36 Hours in Oaxaca: A Quick And Packed Trip

Oaxaca is a beautiful city located in the southern part of Mexico. It is known for its colonial architecture, traditional food, and vibrant culture. There are many things to see and do in Oaxaca, and it can be challenging to know where to start.

I arrived in Oaxaca on a Thursday morning and departed on a Saturday night, but in those 36 hours, I managed to pack in a lot of activity!

My 36 hours were well spent, including walking around the city center, admiring the beautiful architecture, visiting the Zapotec Ruins of Monte Alban, and more.

Here's a complete breakdown:

Landed at 9:00 am on Thursday

After a short taxi ride from the airport, I arrived at my hotel - Hotel Sin Nombre. My host greeted me and checked me in. The hotel is stunning and has a really intimate feel with lots of little areas to take pictures. There is a cute outdoor roof area to grab a bite and a drink.

I dropped my bags off in my room and set out to explore the city. The first thing that struck me was the incredible architecture. The buildings are made of a beautiful pink stone and are adorned with intricate carvings. I spent some time walking around the city center, admiring the buildings and taking photos.

Stopped by Boulenc for a quick breakfast before exploring. Check out their instagram and your mouth will water.

Zapotec Ruins Of Monte Alban - 11:00 am 

These ruins are located on a hilltop and offer stunning views of the city. I spent some time exploring the ruins and taking photos. There are several things that you can do here - such as visiting the museum, hiking to the top of the hill, or taking a tour. I recommend doing all three! The museum is small but has some interesting exhibits. The hike to the top of the hill is not too strenuous and takes about 30 minutes. The tour is also very informative and worth taking.

Lunch - 3:00 pm

After spending some time at Monte Alban, I headed to Levadura de Olla Restaurante. To get a sneak peak of their awesome food check out their instagram.

Templo De Santo Domingo - 4:00 pm

After lunch, I visited the Templo de Santo Domingo. This church is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Oaxaca, and for good reason. It's gorgeous! The church is located in the center of the city, so it's easy to find. I would recommend visiting this church even if you're not religious. The church is open to the public, and there is no entrance fee. There are also a few souvenir shops nearby, so you can buy some souvenirs if you want.

It's Shopping Time - 6:00 pm

After lunch and a visit to the church, I walked around the market a few blocks from my hotel and did some shopping. So many awesome stalls selling souvenirs, artwork, and clothing. I went home with an amazing hat that I got for an amazing deal. Some other shops in town worth checking out are Xaquixe Showroom, Casa Itaa, and Tienda Q. Oaxaca is known for its beautiful colonial architecture, and you'll get a good sense of it by simply strolling around. The city center is relatively small, so it's easy to explore on foot. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes! As the sun began to set, I made my way back to my hotel for a much-needed break. After a quick nap and a shower, I was ready to head out for dinner.

Dinner - 9:00 pm

If you’re looking for a delicious and authentic Oaxacan meal, head to Casa Oaxaca. This restaurant is known for its incredible mole dishes and is the perfect place to go if you want to try something new. Make sure to order the chocolate mole - it’s out of this world! I ordered a Tlayuda, which is a giant Oaxacan-style tortilla. It’s filled with refried beans, Oaxaca cheese, lettuce, and your choice of meat. I opted for the chorizo, and it was so good! The Tlayuda comes with a side of salsa and guacamole, both of which were delicious. For dessert, I ordered this shake made with mamey, a type of fruit that’s native to Mexico. Yum is all I can say. It was the perfect way to end my meal. After dinner, take a stroll through the city center. You’ll find plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained, so there’s no need to head back to your hotel just yet.

Discotheque Time - 11 pm

No trip to Oaxaca is complete without a night out on the town! The city comes alive after dark, and there are plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained. I started my evening at La Cava, a cozy bar located in the heart of the historic center. Here, they are known for the mezcal so I did my own flight to try them out. From La Cava, I made my way to Selva Oaxaca Cocktail Bar with an awesome cocktail menu. On their website they describe their menu identifying by medicinal, balsamic, calming, and healing attributes. It just sounds sexy.

When I finally made it back to Sin Nombre, I slept like never before, which is pretty much evident on what a day I had! So, this is how I spent the initial 24 hours. The next 12 hours were pretty much the same but with different places and activities - filled with exploration of course. Here's what I did for the next 12 hours!

Watch The Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre, or Mexican wrestling, is a popular sport in Mexico. It is a form of entertainment that dates back to the early 1900s. The Lucha Libre has a rich history and culture behind it, and I loved spending every minute here. If you are looking for something unique and exciting in Oaxaca, you should check out Lucha Libre. It is a great way to experience Mexican culture and learn about the history of the country.

Visited The Tule Tree

The Tule Tree is a massive tree located in the town of Santa María del Tule. It is believed to be over 2000 years old and is the largest tree in Mexico. Visiting the Tule Tree was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. The tree is so massive that it is hard to believe it is real. I live in the desert so seeing trees like this always leaves me in awe.

Watched Heaven On Earth - Hierve el Agua

Hierve el Agua is a natural spring located in the Sierra Juárez mountains. The spring water is so clear and blue that it looks like heaven on earth. Upon reaching, there are two huge natural pools in which you can swim.


Oaxaca is a beautiful city that has so much to offer. I loved spending time here, and I would definitely come back again. If you are looking for a unique and exciting place to visit, then I highly recommend Oaxaca. Because of how accessible everything is, you can easily pack a bunch of fun activities in a short weekend trip, or immerse yourself in the experience and take several days to enjoy the place, Oaxaca has something for everyone!