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Puebla

Travel Guide North America Mexico Puebla Puebla

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Introduction

Fountain in the Zocalo

Fountain in the Zocalo

© All Rights Reserved Lavafalls

Puebla is a nice city just under a million and a half people located halfway between Mexico City and Veracruz. It was built on this strategic point in 1531 because of equidistant point between the two major cities. Because of this it grew into a very important city during the colonial times. It was also the first city built by the Spanish that was not built upon a previously existing Native American city. Because of the amount of wealth that went threw Puebla the city has an amazing old town, which is very well preserved because the locals take great pride in it. The city is much more traditional and conservative when compared to Mexico City and people tend to be very religious here. Puebla is a great city to spend a day or two wondering its streets and looking at its fine churches. It is also a good place to jump off to other destinations like Cholula or further afield to Oaxaca.

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Sights and Activities

Historic Downtown

The historic downtown is littered with churches and other amazing structures. At its centre is a pleasant Zocalo with a nice fountain that locals gather around during the day. As you approach south west of the Zocalo you enter the university area, which is home to some nice bars and cheaper restaurants. Templo De Santo Domingo is a wonderful Dominican church located on 5 de Mayo.

Puebla Cathedral

Main Catherdal in Puebla

Main Catherdal in Puebla

© All Rights Reserved Lavafalls

The Puebla Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in all of Mexico. The two towers, only one which has bells in it, are the tallest in Mexico. The legend says that under the tower with no bells is an underground river and if the bells were installed in it, the tower would fall. Construction on the Cathedral began in 1557 and was not finished until 1690. The interior has several stunning side chapels and the main alter is jaw dropping. The Cathedral closes during the midday, making the best time to visit early evening or in the morning.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Museum Amparo (Museo Amparo) is a wonderful art museum with good English translations. It is located inside two converted colonial mansions that have been connected. The collection is from pre-Hispanic days to the present, although the collection on colonial art and furniture is great. Also check out what temporary exhibits they have on contemporary Mexican art. The museum is located at 2 Sur 708 and is open 10:00am to 6:00pm. Admission is 30 pesos.
  • Cholula is small town outside of Puebla with an amazing church that was built upon an ancient pyramid.

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Events and Festivals

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexciowhere where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

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Getting There

VW Beetle Parked on Street in Puebla

VW Beetle Parked on Street in Puebla

© All Rights Reserved claireh

By Plane

Hermanos Serdán International Airport (IATA: PBC, ICAO:MMPB) is the airport that serves Puebla. It also is an alternative airport for Mexico City. It has good regional service and limited international service.

By Bus

CAPU is the main bus station in town. It has buses to every city in the country.

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Drink

Near the University area south west of the Zocalo there are several bars. Check out Calle 6 Sur for there are several bars and clubs located on or near this plaza. There is also a lively LGBT bar scene and they are easy to spot with rainbow flags hanging outside the window.

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Sleep

Budget

  • Hostel Santo Domingo is the only real hostel in town. The building is a converted nunnery and is built around a pleasant courtyard. The free breakfast is ok and the staff are helpful. There is slow internet available in the lobby and towels are 5 pesos. The hostel is located at avenida 4 Ponlente #302. Dorm bed 150 pesos, Single Room 250 pesos, Double 350 pesos. Phone: 242-33-63.
PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Hostal Santo Domingo4 Poniente 312 (entre 3 y 5 Norte)Hostel79
Hotel Hacienda del MolinoCalzada del Bosque N°10 Col. San Jose del PuenteHotel-
Mesones Sacristia6 sur 304 9 oriente 16Hotel-
Villas Arqueologicas Cholula2 Poniente N° 601 San Andres CholulaHotel-
Hostel Casona Poblana16 de Septiembre 905Hostel83
Hostal de San Pedro6 norte 1203 Centro Histórico San Pedro CholulaHostel-
Popocatepetl HostelCalle 3A Sur 5946 Between Encina St. and Cedros St. Nearby Villa EncHOSTEL-
Casa Bugambilias2 Sur 5949 Colonia BugambiliasHOSTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a nice cheap internet cafe across the street from the Museum Amparo. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Phone cards can be purchased anywhere and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52.

Post

The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 25.4446248
  • Longitude: -101.3024106

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This is version 10. Last edited at 2:00 on May 24, 13 by sleepBot. 3 articles link to this page.

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