Guatemala City

Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala, a country in Central America.

62 things to do

All Places Guatemala

Ixchel Museum of traditional costumes

6 Calle final, Zona 10, at the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 Sat 9:00-13:00. Q25 adults, Q15 students. A large collection of traditional costumes, information on weaving and dying techniques, the processing of the materials in use, the history and development of the traditional costumes and a collection of paintings by Carmen Pettersen. The explanations are in both English and Spanish. The museum also has a shop where you can get fine examples of Guatemalan artesania. The prices are higher than at the markets, but the quality is also higher and the selection is good. The shop also has a variety of books, including its own series of publications about the traditional costumes of Guatemala, hard to come by in other book stores, and also the book ''The Maya of Guatemala - life and dress'' (with text in English and Spanish) by Carmen Pettersen, for Q465 (raised because the book is now out of print).

SEE   —  +502 331-3638/34 —  Map

4 Grados Norte

Is a cultural district located in Zona 4 in Guatemala City. It was a project of the municipality to convert this area into an attractive pedestrian area in 2002. Additionally, many green areas were created. Today the district also features bars, restaurants, shopping and cultural activities and has become one of the city's trendy and open minded areas, competing with Zona Viva in Zona 10.The most interesting places are perhaps the ones just outside the main street. More recently has become less popular and developed a poor reputation.

DRINK   —  Map

IGA - Instituto Guatemalteco Americano

Ruta 1 4-05, Zona 4. Teaching in small groups, normally 1-5 students. 7 levels, starting at basic level. More weight on grammar than the typical language schools in Antigua, with some courses on just practicing. The price is around Q850 for a course of 2 hours a day (Mon-Fri), seven weeks (approximately). You can get a discount if you only plan to follow part of the course. The classes are from 9-11 or 11-13 and you can combine two classes. The students are from all over the world, many of them children or spouses.

OTHER   —  +502 338-5555 —  Map

Xamanek Student Inn

Prices from $15 dorm rooms and $35 for private rooms including taxes, continental breakfast, full kitchen access and internet. Although this is in an area of nightlife and great restaurants, there is an inexpensive local place to eat at nearby (as well and a McDonalds also if you go to that sort of place). You can walk to the Museos Popul Vuh and Ixchel and to the Archaeological Museum and the zoo from there. Reservations are recommended, but they can be done via e-mail.

Popol Vuh Museum

6 Calle final, Zona 10, at the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 Sat 9:00-13:00. Q35 adults, Q15 students, Q15 for permission to take pictures (without flash), Q25 for video. The museum has no particular focus on the Popol Vuh as the name suggests, but has a rather nice collection of archaeological items from the pre-Hispanic Mayan world. There is also a room dedicated to Colonial items. The explanations are in both English and Spanish.

SEE   —  +502 361-2301/11 —  Map


3a AVE 14-60, Zona 10. Mexican food. Main dish Q35-60. Chicken fajitas, Tortilla soup, pechuga de pollo en salsa de mango, pay azteca, a la flauta flautas, and for starters the queso fundido mixto (melted cheese with mushrooms) are all good. The best ''margaritas'' in Guatemala, but watch out when they ask you what kind of tequila you would like in/with it - the price might rise from the normal Q29 to Q85.

Oxford Language Center

A small, friendly language school specializing in English, but also offering several other languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin, Dutch, French, Italian, and German, which are taught exclusively by native speakers. This school gives personal service with payment required up front, no refunds. Oxford Language Center also has a second location in Coban.


Private teacher. It is run by linguists (a university lecturer in Spanish Literature, a British citizen with many years experience in teaching English), it has professional teachers, and it is located in the best area of the city; so it is more expensive but promises better results. Attracts a range of clients from diplomats to children.

Mapa en Relieve

Located at Minerva Park, at end of Av. Simon Cañas, Guatemala Zona 2 Entrance is Q16 and it's open daily 9-5 This relief map depicting Guatemala's precipitous topography is so immense you have to view it from an observation tower. What makes it even more amazing is that it was built in 1904, before satellite or even aerial photography.

SEE   —  +502 2254-1114 —  Map

Hotel Spring

Double Room $22. English spoken. Situated in the colonial house, it has a nice cafeteria in the courtyard. But one annoying thing is that the entrance to the bathroom is very low, expect to bang your head at least once. It also provides internet access, but the prices are a bit steep. Apart from that clean and pleasant.


11 Calle 2-19A, Zona 10. Asian fusion cuisine, duck, ostrich, steak, shrimps, and maybe the best sushi in town. Try the Moo Shu Duck, the tuna dishes, and for dessert the bread pudding with ice cream and bourbon sauce, or the chocolate surprise. Main dish Q80-170. Expensive cocktails, Q45.

EAT   —  +502 2360-2815/35 —  Map

Quetzalroo Backpackers

Quetzalroo backpackers is a hostel located in the financial district (near the airport). And is easy to find, as it's neighbors with the McDonalds in Zona 10. The atmosphere has the laid back Aussie aspects from Jodie and the local knowledge of Manuel, who are the owners.

Hacienda Real

13 Calle 1-10, Zona 10. One of the best places for steak. Try the tortillas with guacamole, frijoles (beans) and chorizo for starters, and the steak pimienta as the main course. Main dish Q70-140. Serves a free, delicious ''caldo'' while you wait for the meal.

Real InterContinental Guatemala

Offers 160 total rooms, 48 rooms club Intercontinental, 24 business room, 6 junior suites and 1 Presidential Suite, Rooms for disabled and InterContinental Ambassador floor. In their space features 3 restaurants, gymnasia, spa, jacuzzi and pool.


For those planning a longer stay in the city. Differently sized (mostly small) apartments with kitchen. Cleaning service included. Internet connection in the reception. Washing machine. Around $600 per month (shorter stays also possible).

Museo Carlos F. Novella

Mirador Basin Museum is free and located inside a cement factory. 15 Avenida 18-01 Zona 6, Interior Finca La Pedrera. Go by cab to the front entrance and tell the guard you are visiting the Museo de la Cuenca Mirador.

SEE   —  +502 2286-4100 ext 6435 —  Map

GuateFriends Bed & Breakfast

From $18 p/p in shared rooms and $24–30 p/p in private rooms. In Zona 13, one minute from La Aurora International Airport, safe, private parking, affordable, breakfast, lunch and dinner, international foods prepared.

Jardines Botánico

First botanical garden in Central America. Houses a large variety of indigenous and exotic plant species in a mature, well-maintained facility. The garden is part of the Museum of Natural History--a operation of UCA.

ONE Restaurant+Lounge

ONE is a contemporary restaurant and lounge with an avant-garde design. 25% off from 4PM through 8PM, Monday through Friday. Wednesday and Saturday is Ladies' Night with 2x1. For RSVP: +502 5736-6117.


Visit the highlights of the city with this comprehensive and educational tour. Tours run daily, call in advance. Private transportation and tour service is available throughout the entire country.


Enormous selection of fabrics by the yard (prices from Q20-60 depending on quality/thickness). Wood, clothes, leather, ceramic, souvenirs, traditional costumes. You can also get clothes sewn there.

Academia Europea

Most of the teachers (in other languages) from this academy teach their native language. It has taken a large portion of the market for language learning because of its unique and patented system.

Casa Chapina

1 Avenida 13-42, Zona 10. Traditional Guatemalan food. If you are lucky/unlucky (depending on your preferences) you might also be treated to the traditional ''marimba'' during your meal.

Tapas y Cañas

13 Calle 7-78, Zona 10. Spanish tapas. Try ''pinchos españoles'', ''pinchos de pollo'' and ''albondigas de lomito''. You have a choice between sitting in the restaurant or in the bar.

EAT   —  +502 2367-2166 —  Map

Comfort Hostel

A new breed of personalized, first class service hostel, located at Guatemala City's most exclusive area, only 10 minutes to the airport, and 5 minutes to Zona Viva.


It is Guatemala's biggest gay club, where you can get for free if you come before 9PM. It has two floors, and shows a variety of music: from Latin beats to europop.

DRINK   —  Near 4 Grados Norte

Hostal Hermano Pedro

Free services included :airport transfer to or from La Aurora airport, breakfast and WiFi internet. Dorms and private from $17 p/p. Close to the airport.

2 Lunas Guest House

Free services included :airport transfer to or from La Aurora airport, breakfast and WiFi internet.Dorms and privates from $14 p/p. Close to the airport.

SLEEP   —  21 Calle 10-92, Zona 13

Del Tingo Al Tango

12 Calle Esquina 4-08 Z-9 You'll find some of the best "lomitos" for very comfortable prices here. Some say the best stake house for the buck in the city.

EAT   —  +502 2334-2449 —  Map

Hotel Ajau

8a av 15-62, Zona 1. . Beautiful old hotel with decorations from around Guatemala. Nice restaurant with waiters dressed in traditional costumes. Q80.

EAT   —  Map

Barceló Guatemala City

In an early booking you can get rates from $109 for a double. The hotel is set right in the heart of the city, in the main business district.

Hotel Pan American

Doubles from $60. Beautiful old hotel with decorations from around Guatemala. Nice restaurant with waiters dressed in traditional costumes.

Tre Fratelli

2 Avenida 13-25, Zona 10. . Mainly Italian food. Main dish Q40-80. Also restaurants at Unicentro, Tikal Futura, Miraflores and Las Majadas.

EAT   —  +502 2366-3164/68 —  Map

ONE Restaurant+Lounge

ONE is a contemporary restaurant and lounge with an avant-garde design. It offers Fusion Cuisine. For RSVP: +502 5736-6117.

Oakland Mall

The newest shopping mall in the city, boasting the first restaurant aquarium in Latin America going by the Nais Aquarium.

BUY   —  Diagonal 6, Zona 10

Hotel Pan-American

9 Calle 5-63, Zona 1. Noisy hotel with clean rooms, Spanish'influenced architecture, and cool tile flooring. Q60-100.

EAT   —  +502 232 6807/8/9 —  Map

Pension Meza

From $4 p/p in shared rooms and $8 p/p in private rooms. In Zona 1, near the Parque Central, safe, cheap, basic.

Hostal Los Volcanes

Dorms and privates from $15 p/p. It is located just 600 meters from airport La Aurora.

Ciudad Vieja

Doubles from $69 + taxes with continental breakfast and one free hour internet.

SLEEP   —  8 Calle 3-67, Zona 10

Hotel Mansión Imperial

Doubles from $66 + taxes with breakfast. A peaceful oasis close to Zona Viva.

SLEEP   —  15 Calle 5-85, Zona 10


Avenida La Reforma 16-01, Zona 10, local 18. The same as the ones in the USA.

EAT   —  Map

Los Alpes

Zona 10. Swiss bakery, lunch dishes at Q30-45 (a bit boring), fancy cakes.

EAT   —  +502 2331-4606 —  Map

Hotel Princess Guatemala

One mile from Aurora international airport. Free Shuttle. Rates from $89

Best Western Stofella

In the heart of Zona 10. Rates from $66, continental breakfast included.

Hiper Paiz supermarket

9 Avenida 5-30, Zona 1, just one block from the Central Market

EAT   —  Map

Inka Grill

2 Avenida 14-22, Zona 10. Peruvian food. Main dish Q45-100.

EAT   —  +502 2363-3013 —  Map

Museo Miraflores

Museum that focuses on the ancient city of Kaminaljuyú.

Pradera Concepción

In Puerta Parada, next to the road to El Salvador.

BUY   —  Map

Hiper Paiz supermarket

6 Avenida/13 Calle, Centro Capitol, Zona 1

EAT   —  Map

Los Cebollines

Plaza España, 7 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 9.

EAT   —  Map

El Gran Pavo

6 Avenida 12-72, Zona 10. Mexican food.

EAT   —  +502 2362-0608/9 —  Map

Holiday Inn

Rates from $100 in advance purchase.

Crowne Plaza Hotel

Double rooms from $95.

About Guatemala City

Guatemala City is located in the department (territorial division) of Guatemala, and it's the capital of the country. All the main highways start at Kilómetro 0, located inside Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace), in Centro Histórico (Historic Center).

Guatemala City became the capital after Antigua Guatemala had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. With a population of around 3 million people, Guatemala City is the largest and most modern city in Guatemala. It can be interesting to visit "Guate," as it is also called by the locals. Guatemala City has attractions and restaurants, often with few tourists. Sunday evenings' gatherings of hundreds of locals at the main plaza is certainly an unforgettable experience.

Source: wikivoyage