Mexican Independence Day is a vibrant and exciting celebration that takes place every year on Sep. 16. In fact, it is the most important holiday for Mexicans, garnering the largest celebrations. It commemorates the day in 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest in the town of Dolores, rang the bell of his church and called for the country’s independence from Spanish rule. This historic event sparked a war that ultimately led to Mexico’s independence. 

The holiday is a time of joy, pride and cultural celebration throughout Mexico. Travelers visiting the country during its independence day can expect an unforgettable experience as they immerse themselves in rich celebratory traditions.

Here are some of the top cities to experience the Mexican Independence Day festivities in. These cities offer a combination of historical significance, breathtaking architecture, delicious food and festivities that truly embody the spirit of the day. Viva Mexico!

Mexico City

As the capital of Mexico, it’s no surprise that Mexico City is a hub of activity and grand celebrations during Independence Day. The city comes alive with parades, concerts and street parties. The main event takes place in the Zocalo, the city’s central square, where thousands of people gather to witness the president’s traditional “Grito de Dolores” ceremony. This ceremony reenacts Miguel Hidalgo’s call for freedom.

There is a magical fireworks display that lights up the night sky after the ceremony. Throughout the city, you’ll find mariachi bands playing traditional music, street vendors selling delicious Mexican cuisine and dance performances showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage.


Guanajuato, located in central Mexico, played an important role in the fight for Mexican independence. During Mexican Independence Day, the city takes its festivities to another level. The streets of Guanajuato come alive with parades, marching bands and colorful costumes. The city’s theaters also host various cultural events, including concerts, dance performances and art exhibitions. Visit the Monumento al Pípila, a monument erected in honor of war hero El Pípila. Then, try the delicious street food, such as chiles en nogada or traditional tamales, while you soak in the festive atmosphere.

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende has a Spanish colonial architectural style and lively arts scene. Each year, the city bursts with color and excitement in celebration of Mexican independence. The festivities kick off with a parade through the streets, featuring traditional dance groups and live music. The main square has patriotic decorations, and locals gathered to celebrate. San Miguel de Allende also hosts a variety of cultural events, including concerts, art exhibitions and street fairs. Make sure to visit the local markets and shops to purchase traditional Mexican crafts and souvenirs.


Located southeast of Mexico City, Puebla is the birthplace of the famous dish mole poblano. Mexican Independence Day in Puebla is a lively and colorful affair. The city hosts a grand parade, and the streets have flags and banners up for decoration. The air is filled with the aroma of delicious Mexican cuisine.

Puebla is also known for its elaborate soapbox races, where locals compete in handmade carts down the city’s steep streets. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Puebla’s historic sites, including the stunning Puebla Cathedral and the beautifully tiled buildings of the city center.


Located in southern Mexico, Oaxaca is a city renowned for its indigenous cultures and ancient ruins. During the Mexican Independence Day celebrations, locals and visitors gather in the town square in a passionate display of patriotism.

Oaxaca is known for its culinary delights, so indulge in traditional dishes, like tlayudas, mole and mezcal during your visit. Take the time to explore the nearby archaeological sites, such as Monte Alban and Mitla, for a deeper understanding of Mexico’s rich history.