Cool, clean and civilized, Xalapa is one of Mexico's urban delights. The capital of Veracruz state, this hill-country city has been home to the Universidad Veracruzana since 1944. It enjoys a lively artistic and entertainment scene, a convivial cafe life and some good restaurants. Many people come to Xalapa just to see its superb anthropology museum, the main tourist attraction.
Xalapa's pleasant setting, on the semitropical slope between the coast and the central highlands, offers dramatic landscapes with rivers, gorges and waterfalls.
The city center is on a hillside, with the plaza Parque Juarez, more or less in the middle of things. Xalapa's Catedral is east of the plaza; the arcades of the Palacio Municipal are on the north side and the Palacio de Gobierno, the seat of the Veracruz state government, is on the east side. Farther north, the Puente Xalitic, a high arched bridge, crosses a deep valley.