A colorful small town set on top of silver mines, Guanajuato is definitely one of the most beautiful places to see in Mexico. Here are my suggestions of things to do or see while you’re visiting.
1. Take the funicular, hike, or drive up to Pipila
Set on top of the hill, the statue of Pipila symbolizes the fight against the Spanish occupation. The statue itself is impressive, but what is most impressive about going up is taking in the magnificent view of the city, equally beautiful both during the day and at night.
2. Visit the Mummy Museum
If you’re in for a scare, head over to the Mummy Museum, featuring mummies preserved my the various minerals in Guanajuato’s soil, washed out from their graves during a flood.
3. Visit Diego Rivera’s home
This small house, now a museum, is the place where the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera was born. It features the original furniture and some of his original paintings and sketches.
4. Walk up to Callejon del Beso
One of the most amazing things about Guanajuato is its streets and colorful houses. Walk through the small streets and take in the views on your way up to what is know as the Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss). This very narrow street has its own “Romeo & Juliet” story behind it, but the couple would occasionally sneak in a kiss between their houses.
5. Have a snack on the bridge at Santo Cafe
This is one of my favorite places in Guanajuato, and we always try to stop by whenever we go there. The trick here is to get a table on the bridge, which can be difficult at times because there are only about four tables. But once you do, the food is delicious, and you can look over the street and people watch while having a coffee or a beer.
6. Shop in the Central Market (Mercado Hidalgo)
Source: Roberto Sahmkow
As in every place with many tourists, you will continuously be bombarded by people trying to sell you things. My advice is to hold back and not buy anything until you pay the central market a visit. On the ground floor the market is your typical Mexican market, with meat, vegetables and spices. But on the top floor you can find all kinds of souvenirs, from boots, shirts, hats, to magnets and ceramics. The prices here are usually better than at the stands you’ll find on the streets.
7. Buy some traditional sweets at Dulceria La Catrina
Right across from Teatro Juarez you will find Dulceria La Catrina. It features all possible traditional Mexican sweets you could think of, which you can also taste before buying. Apart from the sweets, they also sell really tasty salsas (again, you can get a taste before buying) and various types of traditional fruity liquors. If anything, pay it a visit only to have a taste of the local sweets, if you’re already above your budget.
8. Go on a Callejonada
Organized by local musical students, the callejonada is basically a walk through the iconic streets while being serenaded with Mexican music. This is all in Spanish, but you don’t necessarily need to speak Spanish to enjoy the beautiful songs. It’s best to avoid the high-tourist summer months though, as you’ll be basically walking through very narrow streets with about 50 people, so it’s not that fun anymore.
9. Visit the Cervantino Festival
Taking place every October, the Cervantino is an international art festival which gathers people from all over the world. It’s a great experience, but not recommended if you don’t like crowds because it does get extremely crowded during this time.
10. Visit the Guanajuato International Film Festival
The Guanajuato International Film Festival usually takes place every July, in both Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. It also gets pretty crowded, but you can catch some nice movies and enjoy socializing with other film enthusiasts from around the world.