Guanajuato

Guanajuato is a city in central Mexico and is the capital city of the state bearing the same name. It is 390 km (about 250 miles) northwest of Mexico City.

102 things to do

All Places Mexico



Café Tal

Coffee, tea, a mixed foreign and Mexican crowd, and high speed wireless internet access. It's between 5-10 minutes from Teatro Juarez up the main street towards the baseball stadium, just up the street from Bar Fly. The owner, an American expat, plays French horn in the city orchestra. Although it serves some distinctly Mexican drinks and snacks, it also has a much wider selection of tea and coffee drinks familiar to Americans and difficult to find in GTO. (Tea is pretty unsatisfactory in the city, not so here. And they understand the concept of iced tea.) They also have low cost international calling and tasty snacks. Before lunch, a bakery a few doors down has a wider selection of pastries and rolls.


La Casa Azul

Beautiful hotel with charming rooms at much lower prices than the tourist traps in the city center. Wonderful views and fantastic gardens, a really romantic place to stay but also family-friendly. Comfortable beds, plenty of hot water, and nice furnishings. Friendly staff who are happy to chat and give suggestions in Spanish, but they speak only very limited English. Fine with very late check-ins, but if you go earlier, they'll let you pick your room. Pool and TVs in rooms, but no food. It is, in fact, a blue house, and locals will be able to give you directions. They're fine with (or perhaps oblivious to?) gay/lesbian couples and unmarried hetero couples staying together.



Semana Santa

Easter is considered to be the most important religious holiday here, and commences with celebrations honoring '''Viernes de Dolores''' (''Our Lady of Sorrows'') on the final Friday of Lent. During the following week special altars are built and displayed in churches, public plazas, and in shops and homes. On '''Viernes Santo''' (''Good Friday'') at midday the Passion of the Christ is reenacted in front of the basilica, and in the evening the '''Procesíon de Silencio''' (''Silent Procession'') winds through the streets. Many tourists visit from other parts of Mexico at this time, and room rates are generally double.

DO   —  Map

Festival Internacional Cervantino

This annual festival began as a series of weekly informal Cervantes comedy performances, and since then has grown to become one of Guanajuato's most celebrated events. The festival has a full program including theater, dance, and musical performances, and attracts both Mexican and international artists. Tickets can be purchased from [http://www.ticketmaster.com.mx Ticketmaster] or at the box office of Teatro Juarez, while outdoor performances in the plazas are free to the public. The exact dates and schedule for the festival are set in June; prices for hotel rooms generally double during this time.



Don Quijote

A great school where you can take 4-6 hours of courses a day. The entire day is with the same teacher and all courses including beginner courses are taught entirely in Spanish. The teachers are excellent, the students are a diverse group from around the world (some of whom do not speak English), and there are lots of formal and informal activities provided by the school, including a weekly Spanish conversation dinner and salsa classes. The school also has student apartments and homestays. You can reserve a course before you head to Mexico if you wish or reserve weekly classes once you're there.

OTHER   —  Calle Pastita 76

La Casa del Tío

Great location in the historic center, budget, basic, no frills but clean, free kitchen, wireless, promotions and the best rooftop in Guanajuato. This is a legally-registered hostel in the city and the owner, Olivia Machuca, is the president of the Associacion of Mexican Hostels. Their goal is to provide a professional and friendly service to the visitors. La Casa del Tío is always recommended in travel guides such as ''Lonely Planet'', ''Rough Guides'' and ''Let's Go'' among others. The laundry machine they offer on the website doesn't work.



El Zopilote Mojado

This hostal is downtown but located in 3 buildings around the quiet Plaza Mexiamora. In the ''El Zopilote Mojado'' building is a coffee shop with excellent coffee and desserts, and upstairs are the rooms, tastefully done. There is another building called ''Perros Muertos'', colorfully decorated, with all the services (kitchen included) and two terraces with gorgeous views. Finally, ''La Casa del Infierno'' is located in Callejon del Infierno. This house has two small apartments and a main house, fully equipped with very Mexican decorations.


Colegio de Lenguas Adelita

A friendly language school located in the center of Guanajuato with professional and highly experienced teaching staff. Adelita offers a learning curriculum that ensures the students receive an interactive, methodical education including constant interaction and immersion in the Mexican culture. The school organizes plenty of out of classroom activities and tours for the students to make the most of their learning vacation. In addition to Spanish, the school also offers courses in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and German.



Mercado Hidalgo

A two-story indoor market selling from touristy stuff (handcrafts, souvenirs, etc.) to groceries (food, confectionery and clothing). It is said the structure of this market was originally intended to be a train station in Antwerpen, Belgium, but it was brought to Guanajuato by President Porfirio Díaz and completed in 1910, shortly before the start of the Mexican Revolution. The façade of this building is made of pink quarry and boasts a tower.


Festival Internacional de Órgano de Guanajuato Guillermo Pinto Reyes

Named in honor of Mexican organist and composer Guillermo Reyes Pinto, this annual festival celebrates the city's many historic church organs, some of which date to the 16th and 17th centuries. Distinguished Mexican and international musicians are invited to perform, and all concerts are free to the public. The festival is organized by the Guanajuato Ministry of Culture; updated information is available at the Tourist Office.

DO   —  Map

La Hacienda Spanish School

A small, friendly and intimate language school based in an old hacienda. Offers group, private, trimester, specialized (law, medical, etc.) and online Spanish courses. Classes range from beginner to advanced; the teachers adapt to learners’ styles and meet the students right where they are in their abilities and interest. A comfortable, supportive learning environment. Can arrange homestays and other accommodation.


Bar Fly

Has a younger crowd. The staff is friendly and gets to know their customers. There is reggae music as well as lamp shades made out of solo cups. A definite must-see. If you are young and female, the staff will flirt unabashedly, but they're harmless and worth getting to know. If they know you are in Mexico to learn Spanish (whether you tell them or your teacher does) they won't speak English to you at all.


Delica Mitsu

Delica Mitsu serves up homemade Japanese Delicatessen "sozai", sushi rolls, grilled chicken, and more. Many of the dishes are made from vegetables only, so vegetarians will also feel at home at this tiny restaurant owned and operated by a sweet Japanese couple. Popular with tourists and locals, there are new items on the menu everyday which are sure to keep you coming back time and time again.


Jardín de la Unión

This space was originally the atrium for a 17th-century convent, of which the Templo de San Diego is the sole surviving building. It now functions as the central plaza, and always has a lot of things going on, day and night. There are a number of restaurants surrounding the garden, and in the afternoons and evening there free concerts are often given from the central gazebo.

SEE   —  Map

Guanajuato Grill

Another favorite of locals and tourists. It is even bigger than Capitolio and boasts two levels. It is always packed on weekends, with the same type of crowd as Capitolio. Although it plays similar music to what you hear in Capitolio, it tends to play more electronic and techno music. It also offers great drink specials, especially on bottles.


Casa de Pita

This Guanajuato B&B has location, location, location and remarkable value; one block from Plaza Baratillo and another block to Plaza Union and Teatro Juarez – the heart of Guanajuato City and easy walking distance to all within-city attractions. Very safe location, clean, friendly, Wi-Fi and great breakfast in a colorful, truly Mexican home.


Casa de Tía Aura

Sort of house of horrors that's sweet in its corniness. Inside this house a woman was buried alive inside the walls. The tour is conducted (appropriately enough) in Spanish and will be difficult to understand for those not fairly fluent, though the sights are self-explanatory and the gasps and screams comprehensible in any language.


Expresión de Corto

An annual short film festival, co-hosted by the nearby city of San Miguel de Allende. Hundreds of films from nearly all genres are screened in venues including the Teatro Principal and movie theaters, as well as in alternative settings including the city cemetery. Most films are subtitled in Spanish and English.

DO   —  +52 415 152 7264 —  Map

El Pípila

A 28-meter tall statue of an independence hero. Juan Jose Martinez, or also known as El Pípila, was a legendary hero who wore a stone slab on his back to protect himself while burning the Spanish troops holed up in the Alhóndiga, or granary, in September 1810. The view is beautiful, particularly at night.

SEE   —  San Miguel hill

Museum of the Mummies

A must if you're in Guanajuato. In 1910, due to the overcrowding of the local graveyard, the authorities were forced to exhume several bodies and when they did that they found the bodies had turned into mummies rather than fully decomposing. After that they founded this really strange and unique museum.


Plateros Spanish School

Spanish for foreigners. Wide range of courses to suit particular needs and interests offering regular, intensive and super intensive standard or PLUS courses. Private tuition and Spanish for specific purposes (business, travelling, medical Spanish, etc.). Can arrange accommodation including home-stay.


Escuela Mexicana

One of the best language schools in town. The staff is nice, fluent in English, and flexible, and you can create a schedule to fit your needs, from 1 to 6 hours of class per day, of varied courses. There are afternoon and day tours to local attractions as well as weekend trips to more distant sights.

OTHER   —  +52 473 732 5005 —  Potrero 12

Presa de la Olla

Built in 1749 to supply fresh water to the town. In this place you can rent a little boat. There's also a park and a great statue of Miguel Hidalgo casted in Italy also inaugurated by President Porfirio Díaz in the early 1900s. This area is very tranquil and quiet to have a break.

SEE   —  Map

Why Not?

Another chill bar that plays unique latino indie-rock and reggae. It's a good place to hang out and play pool. The bartenders are very sociable and entertaining. Why Not is open later than Bar Fly and is often the after hours destination of the Bar Fly crowd and staff.

DRINK   —  Map

El Cubilete

This is your one-stop store for confectionery, established in 1955. It sells all sorts of local sweets, including such specialties like 'Charamuscas', figures made of caramel resembling the mummies. Try also 'Cajeta', similar to Dulce de Leche but made of goat's milk.


El Midi Bistró

Offers fantastic southern French lunch buffet featuring lots of marinated and glazed vegetables, salads and quiches, with food sold by weight and extremely affordable. Dinners feature a standard menu. Don't miss their delicious aguas frescas to accompany your meal.


El Zopilote Mojado

The beautiful Plaza Mexíamora host this unique café, where you can find peaceful atmosphere with an excellent coffee, classical music, interesting books in English and Spanish, and delicious desserts and baguettes. A very Mexican place with an international taste.


Church of San Cayetano

Built from 1765-1788 with funding from the rich silver mines, this is considered to be one of the best examples of Mexican Churrigueresque architecture. Particularly noteworthy are the finely-carved, elaborate altars covered in gold leaf.


The Garden Studios en la Presa

Located in one of the most elegant neighborhoods of Guanajuato. Walking distance to el Centro Historico. Wifi included, down comforters and bathrobes, fresh flowers on arrival. Gas space heaters available (gas at cost).


Truco 7

Features Mexican food as well as American and at a decent price. They have tortilla soup, enchiladas, and hamburgers. They have excellent aguas frescas and milkshakes. Try the strawberry, it comes with cinnamon in it.


Santo Café

If you want cheap food and free internet access visit Santo Café which features a sweet little bridge upon which you can eat. The food here is very clean and you needn't worry about having fresh fruits or salads.

EAT   —  +52 473 122 2320 —  Campanero 4

Ex-convent Museum Dieguino

The underground excavated remains of the original 17th-century cloister, of which the Templo de San Diego is the surviving remnant today. Occasionally photography and art exhibits are also hosted in this space.


Hotel Gran Plaza

It's right in the entrance to Guanajuato, and the staff is very nice and helpful. They offer free of charge shuttle service during the day and are more than willing to make you as comfortable as possible.


Mestizo

Fabulous food at mid-range prices with a great atmosphere. A fine dining restaurant and art gallery combined. For 500 pesos it is possible to get 2 appetizers, 4 dinners, 2 glasses of wine and 2 sodas.


Cantina La Botellita

Known for having giant, delicious margaritas and good food. They also do 2 for 1 drinks on Tuesdays, but if you're a girl, or at least with a girl, you pretty much get 2 for 1 drinks all the time.


Alhóndiga de Granaditas

This building is where the independence revolutionaries burned the Spanish troops, and now houses a museum devoted to the history of the region, as well as an important photographic library.


Zilch

A great bar in the Jardín Unión, they have live music from Wednesday to Saturday. Great prices, great environment, awesome terrace, great service, pool table! They serve snacks 19:00-22:00.


La Casa de Dante

Very nice staff and a great daily fresh breakfast. Big, healthy and different every day, meat or vegetarian, whatever you prefer. Hardly any hot water in the showers though.


El Bar

A salsa bar across the street from Teatro Juarez. It offers salsa lessons every night 19:00-22:00. It plays mostly salsa and merengue all night and often has salsa shows.

DRINK   —  Map

No name bar

Features good music, friendly bartenders and good drinks at night and a great laid-back atmosphere to sip a beer outside and plan your day in Guanajuato during the day.

DRINK   —  Map

Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato

Built from 1671 to 1696. Inside this church there is a 1000-year-old statue donated by Spanish King Charles I who tried to protect it from the Arab invasion in Spain.


Hotel Meson de los Poetas

The hotel is a restored 18th-century house and centrally located, with helpful English-speaking staff. Nonsmoking rooms available, onsite restaurant and free Wi-Fi.


Primera Plus

The major bus line for the region which also include the '''Coordinados''' and the '''Flecha Armarilla''' lines for travel in the state and to adjacent states.


Teatro Juárez

The architecture of this theater is part Neoclassical and part Moorish, making it a really beautiful building. Inaugurated in 1903 by President Porfirio Díaz.

SEE   —  +52 473 732 0183 —  Sopena S/N

Museo Casa Diego Rivera

The birthplace of Diego Rivera, a well-preserved traditional Mexican residence. Be sure to check out the collections of his simple, socialist-inspired works.

SEE   —  +52 473 732 1197 —  Positos 47

Festival Medieval de Guanajuato

An annual event since 2005, this festival celebrates music, dance, and art from the 5th to 15th centuries, with participants hailing from across Mexico.


Grupo Estrella Blanca

They also operate the '''Americanos, Elite, Elite Plus, Oriente, Chihuahuanese, TNS (Transportes Norte de Sonora)''' and the '''Pacifico''' brands.

OTHER   —  52 55 5729-0807 —  Map

Antik Café

They have bagels, Mexican food, coffee drinks and teas. It is not expensive and it has its own bar. They often have live music at night.


No name bar

Serves burgers, bar food, and Mexican food at a good price. They have seating outside the bar in a nice courtyard. Beer is fairly cheap.

EAT   —  Map

Famoso Bar Incendio

A typical Mexican cantina, one of the oldest in Guanajuato. Lately they have a students environment. They are famous for their mezcales.

DRINK   —  Calle Cantarranas s/n

Callejon del Beso

Two balconies separated by only 69 centimeters is home of an old love legend. For a few pennies some children will tell you the story.

SEE   —  Map

Mina de Valenciana

The richest mine in Guanajuato still in operation today. It supplied enough silver to sponsor the Spanish Empire and its colonies.

SEE   —  Map

Hostal del Campanero

Fanatically clean and beautiful architecture. Great character and friendly staff. Only two showers for the whole hostel.


Las Cupulas Mexicanas

If you are looking for some after-clubbing late-night/early morning food, try some of their delicious quesadillas.


Pipila Funicular

Ride the funicular to the top of the mountain where the statue of the "Pipila" is located. No pets, no bicycles.

DO   —  Map

Universidad de Guanajuato

There is a 3-4 story series of steps that lead up to an auditorium, offering good views over the colonial city.

SEE   —  Calzada de Guadalupe

Comercial Mexicana

A branch of the Mexican hypermarket chain that sells everything from basic groceries to TVs and some clothing.


Church of San Diego de Alcalá

This is the only surviving building from the original 17th-century convent, with a splendid rococo exterior.


Palacio Legislativo

This building was originally the city hall. It was built in 1903 and inaugurated by President Porfirio Díaz.

SEE   —  Plaza de la Paz

Casa Mágica

It's a clean, quiet hotel with just about 8 rooms in a colonial home. The staff is sweet and very helpful.


Mercado Embajadoras

If you are looking for ripped-off CDs, go this place on a Saturday, and there are some tents set up there.

BUY   —  Embajadoras 26

La Bohemia Restaurant-Bar

Small, traditional café serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Popular with residents and visitors.


Habibti Falafel

Fusion cafe offering vegetarian options. House-made chai, delicious coffee, muffins, and falafel.


DelSol

If you need to get all your basics at once, check out this place which is similar to a Wal-Mart.


Hostal Santuario

The entrance doesn't show it's a hostel, but it is. It might be noisy from the bar downstairs.

SLEEP   —  Calle Cantarranes 38

Centro Acuático en Macrocentro

Facilities include an indoor Olympic-sized pool and a diving pool, as well as an on-site gym.


Hostel Guanajuato

Great location. Only two showers for the whole hostel, but with a lot of very hot water.

SLEEP   —  Calle Campanero 14

Mineralogy Museum Eduardo Villaseñor Söhl

One of the richest collection of minerals in the world. Ex-hacienda de San Matias.


World Rally Championship

Guanajuato and nearby León host the Mexican round of the World Rally Championship.

DO   —  +52 55 5259-6904 —  Map

Templo de San Roque

Built in 1726, this was a Jesuit school in the latter half of the 18th century.


Don Olé Karaoke

Try out your Spanish, but don't worry, they have songs in English too.

DRINK   —  Map

Casa Museo Gene Byron

From 1962 to 1987 this was the home of Canadian artist Gene Byron.


Omnibus de Mexico

Also include the '''Noreste''' and the '''Omnibus Plus''' brands.

OTHER   —  +52 55 5141-4300 —  Map

Alcatraz

Has great drink specials and a great atmosphere with many locals.

DRINK   —  Map

Mexico Lindo y Sabroso

Serves classic Mexican dishes in a lovely terrace and courtyard.


Plaza Pozuelos

A modern shopping mall with a few international chain stores.

BUY   —  +52 473 731 0300 —  Map

La Havana

A salsa bar that attracts a more local, late-night crowd.

DRINK   —  Map

Saint Francis of Assisi Church

A former Franciscan convent, built between 1792-1828.


Mina de San Juan de Rayas

The first mine of Guanajuato, discovered in 1550.


Casa Bertha

Free kitchen, terrace and wireless internet use.


Mega Comercial Mexicana

Another larger branch of the hypermarket chain.


Church of the Company of Jesus

Built between 1747 and 1765.


Don Quixote Iconographic Museum

Small, but very well done.


Escuela Normal Oficial de Guanajuato

Teacher's school.

SEE   —  De La Presa

Plaza de la Paz

SEE   —  Map

Mina de Cata

SEE   —  Map

Teatro Principal

SEE   —  Map

About Guanajuato

Unlike other Mexican cities that have an exact date of foundation, Guanajuato was the result of miner camping sites after silver veins were discovered between 1540 and 1558 and that eventually lead to a larger settlement. In 1558 a big silver vein was discovered in Guanajuato and produced nearly a third of all silver in the world by the next 250 years. The city was granted its city status in 1741 by Spanish King Philip V. Mining brought wealth to this town that spread towards its architecture and lifestyle.

The historic town of Guanajuato and adjacent mines were granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1987 and has been ranked by several travel magazines as one of the top travel destinations in the world.


Source: wikivoyage