Top Five Things to Do in Oaxaca Mexico

Top Five Things to Do in Oaxaca Mexico

Written By: Santana

For those who want to see and appreciate history and vast culture of Mexico, Oaxaca is the place to go. While you’ll find many influences and historic aspects throughout many of Mexico’s cities, perhaps Oaxaca is considered to be at the top of the list. This visually appealing city seems to still have it all from colonial buildings, to ancient ruins and Baroque churches beautifully surrounded by modern architecture. Numerous travel magazines and blogs all count Oaxaca as being one of the best cities to visit and I completely agree.

In addition to the charm and heritage that is still so visually present throughout Oaxaca, there is so much to appreciate -- from the cuisine, to the shopping, as well as all of the points of interest and archaeological sites, you definitely need to spend a few days in Oaxaca in order just to skim the surface of what this area has to offer. Not sure what you want to do if you’re coming to this area? Here are the top five things to do in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Visit the Zocalo

Most of Mexico’s cities have a town square which is known as the zocolo. These town squares are typically located directly in the center of the city and have long been established as the historic points in town. At any given time there will be open markets, music and dancing, artwork or other kinds of festivals going on in the zocolo. It’s rather hard to miss this area of Oaxaca since it is so centrally located, but you will need to make an effort to visit because there’s always something interesting going on.

Visit the Museums

Even if you aren’t into visiting museums, I highly recommend that you try to go to at least one of them just to get a well-rounded experience as to the history and culture of Oaxaca. One of the most interesting museums in the town is the Museo de las Cultares, which features numerous exhibits of artwork and other archaeological finds from the area. There are a few interesting things about this museum that set it apart from others. First of all, it’s located in a monastery that dates back to the early 1600s, which is ideal for anyone who wants to appreciate the history and architecture in Oaxaca. Even if you don’t particularly like to go into museums, this point of interest is in itself something beautiful to walk through -- spend some time strolling through the courtyards or observing the monastery architecture. I always like to visit at least one museum when I go to a new town just to get some background and context to the area that I’m visiting. Not everyone likes to go to a museum and instead prefers to explore the city, but I would recommend that you make an exception to the rule and visit this cultural museum for only a few pesos -- it’s well worth the few hours you’ll spend.

Visit a church.

Many ornate churches are located throughout Oaxaca -- some of which date back 400 years and feature some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever seen. One of my favorite destinations is the Templo de Santo Domingo, which is even more breathtaking inside than it is from the outside -- if you can manage to attend a service or go on a tour of any of the city churches, I highly recommend it.

Browse the Markets!

Just like other Mexican cities, Oaxaca is full of open markets containing just about everything you could possibly be looking for. If you’re an international traveler, the markets are amazing at showing you the different foods and ingredients used throughout Mexican cooking. Stroll through the market and pick up some handcrafted goods, chocolate or even try the chapulines, which are fried grasshoppers.

Visit Arbol del Tule

One fun thing to do while you’re in Oaxaca is to check out the world’s widest tree. I know, it sounds like a completely unusual thing to see, but it’s actually quite interesting and located just outside of Oaxaca in Santa Maria del Tule. If you’re going to venture out of the city to do a little exploring, then the Arbol del Tule is actually fun and unique point of interest.

I love traveling around to Mexico’s amazing cities because they all offer visitors something different while still honoring and maintaining the rich heritage and culture of the Mexican people. Oaxaca is the perfect blend between historic and modern and for anyone traveling to Mexico and unsure which city to visit, definitely add Oaxaca to the list.

Related Links
Countries: Mexico
Cities: Oaxaca City
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