San Miguel de Allende’s historic center is a time warp back to the 18th century. Spanish-colonial architecture dominates, replete with close to 50 public fountains (and hundreds of private patio fountains). Most streets are still cobblestoned, either round or flat stones that make walking in high heels a perilous adventure. In 2008, the historic center of San Miguel de Allende (and the close-by Santuario de Atotonilco) gained UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. In 2013, Condé Nast Traveler magazine named San Miguel de Allende as the best city in the world.
San Miguel’s 60-year artistic heritage is evident everywhere, from the patios of the Instituto Allende, to the dozens of art galleries and handcraft shops. If there was ever a craft, art, or activity that you wanted to learn, San Miguel is the place. Opportunities to meet other expats abound. Classes in two-to-three-dozen subjects are available at all times, and the number of charitable organizations is reported to exceed 100.