Cityscape of San Miguel de Allende

The Best Ways to Travel from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

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Are you dreaming of escaping the bustling metropolis of Mexico City for the charming, colonial streets of San Miguel de Allende? Here is the best way to go from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende. I’m here to share with you all the insider tips and transportation options for making this journey.

Get ready to discover the most convenient, comfortable, and budget-friendly ways to travel from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende. Whether you prefer a scenic bus ride, a quick flight, or the freedom of driving, I’ve got you covered. But be warned, once you arrive in this magical city, you might never want to leave.

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The Best Ways to Travel from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

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  • 🌄 Day trip group tours are comfortable and convenient. Opt for a guided tour to make the most of your limited time.
  • 🚕 Private transfers provide the most convenience and comfort, with door-to-door service, ideal for groups or those with lots of luggage.
  • 🚌 Buses are the most popular and affordable option, with luxury lines like ETN and Primera Plus offering comfortable, direct service.
  • 🚗 Driving allows flexibility but can be challenging due to Mexico City traffic and limited parking in SMA. The journey takes 3.5-4.5 hours. Rent a car in Mexico City from Discover Cars.
  • ✈️ Flying to nearby airports like Queretaro (QRO) or Leon/Guanajuato (BJX) is possible but requires additional ground transportation to reach SMA. Find cheap flights on Skyscanner

Read on for the full scoop on each transportation option, plus insider tips and answers to all your burning questions!

Is it worth going to San Miguel de Allende?

Absolutely! San Miguel de Allende is a charming, colonial city known for its stunning architecture, vibrant arts scene, delicious cuisine, and friendly locals. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been voted the world’s best city by Travel + Leisure readers. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or just soaking up the atmosphere, San Miguel de Allende is definitely worth a visit.

how far is san miguel from mexico city?

San Miguel de Allende is approximately 274 km (170 miles) northwest of Mexico City. The driving distance between the two cities is around 300-320 km (186-199 miles), depending on the route taken.

distance from mexico city to san miguel de allende

distances and driving times from different parts of Mexico City:

  • From Mexico City Airport to San Miguel de Allende: 267 km / 166 miles, about 3.5-4 hours driving
  • From Mexico City’s historic center to San Miguel de Allende: 270 km / 168 miles, about 4-4.5 hours driving
  • From the popular neighborhood of Coyoacán to San Miguel de Allende: 270 km / 168 miles, about 3.5-4 hours driving
Yellow House on a Steep Sloping Street, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

What is San Miguel de Allende known for?

San Miguel de Allende is known for its:

  1. Stunning Spanish colonial architecture and cobblestone streets
  2. Vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, studios, and art schools
  3. Beautiful churches, particularly the iconic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel
  4. Delicious cuisine, ranging from street food to gourmet restaurants
  5. Rich history and cultural heritage, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  6. Thriving expat community and welcoming, friendly locals
  7. Pleasant, spring-like climate year-round
  8. Colorful festivals and celebrations, such as Day of the Dead and Easter processions

How many days do you need in San Miguel de Allende?

While you can get a taste of San Miguel de Allende in a day trip, I recommend spending at least 2-3 days to fully appreciate the city’s charms. This allows time for exploring the historic center, visiting museums and galleries, enjoying the food scene, and even taking a day trip to nearby attractions like the Sanctuary of Atotonilco or the Cañada de la Virgen archaeological site.

Cityscape of San Miguel de Allende

day trip to san miguel de allende from mexico city

What is the best way to get from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?

a day tour with a guide is my number one recommendation, you can also take a bus, or private car, here are the best ways to get from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende:

Guided Day Tour from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

If you’re short on time and want a hassle-free way to visit San Miguel de Allende, a guided day tour to San Miguel De Allende is an excellent option. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Round-trip transportation from Mexico City in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
  • A knowledgeable, bilingual guide to show you the highlights of SMA
  • Convenient hotel pickup and drop-off in Mexico City
  • A well-planned itinerary that includes guided tours, free time for exploring, and sometimes additional stops or activities
  • Prices range from $90-120 USD per person, depending on the tour company and inclusions

Pros:

  • Efficient way to see SMA in a day
  • No need to worry about transportation or planning
  • Insightful commentary from a local guide
  • Opportunity to meet other travelers

Cons:

  • Long day with early departure and late return
  • Less flexibility and free time compared to independent travel
  • Higher cost than public transportation options

Recommended Tour from mexico city to San Miguel de allende

Mexico city to San Miguel de Allende Private tour

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Cityscape of San Miguel de Allende

Priviate tour from Mexico City to san miguel de allende

  • 5 star reviews
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Yellow House on a Steep Sloping Street, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Shared tour fromMexico City to san miguel de allende

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Empty Town Square in San Miguel de Allende

Private car from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

  • 5 star reviews
  • private driver and car
  • flexible cancelation policy

First-Class Bus from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

For a comfortable, affordable, and eco-friendly way to travel between Mexico City and SMA, the first-class bus is a top choice. Here’s what to know:

Based on your preferences for a day tour with a guide, bus, or private car, here are the best ways to get from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende:

RELATED: Mexico City Travel Guide

Guided Day Tour from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

If you’re short on time and want a hassle-free way to visit San Miguel de Allende, a guided day tour is an excellent option. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Round-trip transportation from Mexico City in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
  • A knowledgeable, bilingual guide to show you the highlights of SMA
  • Convenient hotel pickup and drop-off in Mexico City
  • A well-planned itinerary that includes guided tours, free time for exploring, and sometimes additional stops or activities
  • Prices range from $90-120 USD per person, depending on the tour company and inclusions

Pros:

  • Efficient way to see SMA in a day
  • No need to worry about transportation or planning
  • Insightful commentary from a local guide
  • Opportunity to meet other travelers

Cons:

  • Long day with early departure and late return
  • Less flexibility and free time compared to independent travel
  • Higher cost than public transportation options
Cars on Cobblestone Road in San Niguel de Allende, Mexico

Private Car Service from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

For the ultimate in comfort, convenience, and flexibility, hiring a private car service is the way to go. Here’s what to expect:

  • Door-to-door service from your location in Mexico City to your accommodation in SMA
  • Comfortable, spacious vehicle with a professional, bilingual driver
  • Option to customize your departure time and make stops along the way
  • Prices range from $300-500 USD one-way, depending on the vehicle type and service level
  • Can be cost-effective for groups or families traveling together

Pros:

  • Most convenient and comfortable option
  • Personalized service tailored to your preferences
  • Flexibility to stop and explore along the way
  • Ideal for those with a lot of luggage or mobility issues

Cons:

  • Higher cost compared to public transportation or guided tours
  • Potential for traffic delays or road closures
  • Requires advance planning and booking to secure the best service
Public Library in San Miguel de Allende

RELATED: Where to Stay in Mexico City & Coolest Hotels in Mexico City

Recommended Tour: 

First-Class Bus from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

For a comfortable, affordable, and eco-friendly way to travel between Mexico City and SMA, the first-class bus is a top choice. Here’s what to know:

  • Buses depart from Mexico City’s Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte (North Bus Terminal)
  • Two main luxury bus lines: ETN (hourly departures) and Primera Plus (3 daily departures)
  • Journey takes approximately 4-4.5 hours
  • One-way fares range from $25-45 USD, depending on the bus line and class of service
  • Amenities include reclining seats, AC, bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and charging ports

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly option
  • Comfortable and reliable service
  • No need to navigate Mexico City traffic
  • Opportunity to relax, work, or enjoy the scenic views

Cons:

  • Longer travel time compared to flying or driving
  • Less flexibility in departure times and stops
  • Potential for delays due to traffic or road conditions
A skeleton dressed in a costume with flowers on it

 Bus from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

For most travelers, the bus is the go-to mode of transportation for getting from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende. It’s affordable, comfortable, and doesn’t require navigating the often chaotic streets of Mexico City. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Buses depart from Mexico City’s Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte (North Bus Terminal).
  • Two main bus companies, ETN and Primera Plus, operate direct routes to SMA.
  • ETN offers the most frequent service, with departures every hour from 5:00 am to 6:20 pm.
  • Primera Plus has three daily departures at 7:45 am, 4:30 pm, and 12:15 am.
  • The journey takes approximately 4-4.5 hours, depending on traffic.
  • Bus tickets range from $25-45 USD one-way, depending on the class of service.

I recommend you take a Day tour from Mexico city or if you want to visit for more than one day opt for the bus. ETN is my personal favorite, with their ultra-comfortable seats, onboard entertainment, and reliable service. Plus, their buses are equipped with bathrooms, AC, and charging ports, making the journey a breeze.

Insider Tip: Book your tickets online in advance, especially during peak travel times, to secure your seat and snag the best deals. I use Bookaway for easy online booking and to compare prices and schedules.

Is there a direct bus from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?

Yes, there are direct, first-class buses from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende operated by ETN and Primera Plus. The buses depart from Mexico City’s Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte (North Bus Terminal) and take approximately 4-4.5 hours to reach SMA. ETN offers hourly departures, while Primera Plus has three daily departures.

Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Bus Schedule:

Bus CompanyDeparturesDurationPrice (USD)
ETNHourly from 5:00 am to 6:20 pm4-4.5 hrs$40-45
Primera Plus7:45 am, 4:30 pm, 12:15 am4-4.5 hrs$35-40

RELATED: Ultimate Guide To Hot Air balloons over Teotihuacan pyramids

First-Class Bus from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

For a comfortable and convenient journey, the first-class, luxury buses from Mexico City to SMA are an excellent choice. The two main companies offering this service are:

  1. ETN- etn bus mexico city to san miguel de allende
    • Offers hourly departures from Mexico City’s North Bus Terminal from 5:00 am to 6:20 pm
    • Features reclining seats, onboard entertainment, AC, bathrooms, and charging ports
    • Journey takes approximately 4-4.5 hours
    • One-way fares range from $40-45 USD
  2. Primera Plus:
    • Offers three daily departures from Mexico City’s North Bus Terminal at 7:45 am, 4:30 pm, and 12:15 am
    • Features comfortable seats, AC, bathrooms, and Wi-Fi on some units
    • Journey takes approximately 4-4.5 hours
    • One-way fares range from $35-40 USD

These luxury bus services offer a stress-free and enjoyable way to travel between the two cities, with amenities that rival first-class flights.

🚗 Mexico city to san miguel de allende driving 

Mexico City to san Miguel de Allende drive

For those craving more freedom and flexibility, renting a car and driving from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende is an option. The journey takes around 3.5-4.5 hours, depending on traffic and your starting point in the city. Here’s what to consider:

  • Driving in Mexico City can be challenging, with heavy traffic, confusing road signs, and aggressive drivers.
  • Parking in SMA’s narrow, cobblestone streets is limited and can be difficult to find.
  • Toll roads are common in Mexico, so be prepared with cash for the fees (around $15-30 USD for this route).
  • Mexico City has driving restrictions based on license plate numbers, so check if your rental car is affected.

If you do decide to drive, the route is relatively straightforward once you escape the chaos of Mexico City. The scenery along the way is stunning, with sweeping vistas of the Sierra Madre Mountains and charming towns dotting the landscape.

Insider Tip: Make sure your rental car has the necessary insurance coverage and that you’re comfortable driving in Mexico before hitting the road. I recommend Discover Cars for finding the best deals and reading reviews from other travelers.

San Miguel Arcangel Parish in San Miguel de Allende

✈️ Airports Near San Miguel de Allende

Can You Fly from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?

San Miguel de Allende does not have its own airport. The closest airports are:

  1. Queretaro Intercontinental Airport (QRO) – about 1 to 1.5 hours from SMA
  2. Del Bajio International Airport (BJX) in Leon – about 1.5 to 2 hours from SMA

From Mexico City, you can fly to either of these airports and then arrange ground transportation to SMA via taxi, rental car, private transfer, or bus.

What city do you fly into for San Miguel de Allende?

The closest cities with airports to San Miguel de Allende are:

  • Queretaro (QRO): Queretaro Intercontinental Airport, about 1 to 1.5 hours by car from SMA
  • Leon (BJX): Del Bajio International Airport, about 1.5 to 2 hours by car from SMA

Direct flights from Mexico City to Queretaro and Leon are offered by several airlines, including Aeromexico, Interjet, and Volaris. Flight times are around 1 hour, and prices vary depending on the airline and booking window.

While San Miguel de Allende doesn’t have its own airport, two nearby options serve the area:

  1. Queretaro Intercontinental Airport (QRO) – 1 to 1.5 hours from SMA
  2. Del Bajio International Airport (BJX) in Leon – 1.5 to 2 hours from SMA

From both airports, you’ll need to arrange ground transportation to reach SMA. Options include:

  • Renting a car: Ideal if you plan to explore the region beyond SMA.
  • Taking an Uber/taxi: Fares range from $50-90 USD, depending on the airport and time of day.
  • Booking a private transfer: The most convenient option, with rates averaging $100-150 USD.
  • Hopping on a bus: Public buses are available but require additional transfers and time.

How far is the airport to San Miguel de Allende?

The closest airports to San Miguel de Allende are:

  • Queretaro Intercontinental Airport (QRO): about 70 km / 43 miles, or 1 to 1.5 hours by car
  • Del Bajio International Airport (BJX) in Leon: about 125 km / 77 miles, or 1.5 to 2 hours by car

How long is the flight from TJ to San Miguel de Allende?

There are no direct flights from Tijuana (TIJ) to San Miguel de Allende, as SMA does not have its own airport. The closest airports are Queretaro (QRO) and Leon/Guanajuato (BJX). To reach SMA from Tijuana, you’d need to fly to Mexico City or Guadalajara and then take a connecting flight to QRO or BJX, followed by ground transportation to SMA. Total travel time would be around 6-8 hours, depending on layovers.

Insider Tip: If you have a late flight arrival, consider overnighting near the airport and making the journey to SMA the following day when you’re refreshed and can fully appreciate the scenic drive.

Exterior of the Church of San Francisco in San Miguel de Allende

🚕 mexico city to san miguel de allende private car: The Ultimate in Comfort and Convenience

For those seeking the most stress-free and comfortable journey, booking a private transfer is the way to go. With door-to-door service, you can sit back, relax, and leave the driving to a professional. Here’s what to expect:

  • Prices vary based on vehicle size but average $300-500 USD one-way.
  • Many services include a bilingual driver, bottled water, and space for luggage.
  • You can customize your pickup and drop-off locations and times.
  • Some companies offer the option to stop and explore along the way, turning the transfer into a mini tour.

As someone who values comfort and convenience, I’ve used private transfers for special occasions or when traveling with a group to split the cost. It’s a luxurious way to begin your San Miguel de Allende adventure!

Insider Tip: Book your private transfer at least 48 hours in advance to secure your preferred vehicle and service. Read reviews and compare prices to find the best fit for your needs and budget.

How much is a taxi from Mexico City Airport to San Miguel de Allende?

A taxi from Mexico City Airport directly to San Miguel de Allende would be very expensive, likely costing upwards of $200-300 USD for the 3-4 hour journey. A more cost-effective option is to take a bus or private transfer from Mexico City to SMA, or to fly to Queretaro Airport (QRO) and take a taxi from there (around $50-70 USD).

How much is a private car from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?

The cost of a private car service from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende ranges from $300-500 USD one-way, depending on the type of vehicle and level of service. Prices may be higher for larger groups or luxury vehicles. It’s recommended to book in advance to secure the best rates and availability.

Making the Most of a Day Trip from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

For those short on time, a day trip from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende is possible, albeit a long and tiring day. To make the most of your limited time, consider booking a guided tour that includes round-trip transportation and a knowledgeable local guide. Here’s what to look for:

  • Tours typically last 12-14 hours, with an early morning departure and late evening return.
  • Prices average $90-120 USD per person, depending on group size and inclusions.
  • Look for tours that include hotel pickup/drop-off, transportation, a guided walking tour of SMA, and free time to explore on your own.
  • Some tours may include additional stops or activities, such as visiting nearby hot springs or sampling local cuisine.

While a day trip is doable, I highly recommend spending at least one night in San Miguel de Allende to fully immerse yourself in the magic of this UNESCO-listed city. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Insider Tip: If you do opt for a day trip, pack snacks, water, and entertainment for the long journey, and wear comfortable shoes for exploring SMA’s cobblestone streets.

Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende Train

Unfortunately, there is no direct train service between Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende. The closest you can get by train is Queretaro, which is about an hour from SMA. From there, you’d need to take a bus or taxi to complete the journey.

Is it Safe to Drive from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?

  • The route from Mexico City to SMA is generally considered safe, especially if you stick to the toll roads and travel during daylight hours. However, driving in Mexico City itself can be challenging due to heavy traffic, confusing road signs, and aggressive drivers.
  • If you’re not comfortable navigating the bustling streets of Mexico City, consider taking a bus or hiring a private transfer instead. Once outside the city, the drive becomes more manageable, with scenic views of the surrounding mountains and countryside.

Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

What is the cheapest way to get from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?

The most budget-friendly option is taking the bus, with one-way fares starting at around $25 USD.

How long does the bus ride from Mexico City to SMA take?

The bus journey typically takes between 4-4.5 hours, depending on traffic and the number of stops.

Is it safe to drive from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende?

While the route is generally safe, driving in Mexico City can be challenging due to heavy traffic and aggressive drivers. Stick to daylight hours and toll roads for the safest experience.

Can I take an Uber from Mexico City Airport to SMA?

While it’s possible, it’s not recommended due to the long distance and potential for the driver to cancel. A private transfer is a more reliable option.

How much does a private transfer from Mexico City to SMA cost?

Prices vary based on vehicle size and service but average $300-500 USD one-way. Costs can be split between passengers for a more budget-friendly option.

Is it worth taking a day trip to SMA from Mexico City?

While doable, a day trip makes for a very long and tiring day. If possible, spend at least one night in SMA to fully appreciate its charms.

What is the best time of year to visit San Miguel de Allende?

Thanks to its mild, spring-like climate, SMA is a year-round destination. However, the best months to visit are November through April when there is less rainfall.

What is the prettiest street in San Miguel de Allende?

While San Miguel de Allende is filled with picturesque streets and alleys, one of the most beautiful and photographed is Aldama Street. This cobblestone street is lined with colorful houses, bougainvillea-draped walls, and charming lanterns. It offers a stunning view of the iconic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church and is a perfect spot for a romantic stroll or Instagram-worthy photos.

Now that you’re armed with all the information you need to plan your journey from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende, it’s time to book that ticket and get ready for an unforgettable adventure. Whether you opt for the convenience of a bus, the freedom of driving, or the luxury of a private transfer, you’re in for a treat upon arriving in this captivating city.

As someone who has made San Miguel de Allende my home, I can attest to its irresistible allure. From the stunning architecture and vibrant arts scene to the delectable cuisine and friendly locals, there’s something for everyone in this magical town.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your escape from the hustle and bustle of Mexico City to the tranquil, colonial streets of San Miguel de Allende.

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