Puebla Mexico Zocalo

The European Charm of Puebla, Mexico


If I were to throw a bag over your head, kidnap you and then release you into central Puebla, you’d almost certainly think you were in Europe. You’d also wonder why I just kidnapped you and deposited you somewhere random. 

Puebla’s city center looks like a European capital. It features the largest cathedral in Mexico and is home to over 1000 Spanish colonial buildings – the most in Mexico. Aside from the buildings, the ubiquitous sidewalk cafes are full of people enjoying the pleasant climate, the parks are full of families and street performers, and due to the large university, the city has a youthful vibe.

However, Puebla is distinctly Mexican. Many of those colonial buildings are painted assorted bright colors, the Zocalo has towering palm trees, the locals are super friendly and laid back, and taco stands are found along every street. This is also where the Mexicans defeated the French on the 5th of May, 1862, or Cinco de Mayo, and is now a major fiesta in the United States with 2 for 1 margaritas specials at every Tex-Mex restaurant. What could be more Mexican than that?

I have met many people who have visited Puebla and they all love it, but it doesn’t seem to be anybody’s favorite place in Mexico. It finishes second to cities like Oaxaca or Mexico City or Guanajuato. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

I think Puebla is okay with that. I think she is content to be loved by all those who visit and happy to not be overrun by tourists. I bet she would also appreciate it if you didn’t kidnap anyone and drop them off in the zocalo.

Photos of Puebla, Mexico

Where is Puebla, you might ask? It is about a 2 hour bus ride from Mexico City.


Do you ever kidnap people and drop them off in strange towns just to see their reactions? 

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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~ planetbell1@gmail.com

23 thoughts on “The European Charm of Puebla, Mexico”

  1. Jeff, if you’re still thinking of kidnapping someone and dropping him in Puebla, I would love to volunteer. Such a beautiful city!

    • When you least expect it, we may grab you. It is a great city – I’m sure you’d enjoy. You need to do a Silver tour next and visit Spain and Mexico.

    • Now that you live in Minnesota, you can escape some of that winter cold and fly down to Mexico. And you can abduct someone too.

  2. Lael says:

    Nope. I have not kidnapped people and dropped them off in new cities. Or anywhere else for that matter but I have been kidnapped by a cocaine addict and driven around the city of Edmonton whilst being forced to listen to shitty music, until I had to use my Mum voice and he finally released me . I like your version of kidnapping way better!

    • Yes, my version sounds better. I am glad you survived your ordeal, although being forced to listen to bad music seems cruel.

  3. I have heard of Puebla so many times, and I’ve been all over Mexico so many times, and yet I have never actually been to Puebla, on my own or kidnapped! I think that needs to change – the first part, that is. Thanks for the nudge.

    • No problem. While there, make sure and visit nearby Cuetzalan. I’ll be posting about it soon. But yes, Puebla is a great city to visit if you like colonial cities.

  4. Adventures in Kevin's World says:

    If your plan is to put me in Puebla, feel free to kidnap me. I’m OK with that.

  5. I’m all about adventure Jeff but kidnapping is one I think I will forego. Thanks for including the map. It really is helpful especially if I change my mind about the kidnapping. 🙂

  6. You know, I’d never heard of Puebla until you posted this. I think I would go shutter crazy there with all those gorgeous colonial buildings. You can kidnap me and drop me off in the Zocalo, as long as I get to bring my camera!

    • I think Puebla often gets overlooked. It is about 2 hours from Mexico City, about 3-4 hours from Oaxaca, and seems skippable. I’m really glad we went – it is a grand city. 2-3 days is plenty, but it is a nice place to see for sure.

  7. Pingback: 20 Photos of Morelia, Mexico | Planet Bell

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