Top 23 Things To Do In Oaxaca, Mexico - Updated 2023


A city in Mexico, Oaxaca is known for many things and offers diverse activities that will surely be enjoyed by everyone. But, what it really is famous for is its colonial structures which date back many years ago, such as Palacio de Gobierno, Catedral de Oaxaca, and Templo de Santo Domingo. Some of the buildings are even made of green volcanic stones. Apart from the architecture, it also has numerous museums, natural wonders, vibrant night spot, delicious local food scene, and a lot more. In case you still don’t have an itinerary, check out our compilation of the best things to do in Oaxaca, Mexico, for your guidance.

1. Tour the exceptional Museo Textil

A modest-looking museum that showcases varieties of traditional textiles, Museo Textil has three rooms, one upstairs and two on the ground floor, which have different exhibits. The museum promotes its local textile craft through presentations, films, workshop, exhibits, and more. It also has a gift shop where you can buy souvenir items. If you’re wondering where you’ll find the Musei Textil, it is in an 18th-century restored mansion in the historic center in Oaxaca. This is a fantastic activity for those who love to learn about traditions and its imapct on culture.

Museo Textil

Address: Miguel Hidalgo 917, Centro Histórico, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Website: Museo Textil

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 8pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm

Price: 6.10 USD

2. Pay a visit to the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán

things to do in oaxaca mexico | pay a visit to the church of santo domingo de guzmán
Source: hyunmoo13524 on Instagram

If not the most lavish structure in Oaxaca, the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán is one of the most intricately designed buildings in the city that is made more stunning by embellishing it with gold. The church is a complex of buildings with Baroque ecclesiastical architecture. It is also a former monastery that features a sanctuary, courtyards, cloisters, and rooms. Apart from the exterior of the church, the walls and ceilings will also wow you with its beautiful mural and paintings. Moreover, don’t forget to pay your respect and pray when you visit. This is an activity for those who love to explore architecture and its various forms.

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán

Address: Calle de Macedonio Alcalá s/n, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

3. Check out contemporary art at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca

Colonial-Era Ceiling of Museum of Contemporary Art - Oaxaca - Mexico
Source: Photo by Flickr user Adam Jones used under CC BY 2.0

Situated in a 1700’s colonial house recognized as House of Cortes, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca (MACO) is a must-visit site for people who love the art. It features an extensive collection of Mexican contemporary art. Its permanent exhibit is made up of the artworks of five famous Oaxacan artists. Also, keep yourself updated with its rotating exhibits for it is a delight and a whole new experience. This is a museum both adults and children will enjoy.

Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca

Address: Calle Macedonio Alcalá 202, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Website: Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 10:30am - 8pm (closed on Tue)

Price: 20 MXN (1.05 USD)

4. Admire the beauty of Monte Albán

things to do in oaxaca mexico | admire the beauty of monte albán

Have you always wondered about the classical period and ancient times and dreamt of visiting archeological sites someday in the future? If so, you shouldn’t miss one of the must-visit places in Oaxaca, which is the Monte Alban. It is an archeological site that is located in a flattened mountaintop, giving you a stunning view of the valleys. Here, you’ll find remnants and relics of the Zapotec civilization. It has four key features, such as the Ball Court, Building J, Los Danzantes, and the North Platform. Additionally, there is a small museum where you’ll find samples of funerary urns, skeletal remains, and stelae.

Monte Albán

Address: Oaxaca Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico

Opening hours: 8am - 4:30pm (daily)

Price: 70 MXN (3.67 USD)

5. Wander around Zócalo

If you want to feel the Oaxaca atmosphere, before touring the city, then the first thing you need to do is visit Zocalo. It is a small public square that features numerous things all at once. It is surrounded by plenty of historic buildings which will give hints about what to expect during history tours. Also, you’ll have a taste of its local cuisine with the many restaurants available here. One of the best things here is that the area does not experience the rush of traffic and is shaded by many trees. Moreover, this place is full of merchants and vendors and tends to be crowded sometimes. If you want to feel the vibrancy of Mexico without the gust of gasoline, then come down to Zocalo with your family and friends and have fun.


Address: Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Opening hours: 8:30am - 5pm (daily)

6. Head to the historic Mitla

The second most prominent archeological site, next to Monte Alban, Mitla is the place to visit for people who want to learn more about the Oaxaca culture and its history that goes back to Zapotec civilization. Unlike Monte Alban that has more of political value, Mitla is of religious importance, which is represented in the designs of its structures that focus more on functionality than the aesthetic. The Mitla ruins is unique, impressive, and the only of its kind which you won’t find anywhere in the world but in Mexico. Don’t let this attraction pass without visiting it when you’re in Oaxaca.


Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 25 MXN (1.31 USD)

7. Walk around Plaza de la Danza

The political center of Oaxaca, bordering Municipal Palace, Plaza de la Danza is a square made of quarry stone and is meant for aesthetic studies and cultural recreation. It also serves as a venue for many cultural events and artistic activities like international orchestra performances and political events. It is also a perfect place to chill and just sit while watching people do their thing. If you have some time in your hand and you would rather soak in the culture of this beautiful place, then you must drop by Plaza de la Danza and have a great time with your family.

Plaza de la Danza

Address: Calle del 2 de Abril, CALZADA MADERO, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Opening hours: 12am - 12am (daily)

8. Visit the stunning Oaxaca Cathedral

Located at the very center of the city, Oaxaca Cathedral is hard to miss with its Baroque style entrance that features two bell towers which are similar to the ones in the cathedral in Mexico City and the cathedral in Puebla. But apart from its stunning architecture, the church is also home to an exquisite collection of paintings as well as relics of the Holy Huatulco Cross. Seeing it in the morning is nothing like viewing it during night time when it is lit up, and everything looks surreal.

Oaxaca Cathedral

Address: la Independencia 700, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

9. Admire the architecture of the Museo de las Culturas

By visiting the Museo de las Culturas, you’ll learn more about the state of Oaxaca. The museum is located in a 17th-century monastery and features artworks, artifacts, and books about the city’s history and culture. It will tell you the story of Oaxaca from ancient times up to the modern-day through the exhibits and show you how the city evolves to what it is now. You’ll also realize here how the Pre-Hispanic culture continues to contemporary times through food, medicine, and crafts. Therefore, if you have a knack for history then you must make a trip to this museum.

Museo de las Culturas

Address: Moneda 13, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Website: Museo de las Culturas

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 15 MXN (0.79 USD)

10. Shop at Benito Juarez Market

things to do in oaxaca mexico | shop at benito juarez market
Source: niknik61 on Instagram

Another famous market in Oaxaca is Benito Juarez Market. It occupies an inner-city block; and just like Mercado Benito Juárez, it also offers different kinds of products. Inside the market, you’ll find numerous small stalls offering fresh produce, handicrafts, leather goods, jewelry, meat, cheese, and more. You’ll also find here some specialty products, like Halloween masks, huitlacoche, queso and quesillo, Copal incense, and more.

Benito Juarez Market

Address: Juárez, 71980 Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

Website: Benito Juarez Market

Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)

11. Buy handicrafts at Mercado Benito Juárez

things to do in oaxaca mexico | buy handicrafts at mercado benito juárez

An experience in Mercado Benito Juárez can be overwhelming for a first-timer. The market offers varieties of products such as fresh produce, crafts, local delicacies, mole paste, and more. Also, don’t get annoyed if lots of food stall vendors ask you to buy food for them for it is the culture here. You’ll find lots of empanadas, tortillas, and tamales as well as juices of different flavors and colors, which you drink and eat on the spot. It is a great experience, and you’ll also be able to bring home special items.

Mercado Benito Juárez

Address: Las Casas S/N, OAXREBENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Website: Mercado Benito Juárez

Opening hours: 7am - 9pm (daily)

12. Check out the native plant species at Jardín Etnobotánico

Located beside the Church of Santo Domingo, Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca is another gem in the city, which a nature lover should visit whenever possible. It has an area of 2.32 acres (0.94 hectares) and features numerous live plant species that are native to the state. These plants are a depiction of how diverse Oaxaca in terms of kinds of vegetation, topography, and climate. Additionally, the botanical garden is well maintained and has lots of spots that will make for a good photo backdrop. It is a great spot for botanists and those in the making.

Jardín Etnobotánico

Address: Reforma Sur n, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Website: Jardín Etnobotánico

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm (closed on Sun)

13. Tour the historic Museo Rufino Tamayo

Another must-visit museum in Oaxaca is the Museo Rufino Tamayo. It is a public contemporary art museum that is known for its collection of contemporary works by both local as well as international artists like Georgia O’Keefe. Another exhibit you should look forward to during your visit is the art collection of its founder, Rufino Tamayo. Apart from what is inside, the museum is also notable for its award-winning architecture. For those who are curious about contemporary art and artists, this museum is a must-visit.

Museo Rufino Tamayo

Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 51, Bosque de Chapultepec, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11580 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Website: Museo Rufino Tamayo

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 70 MXN (3.67 USD)

14. Unwind at Parque Llano

A former zoo, Parque Llano is one of the major parks you’ll find in Oaxaca that is family-friendly and is a place where people can sit and pass time. It is surrounded by many trees and often serves as a venue for civic and cultural exhibitions and events. One of the attractions you’ll come across while you’re strolling at the park is the Don Benito Juárez Monument, which is placed in the year 1984. Also, you’ll find nearby structures with colonial architecture like the Chapel of Bethlehem and Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Parque Llano

Address: Entre Av. Juárez y Pino Suarez, Centro, Oaxaca, Oax.. 68000.

15. Sip hot coffee at Café El Volador

When looking for great coffee, the locals will surely point you to Cafe El Volador. The cafe is located next to the famous El Quinque restaurant. It is a coffee and dessert shop, with a chill atmosphere and cute setting, which is great for catching up with friends and where you can do your work in peace. Its coffee is made from quality coffee beans, which the owner grows. Make sure to also order a brownie for it goes well with their coffee. Bring some bites back home for a mid-night treat.

Café El Volador

Address: Calle de Xólotl 118, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Website: Café El Volador

Opening hours: 8am - 9pm (daily)

16. Enjoy live music at Lola Night Club

When you’re done with all your day-time activities and already rested, then it’s time for you to experience the nightlife Oaxaca has to offer. One of the must-visit establishments here is Lola Night Club. It has a cozy atmosphere which is great for hanging out with friends while enjoying good music. The club features a DJ, live band, dance floor, and an extensive list of alcoholic beverages. As for the price, Lola’s Night club is on the average side and within the price range of other nightspots in the area.

Lola Night Club

Address: Heroica Escuela Naval Militar 204, Reforma, 68050 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 10pm - 4am (closed from Sun - Wed)

17. Drink mezcal at Los Amantes

drink mezcal at los amantes
Source: gorditour on Instagram

Another nightspot that you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Oaxaca is Los Amantes. It is a small rooftop bar with a nice view and a chill atmosphere. Los Amantes is famous for its mezcal. Mezcal is a Mexican alcoholic drink that is made from any kind of agave. Apart from this alcoholic beverage, you should also try some of their amazing cocktails that have mezcal in it. Also, during some nights you will be entertained with live music. Moreover, make sure you come in early, for it is always a full bar here given its limited space.

Los Amantes

Address: Felipe Carrillo Puerto 19, Coyoacán, 04100 Coyoacan, CDMX, Mexico

Opening hours: Mon: 8am - 8pm; Tue - Wed: 8am - 9pm; Thu: 8am - 10pm; Fri - Sun: 8am - 6pm

18. Check out the Lapiztola

When in Oaxaca, you surely wouldn’t miss seeing the striking street murals that speak about many societal issues. This street art movement is called Lapiztola, which means pencil and pistol. The movement started in 2006 when Oaxaca is under the political turmoil because of the violent answer of the governor’s to the teachers strike. Learn about this and more when you see this vibrant, true-to-life pictures in the street of Oaxaca. Learn about the plight of people against injustice as you view each one of them.


Address: Av. Fuerza Aerea Mexicana #1208, Reforma, 68050 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

19. Enjoy local food at Mercado 20 de Noviembre

enjoy local food at mercado 20 de noviembre
Source: mekicortes on Instagram

Are you looking for a place where you can have local food at a cheap price? If so, you need to drop by Mercado 20 de Noviembre. It is a street food market with innumerable stalls of food. You will find here a large selection of local goods that you won’t find anywhere in the world. But, the most loved area here is the east side, where you’ll find the Pasillo de Carnes Asadas. Here, you can select which slab of meat you want and let the vendors do the cooking.

Mercado 20 de Noviembre

Address: 20 de Noviembre 512, OAXREBENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

Opening hours: 7am - 9pm (daily)

20. Visit the Ex-Monastery of Santiago Apóstol

Oaxaca offers many must-visit churches and museums that each has its unique charm to lure tourists. Another site not to be missed, which is quite visible on the highway and leads to the southern part of the city, is the Ex-Monastery of Santiago Apóstol. It is extravagant and features many architectural styles, such as Renaissance, Gothic, Plateresque, and Moorish. This historical monastery is well-embellished with murals and Christian artworks, and it is so huge that it can suit up to 50 monks all at the same time.

Ex-Monastery of Santiago Apóstol

Address: Calle Vicente Guerrero, Cuilápam de Guerrero 71403, Mexico

21. Get amazed at Hierve el Agua (from USD 49.0)

Aside from archeological and historical sites, another famous attraction in the state of Oaxaca is Hierve el Agua. It is a group of rock formations that resembles a cascading waterfall. It also features mineral springs, where you will be able to take a dip and swim. This site is a popular weekend getaway for the locals and a must-see for tourists. Don’t miss this natural wonder, which will take your breath away, when you visit Oaxaca. Do take your family along for a lovely time together.

Hierve el Agua and Teotitlan del Valle Tour from Oaxaca

Duration: 8 hours

142 reviews

22. Visit the remarkable Tree of Tule (Árbol del Tule) (from USD 45.0)

The most famous tree in Mexico, the Tule Tree is known as the tree with the largest girth with a circumference of 54 m (164 ft). It is not only popular for being the widest tree in the world, but also for its long life that dates back to the Zapotec civilization. This natural wonder is celebrated every second Monday of October, where the locals throw a big party fit for a special tree. Your guide will also tell you stories about the tree, like its being a walking stick of a god. Then, he or she will also show you different figures, such as Carlos Salina’s ear and a squirrel’s tail among others.

Hierve el Agua, Tule Tree, Mitla and Mezcal Distillery Tour

Duration: 12 hours

279 reviews

23. Check out Calle Alcala (from USD 39.0)

If you want to mingle with the locals, dine in good restaurants, hear music, and see the city’s architectural prowess as well as arts, then you have to visit Calle Alcala. It is one of the city’s vibrant main streets, where you’ll find numerous dining options, merchants, live music, museums, architectural monuments, craft shops, and more. Also, it is an area best explored on foot, for vehicles are not allowed to pass by. This is perhaps a place where you can walk hand in hand with your partner while admiring the vibrant culture of Oaxaca.

Oaxaca Private City Art Tour

Duration: 120 to 150 minutes

2 reviews

Charming Oaxaca

A mix of natural wonder, history, and art, Oaxaca is one great destination for people looking for fun, inspiration, beauty, and nature. Don’t miss the chance to experience everything on our list when you visit. But, before all that read our top things to do in Oaxaca, Mexico, for you to have an overview of what to expect in the city.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Michelle is a book-loving travel-junkie who tries to write for a living. Her goal is to explore the world, get to know as many people as she can, and inspire others to do the same, for she believes...Read more

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