Woman selling Oaxacan deserts from food cart.

Justin Foulkes

Oaxaca City

A cultural colossus fit to rival anywhere in Latin America for history, gastronomy and colorful manifestations of indigenous culture, Oaxaca is a complex but intensely attractive city whose majestic churches and refined plazas have deservedly earned it a Unesco World Heritage badge. Lovers of culture come here to indulge in the Mexico of Zapotec and colonial legend. Flowing through handsome yet tranquil streets, life pulsates with an unadulterated regional flavor. See it in the color palate of historic boutique hotels, a meet-the-producer artisan store or an intentionally grungy mezcalería (plying locally manufactured alcoholic beverages). But what makes Oaxaca especially interesting are its undercurrents. While largely safe and attractive by Mexican standards, snippets of political protest in recent years have lent the city a grittier edge. It bubbles up in satirical street art, bohemian bars and been-around-forever street markets. Trust us: there’s far more to this city than just pretty churches.

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Things to Know

Oaxaca is one of the most intriguing destinations in Mexico. Here's what you should know before you go.

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Best Neighborhoods

The neighborhoods of Oaxaca make this city one of Mexico’s most alluring destinations. Here’s our guide to the best areas in town.

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Day Trips

With these day trips from Oaxaca City, you can discover hikes through cloud forests, traditional artisans at work, mezcal distilleries and much more.

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Money and Costs

Tips for saving dinero on your next trip.

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Here's the lowdown on how to get around in fast-growing Oaxaca.

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Woman admiring the handmade rugs in Oaxaca valley, Mexico

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