Guanajuato: The Most Beautiful City in Mexico

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The houses of Guanajuato tumble down the hills that surround it in every imaginable colour. There’s no subtle, complementary colour scheme—fuchsia pink mingles with pillar box red, saffron yellow, baby blue, and lime green. We like the city better for its discordance. Despite its beauty it’s not perfectly restored and retains a gritty realness—it’s a city where people live, work, study, and play, not a museum piece for tourists.

This colonial city in the mountains of central Mexico was once a silver mining town and although it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site strangely it’s not very popular with foreign tourists, who prefer San Miguel de Allende just an hour away. The small group of foreigners in Guanajuato tend to be expats or long stay visitors, here to take Spanish classes. It’s certainly a better place to learn Spanish than the Mexican coast where we were frustrated by our Spanish being responded to with English by staff keen to please vacationers from north of the border. In Guanajuato locals spoke to us in Spanish and we appreciated it.


Guanajuato, Mexico

Exploring Guanajuato

We soon fell for Guanajuato—its colours, graceful churches, shady plazas, and lively atmosphere. It’s a compact, walkable city but the large student population means there’s plenty going on with many cafes, bars, street food stalls, markets, and art galleries. It was the perfect place to indulge our favourite slow travel activity of aimless wandering, and it’s easy to get pleasantly lost in the cobblestone lanes that climb steeply from the centre, turning a corner to find yet another tiny plaza with locals chatting on benches shaded by manicured trees. It’s definitely a walking city as the narrow streets are a nightmare for cars and one of the city’s unique features is a network of underground tunnels that are used as roads.

Teatro Cervantes, Guanajuato, Mexico

Pink bougainvillea outside the tiny Teatro Cervantes. The city has a Cervantes obsession, despite the fact he never visited, and hosts a large cultural festival each October called the International Cervantino Festival

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato has lots of manicured trees like this one

Plaza in Guanajuato, Mexico

Another cute plaza

Plaza de la Paz, Guanajuato

Plaza de la Paz

Plaza San Fernando, Guanajuato

Plaza San Fernando, probably our favourite plaza in Guanajuato

Fine baroque and neoclassical buildings are the result of the prosperity of the silver mines in the 18th century and there are many churches. We were visiting during Semana Santa (the week before Easter Sunday) a popular time for Mexican tourists to visit the city. In Guanajuato Holy Thursday is celebrated with the Visita a los 7 Templos, a pilgrimage to seven churches, although for many it’s more a social than religious activity. We opted out but did manage to walk past six of them as we wandered around town and saw the queues snaking out of the churches.

Basilica of our Lady of Guanajuato

Basilica of our Lady of Guanajuato

Templo de la Compañía, Guanajuato

Templo de la Compañía – considered one of finest examples of baroque in Latin America

San Roque Church in Guanajuato, Mexico

San Roque Church

The heart of the city is the main plaza Jardin de la Union. Indian laurel trees have been trimmed to create a dense canopy shading the craft stalls and benches, and it’s surrounded by bars and restaurants whose outside seating is a prime location for people watching. The area is lively in the evenings with mariachi bands and street performers.

Jardin de la Union, Guanajuato

Jardin de la Union

Teatro Juarez, Guanajuato

Teatro Juarez, near the Jardin. Street performers often perform on its steps in the evenings.

Statues outside Teatro Juarez, Guanajuato

Statues outside Teatro Juarez

El Pipila, Guanajuato

Statue of independence hero El Pipila (Juan Jose Martinez) from the church next to Teatro Juarez.

View from La Bufa, Guanajuato

View from La Bufa

We were staying with our friends Warren and Betsy of Married with Luggage who got us up at 6.30am to take advantage of the cool mornings for hikes up to the crosses that top many of the surrounding hills, scorched brown at the end of the dry season, but with sweeping views of the city.

View of Guanajuato

Erin and Simon at Guanajuato cross

Us enjoying the view from the cross on top of one of the hills overlooking Guanajuato (Thanks Warren for the photo).

One of our hikes was particularly challenging as Warren took us off trail and we ended up fighting our way through brush and clambering down steep rock faces using bridging techniques. But one of the best things about hiking is the satisfaction you feel when it’s over as with aching limbs you relax and reward yourself for a challenge overcome with tacos, beer, and Guanajuato’s excellent street ice-cream.

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Things to Do in Guanajuato

Alhondiga de Granaditas, Guanajuato

Alhondiga de Granaditas—this old grain storage building was the site of the first major victory over the Spanish in the independence movement

Our favourite activity in Guanajuato was walking, both through the centre’s streets and the hills outside it. We didn’t visit many of the tourist attractions but there are a couple of art galleries we recommend:

  • Don Quixote Iconographic Museum— We weren’t sure about this one as we haven’t read the book, but as it was free on Tuesdays we gave it a go and are really glad we did. It’s a diverse collection of paintings, murals, and sculptures depicting the character in different styles. Manuel Doblado 1, closed Mondays and Sunday mornings.
  • Casa Diego Rivera—While you need to go to Mexico City to see Rivera’s famous murals the house where he was born is worth a visit and it’s only 20 pesos. It contains some of Rivera’s early works so you can see the development of his style, as well as a gallery for contemporary artists. Positos No 47, closed Mondays.

Goats on the Road have more suggestions for things to do in Guanajuato.

Jacaranda tree, Guanajuato

The purple blossoms of the jacaranda trees in spring add to an already colourful city.

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Where to Stay in Guanajuato lists hotels and guesthouses for every budget such as Hotel Boutique 1850, a beautiful high-end hotel, and Casa Tepozanes, an inexpensive, friendly and charming guesthouse.

Airbnb is a good place to find private rooms and apartments—perfect for living like a local and for longer stays. Get $39 off your first stay by signing up here.

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Where to Eat in Guanajuato

There are plenty of street food stands and two excellent vegetarian restaurants if you want a break from Mexican:

  • Habibi Falafel—We loved the falafel wraps (with chipotle sauce for a Mexican twist) and you can also get mixed plates of falafel, hummus, tabbouleh, and vine leaves. Sostenes Rocha 18 C
  • Centro Bharati—The set menu changes daily at this Indian restaurant but is always healthy and flavourful. Plazuela del Baratillo 11.

If you’re not vegetarian, The Luxury Latin America blog has shared their favourite restaurants in Guanajuato.

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How to Get to Guanajuato


We arrived and left on very comfortable Primera Plus buses. From Mexico City (Mexico Norte station) to Guanajuato it takes five hours and costs 513 pesos/ $28 (plus a small fee for buying at an Oxxo store rather than going to the bus station). To Puerto Vallarta on the coast, the overnight bus takes nine hours and costs 893 pesos/$49.


Guanajuato’s nearest international airport is Del Bajío (BJX) in Silao 30 minutes away. Search for cheap deals on, which offers a lot of flexibility (choose a date range to find the cheapest day to fly). From the US it could be cheaper to fly to Mexico City and take the bus. 

Interjet flies from Mexico City to Del Bajío airport if you don’t want to take the bus. 

Budget airlines charge for checking in luggage. To avoid these fees, pack light and travel with just carry-on luggage. My book, The Carry-On Traveller: The Ultimate Guide to Packing Light, shows you how.

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Resources for Planning a Trip to Guanajuato

  • Travel insurance— Don’t travel without it. We use and recommend True Traveller (UK/EU citizens) and World Nomads (US and worldwide). 
  • Guidebook – Lonely Planet Mexico is my favourite guidebook and was updated in 2016 (I buy the Kindle version). 
  • Expense tracker app – To track your travel expenses use our iOS app Trail Wallet, which will help you stay on budget and know how much you’re spending in both Mexican pesos and your home currency.
  • Travel resources page – For more tools and gear recommendations to help you plan your trip.

Guanajuato, MexicoGuanajuato has been called the most beautiful city in Mexico and it’s definitely the most attractive city we’ve visited with its colourful buildings, tree-lined streets, lovely plazas, and easy escape to the mountains.

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Is Guanajuato the most beautiful city in Mexico? Take a look at our photo essay and decide for yourself.

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Are you looking for Christmas gift ideas? See our 47 Useful Gift Ideas for Carry-On Travellers. They are ideal for travel lovers who want to pack light and include something for every budget.

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199 thoughts on Guanajuato: The Most Beautiful City in Mexico

    • Hi. I am in Guanajuato now for the 2017 Festival Internacional Cerventino. I plan to stay for a month. The people are extremely friendly, and the city is beautiful. I find it difficult on the weekends due to the people congestion; tourist from all over Mexcio come for a visit. The festival has been memorable so far. I am also studying the language which helps a good deal. I am 65 year old male. I walk all over town. Lots of ups and downs. Peter

    • Hi, Marijke

      I’ve travled to Guanajuato twice, solo. I rent a studio near the Embajadoras area. I feel very safe, but almost never venture out alone after dark. I encourage you to visit, stay for awhile–maybe take a Spanish class at a local language school where you will meet fellow travelers. There’s so much to do and see. I highly recommend skipping Cervantino festivities, too crowded for a first-time, solo visit (I went on my second visit). BTW I’m 64 and very fit, bring good walking shoes!

      • If the US reported all the gratuitous violence that occurs every night, there would be no room for politics.
        We always feel safe in PV.

        • Dori,
          Guanajuato is beautiful to visit at any time of year. It does get more rain in the summer. Because of the elevation, the nights can be cool in the winter. But the city has so much going for it, the cool nights don’t bother me as it quickly warms up during the day. And in the summer, the rains bring lushness to the hillsides.

    • I’m senior female and have lived along here for 13 years and visited regularly for 5 years before that. Things happen from time to time, usually when a person is not prudent like walking alone late at night. I feel much safer here than most places in USA. There is MUCH less random violence. Most of what gets into the press is drug related and I don’t “do” and I don’t “deal” and I don’t go to bars late at night, so that leaves me out.

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  2. Can’t believe I missed going to Guanajuato City. I was in GTO for the first time this past summer and enjoyed the people, climate and the richness of the state. Can’t wait to go back this summer. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. I’ve been all over the World, and Guantato is by far the most beautiful city I have ever seen, no
    beaches, no shirt, no shoes no problem! It’s like coming in to another place in time thru those tunnels ,many good memories at Bar Ocho and all the history. Danny Lovelace

  4. Hey! Really great write up. We just loved how pristine this place is, and yet it’s still a genuine working town. Most of the activity you see is people going about their everyday business, which makes visiting it a really unique snapshot rather than a relentless tourist mine.
    We’ve literally just left Guanajuato and thought we’d share this video to help paint a picture…a 360º video of some of the sites we loved the most…–tk

  5. I am just seeing this article for the first time. Very well done – both the writing and the photos! As close as you can come to seeing the beauty of Guanajuato in person! We went to Mexico for the first time in 2007 and visited Guanajuato for the first time on that trip and wham! – fell in love with the place. Three years later, we were renovating a house and then in 2015 we got our “Residente Permanente”. Be careful when you visit Guanajuato….you just might fall in love and put down roots!

    • Hi Linda. So good to see you comments on Guanajuato. How would you compare it to San Miguel de Allende. I currently live in DC (originally from Tucson) but am thinking of retiring in either G. or SMA. Do you feel safe in the area. Hope to hear from you. Franciska

      • I just spent some time in both San Miguel de Allende(SMA) and Guanajuato. I really looked forward to SMA but found it a bit boring and depressing,to say the least. Guanajuato on the other hand was one big pleasure. I’ll be back.

      • Hi Franciska – you would probably get a dozen different answers in comparing SMA and GTO. They are both incredibly beautiful cities, but are very different. SMA has a much larger American population, as evidenced by the fact that many ATMs dispense pesos AND dollars! Most all the restaurants, hotels, shops, etc. will have English speaking staff. This is not as much the case in Guanajuato. Guanajuato is more of a Mexican tourist town, as it is important in the history of Mexico. SMA has a large and thriving artist (of all sorts) community with people from all over. There is more variety in terms of what you can buy. For instance, we went to SMA to buy our light fixtures, cabinet hardware, and some of our furniture. I would also say that because of that, SMA is generally more expensive than GTO. We feel (only our opinion) that Guanajuato has a more “genuine” Mexican culture, while SMA has a more American influenced Mexican culture. My husband and I both speak Spanish, and like learning and improving our Spanish, so communication is not an issue for us. We renovated a house in another country, another language, another currency system, and another system of measurement with an architect who only spoke Spanish, and it was a super successful adventure that I would not trade for anything! It’s really just a matter of what type of atmosphere appeals to you more and in which environment you feel more comfortable. The folks I know who live in SMA make frequent trips to GTO for various reasons and vice versa. I would encourage you to spend quality time in both places. You really can’t lose! Linda

  6. We are spending 6 months in guanajuato (june – nov) this year with our 2 labs. Would like to find info on best spots for exercising them and any pet health tips. . Cannot wait!

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  8. Sounds great, Phil. I arrive Thursday for my first time! But staying 3.5 months. Ill be staying out at Presa de la Olla.

  9. Returning for my 5th visit this time a bit shorter due to some health stuff but I will be there a full 6 weeks. With the low peso I will be paying under $10 a day for my apartment of a bedroom, kitchen, living room, bath & includes utilities with wifi. It is located in the best area in town but a block from the Governors Mansion. Also near several excellent cafes, coffee houses & tiendas.

    • Would love to visit for a few months too. Your accommodations sound great. The question I have is can a person with mobility issues get around relatively well?

  10. I have just come back from a wonderful trip to Mexico visiting ‘discovered’ family in Mexico City for the first time. We all have a Great, G,G, Grandfather & Great,G,G, Uncle in common – both of whom came to Mexico to live and work in Guanajuato! I am already planning to return next year, visit this lovely city, and discover and experience more of Mexico, it has been too long since I was last here.

  11. Wow, this post generated so much interest. I am going for 3 weeks to Guanajuato this winter, to explore for possibly of living there in the future. By all accounts it is amazing. If anyone has suggestions about how or where to meet expats there, I’d be grateful. Thanks.

  12. I travelled to Guanajuato (GTO) two years for the first time and it was an amazing trip. I fell in love to that city.
    It was built in the XVII century by the Spaniards, but reached its zenith during the XVIII century and played a key role in Mexico´s Independence movement during the XIX century. It is a Spanish colonial city, but sometimes feels more like an Italian mountain town. Sometimes you get the impression that you are somewhere in South Italy, but colors used in houses and main buildings is Mexican without a question.
    If you like art, history, architecture and romance, then GTO is the right place for you.
    You can use GTO as your base city to explore the center of Mexico (referred to as Bajio), which is populated with other worth visiting colonial cities like San Miguel de Allende (equally romantic and colorful but more sophisticated and pricey), Morelia city and Queretaro city. They are safe, affordable and really charming. They are at a 2-hour drive from GTO and can be reached by bus. These 4 cities are World Heritage so that somehow guarantees good quality. In the case of San Miguel de Allende, 3 or 4 years ago it was recognized as the best city for tourists in the world (beating Paris and London) by the prestigious publication Condé Nast and this year Condé Nast recognized San Miguel as the best city for tourists in Latin America and Mexico.

  13. Hi there! I am wondering if you are aware of what GTO is like now? I am planning on vacation this Labor Day weekend. My spanish isnt that great. I’m wondering what the drive is like from the airport to the city. Is it safe to travel at night in the streets?

    • Hello, I’ve lived in G’to for 10 years and it is a very safe city. That said, of course, as in ANY city it is prudent not to be wandering around alone after 8 or so. The drive from the airport is about 40 minutes but I can’t imagine what you would want a car for. It is hard to drive in the city with many one-way streets&tunnels and parking is very difficult and expensive. G’to is a walking city and quite hilly and with lots of stairs. Sadly, there is no public transport to the city from the airport. A taxi costs about 800 pesos RT — about US$45 — US$23 each way. Where do you plan to stay?

  14. Visited Guanajuato 10 years ago and it has never left my mind. Thought it might be a nice place to retire, and after having travelled all around Mexico quite a few times, GTO remains top of my list. I am in SMA (feeling like adult DisneyWorld) and yes it is beautiful but GTO seems more vibrant. So I am heading to GTO tomorrow to look at the housing market.

    Mike Lander, who has posted on this board: where is the Embajadores area?

  15. Hi! My wife and I reside in northern México but have purchased a nice home lot at Comonfort, GTO, about 18 miles from San Miguel De Allende. We plan to build an adobe home there in another year or so. MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE THAN SMA! And still original! When in the SMA area we always take a side trip to Guanajuato City, the state capital. From San Miguel De Allende to GTO City is 58 minutes by very nice buses. (I timed it once.) Upon arrival at the bus station (camionera central) in the city take a taxi for el centro, “distrito historico” or grab a city bus at the camionera central that says “el centro” and/or “distrito historico” on the front windshield (five pesos). It’s easy and very affordable. You will love this city! Best to all of you. Come see us in Comonfort De Chamacuero sometime. Contact at Hotel Posado De Chamacuero on the east side of the central jardin (plaza).

    • we’re planning a trip of around 8-9 days to include Queretaro, San Miguel and Guanajuato. The current plan is to spend 3 nights in Queretaro, 2 nights in San Miguel, then 3 nights in Guanajuato. Ideally, we would love to base ourselves in one places and not have to move 3 times, but not sure if that’s practical. we don’t want to spend 2 hours in a bus/taxi travelling to/from towns . does this make sense or could we use Guanajuato as a base for San miguel?
      Grateful for any thoughts and recommendations

  16. My wife and I fell in love with Guanajuato City. We have listed our home in a more expat populated Mexican city to fund building a home there. We recently purchased a lot in the Embajadoras area can’t wait to be part of this amazing city!

    • I’m sure many will concur with the following that Guanajuato is a jewel of a city. Been there last Spring, at a casita on la panoramica. Walked downhill to town every day, early out and back many times in the darkness of night. Never an issue. Same thing for SM de Allende. Two cities that beg visiting, will return soon. Just returned from Merida, Yukatan. Also very charming, with all the nice communities/villages around it.

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  19. I have not been to Guanajuato.. But did live for a time in beautiful Aijijic on Lake Chapala.. near Guadalajara
    I believe it is more beautiful there… it is in the mountains.. more of a Rivera.. though.. more lush
    and I am inclined to think a little less expensive for day to day living.. owing to the fact that Guanajuato is so close to San Miguel de Allende… Still I will be visiting this gem of a city.. that is called the prettiest place in Mexico in April of 2016..and will compare if it does best .. Aijijic… I am thinking.. she cannot be bested at this point… any feedback ?

      • We are currently selling our home n Ajijic so we can make s move to Guanajuato City. Ajijic is a very easy transition for expats to make. A little less Mexican than we like.

    • If you speak Spanish fluently, you might enjoy living in Guanajuato. It is a small, pretty university town.

      If you speak English, you will probably enjoy Ajijic. It is a gringo colony. Very pretty but nothing like Guanajuato.

      We have friends that live in Ajijic.

  20. Erin Guanajuato is not obsessed with Cervantes. There is a reason for that. Don Miguel De Cervantes Y Saavedra is a writer form the 1600’s. He wrote El Quijote which is a masterpiece of the Spanish Literature. Guanajuato was a Spanish Colonial City and its mine La Valenciana produced 75% of the silver circulating around the world in its time. I recommend you to read the history of my town Guanajuato is fascinating.

  21. You can have it. You can actually count the number of trees in the whole city. It is in the middle of a totally deforested set of hills. If you like a total absence of nature, Guanajuato is for you. Add to that the utter absence of any quiet–Mexico is an amazingly noisy country, and the Mexicans have a genius for destroying their natural surroundings. They love concrete. Compare it to the charm and setting of any number of cities of similar size in Europe and you’ll see immediately what I mean.

  22. My first visit to Guanajuato was in my youth, being 7 years old at the time, I was enchanted by the town. It is the most beautiful place I have visited. To sit at the plaza and listen to the story tellers speak of “La Llorona” and the “El Callejon del Baso” , all the while I was holding hands with my Chispita.

  23. I am from Mexico and although I have enjoyed living in the US for 30 years,I can’t wait to move back to my native country. I haven’t been in Guanajuato in a long time , but I agree with you about it’s enchanting attributes.So, after reading your post, I’ve decided to make a trip there and possibly make it my home. Gracias!

  24. We love Guanajuato. I’m surprised to didn’t mention the Mercado with its tin roof and cupola designed by Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower. Or, that Arturo Toscanini conducted the orchestra for the grand opening of the Opera House, or Las Momias!

  25. My family is from Guanajuato on my fathers side, my mother is native American Apache, and now that I am married to a Puerto Rican I was very proud to show case the heart of Mexico by bring my husband here to visit. Guanajuato has so much history and culture and some strange natural resources. The Pipila stature was so inspirational and the callejonadas was so romantic culture and tradition is all around and the mummies was incredible sight to see, el callejon del beso was again romantic and El Teatro Juarez was magical Cristo Rey was breath taking. The museums were so classical the town was so peaceful and beautiful. We plan to be there this June 2015 for two weeks we rented a house and we are here to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday. This is Mexico.

    • Yes, Guanajuato is Mexico. The town seems alive with a heart and soul, my memories hold Guanajuato as a special place in my heart.

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  27. I love Gto! San Miguel de Allende is nice, but the Starbucks in the plaza killed its charm so we won’t be going there anymore. We were 3 females traveling in a rented car and didn’t think twice about hiring a guide off the street. It was well worth the 25.00 we paid for a wonderful tour. We visited Diego Rivera’s house, the “Momias”, Pipila, and other landmarks. Dolores Hidalgo is another charming city to visit with so much history and amazing ice cream! My friends and I have made it an annual tradition to visit in late October/early Nov. (Day of the Dead and All Saints Day) and visit Gto. and the neighboring state Michoacán. I can go on and on about how beautiful Gto. is, but one must visit to appreciate its beauty…I love Mexico!

    • I am planning to spend 4 weeks in Guanajuato this summer to focus on Spanish. I am looking at Escuela Mexicana and their host family program as I’ll be traveling alone, but I’m also curious about the need for immunizations before traveling. Since you were there recently, do you have any suggestions? Did your group get hepatitis a and b and/or typhoid vaccines? Those are the ones listed on the cdc’s website but I’m wondering if they’re really necessary?

      • You don’t need to get the mentioned shots for visiting this fair city. Generally the shots are necessary for visiting remote places such as Africa that have epidemological issues and/or there is knowledge of insects that transmit diseases that could be prevented with a shot. The chances for getting the conditions you mentioned are the same as the chances of contracting them in the States or in Canada. If you take the same caution that you would anywhere you go (exposed to body fluids of someone who has Hepatitis), then you will be fine. I am a medical professional and have not got the shots specifically for visiting Guanajuato.

        I will comment, however, that the altitude is higher than most places in the States. Sometimes I have a problem adjusting to the altitude difference; shortness of breath and gastric issues (and no, it didn’t come from drinking the water … in fact, I was with a Mexican family who had similar problems). Just take it easy, drink lots of bottled water and you will gradually adjust to the altitude.

        You will love Guanajuato and one thing I will advise you about is that you will like it so much that you will want to return, and as some have discovered, moved there permanently.

  28. What a beautiful colourful city! Our group of 4 (all very active seniors) spent a week in Guanajuato week before Easter. We felt very safe as we walked up/down steps thru narrow streets and up into the surrounding hills every day and on one occasion thru the underground tunnels late at night. A wonderful adventure!! The closer we got to Easter the crowds started to arrive….but mostly from other parts of Mexico. We feel our timing was perfect…out of there before it became too crowded. We stayed in the Edelmira hotel very close to the main square. Highly recommend it..close to everything…good prices online. Guanajuato had a surprise around every corner/street musicians/dancing/stage performances/interesting restaurants and endless places to explore and walk. Locals were very friendly….We operated on very limited Spanish and the people were very generous in trying to understand our needs..We will be back …but I might tuck a few bottles of white wine in my case….I wasn’t a big fan of what was available but I hear the beer was a big

  29. My wife found this gem of Mexico while searching for nice places to visit in Mexico. (Hi babe, I know you will be reading this!!) it just so happens to be fairly close to the city where my grandpa built a home about 30 years ago, in Guadalajara. I wanna go visit there as well!

  30. Guanajuato, one of my favorite cities on this planet Earth. I learned to appreciate this city through one of my friends who worked at the University. My first visit was for the Festival Cerventino; I loved it. I stayed in a hotel in the center of the city and enjoyed the many acts that came from around the world to perform there. Yes, there were a lot of people but that added to the uniqueness of the event. Of course, it did help to have someone who lives there guide me through the crowds of people.

    My camera was busy. After the festival, I enjoyed roaming the winding streets, photographing the buildings, people, and dogs. It’s a pedestrian friendly place. Most of the streets are underground, in tunnels.

    In later visits, I went to the Diego Rivera birthplace museum, the many churches in and outside the city, the museum of art/sculptures of Don Quixote, purchased the unique gray pottery with intricate designs that is unique to this region, visited the many galleries and art studios, been up and down the stairs (7 flights) of the University, and enjoyed the wonderful restaurants in the city. Don’t forget to check out the many theaters for performances; there is an orchestra that plays on Friday nights.

    It is safe there but as usual, a person needs to simply use common sense, especially when you’re out late at night. It’s no different than being in the States where crime in all cities is significant. The same applies to any other city/town in the world.

    I will issue ONE warning: if you go once, you’ll never forget it and will yearn to return someday.

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  32. Having a nearby taxi # on your cell phone can work wonders. I know a guy who was drunk and under threat by a gang here in PV at 3am, and he called the taxi and escaped the 3 blocks to his condo.

  33. I lived in Guanajuato of years. Do not trust the appearance! Guanajuato has become a dirty dangerous city, it has nice colonial buildings and a lot of happy colors over the walls in the alleys but is fucking dangerous. Trust me. I speak for personal experience and for what happen to many others! Especially womens. They just try to sell the city as a wonderful cultural destiny… it is not. Just spend there few days no more. I do not have not even a one friends living there who has not encounter violence.

    • This is a slanderous and completely inaccurate review of Guanajuato! I came here on a regular basis for 3 to 6 months a year starting in 1999 and going to 2007, when I bought and remodeled a house and I’ve lived here full time since then. Let me state that I am a woman and that I live alone and have never, in 15 years, had any problem. I do have friends who have had some problems, usually after midnight and when alone. I NEVER walk about alone in any city in the world after dark. I’ve traveled to more than 90 countries and sampled many of there cities and it is important to follow common sense rules of precaution. Most travelers leave their brains at home and expect the country to which they travel to be free of the problems that they have at home (though many of them deny ANY crime in their home town — what a crock!) There are some dangerous areas of G’to, as there are in EVERY city/town/village in the world and, as in any city, there is pickpocketing in the areas frequented by tourists who often have expensive toys and no caution. Please do not be swayed by this one rant. Come and enjoy by beautiful and historic city.

      • I completely agree with Kay. Guanajuato is a safe place to visit and to live. Just like anywhere in the world, you have to make sensible decisions in order to be safe…. all the obvious things that an experienced traveller should already know….don’t walk down dark alleyways late at night alone…know how to call a reliable taxi should you need one…don’t be overtly flashy with expensive items such as jewelry, cameras…don’t leave your belongings unattended. It is not rocket science. I am sorry the earlier contributor had a negative experience and I do not know the circumstances so I cannot comment on what happened to her. However, Guanajuato is a charming and safe place to visit.

      • Hi Kay, I’ve enjoyed learning about Guanajuato from your perspective here. It’s definitely been on my list of places to visit. I currently spend winters in Puerto Vallarta (I’m there now) but love old colonial cities. How do I contact you about couch surfing with you?

    • Well I know dozens who live in GTO that have never been victims of violence. I stayed 2 months this Season never feeling even remotely in danger & explored virtually every street in town. I hung with local resident most days, became a member of a local group as well as volunteered at the English Language Library. Not a word from anyone being a victim of violence!

  34. I studied in Guanajuato during the summer of ’89 and loved every minute of it! I stayed with the Santoscoy family in the Plaza de la Paz….Great people and wonderful memories 🙂

    • I will be arriving in Mexico City and taking the first bus to Guanajuato and spending a few days there before I continue to San Miguel de Allende. Again, I would love to meet up with any other fellow travelers. I will be there the 26 of December and stay for about 3 to 4 days. Any suggestions for places to stay that are reasonably priced? thanks Phil for your suggestions as well.

  35. Guanajuato is really beautiful both of my parents are from there. I’ve been there like 5 times and there is so much to do and many places to visit. The food is great! You can’t leave that place without going to Tarimoro a little town and having some of there ice cream seriously the best!

  36. I’ll be there starting January 5 for two months. If you would be interested in having lunch or coffee with this 72 YO guy let me know.
    I’ve been traveling Mexico from almost 30 years, alone much of the time & this will be my third trip to Guanajuato so be happy to give you my input.

  37. Hi, I am planning a trip to Guanajuato and San Miguel. I have wanted to go for so long so I am going. The problem is that I may end up going alone. Will leave right after Christmas for two weeks. I would love to meet up with others traveling there during that time. I haven’t travel alone in years, so I am a bit nervous, but nevertheless exited. Is it safe for a woman to travel alone and is there a gathering place to make friends? Any thoughts will be appreciated.

    • Hi, Cecilia. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that it is fairly easy to meet up with other travelers in Guanajuato so that you’ll have some company while you explore the city. A few places where you’ll find English-speaking staff and travelers hanging out are Café Tal (a coffee shop), Bar Ocho (which has decent food as well as drinks), Café Carcamanes and Santo Café (which recently closed, but will probably reopen soon; addresses and maps for these places can be found with a quick Google search).
      I don’t remember that any female acquaintances had serious problems visiting Guanajuato solo, but you’ll find that the level of attention from men on the street is sometimes more intense than in many parts of the English-speaking world. Like anywhere else, take basic safety precautions, be aware of your surroundings and you’ll probably be OK. As others have mentioned, one area you should be aware of is the Pípila monument overlooking the city center and the side streets near it – thefts seem to be more common there than in other places, so it’s probably best to avoid it at night and go there with a group.
      If you’ll be in Guanajuato on a Monday through a Friday, an excellent way to meet other people, learn about the city and learn some Spanish at a low price is to take a class or two at Falcón language school. (I have no business relationship with Falcón other than having been a student there years ago and also being enrolled for classes starting next month.) There are other Spanish schools in Guanajuato, as well – Adelita is one, as is Don Quijote, but Falcón has turned out to have the best balance of quality, price and flexibility for me.
      It just so happens I’ll be in Guanajuato during the time frame when you’ll be visiting, so post a comment in reply here if you have any more questions. Enjoy the beautiful city!

  38. Hi, I’m looking to move from San Miguel to Guanajuato but would like to be in contact with the expats that do live in town before amking any firm plans. Any idea how to find the local (small) expat community so that I can find out more about living in Guanajuato?
    Thanks Sarah

      • Thank you Erin for the effort in commenting to so many postings, its encouraging especially for newbies like me who’s never been to Mexico before, to find personal info on places one wishes to visit. Have learnt about the area from Santa Fe Workshops who travel to SMA with their students. Will visit it, but too touristy for my liking. The images on your post make me itch to get there, mid March, 2015. I’m a retired educator/photographer who is attracted to places like Guanjuato and surrounding towns. Am particularly interested in learning about the hikes you guys took around Guanajuato, I love the people and the culture, but just as much the wild character of a place. I’ve been a trekker all my life. Any assistance would be greatly apppreciated.

  39. After 26 years of Mexican travel I do find Guanajuato the most lovely of those I have visited.
    After 3 nights in 2012 I spent a month in 2013, then a month in Oaxaca in 2014 & I have booked an apartment for 2 months starting on January 5th, 2015 back in Guanajuato.
    I like it. Smile

    • I am also looking for an apartment for January and February 2016. Have you any suggestions for how to find a place? Thank you!

  40. I am from Peru and it is amazing how beautiful this place is… I will be traveling this coming Sunday.. looking forward to it… thank you for the great pictures….

  41. We are planning to visit Guananjunta for Thanksgiving. We have 2 small kids – 5 and 1. We really like the place but wondering if it is safe with kids. How did you travel to all the places around Guananjunta? Did you drive? Were there any tours available? Are there any places nearby to see? If so, how did you get there?

    Thank you,
    Gaurab Hazarika

    • Most definitely a walking city. Forget the car in town with narrow, narrow streets.
      There is a trolley tour in Spanish & lots of local guides but I have never used one.

      • PS
        Cabs are cheap. 35 pesos for any place in town.
        Bus locally are I beleive 6 pesos & reasonable to the surrounding towns.
        Lovely ride to Delores Hidalgo a most lovely town. The kids will love the ice cream sold on every corner of the plaza.

    • We felt safe in Guanajuato. We stayed in the city but you could also get the bus or hire a car to visit places like San Miguel de Allende, another beautiful town.

  42. Guanajuato is a great destinations, you can travel using something like BestMex car insurance, and have an amazing time, specially in these days because Cervantino’s festival is just around the corner.

  43. I’m from Texas and my husband is from acambaro, guanajuato. I’ve heard so many good things about his city. Can’t wait to visit.

  44. I have spent the past 5 summers in Guanajuato studying at the Language School, Universidad de Guanajuato in a masters program. This city is my favorite in all of Mexico. The food is delicious, the people are friendly, the music and street performers are entertaining, the arts are vibrant, and there are so many things to do in the surrounding towns. Day trips to Delores, Leon, or San Miguel will satisfy your tourist shopping needs, but Guanajuato feels more like home. Great place to relax or be as busy as you wish. Like all large cities it is not always safe to be out after midnight, but I have never had a problem. My 14 yo, non-Spanish speaking, spent 3 weeks there basically on his own while I was in classes, with no problems other than being offered a beer at a pizza place. Plan on returning next year even though I have finished school. No desire to do the beaches or towns with nearly 40% foreigners.

    • I am planning a trip to Guanajuato right after Christmas and will be there for about two weeks. I am not sure if I can get someone to come with me, so my question is how safe is it for a woman to go there alone and is it easy to make friends? I usually travel with my husband, but he can’t take time off work, but I am still going! any tips?

  45. Yes and there is a museum showing the mummies. The nearest airport is Leon. There is good bus service to/from the airport.

  46. Isn’t Guanajuato known as a “garden” state? And known for it’s”mummies?”
    Burried under ground?
    Is there an airport there I can actually fly into?

    • The airport is BJX and is about half way between Leon and Guanajuato City — about 30 minutes drive. There is no bus service (I’ve lived here 9 years and I wish there were!) and a taxi usually costs 350 to 400 pesos.

  47. We recently met a family from that city and they said so much about it we had to look it up. Thank you for not only the great variety of photos, but also the descriptive wording that helped us to capture what a person may feel when there. We want to go there. Nice job.

  48. I stayed in Guanajuato for 21/2 months this past winter and studied Spanish at Escuela Falcon. The town is every bit as beautiful, safe and comfortable as other posters are saying. If you would like to study Spanish for a few hours each day I highly recommend Escuela Falcon.

  49. We’ve been here on two previous occasions and looking forward to visiting again soon.

    Such a contrast from New Zealand where we live.

  50. hi there – trying to work out my 18 days in mexico and leaving a space for Guanajuato! This was recommended by friends last year and now i’ve found your site – I am an Australian female solo traveller who doesnt speak any Spanish other than a smile and hello. I was going to travel from Bucerias (near Puerta Vallerta) by bus mid October for 3 days in Guanajuato. Whilst it looks lovely – how does basically no Spanish go? Any advice?? thanks for the great pics

    • I think your enjoyment will be reduced if you do not understand Spanish. Reading up on the history ahead of time will help. I would consider traveling with a bilingual person. But you will get by in all the tourist sites. And it is a university town so most young people (they are everywhere) understand English. Service people can get by in English.

    • I’m sure you’ll be fine. Pick up a phrasebook or Spanish app and make an effort with the basics. We travel to many countries where we don’t speak the language and even if people don’t speak English we always manage somehow. There will definitely be some people who speak English too. Have a great trip!

  51. I went there when i was a child like about 13 years, and planning to go mid july, any suggestions? Which places to visit? Is there many tourists? Love your post very nice!!!

  52. Hello and thank you for posting this. My family goes back generation to Guanajuato! One day I would love to take my family to see where we come from.

  53. We just got back from a week in Guanajuato. Our first visit. We have been regulars in Mexico for decades and we currently own in Puerto Vallarta. We were very impressed with the city. We will return for an extended stay. May is the hottest month but the dryness makes it very bearable. Also at 6600 feet above sea level, it was very different than living at the sea.

    Thanks for your thorough review. The other must do is to visit El Pipila and take a taxi along Panoramica which encircles the city along the mountains. We stayed out by the dam in the La Quinta and it was also a fabulous neighbourhood just 10 minutes by bus from downtown. We recommend that hotel which we found online heavily discounted ($130 a night for their finest suite). We selected that because they welcomed our pet.

  54. Pingback: Beautiful Guanajuato. | Kesan Delta

  55. Visiting for several weeks this summer – 2014 – cannot wait. Any suggestions for Manuel Doblado must see/places to visit while there? Thanks.

  56. Hi , my husband and I will be visiting Guanajuato June 21, 2014 for just a few short days ;( but would like to fit a couple of day tours in 2 at least.. What would you recommend (4 days to be exact)… Thanks so much for your help….

  57. I live in Guanajuato, and I’m glad to see you enjoyed your stay. I will say that while your experience might not have demonstrated this, the city IS popular with short stay foreign tourists (European and American especially) and in the nearly two years and counting that I’ve lived here I continue to see those numbers rise as awareness of the city continues to grow. At any moment tourists from abroad can be found here in droves. It may still lag slightly behind San Miguel de Allende as you say in terms of numbers of such visits (which, for the life of me I can’t understand… For my money SMA has nothing you can’t find in GTO and the same cannot be said the other way around) but if you’d been here different dates you’d have found yourselves among plenty of other foreigners only here for a few days. I will also recommend to any first time visitors who may only know GTO for the Cervantino Festival, if you’re interested in getting to know and enjoy the city, Cervantino is perhaps the worst time to come. The city’s streets and all its attractions are overrun with crowds (as well as a disproportionately and unpleasantly high number of police brought in to patrol constantly and attempt to maintain order), the events are expensive, and the businesses, especially bars and restaurants, hit you with covers and other extra charges not present any other time of the year, simply because there’s nothing to stop them from gouging. If it’s your first time, don’t come during Cervantino!!

  58. Thank you for this beautiful post. I am planning to spend three weeks in Guanajuato in November and now I can point people to this post so they can see why I picked Guanajuato. I am going to study Spanish but have not decided on the school. Right now, I am looking at Escuela Falcon and Adelito – any thoughts? They both seem quite good. ¡Gracias!

    • I attended Adelita for one week only, and liked their informality–and the teachers were excellent. Small classes and great location near the Embajadoras Park. I would visit both schools and pick the one you feel suits you best. They can register you once you compare and decide. I met a nice woman “Lourdes” who owns a little place called “Que Gorditas!” on the Embajadoras Park–you can grab a quick desayuno (breakfast) with fresh orange juice before class!

  59. We are going to Gaunajuato tomorrow, we are currently in Celaya. And have ridden a motorcycle from Seattle, WA, to this point. I have found that the diversity of Mexico is so amazing and the people have been so welcoming as we travel through cities, desserts, towns, and mountains. Thanks for your site Im excited about Gaunajuato !

    • I’ve only just seen this post. I live in G’to and accept CouchSurfers. I don’t have my ‘available’ sign up at the moment because I’ve been away and will leave again soon but I’m here fora few days. Contact me if you are interested.

      • Hi ! Are you still accepting couch surfers? I am gonna come to guanajuato at the end of April to learn Mexican cooking and I am looking for a place to stay. Thank you for your answer. Regards, Clara

      • Hello Kay,

        I saw your post and would love to talk with you. I’m planning on moving from the states within the next few months (thank you, Donald Trump) and really don’t know where to begin. Most importantly, I need to learn Spanish and before I come there I’d like to find a good DVD program to study with.
        I hope you’ll respond.
        Sheila Cook
        P.S. I’m a very young senior (not in years, but in spirit.)

        • Your post made us smile, as my wife and I are in a very similar predicament. We are young-ish seniors and are wondering where to move (our plans greatly accelerated by the election). Guanajuato looks wonderful. Our concern is safety. Living with bars on the windows and passport in a safe is not our ideal. But perhaps we worry too much. Our research continues!
          Good luck to you!

  60. Thanks for the post. I really enjoyed it- especially the photos! I completely agree with you- one of my favorite activities is also aimless wandering! Actually while studying abroad here two years ago, my friends and I gave it a name- urban hiking! I never get bored of it and even two years later, it is still one of my favorite activities here. I hope you don’t mind that I shared your blog on the facebook page of the language school where I work ( I think our students will really enjoy it. Thanks so much for a great post!

  61. We just returned from visiting Guanajuato (along with the other Mexican colonial towns of San Miguel de Allende and Morelia). And it is beautiful! We just wish we could have stayed longer in Guanajuato than the few days we did. And we would have liked to have done some hiking, as you did :-). Maybe we’ll just have to go back?

  62. I love Guanajuato!! My husband or kids had never visited Mexico outside of Tijuana 🙂 and I am lucky to have family in Leon Guanajuato. We went to Guanajuato and they fell in love with it, so much that my husband wants us to eventually retire there! We visited El Callejon del Beso (alley of the kiss) and strolled through the beautiful streets, visited the Momias and ate the best tortas ever! My kids loved it as well…they came home back sharing everthing detail to Grandparents, family and friends. I encourange everyone to visit at least once in their life. Thanks for sharing your pics. My husband and I are going back next month…without kids 🙂

  63. Hi…I am travelling to Guanajuato for my first time in March. Thank you for your beautiful website…I can hardly wait to get there. One question I have is when the locals are selling crafts etc in the market places, is it common practice to barter as in many of the beach resorts? I would not want to insult anyone and would like to be prepared. Gracias !

  64. Hi! I live in Mexico. If you liked Guanajuato you should also visit San Cristobal de las Casas if you haven’t, it’s beautiful.

    • Hola Anna, yo nunca he estado en Guanajuato, pero si en San Cristobal y me encanto el lugar, pero sinceramente esta lleno de turistas y eso es algo que en lo particular no me gusta. Es Guanajuato tan lleno de turistas como San Cristobal? Espero Me puedas responer. 🙂

      • Hola Hill, vivo en Guanajuato y te puedo decir que sólo en temporadas altas y fines de semana (sobre todo cuando hay puentes) la ciudad está llena de turistas, te puedo decir que el exceso de turistas no es el problema en la ciudad, si algún día llegas a venir, permíteme hacerte las siguientes recomendaciones: ten mucho cuidado con los “guías de turistas” son un monserga, muchos de ellos no tienen autorización del municipio y lo que hacen es estafar a los turistas, engañarlos y llevarlos sólo a esos lugares en donde les dan comisión. La ciudad aunque de apariencia tranquila, tiene puntos muy conflictivos, por ejemplo los callejones que llevan al monumento del pípila, hay mucho vándalo. Asegúrate de conseguir un hotel con estacionamiento, es poco seguro dejar el coche en la calle, verifica antes de venir los precios y paquetes que te ofrecen los hoteles, que dicho sea de paso son carísimos. La ciudad es hermosa si, pero si te aturden las multitudes, mejor no lo visites durante el festival cervantino que es cuando más afluencia de turistas tiene la ciudad.

  65. I absolutely adore Mexico, my husband happens to be from the state of Guanajuato. So, two years ago, almost three now, we also visited during Semana Santa. We stayed at a hacienda turned hotel named Hotel Real de Mina. It was amazing! We actually drive from Idaho, through San Antonio, Texas, and into the heart of Mexico. It was an amazing and wonderful adventure. The streets are very narrow in Guanajuato, we drive a suburban and add you climb the hills towards the Museo de Mumeo, it becomes a but tricky to navigate yourself around. So, we opted to take a bus with a guide. They drive us through all of the city and tunnels and told us about the amazing cities history with multiple stops at too many amazing attractions to even begin with. After visiting Guanajuato, we took a short drive to Leon. Leon was also amazing. We went to the zona de piel, or the leather district. The pieces were absolutely amazing and the prices shoo cheap, that bartering didn’t even cross your mind! Not to forget that also close by is Silao with their denim… But outside of doing, the culture, history, ambiance, and energy of Guanajuato is amazing. I am blessed to have safely driven through Mexico, visited and stayed in many beautiful cities, and came back with an even greater appreciation than the one I had already garnered through visiting the beach resort towns up and down the coasts a half a dozen times. As far as safety goes, I took my one year old, and my in-laws as well. Never once did we ever come up against any uncomfortable situations. If anything, being a guera with a guerito baby (white lady with a white, although he is half Mexican, son) was an honor for them to us host us in their country, states, cities, and homes… Although I am the one that is truly honored to have walked with, mingled with, observed, and fallen in love with a very kind, caring, beautiful, and humble race. The Mexican race is absolutely amazing! I am truly honored to have been accepted by then so lovingly. I long desperately to go back, as Mexico as a whole has captured my heart and soul!

    • Hi Elisha,

      I have tears in my eyes from reading what you feel about Mexico…. I was born in Argentina but I feel Mexico is the home of my soul, the humbleness and warmth of the people is a feeling you can’t forget or find in many other places.
      Thank you for posting it in such beautiful way!

  66. I rented a home in Guanajuato for 1 month back in July 2010 for my family and loved it. Your beautiful photos capture many of the sights we remember and hope to return to someday again. The summer weather is very enjoyable and the city depends upon the rains to fill the local reservoirs at this time of year. I really enjoyed hiking and mountain biking the back hills surrounding the city and wandering through the endless alleys and side streets each day to find another hidden plaza with a fountain. I hope to return again soon.

  67. i really enjoyed all the great photos in your collection. i personally know how special Guanajuato is and i also know how almost impossible it is to explain and describe to others that haven’t been there how truly unique and extraordinary it is. they just all give me that same slightly puzzled and agreeable expression on there faces when i attempt to explain. i’ve spent some time there off and on since 1997 . my parents purchased a home there in the housing community known as Noria Alta. Sadly i havent been able to visit the home for the last 6 years because of so many family matters directly involving the passing of my parents as well others. i look forward to visiting soon with a close friend and plan to do some much needed maintenance on the home while im there and also have some dental work performed which alone will pay for the entire trip there in the amount of savings i’ll earn. i hope you enjoy your next visit. mario depalma sacramento california u.s.a.

  68. Enjoying your blog, thankyou. My husband and I plan to spend six weeks in Guanajuato this summer. We avoid resorts because we like to enjoy the local color and practice speaking Spanish. I thought I would try to volunteering a school to keep myself busy. Any ideas? Also, I am. Hoping that we will be safe. We are looking at a place on the San Fernando Plaza.

  69. Thanks for this wonderful photo compilation about Guanajuato! I’ve been looking into Guanajuato a lot, and this is one of the most helpful posts I’ve seen. Hopefully, I will be study abroad there next school year.

  70. I was just wondering what your opinion on living there for a month would be. I have the choice of Guanajuato or Galway, Ireland. I don’t know which to choose!

      • I lived in gto for 2 years back in the late 80s . I was a student in the universidad de gto. At the time I didn’t realize how beautiful the city is. But now I do.. I was there a few months ago .. Go a little nostalgic …

  71. I was in Guanajuato about 10 years ago for one day. I’ve always wanted to go back and am planning to do so next month!
    Just saw your post while doing some research. Glad to see it’s as I remember it. 🙂

  72. Guanajuato is incredible! I noticed you missed a couple of places in your commentary. The indoor market is a great place for fuit, crafts and people watching. The “Mummy Museum” is a bit of a tourist trap, but an interesting place to visit if you don’t mind a long winding drive up the hillside to reach it. It has an amazing story and the displays are respectfully presented.

    The mix of colours is very eye-catching! Coming from Canada where everything is a “shade of beige” this was a refreshing find. This palce is on my list to visit again if the opportunity presents itself! Great article 🙂

  73. I spent a month in GTO in 2006. I’ve never enjoyed a city as much. I did plenty of walking in the hills but probably walked half of the callejones as well. A beautiful, safe, city with much to see. I could easily spend another month there. January was cool in the evenings but warmed into the 70’s during the day; perfect in my estimation. It was low season, so fairly quiet.

  74. This city looks amazing and I plan to visit it on my next trip to Mexico. I was wondering if there are any beautiful lakes or rivers for swimming?

    • I’m not sure as when we were there in March the rivers were dried up. It might be different at other times of the year (during/after the summer rainy season).

      • Even in the rainy season (Jul>Sep) the rivers are to small and, sadly, too polluted for swimming. There is both mining and agricultural run-off. There are several very nice public pools, though, and a large Olympic pool at the UnG’to sports complex.

  75. Yes, Guanajuato is a very beautiful city. I personally think that it has a lot more energy than San Miguel, especially at night. I think it has to do with the all the young students attending the nearby university. My best advice is to befriend some of the local students so they can show you the best hang outs. Worked great for my wife and I. Very friendly there.

    Just got back from Playa de Carmen and was thinking about you, even though I don’t know you. Kept thinking I might run into you on the streets. 🙂

    Man, I love Mexico. If you are looking for another cool place to visit I would suggest Veracruz “El Puerto”. Things have calmed down now (some drug violence). This is a beautiful city with a rich culture and wonderful food!

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  77. These photos are amazing. I’ve never considered visiting Mexico before you started posting about it! Seems like the country have lots of amazing things to see and experience! 🙂

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  79. I am surprised that why I did not hear about Guanajuato City before?? This city looks like a riot of colors being thrown into a valley. And its houses, streets and sculptures carry that old world Spanish colonial charm.

  80. Guanajuato looks seriously beautiful, which is saying something since you didn’t even include food photos in this post! 😉 I love the riot of colors that seem to infect Spanish-speaking countries and cities, though I admit my experience with them is limited to Puerto Rico at this point. It’s pretty magical how all of those hues don’t seem to clash but rather create an idyllic little place where it seems impossible to be sad. One day we’ll make it to Mexico, and Guanajuato will certainly be getting a visit from us! 😀

  81. Great post and wonderful pictures! You have me aching to go back. We ate or sat at the lively, yet peaceful Plaza San Fernando many times, but we never could remember the name of it to share. Thanks for that! It’s neat to hear that it was one of your favorite spots too. We can’t say enough about Guanajuato and appreciated the quick trip through memory lane today!

  82. We love Guanajuato and have visited many times. We never get tired of the place. Just walking the streets – especially in the central district – is fun as you never know what you will run across. We haven’t been everywhere in Mexico either, but this is our favorite city so far. We look forward to visiting during the Cervantes Festival.

    • I’m sure it’d be crazy but so much fun to visit during the festival. I entirely agree that just walking the streets is enough entertainment there.

      • I posted a similar comment below but just to reiterate as it’s relevant here, for a first time visitor who wants to get to know Guanajuato, I recommend coming anytime OTHER than the Cervantino Festival. The city’s streets and all its attractions are overrun with crowds (as well as a disproportionately and unpleasantly high number of police brought in to patrol constantly and attempt to maintain order), the events are expensive, and the businesses, especially bars and restaurants, hit you with covers and other extra charges not present any other time of the year, simply because there’s nothing to stop them from gouging. If it’s your first time, don’t come during Cervantino!!

    • I have about 10-14 days for my first trip to Guanajuato with my adult daughter. To really get to know the place, would you suggest we stay the whole time there. I am still a little reluctant of travel in Mexico so I thought better to stay there. Also, IS the bus safe to travel with from the airport in Mexico City?

      Thank you for these wonderful posts. I am happy to have found your website. I also do like to incorporate a little bit of swimming/water in vacations. Are there any swimming pools you suggest? I believe there are some hot springs near by? Has anyone visited them?

      I really appreciate your answers.


      • You definitely could spend the whole time there and use it as a base for day trips to places like San Miguel de Allende (where I think there are hot springs). The buses are actually really nice in Mexico and we felt very safe. Have a great trip!

      • You will not go wrong wiht this one on where to stay! Hands down Casa Zuniga! Rick and his Wife Carmen will take very good care of you!

      • first of all, buses in México are very safe, specially in Guanajuato state, also there is an airport less than an hour away from Guanajuato city, this part of the country is very peaceful and has been almost immune to violence related to drug wars and such, so you will be very safe here. Actually Guanajuato has many other cities nearby, like San Miguel de Allende (a similar city to Guanajuato, but this one is very populated by foreigners), Dolores Hidalgo (another nice, small city), Silao, (about a 20 minutes drive away, but this is an industrial city, don’t go there), León (your average big city, has a little of everything), so if you get bored of Guanajuato you can easily go to another town, all of these are an hour away or less.

      • I love this part of Mexico. To sit an afternoon in the Jardin de la Union and listen to the music — a brass band, the mariachis or estudiantinas…it’s a lovely place. And your pictures are stunning! Also, the hot springs near San Miguel are pretty and relaxing. There are several, but my favorite is La Gruta.

        • I just saw a post about Guanajuato and I saw your name….my daughter’s name is Kate Fawcett!!!! I don’t see many people with the last name Fawcett let alone the first name like my daughter’s!

    • It is strange that it isn’t better known amongst foreign tourists. I guess it just doesn’t have as many big name attractions or beaches of other places. Hope you make it there!

      • Hi I’m married to a Norwegian man( I’m mexican myself) but believe it or not I’ve never been to Guanajuato :/. I saw your pictures and the place looks beautiful!!!! And since right now we are traveling around Mexico I thought that Guanajuato could be the perfect place to visit next, but I was just wondering if you think there are many tourist in the area. My husband loves the real Mexico he is not so fan of the touristic places. Do you think that place would be cool for him? I’m sure that it is perfect for me 🙂 looks great!

        • There aren’t that many tourists in Guanajuato. We were there at Easter and there were quite a few Mexican tourists but not many foreigners at all. I think it’d be great for you.

        • We are Canadians and visited the city by bus from Puerto Vallarta as part of our trip to see the monarch butterflies near Morelia. We’re loved it, and there were few tourists. We walked around by ourselves and walked around —just the two of us–with a very knowledgeable guide one day. I recommend a visit!

        • Guanajuato is great. Lots of foreigners study Spanish there because of the university– but it’s no where near as bad as san miguel de allende. Young vibe in this town with plenty of free spirits and artists.

        • There are quite a lot of Mexican tourists because of the many connections to the revolution. It is like Philadelphia is a local city in the USA with a lot of US citizens coming to see where their history happened. But, it is also very much a working Mexican city of about 150,000 and is the capital of the state and a university city with a symphony and a LOT of cultural venues and museums. Leon, an hour away, is an industrial city of 1.3 million and leather capital of Mexico. This is in no sense, resortsville.

        • There is a city name San Miguel de Allende it’s a tourist city very pretty I’ve been there yet many years ago also Dolores Hidalgo it’s right before you get to San Miguel very pretty and I think guanajuato the capital has the mummies very pretty but have not been there in years

        • There are TONS&TONS of tourists in G’to but they are Mexican tourists seeking to see the heritage places of their history. In the USA people go to Philadelphia to see Constitution Hall and the Liberty Bell. In Mexico thousands of Mexican tourists come to see the Alhondiga and the statue of El Pipila.It is charming and invigorating. I’ve lived here 11 years and the foreigners never outnumber the locals.

    • It’s looks great. I am an American tourist. What about the water…can you drink it or is there plenty of bottled available. Thx!Jean and Lou

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