Statue in the streets of Queretaro.
Querétaro is a city in central Mexico, it is capital of the state of Querétaro. The city's full name is "Santiago de Queretaro", and although it's spelled out fully on the doors of every taxi in the city, nobody uses the full name in polite conversation.
Queretaro is served by Querétaro International Airport (QRO) which is a brand new international airport. There are direct daily flights to Monterrey, Cancun, and Tijuana in addition to Houston, Chicago-Midway, and Dallas-Fort Worth in the US. Domestic flights are expensive, so a bus may be more convenient (especially from Mexico City). A better option is to fly into Mexico City and then take a bus from there to Querétaro.
More info: http://www.aiq.com.mx/AEROLINEAS/indexa.html
There is a public bus that goes from Querétaro International Airport (QRO) to Querétaro Downtown, it passes across the airport, it is a white with green bus "Transportes Marqués", it goes all the way to Alameda, which is in Downtown. You can also take the same bus from Alameda to the Airport. The bus charges 20 MXN and departs every 30 minutes from Monday to Saturday and every 40 minutes on Sunday, the ride takes 50 minutes approximately.
There are many buses that go to Querétaro from major cities, such as Mexico City or Guadalajara. Buses are normally inexpensive and some bus lines offer student discounts in either official Mexican holidays or the summer, winter and April vacation period. Seniors over 65 get half price. First class buses often offer movies and can be very comfortable. In addition Queretaro also has frequent buses that run into the US (mainly Texas) usually operated by companies such as Autobuses Americanos or Turimex Internacional. The approximate travel time to the US will be around 22 hours.
The bus station is on the outskirts of the city, and features separate terminals for first-class bus lines and the local and regional second-class lines.
There is toll road from Mexico City to Querétaro. It costs about 163 pesos for an automobile. The drive is about 2 hours, but add another hour for leaving/entering Mexico City.
You can also arrive easily from Leon (2hr) and the rest of Guanajuato state, San Luis Potosi (2hr) and Morelia (2hr).
Taxis will take you anywhere in town for a fare from $50 pesos up to $150 (to the airport $250) . Taxis do not have meters. Fares are established by the government and are determined by zone of pick up and zone of drop off.
People can also use apps such as Uber for transportation within the city, though new regulations forbid Uber drivers to pick up at the airport.
There are many privately operated buses on the main roads. You can buy a route book on any newspaper stand. The buses do not come into the historical center, but rather travel its boundaries on Zaragoza, Ezequiel Montes, Tecnologico, and Universidad.
The historical center of town is very compact. It's easy to walk around once you get there. There are also tour trolleys available. They start at the Plaza Corregidora.
The Centro Histórico (Downtown area) is considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, and it includes the Cerro del Sangremal (Hill of Sangremal), crowned by the Convent of the Holy Cross and the flat area on the east that extends into the Cerro de las Campanas (Hill of Bells).
- Theater of the Republic (Teatro de la República): the most important theater in México due to its role in national history: Emperor Maximilian I had his trial there, the 1917 Constitution was written there, and the national anthem was played there for the first time.
- Palacio del Gobierno del Estado (Government Palace of the Corregidora): the house of the governor, since the time of the Spanish viceroyalty.
- Palacio Municipal (Old City Hall): use to be the palace of the bishop, then a luxury hotel and later the city hall, now it is the office of the "Delegación Centro"
- Santa Clara Church: old baroque covered with gold church.
- Santa Rosa de Viterbo Church: old baroque covered with gold church. Coordenates: 20.588041,-100.396746.
- El Carmen Church: church and old monastery; part of the film "Once upon a time in Mexico" was shot here.
- Jardin Zenea: main square with a gazebo, old financial center of the city.
- Jardín Guerrero: In front of the Old City Hall, it's a lovely square, and a pedestrianized section of Madero street extends the square into the atrium of Santa Clara Church.
- Plaza de la Corregidora (Corregidora Square): old plaza with restaurants, gardens, and nightclubs.
- State Regional Museum: state history museum.
- Museo de Arte de Querétaro: Art museum, it has one of the most beautiful patios in Latin America.
- Take the "Leyendas" (legends) tour, where people dress like historical characters and explain everything in a very colorful way.
- "Convento de la Cruz" where emperor Maximilian spent his last night before execution. Must see the "Cruz de cantera Rosa"(pink stone cross) and the tree with cross shaped spines. Also the place where a series of missions "one day travel apart" started and were founded all the way to California.
- Go to the colonial theater "Corral de Comedias" where you eat and enjoy mostly clasical comedy plays in a Colonial Style place.
- Enjoy a concert of the "Orquestra Filarmónica de Querétaro" the state philharmonic orchestra in the most important theater in the country "Teatro de la República" where the constitution was written, the emperor Maximilian I had a trial, and where the national anthem was first played.
- Visit some of the many museums of the city, from those traditional as the Art Museum, Regional Museum or some unusual museums like the Mathematics Museum. Most are closed on Monday and free on Tuesday.
- Checkout the posters in the entry of the Museo de la Cuidad for current events (Music and theatre) that are happening at the museum and around the city.
- Get a monthly schedule of free cultural events (mostly music) in Queretaro plazas and parks. We got ours in the entry to the gardens just east of Santa Rosa Temple.
- Feel like shopping, well in the historic center you can buy many things from really cheap street vendors, or in very nice boutiques, or feel free to visit some of the city malls.
- Sports is your thing, to be in a mexican Soccer (football) match is really a great experience, and a better one if you watch it the FIFA WorldCup Stadium "La Corregidora" one of the most incredible stadiums in the country, there is also a Basketball team where you can see Reggie Jordan playing in the "Arteaga Stadium" in the historic center. If you want to do some sports you can go to the public parks. Play some paintball (or known in Mexico as gotcha) scenery or speedball with turf at Evolution Paintball Field located between Jurica and Juriquilla. "
- In December be sure to visit the "Feria Internacional Querétaro" is an international Cattle Fair, that has more than a million visitors from all over the world, it has rides, a palenque (Cock fights and concerts), free concerts of famous mexican pop stars and many other things.
- You hear about bull fighting, well Querétaro has two Bullrings, one is considered the third most important in Mexico (Plaza Santa Maria), and the other is considered the most beautiful bullring in Latin America (Juriquilla).
- In the historical center you will find lots of tourist souvenirs and handcrafts.
- Plaza del Parque - Shopping center with a Comercial Mexicana (Mexican supermarket), Sanborn's (small department stores where you can find everything), Suburbia (Fashion affordable store) and many more
- Plaza Boulevares - Shopping and entertainment center with sports club (Sport City), betting club (Yak), Cinemas (Cinemark 12), arcade place, and many stores.
- Galerías Querétaro - Exclusive Liverpool department store, Sanborn's, Sears, Martí Sports, Tous, Zara and many other stores.
- Quinto Real, Andador V. Carranza 10 A & B, Between 5 de Mayo and Rio de la Loza (1 block from the Plaza de Armas), ☎ (442) 212 8601, . Tuesday through Sunday 11:00am to 8pm, closed Monday. A beautiful store with fine Mexican handcrafts and traditional Mexican furniture. edit
- Plaza Antea - Shopping and entretainment center with Cinemas, Liverpool, El Palacio de Hierro, H&M, and many other luxury stores.
- Mercado Municipal - local market for fruits, vegetables, meats, and comida corrida. Between Morelos and Hidalgo just west of Ezequiel Montes.
- La Mariposa - Great traditional food and antojitos prepared the old style. Downtown (Coordinates: 20.594565,-100.392535). Suggestions: "Pan de Queso", "Pozole", "Tamales" (spicy and sweet), atole, ice cream and shakes of "Mantecado", "nieve de limon", "Dulce de Membrillo", "Jamoncillos", "Enchiladas Rojas"(also know nowadays as "Enchiladas Queretanas"), "Enchiladas Suizas".
- Memo's - Great "Tacos Parados" at "La Cruz". Coordinates: 20.592666,-100.384398. Suggestions: "Volcan", all.
- El Pata - Great "Al pastor" tacos. Ave. Constituyentes. (Coordinates: 20.583848,-100.393563) Suggestion: "Que me ves?" taco plate.
- Che Che - Great seafood and ceviche (raw fish "cooked" in lemon juice). The main dishes are very big -- plan to share with a friend. The appetizers are vrey tasty -- a meal in themselves.
- Los Compadres - Excellent Mexican food. The "Rico Pozole" is a must.
- Il Diavolo, Universidad #202 Downtown ((close to de la Cruz market)), ☎ +52 442 223 0996. Italian Cuisine, Very relaxed ambient, Pizza, Salads & Paninnis, great red wine, perfect for couples. 15. edit
- Tamales Penamiller, Reforma # 59 Centro Historico (Between Pasteur and Rio de la Loza st), ☎ 442-212-6422. Fri-sat 7pm-11:30pm coming soon Mon. and wed. same as weekend hrs.. Great homemade tamales and atoles from the Sierra Gorda de Queretaro.Tamales are filled with goat cheese in a red sauce, rajas, pork and also serving sweet tamales filled with cheese,nuts.simply delicious.Made the artisan way, all natural ingredients.Atoles are different flavors from seeds to chocolate and fruits.Menu changes weekly so call ahead to see what they are serving on the day of your visit 9pesos tamal or atole. edit
- Pollos Los Nogales (Los Nogales), Avenida Pie de La Cuesta NO 1703 Int 13 Col. Los Robles Plaza B, ☎ 442 243 2025, . Great new restuarant. Lots of cheap combos and a really good chicken salad. you can order a whole chicken, soft drink, salsa, tortillas AND pasta for 102 pesos or about 9.50 USD.Definitley recommended and the owner speaks a bit of english too! 3 to 15 USD. edit
- Los Primos (Pueblo Juriquilla). Best Taco place in town. Suggestion: Gringa de Pastor. edit
- Erlum, Arteaga 55. Slow food restaurant run by a family focused on local, organic meat, fruits, vegetables, and fish. Good service. Small, tasty portions. Fixed price meal a good buy.
Querétaro has many nightlife districts where you can enjoy all kind of music and people, everything for everybody.
- Wicklow - Irish pub located downtown with various kind of beers
- Chava Invita - Classical "Cantina" founded in 1940's where you can take drinks and the food is free.
- Pluma Lounge Cafe, Reforma 150 (Close to Templo de la cruz and Plaza Fundadores), ☎ 4427131338, . 10 AM—10 PM. Place to relax and taste one of the best coffes of Mexico, "Pluma Diamante", is made of Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca. area known worldwide for its excellent climate for the production of coffee. For lunch you can find homemade pies, sweet or salty. 2 to 5 USD. (20, 35'86,100,23'04) edit
- Harry's New Orleans Cafe, Juarez Sur 7, downtown (Plaza Constitución), ☎ 4422142620, . 12-24 hrs. Margaritas (tuesday), Martinis (wednesday) 2x1. Live Jazz. Creole Cajun cuisine. 250 pesos. edit
- Kaah, Ejercito Republicano #2 Col. Centro Historico, Queretaro, . Trendy club with the best view of Queretaro City (20.59221,-100.3798) edit
- La Casa del Atrio, Allende Sur #15, ☎ (442) 212 63 14, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00pm. Three comfortable rooms, tastefully appointed, modern comforts and old world charm. Great service. Terrific location. A couple of blocks from some of the principal plazas. edit
The budget sleeps are in Calle Juarez between Reforma and Zaragoza. They range between 110 and 300 Pesos. Some of them are incredibly basic.
- El Petate Hostel, Matamoros 20. Dorm for 220 pesos, 50 for breakfast. Very close from center. Ask for the quieter rooms up. edit
- Blue Bicycle House. 210 pesos for dorm+breackfast+1hour of bicycle! Very nice. edit
Mid- and Toprange
- HOME - A B&B in the heart of the Historic Center .
- HOME Vacation Rentals - Private units for from 2 to 8 in the Historic Center .
- La Casa de la Marquesa - The mansion of the Marquis has been turned into a luxury hotel.
- Doña Urraca - Old spanish mansion turned into a hotel and spa, very expensive and elegant.
- Fiesta Inn - Chain hotel, located far outside the downtown.
- Fiesta Americana - Hotel beside the Plaza Boulevares mall.
- Holiday Inn Diamante - The best view of the city, it is located on a hill far from the city center/downtown.
- HS Hotsson Hotel Queretaro, Blvd. Bernardo Quintana 8300, ☎ 52 (442) 404-9900, . Featuring 150 luxurious rooms, this hotel features outstanding facilities and premium amenities. This hotel features a dining, a lobby bar, pool area, fitness center, covered parking, concierge services, and bilingual staff. Meeting spaces and event venues available. edit
- NH Queretaro, Av 5 de Febrero #1303, ☎ +52 442 2384200, . Stunning modern hotel at the heart of true Mexican culture. Contains 140 rooms and many amenities to help you feel comfortable. Rooms from $90. edit
- Mansion del Burro Azul  Very cute colonial house converted into a bed and breakfast, very colorful and lots of light and air. Located in the Historic center on Altamirano Sur #35, rooms are a fraction of the price of the other hotels in the area. Rooms from 350 Pesos.
- Plaza Camelinas - Large hotel with enormous character. Location next to highway can be loud.
- Flamingo Inn - Modest motor court style hotel, clean rooms, excellent choice for the motorist on a budget.
Querétaro has one of the fastest growing foreign populations in Mexico, and the need to learn Spanish is growing.
- Querétaro Language School, (Historic Downtown of Querétaro), . edit
- Survival Spanish Classes in Mexico, (Downtown of Querétaro), . edit
- Cooking Classes in Mexico, (Downtown of Querétaro), . edit