What’s the Best Way to Get Around San Miguel de Allende?

The other day I was running to an unexpected appointment in Centro when I realized that I’d definitely worn the wrong shoes for San Miguel de Allende. I love exploring this city on foot, but living in San Miguel de Allende for so many years has definitely taught me that comfort always trumps fashion. This is especially true when you’re in a rush to get somewhere, which, to be honest, is not that common in this laid-back city.

With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to create a little guide to the best and most comfortable ways of getting around San Miguel de Allende. From its cobblestone streets to the rolling countryside that surrounds it, we have all you need to know about navigating this beautiful city with ease.

Lo que cubriremos:

  • How Walkable is San Miguel de Allende?
  • Is San Miguel de Allende Safe to Walk at Night?
  • Do You Need a Car in San Miguel de Allende?
  • Taxis in San Miguel de Allende
  • Buses in San Miguel de Allende
  • Airport Transfers To and From San Miguel de Allende
  • Accessibility Challenges in San Miguel de Allende
  • Easier Strolls: Flatter Neighborhoods in San Miguel de Allende

How Walkable is San Miguel de Allende?

San Miguel de Allende is renowned for its walkability; just make sure that you have comfortable and supportive shoes on! With its compact size, vibrant neighborhoods, and stunning architecture, this city invites exploration on foot. Walking not only allows you to appreciate the intricate details of its historic buildings but also leads you to discover hidden pedestrian side streets where independent cafes, artisan shops, markets, and galleries give San Miguel de Allende its unique and celebrated character. 

Comfortable shoes are a must, as the cobblestone paths, uneven pavements, and occasional steep hills make for a charming yet sometimes challenging stroll. Also, make sure to have some soles with a good grip, especially if you’re visiting during the rainy season.

Trainers or sneakers are a great option, but if you want to go for something local and fashionable, why not check out San Miguel Shoes, also known as the ultimate ‘combat cocktail sandals’!

Consejo principal: Organized walking tours are also a great way to familiarize yourself with the architecture, culture, and history of San Miguel de Allende.

Is San Miguel de Allende Safe to Walk at Night?

Safety in San Miguel de Allende is always a concern for travelers and residents alike. Just like in any other place, it’s always best to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense when wandering around the city after dark. I’ve strolled through many of San Miguel’s streets at night, and honestly, I’ve never felt any more at risk than in any other city I’ve visited. San Miguel de Allende has good street lighting (especially in Centro), CCTV cameras in certain areas, and you’ll often see local police doing their rounds, which is always reassuring.

However, I do have my go-to spots where I feel less vulnerable, and there are a couple of nooks where I’m a bit more cautious—just like you’d find in any city.

My top tip? Stick to the well-lit areas, especially if you’re walking solo or it’s late. Oh, and keep your phone, flashy jewelry, and wallet tucked away. It’s all about enjoying the night with peace of mind. Again, this is something that I’ve done in any city I’ve lived in and visited, including London, Barcelona, Mexico City, and Paris. And to be honest, out of all of those places, I’ve felt the safest here in San Miguel de Allende.

Do You Need a Car in San Miguel de Allende?

When anyone asks me if they need to rent a car for their San Miguel de Allende trip, my answer is a resounding “no.” Walking around San Miguel is not just easy; it’s a treat. You get to soak in the vibrant colors and spontaneous celebrations, the historic architecture, and all those little details you’d often miss passing by in a car. 

In fact, I think I’ve only ever met one couple that rented a car during their 2-week stay in San Miguel de Allende. However, if your feet are tired of roaming around, you need mobility assistance, or you simply decide to venture beyond the city limits, there are plenty of taxis, Ubers, and private transportation services that can come to the rescue.

Taxis in San Miguel de Allende

They’re everywhere, reliable, and won’t break the bank. Taxis in San Miguel de Allende usually charge a low standard fee for any trip within and close to Centro and slightly higher rates for destinations further afield. Another advantage of grabbing a taxi or having a personal driver is that you don’t have to deal with parking or navigate the sometimes-narrow streets.

Prices: The average taxi fare around Centro and nearby neighborhoods in San Miguel De Allende is $50 MXN. The further you go out, the more expensive it will be – more or less $20 MXN for every KM. 

Consejo principal: Always agree on the fare BEFORE getting into the taxi. “Cuánto sería hasta (the destination) por favor?”

Buses in San Miguel de Allende

Bus travel in San Miguel is incredibly affordable, taking you around town and to nearby areas for just a few pesos. While the buses might not boast luxurious interiors, they’re a great mode of transportation in San Miguel, giving you a flavor of local life. You can also conveniently pop on and off for one set fare – around $10 MXN. Although bus schedules can be elusive, they are always regular, and buses are usually marked with their destination, making it relatively easy to find your way.

Airport Transfers to and from San Miguel de Allende

Shuttles and Private Transportation Services

If you’re planning a trip to or from the airport to San Miguel de Allende, shuttle services, such as Bajio Go, are an ideal choice. They ensure you reach your destination promptly, regardless of your flight time. These services are not only reliable for airport runs but also provide a comfortable option for exploring areas outside San Miguel. Advance booking is recommended, especially during high seasons.

Coaches

Primera Plus y ETN are my affordable luxury choices for airport transfers. They offer reclining seats, toilets on board, free Wi-Fi (although sometimes a little unstable), free water and a snack included in the ticket price, and most importantly, a stress-free ride.

Accessibility Challenges in San Miguel de Allende

We‘ve covered the main points about how easy it can be to get around San Miguel de Allende. However, I think it’s important to note that people with mobility issues, wheelchair users, and young families with children in strollers attempting to navigate Centro’s cobblestone streets may find it a bit challenging. But this is not to say that it’s impossible. I know first-hand from my mother, who has quite severe walking disabilities, that she has to take extra precautions when she visits, but that doesn’t stop her. She just takes her time, plans her paths, and grabs a taxi whenever it gets a little too much.

It seems that San Miguel de Allende’s old-world charm does indeed come with some accessibility hurdles, but it’s far from a barrier to experiencing its beauty. Innovative solutions, from portable ramps and elevators in some establishments to the increasing awareness and efforts for more inclusive access, are making strides in ensuring everyone can enjoy what San Miguel has to offer. Plus, the kindness and willingness of locals to lend a hand always provide a great opportunity to connect.

Recently, the addition of elevators in more homes in San Miguel de Allende has not only enhanced the properties’ value but also their accessibility, ensuring they cater to residents at all stages of life. Here are just a few examples:

1. Rosewood Residence
2. Casa Paloma
3. Casa Blanca
  1. Rosewood Residence #9, Centro
  2. Casa Paloma, Colonia Allende
  3. Casa Blanca, Colonia Balcones

Click on any of the photos or links to get more details and virtual tours.

Easier Strolls: Flatter Neighborhoods in San Miguel de Allende

If you’re considering moving to San Miguel de Allende and are looking for neighborhoods offering flatter walks, here are a few areas to keep in mind:

  • Colonia Guadiana: Just a stone’s throw from Centro, this is a highly sought-after neighborhood of San Miguel de Allende. Known for its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful, well-maintained gardens, and flatter streets. 
  • Colonia San Antonio: While parts of this neighborhood include slight inclines, many streets here are flatter and more walkable. San Antonio is a diverse area with a mix of local and expat residents, featuring cafes, restaurants, and shops within easy walking distance.
The Beautiful central Guadiana park
Unique local artist murals in Colonia Guadalupe
  • Colonia Guadalupe: This area, known for its vibrant street art and murals, offers flatter streets compared to the rest of San Miguel de Allende. It’s a favorite among expats and locals alike, providing an easier walk and a colorful journey through the city’s art scene.
  • La Lejona: This neighborhood is further from the historic center, but it offers modern amenities and flatter roads. La Lejona is becoming increasingly popular among expats for its accessibility and the presence of newer developments such as, El Encanto, El Secreto, and La Escondida.
  • Luxury Gated Developments such as: Vista Antigua and the Golfing, Countryside, y Vineyard Communities are designed with accessibility in mind, featuring flatter streets and modern homes. They are a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of the city center, but offer great amenities and a peaceful and exclusive environment.
Club de Golf Malanquín
  • Zona Centro (specific areas): While the historic center of San Miguel de Allende is known for its uneven cobblestone streets, certain areas, particularly around the main square (El Jardín), Parque Juarez, and some parts of Calle Zacateros and Calle Ancha de San Antonio, can offer flatter walks. These areas are bustling with activity, shops, restaurants, and historical landmarks.

Últimos pensamientos

San Miguel de Allende’s transportation options cater to every type of traveler and resident. From navigating the cobblestone streets on foot and discovering hidden gems along the way, delving into the local culture on a bus, or setting off on a scenic drive in a taxi or private tour, San Miguel has you covered. Just remember those comfortable shoes, and don’t forget to keep stopping in tasty cafes, restaurants, rooftop bars, and picturesque spots to take the load off for a while and recharge your batteries—it’s not such a sacrifice!