Colourful buildings lining a street in Guanajuato City, Mexico.

Six reasons to visit Guanajuato, Mexico

Planning a trip to Guanajuato? Here are our top picks...

Stay: La Casona de Don Lucas

Walking tour: Guided Guanajuato tour

Experience: Callejoneadas

Day trip: Horseback riding in the mountains

Car rental: find competitive rates with Discover Cars

Guanajuato isn’t top of mind for every visitor to Mexico, but maybe it should be. As well as being a picturesque city, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, praised for its charming alleyways, colourful buildings, and panoramic views. Some might say it’s like stepping into a kaleidoscope.

Guanajuato City is famed for its stunning colonial architecture and a rich mining history that once filled the city’s coffers with silver. Not to forget, it's the birthplace of Diego Rivera, whose childhood home now serves as a fascinating museum. And did we mention the mummies? Yes, the Mummy Museum is as intriguing as it sounds.

I also found Guanajuato to have a warm hospitality and friendly atmosphere, making you feel welcome from the moment you arrive. Whether I was chatting with locals in the plazas, sampling street food from a roadside vendor, or sipping tequila in a cozy cantina, I was always greeted with a smile and a heartfelt "Bienvenidos."

If that’s not enough to get your attention keep reading. Here are just some of the reasons why we think Guanajuato is definitely worth visiting.

A view of Guanajuato's colourful buildings and historic churches from the top of a funincular.

1. Breathtaking architecture graces every corner

Picture colourful colonial buildings adorned with intricate ironwork balconies, standing proudly against a backdrop of cobalt blue skies. As you wander through the winding streets, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time to a bygone era of elegance and charm.

Don't miss the chance to marvel at iconic landmarks like the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, with its stunning neoclassical facade, or the grand University of Guanajuato, a masterpiece of Mexican Baroque architecture. Everywhere you look, there's beauty to behold, making Guanajuato a paradise for architecture enthusiasts, Instagrammers and photographers.

2. You can soak up the history

Guanajuato is a city steeped in history and culture, with tales of conquest, revolution, and artistic brilliance. From its humble beginnings as a mining town in the 16th century to its pivotal role in the Mexican War of Independence, Guanajuato's past is as vibrant as its present.

Explore the city's many museums, such as the Museo de las Momias, where mummified remains offer a fascinating glimpse into the region's past. In Guanajuato, history comes alive!

Underground tunnel in Guanajuato City

3. Guanajuato has a fascinating underground road system

Beneath Guanajuato’s lively streets lies a network of winding tunnels originally built to divert floodwaters from the city centre. Today, these subterranean passages offer a unique glimpse into Guanajuato's past and present.

Take a guided tour or simply wander through the tunnels on your own, marvelling at their engineering ingenuity and historical significance. You can also see hidden passageways and underground plazas.

4. It’s worth visiting all year round

Escape the winter chill and bask in Guanajuato's warm climate, where sunny days and cool evenings create the perfect environment for outdoor adventures and cultural festivities. That said, whether you visit in the springtime or the festive holiday season, you can usually find something happening in Guanajuato.

I was lucky enough to experience the magic of the Day of the Dead celebrations at the end of October, where colourful altars and lively processions honour loved ones who have passed. Around the same time of year, the city hosts the annual International Cervantino Festival, a cultural extravaganza featuring music, dance, theatre, and art from around the world.

The striking Parroquia Archangel Church in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

5. There are many attractions near Guanajuato

Beyond the city, many natural beauty and historical landmarks surround Guanajuato. To start with you can take a day trip to the picturesque town of San Miguel de Allende, known for its stunning architecture and vibrant arts scene.

Or if you prefer to get out into nature, explore the breathtaking landscapes of the Sierra de Guanajuato, where rugged mountains and lush valleys beckon outdoor enthusiasts with hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities.

You can also visit the stunning Cañada de la Virgen archaeological site or take in panoramic views from the enchanting La Bufa viewpoint, and much more!

6. Guanajuato is a wonderful place to try Mexican food

While you can find amazing Mexican food throughout the country, Guanajuato is a wonderful destination for foodies. You can experience everything from street tacos bursting with flavour to hearty enchiladas smothered in rich mole sauce. Every dish you experience showcases Mexico's diverse culinary heritage.

I found many sweet treats including churros dipped in thick chocolate as well as savoury delights like tamales and pozole. With the many markets, cozy cafes, and fine dining restaurants, you’ll find something for your palate and your budget.

Planning a trip to Guanajuato? Stay at La Casona de Don Lucas for comfortable rooms in an old, Baroque building in the historic centre.

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Warren and Natasha

Author - Warren and Natasha

Warren and Natasha have been travelling the globe for over eight years, and sharing the secrets to a successful digital lifestyle. Through their adventures, they have cultivated a wealth of knowledge on how to thrive online and abroad, sharing these insights to guide others on their journeys. Alongside managing a marketing agency, they document their favourite travel locations and invaluable tips on their blog.

Last Updated 3 April 2024

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