Enjoy Mexican Culture

What To Do In Oaxaca City

If you’ve traveled around Mexico you know there’s culture everywhere! But Oaxaca may be one of the Mexican states with more culture and history. I spent a week in Oaxaca City, its capital, which has numerous colonial-era buildings and very colorful art. I was amazed by all the local artists’ expositions that you can find almost in every corner. Surrounding mountains make a beautiful scenery that adds up to all that this charming city has to offer.


My friend Santiago was my host, as he is a designer his house was beautiful, there was art in every corner, I enjoyed that everything was organized in a symmetrical way (I blame my OCD haha). Having him as a local guide was definitely an advantage as he showed me all the musts do’s in Oaxaca, which I share now with you:

1. Visit the famous Santo Domingo Temple, built in 1551. It’s spectacular.


2. Walk around the Ethnobotanical Garden, a unique 2.3 acres garden, full of different plants of the region. I especially liked walking through a cactus maze.


3. I’m pretty sure you’ve had Tequila, but in Oaxaca try Mezcal. Actually, you may end up drinking it every day as I did! If you can, visit a Mezcal Factory, or go to a gallery opening, they usually give it for free!


4. Take a Tour to Mitla, which name means the City of the Dead. This is one of the several archaeological sites you can find in Oaxaca state. Monte Alban is also a very popular one.


5. Hotel Boutiques in Oaxaca are famous for very creative architecture and decoration. If you stay at a house like I did, then, at least, take a sneak peak into one.


6. Snap a picture at the famous Arbol del Tule. Did you know it is the stoutest trunk in the whole world?


7. Oaxaca is full of museums! My favorite was Museo de la Filatelia, where I was able to see letters written from Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera. Visit at least three of the following:

  • Museo de la Filatelia (Philately)
  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Modern Art)
  • Museo de Arte Prehispánico Rufino Tamayo (Prehispanic Art)
  • Museo Textil (Textile)
  • Museo de la Ciudad (State’s Culture)
  • Museo del Palacio-Espacio de la Diversidad (State’s Culture)
  • Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Photography)
  • Museo de Sitio Casa Juárez (State’s Culture)
  • Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca (State’s Culture)
  • Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños – MUPO (Local Art)




8. Read a book at Juan de Cordova library and enjoy a play at BS Children’s Library. Again, architecture in both of them is wonderful.


9. Do yourself a favor and go go go to Hierve el Agua, this is one of my favorite places on earth so far. The site has petrified cascades made by minerals coming from spring water. The views are simply stunning, it is almost surreal! Make sure you take a tour, the roads to get there are very steep and it could be dangerous if you go driving by yourself. Tour guides know the way and have experience.



10. Visit Centro de las Artes de San Agustin Etla. This yarn factory was restored into an art center in 2006, by Francisco Toledo, a very popular local artist and philanthropist.



After a week in Oaxaca, all I can say is that I’m in love, every single place I walked into had a magical story to tell! Have you been to this Mexican city? What did you enjoy the most?