People around the world love Mexican food and culture, and San Luis Potosí is a great destination if you want to be immersed in the cultural richness of Mexico.
Its name is derived from the King Saint Louis IX of France and Potosí, Bolivia, a place wealthy in silver mines, and San Luis Potosí lives up to its majestic name, as you will find many architectural wonders and beautiful plazas and parks in this place.
The place is also dotted with museums and historical landmarks, where you get to learn history, science, and the arts in an exciting way.
If you love cultural trips and fun outdoor activities, plan a trip to San Luis Potosí soon and read about the 15 best things to do there.
Watch Operas and Plays at Teatro de la Paz
Tired of gallivanting around plazas and museums?
Then stop by Teatro de la Paz and watch one of the local plays or operas.
Also one of the architectural pride of SLP, you will be greeted from the outside by its distinctive pink stone columns, crowned by Corinthian capitals in neoclassical style.
Inside, you will find a vast hall with the sculpture of the Dancer Célica Arias at the center, while the stairs and walls are lined with mosaics and busts of notable individuals.
You may also watch concerts, children’s shows, dances, and conferences here; otherwise, you may simply admire the artworks and exhibits inside.
Admire Artistic Rebirth at the Centro de las Artes de San Luis Potosí
Centro de las Artes de San Luis Potosí was once a vast SLP city prison until 1999 when it was transformed into a thriving history and art center.
An institution committed to the education, production, and distribution of art, this place holds occasional exhibits of local and international artists within their charming rooms and patios.
From traditional paintings and sculptures to digital art and jewelry, you will witness how creative and talented Mexicans can be.
Within this architectural treasure, you may also visit the Leonora Carrington Museum, a tribute to the world-renowned Mexican surrealist.
There you will find a diverse collection of her surrealist paintings, sculptures. engravings, textiles, and novels.
Make sure to stop by this place and be inspired by the paradox of its grim history and artistic rebirth!
Energize Yourself Outdoors at the Parque Tangamanga
As the second biggest park in all of Mexico, Parque Tangamanga is a haven in SLP city for people who love to get pumped up by outdoor excursions.
Formerly an old airport, this park has facilities that accommodate a wide range of sports activities, such as jogging, football, basketball, tennis, archery, and more!
But if you want to simply relax and clear your head, you can certainly just stroll and admire the beautifully maintained landscape or sit down and have a picnic.
On top of that, the park also has an aquatic area where kids can enjoy slides and a wave pool.
But if your outdoor activities are not enough to exhaust you, you may also visit their planetarium, botanical garden, theater, and greenhouse.
You will surely not run out of things to do in this beautiful and vast city park!
Get Lost in Excitement in the Museo Laberinto
Also known as the Labyrinth Museum of Sciences and Arts, Museo Laberinto is an interactive museum designed to challenge and entertain kids and adults.
Located just beside the Parque Tangamanga, this science museum is unique as it allows visitors to learn through interaction with spaces and objects.
This vast and well-ventilated museum allows you to interact with over 160 exhibits distributed among five thematic rooms that explore the wonders of space, nature, colors, networks and connection, and “the imperceptible.”
The friendly staff will guide and assist you in the different science activities, such as using the microscope in the microscopy section or using the star observation telescope on their tower observatory.
Additionally, the museum also has a temporary exhibition room, a 3-D cinema, an open-air forum, a farmyard with farm animals, a storytelling room, and a games area where kids love to play.
Finally, you will also have the opportunity to experience the unique flora of the Potosi plateau in the area called Por el Desierto.
Find a Matching Mask at the National Museum of Regional Masks
Looking for a mask where you can see yourself?
Visit the National Museum of Regional Masks and gaze at about 1,300 masks that preserve Mexico’s masked dance and ritual heritage.
Housed inside a neoclassical-style mansion, you will find a diverse collection of cultural masks and costumes from every corner of Mexico, plus a small collection of Asian masks.
Donated mostly by the humanist and engineer Victor Rubio, the masks that you will see represent animals, demons, angels, saints, conquistadores, and fantastic creatures.
Be intrigued by the cultural legacy of Mexico in this museum situated at Plaza del Carmen.
Enjoy a Quiet Time at Plaza de San Francisco
Plaza de San Francisco is another interesting area in SLP city.
Also known as Jardín Guerrero, it has a beautiful fountain in the middle, surrounded by trees and benches where you can certainly enjoy a peaceful atmosphere by yourself or with your loved ones.
But if you are in the mood to explore and immerse yourself in Mexican history and culture, you may visit and admire the classical buildings around this plaza.
One of them is the magnificent Iglesia de San Francisco built by Franciscans in 1692, which is a Baroque temple characterized by a sculpture of St. Francis of Assisi on its facade.
Inside you will find more paintings and sculptures, as well as artworks of Miguel Cabrera and Antonio Torres.
Two other temples grace this plaza, the Third Order and the Sacred Heart, with each its unique architectural styles and histories.
On the streets of the plaza, you will also encounter many vendors that sell food or crafts and some restaurants and bars where you can have a drink to conclude your active day.
Bask in the Glory of the Basilica Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Built for more than two decades, this grand architecture that marries baroque and neoclassical elements is another church to visit and marvel at.
Exceptionally marvelous, its façade is adorned by a sculpture of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the center, which tells its history as a sanctuary for the Marian dedication.
It is also proud of its two towers that is the highest in the city, as well as its dignified status as a minor basilica.
Its beautiful promenade will lead you into its sacred neoclassical interior and a collection of paintings, including the fourteen stations of the Via Crucis by Francisco Herrera.
If you have an addiction to visiting the countless marvelous churches of Mexico, then this is an excellent addition to your destinations!
Behold Contemporary Sculptures at the Museo Frederico Silva
Once a hospital, Museo Frederico Silva is dedicated to promoting the excellence of sculptors in Mexico.
A tribute to Frederico Silva, a celebrated Mexican contemporary sculptor, this intriguing museum houses collections of sculptures of different sizes and styles.
The building, which hints neoclassical elements, is beautifully juxtaposed to Silva’s monumental and haunting pieces.
The upper floors also host temporary exhibitions of international sculptures, while occasional concerts, festivals, and art education workshops are held in other facilities.
You will also experience the dramatic interplay of light and shadow within its halls, which are based on Silva’s philosophy about the nature of sculptures.
Chill with National Statues at Alameda Juan Sarabia
Bearing the name of one of the forerunners of the Mexican Revolution, Alameda Juan Sarabia is the largest and most important public promenade in SLP.
Here you can take a reflective walk as you appreciate the primly arranged trees and benches along the shapely paved paths.
You may also quietly sit by the fountain or the lake or visit the lighthouse donated by other European colonies to the city.
At the center stands the monument of Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, which is recognized as the “Father of the Nation.”
Stroll down the Alameda Juan Sarabia and appreciate what is historically important to Mexico.
Marvel at the Impressive Architecture of the Cathedral of San Luis Potosí
Majestically sitting at the center of the history of San Luis Potosí City (SLP), the Cathedral of San Luis Potosí is the seat of the archdiocese.
Withstanding the test of time since 1670, you will easily spot its imposing pink stone exterior from afar, as it tolls its hourly bell on one of its elegantly adorned towers.
It is not enough to admire its dramatic Spanish Baroque architecture from the outside because once you step inside, you will be exhilarated by its exquisite neo-classical interior, overarched by its high gold coffered dome!
Within the cathedral, you will also find 24 statues of the apostles carved from Carrara marble, as well as glass windows depicting images of death and beauty.
Stop here to pray and celebrate the glory of Christianity as you hear the wonderful Latin and Spanish hymns of the cathedral choir.
Ride a Historical Train at the Railway Museum
If you are wondering what public transportation was like a hundred years ago, then stop by the Museo Del Ferrocarril or Railway Museum.
Built along the Mexican National Railroad Station of 1881, you will learn much about trains in this specialty museum.
As you are welcomed by an enormous black locomotive in the entrance, you will be transported back in time as you find old photographs, murals, old passenger cars, and videos about railroad services and routes back then.
Behind the museum, trains are displayed outside, where you can go sit inside as kids pretend to be the conductor pushing random buttons.
This is a must-see for train lovers with kids who love having fun with things with wheels!
Learn about Early Water Systems at Caja del Agua
Ever wondered how water was distributed before underground pipelines?
A symbol of the history and pride of SLP, Caja del Agua, also known as the Water Box, was an early water tank located at Jardín Colón.
Another neoclassical structure, The Water Box, received water from the Cañada del Lobo Spring through aqueducts and was the main water supply in the area in the 19thand 20th centuries.
Since this beautifully ornate pink stone monument is well preserved, you may still observe water pouring out of its sides into containers when it rains.
Near The Water Box is another iconic sculpture called the “El Aguador,” or “The Water Bearer,” which immortalizes a phased-out job of supplying water from the Water Box to families in need.
Then, you may also explore the beautiful garden of Jardín Colón and admire the clock tower in its center.
Watch Rodeo and Charrería Competitions at Lienzo Rancho del Charro
Remember those rodeos that you saw in TV shows and cartoons?
Well, horse and bull riding is a traditional form of entertainment in SLP, and this place is also known as the pillar of the history of the Charrería sport in Mexico.
Charerría is a sport that arose from equestrian activities within the haciendas in classical Mexico.
Now it is a national sport that you can watch at Lienzo Rancho del Charro, where teams from different parts of Mexico compete.
Apart from Charrería, you may also watch extreme rodeo bull riding and concerts from favorite local bands.
Don’t forget to stop by this adrenaline-filled rancho and cheer loudly for your favorite team as they execute thrilling and risky sets!
Grab Essential Oils in Botica Alhóndiga
Open since 1870, Botica Alhóndiga has served Potosíno families throughout generations, while its building maintained its original appearance.
Once you enter, you will see old medicine and elixir bottles in glass cases and antique cabinets that will give you an idea of how apothecaries looked before.
At a time when there were no medicine brands, the Alhóndiga Apothecary used to independently concoct their own medicine formulas that included medicinal chemicals, herbs, and salts.
Today, some of these trademark formulas and recipes are still used to prepare their traditional potions, effectively treating conditions like the “athlete’s scrub” or hangovers.
Currently, they specialize in beauty products and essential oils, such as jasmine and rose oil, and other beauty products like perfumes, shampoos, and creams.
Shop for Local Products and Handicrafts at Mercado Hidalgo
Another historical structure that has been the economic center of SLP since 1945, Hidalgo Market, is a great place to grab some local Mexican food, fashion items, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
Here you will witness the local products and culture of the region as you experience the festive mix of colors, smells, sounds, and flavors of this bustling commercial center.
Shop for locally produced prickly pears, Mexican textiles, silver jewelry, toys, and pozole bowls, or simply munch on some gorditas and chilaquiles.
Don’t forget to stop by Mercado Hidalgo if you want to take home some Potosí goodies!
In San Luis Potosí, you will never get tired of admiring its many magnificent churches and historical buildings.
And if you do, you may simply relax at one of their many beautiful plazas, parks, and gardens.
Visit San Luis Potosí now and experience the lively society and the cultural legacy of Mexico!