What to see in Puebla in a day

Puebla, one of Mexico’s oldest and most famous cities, is the fourth largest in the country. The city was founded in 1531 as "La Puebla de los Angeles" (City of the Angels). Legend has it that angels laid rope across the empty land to indicate where the city's main streets and buildings should be constructed. The historic centre of Puebla was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. Puebla is one of the oldest colonial cities on the continent and among the best-preserved in Mexico. The city has preserved its remarkable religious structures and emblematic buildings like Puebla Cathedral and the old Archbishop's Palace, as well as a host of houses with walls covered in tiles (azulejos). The French legacy can be seen in the city’s elaborate wrought iron balconies and the fine crystal chandeliers adorning historic buildings.10 puebla cathedral thesanetravel.comP1287674

Let’s begin exploring the city with a visit to the cathedral.

Puebla Cathedral

This massive cathedral on the south side of the Zocalo, the main square in Puebla, features five naves and two towers measuring 70 metres (230 feet) each. 
13 puebla cathedral thesanetravel.com20230206 183543One of the towers boasts a total of ten bells. Puebla Cathedral, consecrated in 1649, was not completed until 1737, 162 years after construction began. The church’s interior features five naves in the shape of a Greek cross, fourteen columns, two domes, and over two dozen cupolas.
11 cathedral thesanetravel.comP128769312 cathedral thesanetravel.comP128769614 puebla cathedral thesanetravel.com20230206 184236Address: C. 16 de Septiembre s/n, Centro histórico de Puebla.

Puebla de los Angeles, a sculpture in the main square

The city's original name was "Puebla de los Angeles", and the statue of angels was unveiled in 1999 to help celebrate Puebla's designation as a World Heritage site. The city retained its traditional name until the 1860s when it was renamed Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza in honour of the general who defeated the French invaders at Puebla in 1862.21 puebla angels thesanetravel.comP1287687

Look also for the statues of angels around Puebla Cathedral.20 puebla angels thesanetravel.comP1287676

Our next stop is one of the oldest libraries in the Americas.

Palafoxiana Library inside Archbishop’s Palace

The Palafoxiana Library was established in 1646 when the bishop of Puebla, Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, contributed a personal collection of approximately 5,000 volumes to the College of San Juan y San Pedro. Today, more than 45,000 volumes from the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries coexist with a few from the 20th century. It is one of the first libraries in the Americas and the first that is accessible to everyone. In 1981, the library was declared a National Historic Landmark. You can certainly feel that this place emanates history.  As you walk along the long, vaulted hall, notice the elegant bookshelves that date back to the library’s inception. The shelves are made of cedar, pine, and coloyote wood.

30 puebla library thesanetravel.comP128770333 puebla library thesanetravel.comP1287708Among the highlights are antique and rare books held open in glass containers.33 puebla library thesanetravel.comP1287708

Address: Av 5 Ote 5, Centro histórico de Puebla, 72000 Puebla, Puebla

Opening Hours: 10AM–5PM, Tue-Thurs / 10AM–6PM, Fri–Sun (closed Mondays)

Artist Quarter and Parian Market

The Artist Quarter of Puebla is a trendy area full of quaint cafés and studios and a brightly coloured colonial plaza. Works of art adorn nearly every corner of the cobbled alleys. Notice the array of colourful colonial houses that today serve as painting studios, small galleries, and charming cafés. Pop into some of the open galleries for a glimpse into the local art scene. Peek behind the doors of the many market stalls to inquire about souvenirs. The artistic union responsible for the area often sets up poetry, music, and theatrical events.42 puebla artist thesanetravel.comP128774741 puebla artist thesanetravel.comP128774343 puebla artist thesanetravel.comP128775244 puebla artist thesanetravel.comP128775546 puebla artisansthesanetravel.comP1287817

By the way, there are officially 288 churches in the city of Puebla. Not quite one for every day of the year, but it is still an impressive number. And that number does not include many of the city's chapels, shrines and oratories. Even though many of them are worth visiting, I would advise you to see the Rosary Chapel inside the Church of Santo Domingo.

Rosary Chapel inside the Church of Santo Domingo

The Rosary Chapel inside the Church of Santo Domingo is one of Mexico's most beautiful Baroque churches. The Church of Santo Domingo undoubtedly is beautiful, but the real gem is the Rosary Chapel.50 puebla rosario thesanetravel.comP128782756 puebla rosario thesanetravel.comP128784951 puebla rosario thesanetravel.comP1287828

Praised for its architecture, it is considered a masterpiece of the Mexican Baroque. Also known as “The Golden House”, the Rosary Chapel is visually striking as its interior is covered in 24K golden stucco and features numerous details in onyx and Talavera.52 puebla rosario thesanetravel.comP128784053 puebla rosario thesanetravel.comP128784354 puebla rosario thesanetravel.comP1287845

Address: Av. 4 Pte., Centro histórico de Puebla, 72000 Puebla, Pue.

Puente de Bubas

A bridge known as Puente de Bubas, constructed in 1682, was buried in 1963 when the San Francisco River was piped to solve pollution problems and make a new road. In 1999, maintenance crews found that the bridge itself had not been torn down but used as a part of the culvert structure. Now that the restoration work has been completed, visitors can walk under a 70-metre-long (230 feet) stretch of this historic monument.86 puebla bridge thesanetravel.comP128779985 puebla bridge thesanetravel.comP1287792 Also, visit a viewpoint on the third floor.

Address: Av 2 Ote 1003, Barrio de la Luz.

Talavera pottery

You can buy different types of souvenirs in Puebla, including Mole Poblano and Talavera pottery, which are symbolic of the city. Originally from Talavera de la Reina in Spain, it was brought to Mexico during the 16th century and is a type of majolica pottery. Talavera pottery comes in various forms, including functional and decorative items such as plates, bowls, vases, and tiles.60 talavera thesanetravel.comP128760161 talavera thesanetravel.comP1287611 Used to adorn the many churches and buildings in the historic centre of Puebla, these decorative Talavera tiles, known as azulejos, are a defining characteristic of Puebla’s colonial architecture and what sets it apart from the rest of Mexico.67 puebla talavera thesanetravel.comP1287820

If you have time, visit Cholula as well.

Cholula

Cholula is a town 15 kilometres (9.5 miles) west of the city of Puebla. The Great Pyramid of Cholula, one of the world’s largest pyramids, is located there. It stands 55 metres (181 feet) tall with a base that measures over 396 metres (1,300 feet) on each side. It was built by the Aztecs to honour the god of rain. The Spanish covered it with soil and built a church on its top. So take your time and see both the church on top with gorgeous views and the ruins of the Aztec pyramids.70 cholula thesanetravel.comP128791173 cholula thesanetravel.comP128786975 cholula thesanetravel.comP128787376 cholula thesanetravel.comP128788174 cholula thesanetravel.comP128787279 cholula thesanetravel.com20230207 15343578 cholula thesanetravel.comP128789780 cholula thesanetravel.comP1287910

Practical tip:  I used Uber to get there.

Where to eat

Tacos El Sultan

If you feel hungry after visiting the Zocalo, eat at this restaurant.80 puebla el sultan thesanetravel.comP1287851You will love both the food and the prices. This is an excellent taqueria! The two towers of meat near the entrance are for two different types of tacos: tacos arabes and tacos al pastor. Both are very good!81 puebla el sultan thesanetravel.comP128785582 puebla el sultan thesanetravel.com20230207 132029

Address:  Victoria del 5 de Mayo 2-Local C.  

Like it? Pin it!

Puebla

What did you think? Have you visited Puebla and Mexico? I’d love to hear from you so please add your comment below.

  • Published by Anita on February 24, 2023
  •  

    Author: Anita Sane

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.

     

    Gravatar
    Christian
    Great post Anita! I really enjoyed reading about Puebla and the city's history, culture, and landmarks. The photos are really beautiful and gave me a great sense of what Puebla looks like. It seems to be a cool activity to find all the angel statues there, and I would love to see that library myself someday! :-)
    Gravatar
    Lorry
    We love the beaches in Mexico, so we are usually traveling to Riviera Maya, but after seeing your beautiful photographs and hearing about Puebla, I want to go there! Nicely done!
    Gravatar
    It was interesting to read more about Puebla since I had never heard of this Mexican city. A great UNESCO site to add to our list. So many beautiful buildings to visit. And we would love to wander in the streets to discover the markets and cafes. We don’t often buy souvenirs but it would still be fun to explore the Talavera pottery.
    Gravatar
    Melanie
    I wasn’t familiar with Puebla but it looks like a beautiful city to spend a day. The cathedral and chapel are so ornate and that Palafoxiana Library is amazing :)
    Gravatar
    Beautiful pictures and excellent pueblo guide.

    1000 Characters left


    Related Articles

    Self-guided walking tour of Mexico City centre

    Self-guided walking tour of Merida, Yucatan

    What to see in Oaxaca in two days

    Free Joomla templates by Ltheme