It is a small colonial city/town where time seems to have stopped.
Valladolid was founded in the year 1543 by the Spanish during the colonization. And they called it that to pay homage to one of the cities of the Iberian Peninsula. It is known for being one of the magical towns of Mexico and although it is small, it has many things to do.
1. Valladolid central square
Start by getting to know the city through its central square. There is always a very pleasant atmosphere there. Especially at dusk where you can enjoy eating something in one of its street stalls. In addition, there are some very curious banks. It is about two “armchairs” placed facing each other and together, thinking for gossip. Yes, you heard right. One of the curiosities that most surprised us in the city were these benches. Some say that they were made that way so that they could conspire, but go… that’s how they sit down to gossip.
2. Church of San Servatius
In the same square you will find the Church of San Servacio. And although it is not the only one in the city, it is the most impressive and important.
On the façade, its two large towers stand out and in the middle the coat of arms of King Felipe V (the first Bourbon king) carved in stone.
This church was built in 1543 and is one of the most emblematic places in the interior. Admission is free.
3. The City Hall
In the same square we also find the Municipal Palace. You can visit and go up to the balconies. From them you can have beautiful views. Admission is free.
4. The House of the Deer
To visit it you have to go to local 240 on 40th Street and sign up for a guided tour. There are three tours in the morning. Although the tour is free, at the end of the visit you will be asked for a donation of 100 pesos which, according to what we understand, is donated to local associations and reinvested in social causes.
5. Franciscan Convent of San Bernardino de Siena
You can enter the church for free and if you want to visit the rest of the rooms, the entrance fee is 30 pesos.
6. The famous Mexican lyrics
As in every town or city, in Valladolid you will also find the letters with the name of the place. It is already very popular to be photographed with them. In our case, in Valladolid we were left without the photograph, because just when we arrived there was a tour bus that had just arrived and they were all queuing. Under the sun… I wasn’t going to wait. But if it is one of the most popular things to do and if you want to have this souvenir, be patient. There are times when there are long queues.
7. The Church of Candelaria
Personally, La Iglesia de la Candelaria is one of the churches that I liked the most in Valladolid. It is of colonial style in a red color that catches immediately. In addition, it has white touches and beautiful arches that reminded me a bit of Arab architecture.
It has a single nave, with Moorish arches, inside it has vaulted ceilings, a carved wooden pulpit, altarpieces with plant motifs and niches with images.
8. Other churches in Valladolid
In Valladolid you can also get to know other of its beautiful churches. Like the Church of Santa Lucía with a more austere and somewhat neglected appearance or the Church of Santa Ana, the latter in yellow.
9. Bates Municipal Market
I am very geek of markets, I have already explained it to you on other occasions and whenever I visit a city I cannot miss its local market. In de Valladolid it is located in a low colonial building in yellow, where its interior is filled with colors and fresh aromas. In addition, here you can also take the opportunity to buy a souvenir at a better price. Or some artisan product, such as embroidered textiles, hand-painted ceramics…
10. Buy some local crafts
Speaking of shopping… both in the market and in many small shops and street stalls you will find a lot of handicrafts. A large part of the population of Valladolid is dedicated to the sale of products such as embroidered textiles, carved wooden utensils, hand-painted ceramics, pictures and paintings… Take the opportunity to buy a souvenir here and thus contribute to the local economy.
11. The causeway of the Friars
Calzada de los Frailes is a picturesque street with facades of different colors and colonial houses. And although many streets in Valladolid retain this aspect of the colonial era, the Calzada de los Frailes is one of the most beautiful.
12. The San Roque Museum
The building where the museum is located has been the protagonist of many important episodes in its history. In its beginnings it was built as a small chapel in the year 1575. Later it was transformed into a hospital and later into the convent of San Roque. Here they buried those who died in the episode known as “the crime of the mayors”, or the rebels of the 1910 uprising were shot.
It is currently a museum.
13. Cenote Zaci
In the Yucatan Peninsula we find many cenotes. Ideal to cool off and enjoy this wonder of nature.
In the heart of Valladolid, in the middle of the city is the Zací cenote. The entrance costs 30 pesos and if you have a drink in the restaurant the entrance is free.
14. Food Market
Another of the Yucatan’s “food markets” is located at one end of the central plaza. It is a traditional food market, where you can eat. There are stalls with traditional food and delicious recipes. As well as you can have a fresh fruit juice or a beer. Eating here is quite cheap.
15. Enjoy the typical gastronomy of the Yucatan
Speaking of eating, I couldn’t leave traditional dishes off the list of what to do in Valladolid. Although it may seem from home that Mexican food is reduced to tacos, burritos and enchiladas… there are many more delicious traditional dishes. Some of the traditional specialties of the Yucatan are: Cochinita Pibil, lomitos, suckling pig cakes, pibihuas, salbutes, papadzules, poc-chuc, lime soup, lobster…
In addition, we must highlight the famous Mayan chocolate. If you are a chocolate lover, I guarantee that when you try it you will want to take home as many bars as possible that fit in your suitcase. It’s delicious!