Guanajuato Historical and Artistic City
Guanajuato City is one of those Mexican cities that you have to discover walking and getting lost on its tunnels and colorful streets.
My first visit to Guanajuato was many years ago and all I remember is from the old photos. But the city hasn’t changed that much and we appreciate that.
It is still a beautiful cultural and authentic Mexican city.
It is located only 4 hours from Mexico City, if you decide to take a bus it’s really easy, just go to the North Terminal Bus Station in Mexico City and you will find a lot of schedules every day.
I recommend you also visit the beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende, just 1 hour away. You will fall in love with that city, and because of its proximity, it is very easy to visit both.
I never use a car in Guanajuato, I love to get a little lost there at the alleyways (callejones), because all are different and unique. I feel that I have to discover every corner. The people are friendly and they love to share stories with the tourists about Guanajuato, they have stories of every alley.
Guanajuato City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and the first battle of the Mexican War of Independence was there. Curious thing Guanajuato means On the Hill of the Frog.
There are a lot of things to explore here, and I think this city is different for every tourist because of all the little details on the streets, at the houses, on the museums, but I want to share my favorites.
Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).
The Best Things to do in Guanajuato City
The Unique Mummy Museum
With more than 100 mummies exhumed between 1865 and 1989 this museum is “scary” and at the same time exciting. The mummies are very different from the Egyptians because they were formed naturally.
The face expressions are real and to be honest a little disturbing.
There are not only adult mummies, but also children, and the world’s youngest mummy. For me, it’s a must, but if you’re traveling with children it is something to think about it.
The Romantic Kiss Alley
This romantic alley (Callejon del Beso) is the most famous in Guanajuato because of a legend a little bit like Romeo and Juliet. The legend says that Carmen, a young woman from a wealthy family lived there and fell in love with Luis a poor miner man. Her father discovered the romance and forbade them to continue the romance. But Luis moved to the house in front and because the balconies were too close they exchanged kisses in secret. Her father found out and stabbed Carmen in the chest with a dagger.
Nowadays the couples share a kiss underneath the two balconies on the third step to stay forever in love.
Panoramic View in Guanajuato City
There is a statue of El Pípila, a War Hero from the first battle of independence. The statue is located at the top of a hill. You can take a public bus in front of the Hidalgo market, a funicular next to the Teatro Juárez or my favorite to walk a few minutes for a sloped street. It is a 360° view of the city. I love to do that at sunset, because of the wonderful view!
The charming Callejoneadas
Some tours in Guanajuato are a little different, Callejoneadas are kind of historical tours but with music. There is a group of musicians who walk on the streets of Guanajuato singing and telling stories, legends, and parts of the history of the beautiful city.
It’s a wonderful and unique experience but I see almost all are in Spanish. Just check and ask for one in English, it really entertaining.
The International Cervantino Festival
The Festival takes place each fall in Guanajuato, it started in 1953 with short plays written by Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quijote.
In 1972 was founded The Coloquio Cervantino.
Nowadays the festival brought thousands of artists from many countries; acts include Theatre, Film, Literature, Opera, Music, Dance, Streets art, Visual arts and many other artistic events inside and outside.
If you have the chance to visit Guanajuato during the Festival Great!, just keep in mind that tickets and hotel rooms should be booked in advance.
Don Quijote de la Mancha Museum
The museum was funded by a collector with more than 850 things related to Don Quijote de la Mancha, a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes.
I love Don Quijote and I enjoyed the museum. It is cheap so if you can visit it, you will love it.
It was built between 1873 and 1903 and it was inaugurated by President Porfirio Díaz. At the event, the Opera Aída by Giuseppe Verdi was the jewel.
I love the theater at night, it is beautiful and I try to imagine all the artists over the years. Visit it, the inside is incredible, it doesn’t matter the event; it worth it just to admire the theater inside.
The beautiful Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato
It was built between 1671 and 1696, Baroque style and an important place for the Festival Internacional Cervantino.
I think is so beautiful outside but it’s more impressive on the inside.
Where to stay and eat in Guanajuato City Mexico
My favorite hotel in Guanajuato is a Castle and it’s not that expensive and yes, it is Wonderful! Santa Cecilia Castle is an amazing hotel where you can feel the experience of the golden years of Guanajuato. It is not far from the center of the city but certainly, it is more quiet and peaceful so you will sleep like a Queen or a King.
If you choose any other hotel closer to the center you will find beautiful boutique hotels, hostels or old beautiful hotels too. Just keep in mind that it could be noisy at night because of the Callejoneadas, just ask the hotel before.
And talking about food I truly can’t recommend you places, because there are a lot of delicious options, Mexican food, International or a great variety of local food everywhere. The street food is also delicious and very good prices. But you know Mexico is an easy place to eat for those who love food, like me!
I promised you will love Guanajuato as much as I do. Enjoy it and try to explore all you want, forget about time and have the wonderful Mexican old city experience.