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What is Guanajuato Known For? Things to Do in Guanajuato Mexico

What is Guanajuato known for? The Mexican state is home to some of Mexico’s beautiful Pueblos Magicos (Magic Towns), including the capital, Guanajuato City. Guanajuato’s history, architecture, and silver mines make the city one of Mexico’s 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Planning a trip can be overwhelming with so many things to do in Guanajuato Mexico. You came to the right place! I’m sharing what to do in Guanajuato and places to visit in Guanajuato for an unforgettable vacation.

Spanish miners founded Guanajuato during the colonial era, making it one of the oldest settlements in North America. Many local artisans produce silver jewelry and other crafts in Guanajuato shops called “tianguis.” From the beautiful scenery to the rich culture, there’s something new to discover in Guanajuato with every visit.

This guide to Guanajuato things to do highlights must-see activities and cities in Guanajuato Mexico to help you plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Guanajuato ToursClick here to check out the top Guanajuato tours
Best Guanajuato Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Guanajuato
Best Guanajuato Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Guanajuato

Top Things to Do in Guanajuato Mexico

1. Wander the Streets

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico

Guanajuato is filled with narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and public parks, making wandering around one of the best Guanajuato things to do.

You can tour the historic center, a National Historic Monument, visit El Jardin (Jardin de la Union), the central plaza of Guanajuato City, or explore the city’s famous murals. These artistic murals are scattered throughout the city, especially in La Bufa, where many artists have decorated walls throughout the neighborhood.

2. Take a Food Tour

Guanajuato street food tour

What is Guanajuato known for? Delicious street food! There’s no better way to experience the local cuisine than a guided street food tour.

On a Guanajuato street food tour, you’ll visit the area’s best restaurants and try traditional dishes made with local ingredients. You’ll learn how Guanajuato has been influenced by many cultures over time, which is reflected in its cuisine. Food tours are also great for meeting new people from around the world and tasting what makes this city so unique. I did this tour on my last visit to Guanajuato and loved it!

3. Catch a Show at the Theater

Cultural and artistic activities are always an excellent way to spend time in Guanajuato. There are many Guanajuato theaters, including Teatro Juárez and Teatro Principal. I suggest catching a musical or theatrical performance for an evening of lively entertainment.

4. Visit the Momias Museum

Things to do in Guanajuato, Mexico

Museo de las Momias (the Mummy Museum) is one of the most unique things to do in Guanajuato Mexico. However, this activity isn’t exactly family-friendly, as the collection includes mummified fetuses and babies, which young ones might find frightening.

The mummies displayed in the museum are not ancient but from the turn of the last century. These naturally mummified bodies were interred during a cholera outbreak that took place in the Guanajuato area in 1833.

While the museum is weird and creepy, the experience is fascinating and educational (if you can stomach it).

5. Explore the University of Guanajuato

The University of Guanajuato, established in 1732, is the oldest in Mexico and one of Latin America’s most historic. You can tour the university grounds to learn about its lengthy history and influences on the Guanajuato area.

6. Take Pictures at Callejón del Beso

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico

Historic Callejón del Beso is one of the best places to visit in Guanajuato, famous for its cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture. The narrow alleyway is filled with brightly colored buildings, making it a popular city spot to take Instagram pictures.

7. Attend a Callejoneada

Guanajuato's Callejoneadas

Attending a Callejoneada is my top recommendation for what to do in Guanajuato with family. They’re always a blast! This time-honored tradition occurs daily, with performances starting around 6:30 p.m.

You must buy a ticket from one of the street sellers for the performance time you want—prices are between $100 and 150 pesos each. Many people sell tickets around the Central Park area by the theater. You must return to this area at the allotted time for your Callejoneadas experience.

I didn’t know any of the songs as a non-Mexican, but it was still a lot of fun. You sing, dance, and take a short tour of the city, stopping along the way for beers, stories, and many laughs.

This is one of my favorite ways to immerse myself in Guanajuato’s nightlife scene. Every night is a party in Guanajuato!

8. Enjoy the Views From the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico
Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato

The beautiful baroque Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato is one of the oldest churches in Mexico, making it a top pick among things to do in Guanajuato Mexico. This basilica is famous for its ornate interior and cultural and religious significance. The church is located in the Plaza de la Paz and was officially named a basilica in 1957.

9. Make Your Way to Cristo Rey Viewpoint

cristo rey guanajuato

Cristo Rey Viewpoint provides a breathtaking view of cities in Guanajuato Mexico, like the capital of Guanajuato City.

Getting to the top takes effort, but it’s worth it! We drove up in our car, and I was pretty nervous as it got steep in some areas. Thankfully, parking was easy at the top, and I was grateful I didn’t have to ride up on a bus.

The easiest way to get to the viewpoint without a car is to take a guided tour. You will see tours to Cristo Rey advertised around Guanajuato—most are the same price. While you can take the public bus, it’s much longer and not worth the savings.

Once at Cristo Rey, the view is stunning, and you’ll wonder how on earth they got the viewpoint’s giant statue up that hill!

10. Take the Funicular to La Pipila

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico
La Pipila

Visiting the La Pipila monument is one of the most fun and scenic Guanajuato things to do. The Guanajuato Funicular provides a cheap and scenic way to climb the hillside to the Monumento Al Pipila.

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico

The park also has amazing city views from above!

11. Treat Yourself to a Spa

A spa treatment is another must on your list of things to do in Guanajuato Mexico. Relaxing in a spa after a long day of exploring is always a good idea! For those wanting a luxurious experience, I recommend Sense, A Rosewood Spa. This magical place is surrounded by a tropical forest, creating a serene environment. For something more affordable, try Shanti San Miguel, which offers massages at a very reasonable price.

12. Photograph Calle de Sopeña

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico

Of all the cities in Guanajuato Mexico, Calle de Sopeña is likely the area’s most picturesque street. Taking your photo at this local landmark is an incredible experience you can’t miss. Calle de Sopeña has restaurants and bars, so you can grab a drink while watching the street performers and artists.

13. Learn Local History at Calle Subterranean

Calle Subterranean is an underground passageway from the central plaza to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato. I love bringing first-time visitors here because it’s a great place to learn about local history without traffic or crowds. This underground street is perfect to explore at night when illuminated with beautiful bright lights.

What to Wear in Guanajuato

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Quick Tip: View my full Mexico packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Mexico Essentials shopping list here.

14. Enjoy Art at the Diego Rivera Museum

The Diego Rivera Museum showcases the work of famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera, who was also Frida Kahlo’s husband. This museum highlights Diego’s murals, which are displayed throughout the city. It also features temporary exhibits from other artists and photographers influenced by his style, so there’s always something to see.

15. Admire Iglesia de San Diego

Built around 1663, Templo de San Diego is Guanajuato’s first monastery. Unfortunately, the original church was destroyed in a giant flood. The monastery once attached to the church was never rebuilt, but the remaining structure is magnificent.

16. Explore Templo de San Francisco

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico
Templo de san francisco

Built by Franciscan monks in 1741, Templo de San Francisco is home to picture-perfect frescos. A small on-site museum educates visitors on the people who once lived there. Templo de San Francisco is the ideal combination of art, architecture, and history.

17. Go Shopping at Mercado Hidalgo

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico
Mercado Hidalgo

Visit Mercado Hidalgo for delicious street food stalls and restaurants selling traditional dishes such as sopes (tortillas topped with meat or cheese) and guacamole. Mercado Hidalgo is one of the best things to do in Guanajuato for foodies eager to sample authentic Mexican food. You can also shop for everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts and clothing at Mercado Hidalgo.

18. Enjoy Fresh Air at Plaza de la Paz

Check out Plaza de la Paz to enjoy unique and striking city views from above. Most locals gather in this Plaza for lunch or fresh air during the day. It’s also home to a monument designed by Mexican artist Jesús Contreras that memorializes the Mexican War. Plaza de la Paz is at the top of the list regarding can’t-miss Guanajuato things to do.

19. Learn History at Alhóndiga de Granadita

Alhóndiga de Granadita is where the first victory for Mexico’s independence occurred in 1821. Alhóndiga translates roughly from Arabic and Spanish as “grain market” or “warehouse.” This building was once used for grain storage but now serves as an event space for weddings, dances, and concerts.

20. Drink an Affogato in El Horla

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico

el horla affogato

You must swing by El Horla for an affogato—a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with hot espresso. Trust me, this ice cream drink is the perfect way to cool off after your day of exploring! El Horla is one of the most famous cafés to sit back, relax, and people-watch.

21. Ride the Tourist Trolley

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico
tourist trolley

The best way to explore Guanajuato City is by foot, but you can ride on the city’s tourist trolley for a less strenuous experience. Enjoy the fresh air as you learn about the top places to visit in Guanajuato and get local insight into how the city has changed and developed over time.

22. Relax at a Cantina

Do you need a break from all the walking around? Rest your feet and quench your thirst with a drink at one of the city’s many cantinas. They are incredible places to kick back and enjoy local brews while listening to live music or watching folk dancers.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

23. Have a Drink at the Embarcadero Overlooking the Dam

Things to do in Guanajuato Mexico
The embarcadero

The Embarcadero is a fantastic spot to get fresh air and watch the boats pass. You can also grab a cocktail here to sip while watching the sunset. If you’ve just eaten dinner but aren’t ready to return home for the night, swing by the Embarcadero for an evening drink.

Where to Stay in Guanajuato


Hotel Ex-Hacienda San Xavier
Villa Maria Cristina Hotel
Casona Alonso 10


Casa del Rector Hotel Boutique
1850 Hotel Boutique
Edelmira Hotel Boutique
Quinta Las Acacias Hotel Boutique

Hotel Corazon Mexicano
El Meson de los Poetas
Hotel Santa Rita
Hotel Boutique Ponciano

Hotel Casa Morada Guanajuato
Hotel Hacienda Morales
Casa del Temezcuitate
Hotel Socavon

Guanajuato Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Guanajuato?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Mexico which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Mexico on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Guanajuato?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Guanajuato?

First and foremost check out all of the amazing Mexico tours Where Sidewalks End has. They are a small local company and they have some really special experiences.

For everything else I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide

If you are traveling to Cancun you can use GoCity and save up to 55% of the initial cost of entrance tickets to various museums, tours, and attractions!

If you are traveling to Playa del Carmen then I recommend booking through my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel. You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours). You can also send her a WhatsApp message quoting the above codes to receive the discount.

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Best Things to Do in Guanajuato Mexico: Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide has given you a glimpse of all the incredible Guanajuato things to do! Guanajuato is one of Mexico’s most colorful and lively cities, with a unique charm that can’t be found elsewhere. You’ll be enamored with the city’s culture and history from the moment you arrive.

You’ll fall head over heels for Guanajuato’s labyrinth of cobblestone streets, surrounded by colorful buildings and endless delicious food. With my recommendations for what to do in Guanajuato, you’ll have no trouble creating the perfect itinerary of things to do in Guanajuato.

A smiling woman posing on a street in Guanajuato City, Mexico, with text overlay reading "best things to do Guanajuato, Mexico" from