Puebla’s central plaza was originally a marketplace where bullfights, theater and hangings occurred, before assuming its current arboretum-like appearance in 1854. The surrounding arcades date from the 16th century. The plaza fills with an entertaining mix of clowns, balloon hawkers, food vendors and people using the free wi-fi on weekend evenings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Puebla attractions

1. Catedral de Puebla

0.04 MILES

Puebla’s impressive cathedral, which appeared on Mexico’s M$500 bill until 2019, occupies the entire block south of the zócalo. Its architecture is a…

2. Casa de la Cultura


Occupying the entire block facing the south side of the cathedral, the former bishop’s palace is a classic 17th-century brick-and-tile edifice that now…

3. Biblioteca Palafoxiana


Situated above the Casa de la Cultura and founded in 1646, Biblioteca Palafoxiana was the first public library in the Americas. For this, Palafoxiana has…

4. Iglesia de la Compañía

0.18 MILES

This Jesuit church with a 1767 Churrigueresque facade is also called Espíritu Santo. Beneath the altar is a tomb said to be that of a 17th-century South…

5. Edificio Carolino

0.18 MILES

Next door to the Iglesia de la Compañía is the 16th-century Edificio Carolino, now the main building of Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.

6. Museo Amparo

0.19 MILES

This superb private museum, housed in two linked 16th- and 17th-century colonial buildings, is loaded with pre-Hispanic artifacts, yet the interior design…

7. Museo José Luis Bello y González

0.19 MILES

This house is filled with the diverse art-and-crafts collection of the 19th-century industrialist Bello family who lived here. It's a treasure trove for…

8. Museo San Pedro de Arte


Opened in 1999 as Museo Poblano de Arte Virreinal, this top-notch museum is now named after the 16th-century Hospital de San Pedro in which it is housed…