Traveling from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende? I live here and I’m sharing with you all the various options.
As one of the first pueblos mágicos in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende proudly holds the title as a UNESCO list of World Heritage site. Thanks to its location in the central highlands, it has an eternal spring weather, and the city is surrounded by wineries and hot springs. It’s no wonder Condé Nast Travellers Magazine named it the “best city in the world” two years in a row!
Beyond its aesthetic charm, San Miguel de Allende stands as a thriving cultural hub, teeming with galleries and workshops. Lose track of time as you explore its myriad museums, handicraft markets, and enchanting gardens. Once you’ve immersed yourself in the city for a few days, deciding to leave becomes a challenge.
Table of Contents
- Where is San Miguel de Allende?
- How Far from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?
- Driving Distance from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende
- Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Transportations
- 1. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Buses
- 2. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Flights
- 3. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende by Private Transfer
- 4. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende by Day Trip
- 5. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende by Car
- San Miguel de Allende Travel Guide
Where is San Miguel de Allende?
Tucked away in the central region of Mexico, San Miguel de Allende lies on the Mexican Plateau at 6,135 feet (1,870 meters) above sea level. Its location on the Central Highlands means it enjoys mild winters and breezy summers. Flanked by mountains, it enjoys a high-desert climate, promising travelers an enticing blend of sunny days and cool nights.
Besides its lively streets and cool buildings, the best part is that San Miguel de Allende is a perfect base for exploring nearby places. You can hop to cities like Guanajuato or Querétaro, just 1.5 hours away.
How Far from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?
San Miguel de Allende is about a 4-hour drive from Mexico City, but let me tell you, the journey is worth every minute. You’ll be cruising through scenic landscapes and catching glimpses of picturesque towns as you get closer to this charming city. Whether you’re taking a road trip with pals, catching a bus, or even opting for a cozy private transfer, the distance becomes part of the whole experience.
Driving Distance from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende
- From Mexico City Airport to San Miguel de Allende – 167 miles (269 km); 3.5 hours driving.
- From Mexico City historic center to San Miguel de Allende – 168 miles (270 km); 4 hours driving
- From Mexico City touristic Coyoacán to San Miguel de Allende – 168 miles (270 km); 3.5 hours driving
Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Transportations
Getting from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende, a distance of 270 km, is quite an adventure. The most popular choice is a five-hour bus ride. If you’re looking for something more direct and comfortable, there’s a four-hour private transfer option.
For buses, there are two routes: direct and indirect. I’d recommend taking the indirect bus only if the direct buses are sold out. It takes longer and doesn’t save you money.
1. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Buses
Buses depart from the Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte, about 8 km northeast of downtown Mexico City.
The easiest route to the bus terminal is hopping in an Uber or taxi, with fares starting at around 100 MXN (USD$5.50) from the city center. Looking to save some pesos? Taking the metro is an option, costing just 6MXN (US$0.30). But, heads up, there’s no direct line to the Northern Bus Terminal. You’ll need to make a few transfers, totaling a 45-minute journey.
Two bus companies, Futura and ETN, operate the Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende route. Futura, the budget-friendly choice, provides comfy buses with AC, reclining seats, charging ports and restrooms.
Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Bus Schedule
- 7:45 am
- 4:30 pm
- 12:15 am
ETN: Has departures every hour from 5:00 am to 6:20 pm.
Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Bus Fare
Tickets for the Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende bus ride start from 612 MXN (around US$33.50), with the journey taking a little over 4 hours.
Is the Bus Safe?
ETN is one of the safest bus lines in Mexico and it is also very punctual. Futura also has a good reputation among users. Both have very comfortable seats which make the trip much more relaxing. I always book my tickets online at Bookaway so I don’t have to worry about finding no available places once I’m at the terminal.
2. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Flights
The nearest airports to San Miguel de Allende are Del Bajío International Airport in Guanajuato (1.5 hours by car) and Querétaro Intercontinental Airport (1 hour) in Querétaro. Both are relatively small airports but serve major cities in the US, such as Dallas, Atlanta, and Houston.
Which Mexico City Airport to Fly from?
If you decide to fly from Mexico City to Guanajuato or Querétaro, you’ll need to go to the Mexico City International Airport. Its terminals are located in the Venustiano Carranza district.
Which Airlines Fly from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?
Opt for Aeroméxico for your journey from Mexico City to Guanajuato, as they offer daily flights with ticket prices ranging from 3200 to 7000 MXN (US$181 to $396). You can find affordable flights from Mexico City to Guanajuato or Querétaro easily on Skyscanner. Book your journey here!
3. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende by Private Transfer
If you just arrived at Mexico City’s airport and you have a lot of luggage, it might be worth considering a private transfer to San Miguel de Allende. With a private transfer, you can skip the hassle of navigating bus terminals.
Of course, this convenience comes at a cost. But if you’re traveling in a group and can split the cost, it might work out more affordable than taking the bus. Private transfer rates from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende start at 5,265 MXN (around US$290). You can book your private transfer here.
If you fly directly to Guanajuato or Querétaro, you can also book a transfer to San Miguel.
4. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende by Day Trip
Another comfortable and interesting way to travel from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende is by booking a guided day tour. This day tour not only brings you to San Miguel de Allende, but also includes a stop at La Gruta hot springs. It has great reviews and might be worth checking out for those short on time.
We don’t recommend this option though — it takes 18 hours, and San Miguel definitely deserves an overnight stay.
5. Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende by Car
Another option to get to San Miguel de Allende is to rent a car from one of the downtown offices in Mexico City and drive there. Cruise down the Querétaro-Mexico Highway and you’ll reach San Miguel in about 3 and a half hours, depending on traffic.
Discover Cars is my go-to whenever I need to rent a car for a trip and you can book yours to pick it up from Mexico City International Airport. Even if you’re flying straight to Querétaro, I recommend booking your car rental to pick up from the Queretaro airport.
Is it Safe to Travel to San Miguel de Allende?
Even though renting a car can give you freedom and flexibility, I’d highly recommend taking the bus to San Miguel de Allende. Firstly, the highway that connects Mexico City with San Miguel goes through some areas that are not too safe like Irapuato and Salamanca. Secondly, San Miguel’s old town is very cramped and roads are narrow, with limited parking. You won’t need a car once you’re there.
If you do have a car with you, be aware that the roads are well-maintained and generally safe for all drivers. The drive is relatively easy, especially if you’ve driven abroad before. That said, there can be a lot of traffic in Mexico City. You’ll need to be patient.
Driving Tips in Mexico
- In Mexico, you drive on the right side of the road.
- Always keep your driving license, car rental papers, and proof of insurance handy.
- The main road hazards are reckless drivers; they tend to go very fast, changing lanes as and when they like without signaling. Be wary of these drivers and keep calm!
- There are plenty of speed bumps along the Federal Highway, especially when you get close to Guanajuato. When you see the signpost “TOPE“, slow down and prepare for the bumps.
- Avoid driving at night as you won’t be able to see the speed bumps and drivers go even faster than usual.
San Miguel de Allende Travel Guide
How to Get around San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende may be spread out, but its historical center is relatively compact. If you’re staying in the historical center, you could get by without a car as most of the things to do in San Miguel are located in the city center. Otherwise, Uber is readily available in Guanajuato, and it’s very affordable.
Best Time to Visit San Miguel de Allende
Thanks to its location in the central highlands of Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is blessed with a pleasant spring-like climate all year round. In general, any time of the year is great to visit as San Miguel’s climate doesn’t vary too much throughout the year, with average high temperatures hovering between 73°F (23°C) and 88°F (31°C) no matter the season.
But we would recommend visiting between San Miguel de Allende in November and April when there’s less rainfall than in the summer months. We visited in March and the weather was glorious. It was always sunny, but the high altitude meant a very dry climate.
Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende
There are plenty of accommodation options in San Miguel de Allende to suit all budgets, from spacious Airbnb to luxury boutique hotels. We recommend staying in the historic center (within a few blocks from el Jardin) so you can easily walk everywhere. For more recommendations, check out my guide to where to stay in San Miguel de Allende.
Luxury: Hacienda El Santuario San Miguel de Allende
One of the best hotels in San Miguel de Allende, this former convent is a tastefully designed hotel with rooms that feature vaulted ceilings, terracotta tiles, original brickwork, and unique folk art. Even if you’re not staying here, visiting the bar is one of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende. Check rates here.
Luxury: Casa 1810 Hotel Boutique
Located close to the main square, Casa 1810 is another stylish boutique hotel that has preserved the character of San Miguel de Allende immaculately. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, free parking, and family rooms. We enjoyed staying here! Check rates here.
Mid Range: Cantera 1910 Hotel Boutique
Cantera 1910 is a new boutique hotel in the very center of San Miguel, with freshly restored rooms and a boho chic decor. The on-site restaurant is located on a beautiful terrace, dishing up delicious Mexican breakfast dishes during the day and contemporary dishes and cocktails for dinner. Check rates here.
Budget: Casa Liza
This historical hotel is located near Paseo del Chorro and it’s a steep walk from the main square. The colonial mansion has plenty of history and character, and prices are excellent! Check rates here.
Is it Worth Visiting San Miguel de Allende?
Thank you for reading this far! I hope you’ve found useful information on how to get from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende. Which travel option are you going to choose? Feel free to share your thoughts or ask any questions in the comments section—I’m here to assist you in planning your journey!
For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out other articles I’ve written on Mexico:
- 10 Best Hot Springs in Mexico
- How to Visit La Gruta Hot Springs San Miguel de Allende
- Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende
- 30 Fun Things to Do in Guanajuato
- 10-Day Guanajuato Itinerary
- Visiting Grutas Tolantongo Hot Springs
- 30 Things to Do in Oaxaca
- 30 Things to Do in San Cristobal de las Casas
- Best Restaurants in San Cristobal de las Casa
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!