I've been curious about Veracruz for some time. As a major port, on the Gulf of Mexico, it's got a somewhat different character from other parts of Mexico, a certain cosmopolitanism and an embrace of other cultures, especially Caribbean. I was particularly interested in the music of the region, much of which incorporates Afro-Caribbean rhythms, especially Cuban. So I was rather disappointed that two music clubs I'd read about, El Rincon de la Trova and Kachamba were no longer in operation. Still, in the evening there's really non-stop music around the Zocalo, the main square, the heart of Veracruz cafe culture. Roving musicians play marimba, often augmented by a drum kit featuring a timbal, while other groups play the local son Jarocho (La Bamba is the most famous song in this style), and occasionally mariachi. In truth, while pleasant enough and laid back, Veracruz is nothing special by day, but at night it really comes to life, both on the Zocalo and the Malecon (waterfront).
Veracruz also has lots of porticoes, which provide shade in a city that can get pretty hot. This feature, along with a distinctive local cuisine, are qualities it shares with Bologna.
The top of the cathedral. Supposedly it's not a particularly interesting one, and I didn't go inside.
A marimba plays for diners on the Zocalo.