I have been living in Xalapa, Veracruz since seven months now and the city really got to me. I have also travelled a lot here in Mexico but no city is like Xalapa. Yes, it rains a lot here and yes, sometimes it can get pretty cold. But it’s actually one of the many beautiful things to see the fog over the lake or watch the rain clouds over the volcano Pico de Orizaba. Xalapa and Veracruz in general are one of the less touristic places in Mexico. However it is a really beautiful and unique place. This is why I give you five reasons why you should definitely come here!
1. The incredible amount of cute coffee places
I guess on this blog you have already figured out how much I love coffee places. Xalapa is literally FULL of them! I will definitely add a list of my favourite ones in the near future. Just let me tell you that not only the food is always really good and delicious but the coffee itself here in Xalapa is one of the best. Ask anyone in Mexico and they will tell you that the coffee of the state of Veracruz is one of the best in the country. In some places they also prepare it manually. One of the places is called “Jarocho Style” (Jarocho meaning “the people from Veracruz”). In this place you can choose from different techniques to prepare the coffee: the French press, the Mokka can or filtre coffee. And I can tell you that coffee definitely tastes differently depending on the way it’s prepared. Generally, there’s nothing better than spending a day or afternoon in a nice and cosy coffee place, like I do right now, writing this entry.
2. A city full of culture
Xalapa is one of the most important cities with theatre here in Mexico. There’s not only a very important and huge arts and theatre faculty but there are also tons of cultural places where you can find theatre programme. From super small alternative spaces with hardly any technical gear to the huge hall of the State Theatre, the Teatro del Estado, you can enjoy different experiences. There’s also a lot of cinema, even a lot of events for free. You can find screenings of hollywood blockbusters, festivals of national shortfilms or artistic movies. There’s something for everyone. Music lovers can enjoy open air concerts of rock bands, Mariachis or local groups or if you’re more into classical music, you can enjoy a concert in the Sala Tlaqna of the USBI Xalapa and listen to the Orquestra Xalapeño which are really good! And last but not least, Xalapa has the second biggest museum of antropology in the whole of Mexico, after Mexico City.
3. The hippest city in Mexico
Xalapa is a city full of students which is why there’s a whole lot of bars, cafés and hip places. There’s always a place where you can enjoy live music, have a beer with other young people or even enjoy vegan food. Yes, that’s right, in Xalapa people get more and more conscious about environment and health, which is why there are not only quite a few ecological shops where you can buy vegan and bio products but there are also more and more vegan and vegetarian cafés and restaurants. But it’s not only the quality of the food that’s special here in Xalapa but also the interior designs of the places. You find cafés full of plants and shabby style furniture and bars with selfmade furniture that almost remind me of Berlin. I love living in a student’s city because no matter how small the city is, there’s always something going on and there’s a certain spirit of liberty and creativity. Xalapa is no exception, as it is also one of the cities with most cultural activities.
4. It’s surrounded by nature and beautiful small villages
I really learned to love nature here in Mexico. This is also because Mexico’s nature is so incredibly versatile and there’s so much to discover: the breathtaking beaches of the Caribbean and the Pacific, the incredible view of the Peña de Bernal, the jungle around Tulum, the cascades and rivers in San Luis Potosí and one of the biggest canyons in the world in the North of Mexico, the Barranca del Cobre. Xalapa is surrounded by beautiful nature as well. Just take a Camion or rent a car for a day and go and discover the river of Coatepec or take a trip to the beaches on the golf of Mexico. You won’t regret it, it is absolutely worth it! There’s nothing better than spending a day in nature and just listening to the river flowing, to hear the birds sing in the mangroves or to watch the waves of the ocean. Xalapa itself also has some nice parks, like the Tecajetes or the Parque Estatal Javier Clavijero which is nature at its best. Generally, Xalapa is a pretty green city. Plus there are so many super cute villages around Xalapa! Take a walk through the picturesque Xico, visit the green village of Coatepec or enjoy Día de Muertos in Naolinco. There are so many options that will give you a completely different insight into beautiful Mexico.
5. You won’t feel like a tourist and you’ll get to know the real Mexico
Okay, I must admit that if you don’t really look Latin American, you might hear some people calling out to you on the streets or they suddenly start talking to you in English. But apart from that, once you get to know the people, you get to know the real Mexico. Xalapa is definitely not the most touristic place in Mexico which makes it even more interesting! You won’t find guided group tours or a whole bunch of sights, like for example in Mexico City. But you will definitely find authentic Mexican food and drinks, beautiful places to take a walk and you’ll find people that let you into their home and their heart. If you wanna get to know how people in Mexico think, what their lives are like and if you wanna meet friends that will stay with you for a lifetime, then Xalapa is the place for you to go! Because you won’t feel like a tourist here but you’ll really start living in this city.