Oaxaca City, located in southern Mexico, is a destination that offers visitors a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its colonial architecture, vibrant markets, delicious cuisine, and a thriving arts scene, there’s always something to see and do in this city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this guide will help you discover some of the best attractions and things to do in Oaxaca City, allowing you to experience the true magic of this wonderful destination.
The 2 Best Local Experiences in Oaxaca City
The 2 Best Local Experiences in Oaxaca City
1. Street Art Bike Tour
If you’re fascinated with vibrant street art, then Oaxaca’s Street Art Bike Tour is just for you. Perfect for active travelers, this half-day bike tour covers more ground than walking tours, and you’ll have the chance to explore three different neighborhoods. You’ll spot colorful murals, posters, and stencil art by local artists while learning more about Oaxacan culture. You’ll also visit workshops and enjoy some snacks and bottled water during your ride. Don’t worry about any additional costs as the use of bicycles and helmets are included in the tour price. The meeting point is at Bicibella Oaxaca, where you’ll be provided with coffee and/or tea before setting off on the tour. The tour starts at 9:00 AM and lasts for four hours. Finally, the tour ends back at the meeting point.
2. Street Art Walk
Discover the vibrant street art scene in Oaxaca with a 4-hour walking tour. A certified guide will take you to the best locations to admire murals and graffiti created by talented local artists. The tour includes entries to workshops and bottled water for your convenience.
The meeting point is located at Coyote Aventuras offices, at Alcalá 802, in front of Jardín Carbajal, Downtown Oaxaca. The tour starts at 9:00 AM and ends back at the meeting point. The tour is wheelchair accessible and service animals are allowed.
Cancellation is possible up to 24 hours before the start time of the tour, with a full refund guaranteed. This small-group tour can accommodate up to eight travelers, so book yours now and experience Oaxaca’s street art culture like a local.
Most Frequently Asked Questions About Oaxaca CityOaxaca City is a wonderful destination with an abundance of cultural and natural beauty. As a popular tourist destination, visitors often have many questions about the city. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Oaxaca City:
1. What is the best time to visit Oaxaca City?Oaxaca City is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The weather is pleasant during this time, with daytime temperatures averaging 75°F (25°C). However, if you’re interested in attending one of the many festivals that take place in Oaxaca City, such as Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) or the Guelaguetza, you should plan your trip accordingly.
2. How do I get to Oaxaca City?The easiest way to get to Oaxaca City is by flying into Xoxocotlán International Airport (OAX), which is located about 5 miles (8 km) south of the city center. Many major airlines offer direct flights to Oaxaca City from cities in Mexico and the United States. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Mexico City, which takes around 6 hours.
3. What are the must-see attractions in Oaxaca City?Oaxaca City is home to many attractions, so it really depends on your interests. However, some of the must-see attractions include:
- The ancient Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán
- The Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman church
- The colorful Mercado Benito Juarez market
- The stunning Hierve el Agua natural springs
- The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca museum
- The beautiful Jardín Etnobotánico botanical garden
4. What is the food like in Oaxaca City?Oaxaca City is known for its delicious cuisine, which has a unique blend of Spanish, indigenous, and Mexican influences. Some of the must-try dishes include mole, tlayudas, and chapulines (roasted grasshoppers). There are many restaurants and street vendors in Oaxaca City that offer traditional and modern Mexican cuisine.
5. Is Oaxaca City safe?Oaxaca City is generally safe for tourists, but like any city, tourists should take precautions. Avoid traveling alone at night, keep valuables hidden, and be aware of your surroundings. Also, be cautious when using ATMs and only use reputable taxis. It’s always a good idea to check travel advisories before visiting a foreign country.
6. What is the local currency in Oaxaca City?The local currency in Oaxaca City is the Mexican peso (MXN). US dollars are widely accepted at many tourist destinations, but it is best to have some pesos on hand for smaller purchases. There are many ATMs in Oaxaca City where you can withdraw pesos.
7. What are the best areas to stay in Oaxaca City?There are many great neighborhoods to stay in Oaxaca City, depending on your preferences. Some of the most popular areas include:
- The historic center, which is close to many of the top attractions
- The Colonia Reforma neighborhood, which is known for its upscale restaurants and shops
- The Xochimilco neighborhood, which is quiet and has many parks
- The Jalatlaco neighborhood, which is known for its colonial architecture
8. Can I visit nearby communities to see traditional crafts being made?Yes, there are many nearby communities that specialize in traditional crafts, such as weaving, pottery, and wood carving. Some popular communities to visit include:
- Teotitlán del Valle, which is known for its woven rugs
- San Martin Tilcajete, which is known for its hand-painted alebrijes (brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures)
- Ocotlán de Morelos, which is known for its pottery
9. Is there anything I should know about customs or etiquette in Oaxaca City?Like any foreign country, it’s important to be aware of local customs and etiquette in Oaxaca City. Some tips to remember include:
- Dress conservatively, especially when visiting churches and other religious sites
- Greet people with a handshake or hug, depending on the situation
- Don’t point with your finger, use your whole hand
- Try to learn some basic Spanish phrases
10. How can I make the most of my time in Oaxaca City?To make the most of your time in Oaxaca City, consider taking a guided tour or hiring a local guide. This will not only help you navigate the city, but also give you a deeper understanding of the culture and history. Additionally, don’t be afraid to try new foods and explore different neighborhoods. Oaxaca City has something for everyone, so be open to new experiences.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Oaxaca CityOaxaca City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a vibrant and cultural city located in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The city is known for its colonial architecture, colorful markets, traditional cuisine, and vibrant celebrations. Whether you are traveling to Oaxaca for the first time or returning for another visit, there is always something new to discover. Here are some tips on how to spend your time as a tourist in Oaxaca City.
Exploring the City’s Architecture and MuseumsOne of the best ways to experience the city’s history and culture is by exploring its architecture and museums. You can start by visiting some of the city’s most impressive buildings, such as the Santo Domingo Cultural Center, which was built in the 16th century and is home to a museum and botanical garden. You can also explore the Templo de San Francisco, which was built in the 16th century and features an impressive baroque façade.If you are interested in museums, there are several worth visiting in Oaxaca City. The Rufino Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art is home to a collection of modern and contemporary Mexican art, while the Museum of Oaxacan Cultures showcases the region’s pre-Columbian history and culture. The Textile Museum of Oaxaca highlights the history and art of Oaxacan textiles, including traditional weaving techniques and embroidery.
Discovering Oaxacan CuisineOaxaca City is known for its flavorful and unique cuisine, which includes dishes such as mole, tlayudas, and chapulines (grasshoppers). To get a taste of traditional Oaxacan cuisine, head to one of the city’s many markets, such as the Mercado de Benito Juarez or the Mercado 20 de Noviembre. You can sample a variety of dishes and ingredients, such as tamales, memelas, and quesillo (Oaxacan cheese).For a more upscale dining experience, try one of the city’s many restaurants that specialize in Oaxacan cuisine. Try El Olivo for a modern interpretation of traditional Oaxacan dishes or Los Danzantes for elegant dining and a wide selection of mezcal.
Exploring Oaxaca’s Surrounding VillagesOne of the best things about visiting Oaxaca City is the opportunity to explore the surrounding villages, where you can experience the region’s traditional arts, crafts, and customs. You can take a day trip to the village of Teotitlan del Valle, which is famous for its hand-woven textiles, or the village of San Bartolo Coyotepec, which is known for its black pottery.Another popular day trip is to the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban, which are located just outside of Oaxaca City. This ancient city was built over 2,000 years ago and features impressive pyramids, temples, and ball courts.
Experiencing Oaxaca’s Festivals and CelebrationsOaxaca City is known for its vibrant festivals and celebrations, which take place throughout the year. One of the most popular is the Day of the Dead celebrations, which take place at the beginning of November. During this time, the city is filled with altars, parades, and dancing, as locals honor their deceased loved ones.Another popular festival is the Guelaguetza, which takes place in late July. This colorful celebration features music, dancing, and traditional dress, as well as a variety of regional foods and crafts.
Relaxing in Oaxaca’s Natural BeautyOaxaca City is surrounded by natural beauty, including mountains, valleys, and forests. Take a break from the city and head to the Hierve el Agua, a natural spring that features petrified waterfalls and mineral pools. You can also explore the Benito Juarez National Park, which is located just outside of the city and features hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views.To really unwind, consider booking a visit to one of the city’s many spas. Try the traditional Temazcal, which is a type of sweat lodge that is believed to have health benefits, or indulge in a massage at one of the city’s luxury spas.
ConclusionOaxaca City is a vibrant and cultural destination with something to offer every type of traveler. Whether you are interested in history, cuisine, arts and crafts, or nature, Oaxaca City has it all. With its warm and friendly locals, beautiful architecture, and rich history and culture, Oaxaca City is a must-visit destination for any traveler.
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