Take a cooking class
Puebla is known for its cuisine – whether we’re talking mole, traditional candies or street food – so learning more about all the local delicacies is a must when visiting. Several hotels will arrange cooking classes with local chefs for you, including Sacristía de la Compañia, which has an actual cooking school you can attend!
Visit the Great Pyramid of Cholula
The world’s largest pyramid is buried under dirt and grass and topped with one of Cholula‘s famous churches. The view from the top is incredible and, while you might not be able to see the pyramid in detail, there is an entire archeological site to explore, a cobblestone street to be huffed up to the pyramid’s peak, and an underground tunnel. This ancient Aztec temple is definitely worth the visit.
See Talavera artists at work
Talavera pottery is one of Puebla’s most famous exports and locals have perfected the art of making, decorating and selling it. Several workshops have Designation of Origin (PDO) status, meaning they have been certified by the government to follow traditional techniques and have the highest standards. Visit a local workshop and get to see artists delicately painting this exquisite ceramic.
Shop for antiques
Puebla’s capital, also called Puebla, has a weekend antique bazaar that not only spans decades of memorabilia and trinkets, it’s also set among the leafy trees of the Los Sapos plaza. All around the plaza are antique shops where you can get your fill of memories and dust, and many of them also have tiny cafés, ideal for taking a mid-shopping break.
The country’s most famous volcanoes, known as Izta-Popo, are in Northern Puebla. Though most often seen from a distance, both deserve to be experienced and explored up close and personal. The national park that houses them is a rather simple affair, but there is a handful of hiking trails, a visitors centre, and photo opts that will take your breath away.
Visit a local market
What better way to get to know any state in Mexico than by going to one of its markets? There are lots in Puebla City to choose from, but take time to wander out into some of the state’s smaller and more isolated towns for market day. You will find endemic fruits and vegetables, local textiles, and a taste of rural Puebla you won’t soon forget.
Admire some churches
Puebla is the home of churches. They say there is one for every day of the year. Puebla City and its sister city Cholula are where you will find them in the highest concentration. Start out with Puebla Cathedral and don’t miss Santo Domingo or Rosario. If you take the time to wander through some lesser-transited neighbourhoods, you’ll find some of the city’s oldest and quaintest churches yet.
Drink in Container City
Designed by Gabriel Esper Caram, this urban hangout spot in Cholula is a recycle fan’s dream and a break from the norm. Created using old shipping containers, you will come across galleries, shops, restaurants and bars in what has become one of Cholula’s most famous modern landscapes.
Container City, Av 12 Oriente Casi Esquina 2 Norte, San Juan Aquiahuac, Tlaxcalancingo, Puebla, Mexico, +52 222 225 0402
Eat, eat, eat
Don’t leave Puebla without trying cemitas, mole, candies, chiles en nogadas, pelonas… we could go on. Suffice to say it’s a foodie heaven. Take a food tour or wander on your own to some of the region’s great markets. Puebla City also has some of the area’s most traditional and delicious restaurants, so reserve at least one night for dinner at Mural de los Poblanos or Meson Sacristía de la Compañia.
Browse the Biblioteca Palafoxiana
The first public library in Mexico, founded in 1646, the Biblioteca Palafoxiana is now a museum and meditation stop on the Puebla whirlwind tour. Take a guided tour from one of the docents there – you won’t regret it, all you have to do is tip! It has more than 45,000 books and manuscripts, and a gift shop so you can take a souvenir back home with you.