24 Things to Do and See in Guanajuato + FREE Map

share this article

posted by Shelley | last updated February 18, 2021


Looking for the best things to do in Guanajuato, Mexico?

This top Mexico travel destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site has hundreds — but let’s start by exploring the 24 most beautiful things to see in Guanajuato City, the capital of Guanajuato state.

🎁 BONUS: These 24 are all pinned to a handy Guanajuato, Mexico Map for you.

Nowadays, I think we can all agree sharing travel photos with our friends, family and followers is one of the fun parts of traveling. If you’re looking to spread some Guanajuato travel love onto your social media feeds, you’re in the right place.

You’ve also come to the right guide. 👋 I’m Shelley, I’ve been traveling solo all over Mexico since April 2018, documenting the journey along the way via Instagram! I combined my love of Mexico and of sharing photos to create this Ultimate Guide to Guanajuato, one of the most instagram worthy places in Mexico.

Ready to discover the 24 most the beautiful places to see in Guanajuato? Let’s get to it. After you check out the things see, do and eat, keep scrolling for a Guanajuato Mexico travel guide, to learn everything you need to know about visiting gorgeous Guanajuato.

PIN THIS FOR LATER

find the info you need

Visiting Guanajuato, Mexico

Your FREE Guanajuato Map

From the Guanajuato Mummy Museum to the Alley of the Kiss, this map will get you to all the best things to see in Guanajuato. Please use it as your personal tour guide to discover the prettiest photography spots in Guanajuato. Your FREE Guanajuato Map

Guanajuato Tours

As you can see on the map above, there are quite a few places to visit and see in the most beautiful city in Mexico. If you prefer a guided Guanajuato tour, be it a food tour, city walking tour or even hiring a photographer to take the photos for you, there are several tours in Guanajuato to choose from.

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $20 OFF your first Airbnb Experience.

Guanajuato Things to Do & See

Best Guanajuato Streets

1. Alley of the Kiss

El Callejon del Beso (The Alley of the Kiss) is located on a narrow, winding alleyway. You’ll find it just behind the Plaza de Los Angeles on a quiet, narrow, cobblestone street.

If there was ever a Mexican Romeo & Juliet story, it took place on these two balconies with a tale of two star-crossed lovers from many years ago.

Nowadays, visitors recreate their kisses across these two nearly-touching balconies in the Guanajuato Alley of the Kiss, a must see Guanajuato sightseeing stop.

Best things to do in Guanajuato: Visit the Callejon del Beso Guanajuato. | Photo: Gilles Frechette

The story of the alley of the kiss

According to legend, the daughter of a wealthy Guanajuato family had a bedroom window overlooking the alley. Gazing out of her window one day, she spotted a handsome young man. The two eventually fell madly in love, though sadly, their love was forbidden because he didn’t come from a wealthy family.

To keep their romance a secret, the young man rented a room in the building next to hers. The balconies from their two rooms were so close they nearly touched, and this proximity provided the loophole they needed so they could kiss from across the balconies and still remain in their respective homes.

Unfortunately, the girl’s father eventually found out, and similar to Romeo & Juliet, this story had a tragic ending. Today, however, the legacy of their love lives on. Each week, thousands visit the balconies in The Alley of the Kiss to photograph themselves kissing like these star-crossed lovers once did.

Narrow, colorful alleyway

Things to do IN GUANAJUATO

2. Calle del Truco

According to Guanajuato legend, this street is haunted, so you might want to explore it during the day! It is said the ghost of a man named Martín, who lost his fortune and then committed suicide, wanders this street, the very one the casino (AKA truco, or “trick house”) he lost everything in once stood.

Guanajuato actually has several legends like this one and the legend of the Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss); both may or may not be true. One thing’s for certain, though, the Calle del Truco is one of the nicest streets in Guanajuato.

🍽🍷 Pro Tip: After strolling this street for a bit, head to Truco 7, one of the best Guanajuato restaurants.

Best things to see in Guanajuato: Stroll the beautiful Calle del Trruco, one of the prettiest streets in Guanajuato.

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

3. Calle De Sopeña

Another one of the most beautiful streets in Guanajuato, if you spent about an hour leisurely walking the Calle de Sopeña, you’d see a good amount of the top sites in Guanajuato. Start your walk at the Jardin de la Union and walk until the street ends at the Templo de San Francisco.

Best things to see in Guanajuato: Head to Calle de Sopeña to see some festive papel picado, the colorful Mexican folk art flags. | Photo: Más Guanajuato

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

4. Calle Subterreanea

There is almost a second Guanajuato right under the city itself. Guanajuato was once a bustling mining town, and has a system of complex tunnels and underground passageways. Both cars and pedestrians used the Guanajuato tunnels to get around the city today.

📍 The pin on the map marked “Calle Subterranea” (Underground Street), will lead you to one of Guanajuato’s most instagrammable tunnel entrances, though there are several others.

Entryway to a tunnel street
Best things to do in Guanajuato: Check out Guanajuato’s many underground streets and tunnels.

Best Guanajuato Museums & Monuments

5. Guanajuato Mummy Museum

The Museo de las Momias (Museum of the Mummies) is a top attraction and one of the most popular places to visit in Guanajuato. While this museum might not be for everyone since the 100 mummies of Guanajuato are real human bodies, it is a unique experience you can only have here.

story behind the Guanajuato MUMMIES

From about 1850-1950, Guanajuato’s government enforced a “grave tax” on all buried bodies. If the relatives of the deceased failed to pay the tax for three consecutive years, the government had the body exhumed.

Given Guanajuato’s extremely dry soil, the bodies stayed well preserved. By the time the government stopped the grave tax, the city had so many mummified bodies that they decided to create a museum.

mummy
mummies
mummified human body

How to get to the Guanajuato Mummy Museum

Guanajuato Mummy Museum Address: Explanada del Panteón Municipal s/n, Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico

Walk: The museum is close enough to Downtown Guanajuato to walk. If you walk, keep in mind that Guanajuato is a hilly town, and this is a mildly-strenuous uphill walk.

Bus: Catch the public bus marked Las Momias (The Mummies) along Avenida Juarez (Juarez Ave.) in downtown. The bus costs about $10 pesos (50¢) each way.

Uber/Taxi: The third option is to take an Uber or a taxi. From Downtown Guanajuato, this should cost no more than $100 pesos ($5USD) each way.


Best things to do in Guanajuato: Visit the El Pipila Monument located atop a hill overlooking all of Guanajuato. | Photo: pegatina1
THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

6. Monumento al Pipila

If you want cityscape shots and panoramic views of Guanajuato, the Monumento al Pipila is your place. This monument is a tribute to a local Guanajuato hero named Juan José de los Reyes Martínez Amaro, AKA “El Pipila,” one of the major heroes in Mexican folk tales.

💡 Pro Tip: The views from the monument are better during the day than at night.

Guanajuato funicular

The climb to the Pipila Monument is easy and should take less than 15 minutes. However, you can also take the Guanajuato Funicular (cable car) up for a unique experience and some amazing city views along the way.


THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

7. Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera

Located outside of Downtown Guanajuato, but just an Uber ride away, is this beautiful ex-hacienda-turned-museum. Stepping into the Museo Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera is like going back in time, and every inch of this property is incredibly picturesque.

Opened as a museum in 1979, Captain Gabriel de Barrera’s grand hacienda still features many of the opulent European period furnishings from when his family lived there. Spend some time wandering the gardens, eating at the cafe, and taking in the opulence of this fully-restored hacienda.

🎨👩‍🎨 Take the Watercolor at the Botanical Garden Tour at this hacienda! The gardens are so beautiful, many go there to spend a relaxing day painting them.

Best things to do in Guanajuato: Located outside of Downtown Guanajuato, but worth the trek, pay a visit to this traditional Mexican hacienda. | Photo: dory_kanter

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

8. Diego Rivera Museum

Beautiful Guanajuato has been a haven for artists and creative types for some time, including one of Mexico’s most famous artists, Diego Rivera.

The muralist and mosaic artist, and Frida Kahlo’s husband, was actually born in Guanajuato in 1886.

The small Museo y Casa de Diego Rivera (Diego Rivera House & Museum) has some sketches and paintings by Rivera, displayed in the home where he grew up.

💡Pro Tip: The museum is closed on Mondays; as are most museums in Mexico.

Best things to see in Guanajuato: Visit the ex-home of famed Mexican artist, Diego Rivera. | Photo: Calvin Faunus

Best Guanajuato Churches & Buildings

9. Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato

The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato is instafamous, and the big yellow church you see in so many Guanajuato photos. Though the outside is more photographed, the inside is very beautiful as well. While it is ok to take photos inside Mexican churches, do remain respectful and quiet while inside.

RELATED BLOG 📸 How to Get Awesome Solo Travel Photos + 5 Free Presets

large yellow church and a statue in front of it in a small park
Best things to see in Guanajuato: Check out the beautiful Our Lady of Guanajuato Church. | Photo: Gerardo Vallejo

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

10. Templo de San Diego

Guanajuato’s second most photographed church! The Templo de San Diego (Saint Diego’s Temple) has a very picturesque red dome, but also a churrigueresque style façade. It’s really almost two photos ops in one, thanks to the temple’s red dome and pink entryway.

Churrigueresque is commonly seen in the architecture of Mexico’s old colonial mining towns. In fact, Guanajuato was once one of the largest silver mining towns in all of Mexico.

The temple is located right next to Teatro Juarez, the next instagrammable Guanajuato spot.


THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

11. Teatro Juarez

Teatro Juarez (Juarez Theater) is among the most iconic of Guanajuato’s grand buildings. This historic theater dates back to the late-19th century, and still hosts live productions to this day.

It is most associated with one of Mexico’s largest festivals, the International Cervantino Festival, an annual music/theater/art festival takes place in mid-October. Mexico’s famed Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) immediately follows the Cervantino, making October-November two of Guanajuato’s liveliest months.

RELATED BLOG 🌺💀🌺 Day of the Dead in Oaxaca: Everything You Need to Know

grand theater building with statues of men on top
Best things to see in Guanajuato: Beautiful inside and outside, don’t miss the Juarez Theater.

PLACES TO VISIT IN GUANAJUATO

12. University of Guanajuato

Guanajuato has many colleges and universities, but none more beautiful than the Universidad de Guanajuato. The school’s dramatic main entrance has 133 steps leading to the entry door. This grand entryway makes for a beautiful backdrop, and a nice place to sit for a while and people-watch. 

grand white college building
Best things to do in Guanajuato: Walk up the grand staircase leading into the University of Guanajuato.

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

13. Templo de San Francisco

As with most Mexican churches, the Templo de San Francisco is just as beautiful inside as outside. If you do want to take photos inside, just remember to stay quiet and act respectful when doing so. There are also several sculptures on the streets around the church that make for beautiful photos.

grand peach colored Mexican church
Best things to see in Guanajuato: Visit the San Francisco Temple, one of the prettiest churches in Guanajuato.

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

14. Casa del Conde Rul (Museum)

Located just in front of the Plaza de la Paz, the neoclassical Casa de Conde Rul (House of Count Rul) is one of the most emblematic of Guanajuato’s buildings. The once-home to Count Diego Rul and Doña Ignacia Obregon in the 1800s, is now an art museum.

Best things to do in Guanajuato: The Casa del Conde Rul | Photo: Karla Museos

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

15. Mercado Hidalgo

The largest traditional Mexican mercado (market) in Downtown Guanajuato is a fun, lively place to eat and buy souvenirs. As the market caters to both locals and visitors, you’ll find most of the shopping upstairs, separated from the lower part with groceries and foods.

🤤 Pro Tip: For authentic, cheap eats in Guanajuato, the Hidalgo Market is a great choice.


Best Guanajuato Gardens & Plazas

16. Jardin de la Union (Union Garden)

Located just in front of the Templo de San Diego, this triangular-shaped plaza is lined with restaurants, bars and cafes on two sides. Its third side opens onto the very instagrammable Calle De Sopeña (De Sopeña Street).

Jardin de la Union (Union Garden) is the perfect place to people-watch, listen to live music from street musicians, buy souvenirs from local vendors and sample some Guanajuato street food.

beautiful garden with large trees in a colonial city

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

17. Plaza de la Paz

Located just next to the The Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato church is the equally beautiful Plaza de la Paz (Peace Plaza). This plaza’s outdoor street cafes and old buildings look like they’re straight out of Europe, and make for a nice place to people-watch next to the iconic church.


THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

18. Plazuela San Fernando

This is perhaps Guanajuato’s most instagrammable plaza. In fact, many artists come here to paint and draw it. There are some cute cafes, bars and restaurants here for when you need a walking break. Plaza San Fernando is also great for people-watching.

💡Note: This Guanajuato City square is called both Plazuela San Fernando and Plaza San Fernando.


THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

19. Plaza San Roque

In Plaza San Roque, you’ll find the San Roque Temple, as well as one of the prettiest house in Guanajuato City. This historic church dates back to 1726. The inside is very beautiful, but remember to remain quiet and respectful to worshippers inside when photographing it.

You’ll also find the instafamous Guanajuato flower pot house in this plaza. If you’re standing facing the San Roque Temple, the house is just to your right. Do note that this is a private residence, so be respectful of the homeowners by not climbing the stairs.

RELATED BLOG 📸 How to Get Awesome Solo Travel Photos + 5 Free Presets


THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

20. Plaza de Los Angeles

Located outside of Downtown Guanajuato, but worth the trip, is this beautiful ex-hacienda-turned-museum. Stepping into the Museo Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera is like going back in time, and every inch of this property is incredibly picturesque.

Opened as a museum in 1979, Captain Gabriel de Barrera’s grand hacienda still features many of the opulent European period furnishings from when his family lived there. Spend some time wandering the gardens, eating at the cafe, and taking in the opulence of this well-preserved home. 

Best things to do in Guanajuato: The usually-lively Plaza del los Angeles is great for taking photos and people watching.

Best Guanajuto Restaurants & Bars

21. Santo Cafe

In a city famous for quaint alleyways and pretty balconies, Santo Café stands out by having both. This cafe is one of Guanajuato’s most instafamous eateries, so if you want this iconic balcony shot, arrive right when they open to avoid a long wait time, as there are only than four tables on the small balcony.

RELATED BLOG ☕️🥐 Eating Alone While Traveling: How to Overcome Your Fear

Cafe on a balcony
Best things to do in Guanajuato: Enjoy an al fresco meal at Santo Cafe as you watch the people walk by.

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

22. Estacion Gelato

Estacion Gelato (Gelato Station) is an adorable little gelato shop with a cute balcony to take photos on. Their rooftop is a great place to enjoy your gelato while you take in some nice city views.

Woman eating ice cream alone at a cafe

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

23. La Clave Azul Restaurant

This restaurant is a hidden gem, with many other hidden gems inside! The decor is a quirky-chic collection of antique treasures and the outside is quintessential Guanajuato gorgeous.

La Clave Azul Restaurante Taberna (The Blue Key) is perfect for drinks, tapas and photos. Head there from 2pm-5:30pm for Happy Hour when you get free drinks with your tapas orders.

🗺 Pro Tip: La Clave Azul Guanajuato is located at Segunda De Cantaritos 31, nestled in an alley just off Plaza San Fernando.

Blue walled entryway to a restaurant
Best things to do in Guanajuato: Have drinks and tapas at La Clave Azul restaurant, and look for hidden treasures inside.

THINGS TO DO IN GUANAJUATO

24. Mezcal Bar el Fusilado

The Cantina El Fusilado Mezcal Bar is worth the 15-20 minute drive from Downtown Guanajuato. This mezcalería (mezcal bar) is a locals’ favorite for its many types of mezcal, and old school Mexican cantina vibes.

As you can see in the photo, the outside of this bright blue building with its flowering trees, is also quite beautiful.

In fact, this part of Guanajuato, located outside of the tourist zone is quite pretty and will give you an off the beaten path Guanajuato City experience.

Best things to do in Guanajuato: Drink some mezcal at El Fusilado Cantina. | Photo: El Fusilado

Guanajuato Travel Guide

1. Is Guanajuato safe for travel?

Short answer: Yes!

Longer answer: As with much of Mexico, the tourist zones in Guanajuato are quite safe. If you’re sticking to Guanajuato City, San Miguel de Allende, the Dolores Hidalgo pueblo magico (magic town), and the neighboring state of Queretero, you’re in for a lovely trip.

💃 Don’t just take it from me! Check out Jessica’s story of safe solo travel in Guanajuato.

As no place on Earth is 100% safe, you’ll want to follow the 10 General Travel Safety Tips below — you know, the same ones you’d follow when traveling anywhere on Earth. You should also register for the STEP Program and put your mind at ease with travel insurance.

Mexico Travel Insurance

Wondering Should I get travel insurance for Mexico?

The answer is of course yes, it will give you an added level of security and peace of mind during these strange travel times.

Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling. If Mexico and Oaxaca travel safety are on your mind, get your free quote below from World Nomads, one of the biggest names in travel insurance.

10 General Travel Safety Tips
  1. Don’t walk home alone at night if you can help it; take a taxi.
  2. Always listen to your intuition because your intuition is always right.
  3. If you get a sketchy or uneasy feeling about a person or place, get away from that person or place immediately. If you feel you’re in danger, don’t worry about making a kind, nice, or politically correct exit from a creepy person or bad situation — Just get away ASAP.
  4. Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket.
  5. Learn some basic Spanish. If you can’t learn it, save the infographic below as an image on your phone so you have something to use even if you’re off-WiFi.
  6. Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch your things.
  7. Speaking of bar neighbors, don’t take drinks from strangers and/or leave your drink unattended near one.
  8. Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.
  9. Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.
  10. This should be a no brainer since you’re traveling during a pandemic, but get Travel Insurance!
List of useful spanish words and phrases
PIN THIS FOR LATER

Register for the STEP Program

Make sure you enroll in the FREE STEP Program before your trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In Tulum, that’s the Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen.

After you’ve registered, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home, in the event of an emergency while abroad.

Do I need to speak Spanish to visit Guanajuato?

If you stick to the popular areas of Guanajuato City, most tour operators and people in the service industry will speak English. However, when venturing off the beaten path in Guanajuato, you can expect little to no English.

However, it is good manners to learn at last some basic Spanish when traveling to Oaxaca. 🎧 Listen to Episode 13 of the podcast as travel blogger Elizabeth talk about how she learned eight languages, and gives great tips for how to learn language basics in easy, fun ways.

If learning Spanish isn’t in the cards for you, #NoJudgement! Pin and/or save the infographic below on your phone so you’ll always have the words and phrases you need, even if you’re off-WiFi.

List of useful spanish words and phrases
PIN THIS FOR LATER


🇲🇽 Need Mexico travel safety info? This is the podcast for you!


2. Do I need a visa for Mexico?

No, U.S. passport holders don’t need a visa to travel to Mexico. This is just one reason Mexico is one of the best travel destinations for Americans.

When you arrive in Mexico and go through Customs and Immigration, you’ll receive a 180-day (6 month) FMM tourist visa. This is a small piece of paper that you need to hold on to so you can give it back to an Immigration officer when you leave the country, so don’t lose your FMM!

3. How do I travel to Guanajuato?

The closest airport to Guanajuato is Bajio/Guanajuato International Airport (code: BJM), located less than 45 minutes away from Downtown Guanajuato by Uber, taxi or rental car.

As this is a smaller airport, you might not find direct flights to Guanajuato, but you can connect through nearly all major Mexico airports.

You can also take a luxury-class ADO bus from Mexico City to Guanajuato, which takes about five hours, or from Guadalajara, at closer to four hours.

4. Best time to visit Guanajuato?

Guanajuato and central Mexico have what’s known as “eternal spring” weather, so this part of the country has pleasant temperatures year-round. Guanajuato’s rainy season lasts from June-September, and then tourism picks back up in October for the Cervantino Festival, followed by Day of the Dead.

Guanajuato Weather

5. Best Guanajuato Airbnbs

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $65 OFF your first Airbnb booking.

6. What do I pack for Guanajuato?

Guanajuato has warmer days and cooler nights all year-long. As far as how to dress, Mexicans are modest dressers, so pants/jeans with long sleeved tops are the norm. However, sundresses, flowy, breathable, cotton, and light-colored clothing work for the warmer days; but at night, you’ll want pants and a jacket.

🧳 Related Blog: The Ultimate Packing List for Mexico + FREE Printable Checklist

🧳 FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

Wondering exactly what to pack for Guanajuato and all of Mexico? Download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below — it covers both Mexico beach packing and packing for Mexico cities, like Guanajuato.

This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers everything you’ll want to bring, and more importantly, what not to bring to Mexico.


Have questions about Guanajuato?

If there’s anything that wasn’t covered, please ask away in the comments below!


Enjoy these related blogs!


Please join me on my Solo Travel & Mexico Travel adventures


¡Hola Chicas!

I’m Shelley, a former Miami travel magazine editor who ditched the office for the world!

I started this Blog and Podcast to help women like you cross Solo travel and Mexico travel off your bucket list… READ MORE

podcast cover-woman on a colorful colonial street

A solo travel podcast

meets Mexico travel podcast

🎧 Click to Listen Now

         

Affiliate disclosure

This page may contain affiliate links, meaning when you make a purchase, I make a small commission. Affiliate links cost you nothing, and help keep my content free! It’s a win-win for us both 👯‍♀️ READ MORE

Best Solo Female Travel Podcast: Dream To Destination

Best Solo Female Travel Podcast: Dream To Destination

Looking for a Solo Female Travel Podcast?  You’ve found it — the Dream To Destination podcast is a solo travel podcast meets Mexico travel podcast… and sometimes, a podcast about solo travel in Mexico. Tune in each Monday, when host Shelley and guests discuss...

I’d L❤️VE to hear from you!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest