Last Updated on March 29, 2023 by Nellie Huang
Planning a trip to the most vibrant and colorful city in Mexico? Here’s my complete guide and detailed list of things to do in Guanajuato.
I’ll be the first to admit that Guanajuato completely swept me off my feet and took me by surprise. In my opinion, the extraordinary Unesco World Heritage city of Guanajuato is the most colorful and lively city I’ve been in Mexico.
Opulent colonial buildings, stunning tree-filled plazas and ochre-and-red colored houses are crammed together in a deep ravine where the city stands. The city’s heart is exceptionally walkable and lively, constantly bursting with activities: from street performance to taco carts and outdoor markets. But here’s the thing, don’t expect to have the city to yourself. The city gets crowded on weekends as it’s a popular destination for Mexicans.
What strikes me most about Guanajuato is that amidst the colorful historical center, you’ll find gritty corners and unpolished barrios. It’s unmistakably Mexican, and you’ll get to experience the real thing here in Guanajuato. During my recent trip, I dug deep beneath the surface of the city to compile this long list of things to do in Guanajuato and detailed Guanajuato travel guide.
Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Guanajuato
- 1. Start at Basilica de Guanajuato
- 2. Sit on the Steps of the Universidad de Guanajuato
- 3. Stroll along the Pedestrianized Calle De Sopeña
- 4. People Watch at Jardín de la Unión
- Guanajuato City vs State
- 5. Join a Callejoneada Walking Tour
- 6. Watch a Show at Teatro Juárez
- 7. Take the Funicular Panorámico
- Mexico Travel Requirements
- 8. Feast on the Views at Monumento El Pípila
- 9. Stay at Hotel Mision Casa Colorada
- 10. Get Gory at the Museo de las Momias
- 11. Walk the Underground Tunnels
- 12. Get Lost in Mercado Hidalgo
- 13. See the Callejón del Beso
- 14. Stroll Along the Photogenic Calle del Truco
- 15. Eat at Plazuela San Fernando
- 16. Enjoy Live Music at Plaza de los Ángeles
- 17. Take Photos at Plaza de San Roque
- 18. See the Templo de San Francisco
- 18. Visit the Museo Iconográfico del Quijote
- 19. Have Coffee at Santo Cafe
- 20. Visit the Casa Diego Rivera
- 21. See Jacaranda at Jardin el Cantador
- 22. Admire Modern Art at Casa Cuatro
- 23. Visit the Museo Regional Alhóndiga de Granaditas
- 24. Enjoy a Cantarito Cocktail
- Things to Do Around Guanajuato
- Guanajuato Travel Guide
Things to Do in Guanajuato
1. Start at Basilica de Guanajuato
Dominating the main plaza of Guanajuato is the eye-catching yellow Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato topped with a massive rose red dome. Built in 1696, the building features a Mexican baroque architectural style, with unique details left by miners and silver barons.
The standout feature of the Basilica is the a wooden statue of Virgin Mary, Guanajuato’s patron saint. Felipe II of Spain gave it to Guanajuato as thanks for the revenue it generated for the crown. During our visit, we could enter the Basilica and visit for free.
2. Sit on the Steps of the Universidad de Guanajuato
Behind the Basílica de Nuestra Señora is a striking white marble building that dates back to the 1950s. The design is said to be controversial, as this dominating structure disrupts the characteristic, historic cityscape, but it’s unusual enough to search out. These days, it houses the University of Guanajuato and its steps are often a resting spot for university students.
3. Stroll along the Pedestrianized Calle De Sopeña
The main artery of the city is the pedestrianized Calle de Sopeña, which passes along many major Guanajuato sights. Take a leisurely stroll on this street and you’ll tick off several items on this list of things to do in Guanajuato in just one day: including the Teatro Juárez, Museo Iconográfico del Quijote, and Jardín de la Unión. Continue reading for more details on each sight.
4. People Watch at Jardín de la Unión
Guanajuato is sprinkled with many green spaces that feature immaculately landscaped trees, fountains, and benches. This triangular plaza in particular stands in the heart of the city and it features perfectly squared shaped trees beautifully trimmed to form a square box around the periphery of the park.
On Sundays, the Jardín de la Unión truly comes alive as it becomes a gathering spot for families. There are street vendors selling balloons of all shapes and sizes, puppet shows, and a Mat-Hatter-lookalike posing with kids. Get a raspado (shaved iced with fruit syrup), sit back on a bench, and enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere.
Guanajuato City vs State
Guanajuato is actually the name for both the state and the city. It can be confusing especially when you're researching on Guanajuato and end up seeing info for San Miguel de Allende or Querétaro.
The Guanajuato State is home to the cities of León, San Miguel de Allende and Santiago de Querétaro. Guanajuato City is the capital city of Guanajuato State and it's located at high altitude (Guanajuato city is 2,045 meters or 6,709 feet), enjoying spring weather year-round.
To be clear, this article focuses only on things to do in Guanajuato City. For an itinerary of the state, check out my detailed 1-Week Guanajuato itinerary.
5. Join a Callejoneada Walking Tour
At the Jardín de la Unión, you’ll probably be approached by an estudiantina (student tour guides) dressed in elaborate Spanish era folk costumes. These estudiantinas lead callejoneada, or evening cultural tours around the many alleys that snake their way around the city.
These aren’t just normal walking tours — the estudiantinas share interesting stories, jokes, and myths, and also entertain with traditional Guanajuato music and folk dance. They’re in Spanish only, but they’re so entertaining you don’t need to understand Spanish to enjoy them! Book in person or here. Cost: 120 MXN (US$6).
6. Watch a Show at Teatro Juárez
Across the road from Jardín de la Unión is the gorgeous Teatro Juárez, a gorgeous theater constructed between 1873 and 1903 by Mexican dictator, Porfirio Díaz. His extravagant spending is reflected in the luxurious red-and-gold interior and the brass columns.
Entertaining guided tours of the theater (in Spanish only) take place regularly through the day. I’ve heard good things about the symphony orchestra but we didn’t get to watch them play. Check the posters outside the theater for the program. Tickets cost between 50 – 100 MXN ($2 – 5).
7. Take the Funicular Panorámico
My daughter’s favorite thing to do in Guanajuato is definitely taking the funicular, an uphill tram ride that reaches the top of the hills overlooking the city. We stayed at a hotel (more on that later) next to the funicular station on the top, and the views were surreal!
The funicular was inaugurated in 1883 and it quickly became an icon of the city. The ride is short but picturesque. Take the funicular from the station behind Teatro Juárez; click for Google Maps location. Cost: 30 MXN (US$1.50) each way.
Mexico Travel Requirements
- Mexico has no travel restrictions, and there’s no need for proof of vaccine or PCR tests on the plane. Anyone is welcomed to travel to Mexico.
- However, I always recommend travelers to buy travel insurance, whether you’re traveling for a year or a week. These days, it is particularly important to have travel insurance that covers COVID-19. Read my travel insurance guide.
- Safety Wing is the most popular travel insurance company for COVID19-coverage. I use their Nomad Insurance plan, which covers COVID-19 as any other illness as long as it was not contracted before your coverage start date.
8. Feast on the Views at Monumento El Pípila
At the top of the funicular station stands the Monumento El Pípila, a massive pink sandstone monument that honors the hero who helped win the first victory of the independence movement. In 1810, when the priest Miguel Hidalgo called for the end of Spanish colonial rule in Mexico, the city’s local hero – nicknamed El Pípila – torched the Alhóndiga gates, enabling Hidalgo’s forces to forge ahead.
The statue shows El Pípila holding his torch over the city. You’ll see these words carved into the base of the sculpture: Aún hay otras Alhóndigas por incendiar (There are still other Alhóndigas to burn).
TIP: The easiest way to reach it is via the funicular mentioned above; but you can also get there via steep stairs from Callejón del Calvario. If you walk, wear comfortable shoes, don’t go alone, and avoid carrying valuables.
9. Stay at Hotel Mision Casa Colorada
If you want to wake up to panoramic views of Guanajuato (similar to the ones from the Monumento El Pípila), book a stay at Casa Colorada like we did! Check rates here.
Perched on the hills overlooking the historic center, Casa Colorada is a heritage hotel converted from an old Spanish hacienda. Ceiling-to-floor windows reveal outstanding panorama fromevery room, and the suites are massive. Rooms feature ceilings with wooden beams, terracotta tiled floors, and teak wood furnishing that seemingly date back to the Spanish era.
The hotel reminds me very much of Spain (I lived in Spain for 8 years!). Even though it needs some updates, the time-warped atmosphere here is incredibly charming. If you don’t drive, it’s easy to get to the hotel via the funicular. This is one of our favorite hotels in Mexico.
10. Get Gory at the Museo de las Momias
The Mummy Museum is Guanajuato’s most famous (and bizarre) sights. We visited Guanajuato during a Mexican holiday and ended up waiting an hour in line to get into the museum! That said, my daughter said it was well worth it, for the spooky experience.
In the early 1800s, Guanajuato experienced a cholera outbreak that led to thousands of deaths in the city. When part of an old cemetery was exhumed later, workers discovered that the bodies had been immaculately preserved — apparently due to the minerals in the soil and the area’s low humidity. Over 100 of the bodies make up the museum’s gruesome display, with many featuring grotesque forms and shocked expressions.
In all honesty, the museum can be horrifying for some. But it is a quintessential example of Mexico’s celebration of death, as seen from how the country celebrates the Day of the Dead with fervor every year. The museum is open from 9:00 – 6:00pm every day. Entry: 85 MXN ($4.50).
TIP: Guanajuato Mummy Museum is located outside of the historic center; click for the location on Google Maps. It’s a steep walk from the historic center. Take the bus marked Las Momias (The Mummies) from Avenida Juarez. or an Uber for just 100MXN (US$5).
11. Walk the Underground Tunnels
When strolling through the pedestrians-only historic center, you must be wondering, where are all the cars?! You see, there’s hardly any vehicle traffic in the city.
This is largely thanks to the extensive network of tunnels underground that were originally built to prevent flooding from the nearby Rio Guanajuato (river). These tunnels were dug out by the mining companies that operate in the outskirts of the city.
Today, both cars and pedestrians can the Guanajuato tunnels to get around the city. There are many stairways and ramps that lead to the tunnels from the historic center; search for Calle Subterranea on Google Maps and you’ll find your way there. This is an essential part of any Guanajuato itinerary.
12. Get Lost in Mercado Hidalgo
Every Mexican city has a bustling city market that’s usually bursting with fresh food, raw meat, and all kinds of locally produced goods. [Oaxaca has the best markets! Check out the best things to do in Oaxaca.] Guanajuato is no exception – Mercado Hidalgo is a colorful display of fresh fruit, local produce, and meat.
But the real appeal of Mercardo Hidalgo to me is the architecture of the building itself. From the outside, you’d be forgiven to think the market is a train station. In fact, it was originally constructed to be a major central station, and the famosu French architect, Alexandre Gustave Eifel, was even involved in the project.
Sadly the railway never happened. As the completion of the building coincided with the 100-year celebration of Mexican independence, Porfirio Diaz named the building after Miguel Hidalgo, the national hero. Porfirio also transformed this failed project into a market where it would definitely be put to good use.
13. See the Callejón del Beso
Guanajuato has an intensive network of narrow alleys and twisted streets. The narrowest (and most famous) of them all has to be the Callejón del Beso, which translates to mean Alley of the Kiss. In this ultra-narrow alley, the balconies of two houses practically touch, at just 68 centimeters (around two feet) wide.
According to a local legend, a wealthy family once lived on this street. Their daughter fell in love with a commoner. Her father forbid them to see each other, but the young man sneaked in and exchanged kisses from these balconies. Inevitably, the romance was discovered and the couple met a tragic end.
Today, the alleyway is the backdrop for visiting couples who are supposed to kiss in order to ensure seven years of happiness. When we were there, there was a line for the Instagram shot and around a 10-minute wait.
14. Stroll Along the Photogenic Calle del Truco
Another picturesque street in Guanajuato is Calle del Truco, flanked by gorgeous ochre colonial buildings and cute ice cream shops. There’s an interesting story behind this street though: apparently, a local man named Martín lost his money at the casino on this street and then killed himself here.
His ghost still wanders this street today. We didn’t see anything spooky here, but it was a pretty backdrop for photos and an ice-cream break.
15. Eat at Plazuela San Fernando
Plazuela San Fernando is one of my personal favorite squares in Guanajuato. The leafy, picture-perfect square is flanked by restaurants and outdoor cafes, and punctuated with water fountains and benches. It’s glorious for people watching and some al fresco dining.
We ate lunch in this square twice and highly recommend both places. La Bohemia is a traditional Mexican restaurant that serves affordable menu del dia (set lunch); La Clave Azul is a tapas bar tucked in an alley off Plaza San Fernando, with an eclectic menu and a chic decor with antique treasures.
16. Enjoy Live Music at Plaza de los Ángeles
Nearby is the Plaza de los Ángeles (Plaza of the Angels) which is often crowded with travelers, street performers, and musicians. Hang around the steps here and soak it all in – if you speak Spanish, you’ll most probably get to make a friend or two here!
This square also plays host to the annual festival, El Cervantino, which originates from the mid 20th century. The festival is a tribute to the Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote, his influence is still felt all over the city. During the festival, performers put up short plays by Miguel de Cervantes in this square.
17. Take Photos at Plaza de San Roque
Another square you need to check out is Plaza San Roque, right next to the Templo de San Roque. Here you’ll find a pink and blue house decorated with flower pots, that has seemingly gained fame on Instagram. Keep in mind that this is a private home so respect the privacy of the owners and not intrude in their space!
18. See the Templo de San Francisco
One of the iconic landmarks of Guanajuato, the Templo de San Francisco is gorgeous both inside and outside. Built in 1741 in a late baroque style, the landmark features an ochre exterior, decorative motifs and an impressive stone entrance. Franciscan friars have been running the church since 1828. Entry: free.
18. Visit the Museo Iconográfico del Quijote
Right next to the Templo de San Francisco is the Museo Iconográfico del Quijote, a museum that showcases the characters and stories in the Spanish writer Cervante’s most famous book, Don Quijote de la Mancha. Guanajuato’s obsession with Cervantes is intriguing, but once here, you’ll understand why.
The museum is actually great for kids; we came here to teach our daughter about the famous Don Quijote story. It’s surprisingly interesting to see all kinds of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries depicting scenes from the story. Entry: 30 MXN (US$1.5), free on Tuesdays.
19. Have Coffee at Santo Cafe
One of the quirkiest things to do in Guanajuato is to have coffee at Santo Café. The ridiculously cute cafe located on a bridge perched across two colonial buildings. Come early if you want a table on the bridge, otherwise the cafe has plenty of seating inside. The food is also really food, with a mixture of crepes, sandwiches, and tostadas at amazing prices!
20. Visit the Casa Diego Rivera
Did you know that Frida Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, was from Guanajuato? His birthplace has been converted into a museum, which showcases ome of Rivera’s early works (although his most famous murals are found in Mexico City).
The legendary artist and his twin brother were born in the house in 1886 and lived here until the family moved to Mexico City six years later. The higher levels exhibit his original works and preliminary sketches, plus there’s a nude of Frida Kahlo.
21. See Jacaranda at Jardin el Cantador
Every spring, Guanajuato looks even more radiant than usual as the jacaranda trees add a vibrant splash of colors. The jacaranda season usually runs between late March and early April each year. If you’re traveling Guanajuato during this time, make sure to pop over to Jardin el Cantador at the entrance of the historic center where rows of jacaranda trees are found.
22. Admire Modern Art at Casa Cuatro
Part restaurant, part art space, Casa Cuatro is a trendy house dedicated to contemporary art and lifestyle. Pushing open the door, you’ll find yourself transported to a different world through jewelry, ceramic work and art. It’s also home to a few trendy cafes, including Casa Mídi. Make your way up to the terrace for a sweeping view of this colorful city.
23. Visit the Museo Regional Alhóndiga de Granaditas
Another iconic landmark in Guanjuato, the Alhondiga was built in the late 18th century as a grain storehouse, but became a fortress for the Spaniards in 1810. 300 Spanish soldiers and loyalist leaders barricaded themselves inside after 20,000 rebel fighters led by Miguel Hidalgo attempted to take Guanajuato.
This was the place of the first victory over the Spanish during the War Of Independence. It’s arguably more interesting for its history than its display today. Don’t miss José Chávez Morado’s dramatic murals of Guanajuato’s history on the staircases. The building is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00am – 6:00pm. Entry: 30 MXN ($1.25).
24. Enjoy a Cantarito Cocktail
All over Guanajuato city center, especially along Calle Cantarranas, you’ll find bars and pop up stands serving Cantaritos, a Mexican cocktail usually served in a cute clay jar. The drink deserves to be way more popular than the margarita: it’s a refreshing concoction of tequila or mezcal with grapefruit juice, lime juice, and club soda. Even though the Cantarito comes from Jalisco, it’s hugely popular here in Guanajuato.
Things to Do Around Guanajuato
25. Visit the Cristo Rey Statue
For an epic 360-degree view of Guanajuato city and the whole valley, head up to the Cristo Rey statue (Christ the King) on top of the Cerro de Cubilete, 15km west of Guanajuato. The 20m bronze statue of Jesus is supposedly located at the geographical center of Mexico.
Tour agencies offer trips here, but you can also simply take a bus with the sign ‘Cristo Rey,’ departing from Alhóndiga Museum (40 MXN or US$2 return).
26. Explore the Silver Mines
Guanajuato’s opulent colonial buildings were all built on the wealth created by region’s rich silver and gold deposits. Until today, you can still visit the silver mines in the famous Valenciana district nearby (those with claustrophobia should avoid). We didn’t do this as our daughter wouldn’t have liked it.
The biggest mine is Bocamina San Ramón, where you can descend to a depth of 60m via steps into a mine shaft. At San Cayetano, you can take a tour with former miners and visit both its shaft and museum.
To reach the mines, take the same ‘Cristo Rey’, get off at Templo La Valenciana and follow the signs behind the church. It’s a steep and windy 15-minute drive from the city center.
27. Visit the ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera
Perched on the hilltops overlooking Guanajuato, this beautiful hacienda is a glorious place to visit when you’re in the mood for some country feels. Built at the end of the 17th century, this was the grand hacienda of Captain Gabriel de Barrera, whose family owned the La Valenciana mines. Opened as a museum in 1979, the hacienda provides an insight into noble lifestyles of the viceregal period.
To get there, take one of the frequent ‘Marfil’ buses in the underground tunnel under Avenida Juárez and ask the driver to drop you at Hotel Misión Guanajuato (not to be mistaken with the Hotel Misión Casa Colorada). An Uber from the center costs no more than 100 MXN (US$5).
28. Take a Day Trip to San Miguel de Allende
At just an hour from Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende makes for an epic day trip especially for the culture vultures. With a magical setting and a distinct European flair, San Miguel de Allende has stolen the hearts of many, including mine.
The entire old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. It’s no wonder Condé Nast Travellers Magazine named it the “best city in the world” two years in a row. But there are so many things to do in San Miguel de Allende that I suggest staying for a night or two.
29. Go Wine Tasting along the Ruta de Vino
In recent years, Mexico has gained fame for its wine. The ruta de vino or wine route in Guanajuato’s rolling hills strings together a medley of gorgeous wineries and vineyards that are worth visiting on a day trip. Most of them are within 1 to 1.5 hour drive from Guanajuato. But if you’re planning to visit and stay in San Miguel de Allende, it’ll be wise to visit from there.
Rent a car like we did and visit wineries like Rancho Toyan, Hacienda San Jose la Vista, and La Santísima Trinidad. Spend the afternoon tasting excellent wine and gourmet platters of cheese and nibbles, wandering through the lavender fields, and even staying overnight in the in-house rooms.
30. Swim in Hot Springs
The countryside of Guanajuato is also dotted with hot springs that boast curative waters. Of all the hot springs, La Gruta Spa is perhaps the most famous. Read my full guide on how to visit la Gruta hot springs. It’s just a 15-minute drive from San Miguel de Allende, so you can easily combine them in one day trip.
In total, there are four thermal pools located onsite at La Gruta. The star attraction is the cavern “La Gruta”. Entering through an entryway from the main pool, you’ll make your way through a white, narrow stone walkway that leads to a domed-shaped grotto where the source of the hot spring water is. Entry: 250 MXN (US$10).
Guanajuato Travel Guide
Is Guanajuato Safe to Visit?
In general, Guanajuato is a safe city in Mexico. My family and I felt very safe throughout our time in Mexico, and didn’t experience anything sketchy. We were comfortable walking at night, and I also wandered around on my own on some days.
As with in most parts of Mexico, it helps tremendously to speak Spanish. Not many people in Guanajuato speak English, and being fluent in Spanish will help you blend in much better. You’ll also get treated far better.
Keep in mind that Guanajuato is located at 2,045 meters (6,709 feet) above sea level, that means the weather is cool and extremely dry throughout the year. We noticed the altitude right when we landed and felt exhausted on our first few days in Guanajuato. Take it easy and stay hydrated.
How to Get to Guanajuato
Guanajuato has a small international airport but it serves several major cities in the US, such as Dallas, Atlanta, and Houston. Del Bajío International Airport (BJX) is about a 45-minute drive from Guanajuato city center. Search for Flights here!
There is no direct public bus or train service between Guanajuato and the airport. If you’re not renting a car, the taxi fare from Guanajuato Airport to city center is around 500-600 MXN (US$25-30).
An alternative is flying into Mexico City, which is a 4.5-hour drive to Guanajuato. You can find much cheaper flights there from outside of Mexico. From there, take the excellent first-class bus from Mexico City on ETN or Primera Plus.
How to Get Around Guanajuato
Guanajuato is a big city and you’ll need transport to get around and visit different attractions. We rented a car from Guanajuato Airport but only used it to explore outside of the historic center. We mostly walked everywhere in town.
An economy rental car in Mexico averages just $200 for a whole week, which is less than $25 a day. The current price for gas is 16.50 pesos per liter (about $2.50 per gallon). We always use DiscoverCars.com as they’ve consistently given us the best prices and customer service.
If you’re staying in the historical center, you could get by without a car as most of the places to visit in Guanajuato are located in the city center. Otherwise, Uber is readily available in Guanajuato, and it’s very affordable.
Best Time to Visit Guanajuato
Thanks to its location in the central highlands of Mexico, Guanajuato is blessed with pleasant spring-like climate all year round. In general, anytime of the year is great to visit as Guanajuato’s climate doesn’t vary too much throughout the year, with average high temperatures hovering between 73°F (23°C) and 88°F (31°C) no matter the season.
But I would recommend visiting Guanajuato between November and April, when there’s less rainfall than the summer months. We visited in March and the weather was glorious and not too cold/warm. It was always sunny, but the high altitude meant a very dry climate.
One of the most popular time to visit Guanajuato is in October, when the Festival Internacional Cervantino takes place. Cervantino is a tribute to the Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote, his influence is still felt all over the city. Time your trip to visit during one of the biggest Mexican celebrations and you’ll experience plenty of music, dance, and poetry throughout the city.
How many days do you need in Guanajuato?
Guanajuato is a relatively big city and there are so many things to do in Guanajuato that I recommend spending 5 days to a week here. The historical town is a gritty yet authentic blend of Mexican flavors and Spanish influence. Plus, its outskirts is dotted with a smattering of outdoorsy activities and unique experiences that nature lovers would love.
I also recommend combining a visit to Guanajuato with San Miguel de Allende (a 1.5-hour drive away) and Grutas de Tolantongo hot springs (a 3.5-hour drive away). We explored all of them in a 10-day Guanajuato road trip and had a blast exploring Central Mexico!
Where to Stay in Guanajuato
There are plenty of accommodation options in Guanajuato to suit all budgets, from spacious Airbnbs to luxury boutique hotels. We recommend staying in the historic center (within a few blocks from el Jardin) so you can easily walk everywhere.
Luxury: Hotel Mision Casa Colorada
One of the best hotels in Guanajuato, Casa Colorada is a heritage hotel housed in a historical building perched on the hills overlooking the historical center. It may need some updates, but the views from the room are outstanding (with ceiling to floor windows) and the entire ambiance is surreal. Check rates here.
Mid Range: 1850 Hotel Boutique
Set in the centre of Guanajuato, 1850 Hotel Boutique is housed in a charming, neoclassical building, dating from the 1850s. The striking, modern rooms feature French, classic and contemporary design. The sky bar is one of the best rooftop bars in town! Check rates here.
Budget: Hotel La Paz
Located in the heart of the historic center, this budget hotel overlooks the iconic Basilica de Guanajuato. Rooms are affordable and simple, but with spectacular views and a fantastic location. Check rates here.
Is it Worth Visiting Guanajuato?
Guanajuato is one of best offbeat places to visit in Mexico – it’s popular mainly amongst Mexican travelers, and it has retained a strong sense of grittiness and authenticity. If you’re interested in seeing the real Mexico, I highly recommend adding Guanajuato to your Mexico road trip itinerary.
I hope you’ve found this list of things to do in Guanajuato useful. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions on Guanajuato travel. For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out other articles I’ve written on Mexico:
- 10-Day Guanajuato Itinerary
- 5-Day Mexico City Itinerary
- 30 Things to Do in Oaxaca
- 30 Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende
- Visiting Grutas Tolantongo Hot Springs
- 30 Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!
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Guanajuato is an attractive town for the reasons you’ve stated, above. I’ve lived there for 7 years, but to describe it as even possibly the ‘most authentic’ is way off. I’ve traveled all over Mexico and there are soo many towns and cities more authentically mexican and for many reasons.
I think you’re right! I was so smitten by Guanajuato that I was gushing about it without thinking if my description was accurate. Thanks for pointing it out, will edit my article to reflect that. 🙂
Hi Nellie – Great article! I shared your Facebook post of this article to our GTO expat/visitor FB group called Guanajuato TQM: http://www.facebook.com/groups/gtomx Great pics on the 30 cool things to do and lots of great information – one of the best GTO articles I’ve read!
Wow thanks John! I really appreciate your help in sharing my article! 🙂
I’ll be in Guanajuato 25/2-1/3 with 20 other ladies from USA.
What about shopping for unique jewelry? Mexican Clothing?
We have been to San Miguel many times, but 1st time for Guanajuato. We them depart for 7 days to Ixtapan de la Sal near Toluca.
hi Darlene, thanks for the message! The best place to shop for Mexican souvenirs or clothing would be the Hidalgo market and the shops around there. It’s a pretty typical Mexican market with a whole mix of butchery, green grocers, taco stands and knickknack shops. Head to the second floor, you’ll find more interesting stuff there. Hope it helps! 🙂
Great post, looking forward to visiting Guanajato City in a few weeks!