Xalapa is known as the "Athens of Veracruz" because of the strong cultural influence of its major university, Universidad Veracruzana (the main public university in the State of Veracruz). General Enriquez is known for policies encouraging the educational system in Xalapa.
Culturally, Xalapa has a wide variety of events associated with its theatres, museums, and street art. Many musicians and dancers frequently perform in the center in the nights, especially on special occasions and events of celebration or commemoration; they often dance the fandango.
Art has a keen following in Xalapa. The gallery, Pinacoteca Diego Rivera, located near the City Hall and Parque Juárez in downtown, has the largest collection of Diego Rivera's paintings in all of Mexico.
In 2010, it was home to 425,000 people.
The Lencero Airport is a very small airport. It is situated outside the city but it is used only for helicopters and very small planes. The closest airport is the Veracruz international airport. It's about 2 hours from Xalapa.
Almost-hourly buses go from Mexico City to Xalapa in several bus lines (ADO, AU), departing from TAPO station. The trip takes 4 hours approximately.
Hilly, densely constructed Xalapa is one of the world's great scooter cities. Rent one and the back areas of the city really open up for exploration.
- 1 Xalapa Catedral (Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion). Built in 1641, this cathedral was overhauled in 1896 in a baroque style.
- 2 Anthropology Museum of Xalapa (Museo de Antropología de Xalapa), Av. Xalapa. Tu-F 09:00-17:00. Beautifully-designed museum of the cultures of Veracruz. A worthy rival to the more famous archaeological museum in Mexico City. M$60.
- 3 Museo Hacienda El Lencero, Carretera Xalapa-Veracruz Km 10. Occasionally called the Museo de Muebles (Furniture Museum), this country estate 14 km (8.7 mi) southeast of the town center was for 14 years (1842-56) the home of Antonio López de Santa Anna, the 11-time president of Mexico. Here he retreated from the world, though on occasion he opened his doors to receive notable visitors. Furniture from Mexico, Europe, and Asia fills the rooms, illustrating the cosmopolitan tastes of Mexico's upper classes during the 19th century. Among the notable pieces is the leader's bed, embellished with the national emblem (an eagle holding a serpent in its beak).
- 4 Juárez Park, Enríquez. It is advisable to visit Juárez Park, next to the town hall. From there you can have a good view of the city, Pico de Orizaba and Cofre de Perote, from the terrace of the museum Ágora. A nice place and reunion site for tourist and locals alike, where also you can enjoy some treats and snacks. and next to the museum of coffee.
- 5 Botanical Garden Francisco Javier Clavijero (2.5 km (1.6 mi) from the old road to Coatepec No. 351), ☏ . Daily 09:00 - 17:00. The Botanical Garden Francisco Javier Clavijero is an arboretum and botanical garden of 38 hectares of which 30 are of forest preserved in an old coffee plantation and 8 garden festivals. it has seven public scientific collections in eight hectares. Exhibits some 6,000 specimens belonging to 700 species of plants. Adult M$5, child M$2.
- Patio Muñoz. Patio Muñoz is a neighborhood built in the 19th century, with most of the original buildings intact. Here are held workshops in Veracruz-style painting, dance and music.
- Jardín de Esculturas (Sculpture Garden). A museum dedicated to sculpture, exhibiting works by nationally and internationally recognized artists.
Xalapa is the place of origin of the famous Jalapeño peppers. Dishes made with maize: gorditas, tostadas, pasties, enfrijoladas, and chicken are common. The desserts that are consumed in the region are typically sweet such as cake and cocadas and craft candies like candied fruit, dulce de leche and jamoncillo.
- Yerba Buena, Xalapenos Ilustres 22, Centro Historical, ☏ . Daily 13:30-18:00. A tranquil and inexpensive popular eatery with friendly staff. Serves a daily set lacto-vegetarian menu, typically a salad and a choice of two soups and main dishes with bread, natural fruit juice and a coffee or a tea for dessert.
- Bacan Macut (Restaurante de Cocina Huasteca), Av. 20 de Noviembre #532 (when exiting the Xalapa bus station CAXA, turn left and approximately one block away it will be on your right), ☏ . 08:00-18:00. This restaurant specializes in Huasteca cuisine, from the northern part of the state of Veracruz. The dishes are quite excellent and not what you are normally familiar with as Mexican food. The owner is very demanding both in terms of cleanliness, and authenticity of the dishes, sourcing the ingredients from growers and suppliers in the region to which the dishes belong.
The customer service experience is adequate, and the menu is varied enough to find something to your liking. Most dishes include pork, beef, chicken or seafood, with few vegetarian and no vegan choices.
- Callejón Diamante (Diamond Alley). One of the more crowded streets at night because of its Bohemian atmosphere with cafes and an artists' colony.
Xalapa has a wide choice of budget hotels. The city should really be a lot more popular with backpackers than it is. The fact most stay on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts is their loss and can be your gain.
- Los Lagos +52 228 818-2000. 13 de Septiembre No.23. 22 rooms.
- Mision de las Americas +52 228 814-1145. Av. Xalapa No. 172. 15 rooms.
- La Moderna +52 228 817-3586. Leona Vicario No. 21. 39 rooms.
- El Arebe +52 228 817-1777. Av. 20 de Noviembre No. 535. 13 rooms.
- Limon 817-2204. Revolución No. 8. 49 rooms.
- Yalta +52 228 815-0833. Av. Lazaro Cárdenas No. 696. 60 rooms
- Araucarias +52 228 818-9038. Av. Avila Camacho No. 60. 16 rooms.
- Oasis +52 228 815-0360. Av. Xalapa No. 1120. 25 rooms.
- Bugambilias +52 228 814-5863. Av. Miguel Aleman No. 277. 20 rooms.
- Atenas +52 228 812-8944. Av. Lazero Cárdenas No. 1181. 49 rooms.
- El Mirador +52 228 815-1655. Av. Xalapa No. 1106. 44 rooms.
- Tecajetes +52 228 812-4973. Bustamante No. 24. 43 rooms.
- 1 Posada La Mariquinta, Calle José María Alfaro 12, ☏ . Very comfortable guest house in quiet neighborhood within walking location of main plaza. Rates are lower for longer stays.
- Hotel Misión Express Xalapa Centro, Av. Avila Camacho No. 60, ☏ . The hotel offers 16 rooms which have plasma TV with cable service, free Wi-Fi access, a coffee/tea maker, telephone, work desk, and a fan. Rates on website start at 650 pesos.
- 2 Hotel Central Xalapa, Av. 20 de Noviembre 522, Col. Tatahuicapan, ☏ . All of its rooms have a cable TV, telephone, and electronic keys and lock. Some of its facilities are La Tasca del Quijote (serves a variety of international cuisines), mutifunctional rooms, a business center, and Internet access. Best rates on website start at 628.81 pesos.
Xico - Village known for having huge bullfight every Summer and near impressive waterfalls
Veracruz - The largest city in the state