Like many colonial Mexican cities, Toluca’s development has created a ring of urban sprawl around what remains a very picturesque old town. The traffic problems alone can be enough to dampen the city’s appeal, but those who make time to visit will find Toluca a pleasant, if bustling, small city. It’s an enjoyable place to spend a day exploring attractive plazas, lively shopping arcades, art galleries and museums.
The vast Plaza de los Mártires, with the cathedral and Palacio de Gobierno, marks the town center. Most of the action, however, is concentrated a block south in the pedestrian precinct ringed by arcos (archways). Shady Parque Alameda is three blocks west along Hidalgo.