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San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

City Guide for Digital Nomads

Parroquia San Miguel de Arcangel - San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Written by Hector

Founder of Latinomad, your Go-To Guide to living in Latin America as a Digital Nomad. My goal is to help people design a life that’s worth living; full of experiences, not things.
Last Updated:
Feb 27, 2022

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San Miguel de Allende, one of the jewels of the Bajío region in Mexico.

Known for its beautiful colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. It is one of the most popular destinations in the country for foreigners, especially American retirees.

The combination of high quality of life, awesome mexican food, and laid-back atmosphere, makes San Miguel one of the best options in the country for expats.

Top 5 Things to Do

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel

The most emblematic place of the city. It is a must-do to spend time exploring Jardín Allende, where the Parroquia is located. There are also many great restaurants and bars around this area.

El Mirador

For the best view of the city, go to El Mirador. You can take an uber up there, but I recommend the 15-minute uphill walk from Jardín Allende. The city seems a lot bigger from this viewpoint.

Mercado de Artesanías

The best spot to purchase souvenirs for your loved ones. It is located on Callejón Lucas Balderas. Most of the art pieces found in this place are made by local Mexican artists. Support the local economy!

La Gruta

Beautiful spa about a 15-minute drive outside of the city center.  Here you can swim in hot springs, take a massage, and/or chill at the pool. The most “instagrammable” spot in San Miguel de Allende!

Day Trip to Guanajuato City

The capital of the state of Guanajuato. It is debatable which city is most beautiful. It is about 1-hour drive from San Miguel, which makes it perfect for a day trip. However, if possible, spend a few days in this beautiful city.

Tours & Activities

If you want to save the headache of planning activities abroad, check out our partner Viator. They offer memorable experiences from San Miguel de Allende. The best thing: they are affordable, high quality, and have an awesome free cancelation policy.

Getting to San Miguel de Allende

Getting to this beautiful town can be a little bit tricky. There is no international airport in San Miguel de Allende. To get here, you will have three options:

  1. Bajío International Airport (BJX) – ~60 miles
  2. Querétaro Intercontinental Airport (QRO) – ~50 miles
  3. Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) – ~170 miles but the most accessible from most countries.

For detailed logistics on how to get to San Miguel, make sure you review our article on How to Get to San Miguel de Allende.

Visa Requirements

Tourist Visa – 180 days for citizens of the Schengen Area, UK, USA, Canada or Japan.

Documents needed:

  • Passport with more than 6 months of validity
  • A properly completed Multiple Migratory Form (FMM). Don’t lose it, you need it to get out of the country.

There are a few other visa options if you decided to stay longer than 6 months. For more detailed visa requirements, visit the Mexican Embassy Website.

Temporary Residency

Demonstrate Economic Solvency:

  • $2600/month for the last 6 months
  • or
  • $43,000 in investments/savings in the last 12 months

Permanent Residency

Demonstrate Economic Solvency:

  • $4350/month for the last 6 months
  • or
  • $170,000 in investments/savings in the last 12 months

Weather in San Miguel de Allende

High’s in the 70’s and 80’s year-round. It can get a little rainy in the summer and chilly at night in the winter.

How to Stay Safe in San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende had been out of the radar of the drug cartels for many years. It was known to be one of the safest cities in Mexico.

All that has changed in recent years.

The city has experienced some criminal activity lately. However, have in mind that most of the criminality in Mexico is concentrated in the drug trade world. The tourists and expats are not the target.


I encourage you to ignore the media and visit San Miguel de Allende. Don’t let other people stop you from exploring this beautiful city.

As always, follow our 10 Travel Safety Tips for First-Timers and never drop your guard.

Best Travel Medical Insurance for Nomads

Never take your health for granted, especially when you are abroad. During these times, it is a MUST to have a travel medical insurance you can trust in case of an emergency. In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for nomads is provided by SafetyWing.

Their Nomad Insurance is the best bang for your buck in the market. It covers medical assistance overseas and unforeseen travel charges.

The best thing? It is super affordable and convenient. Also, you can cancel it whenever you want.

Don’t take unnecessary risks and get all the bases covered with SafetyWing.

Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende

Zona Centro


I recommend staying in Zona Centro, as close to Jardín Allende as possible.
You will be at walking distance to most of the attractions, restaurants, and bars.


There are plenty of boutique hotels and Airbnb’s around this area.

A few luxury options as well, like the Rosewood Hotel where Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar is located.
San Miguel de Allende is one of the most expensive cities in México. You will notice that the cost of accommodation will be significantly higher. However, it still is cheaper than countries like the US, UK, or Australia.


Airbnb is the most affordable option, especially if traveling with a group.

Luxury: Casa No Name Small Luxury Hotel

Mid-Range: Clandestino Hotel

Budget: Selina San Miguel de Allende

Cost of Living in San Miguel de Allende

Competing with Monterrey for the most expensive city in Mexico. The influx of expats in recent years have increased the cost of living in the city. However, it still at a great price for what it offers.

Rent

You can find a nice 1-bedroom apartment in a good area for ~$700 USD/month.

Food

If you are coming from the US, you will find grocery costs to be ~15% cheaper. A little bit more if you come from super expensive cities like LA or NYC.

However, eating out will be significantly cheaper than in the states. I would say 20% cheaper, on average.

Transportation

Uber is ridiculously cheap in Mexico City. A 15-minute Uber ride ~$5 USD.

There is also Didi, which is even cheaper most of the time.

The best strategy to save on transportation is to stay walking distance to the gym, market, coffee shops, and bars.

Internet

Internet packages start at ~$20 USD/month for 30 Mbps.

Entertainment

Movies: $3 USD

Beer: $1.50 USD

Drinks: $5 USD (At regular bar)

Bowling: $4 USD/line + $1 USD/shoes

Internet Speed in San Miguel de Allende

Mexico City has good internet speeds. I don’t think you will have any issues getting work done in this city.

On average, you can find 40 mbps download and 10 Mbps upload.

However, there are higher speed plans if needed. Most coffee shops and co-working spaces in the city have great internet.

Language Barrier in San Miguel de Allende

Pretty much everything in this town is tailored for English speaking nomads and retirees.

Most locals speak at least basic English.

Learning some basic Spanish is not going to hurt, but not necessary.

Traditional Food

1. Fiambre Estilo San Miguel de Allende

Rice, beans, pork cracklins, fried sweet plantains, fried egg, avocado, arepa

2. Enchiladas Mineras

A type of corn cake/corn bread

3. Dulce de Cajeta

Popular fritter usually stuffed with pork or beef.

4. Patitas de Puerco

Breakfast plate that originated from combining rice and beans leftovers with pork, sausage, and/or eggs.

5. Guacamayas

Fried dough ball stuffed with white cheese.

Nightlife in San Miguel de Allende

La Azotea

A nice rooftop terrace with a good selection of cocktails and tapas. It is the best option for pre-gaming and/or those chill nights with friends.

Website: La Azotea

La Coronela

A fun cantina bar for those who prefer nightlife with a more local vibe. This place is open every day of the week.

Website: Cantina La Coronela

La Ingrata

A fun nightclub for those who prefer dancing all night long. If you like reggaeton, cumbia, and bachata, you will have a blast.

Website: La Ingrata

Mama Mia

Popular Italian restaurant and bar. The atmosphere, food, and cocktails are great. It is also a popular nightlife spot, open every day of the week.

Website: Mama Mia

Overall Rating (6/10)

San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful town that everybody should visit if staying long term in Mexico.


It’s a great spot for retirees looking for great weather, delicious food, and laid-back vibes.


However, if you are a nomad looking for adventure, this town is not for you. Spend a weekend and get out.

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