After visiting the Monarch Butterflies, Mitch and I headed to the town of Morelia in Michoacan. We stayed in a bright, friendly and excellently located hostel, The Only Backpackers Morelia.
Lonely Planet calls Morelia the “Oaxaca-waiting-to-happen.” We’ve not been to Oaxaca yet but I presume they mean the beauty has been untapped by the travelling and tourism community. Morelia did not disappoint and I’m so glad we spent some time there. It’s easy to walk around and there are lots of places to see. Here are my six top reasons you should visit Morelia.
1. A Unique and Beautiful Cathedral
The town of Morelia is dominated by it’s very old and very beautiful cathedral. The outstanding cathedral took over 100 years to build. As such, it has a mixture of architectural styles. The inside decor is equally as stunning and frequent services mean that you can often hear songs as you pass by. At night, the cathedral lights up the surrounding area.
2. Delicious Cusine
As a state in Mexico, Michoacan isn’t known for its cuisine quite like Oaxaca or Guadalajara. However, we had some great meals while in the city and tried some famous mezcal. Tata Mexcaleria was a highlight, as was Onix. Within the region, their enchiladas are a little different as they are served with potato and carrot, a very nice addition.
3. Parks and Fountains
There are a number of places to relax in the shade after a hot day and enjoy some lush green spaces. Plaza de Arms is right next to the cathedral and offers plenty of benches for resting and taking in the awesome view. Bosque Cuauhtemoc is a huge park, lovely for walking and picnicking.
4. A Modern, Hipster Area
In contrast to the nearly 300-year-old church, Morelia is hiding a hipster and trendy part of town. Walking away from the cathedral towards the old aqueduct you’ll find an array of cafes and restaurants with an outdoor seating area. If you head upstairs you’ll find a modern cantina with a variety of different places to eat. If you continue down the beautiful leafy street of Calz Fray Antonio de San Miguel, about halfway down on the right you’ll stumble across a gate leading to a food truck park. Adorning cuisine from various parts of the world, a bar, and a performance stage, it’s an ideal place to try a mixture of food and enjoy a beer on a hot afternoon.
5. Cafes with Amazing Views
Opposite the Cathedral and Plaza De Arms you’ll find streams of cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating and a stunning view. Many of them offer some great drink deals in the afternoon to try and grab your attention (it works). It’s a lovely area to chill out and people watch.
6. The Amazing Library
There are a number of historic buildings and lovely university buildings which you can peek your head into. My favourite by far was the Biblioteca Publica de la Universidad Michoacana. This ancient library used to be a church and has since been transformed. As well as great artwork adorning the walls, there are hundreds of old books, on shelves two-story high. I wish my University library had been that impressive.
Morelia has whatever you’re looking, history blended with modernity, coming together is a very vibrant and wonderful city to visit. I’d recommend it 100% for anybody travelling in Mexico.