Oaxaca is a city of colorful buildings, scenic rooftop restaurants and bars, ornate murals and street art, historic colonial churches, and picturesque parks.

It’s also one of the gastronomic centers of Mexico and a hub for mezcal. 

Things to Do in Oaxaca

As you plan your own visit to Oaxaca, this travel guide will help you see the best sites, do the best activities, and eat at the best restaurants.

Wander the historic downtown

This is the perfect place to explore iconic landmarks like the Zócalo (the plaza in front of the National Palace), the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, and the Santo Domingo Cultural Center.

See Monte Albán

The must-see historical and archaeological attraction is one of the top places to visit in Oaxaca and full of ancient Zapotec pyramids that span several miles. Be sure to get a guide, since there’s not any signage here. 

See the Templo de Santo Domingo

It is now home to all kinds of religious and pre-Columbian artifacts, including famous ones from Tomb 7, which had the most intact Zapotec artifacts ever found. It is one of the best attractions in Oaxaca.

Wander the Botanical Garden

These gardens span over two acres and feature plants from across the state (Oaxaca is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the country).

Celebrate Day of the Dead

Día de Los Muertos is a big celebration in Mexico. Locals paint their faces, visit cemeteries, and give offerings to honor the dead.

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