Plaza de Armas (Zócalo)
Much like Mexico’s other squares, the Veracruz Zócalo—sometimes known as the Plaza de Armas—is a hub of activity that can be explored and enjoyed on foot in under an hour. Take some time to people watch from a shaded bench, stop by the Veracruz Cathedral, or drop by in the evening to catch a live dance performance. For a more in-depth insight into the zócalo, you can also visit during a guided city tour. These typically stop at the nearby San Juan de Ulúa fortress and malecón (boardwalk) too, making them ideal for first-time visitors.
Things to Know Before You Go
Veracruz Zócalo is a convenient starting point for further exploration of the city that will especially appeal to history buffs.
Plan to spend less than an hour exploring the Veracruz Zócalo and its surrounding buildings.
Veracruz Zócalo comes alive with Cuban-inspired music in the afternoons and evenings.
Wheelchair users may not be able to fully navigate the Veracruz Zócalo, as a result of raised sidewalks and uneven pavements.
How to Get There
The Veracruz Zócalo is situated in the heart of the city’s downtown, just off Ignacio Santiago Avenue and next to the Veracruz Cathedral. Given its central location, most travelers find it easiest to arrive on foot, although public buses also stop close to the Veracruz Zócalo—look for those marked "Díaz Mirón y Madero" at the 1st-class bus terminal.
When to Get There
Veracruz Zócalo is a pleasant destination year-round, although it’s best enjoyed in the late afternoon and evening when musicians, performers, and street vendors take over the space. Alternatively, for a quieter experience, grab a coffee and stop by in the morning before most visitors are out and about.
What to Do in Veracruz
Using the Veracruz Zócalo as your jumping-off point, it’s easy to see the best of Veracruz City and beyond in a long weekend. Start at the San Juan de Ulúa Fortress, before making your way to the nearby malecón (boardwalk). Don’t miss what remains of the old city walls—the Santiago Bulwark—either. Farther afield, the ruins of Cempoala will appeal to archaeology fans.