San Luis Potosi, Mexico: 13 Reasons to Visit This Enchanted City

San Luis Potosi Mexico
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San Luis Potosi, Mexico: 13 Reasons to Visit This Enchanted City

Welcome to the heart of Mexico, where culture, history, and natural beauty intertwine to create an unforgettable experience.

San Luis Potosí, often referred to as an “Enchanted City,” holds within its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture a wealth of wonders waiting to be discovered.

From vibrant festivals to captivating landmarks, there are countless reasons why this gem of Central Mexico deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.

Considered one of the best cities to live in Mexico, San Luis Potosi is a quiet city and the perfect place to enjoy a different ambiance.

The capital city of the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi bears its name.

The streets of the historic center are full of old colonial palaces, religious temples, and museums where it is possible to learn more about the history and curiosities of San Luis Potosi.

Where is San Luis Potosi?

San Luis Potosí is a state located in north-central Mexico mostly praised for its fascinating Huasteca Potosina, a collection of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, natural pools, and breathtaking landscapes of unparalleled beauty.

San Luis is bordered by the states of Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Hidalgo, Querétaro, and Guanajuato.

The nearest border with the United States (Texas) is about 730 km.

Top 13 things to see in San Luis Potosi, Mexico

1. La Catedral Metropolitana

san luis potosi mexico
catedral metropolitana

The Metropolitan Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas (main square) is the most important religious temple of the state.

Its Construction began in the 17th century and was completed in the middle of the 18th.

This cathedral impresses with both its exterior and interior. Its main facade is of baroque style and has fine details.

Its two high bell towers also follow the baroque style although they were built later. I recommend you take the panoramic tour of San Luis Potosi.

The inside of the cathedral may not be one of the most ornate, but it has some beautiful chapels, especially the Main Altar.

Access to the Cathedral is free and the opening hours are from 7 am to 8 pm daily.

2. San Luis Potosi’s Historic Center

san luis potosi mexico
A person selling giant pork rinds in one of the streets downtown San Luis Potosi, Mexico
rotonda miguel hidalgo
The Miguel Hidalgo monument in the Alameda Garden downtown

San Luis Potosi is generally a quiet city and off the beaten tourist track, so you will not see many tourists while walking the streets.

In addition to the Plaza de Armas, other corners of the city center are well worth a visit, such as the Plaza de los Fundadores or the Plaza del Carmen, both of which make great pictures.

On your walk through the historic center of San Luis Potosi, I recommend taking a look at some of the most important buildings such as the Government Palace.

Inside this palace, you can find the first court of the State and see the symbolic oil painting of the priest Hidalgo and other oil paintings of the heroes of Mexico.

Another important building is the Teatro de la Paz, which was inaugurated at the end of the 19th century and is currently one of the four main theaters in Mexico.

3. Mexico Railroad Museum in San Luis Potosi

san luis potosi mexico

A must-visit site in San Luis Potosi is the Railroad Museum, one of the best in Mexico of its kind.

It is important to point out that this is a historic place because the real train station was here in the old days.

The museum was inaugurated in 2009 and since it opened its doors it is possible to take a trip back in time as you walk through it.

Inside the building, you can visit the exhibition spaces where it is possible to see in addition to explanatory panels some recreations of train cars, murals, etc…

And outside you can see several vintage trains in fairly good condition. The best part is that you can climb some of them to see them from the interior.

4. Mercado de la Republica

mercado de la republica

The Mercado de la República is about 1 km from the Plaza del Carmen.

This market is the most important in the city and inside you can find plenty of stores and stalls selling everything or almost everything.

You can find everything from snacks, toys, fruits, meats, and flowers; if you are looking for a souvenir, this is the place.

As in all of Mexico, visiting the markets provides the best experience, as it allows you to see some of the local life that is part of the daily routine of the Potosinos, as this Mercado has nothing touristy about it.

5. Casa Museo de Manuel José Othón

san luis potosi mexico

The Othon House Museum is located in the historic city center.

You can visit the house on your own or by guided tour. Inside you will see a small-looking house but very well preserved.

This museum is a tribute to Manuel José Othón who was born in this house in 1858.

This personage is one of the most illustrious and important in the history of San Luis Potosi in the XIX century.

Manuel José Othón was a Mexican poet, playwright, and politician who belonged to the literary movements of romanticism and modernism.

He is the author of the poem Idilio Salvaje, which is currently considered one of the most representative poems of Mexico.

During your visit to the interior of this house, you will be able to see the office, a bedroom, the dining room, and other rooms full of furniture and objects that belonged to the poet.

6. Templo del Carmen

del carmen temple
san luis potosi mexico

The Templo del Carmen is probably the most beautiful religious temple in San Luis Potosi city.

As its name suggests, it is located in the Plaza del Carmen and draws attention from the outside, it is impossible to go unnoticed.

The temple construction started in the middle of the 18th century and is currently considered the largest baroque-churrigueresque work in San Luis Potosi.

You may want to read: Xilitla, San Luis Potosi: Nature’s Wonderland in the Heart of Mexico

Besides being amazed by its splendid façade where you can appreciate the Solomonic columns, I recommend you to access its interior.

As soon as you enter you will notice its Main Altar but especially its side altars full of details and the different paintings made by Vallejo.

7. National Mask Museum

san luis potosi mexico

The Museo Nacional de la Máscara boasts a very curious and striking gallery.

It is located right in front of the Teatro de la Paz. I was pleasantly surprised as it has a more complete exhibition than I thought.

The museum is quite old since it opened its doors in the late twentieth century and on your tour through its different rooms you will see different masks ranging from pieces of traditional dances and rituals to animal masks and mythical or legendary creatures.

The museum has over a thousand masks and ceremonial costumes.

8. Labyrinth Museum of Sciences and Arts

museo laberinto artes

The Museo Laberinto de las Ciencias y las Artes is one of the most outstanding museums in the city and is located at one end of the Tangamanga Park.

This museum is quite big so I recommend you take at least 2 hours to visit its different exhibition halls.

It is characterized mainly as an interactive and dynamic museum that will allow you to learn more about science, art, and technology.

9. Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe Sanctuary

san luis potosi mexico

As you probably know by now, most Mexican cities have many religious buildings, especially about our Lady of Guadalupe.

Therefore, the Santuario Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is another must-visit if you’re into religious culture.

This sanctuary is very dear to the Potosinos and well worth a visit thanks to its architectural style that mixes the baroque novo-hispanic and neoclassical styles achieving a unique design.

10. Francisco Cossio Museum

museo francisco cossio

The Francisco Cossio Museum is about 3 km from downtown San Luis Potosi; a short cab ride will take you there.

I love house museums and I especially recommend you to visit this one since it is one of the most traditional houses in the city.

The house was built at the beginning of the 20th century and over the years, besides being used as a house and now as a museum, it was also a hotel, a school, and an institute.

During your visit to the museum, you will see furniture, sculptures, handicrafts, textiles, paintings, archeological pieces, and much more.

11. Tangamanga Park

tangamanga park

Yes! It’s time to visit some green areas, and what better place than Tangamanga Park, with beautiful woods, green spaces, and lakes.

The park extends over more than 400 hectares and is currently considered one of the largest urban parks in Mexico.

In addition to strolling through the park, there are several places of interest such as the Planetarium Observatory, the Ecomuseum, the Botanical Garden of the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi, and the Splash Tangamanga water park.

12. Anthropology Museum of San Luis Potosi, Mexico

san luis potosi mexico

Another interesting museum to learn more about the city and the entire state is the Museo Regional Potosino INAH, which opened in 1952.

The museum is housed in the old Convent of San Francisco built in 1586.

Inside you can see a collection that exhibits objects from the viceroyalty, archaeological collections of some important pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico, easel works dating from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, and other important historical testimonies of San Luis Potosi.

13. Centro de las Artes San Luis Potosí

arts center museum

The San Luis Potosi Arts Center is a neoclassical structure built between 1884 and 1904 which, until 1999, was the Old State Penitentiary.

Today, you’ll find a cultural center and artistic development of the most original works.

Inside this building, there is also the Leonora Carrington Museum where a collection of sculptures, jewelry, engravings, and personal objects of the artist is exhibited, as well as temporary exhibitions dedicated to surrealism and works influenced by Carrington’s vision.

Try the food!

san luis potosi mexico
The famous Enchiladas Potosinas

Besides its architectural and natural wealth, San Luis Potosi boasts an important gastronomic treasure including some emblematic dishes of Mexican cuisine.

I recommend you try several dishes such as the Enchiladas Potosinas, the Zacahuil (a huge tamale), the Asado de Boda, and the delicious Tuna cheese.

For dessert, I recommend the Charamuscas, one of the typical sweets of San Luis Potosi that is consumed especially during Lent.

Las Delicias restaurant is one of my favorites, located around Plaza del Carmen.

San Luis Potosi, Mexico: Final thoughts

Although San Luis Potosi is not as often seeked or commented among international travelers, it is definitely worth a try.

As I always say, Mexico never caeses to amaze me with all of the hidden and unexplored places it has to offer.

Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, a foodie, or simply someone who appreciates the magic of new experiences, this enchanting city has something to offer for everyone.

From its captivating colonial architecture to its stunning natural landscapes, San Luis Potosi promises to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

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