The city of Veracruz is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The city is known for its rich traditions of music, including marimba bands, danzón and comparsa. A special kind of music called son jarocho, a mix of Mexican folk music and Cuban son, was developed in southern Veracruz state, in and around Veracruz, Veracruz. La Bamba is the most famous example of son jarocho. An equally rich dance tradition parallels Veracruz's unique musical styles.
In downtown Veracruz, a large marble-tiled zócalo, called the Plaza de Armas, is the heart of the city's lively nightlife. It is lined with arcades that house bars and cafes. On a nightly basis large groups of people sit outside in the plaza enjoying food and drinks while they watch musicians and dancers performing in the square. Veracruz's 18th century cathedral and 17th century Palacio Municipal are also located on the plaza.
The yearly Carnaval festival in Veracruz, a nine-day party in February or March, is the most spectacular festival of its kind, and it's also the oldest organized Carnaval in Mexico. The city also celebrates a yearly Afrocaribeño festival in July. These festivities demonstrate that the city is in many ways more connected to Afro Caribbean culture than that of inland Mexico.
The "Malecón" harborfront walk along the docks draws many tourists, especially from within Mexico. The city has several beaches as well, like Villa del Mar and Mocambo.