Sometimes referred to as "The San Francisco of Mexico", San Miguel de Allende is one of the most attractive towns in Mexico. Located 160 miles northeast of Mexico City, it may not be able to boast the beach lifestyle that many popular Mexican resorts offer, but visitors to the area often fall in love with it and want to return – sometimes permanently. This explains why around twenty per cent of the city’s population comprises of expatriates; but what is the attraction of this landlocked city in Mexico’s central highlands? San Miguel de Allende was established in 1542 and played an important role in the silver trade between Mexico City and Zacatecas. The wealth that this generated helped the city’s to develop and today, expats living in San Miguel de Allende will consequently find a well-preserved historic city center filled with beautiful buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries.
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Many expats living in San Miguel de Allende are drawn to the city by its art and cultural institutions such as Instituto Allende and Bellas Artes. US veterans studying under the GI Bill after the Second World War are credited with initiating this influx of expatriates into the city’s educational facilities and those that come to study often return to retire here. This trend has been credited with saving the city from obscurity and it also responsible for the parallel increase in hotels, shops and restaurants to cater for the needs of the expat community. Expatriates moving to San Miguel de Allende are joining a community that is at once quaintly historic and at the same time dynamically culturally active. This beautifully city, which in 2008 was given UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity status along with the nearby Sanctuary of Jesus de Atotonilco, is a treat for foreign visitors and residents alike. Lose yourself in the city's picturesque cobbled streets and discover unique craft shops, studios and galleries. Share your finds and recommendations with the global network on InterNations, the largest online expatriate community on the net. Similarly, other members may be able to point you in the direction of other venues and events that may be of interest.
Expatriates working in San Miguel de Allende can often be found pondering the next chapter of their latest novel, agonizing over the final details of their newest painting, or scoping the streets for potential film locations, as it is the city’s arts scene that attracts the majority of foreign interest. However, there are also a large number of retirees and expats in San Miguel de Allende can be found working in a diverse range of vocations throughout the city. Members of InterNations who are working in San Miguel de Allende can use the site as a platform for exploring what is on offer for expatriates in the city or simply network with like-minded people. Whether you are looking for information on visas, restaurant recommendations or insider tips on the best produce to buy at the market, InterNations in a friendly, informal community designed to help you get the best from your expat experience in San Miguel de Allende.