Active, dynamic and prosperous, the so-called world capital of shoes was founded in 1576 under the name Villa de León (honoring the place of origin of the then Viceroy Martín Enríquez de Almanza). Officially called León de los Aldama (since 1830, when it was granted the rank of city), it is a strategic point in the country for its centric location as well as for its intense economic activity (more than 50% of all Mexico). Eclectic in character, its architecture is a mixture of styles (novo-Hispanic baroque, neoclassic and porfiriano) with contemporary accents in more modern areas. Despite its ongoing industrial growth, it maintains its kind and friendly spirit with important historical and cultural places of interest. A good destination to travel as a family with young children (ZooLeón; Explora Science Center; Leon Metropolitan Park).
Worth visiting: Doblado Theater (alternative headquarters of the Cervantino and the house of Symphonic at the Guanajuato University); María Grever’s House; Casa de las Monas (current art gallery that served as Pancho Villa’s quarters during the Revolution); Barrio Arriba, Coecillo and San Miguel; Triumphal Arch (Calzada de los Héroes); Historical Archive and Archaeological Museum; Expiatory Temple; Cathedral of León; Sacred Art Museum (annex of the cathedral); Bicentennial Theater; Guanajuato Cultural Forum (Art and History Museum of Guanajuato). Exceptional infrastructure of roads (modern highways, Bag International Airport) as well as spacious and avant-garde places for congresses, fairs, conventions, exhibits and events (Poliforum León Convention Center). Golf courses (Campestre, Los Naranjos, La Hacienda, Vergel de la Sierra). Leather industry (main artisan product, although there are also worth pieces of artistic ironwork, pewter, Talavera style ceramics).
Good variety of restaurants of international cuisine, in combination with local traditional gastronomy (birria, carnitas, oven or corn gorditas; red mole; guayabate o or guava cajeta with purple sweet potato; different types of sweet bread –sevillanas, chamucos, ladrillos, puchas).
TO STAY LEON
• HS Hotsson Hotel
Convenient location (in the building that used to be Fiesta Americana León). Comfortable rooms and suites. Ideal for business as well as for leisure. Pool, spa, gym, tennis court.
Blvd Adolfo López Mateos 1102 Oriente. Col. Los Gavilanes.
Tel: (01-477) 719 8000.
• Fiesta Inn León
Contemporary American style, comfortable, well located. Pool, gym.
Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 2702 Oriente. Col. Jardines del Jerez.
Tel: (01-477) 710 0500.
TO EAT LEON
• El Rincón Gaucho
Of great tradition in town; modern international style. Ideal for business or with the family. Two more branches.
Prol. Calzada 103. Col. La Martinica.
Tel: (01-477) 763 0666.
• Frascati Ristorante
Simple but cozy. Under the charge of a restaurant group that knows the business well. Ideal for business, friends or for a celebration. Great wine cellar.
Pizzas made at the moment they’re ordered.
Av. Cerro Gordo 201-A. Col. Campestre.
Tel: (01-477) 773 7154.
• Tortas ahogadas El Faro
Informal place visited by locals. Ideal to go on a relaxed outing with the family.
Glorieta Paseo del Moral y Av. Guanajuato. Jardines del Moral.
Tel: (01-477) 718 0899.
Of recent opening. Innovating and creative culinary concept. Unique in its style in the city. Ideal for business, coupled, or friends for a gourmet outing.
Fried mahi mahi; marinated pork ribs.
Blvd. José María Morelos 1502. Plaza Campestre. Tel: (01-477) 781 1222.
• Mesón D´ Jordis
Well-achieved traditional Spanish cuisine. Great wine list. Ideal for families or business.
Gallegos style octopus; Tapas.
Atenas 102. Col. Moderna.
Tel: (01-477) 773 3063.
Av. Paseo del Moral 1115 (frente Plaza Las Palmas).
Tel (01-477) 717 4673.
• Mr. Pampas
Mexican and Brazilian cuisine.
Specialty: Brazilian style meat skewers, salad bar. Ideal for business or leisure.
Chargrilled meat cuts.
Blvd. Francisco Villa Sur 605. Plaza Villa Sur.
Tel: (01-477) 771 0333.