10 Legendary Historical Places of Mexico

If you’re looking to dive deep into Mexico’s history, these 11 legendary historical places should be on your list:

1. Chichen Itza 

This ancient Mayan city is one of Mexico’s most famous landmarks, and for good reason. The towering pyramid of El Castillo dominates the landscape, and visitors can explore the ball courts, the observatory, and other structures that once served as the heart of this powerful civilization.

It dates to somewhere between the 6th and 9th century AD when the Maya built the original city.

Chichen Itza can be visited easily from Cancun, Tulum, or Playa del Carmen. Take the public bus or join a guided tour.

I recommend this all-inclusive day tour from Cancun, including Cenote and Valladolid.

You will also love The Ultimate List of 30 Amazing Historical Places In The World

Historical Places of Mexico - Chichen Itza
Historical Places of Mexico – Chichen Itza

2. Teotihuacan

Located just outside Mexico City, Teotihuacan is another important archaeological site from pre-Columbian times.

The Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon are two of the most iconic structures here, but there is much more to see. 

For me, this place was just incredible. It’s simply enormous, and you can spend hours here exploring it. One of the most fascinating features of Teotihuacan is its urban planning and architecture.

The city is laid out along a central axis known as the Avenue of the Dead, which runs for over two miles (3.2 km) through the city’s heart. As you walk along, it’s easy to imagine how epic this place must have been when over 100,000 people lived here in the first half of the first millennium. 

Historical Places of Mexico - Teotihuacan
Historical Places of Mexico – Teotihuacan

3. Palenque 

Deep in the jungle of Chiapas, the ruins of Palenque offer a glimpse into the world of the ancient Maya. The intricately carved stone temples and pyramids are beautifully preserved and surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. 

It feels different from the other historical places of Mexico I visited; maybe it is the lush greenery and the presence of sophisticated aqueducts, and in some way, it isn’t as touristy.  

Historical Places of Mexico - Palenque
Historical Places of Mexico – Palenque

4. Monte Alban 

Regarding historical places in Mexico, I didn’t know much about Monte Alban until I came to Oaxaca to study Spanish. 

Perched atop a hill overlooking the city of Oaxaca, Monte Alban was once the centre of Zapotec civilization. The sprawling complex of temples, pyramids, and plazas is an impressive sight, and you can also enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valley. 

It feels more open, and I loved learning about their underground system used to collect rainwater.

Visiting on a full day trip or even a half-day tour from Oaxaca is really easy. And while you are there, eat these 10 incredible foods in Oaxaca

Historical Places of Mexico - Monte Alban
Historical Places of Mexico – Monte Alban

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5. Templo Mayor 

You don’t have to go too far from the capital city of Mexico to see some incredible places with history. 

In the heart of Mexico City, the Templo Mayor reminds of the Aztec civilization that once ruled this land.

The excavated ruins of the temple and the adjacent museum provide a fascinating look at this ancient culture. Book a private tour with a knowledgeable guide or reserve your skip-the-line entrance ticket here. 

Historical Places of Mexico - Templo Mayor
Historical Places of Mexico – Templo Mayor

6. Tulum 

One of my favourite historical places of Mexico as the setting near the beach is simply mindblowing. 

Tulum is a must-visit destination. This small beach town offers the perfect vacation getaway with a bonus.

 The well-preserved walled city was one of the last Mayan strongholds to fall to the Spanish conquistadors, and you can still see the remnants of the fortress that once protected the city. It’s about 700 years old. 

This is an exciting destination to stay for a few nights, search below for the best accommodation deals in Tulum!

Historical Places of Mexico - Tulum
Historical Places of Mexico – Tulum

7. Guanajuato

Now for something different. I have included some colonial towns on this list of historical places of Mexico as well, not just archeological sites.

This charming colonial city in central Mexico is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its well-preserved architecture and rich history.

You can explore the old silver mines and the Museum of Mummies. But the most part is the winding alleys and colourful buildings that give this city its unique character.

In fact, this city features in our post about 7 of the most colourful cities in the world.

Historical Places of Mexico - Guanajuato
Historical Places of Mexico – Guanajuato

8. San Miguel de Allende 

Another colonial gem, San Miguel de Allende is a picturesque town in the state of Guanajuato. Its cobblestone streets, ornate churches, and lively cultural scene make it a favorite among visitors. 

It kinda is too cute to be real and many expats moved here over the years. I do not blame them. It’s a cultural hub, with plenty of live music performances around town in the evenings and art exhibitions.

Historical Places of Mexico - San Miguel de Allende
Historical Places of Mexico – San Miguel de Allende

9. Uxmal 

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Uxmal is another important Mayan archaeological site and you can visit from Merida or Campeche. 

The Puuc-style architecture is unique to this region, and you can explore the elaborate carvings and detailed stonework that make this site so impressive.

The Pyramid of the Magician remains the main tourist attraction in the Uxmal complex.

Search Uxmal Tours and Tickets Here

Historical Places of Mexico - Uxmal
Historical Places of Mexico – Uxmal

10. Taxco 

This colonial town in the state of Guerrero is known for its silver mines and exquisite silverwork. I loved wandering the narrow streets and admiring the baroque architecture.

You can also shop for silver jewellry and other handicrafts, the atmosphere feels very relaxed here.

Historical Places of Mexico - Taxco
Historical Places of Mexico – Taxco

11. Mitla 

This Zapotec site in the state of Oaxaca is known for its intricate geometric designs, which are carved into the stone walls of the buildings.

The site also features a unique architectural style incorporating small, mosaic-like stones. 

Search Mitla Tours & Tickets Here

While exploring Oaxaca, don’t miss out on visiting the Tlacolula Sunday Market; it’s fantastic! An authentic experience for sure!

Our ultimate guide to Tlacolula Markets covers everything you need to know, including how to get there, what to expect and what to eat!

Historical Places of Mexico - Mitla
Historical Places of Mexico – Mitla

Final Thoughts on Historical Places of Mexico Worth Visiting

Mexico is a land of contrasts, where ancient civilizations and colonial influences have left their mark on the landscape.

I love that no matter where you travel in the country, you will find places with a history worth seeing. 

From the towering pyramids of the Maya to the colourful streets of San Miguel de Allende, there is no shortage of historical places to explore. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first-time visitor, these 11 legendary sites should be on your list.

Do you have any other suggestions on places with history in Mexico? Let me know in the comments. 

Travel Tips for Mexico

If you need more reasons to visit Mexico, here are 10! And if you love to eat, don’t miss our Top 5 Food Cities in Mexico.

Heading to Oaxaca? Don’t miss these 20 Dishes – The Best Food in OAXACA or our top 12 Best Breakfast Places in Oaxaca. 

We love to share our knowledge of travelling, and you may enjoy reading our best-ever travel tips and our ultimate packing list for travellers.

For food lovers, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for foodies! And, if you’re more interested in history, these 30 amazing historical places in the world will fascinate you!

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