Dolores Hidalgo is a small colonial town of 60,000 inhabitants in the state of Guanajuato in Central Mexico. The full name of this town is Dolores Hidalgo, Cuna de la Independencia Nacional (Cradle of the National Independence)
The importance of this town lies in the fact that this was the starting point of the fight for Mexican independence from the Spanish empire in 1810, led by priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. The quiet atmosphere in this town makes it really charming and the absence of tourist crowds could make it a highlight in your trip.
- Tourist Office (Oficina de Turismo), Plaza Principal 11, 2nd floor, ☎ +52 412 182 1164. M-F 10:00-17:00. Provides free sightseeing maps.
To reach Dolores Hidalgo you should be able to get a bus from Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende or León all of them are around one hour away. Taking a bus from Querétaro is also an option. From Mexico City you need to take a bus to any of the before mentioned cities and then to Dolores. The bus station is located at Calle Hidalgo 26, just by the Rio Dolores.
The town is really small, everything is within walking distance.
- Parish Church of our Lady of Sorrows (Parroquia Nuestra Señora de Dolores), Plaza Principal S/N, ☎ +52 418 182 0652. Daily 08:00-20:00.
- Museum of National Independence (Museo de la Independencia Nacional), Zacatecas 6 (next to the main square), ☎ +52 418 182 0193 x150. M-Sa 09:00-16:45, Su 09:00-15:00. $15 MXN (adults), $7.50 MXN (students/teachers/seniors), free (children under 12), free on Sundays; $10 MXN (camera permit).
- Casa de Visitas, Plaza Principal 25 (off of the main square). An 18th-century mansion, now is a guest house for VIPs. Tell the guard to let you in and see inside.
- Museo Casa de Hidalgo, Calle Morelos 1 (Hidalgo and Morelos streets), ☎ +52 418 182 0171. T-Sa 10:00-17:45, Su 09:00-16:45. This was the place where priest Hidalgo lived. Shortly after the rebellion started, the Spanish arrived to Dolores and burned the original house. Most of the original furniture were lost but a they did a very well done replica of this national hero home. Interesting is a plaque in one of the outside walls dedicated by Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg during the French occupation. $49 MXN (adults), free (students/teachers/seniors/children under 13); free on Sundays.
Every night there's a re-creation of the famous cry for freedom at the main square with light and sound effects.
Dolores is famous for its Talavera Ceramic (pottery) items such as tiles, vases, pots, etc. Experts say is one of the best places to buy this kind of goods.
Next to the parish, there are several stalls selling small cacti, local liquors such as honey liquor or cacti liquor, and other local crafts. Buying from them will make their day.
Dolores is famous for its exotic ice cream flavors. Try them at the Main Square, there are two vendors, offering strange flavors such as Mole (chili and chocolate sauce), Beer, Strawberries and Cream, Avocado, etc. Each ice cream or "Nieve" in Spanish is around $15 pesos.
- Café La Taberna, Plaza Principal 18, 2nd floor, ☎ +52 418 182 0055. Daily 12:00-24:00.
- El Caporal Plaza Principal 5
- Carnitas Vicente, Avenida Norte 65, ☎ +52 418 182 7017. Daily 08:00-16:00. Inexpensive and casual.
- El Carruaje Restaurante, Guanajuato 5, ☎ +52 418 181 0648. Daily 08:00-22:00. Has live music in the evening.
- Restaurant Bar Plaza, Plaza Principal 17B, ☎ +52 418 182 0259. Daily 08:00-22:00.
In Dolores there are clubs and bars that you can go to just ask taxi cab drivers and they would take you anywhere. The most famous are Gruperrona and Cabina de Cesar.
- Hotel Hidalgo, Calle Hidalgo 15, ☎ +52 418 182 2683, toll-free: +52 800 523 6254, fax: +52 418 182 0477.
Dolores is a safe place by Mexican standards. Overall, people are nice and willing to help if you need directions.