10 High Issues To Do In Oaxaca, Mexico (see, Eat, Keep)

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From the second I first arrived, Oaxaca held a particular place in my coronary heart. Its vitality and mine simply synched. I’ve solely grown to like the vacation spot extra with every subsequent go to. I even ran excursions there.

Matt Kepnes standing next to a mural in Oaxaca, Mexico
Matthew Kepnes in Oaxaca

Oaxaca is a metropolis of colourful buildings, scenic rooftop eating places and bars, ornate murals and road artwork, historic colonial church buildings, and picturesque parks. It’s additionally one of many gastronomic facilities of Mexico and a hub for mezcal. 

As you intend your individual visit to Oaxaca, this journey information will enable you to see the perfect websites, do the perfect actions, and eat at the perfect eating places.

Issues to Do in Oaxaca

1. Wander the historic downtown

People walking down a street in Oaxaca, Mexico surrounded by buildings
Discover on foot

That is the right place to discover iconic landmarks just like the Zócalo (the plaza in entrance of the Nationwide Palace), the Cathedral of Our Girl of the Assumption, and the Santo Domingo Cultural Middle.

Spend a while wandering to soak up the colourful colours and historic structure of all of the buildings.

2. Discover Mercado 20 de Noviembre

This covered market, one of many largest on the town, is house to every kind of scrumptious road meals in addition to native produce. You should definitely strive among the superb grilled meats right here (an area favourite).

3. See Monte Albán

View of a sunset from a stone steps
View from Monte Albán

The pre-Columbian UNESCO World Heritage Website of Monte Albán, situated simply 15-minutes outdoors Oaxaca metropolis, was based within the sixth century BCE.

The must-see historic and archaeological attraction is likely one of the prime locations to go to in Oaxaca and filled with historical Zapotec pyramids that span a number of miles. You should definitely get a guide, since there’s not any signage right here. 

4. Attempt a street-stall hamberguesa

The hamberguesa is a scrumptious, must-eat meal right here. I do know it’s bizarre to recommend “consuming a hamburger,” however this a quintessential Oaxacan invention (which means it’s not made for vacationers) and is greater than only a burger.

It’s a burger topped with a scorching canine, sliced cheese, Oaxaca cheese, ham, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, and jalapeño! Cangreburguer close to Santo Domingo sells probably the greatest.

5. Find out about Mezcal

Oaxaca is the principle middle of mezcal manufacturing on this planet. If you wish to study extra about this widespread drink, Rambling Spirits runs the perfect excursions in Oaxaca. Its guides have deep data and good connections, to allow them to take you to locations the larger excursions can’t. 

Moreover, you may pop into one of many many Mezcalerías on the town to study extra. My favorites are Los Amantes Mezcalería, Mezcalogia, Tres Hermanas, Mezcalería In Situ, and Comere.

6. See the Templo de Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo cathedral behind agave palnts in Oaxaca, Mexico
Templo de Santo Domingo. Picture by depositphotos.com

This Baroque Roman Catholic church was began in 1572, although it wasn’t accomplished till 1731. Initially used as a Dominican church and monastery, Temple de Santo Domingo was reworked right into a museum within the Nineteen Seventies.

It’s now house to every kind of non secular and pre-Columbian artifacts, together with well-known ones from Tomb 7, which had probably the most intact Zapotec artifacts ever discovered. It is likely one of the finest sights in Oaxaca. You’ll study quite a bit. 

7. Wander the Botanical Backyard

View of the ethnobotanical garden in Oaxaca, Mexico
Ethnobotanical backyard. Picture by depositphotos.com

These gardens span over two acres and have vegetation from throughout the state (Oaxaca is likely one of the most biologically various areas within the nation).

Self-guided excursions aren’t allowed, so that you’ll must go along with a information. There is just one English tour obtainable per day, so get there early as it’s first come, first served.

8. Take a meals tour

Among the best methods to get a way of the native meals scene is to take a guided meals tour. I extremely suggest doing one right here since Oaxaca is such a middle for gastronomy, with some of the various choices of dishes in Mexico.

Oaxaca Eats runs a number of excursions; you’ll get to pattern 20+ dishes relying on the tour. I like its excursions the perfect, as a result of they go to some distinctive spots.

 9. Meander the Sunday market

Mercado Tlacolula is likely one of the hottest markets within the area. It’s primarily been in operation for hundreds of years and is an efficient place to purchase native crafts, produce, meals, and all the things in between.

It’s situated 45-minutes outdoors city, so that you’ll must drive there or take the bus, but it surely’s completely well worth the journey. 

10. Rejoice Day of the Useless

Man and woman dressed up with face paintings for a festival in Mexico
In style vacation in Mexico. Picture by depositphotos.com

Día de Los Muertos is a giant celebration in Mexico. Locals paint their faces, go to cemeteries, and provides choices to honor the lifeless.

Oaxaca hosts one of many largest festivals within the nation, and there are tons of occasions and parades all through. It’s an unimaginable expertise. 

Greatest Eating places in Oaxaca

Oaxaca is taken into account one of many gastronomic facilities of Mexico. There’s a number of unimaginable meals right here. Listed here are a few of my favourite eating places: 

  • Los Danzantes – That is the perfect restaurant in all of Oaxaca, serving a contemporary tackle Oaxacan meals in a wonderful courtyard. You need to eat right here. Attempt the tuna tostados and the mole platter. 
  • Las Quince Letras – A conventional Oaxacan restaurant serving unimaginable mole. 
  • Casa Taviche – This restaurant modifications its menu relying on what’s in season, but it surely’s persistently good meals. 
  • Boulenc – A bakery and brunch spot with glorious breads, pizzas, and sandwiches. Get there early, as a result of there’s all the time a line. 
  • Taquería El Padrino – This meals truck in El Llano Park has among the finest tacos on the town. 
  • Tastavins – This cheap place serves low-cost tapas and Italian meals together with nice wine. The extra wine you drink, the larger your tapas get. It’s obtained an excellent vibe and is actually widespread.

In abstract

Cobblestone street with colorful flags hanging above it
Jalatlaco, Oaxaca’s artsy neighborhood

Oaxaca is an unimaginable vacation spot. It’s a vibrant place and lively, like road parades and distributors and music within the park day by day of the week. Should you love meals, historical past, and mezcal, then it’s important to go to. Even in case you don’t, a journey right here will make you’re keen on all three. 

For the perfect locations to remain in Oaxaca, try this put up on the best hostels in Oaxaca in case you’re in search of someplace low-cost.