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Morelia is the capital city of Michoacan. It serves government and many students attending school there and is the half-way point between Mexico's two largest cities, making it a popular quick getaway for Mexico's urban population.
Morelia is more than just the Centro Historico. Its outlying areas feature modern housing developments, shopping centers and parks. Tres Marias and Bosque Monarcas are ultra-modern new cities adjacent to Morelia.
Deluxe buses serve Morelia from all parts of the Republic, and Morelia's state-of-the-art bus station, located in the northern part of the city. The bus station consists of separate terminals for first-class and second-class buses. It is easy to reach Morelia from either Mexico City or Guadalajara. The bus trip from Guadalajara is about 3-1/2 hours. From Mexico City, depending on the company, the trip can take up to six hours. You can also reach Morelia from the United States by way of Greyhound.
Morelia is accessible by a modern toll road, and is located equidistant from Guadalajara and Mexico City. There are plenty of newer Pemex stations along the way, with restrooms and food. Be prepared with change/pesos to pay tolls. It is a very scenic trip, to say the least.
Morelia is served by General Francisco Mujica International Airport (MLM) which is located at the edge of town. There are daily International flights from Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Chicago which lead to Morelia's international airport, as do commuter flights from Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Tijuana.
Buses, combis and taxis form Morelia’s public transport.
Combis are a good way to see the smaller roads and backstreets of the city. Various destinations are usually indicated on the windshield of these mini-vans.
Taxis are also plentiful and inexpensive, operating on zone fares. As elsewhere in Mexico, make sure to determine the price before getting into the taxi.
Driving in the City is not easy, but with patience you can. Drivers use their horns to excess, to prod others and at the numerous blind intersections. The Centro Histórico is plagued by lack of parking.
What to see
There are a lot of interesting and beautiful colonial buildings to see in Morelia; most of them are open to the public for at least part of the day. Highlights of a Morelia city tour will include:
Cathedral: One of the downtown highlights is the baroque cathedral with its surrounding gardens and parks. The cathedral is enormous, covering more than 2 city blocks in area.
Casa Natal de Morelos and Casa de Morelos: Hero of the Mexican War for Independence, native son Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, was born, raised, and lived his life in Morelia.
Aqueduct: Running down the center of Avenida Acueducto is an enormous aqueduct built in the 17th century to bring water into the budding young city.
Take some time to stroll around, particularly near the Cathedral.
Listen to a concert by the Morelia Boys Choir at the spectacular Conservatory of the Roses. The group is modeled on the Vienna Boys Choir, and their director is a former maestro from Vienna.
Find out about local festivals. Morelia frequently hosts outstanding events, like a regional foods festival in late fall, and music or cultural festivals at other times of the year.
Visit the Santuario de Guadalupe (also known as the Templo San Diego) between the last week of November and December 12. For two weeks, Mexico celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Morelia's celebration is a classic.