Nestled along the tranquil shores of Mexico’s Gulf Coast, Campeche stands as a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its charming colonial architecture, rich cultural heritage, and breathtaking natural beauty, this historic city offers travelers a captivating blend of old-world charm and modern allure.

From wandering through the cobblestone streets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center to exploring ancient Maya ruins and savoring the flavors of traditional cuisine, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Campeche.

In this travel guide, we’ll be sharing with you a comprehensive list of things to do and see in Campeche on your travels so you can uncover the hidden gems of this enchanting destination and unlock the secrets of its storied past and vibrant present.

Explore the Historic Center

Begin your journey in Campeche’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its colorful colonial buildings, charming plazas, and cobblestone streets.

Wander through the picturesque streets lined with pastel-colored facades, and admire architectural gems such as the Cathedral of Campeche, the Puerta de Tierra, and the different fort batteries.

Walk Along the Malecón

Stroll along the Malecón, a scenic waterfront promenade that offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and the city’s skyline.

Watch the sunset over the sea, relax in one of the waterfront parks, and soak in the relaxed ambiance of this coastal city.

Visit Forts and their Museums

Explore Fort San Miguel and Fort San José, both of which are some of the best-preserved colonial forts in Mexico, are located at the edge of the historic center, and have museums located within their walls.

Climb to the top of the ramparts for sweeping views of the city and learn about Campeche’s maritime history and defenses at the onsite museums.

Row of colonial houses in Campeche, Mexico.

Discover Edzná

Venture outside the city to explore the ancient Maya ruins of Edzná, located approximately an hour’s drive from Campeche.

Nestled amidst the lush jungles of Campeche, Edzná stands as a testament to the ingenuity and architectural prowess of the ancient Maya civilization. Dating back over 2,000 years, this sprawling archaeological site served as a bustling urban center and ceremonial hub for the Maya people.

Over the centuries, Edzná flourished, reaching its peak during the Late Classic period (600-900 AD), when it became one of the most important political and economic centers in the region. Today, visitors to Edzná can explore its impressive pyramids, temples, and palaces, marvel at intricate stone carvings and stelae, and immerse themselves in the fascinating history and culture of the ancient Maya civilization.

Explore the impressive pyramids, temples, and plazas of this archaeological site, and learn about the history and culture of the ancient Maya civilization.

Experience Campeche’s Cuisine

Indulge in Campeche’s culinary delights by sampling traditional dishes such as pescado a la campechana (Campeche-style fish), cochinita pibil (marinated pork), and pan de cazo (local dogfish bread).

Visit local markets, street food stalls, and restaurants to savor the flavors of Campeche’s rich culinary heritage. Some of the best samples of local foods can be tried in the Mercado near the city walls.

Visit the Mercado de Campeche

Located just outside the walls of the City, Campeche’s mercado is an immersive experience that tantalizes the senses and offers a glimpse into the vibrant culinary and cultural heritage of the region.

As you wander through the bustling market stalls, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors, aromas, and flavors, as vendors peddle fresh produce, aromatic spices, and local delicacies. From juicy tropical fruits and fragrant herbs to freshly caught seafood and handmade crafts, the Mercado is a treasure trove of culinary delights and artisanal treasures waiting to be discovered.

The Campeche Cathedral by the main plaza.

Visit the Battery Museums

The batteries located within the city walls, especially the Baluarte de San Carlos and the Baluarte de la Soledad, both have museums and exhibits showcasing the history of Campeche and provide access to the upper part of the city’s walls.

Go Out in Calle 59

Calle 59 is the street where all the bars and restaurants are located. It’s a very pedestrian-friendly area located right by Campeche’s Puerta de Mar.

Have dinner or a drink as you sit outside and take in the vibrant seaside social scene.

Campeche is one of Mexico’s best-preserved colonial cities. The downtown in particular is very colorful.

Try the Chocolate Caliente in Chocol Ha

In my opinion, one of the best chocolate shops in southern Mexico. Try a traditional cup of chocolate caliente or buy a chocolate goodie to have on the go or as a souvenir for friends back home.

Have you visited Campeche? What was your experience of this magnificent colonial city? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!