VERACRUZ TRAVEL GUIDE
Where to Eat
Gran Cafe de la Parroquia ($$, Av. Gomez Farias 34, across from malecón, Tel. 229/932-2584) open daily from 6AM to midnight, is the quintessential Veracruz coffee shop.
Restaurant Julieta ($$, Blvd. Avila Camacho 109, Boca del Rio, 229/986-3639) is one of several traditional restaurants facing the floating interactive navy museum. If you’d like your rice and fried banana served at the same time as the main fish dish, you must ask for it that way.
Sanborns ($$--$$$, Av. Independencia 1069, www.sanborns.com.mx) serves standard Mexican and international fare. It’s catercorner from the zócalo.
Pepe’s Climatizado ($$, M. Molina 30, between Zaragoza and Landero y Coss, Centro) is open 11AM to 8PM and recommended for shrimp and red snapper prepared to your taste, seafood soup, and the house specialty: banana stuffed with seafood.
El Torbellino ($$, Zaragoza 384 at Esteban Morales 30, Centro, Tel. 229/932-1357, open 11AM to 7PM Thursday through Tuesday, cash only) is recommended by folks as far away as Xalapa. It’s a very simple family-run restaurant specializing in no frills dishes like jaiba natural, crab steamed and served in a lemony broth. It’s across the street from the City Museum, near the zocalo and malecon.
Where to Stay in Veracruz
You get what you pay for at Trianon ($, Nacozari 76, Centro, 229/931-2121, www.hoteltrianon.com.mx): a smallish bed, a/c that’s controlled by front desk staff, and some street noise. Still, there’s internet access and an excellent location in the historic downtown.
Funky green-and-orange Candilejas ($$, Juan Barragan 35 at Blvd. Avila Camacho, 229/932-5882) looks straight out of the 70s but is only a decade old. It’s a moderately priced low-rise tower along the malecón and about a 10- to 15-minute walk to the zocalo.
Holiday Inn ($$, Av. Morelos 225, Centro, 229/932-4550, www.holidayinn.com/veracrz-centro) is in the heart of the Old City in part of a former monastery. Guests can use the facilities of the sister property at the beach in Boca del Rio (Blvd. Ruiz Cortines 4298, Fracc. Costa de Oro, Boca del Rio, Tel. 229/923-2050), although there’s no shuttle service between the two.
Gran Hotel Diligencias ($$$, Independencia 1115, Centro, 229/923-0280, www.granhoteldiligencias.com) gets good Wi-Fi signal in guests rooms and has a cold-water pool overlooking the zocalo itself. The lobby is tastefully old-fashioned; and restaurant Villa Rica is one of the most recommended in the city.
Entertainment/Stuff to Do
Acuario de Veracruz Blvd. Manuel Avila Camacho s/n, open daily 10 to 7; cost 70 pesos adults, kids half price, Tel 229/931-7168, www.acuariodeveracruz.com.
ASDIC Bay Tours On the malecón, Tel. 229/935-9417.
Fuerte San Juan de Ulua Zona portuario, open Tuesday through Sunday 9 to 4:30, entrance 30 pesos; guided tours in Spanish 250 pesos for up to 25 people (in English for groups or with advance notice).
Museo Histórico Naval Av. M. Arista at Landero y Coss, Centro, open Tuesday through Sunday 10 to 5, free.
Museo Naval Interactivo Cañonero Guanajuato Muelle Banderas near Palacio Municipal, Boca del Rio, 229/200-2238, open Tuesday through Sunday 10 to 6, as is the cafe. Poop-deck restaurant is open from 6:30PM to midnight or 1AM.
Bar Barricas (Constitución 72, Centro, Tel. 229/931-188) is a popular bar with live rock and DJ-spun music. It gets packed even on weeknights. They have a second location in Boca del Rio.
Veracruz Tours (Blvd. Ruiz Cortines 4298, Hotel Holiday Inn Centro, Tel. 229/922-1794) leads tours to Catemaco and Los Tuxtlas as well as archaeological sites like Quiahuiztlan and Cempoala.
The tourist tram, or Tranvia Turistica (Tel. 229/928-9169) is a good way to get a tour (guided in Spanish) of port attractions as well as transportation to different points like the Aquarium and cathedral. The schedule is irregular, however, taking off usually in the afternoons and most often during the busier tourist seasons.
Tips de Veracruz is an ad-driven booklet but it and the website (www.tipsdeveracruz.com.mx) offer summaries of the different regions as well as articles and hotel and restaurant recommendations.
Autobuses UNO (Tel. 229/935-1608, www.uno.com.mx) and ADO/GL (Tel. 229/935-1608, www.adogl.com.mx) offer regular bus service to the state and central Mexico. It’s 1.5 to 2 hours by bus to Xalapa the state capital, which is en route to Mexico City.