Property Agents Share Why San Miguel De Allende Is The Best City In The World

aerial view from a historic corridor in san miguel de allende
An aerial View of the landmarks and gardens of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

The central Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende was recently crowned the best city in the world by Travel & Leisure. The No. 1 ranking came as no surprise to Ann Dolan, a broker with CDR San Miguel who has lived in San Miguel de Allende with her husband Jim for 25 years.

The city, 170 miles northwest of Mexico City, has long been a draw for foreign buyers, with more than 63 nationalities represented, according to Dolan.

“It is a fascinating place to visit,” said Dolan, originally from Tennessee. “You’re culturally stimulated at every turn. There’s something for everyone.”

Casa La Monjas in el centro courtyard

Luxury properties in San Miguel de Allende range from large equestrian estates to smaller colonial properties in the city core. This traditional residence called Casa La Monjas is listed for $1.2 million. (CDR San Miguel)

Particularly popular are the year-round festivals, including one for Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) in October/November.

CDR San Miguel also runs the San Miguel Life blog, which has information on restaurants, galleries and other things to do.

Aside from Spanish Colonial architecture and cultural celebrations, as well as galleries, vineyards and equestrian centers, the mild temperatures are also a draw.

“The weather is perfect year round,” notes Jim Dolan. “We’ve never had heat or A/C.”

Casa Tres Cervezas in san miguel de allende mexico

Casa Tres Cervezas, a spectacular compound owned by television producer Thom Beers, is listed for $6.25 million. (CDR San Miguel)

Querétaro Intercontinental Airport and Guanajuato International Airport are both about an hour and a half away, while Mexico City International Airport is a three-hour drive.

What can you buy

Luxury real estate starts at a fairly low price point. In the spring, Dolan sold an 18,000-square-foot home that came with a staff of seven for $3 million.

“You couldn’t do that in New York City or California,” Dolan said.

Currently, Casa las Monjas, a 3,800-square-foot, three-bedroom traditional Colonial home featuring a covered open-air terrace with sitting area and fireplace and a separate guest studio is asking $1.2 million.

On the higher end is Casa Tres Cervezas, a fully-furnished nine-bedroom home located two blocks off the main plaza asking $6.25 million. It features two private courtyards, including one with a pool and hot tub, and a rooftop deck with an outdoor kitchen.


I’ve been working as a journalist in the New York metro area for more than a decade and have developed a specialization in luxury real estate, writing about everything from the post-recession housing market in Fairfield County, Connecticut, to the third-home market in the Hamptons. I’m currently also a regular contributor to Newsday and Hamptons Cottages & Gardens. If you spot me in my Brooklyn neighborhood and I’m not knitting, I’m probably admiring the beautiful Victorians that surround my apartment building (and trying to figure out what they would sell for).