The capital of Mexico’s smallest state is unhurried and unself-conscious, with a compact colonial downtown defined by grand government buildings, imposing churches and a handsome central plaza. Despite its small stature, Tlaxcala is neither timid nor parochial. With a large student population, good restaurants and bars and a handful of excellent museums, the city has a surprisingly vibrant cultural life. Because there’s no single attraction that puts Tlaxcala on tourist itineraries, it remains largely undiscovered, despite its location less than two hours' drive from Mexico City.
Two large central plazas converge at the corner of Avenidas Independencia and Muñoz. The northern one, which is surrounded by colonial buildings, is the zócalo called Plaza de la Constitución. The southern square is Plaza Xicohténcatl.