México » States » Michoacan » Morelia

Tourism in MORELIA

This gorgeous tourist destination has preserved its colonial feel over the centuries. Its tranquil streets are silent witnesses to the history that has gathered in every corner. One of Morelia’s main features is the cathedral, a masterpiece of pink quarry. The Historic Center has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


But apart from the beautiful colonial buildings, the city also offers a modern infrastructure that includes a Convention Center, the “Expocentro”, and great locations and services for conventions and all kind of events.

The ancient traditions and culture of Morelia are display in the colorful handicrafts. The city has many stores to browse and buy the beautiful works of art produced in the state of Michoacán by local artisans, or you can admire the fantastic creations in the decoration of the restaurants and hotels.

While in Morelia, don’t forget to try the traditional dishes, a mixture of Purepecha and European ingredients and recipes, such as corundas and uchepos (regional tamales), the Tarascan soup, the “pollo placero”, the “carnitas” (pork meat), and the traditional “salsa de lago” (lake sauce) made with fried “charales” (small white fish). For candy lovers, Morelia offers a wide selection: “chongos zamoranos” (dessert with milk, sugar and cinnamon), ates morelianos (candied fruit), buñuelos (small doughnut) or a “nieve de pasta” (local ice-cream), and of course a cup of hot handmade chocolate.

It has a warm, semi-humid climate with an average temperature of 23ºC (73ºF). Morelia is the venue for important music and movie festivals, a good reason to visit the city many times.

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Tourist Attractions in MORELIA

Antigua Alhóndiga

Baroque construction built in 1774. Today it is part of the Palace of Justice.

Colegio de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

Founded in the 16th century. It is a neoclassical building with two-level network of arches and nice murals on the second floor.

“Clavijero” Cultural Center/Palace

This grand Baroque-style building was constructed in 1660 by the Jesuits. Today it houses the Tourism Ministry.

Aqueduct - Morelia
Aqueduct – Morelia

Morelia’s aqueduct runs along dozens of colonial arches that stretch for over a mile with 253 arches. It was built in 1785 to provide drinking water for the city.

Government Palace

Baroque building whose construction began in 1760. It houses the state executive branch since 1867. There are three murals here painted by Michoacán artist Alfredo Zalce, with portray different periods in the history of Mexico in general and Michoacán in particular.

Federal Palace

Eclectic building with some French-style influence constructed in the 18th century. Since 1935 it houses the Federal Government Offices.

Municipal Palace

The Baroque-style building was constructed late in the 18th century. Originally it housed a repository for the control and sale of tobacco. In 1859 it was remodeled to house the Municipal Palace.

Palace of Justice

It is a beautiful old mansion. The façade shows a clear French influence, and in the second floor there are decorative elements with pre-Hispanic influence.

“The Tarascas” Fountain

It depicts three indigenous women holding up a basket full of regional fruits. It has become an iconic symbol of the city.

Plaza Villalongín

The plaza feature a beautiful garden that remembers the quiet life of the viceroyalty.


The portals are located in the historic center in front of the Cathedral and other buildings of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. It is a popular place to hangout on, and an excellent choice if you want a simple, great tasting cup of coffee.

Cathedral - Morelia
Cathedral – Morelia

A majestic structure built between 1660 and 1774 in a Baroque-style. It is known for its 200-foot towers, among the tallest in the land, and for its 4,600 pipe organ, one of the finest in the world. Among the many treasures inside the Cathedral are the neoclassical altarpieces in the chapels. There are two beautiful Cabrera paintings in the vestry. The “Palacio Episcopal” is annex.

Sanctuary of Guadalupe and ex Convent of San Diego

Built in the 18th century it is the most ornate church in Morelia. The Neo-baroque decoration covers vaults, walls and dome.

Church and Convent of St. Francis (House of the Handicrafts)

The Franciscans began the construction of this Plateresque-style building in 1531. It housed the first monastery established in Valladolid. Since 1973 it has operated as the Michoacán Crafts House with a museum. Open daily from 8:00 to 20:00 hrs.

Templo de las Monjas (Temple of the Nuns)

Built between 1729 and 1737, this baroque temple was dedicated to Santa Catalina de Siena. It picked up the name “The Nuns” because it belonged to an order of the Catherine’s, who moved from Las Rosas to this site in 1798, an event depicted on a huge canvas in the Michoacán Regional Museum.

Templo de los San Agustín (Temple of the Augustinians)

Built in the 16th century with a late Plateresque façade and a gothic influenced cloister.

Templo y Conservatorio de Música de Las Rosas (Temple and Conservatory of Music of the Roses)

Both buildings have a baroque style and were constructed in the 18th century. The Conservatory took over the facility in the late 1940s, and today it houses the internationally renowned Boys Choir of Morelia in addition to the School of Music.

Templo y Ex-Convento del Carmen (Temple and Ex Convent of our Lady of Carmen)
The construction of this Baroque building began in 1593 and continued throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The former convent was restored between 1974 and 1979 and today it houses the “Casa de la Cultura” (Culture House) and the Museum of the Mask. Open from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs and from 16:00 to 20:00 hrs. Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 to 14:00 hrs and from 15:00 to 18:00 hrs.
Museo Casa de Natal de Morelos
Museo Casa de Natal de Morelos
Museo Casa de Natal de Morelos (House of Morelos)

This Baroque-style mansion was built in 1758 and acquired by independence hero Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon. Currently, the museum exhibits paintings, photographs, furniture and other antique objects, as well as two impressive carriages. Open daily from 9:00 to 19:00 hrs.

Museo del Estado (State Museum)

It is located in an 18th-century building and has three sections: archaeology, history and ethnology. There is example of an antique pharmacy dating from 1868. Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 20:00 hrs pm, and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Museo de Arte Colonial (Museum of Colonial Art)

Located in an 18th century baroque-style house. The first printing press of the city was established here in 1821. Today the museum exhibits works from the vice regal period. The museum houses an important collection of more than one hundred figures of Christ from the sixteenth to twentieth century. Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 20:00 hrs. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 19:00 hrs.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo “Alfredo Zalce” (Contemporary Art Museum)

This 19th century building of French influence has 13 exhibition rooms with 20th century art collection. Open Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 19:45 hrs, weekends and holidays from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Museo de Historia Natural “Dr. Manuel Martínez Solórzano” (Museum of Natural History)

The museum intends to disseminate information on the flora and fauna of the region and create an environmental awareness. Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Museo Regional Michoacano (Regional Museum of Michoacan)

A baroque construction. It has one room dedicated to the ecology in Michoacán and five other rooms exhibit the history of the State from the pre-Hispanic era to the modern times. There is a great Alfredo Zalce ́s mural in the stairs. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a 17:00 hrs.

Centro Cultural Universitario (University Cultural Center)

A contemporary building with two rooms. The Center exhibits historic books, paintings and documents. Open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 14:00 hrs. and from 16:00 to 20:00 hrs.

Museo del Dulce (Candy Museum)

It has a decoration and furniture of the beginning of the 20th century. And it displays the way the candies are elaborated. Open daily from 10:00 to 14:30 hrs and 16:30 to 20:00 hrs.

Benito Juárez Zoo - Morelia
Benito Juárez Zoo – Morelia
Parque Zoológico Benito Juárez (Zoo)

It is the most important zoo of the country in the matter of variety of species (440) and number of specimen (3,800). It has the largest bird collection in Latin America. Within the zoo are other family attractions, such as artificial lake, auditorium, scenic train, children playground and restaurants.

Open from Monday to Thursday from 10:30 to 20:00 hrs. Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 21:00 hrs. Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00 hrs.

Convention Center

Considered one of the best in the country. It has 9 event halls of different sizes that go from 10 to 2,000 people of capacity. It also feature a modern and comfortable theater, planetarium, library, hotel, parking lot and gardens.

Orchid Greenhouse

It has three areas. The first room has the blooming orchids. The second displays 650 hybrid orchids. And the last room has more than 2,300 wild orchids.

Planetario “Felipe Rivera” (Planetarium)

Its contemporary design features a hemispheric dome 65 feet in diameter. The dome acts as a screen for the 164 projectors that reproduce the sidereal movements of the stars.

Open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 17:00 hrs. Weekends and holidays from 10:30 to 14:00 and from 15:00 to 17:00 hrs. The Planetarium offers functions Fridays and Saturdays at 19:00 hrs and Sundays at 18:30 hrs.

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MORELIA Surroundings


It is worth to visit the Augustinian ExConvent built in the 16th century, the first University of America; a temple also from the 16th century and the “Bañito” Spring.

Morelos National Park

This woody park full of creeks is ideal for camping, enjoying a picnic, and horse back riding.

Tres Cerritos Arqueological Site
Tres Cerritos Arqueological Site
Tres Cerritos

This site along with Queréndaro, Huandacareo, Araró, Zinapécuaro, etc., was one of the numerous enclaves that surrounded the Patzcuaro lake region. Archaeological materials found in the area shown some cultural exchange with the people from Teotihuacan.

The archeological area dates back to the Late-Classic horizon (6th to 9th Centuries). The most notable remains are the “Montículo 1” (platform), located in the northwest of the site, and the main plaza with a shrine in the middle. Open daily from 10:00 a 17:00 hrs.


Highlights include a 16th Century Franciscan Ex-Convent, the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Stairway, and an old hacienda.


It is located only 11 km from Morelia. It has a Plateresque Augustinian Convent dating from 1578 with murals of religious subjects.

Copándaro de Galeana

There is an Augustian Ex- Convent built in 1570 with interesting murals.

Villa Morelos

This town is located 70 km from Morelia. There is a 16th century Augustan Ex-Convent.

Teremendo de los Reyes

The town’s main attractions are: the 16th century temple of “Los Santos Reyes”, the civil plaza, the desert-like landscape full of cacti in the a volcano crater called “La Alberca” and the archeological vestiges located in “Los Lobos” ravine.


The town lays at the shores of the Cuitzeo Lagoon. This place was under the influence of the Tarascan Empire, at least 300 year before the Spaniards arrived to the region. The zenit of this civilization was in the 12th Century when most the remains were built, althought here are some ruins from previous years.

Cuitzeo - Michoacan
Cuitzeo – Michoacan

Lake is located on the Morelia-Salamanca highway 34 kilometers from Morelia. It is famous for its rich “charal” (lake fish), which the villagers prepare in multiple manners. On the high lands of the town is the Augustinian Ex-Convent of St Mary Magdalene, which is considered the most beautiful of the state because of its magnificent 16th century Plateresque architecture.

The most notorious structures are the sunken plaza, the platforms number 1 and 2, and “patio de la tumba” (grave’s yard). Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. It is also famous for its hot springs and the “carnitas” (little meats), a dish made of braised or roasted and then fried or sauteed pork.


It is famous for its delicately hand painted ornament clay handicraft. The main attractions are: the Santiago Apostol Temple built in the 16th century, and the house of the artist Juan Torres, turn into a gallery with an exhibit of his paintings and sculptures.


A community worth visiting because of its multiple hot springs which feed a bathing resort that has hotel service and an aquatic park. Besides, it has a 16th century Franciscan Ex-Convent.

Jesús del Monte

There is a 16th century Augustinian temple. Woods, creeks, rivers and waterfalls, an ideal landscape for camping, hiking and mountain cycling surround the town.

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