capital city of Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato is a city in the Bajio region of central Mexico and is the capital city of the state bearing the same name. It is 390 km (about 250 miles) northwest of Mexico City. The name of the city means "Place of Frogs" in the local indigenous language and therefore the frog is the city's official pet.

View of Guanajuato

Guanajuato is a beautiful mountain colonial town. Many tourists and locals consider this city to be the most beautiful in Mexico. It used to be a major silver mining town, and many of the mines are still active. The city is built on very hilly ground, so virtually every point in the city is on a slant. The city has a network of underground tunnels that serve as roads making this place unique in the world. In 2020, it was home to 195,000 people.



Unlike other Mexican cities that have an exact date of foundation, Guanajuato was the result of miner camping sites after silver veins were discovered between 1540 and 1558 and that eventually lead to a larger settlement. In 1558 a big silver vein was discovered in Guanajuato and produced nearly a third of all silver in the world by the next 250 years. The city was granted its city status in 1741 by Spanish King Philip V. Mining brought wealth to this town that spread towards its architecture and lifestyle.

Climate chart (explanation)
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Imperial conversion
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The historic town of Guanajuato and adjacent mines were granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1987. The city is a major point on the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (also a   UNESCO World Heritage Site). The city has been ranked by several travel magazines as one of the top travel destinations in the world.

Get in


By plane

  • 1 Aeropuerto Internacional de Guanajuato (Aeropuerto del Bajio BJX  IATA) (at Km 5.5 along the Carretera Silao-León (Mexico Hwy 45), half way between Leon & Silao in the Silao municipality, 48 km northwest of Guanjuato City). The major airport for Guanajuato state serving Guanajuato, Irapuato, Leon, San Miguel de Allende and Silao. If booking a ticket or researching the fare on an airline or an aggregate site be sure to look for "Leon" or "Leon/Bajio" instead of "Guanajuato" as you will not find it under "Guanajuato".    

Most flights offered are domestic, with limited international services to and from the U.S. Scheduled flights are available with:

Alternatively if you're flying from Europe, Canada, Caribbean or South America you can fly through Mexico City located 319 km to the southeast and take a bus or a flight from there. Primera Plus operates direct buses from Mexico City's airport to Queretaro where passengers transfer to another bus to continue to Guanajuato City or to San Miguel de Allende.

Public transport to downtown Guanajuato from the Airport

As of January 2024, there are no buses from the airport itself to Guanajuato city, only to Leon. You can take a bus into Leon, then catch another one to Guanajuato, but this is rather indirect. There's a ticket window and waiting room in a small building just outside of the airport terminal, which you'll see to your right when you exit into the parking lot.

Alternatively you can take other buses passing by the highway which may be cheaper but are slower:

Step 1: exit the airport, cross the large parking lot and exit through the front gate, here you will see a huge highway about 200 meters ahead and several ramps. Just keep to the right and walk to the large highway running parallel to the airport. Once there turn right and start walking along the highway for about 200 meters more, until you reach a green colored pedestrian overpass. Cross the overpass and about 50 meters in front of the stairs as you go down, there is a purple-colored little unmarked bus stop. Wait here for the bus going to "Silao".

Step 2: catch the local bus to Silao (M$8-10). It will take you to Silao bus station in about 10 minutes.

Step 3: At the Silao bus station buy a ticket to Guanajuato on Primera Plus (M$29 (pesos). That bus will take you to Guanajuato bus station in about 20-30 minutes.

Step 4: The bus station is 7 km from downtown. Exit the terminal and catch the local bus to Guanajuato Center for M$7 (Dec 2021). This bus will go through many tunnels and you will have no idea where to get off unless you ask someone. They will drop you off in a tunnel near an exit and you will need to walk a bit to downtown from there. This trip could take anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on traffic. Enjoy the trip!

Taking a taxi or rideshare to Guanajuato from the Airport

As of January 2024, Uber and Didi drivers are not allowed to pick up from the airport, and this is enforced by the police - you may find that some will risk it, but don't be surprised if they soon get pulled over and ordered to take you back. Regular taxis are booked at a window inside the arrivals area of the airport terminal - expect to pay M$500-600 for a ride into the historic center of Guanajuato.

By bus


Intercity bus service in Mexico is quite reliable and comfortable. Several lines serve Guanajuato including Primera Plus. Buses have air conditioning (except some "economy" ones), and often show movies and have refreshments.

2 Intercity bus station (Central de Autobuses) Inside the building is an ATM of Libertad, which charges you only M$17 (Dec 2021) for a withdrawal. To the city centre you can take a local bus (Centro-Central) for M$7 (Dec 2021) or taxi for about M$70 (Dec 2021).

To Guanajuato go buses from San Miguel de Allende (1 hour), Guadalajara (3 hours), Mexico City Norte (5 hours), Celaya, Morelia, Querétaro, Zacatecas and other locations. The central bus station is in the southwestern part of town, at Km 7 of the Carretera de Cuota Silao-Guanajuato (Hwy 110D) in Colonia Ejido la Yerbabuena. The following bus lines offer services into and out of Guanajuato:

  • Grupo Estrella Blanca, +52 55 5729-0807, toll-free: 800-507-5500. They also operate the Americanos, Elite, Elite Plus, Futura, Oriente, Chihuahuanese, TNS (Transportes Norte de Sonora), and the Pacifico brands.
  • ETN (Enlances Terrestre Nacionales); Turistar, +52 473 733-0289, toll-free: 0800 8000-386.
  • Primera Plus, Blvd. Hilario Medina 202; Col. Killian 1ª sección C.P.37260 León, Gto., +52 447 710-0001, toll-free: 800 375-75-87. The major bus line for the region which also include the Coordinados and the Flecha Armarilla lines for travel in the state and to adjacent states.
  • Omnibus de Mexico, +52 55 5141-4300, toll-free: 01 800 765-36-66. Also include the Noreste and the Omnibus Plus brands.
  • Unebus Guanajuato, Central de Autobuses. State sponsored bus that connects San Francisco del Rincón, Purísima del Rincón, León, Silao and Guanajuato and from Leon Bajio International Airport to Leon, Guanajuato and San Miguel Allende.

From Guadalajara go Primera Plus for M$500 (Feb 2023) and ETN for M$560 (Feb 2023). Prices can vary by time of day. You get the 10% discount when you book online instead of buying your ticket at the ticket booth.

From León goes Unebus for M$62 (Dec 2021) and Primera Plus for about M$100 (Feb 2023).

Get around

Map of the city center


Entrance to the street tunnel near Hidalgo Market

One of the unique features of the city is its extensive tunnel network. The first tunnels were constructed during the Spanish colonial period to for flood control, with additional tunnels built in the late 1800s. After dam construction was completed in the 1960s, many tunnels were converted to roadways to speed up car traffic. The last tunnel to be built was around 1990. The tunnels are an integral part of Guanajuato's transportation infrastructure, increasing the carrying capacity of the city's street network while reducing traffic on city streets. Using the tunnels is unavoidable if you spend any time at all exploring the city.

City buses run along the tunnels and is safe to take them, embarking and disembarking at designated underground stops. Taxis and ubers will also stop to let you off in the tunnels, expecting that you will use the designated walkways and stairways to pop up on the surface at your destination.

Walking in the tunnels near Centro (downtown) is safe, though it can be a bit unnerving for visitors unused to such a system. Most locals use the tunnels as shortcuts when convenient, but generally prefer walking on surface streets. Guanajuato has a large number of pedestrian-only surface streets, made possible by shifting vehicular traffic below the surface.

If you're driving, take into account that the tunnels are one way only, so taking the wrong tunnel may result in making a big tour around all the city. Occasionally, a tunnel will be closed for an underground street festival (such as during the Cervantino festival).

Tunnels include:

  • El Barretero - Runs west-east, southeast of the city and connecting the neighborhood near Presa de la Olla.
  • La Galereña - Runs north-south, south of the city and is an exit of the city.
  • El Minero - Runs east-west, in Centro.
  • Tunel Noroeste Ponciano Aguilar - Runs east to west, northeast of the city.
  • Tunel de los Angeles - Runs west to east, south of the city and is an exit of the city.
  • Santa Fe - Runs east to west, northwest of the city.
  • Miguel Hidalgo - The longest of all tunnels. Runs west to east, across the city.
  • Tamazuca - The only two-way tunnel and the shortest also. Runs north to south and vice versa, west of the city.

By foot


Guanajuato is not very big and you can walk to most places, so a car is really not necessary.

By bus

Public bus (urbano)

Buses, called urbanos, are operated by the Sistema Coordinado de Transporte de Guanajuato, and run from 07:00-22:00 daily for a flat rate of M$7 (Dec 2021) for a single ride without transfer. You pay to the driver when entering the bus and you get change. There is no public transport card.

You can join the local buses only at bus stops. In this article in the 'Get In' section on the map you see the bus stops. In OsmAnd or you see the bus stops and the direction of the one way street. Google maps and many similar apps show tunnels as city streets. If you can't find a street that your app says is there, look for a nearby stairway heading into the tunnels.

There is no schedule or route map; destinations are marked or painted on the windshield. In general buses heading from east to west travel above ground along Avenida Benito Juarez, while buses heading in the opposite direction travel underground in Túnel Miguel Hidalgo. The stairways descending from the street lead to underground bus stops and are safe to use.

By e-hailing


Didi and Cabify are not available and Uber covers the city with a few cars (Dec 2021).

By taxi


A taxi to any destination within central Guanajuato should cost about M$50 (Dec 2021). Taxis do not use meters and the price should be confirmed first.

By tourist trolley


A trolley-like bus makes sightseeing tours of the city departing from Plaza de la Paz in the Centro, next to the Basilica of our Lady of Guanajuato. The rides lasts 1½ hours. There is a tour guide in Spanish only. It's a great way to get to know the city. . Expect to pay 100-150 Pesos.

By car


Driving a car is not the best way to get to know Guanajuato; however, if you plan to get in and out of the city then you will need to use the underground roads or tunnels. Make sure to park your car in your hotel, as most offer free shuttles to the city; otherwise, park your car in a lot (estacionamiento).


Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato
Gold leaf altar in the Church of San Cayetano (Templo de la Valenciana)
  • 1 Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato (Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato), C/ Ponciano Aguilar 7, +52 473 732 0314. Built from 1671 to 1696. Inside this church there is a 1000-year-old statue donated by Spanish King Charles I who tried to protect it from the Arab invasion in Spain.    
  • 2 Church of the Company of Jesus (Templo de la Compañía de Jesús / Oratorio San Felipe Neri), Lascuráin de Retana s/n, +52 473 733 9782. Daily 08:00-20:00. Built between 1747 and 1765.
  • 3 Templo de San Roque, Plazuela de San Roque. Opening hrs vary. Built in 1726, this was a Jesuit school in the latter half of the 18th century.
  • 4 Church of San Diego (Iglesia de San Diego), Calle de Sopeña s/n, +52 473 732 2990. Daily 08:00-20:00. This is the only surviving building from the original 17th-century convent, with a splendid rococo exterior.
  • 5 Saint Francis of Assisi Church (Templo de San Francisco), Av. Cantarranas 15, +52 473 732 0377. Daily 07:00-20:30. A former Franciscan convent, built between 1792-1828.
  • 6 Church of San Cayetano Confesor (Templo de la Valenciana / Templo de San Cayetano Confesor), Salida a Dolores Hidalgo s/n (5 km north of the city center; take 'Valenciana' or 'Cristo Rey' bus from the bus stop at the corner of the Alhóndiga and Calle 28 de Septiembre), +52 473 732 3596. Tu-Su 06:30-18:00. Built from 1765-1788 with funding from the rich silver mines, this is considered to be one of the best examples of Mexican Churrigueresque architecture. Particularly noteworthy are the finely-carved, elaborate altars covered in gold leaf.    


Teatro Juarez
Universidad de Guanajuato
  • 7 El Pípila, San Miguel hill (take the funicular (cable car) just behind Teatro Juarez). A 28-m-tall statue of an independence hero. Juan Jose Martinez, or also known as El Pípila, was a legendary hero who wore a stone slab on his back to protect himself while burning the Spanish troops holed up in the Alhóndiga, or granary, in September 1810. The view is beautiful, particularly at night. Free.    
  • 8 Teatro Juárez, Sopena S/N (Jardin de la Union), +52 473 732 0183. The architecture of this theater is part Neoclassical and part Moorish, making it a really beautiful building. Inaugurated in 1903 by President Porfirio Díaz.    
  • 9 Jardín de la Unión. This space was built as the atrium for a 17th-century convent, of which the Templo de San Diego is the sole surviving building. It now functions as the central plaza, and always has a lot of things going on, day and night. There are a number of restaurants surrounding the garden, and in the afternoons and evening there free concerts are often given from the central gazebo.
  • 10 Teatro Principal, C. Cantarranas, +52 4737321523. An 18th-century neoclassical theatre that used to host vaudville-style comedies. Used as a cinema in the early 20th century, renovated and reinaugurated in 1955. Now operated by the University of Guanajuato and used as a venue for dance performances and for the Festival Cervantino.    
  • 11 Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss) (downtown next to Plaza de los Angeles). Two balconies separated by only 69 centimeters is home of an old love legend. For a few pennies some children will tell you the story.
  • 12 Alhóndiga de Granaditas (Regional Museum of Guanajuato), Mendizábal 6, +52 473 732 1112, fax: +52 732 11 80, . Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00, 16:00-18:00; Su 10:00-15:00. This building is where the independence revolutionaries burned the Spanish troops, and now houses a museum devoted to the history of the region, as well as an important photographic library. A fee for adults, free for students/teachers/seniors/children under 13.    
  • 13 Escuela Normal Superior Oficial de Guanajuato, Guanajuato - Marfil km 2.5, Centro, +52 473 7322012. M-Sa 08ː00 - 21ː00 (closed Sunday). Teacher's school. The building also houses an English language lending library open Tuesday and Thursday.
  • 14 Palacio Legislativo (Congreso del Estado de Guanajuato), Plaza de la Paz (near Basilica of our lady of Guanajuato). It was built as the city hall in 1903 and inaugurated by President Porfirio Díaz.
  • 15 Plaza del Baratillo, off Alameda. Small, secluded, colorful plaza around a central fountain with narrow callejons leading off it.
  • 16 Plaza de la Paz, Plaza de la Paz, Av. Benito Juarez, Centro. Beautiful town square in front of the Basilica. Cafes in the area, good people watching spot.
  • 17 Plaza de San Fernando. Lively town square with sidewalk cafes and bars.
  • 18 Presa de la Olla (Dam of La Olla). Built in 1749 to supply fresh water to the town. In this place you can rent a little boat. There's also a park and a great statue of Miguel Hidalgo casted in Italy also inaugurated by President Porfirio Díaz in the early 1900s. This area is very tranquil and quiet to have a break.
  • 19 Universidad de Guanajuato, Calzada de Guadalupe. There is a 3-4 story series of steps that lead up to an auditorium, offering good views over the colonial city.    


Mine tour
  • 20 Mina de San Juan de Rayas, Panorámica Carretera panorámica s/n, Mellado. The first mine of Guanajuato, discovered in 1550.
  • 21 Mina el Nopal, Panorámica San Javier s/n, San Javier, +52 473 732 1036.
  • 22 Mina de Valenciana. The richest mine in Guanajuato still in operation today. It supplied enough silver to sponsor the Spanish Empire and its colonies.    


Museum of the Mummies
Museo Casa Diego Rivera
Don Quixote Iconographic Museum
  • 23 Museum of the Mummies (Museo de las Momias), Explanada del Panteón Municipal S/N, +52 473 732 06 39. M-Th 09:00-18:00, F-Su 09:00-18:30. A must if you're in Guanajuato. In 1910, due to the overcrowding of the local graveyard, the authorities were forced to exhume several bodies and when they did that they found the bodies had turned into mummies rather than fully decomposing. After that they founded this really strange and unique museum. M$85 (adults).    
  • 24 Museo Casa Diego Rivera, Positos 47, +52 473 732 1197. Tu-Sa 10:00-19:00, Su 10:00-15:00. The birthplace of Diego Rivera, a well-preserved traditional Mexican residence. Be sure to check out the collections of his simple, socialist-inspired works. M$25 (adults), M$10 (students).    
  • 25 Don Quixote Iconographic Museum (Museo Iconografico del Quijote), Cantarranas 1 (near the Plaza de la Paz and Teatro Juarez), +52 473 732 3376, . Tu-Sa 09:30-18:45, Su 12:00-18:45. Small, but very well done. Art exhibits focused on Don Quixote. M$30, free on Tuesdays.    
  • 26 House of Legends (Casa de las Leyendas), Subida del Molino y Panorámica s/n (on San Miguel Hill by the uppermost funicular station), +52 473 731 0213. Daily 11:00-18:00. Exhibits about local myths, legends, and folklore with stories behind local oddities, like the infamous mummies, as told through animotronics.
  • 27 Casa de Tía Aura, Paseo de La Presa 62, +52 473 731 1824, . Daily 11:00-18:00. Sort of house of horrors that's sweet in its corniness. Inside this house a woman was buried alive inside the walls. The tour is conducted (appropriately enough) in Spanish and will be difficult to understand for those not fairly fluent, though the sights are self-explanatory and the gasps and screams comprehensible in any language. M$35.
  • 28 Museum of the Town of Guanajuato (Museo del Pueblo de Guanajuato), Positos 7, +52 473 732 2990, fax: +52 473 732 2990. Tu-Sa 10:00-19:00, Su 10:00-15:00. Three floor museum with many historical artifacts and artworks about the city of Guanajuato. M$25 (adults), M$10 (students).
  • 29 Casa Museo Gene Byron, Guanajuato - Marfil 10, Marfil (Ex Hacienda de Santa Ana), +52 473 733 1029, . M-Sa 10:00-15:00, last admission 14:30. From 1962 to 1987 this was the home of Canadian artist Gene Byron. M$30, free on Mondays.
  • 30 Museum of the Holy Inquisition (Hacienda del Cochero Galeras de la Inquisición), Antiguo Camino a Valenciana s/n (behind the Hotel Villa de la Plata), +52 473 734 0381, . Daily 10:00-19:00. Features dungeons and torture instruments. Tour guides are required;;they dress as monks. M$50, M$20 children.
  • 31 Marian Gallery Collegiate Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato (Galeria Mariana), Ponciano Aguilar 7 (Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato), +52 473 732 03 14.
  • 32 Mineralogy Museum Eduardo Villaseñor Söhl (Museo de Mineralogía Eduardo Villaseñor Söhle), Ex-Hacienda San Matías S/N, Departamento de Ingeniería en Minas (Faculty of Mining, Metallurgy and Geology in the University of Guanajuato), +52 473 732 22 91, fax: +52 473 732 22 91, . One of the richest collection of minerals in the world. Ex-hacienda de San Matias.
  • 33 Ex-convent Museum Dieguino (Museo Dieguino), Bajos Templo de San Diego S/N (N side of the Templo de San Diego), +52 473 732 7491, . Tu-Sa 10:00-18:30, Su 10:00-14:30. The underground excavated remains of the original 17th-century cloister, of which the Templo de San Diego is the surviving remnant today. Occasionally photography and art exhibits are also hosted in this space.
  • 34 Alfredo Dugès Natural History Museum (Museo Alfredo Dugès), Lascuráin de Retana 5 (main building of the University of Guanajuato). 10ː00 - 18ː30 (until 14ː00 on Tuesday). Small but interesting collection of animal and human specimens. Many stuffed animals and some grisly body parts in jars of formaldehyde.    

Cultural events

Procession during Semana Santa
Festival Medieval de Guanajuato
  • Semana Santa (Holy Week). The week preceding Easter, usually March or April. Easter is considered to be the most important religious holiday here, and commences with celebrations honoring Viernes de Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows) on the final Friday of Lent. During the following week special altars are built and displayed in churches, public plazas, and in shops and homes. On Viernes Santo (Good Friday) at midday the Passion of the Christ is reenacted in front of the basilica, and in the evening the Procesíon de Silencio (Silent Procession) winds through the streets. Many tourists visit from other parts of Mexico at this time, and room rates are generally double.
  • 1 Festival Medieval de Guanajuato, Parque Medieval de Rayas (near the Mina de Rayas), +52 473 731 0120, . Late April. An annual event since 2005, this festival celebrates music, dance, and art from the 5th to 15th centuries, with participants hailing from across Mexico.
  • Festival Internacional de Órgano de Guanajuato Guillermo Pinto Reyes (Guillermo Pinto Reyes International Organ Festival). Mid-May. Named in honor of Mexican organist and composer Guillermo Reyes Pinto, this annual festival celebrates the city's many historic church organs, some of which date to the 16th and 17th centuries. Distinguished Mexican and international musicians are invited to perform, and all concerts are free to the public. The festival is organized by the Guanajuato Ministry of Culture; updated information is available at the Tourist Office. Free.
  • Expresión de Corto, +52 415 152 7264, fax: +52 415 152 8899. Last week of July. An annual short film festival, co-hosted by the nearby city of San Miguel de Allende. Hundreds of films from nearly all genres are screened in venues including the Teatro Principal and movie theaters, as well as in alternative settings including the city cemetery. Most films are subtitled in Spanish and English. Free.
  • 2 Festival Internacional Cervantino (Cervantino), Venues throughout the city. Mid-October to early November. This annual festival began as a series of weekly informal Cervantes comedy performances, and since then has grown to become one of Guanajuato's most celebrated events. The festival has a full program including theater, dance, and musical performances, and attracts both Mexican and international artists. Tickets can be purchased from StubHub or at the box office of Teatro Juarez, while outdoor performances in the plazas are free to the public. The dates and schedule for the festival are set in June; prices for hotel rooms generally double during this time.    

Sport and outdoor activities

View from one of the many hiking trails around the city
  • 3 Centro Acuático en Macrocentro, Ctra Guanajuato-Dolores Hidalgo, Km 2.5 (2.5 km N of the city center; take the 'Valenciana' bus from the stop at the corner of the Alhóndiga and Calle 28 de Septiembre), +52 473 109 2074. M-Sa 06:00-21:00. Facilities include an indoor Olympic-sized pool, a diving pool, and an on-site gym. Multiple swim: single swim not available to travelers. There is a one-time registration fee.
  • World Rally Championship, +52 55 5259-6904, . March. Guanajuato and nearby León host the Mexican round of the World Rally Championship.
  • 4 Pipila Funicular (Funicular Panorámico) (station is just behind the Teatro Juárez). M-F 08:00-21:50, Sa 09:00-21:00, Su 10:00-21:00. Ride the funicular to the top of the mountain where the statue of the "Pipila" is located. No pets, no bicycles. Single journey/round trip M$25/50 (adults), M$8/16 (concessions/Guanajuato residents/children 4-11).
  • 5 El Cerro de La Bufa. Climb to the top of the mountain that overlooks Guanajuato. To the trail goes a bus from the centro. It has the destination Pipila on the windscreen and stops for example in front of the KFC. The trail is the final stop of the bus. In OsmAnd or are two trails shown: The one in the east is way more comfortable. On the trail is the 6 Cave San Ignacio de Loyola.To there it takes about half an hour. OsmAnd or shows a long trail from the cave to the mountain top. You can also take a shortcut that begins behind the cave with concrete steps. On the mountain top is an amazing view of the city and the nature of the region.
  • There are nice tracks to exercise for example Nieto Pina located going towards the Pipila from los Mineros.

You can find ATMs from several banks around the city center. For buying fruits and vegetables, go to a fruteria. Not all fruterias are shown on online maps such as Google Maps – just ask a local if there is one around.

Local color

Mercado Hidalgo
  • 1 Mercado Hidalgo, Juarez Street and Mendizabal. A two-story indoor market selling from touristy stuff (handcrafts, souvenirs, etc.) to groceries (food, confectionery and clothing). It is said the structure of this market was originally intended to be a train station in Antwerp, Belgium, but it was brought to Guanajuato by President Porfirio Díaz and completed in 1910, shortly before the start of the Mexican Revolution. The façade of this building is made of pink quarry and boasts a tower.
  • 2 El Cubilete, Avenida Juárez 188 (across from Comercial Mexicana), +52 473 732 5934. This is your one-stop store for confectionery, established in 1955. It sells all sorts of local sweets, including such specialties like 'Charamuscas', figures made of caramel resembling the mummies. Try also 'Cajeta', similar to Dulce de Leche but made of goat's milk.
  • 3 Mercado Embajadoras, Embajadoras 26. There is a weekly market every Sunday with lots of local vendors who come in to the city to sell their stuff. The rest of the week the food market has fruits, vegetables, a butcher and florist. There are lots of vendors who have stalls outside the market and sell clothes, sunglasses, DVDs, toys, candy and great food.

Chain stores

  • Convenience stores For buying small groceries, Oxxos, Extras and other minimarkets are dotted about all of the place. 4 Ahorremas is a slightly larger minimarket also located downtown (el centro).
  • 5 DelSol, Avenida Juárez 125, +52 473 734 0816. Daily 09:00-21:30. If you need to get all your basics at once, check out this place which is similar to a Wal-Mart.
  • 6 Soriana, Avenida Juárez 131 (three blocks from the Alhondiga), +52 818 329 9252. Daily 08:00-22:00. The central city branch of the ubiquitous supermarket chain.
  • 7 Plaza Pozuelos, +52 473 731 0300, . A modern shopping mall with a few international chain stores.
  • 8 La Comer, Plaza Pozuelos. A branch of the hypermarket chain.
  • If you are looking more for handmade crafts and more touristy stuff, take a bus to San Miguel de Allende, about an hour away from Guanajuato. There is a large open-air artisan market there.
  • If you'd like to purchase handmade ceramics, take the roughly one-hour bus ride to Dolores Hidalgo.


  • 1 Plateros Spanish School (Plateros Escuela de Español), Calle de Alonso 14, +52 473 732 9942, . Spanish for foreigners. Wide range of courses to suit particular needs and interests offering regular, intensive and super intensive standard or PLUS courses. Private tuition and Spanish for specific purposes (business, travelling, medical Spanish, etc.) Can arrange accommodation including home-stay.
  • 2 Colegio de Lenguas Adelita, Callejón Agua Fuerte 56, +52 473 732 0826, . A friendly language school located in the center of Guanajuato with professional and highly experienced teaching staff. Adelita offers a learning curriculum that ensures the students receive an interactive, methodical education including constant interaction and immersion in the Mexican culture. The school organizes plenty of out of classroom activities and tours for the students to make the most of their learning vacation. In addition to Spanish, the school also offers courses in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and German.
  • 3 Escuela Mexicana, Potrero 12, +52 473 732 5005, . One of the best language schools in town. The staff is nice, fluent in English, and flexible, and you can create a schedule to fit your needs, from 1-6 hours of class per day, of varied courses. There are afternoon and day tours to local attractions as well as weekend trips to more distant sights.
  • 4 Don Quijote, Calle Pastita 76 (Barrio Pastita). Offers courses of 4–6 hours a day. The entire day is with the same teacher and all courses including beginner courses are taught entirely in Spanish. The teachers are excellent, the students are a diverse group from around the world (some of whom do not speak English), and there are lots of formal and informal activities provided by the school, including a weekly Spanish conversation dinner and salsa classes. The school also has student apartments and homestays. You can reserve a course before you head to Mexico if you wish or reserve weekly classes once you're there.
  • 5 La Hacienda Spanish School, Callejón de Montenegro 45-B (Barrio Pastita), +52 473-732-0826, . A small, friendly and intimate language school based in an old hacienda. Offers group, private, trimester, specialized (law, medical, etc.) and online Spanish courses. Classes range from beginner to advanced; the teachers adapt to learners’ styles and meet the students right where they are in their abilities and interest. A comfortable, supportive learning environment. Can arrange homestays and other accommodation.
Miner's enchiladas (enchiladas mineras), a Guanajuato specialty
Salad at Santo Café
Meal with a view

In Guanajuato a popular local dish is "miner's enchiladas" (enchiladas mineras), served almost everywhere.

Street food

  • 1 Mercado Hidalgo, Av. Benito Juarez, Mercado Hidalgo. 09ː00 - 17ː00. It's a great place to find a wide variety of regional dishes at affordable prices. Vendors sell local specialties like enchiladas mineras or enchiladas cervantinas, as well as regional favorites like huaraches and pambazo. You can get a main dish for M$60-80. There are also eateries on the second floor. You see pictures of the dishes, which makes it easier to choose.
  • 2 Food stalls around Mercado Embajadoras. You get typical Mexican food like tlacoyos, gorditas, quesadillas and so on for the local price. There is one taco stall with meat, that you rarely find elsewhere.
  • 3 Tlacoyos, gorditas and sopes food stall (in the small park right next to the Mercado Embajadoras). Daily 11:30-17:00. There are black colored gorditas and there is a big variety of what you want on your sopes or gorditas for M$15. The tlacoyos for M$10 are wonderfully soft. You can also buy the black gorditas and sopes without anything on it for take-away and then preparing it in your accommodation by yourself. The food stall has a red color.
  • 4 Tamales food stall (at the northern end of the street Del Campanero at the intersection with the street Cantarranas). Daily 18:30-21:00. In the centro historico near the Qijote museum. You get very good tamales for M$8 each. You can choose between piña, mole, pollo, queso and prensado. It's popular amongst the locals.


  • 5 Sabritas, De La Luz 3 (in the centro near Callejón del Beso and Mirador Hacia El Pipila). 18:30-23:00. Delicious enchiladas M$12, tacos M$14, molettes M$15, sopes M$12, quesadillas M$20, and pambazo M$35.
  • 6 Sr. Spaguetti, Calle de Alonso 19 y 17 (in the center near the funicular and Jardín de la Unión). Daily 12:00-17:00. You get the "student" pasta without being a student for M$55. You can choose between Bolognese, chicken or mushrooms and add a sauce of your choice.
  • 7 Comida China. Daily 12:00-19:30. Chinese food. It has a big variety of meat that you can choose from. You get a main dish with spaghetti and/or rice with one kind of meat for M$70. There is another 8 Comida China for the same price opposite of the Sr. Spaguetti that is open daily 11:00-19:30.
  • 9 Café Tal, Temescuitate 4, +52 473 732 6212. Daily 08:00-24:00. Coffee, tea, a mixed foreign and Mexican crowd, and high speed wireless internet access. It's between 5-10 minutes from Teatro Juarez up the main street towards the baseball stadium, just up the street from Bar Fly. The owner, an American expat, plays French horn in the city orchestra. Although it serves some distinctly Mexican drinks and snacks, it also has a much wider selection of tea and coffee drinks familiar to Americans and difficult to find in Guanajuato. (Tea is pretty unsatisfactory in the city, not so here. And they understand the concept of iced tea.) They also have low cost international calling and tasty snacks. Before lunch, a bakery a few doors down has a wider selection of pastries and rolls.
  • 10 Taqueria El Sazón Oaxaqueño, Madero 44 (about 10 minutes walk south of the city center). Daily 16:00-02:00. Can't make it down to Oaxaca this trip? Try this cheap and delicious Oaxacan taqueria right here in Guanajuato. M$50-110 mains.


  • 11 Antik Café, Del Baratillo 16 (near Jardín Unión), +52 473 732 7154, . M-F 07:30-12:00, Sa Su 09:00-02:00. They have bagels, Mexican food, coffee drinks and teas. It is not expensive and it has its own bar. They often have live music at night.
  • 12 La Bohemia Restaurant-Bar, Jardín de la Unión 4, +52 473 732 9772. Daily 08:30-23:00. Small, traditional café serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Popular with residents and visitors.
  • 13 Las Cupulas Mexicanas, Cantarranas 43, +52 473 732 4182. M-Sa 14:00-03:00, Su 14:00-15:00. If you are looking for some after-clubbing late-night/early morning food, try some of their delicious quesadillas.
  • 14 Delica Mitsu, Callejon de Cantaritos 37 (on an alley just off Plaza San Fernando), +52 473 732 3881. M-Sa 11:30-18:30. Delica Mitsu serves up homemade Japanese delicatessen "sozai", sushi rolls, grilled chicken, and more. Many of the dishes are made from vegetables only, so vegetarians will also feel at home at this tiny restaurant owned and operated by a sweet Japanese couple. Popular with tourists and locals, there are new items on the menu everyday which are sure to keep you coming back time and time again.
  • 15 Habibti Falafel, Sostenes Rocha 18 (in front of Bar Fly), +52 473 732 9418. Daily 09:30-23:30. Fusion cafe offering vegetarian options. House-made chai, delicious coffee, muffins, and falafel.
  • 16 Mestizo, Calle Pocitos 69 (near the Diego Rivera Museum), +52 473 732 0612. Tu-Sa 13:00-22:00, Su 13:00-18:00. Fabulous food at mid-range prices with a great atmosphere. A fine dining restaurant and art gallery combined.
  • 17 Mexico Lindo y Sabroso, Paseo de La Presa 154, +52 473 731 0529. M-Sa 09:00-22:00, Su 09:00-21:00. Serves classic Mexican dishes in a lovely terrace and courtyard.
  • 18 Truco 7, Calle del Truco 7 (near the Jardín), +52 473 732 8374, . Daily 08:30-23:00. Features Mexican and American food at a decent price. They have tortilla soup, enchiladas, and hamburgers. They have excellent aguas frescas and milkshakes. Try the strawberry, it comes with cinnamon in it.
  • 19 Santo Café, Campanero 4 (a 5-minute walk from Teatro Juarez), +52 473 122 2320, . M-Sa 10:00-23:00, Su 12:30-20:00. If you want cheap food and free internet access visit Santo Café which features a sweet little bridge upon which you can eat. The food here is very clean and you needn't worry about having fresh fruits or salads.
  • 20 El Zopilote Mojado, Plaza Mexíamora 51 (downtown), +52 4737325311. The beautiful Plaza Mexíamora host this unique café, where you can find peaceful atmosphere with an excellent coffee, classical music, interesting books in English and Spanish, and delicious desserts and baguettes. A very Mexican place with an international taste.


  • 21 El Jardín de los Milagros, W Panoramica San Javier / cata, San Luisito.
  • 22 la Virgen de la Cueva, Ex Hacienda San Antonio de Barrera # 37.
  • Restaurante Teresita, Paseo de la Presa de la Olla 76, +52 473 731 2182,
  • 23 Los Campos, Campanero 11, Centro, . 14ː00 - 22ː00 (closed Monday). Tapas restaurant with Mediterranean roots, but melded with locally sourced ingredients and flavors. Reservations recommended.


Bar Fly
Craft beer with a view at The Beer Company

The nightlife is very active in Guanajuato, especially on weekends. Look for people passing out flyers during the day for drink specials and sometimes free drink coupons. If you walk around the city center, you'll find plenty to do – music spills out of the bars and clubs into the streets and many establishments have outdoor areas.

To start the night off, stop by one of the little cafes in the Jardín, for dinner and drinks and mariachi band ambiance. It is a great place to people watch. And definitely try Sol – a popular Mexican beer similar to Corona.

  • 1 Fante Bar (Hole in the wall down callejón un front of the main church), +52 473 732 9413. A small dive bar with a psychedelic video on loop near the main church. It's notable in that it has the best pulque in town. Well worth a visit if you haven't tried the local drink.
  • 2 Bar Fly, Sostenes Rocha 30, +52 473 652 1488. Has a younger crowd. The staff is friendly and gets to know their customers. There is reggae music as well as lamp shades made out of solo cups. A definite must-see. If you are young and female, the staff will flirt unabashedly, but they're harmless and worth getting to know. If they know you are in Mexico to learn Spanish (whether you tell them or your teacher does) they won't speak English to you at all.
  • 3 Cantina La Botellita, Jardín de la Unión 2, +52 473 732 2566. Known for having giant, delicious margaritas and good food. They also do 2 for 1 drinks on Tuesdays, but if you're a girl, or at least with a girl, you pretty much get 2 for 1 drinks all the time.
  • 4 Don Olé Karaoke, De Sopena 14-B, Centro (across the street from Teatro Juarez), +52 473 7328886. Th-Sa 12ː00 - 03ː00, opens M-W at 18ː00, Su at 10ː00. Try out your Spanish, but don't worry, they have songs in English too.
  • 5 Guanajuato Grill, Calle de Alonso 4, +52 477 225 4941, . Tu Th-Sa 10:30-05:00. Another favorite of locals and tourists. It is even bigger than Capitolio and boasts two levels. It is always packed on weekends, with the same type of crowd as Capitolio. Although it plays similar music to what you hear in Capitolio, it tends to play more electronic and techno music. It also offers great drink specials, especially on bottles.
  • 6 Why Not?, Calle de Alonso 34. Daily 21:30-03:00. Another chill bar that plays unique latino indie-rock and reggae. It's a good place to hang out and play pool. The bartenders are very sociable and entertaining. Why Not is open later than Bar Fly and is often the after hours destination of the Bar Fly crowd and staff.
  • 7 Zilch, Jardín de la Unión 4, +52 473 734 0755. M-Sa 20:00-04:00. A great bar in the Jardín Unión, they have live music from Wednesday to Saturday. Great prices, great environment, awesome terrace, great service, pool table! They serve snacks 19:00-22:00.
  • El Zopilote Mojado, Plaza Mexíamora 51 (downtown), +52 473 732 5311. In an eponymous hotel, see Sleep below.
  • 8 Caronte Bar, Calle Ayuntamiento 15, Centro, +52 473 1176257. 20ː00 - 03ː00. Lively bar with DJ spinning the tunes and frequent drink promos.
  • 9 Bostom Bar, Sostenes Rocha 6, Centro, +18579918436. 20ː00 - 02ː00 (or 3, or 4). Speakeasy style bar where you need a reservation and secret code to get in.
  • 10 The Beer Company, +524737340577. M-Th 17:00-23:00, F Sa 13:00-02:00, Su 13:00-18:00. A wide range of craft beer and a rooftop with a panoramic view




La Casa de Dante

in the historical center

  • 1 Casa Bertha, Callejón de Tamboras 9, +52 473 732 1316, +52 473 732 5104, fax: +52 473 732 1316, . With a kitchen and terrace. Dorms and private rooms are available.
  • 2 Hostal Santuario, Calle Cantarranes 38. The entrance doesn't show it's a hostel, but it is. It might be noisy from the bar downstairs.
  • 3 La Casa del Tío, Calle Cantarranas 47, +52 473 733 9728, . Check-out: 11:00. Great location in the historic center, budget, basic, no frills but clean, free kitchen, wireless, promotions and the best rooftop in Guanajuato. This is a legally-registered hostel in the city and the owner, Olivia Machuca, is the president of the Associacion of Mexican Hostels. Their goal is to provide a professional and friendly service to the visitors. La Casa del Tío is always recommended in travel guides such as Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and Let's Go among others. The laundry machine they offer on the website doesn't work. Dorms are for M$190 (2018). Private are also offered.

South of the historical center

  • 4 Cactus Hostel, P.º de La Presa 79. If you would like to stay outside of the center. It's near the trail to El Cerro de Bufa. Dorms have a modern design. Breakfast is included.
  • 5 La Casa de Dante, Callejon de Zaragoza 25, +52 473 731 0909, fax: +52 473 731 0909, . Very nice staff and a great daily fresh breakfast. Big, healthy and different every day, meat or vegetarian, whatever you prefer. Hardly any hot water in the showers though. Offered are dorms and private rooms.

Around the bus station

  • 6 Hotel Maxim. For two persons it costs M$300 (Dec 2021). It's near the intercity bus station.


  • 7 Casa de Pita, Callejon Cabecita 26, +52 473 73 21532, . This Guanajuato B&B has location, location, location and remarkable value; one block from Plaza Baratillo and another block to Plaza Union and Teatro Juarez – the heart of Guanajuato City and easy walking distance to all within-city attractions. Very safe location, clean, friendly, Wi-Fi and great breakfast in a colorful, truly Mexican home.
  • 8 La Casa Azul, Callejón de Carcamanes 57 (150-m / 5-min walk from city center), +52 473 731 2288. Beautiful hotel with charming rooms at much lower prices than the tourist traps in the city center. Wonderful views and fantastic gardens, a really romantic place to stay but also family-friendly. Comfortable beds, plenty of hot water, and nice furnishings. Friendly staff who are happy to chat and give suggestions in Spanish, but they speak only very limited English. Fine with very late check-ins, but if you go earlier, they'll let you pick your room. Pool and TVs in rooms, but no food. It is, in fact, a blue house, and locals will be able to give you directions. They're fine with (or perhaps oblivious to?) gay/lesbian couples and unmarried hetero couples staying together.
  • 9 Casa Mágica, Paseo de La Presa 79 (east end of town, across from the Escuela Normal), +52 473 731 0515, . It's a clean, quiet hotel with about 8 rooms in a colonial home. The staff is sweet and very helpful.
  • 10 Hotel Mesón Cuévano, De La Barranca 8, +52 473 732 6062, fax: +52 473 732 6062, .
  • 11 Hotel Meson de los Poetas, Pozitos 35, +52 473 732 6657, +52 473 732 4506, . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. The hotel is a restored 18th-century house and centrally located, with helpful English-speaking staff. Nonsmoking rooms available, onsite restaurant and free Wi-Fi. From M$1200.
  • 12 El Zopilote Mojado, Plaza Mexiamora 51 y 53, +52 473 732 5311, . This hostel is downtown in 3 buildings around the quiet Plaza Mexiamora. In the El Zopilote Mojado building is a coffee shop with excellent coffee and desserts, and upstairs are the rooms, tastefully done. There is another building called Perros Muertos, colorfully decorated, with all the services (kitchen included) and two terraces with gorgeous views. Finally, La Casa del Infierno is located in Callejon del Infierno. This house has two small apartments and a main house, fully equipped with very Mexican decorations. Weekly rates can be negotiated.


  • 13 Hotel Gran Plaza, Carretera Juventino Rosas Km 6, +52 473 733 1990, fax: +52 473 733 1990, . It's right in the entrance to Guanajuato, and the staff is very nice and helpful. They offer free of charge shuttle service during the day and are more than willing to make you as comfortable as possible.
  • 14 Hotel Villa Maria Cristina, Paseo de la Presa de la Olla 76, +52 473 731 2182. Check-in: 15ː00, check-out: 12ː00. Extensive number of facilities as 2 restaurants, 2 bars, heated outdoor swimming pool, movie theater for up to 24 people, Spa with covered heated pool, sauna, steam, and Jacuzzi, kid's lounge, among other. Elegant hotel in a converted mansion with manicured gardens in the courtyard.

Stay safe


Guanajuato is a really safe city – police are always around, and people are very friendly to tourists. Most of the city is safe during daylight hours, and as long as you stay in the downtown area, walking around alone or in small groups at night is safe as well. (Anyplace you'd want to go out at night is downtown.) The rougher neighborhoods are on the slopes of the eastern side of the city, as well as in the vicinity of the Pípila monument. Generally the city is far safer than the average American college campus and doesn't have much crime directed at tourists.

There is however one caveat: do not ever go running or walking around the Panorámica (the beautiful road around the edge of the city in the mountains) in the evening or early mornings. Many rapes, assaults, and muggings of foreigners have occurred in this area and some of the victims were out running with friends. Groups of men may be OK, but even several women together will not be safe. It is, however, safe to run in the city in the early mornings and there are a number of gyms where you can pay by the class. (Several of the foreign exchange programs have apartments on or near the Panorámica and those houses often have large parties. In the populated areas it's fine at all hours, but since it's a loop with a nice view of the city, many foreigners decide to run around it at dawn and parts of it are much more isolated.)

Go next


To the east


To the west

  • León – 60 km. "The Shoes Capital". The shoes and boots are inexpensive and of very good quality.
  • Guadalajara – 270 km

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