- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Morelia is Michoacán State's capital—its long, wide boulevards and earth-tone colonial mansions earned it its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1541 as Valladolid (after the Spanish city), it changed its name in 1828 to honor José María Morelos, the town's most famous son. The legendary mule skinner-turned-priest led the battle for independence after its early leaders were executed in 1811.
Morelia's streets are almost always clogged with traffic, so it's best to see the city on foot—an easy task given the proximity of most sites to the zócalo. The city's well-preserved colonial buildings are today's offices, museums, shops, restaurants, and hotels. The magnificent 17th-century aqueduct, with its 253 arches, still carries water into the city. Lately, the city has become a hotbed for international students.
Finding your way around Morelia can be a challenge, as street names change frequently, especially on either side of Avenida Madero, the city's main east-west artery. Buses run the length of Avenida Madero.
Morelia is always more fun if you start with a trip on the Tranvía (city sightseeing bus) that departs from in front of the cathedral. It offers tours of the city with stops at various spots, including the Museo del Dulce, where you can see a demonstration of how the city's delicious confections are made.
Morelia at a Glance
- Casa de las Artesanías del Estado de Michoacán
- Casa Museo de Morelos
- Mercado de Dulces
- Museo Casa Natal de Morelos
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
Elsewhere in San Miguel de Allende and the Heartland
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- Morelia Savings! Book 3 Nts in May at y Suites Galeria Fr $79+/Nt Expedia
- Howard Johnson Calle Real Morelia in May: $71 & Up Expedia
- Special deal: 3-Star Suites San Miguel Fr $134+/Nt — $134 Expedia
- Save 35% on this stay!: Mision Catedral in May — $59 Save with Expedia, $26/night less
- Book in Morelia: Save this May Fr $56+/Nt — $56 Save with Expedia, $16/night less