Travel + Leisure Readers' 5 Favorite Cities in Mexico of 2024

Travel + Leisure Readers' 5 Favorite Cities in Mexico of 2024

Looking for an unforgettable Mexican getaway? Here are the top five places to go in our annual "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024.

When it comes to popular vacation spots, Mexico is hard to beat for Travel + Leisure readers. The country is famous for its warm hospitality, rich and varied culture, and crave-worthy cuisine — backed by a complex history and beautiful natural landscapes, from ancient ruins to pristine beaches. From the streets of Mexico City to the traditional towns in the state of Oaxaca, voters love this destination’s kaleidoscope of experiences.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Cities were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Sights/landmarks

  • Culture

  • Food

  • Friendliness

  • Shopping

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

<p>Itzel Garrido/Travel + Leisure</p>

Itzel Garrido/Travel + Leisure

What Readers Loved

Last year’s winner, Oaxaca, snagged the No. 2 spot this year. One voter described it as an “incredible place with incredible people,” while another called the city “beautiful and historic.” Several readers fittingly spotlighted the “absolutely amazing food.” (Oaxaca is, after all, famous for its mole and mezcal, among other regional culinary feats like tlayudas and enfrijoladas.)

In the No. 4 spot is Mérida, one of Travel + Leisure’s 50 best places to travel in 2024. The capital of Yucatán, this city is hailed as an LGBTQ+ friendly destination, and is also famous for its cenotes and Mayan culture.

Mexico City won the No. 3 spot for its mix of history, nightlife, dining, arts, and more. (The capital is home to more than 150 museums, possibly the highest ratio of any other urban destination on the planet.) In fifth place is Mexico’s second-largest city: Guadalajara. Multiple readers praised the city’s culture and atmosphere, with one reader commenting that the city has “exceptional cuisine, both modern and artisanal shopping, and extensive arts offerings.”

But the No. 1 Mexican city in 2024 is a destination so charming it routinely ranks as one of the best small towns in the world.

"The food was totally amazing, the city was clean, and the people were very friendly and helpful."

T+L Reader

The Winner

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

<p>Itzel Garrido/Travel + Leisure</p>

Itzel Garrido/Travel + Leisure

Set in the heart of Mexico's central highlands, San Miguel de Allende attracts travelers with a timeless allure and welcoming community. One reader appreciated the city’s “great art and beautiful Colonial architecture,” while another said simply that it was their favorite destination to visit. “I had one of the best vacations with friends in San Miguel de Allende,” one voter wrote. “The food was totally amazing, the city was clean, and the people were very friendly and helpful.”

Wine lovers can take a day trip to the nearby wine region in Guanajuato, those looking for a little R&R can visit Mayan baths, and art enthusiasts can take a class to make their own mojiganga, larger-than-life papier-mâché puppets traditionally created for parades and celebrations. Don’t miss the sunset views from one of the many rooftops in the city. (One of our favorites is Bekeb, which has a line of heritage cocktails that honor pre-Hispanic ingredients — but it’s hard to go wrong in this gorgeous town.)

The Full List

1. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

Reader Score: 91.88

2. Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Reader Score: 89.71

3. Mexico City

Reader Score: 89.28

4. Mérida, Yucatán

Reader Score: 86.67

5. Guadalajara, Jalisco

Reader Score: 84.82

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