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Zacatecas is famous for its historical center.

The historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a rare find (a hidden gem) in today’s times of architectural development to come across such amazing management of preservation. For example, you will not find glitzy advertising banners above the entrances of the buildings. All the external fixtures must comply with the Federal, State, and Municipal regulations in terms of preserving Zacatecas’ historic city center.

Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome historic streeet heritage

Coupled with the fact that the main street is still intact as it follows the same path where the river once was, it makes for a memorable travel experience.

Thus, hats off to such passion which allows us to enjoy the authenticity of traveling this remarkable city.

The first thing I loved about Zacatecas was the name. It fell so beautifully on the tongue. It’s like Tlaquepaque (Spanish pronunciation: tlakeˈpake) and Guadalajara, two lovely cities in Jalisco, Mexico.

Just for fun: Click on the two hyperlinks above for the correct pronunciations and try them yourselves!


Having said what I loved first, I can only conclude on the subject by saying what is there NOT to love about Zacatecas? And for that matter, the whole of Mexico…

  • History, traditions, and culture are abundant, which makes for fascinating sightseeing.
  • The food is terrific.
  • Its people are super friendly, warm helpful, and kind.

Speaking about people; Spanish is the main language in Mexico. So, you may want to learn a few basic words…

Mexico culture traditions travelandhome language

Now that you know a few basic words, let’s get you there.

The best time to go to Zacatecas…

  • June to September is the rainy period, with July and August being the rainiest months.
  • April and May have the most hours of sunshine and are usually the warmest months. It makes for great sightseeing and day-trips.
  • The average nighttime temperatures in Zacatecas hardly ever go below 5 degrees Celsius in the winter, and winter daytime temperatures are usually above 15 degrees.
  • January is the coolest month varying between 5 (nighttime) to 18 (daytime) degrees Celsius on average.

How to get to Zacatecas

It’s pretty easy. For example, they have an international airport, the Zacatecas International Airport (ZCL). There are many direct flights available. To name a few…, to and from Mexico City (flight time around 1h25m), and many US cities. And once you’ve arrived, there are many taxis at the airport to take you to historic downtown (Centro Historico), which is a 20-minute drive depending on the traffic.

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Travel tips

  • A tip from the locals on where to eat is Taqueria Wendy Restaurante, in walking distance from Museo Rafael Coronel. We tried it, and it was a winner. Delicious authentic Mexican cuisine at its best. 
  • Zacatecas once was the center of silver mining in Mexico. Hence my fine shopping spree of some stunning silver jewelry pieces at very attractive prices. I felt this alone was a good reason to travel to Zacatecas.
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Restaurant traditional Mexican food
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Restaurant Taqueria Wendy

Do you need a car in Zacatecas?

This is another car-free travel experience. The historic downtown is relatively small (about 2,400 meters, or 8,000 feet) and can easily be done by foot. When and where you need a car, it will be more viable to catch a taxi instead of having to pay for a car rental for the duration of your stay. This way you will get the most of exploring the city.

Main attractions in Zacatecas

Things to do and places to see are just as abundant in Mexico as its culture and traditions. And Zacatecas is no exception. Apart from the historic city center, the following sightseeing attractions are not to be missed.

  • Mina El Edén is a must-visit. This ancient silver mine has an underground train that passes unique rock formations and takes you into the underground museum with displays of mineral deposits. Antique mining machinery is also on display at the entrance.
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Mina El Eden rock and mineral museum 1
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Mina El Eden 16th century mine
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Mina El Eden fossils
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Mina El Eden museum display
  • From all the churches, the highlight is the cathedral in the city center because of its amazing architecture. No wonder it took so long to complete! It took 30 years to complete (from 1730 to 1760).
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Cathedral front facade
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Cathedral inside roof
zacatecas cathedral travelandhome
Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Aerial view church
  • Take the Teleferico ride to the famous Cerro de la Bufa for panoramic views of the city. There’s also a beautiful chapel on Bufa Hill worth seeing.
  • Whether you’re an art lover or not, visit the Museo Pedro Coronel. To get the most of your experience I suggest visiting the museum with a tour guide. It is truly fascinating and the wide arrangement of global art is impressive.
  • Another impressive museum is Museo Rafael Coronel, in parts a ruin. The collection of masks are astounding.
  • La Quemada (also known as Chicomóztoc), Mesoamerican ancient and mysterious ruins sits to the south of Zacatecas and is a nice day-trip about 56 km (35 mi) from the city center. The purpose of the ruins and who built is are mysteries still to be solved. Since there are no services at the site, make sure you have a decent supply of water, and wear your hat and comfy walking shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking. Oh, and if you’re not on a group tour you can easily enough do this on your own because there are willing and informative English-speaking guides around at a small tip.

Considering all the above things you could do in this ancient city (founded in 1546), I suggest you spend at least 4 days in Zacatecas.


Where to stay

Zacatecas Quinta Real Hotel Mexico travelandhome where to stay hotel

Quinta Real Zacatecas is a “Travel and Home” choice-hotel-stay.  What’s more, there is a super fine dining restaurant in the complex!

Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome hotel restaurant fine dining

Visa requirements for Mexico

You don’t need a visa if you have a valid visa for the USA, the UK, Japan, Canada, or any other countries that fall within the Schengen Area. That said, always check on your visa requirements for Mexico before departure because regulations may change.

Travel costs for Zacatecas

When we studied the average daily costs it fell more or less in line with most of Mexico. Therefore we give you a holistic overview of what your travel costs could average in Mexico.

Zacatecas Mexico travelandhome Restaurant fine dining
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