The main economic activities are the manufacturing industry (52% of the local GDP), the services sector (26%) and commerce (17%). The main manufacturing industries are related to the manufacture of electrical appliances, power generators, pharmaceutical products, household appliances, auto parts and cardboard packaging. The major agronomic activities are made up of the cultivation of corn, alfalfa and sorghum, and the rearing of cattle and goats.
It is 50 km west of the city of Santiago de Querétaro and 260 km from Mexico City.
Coming from Guadalajara you can catch ETN the Executive class service with an option of single seats and WiFi with lunch for around M$350 (pesos) (US$25) one way or a lower class first class service from Primera Plus for M$333 where you get just a free soda and cookie.
From San Miguel de Allende there is a second-class Flecha Amarilla bus every 15 minutes for M$55 and a second-class Servicios Coordinados bus (with TV and air conditioning) for M$61 once an hour. Both stop in Comonfort and Escobedo on the way. There is also a less-frequent first-class Primera Plus bus.
- Temple of the Virgen del Carmen. Built from 1802 to 1807 (neoclassical architectural construction).
- Municipal Pantheon and Museum of Mummies of Celaya. The Municipal Pantheon was the first civil cemetery in Celaya, it is one of the most important necropolises in the State; Inaugurated in the 19th century, the funerary architecture of this pantheon stands out for its diversity, and the set offers a sense of orderly disorder, between tombstones broken by the passage of time and recent structures. Next to the pantheon is the Museum of Mummies, in which 22 mummified bodies are exhibited in various rooms, where the mummification process is explained.
- House of Tithe. The Casa del Diezmo Cultural Center, formerly known as Alhóndiga, was built by the soldier Hernán Pérez Bocanegra, who had arrived with the troops of Hernán Cortés. It is a museum, municipal historical archive,and a school of arts . Its architecture stands out for its quarry lintels, its carved wooden doors and windows dating from the seventeenth century.
- Temple of San Agustín. It dates from 1609, stands out for its Plateresque decoration with Moorish reminiscence, unique and distinctive; built by the first Augustinian friars who arrived in the city in the 17th century.
- House of Culture of Celaya. It is a castle in which the house of the culture of Celaya resides. Denotes plateresque architecture and with reminiscent Moorish elements. It dates from 1609.
- Convent and Temple of San Francisco. Inside the temple you can see the baroque style and its neoclassical façade, the construction dates from 1683. It is one of the largest in the Mexican Republic. It is the second temple nationwide to house the Immaculate Conception, whose feast is celebrated every December 8.
- Ball of Water reservoir. This city icon has supplied water to portions of downtown since 1908. The tank was manufactured in Germany and assembled on site, and is unique in being assembled using rivets rather than welds. It is believed to be the only one of its kind with a spherical shape. Traditionally, locals tell visitors that it is filled with cajeta (a candy), taking them to visit the "Bola del Agua" on Sundays, the traditional day for visiting the Independencia Lane.
- Column of Independence. Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras's work, it was the first national sculpture erected to honor the Independence of Mexico. In 1822, it was built in the garden of the Historic Center.
- Museum of Celaya, Regional History. This museum has eight rooms and nine thematic axes, ranging from its pre-Hispanic past, the conformation as a town through the heraldry of its coat of arms, and the contributions of its neighborhoods to popular culture, among other topics.
- Xochipilli Park. The metropolitan park of Celaya.
- Parque Malecón Bicentenario Celaya. A boardwalk on the bank of the Laja river.
- Christmas Fair. Celaya's regional Christmas fair is held each year from December 17 to January 4 in the old "Celanese Mexicana" factory at the exit to Salvatierra to the south of the urban area.
- Club Celaya (football/soccer), Miguel Alemán Valdés Stadium. A team of the Liga de Ascenso.
Celaya is famous for the artisanal production of cajeta, a type of milk candy.
The tanned hides and skins of San Lorenzo, cardboard masks, cardboard paintings, tin, white wood and papier-mâché are worked; pyrotechnics and toys in cardboard, reed, tin and white wood. the objects are sold in the independence road there are several places where you can find wooden toys, leather belts, boots and other handicrafts.
Celaya is known for its cajeta, a typical sweet made in an artisanal way. It is prepared with goat's milk in copper saucepans. There is a great variety of flavors: envinada, pine nut, vanilla, burnt, walnut, among others. In the same way, other delicious sweets are made such as ham, caramelized peanuts, covered fruits, almond cheese, custards, alfeñiques, wafers, cocadas; and in general, the sweets made with milk, even in the water ball it was believed that inside it there was a cajeta and not water.
Other typical foods are Celaya-style tostadas, gorditas de queso y migajas from the Tierras Negras neighborhood, and pacharelas.
Celaya has become one of the 50 most violent cities in the world. In 2020, Celaya had the highest homicide rate in the country with a total of 699 homicides and a rate of 109, per 100,000 inhabitants.