View of the Main Plaza (Zocalo) of the city of Veracruz in Mexico.

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Top choice in Veracruz City

Any exploration of Veracruz has to begin with its zócalo (also called the Plaza de Armas and Plaza Lerdo), the city’s unofficial outdoor ‘stage’ where inspired organized events overlap with the day-to-day improvisation of Mexican life. The handsome public space is framed by portales (arcades), the 17th-century Palacio Municipal and an 18th-century cathedral. The level of activity accelerates throughout the day until the evening, when the zócalo becomes thick with souvenir sellers, musical entertainers, merrymakers and bystanders.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Veracruz City attractions

2. Palacio Municipal

0.04 MILES

This handsome 17th-century building, occupied by local government offices, faces onto the zócalo.

3. Fototeca

0.04 MILES

On the southeast side of the zócalo, this small arts center has rotating photographic and video exhibitions. It’s spread over three floors of a restored…

4. Museo Histórico Naval

0.22 MILES

Occupying a former naval academy, this high-tech museum offers a titanic lesson in Mexico’s maritime heritage, with plenty of interactive displays and an…

5. Museo de la Ciudad de Veracruz

0.25 MILES

Housed in a charming colonial-era building, this museum recounts Veracruz’s history from the pre-Hispanic era. Standout exhibits include some Totonaca and…

6. Altar a la Patria

0.28 MILES

Two blocks inland from the malecón is the 1998 Altar a la Patria, an obelisk marking the buried remains of those who defended Veracruz during its numerous…

7. Centro Cultural La Atarazana

0.28 MILES

This colonial-era warehouse has been beautifully converted into an exhibition space and sports a striking mural by Melchor Perado. Worthwhile temporary…