Why you should visit Morelia.
It’s been almost 10 years since my first visit to Morelia. I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of the city on that original visit. I found it lacking in green spaces, monotone in its architecture and colouring, a bit gritty and dirty…I wasn’t impressed.
Lissette and I are on a 2-month trip through Mexico and decided to explore Morelia in much more detail. We spent 3 days walking around the city, visiting all the highlights as well as some lesser-known sights. Lots of photos below.
So did it change my opinion of Morelia? I’ll tell you at the bottom of this post.
Lots of images of Morelia
So have I changed my opinion of Morelia?
The first day in the city was cloudy and the buildings and streets of the center were dark, gloomy and monotonous. We had walked much of the center and were walking from Plaza de Armas to the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe when Lissette said it “I can see why Morelia didn’t inspire you”.
The second and third days were a totally different story. The sun came out…as did the pink hues of the buildings. If there’s a city I would compare Morelia to it is Salamanca in Spain – all the buildings in both cities are built out of pink stone. When there’s no sun everything looks sombre. But when the sun comes out everything looks colourful and radiant. A place always looks better when the sun is shining…but it is particularly true with Morelia (and Salamanca) because of the stone used in building the cities.
But there’s more than that. On my first visit with my mother, we spent most of our time walking the city. And honestly, in my opinion, Morelia is not the most beautiful city when viewed from the street. It IS a bit monotonous, a bit gritty and devoid of greenery.
On this visit, Lissette and I had more time and made it a point to explore the many ex-palaces and convents of the city, places like the Palacio del Gobierno, Palacio de la Justicia, Conservatorio de las Rosas, the public library of Michoacán university. And then there were other places, like the College of San Nicolás Obispo, that we just stumbled into. We saw so much beauty. We were amazed by the courtyards and the murals (I’ll be writing more in the future on specifically what people should see in Morelia).
We also liked the Morelianos. Everyone we met was friendly and generous in telling us about their city and about the history of Michoacán. And I have to be honest: travelling with a Latina has given us an “in” on this trip. It’s Lissette’s first trip to Mexico and people have been incredibly welcoming to her. She walks down the street and people smile and talk to her. That’s never happened to me when travelling alone or with my mom.
I will also say this – Morelia is a much cleaner, much more vibrant place than when I was here 10 years ago. While we were there they were having an outdoor art exhibit in Plaza de Armas featuring pieces from the National Prado Museum in Madrid. Also going on was the Morelia film festival which had various venues around the city. There was a happy, festive air in the city.
So did I change my opinion of Morelia? Yes. Morelia didn’t leave me feeling “Blah” this time around. We enjoyed our visit and were impressed by the many highlights. As other people have told me, Morelia has a different kind of beauty than other places in Mexico (someone called Morelia’s beauty a “masculine beauty” which rings true). But it’s not just the beauty of its highlights: as our Airbnb host told us, “Morelia is a much more cosmopolitan city than it was 10 years ago. A lot has changed”.
It certainly has.
Related: Is San Luis Potosí worth Visiting?