church of San Francisco, Puebla, Mexico

Museums of Puebla

Puebla has a vast selection of museums.  Start at the Amparo Museum to learn more about the indigenous people before the Spanish arrived. The modern International Museum of the Barroque highlights the Barroque movement with exhibitions of art and high-tech displays. Other museums focus on art, or distinguished people in history. The bullet-pocked Museo de la Revolución is the former house of the Serdán family who strongly opposed the re-election of Porfirio Diaz in 1910 which consequently, led to the decade-long Mexican Revolution. For train enthusiasts, visit the Museo Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Mexicanos, the oldest preserved train station in Mexico with a variety of steam engines dating from 1869 to 1974.

The Oldest Library in the Americas

Book lovers may want to check out the small Biblioteca Palafoxiana, the first public library in Mexico. It’s also considered to be the oldest library of the Americas dating back to 1646.

Biblioteca Palafoxiana in Puebla – the first public library in Mexico and the oldest library in the Americas


Day 3- Africam Safari and Historic Zone of the Forts

Venture 30 minutes outside the city for a unique wildlife encounter. Africam Safari is the perfect city retreat for animal lovers and those with little ones. This drive-through safari animal park is 30  minutes away from the center of Puebla. You drive through different habitats and there are stops along the way for you to observe the more dangerous carnivores from protective areas. Go early when the animals are the most active. If you don’t have your own car, no worries. This tour provides admission and transportation within the park from the Palacio Municipal de Puebla in Centro.

Elephants in Africam Safari, Puebla, Mexico

Northeast of the historical Centro is the Historic Zone of Forts. This large park encompasses two hills, the Guadalupe Fort Museum (Museo Fuerte de Guadalupe), Museum of Evolution (Museo de la Evolución Puebla), Puebla Planetarium (Planetario Puebla), Regional Museum of Puebla (Museo Regional de Puebla), and the Loreto Fort Museum (Museo del Fuerte de Loreto). The Loreto Fort Museum was the site of several battles between the 19th and 20th centuries, most notably the “Battle of Puebla” or “Battle of May 5”. You may know it better than Cinco de Mayo.

Puebla Started Cinco de Mayo

For military history lovers, you can see canons, swords, and other relics from the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, at the Loreto Fort Museem. This is the real Cinco de Mayo, where a small Mexican army and villagers defeated the French army, one of the strongest and well-equipped armies in the world at the time. While the rest of Mexico may have adopted margaritas for Cinco de Mayo from the United States, Puebla celebrates it as its own holiday. If you are in town for Cinco de Mayo, get a seat early for the 4-hour Cinco de Mayo parade. Every branch of the military marches down the boulevard including tanks, canons, representatives from all the indigenous tribes and villages of that time, and my favorite, the K-9 unit dogs. Check out the video below:

Day 4- Pueblos Magicos (magic towns) Close to Puebla


Cholula is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas. It’s also home to the largest archeological pyramid site in the Americas named the Great Pyramid or Tlachihualtepetl. Take a tour of the tunnels and learn more about this ancient civilization. Take some time to walk around the cute town, eat an ice cream, and see other Baroque churches.

Travel Tip: Don’t be disappointed if you can’t see the Popocatépetl volcano in the distance. Lately, it’s been huffing and puffing which has made it harder to see with all the particle matter floating in the air. If you have asthma, bring an extra inhaler.

Cholula, Mexico


The” City of Flowers” is known for its extensive flower production and nurseries. Plan your visit around one of several festivals in Atlixco. The Festival de la Flor (Flower Festival) starts in mid-March and the city creates flower “carpets” along its walking streets. From November 25 to January 6 Atlixco lights up the town (literally) with sky lanterns and amusement park rides during the Festival de la Iluminación (Lights Festival) or Villa Iluminada (Lighted Village). Located only forty minutes south of Cholula, it’s easy to pair these two pueblos magicos in one-day trip.

Did You Know There is an Italian Village in Puebla?

Back in the 1880s, the Mexican government wanted to improve their agricultural processes, so they invited Europeans to settle in Mexico, start businesses, and help teach the locals new techniques. Families from the Veneto region of Italy settled in the small village of Chipilo south of the city of Puebla. The town retains its Italian dialect, some traditions, and its cuisine.

If you do Cholula on your own (it’s a 15-minute Uber ride away from Puebla), you could take this private tour that combines Atlixco and Chipilo.

Day 5- Pueblos Magicos (Magic Towns) in the Mountains of Puebla

Zacatlan and Chignahuapan

In the north, Zacatlan and Chignahuapan are known for their cider and hand-painted Christmas ornaments respectively. Check out Viator for unique day trip options to Puebla’s surrounding pueblos magicos. These towns are close together, but a 3-hour drive away. Enjoy a waterfall, apple cider tasting, and shopping for hand-made Christmas ornaments on this private tour.    

Day 6- Talavera and Antique Shopping in Puebla

Puebla Talavera

Talavera is what Puebla is most known for. Production of these colorful ceramics has not changed since the 16th century. Its trademark is the quality of the clay from this region and the ivory-white base for decoration. You can find Talavera all over the country. Still, only Puebla has certified Dominion of Origin Talavera factories, 9 to be exact, that all meet stringent requirements to preserve integrity and hand-painted artwork.

Talavera from Puebla

Barrio de los Sapos (Alley of the Toads)

Los Sapos is home to antique markets and a lively weekend tianguis. This is a shopper’s paradise! From artisan jewelry and crafts to furniture, you can find things you never knew you were looking for at these markets. The shops and street markets extend down multiple walking streets and across Heros 5 de Mayo on the weekends.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a canvas bag with you. You never know what you may find!

Read our post: Antique and Talavera Shopping in Puebla to learn all about the different shopping areas and markets.

When Should You Visit Puebla?

Spring, fall, or winter are the perfect times to visit Puebla. If you don’t like crowds but can handle the hot weather, then summer is a good time to visit. Festivals are a great time to visit Puebla and beautiful little magic towns. Cinco de Mayo (see below) is a big celebration in Puebla. In the fall, there is the Feria de la Manzana (Apple Festival) in Zacatlan. The Day of the Dead, Brillo Fest (Light and Color Festival), and Christmas festivities are absolutely spectacular in the winter.

This itinerary hits just the highlights of Puebla. We hope this gives you some inspiration to visit this beautiful city and state. Check out our other posts about Puebla to learn more about where to shop and where to dine.


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