The attractions in Puebla, Mexico: The best things to do, free activities, tours, parks and museums

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South of the zócalo stands Puebla’s impressive cathedral, showcasing a mixed architectural style of renaissance and early baroque. Construction of the structure began in 1550 and spanned out for over a century, with most work being done in the 1640’s, under Bishop Juan de Palafox. Its dazzling interior, elaborate exterior décor, 69m tall towers and stylish side chapels are awe-inspiring. Bilingual signs explaining significance and history are all over the place. The cathedral also appears on Mexico’s 500M$ bill.

Several lovely museums can be found in Pueblo. Museo de la Revolución is housed in a 19th century building that was the scene of the first battle of the 1910 Revolution. The Museo Casa del Alfeñique details the Spanish conquest, which include indigenous murals and drawings of it, and also has a nice collection of religious and historic paintings, local furniture and household paraphernalia. The museum is a good example of the extravagant 18th-century decorative style. Museo Amparo housed in two adjoined 16th and 17th century colonial buildings offers a rich collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts, with explanatory information sheets in both English and Spanish. Museo del Ferrocarril is a lovely railway museum situated in Puebla’s former train station. Displays include steam-powered locomotives and relatively recent passenger carriages, as well as a collection of photos depicting train disasters of the past. Museo Bello has an extensive art and craft collection that includes a large collection of Puebla Talavera and Chinese, English, French and Japanese fine porcelain. The 16th century Hospital de San Pedro houses Museo Poblano de Arte Virreinal that has contemporary art galleries.

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Iglesia de la Compañía, also known as Espíritu Santo, is a Jesuit church housing a tomb that is supposedly the resting place of a 17th-century Asian princess that was sold into slavery in Mexico. The church has a 1767 Churrigueresque façade, while next door is the 16th-century Edificio Carolino, currently the main building of the Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.

Templo de Santo Domingo is a 17th century Dominican church featuring the stunning Capilla del Rosario (Rosario Chapel), while Templo de San Francisco, built in the 16th-century, holds the mummified body of San Sebastián de Aparicio, a Spanish migrant of the 16th century, who was responsible for designing and building many of Mexico’s roads.

Other places to visit in Puebla include the Casa de la Cultura, the zócalo plaza and Plaza de la Revolucion.