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The enchanting city of Oaxaca captures the hearts of all its visitors and as soon as you arrive and begin to wander the cobbled streets of the historic centre, you’ll soon learn how. Oaxaca is certainly best explored in the early mornings while the city wakes up around you. Take in the aromas of freshly toasted coffee; listen to the city’s soundtrack as the gas truck roars past; and select from the array of street vendors for your first bite to eat of the day.

Oaxaca is notorious for its local gastronomy and rightly so, the selection of food on offer in the city is highly impressive. You can choose between memelas chargrilled on a comal on the street, vegetarian quesadillas in a bar / art gallery, or octopus drenched in a corn pozole sauce served on a fairy lit terrace overlooking the cityscape. There are options to suit all tastes and budgets, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in Oaxaca’s renowned culinary world.

Mezcal is also another icon of Oaxaca City and no trip is complete without spending the night in a Mezcaleria. Learn the technique of enjoying this smokey spirit – inhaling the earthy aromas while you slowly sip and let your palette decide which maguey is your favourite tipple. 

In this travel guide to Oaxaca, we share our personal recommendations of the city — places where we have been and experienced for ourselves — that we can’t wait for you to see for yourself. Enjoy your stay in Oaxaca City!

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TOURS and classes in OAXACA

Rambling Spirits

Anna and Brooks from Rambling Spirits design unique experiences and trips with local communities, introducing you to mezcal country. Join Anna and Brooks for mezcal tastings and cocktail design on their rooftop overlooking the city of Oaxaca.

Tours in Oaxaca City


Kay and Dean from Oaxaca Eats Food Tours share with others their passion for Oaxacan food, history and culture. Experience some of Oaxaca’s finest locally-owned restaurants and feast on 20 traditional dishes and drinks.

Take Spanish classes in Oaxaca City

QO Spanish School

Our good friend Magaly offers private Spanish classes online and in person. You can take your classes in intimate locations of Oaxaca so you are experiencing life here as well as perfecting your Spanish. The school also offers specific grammar courses if you struggle with the difference between Ser / Estar and Por / Para.

Cooking Classes in Oaxaca City

Casa Crespo Cooking Class

Chef Oscar Carrizosa offers cooking classes every day of the week, perfect for those interested in learning about and preparing the delicious dishes of Oaxaca. Discover the pre-Hispanic roots of the ingredients and traditions of Oaxaca’s culinary culture. Create salsas and moles, as well as making your own tortillas.