20 Things To Do In Guanajuato City

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Guanajuato City in Mexico’s central hills was once a Spanish colonial silver mining town. Its silver mining past helped fund numerous extensive construction projects, resulting in a very high concentration of significant religious buildings and colonial mansions in the city. Today, this lively and exciting Mexican city attracts a young population due to its renowned university, and you’ll find many cool things to do in Guanajuato.

It also offers numerous attractions, including the statue of El Pipila, the vibrant Basilica Guanajuato and the Jardin Union, which is the heart and soul of the city. Other attractions include the Alley of the Kiss, where Mexico’s Romeo and Juliet love story played out, and the La Valenciana Mine, which offers visitors the opportunity to experience the claustrophobic and harsh conditions of the colonial silver mines. Christ Rey del Cubilete, a popular pilgrimage destination, is located here.

After a busy day taking in all the sights, the city also has excellent restaurants, happening bars and the never-ending song of Mariachi bands for you to sit back and unwind. You won’t have any trouble finding things to do in Guanajuato City. 

Guanajuato City, Mexico

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guanajuato mexico aerial view with mountains in the background
Looking for things to do in Guanajuato? Here are our top 20.

20 Things To Do In Guanajuato City

1- Pucker Up In The Alley Of The Kiss

guanajuato alley of the kiss
Exploring the Alley of the Kiss is an iconic thing to do in Guanajuato City.

For a little bit of romance on your trip to Guanajuato, you can’t miss the famous Alley of the Kiss, or ‘El Callejon del Beso’.

This narrow, winding alleyway behind the Plaza de Los Angeles is steeped in legend.

As the story goes, long ago, a beautiful girl from a wealthy family fell head-over-heels in love with a handsome young man from a poor mining family.

Their love was forbidden, but they found a way to communicate by renting rooms across from each other in this alleyway.

At night they would sneak out to share kisses across the narrow gap between their balconies.

Today, couples who share a kiss on the spot where the two lovers once stood are said to be blessed with seven years of good luck.

So don’t be shy, pucker up and snap a selfie with your significant other for a memory that will last a lifetime.

El Callejon del Beso is at Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato.

Top tour: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Guanajuato.

2- Explore Guanajuato’s Subterranean Tunnels

things to do in leon guanajuato
Underground tunnels in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Guanajuato is famous for its stunning colonial architecture and winding streets, but did you know there’s a whole other city lurking right beneath your feet?

Initially built to prevent flooding from the Guanajuato River, these underground tunnels are now primarily used to get around the city without having to navigate the busy streets above ground.

While some of the tunnels have sidewalks and are pedestrian-friendly, stick to the shorter ones to avoid getting lost.

You can access the tunnels from numerous locations around the old city, and there are plenty of well-marked footpaths to guide you on your way.

Not only are the tunnels a fun and interesting way to explore the city, but they can also be a real time-saver too.

Top tour: Private from Guanajuato City: Tunnels, and Mines Tour.

3- Get Creeped Out At The Mummy Museum

This one is not for the faint-hearted – the Museum of the Mummies or Museo de las Momia.

In the late 1800s, a cholera outbreak led to many deaths and burials in Guanajuato and thanks to the city’s dry soil, the bodies were naturally mummified.

It wasn’t long before cemetery workers started charging people to see these mummies, which eventually led to this museum being built to showcase them.

If you’re up for this creepy challenge, the Mummies Museum is one of the top attractions in Guanajuato!

The Museo de las Momias is at Explanada del Panteon Municipal s/n, Centro, 36000 Guanajuato.

Top tour: Private History & City Walking Tour of Guanajuato.

4- Enjoy Breathtaking Vistas From The Pipila Monument

boy sitting on the edge of a balcony admiring the view of the city from the Pipila lookout
One of the top things to do in Guanajuato is to admire the view near Pipila.

For the perfect spot to capture a panoramic view of the entire city, head to the Monumento al Pipila.

Perched atop a hill, this towering monument is a tribute to local hero Juan Jose de los Reyes Martinez Amaro, also known as ‘El Pipila,’ widely celebrated in Mexican folklore.

This monument is Guanajuato’s best mirador (viewpoint), offering visitors a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the historic city centre.

Whether you’re a hobby or a professional photographer, the Pipila Monument is the perfect spot to capture some of the best cityscape shots you’ll ever take.

El Pipila Monument is at Cerro de San Miguel S/N, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.

El Pipila monument against blue sky
Monument El Pipila in Guanajuato, Mexico, is a stone monument statue of miner Juan Jose Martinez, who was a hero of the War of Independence.

5- Ride The Funicular

funicular and city
One of the fun things to do in Guanajuato is to ride the city’s funicular.

The city funicular, located just behind Teatro Juarez, takes you to our previous list entry, the Pipila Monument.

The ride up in the cable car offers stunning views of the city.

Don’t forget your camera or phone when you hop on the funicular, especially if you can snag a spot at the back to face the city and snap some fantastic shots.

We recommend purchasing a one-way ticket when boarding the funicular because, once you’ve arrived at the top and checked out the Pipila Monument, you can take a stroll back down through the maze of charming cobblestone streets.

The funicular is at De La Constancia 17, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.

6- Stroll Through History At San Gabriel De Barrera Hacienda

The San Gabriel de Barrera hacienda was built by the descendants of the owners of one of Guanajuato’s major silver mining operations.

Once the home of Captain Gabriel de Barrera and his family, the hacienda is now open to the public and showcases the opulent European furnishings of the period.

It’s the gardens that steal the show, though.

The vast grounds are a photographer’s dream, with vine-covered walls and lush courtyards that seem to go on forever.

You could easily spend hours exploring every nook and cranny of this well-preserved colonial estate.

Although it’s just a quick Uber ride from downtown, visiting this hacienda feels like escaping to a different world.

The Museo Ex Hacienda San Gabriel De Barrera is at KM 2.5, Guanajuato- Marfil, El Cerrito, 36050 Guanajuato.

7- Check Out The Diego Riviera Museum

Guanajuato City has been a long-time refuge for artists seeking inspiration.

One such artist was Diego Rivera, one of Mexico’s most celebrated painters and mosaic artists and the husband of Frida Kahlo.

Interestingly, Rivera was born right here in Guanajuato in 1886.

The Museo y Casa de Diego Rivera, or the Diego Rivera House and Museum, is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Guanajuato.

The museum offers a unique opportunity to glimpse into the early years of the artist’s life, to see how his upbringing in this picturesque city shaped his artistic vision.

The Diego Riviera Museum is at Positos 47, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato.

8- Visit The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guanajuato

aerial view of Guanajuato
If you’re looking for things to do in Guanajuato, the silver mining town in Mexico has plenty to offer.

The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guanajuato is a beloved local landmark, easily recognisable by its striking yellow facade.

Dating back to the late 1600s, this grand church boasts stunning Baroque-style architecture inside and out.

The jewel-incrusted Virgin Mary is a highlight of the ornate decor.

Taking photos inside the church is acceptable, but remember to be respectful.

For an authentic cultural experience, visit on a Sunday and attend mass.

The uplifting atmosphere will leave a lasting impression, and you’ll get to witness the local community coming together to celebrate faith.

The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guanajuato is located at: C. Ponciano Aguilar 7, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato.

9- Visit Templo San Diego

templo san diego red dome church
Visiting Templo San Diego is one of the iconic things to do in Guanajuato, especially for photographers.

If you’re looking for that perfect Instagram shot in Guanajuato, swing by the Templo de San Diego, one of the city’s most photographed churches.

This stunning church boasts a vibrant red dome that demands attention and a striking churrigueresque facade sure to impress.

Churrigueresque is a style of architecture popular in colonial-era mining towns like Guanajuato, characterised by elaborate ornamentation and exuberant decorations.

Templo de San Diego is a prime example of this style.

The Templo de San Diego is located at: Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato

10- Catch A Show At The Iconic Juarez Theatre

view from the ground of the statues on top of the theatre building
Another thing to do in Guanajuato is to see a show at Juarez Teatro.

A visit to Guanajuato is never complete without stopping by the historic and iconic Juarez Theatre or ‘Teatro Juarez.’

This grand building dates back to the late 19th century and has been the stage for countless live productions, making it a vibrant cultural centre.

This building is also closely associated with one of Mexico’s largest festivals, the Festival Internacional Cervantino.

The celebration of music, theatre and art takes place in mid-October and is one of the largest performing arts festivals in the world.

Whether you’re visiting the Juarez Theatre to admire its stunning architecture, take a self-guided tour of its interior or catch a live performance, it’s a must-visit spot in Guanajuato.

The Teatro Juarez is at De Sopena 10, Centro, 36000 Guanajuato.

11- Climb The 133 Steps Of The University of Guanajuato

university of guanajuato steps
Climbing the steps of the University of Guanajuato is one of the iconic things to do in Guanajuato.

Guanajuato is a city that never sleeps, thanks to the vibrant energy brought by the students that attend the city’s many colleges and universities.

The most beautiful of these education centres is the Universidad de Guanajuato!

This grand institution features a dramatic main entrance with 133 steps that lead to the door.

As you climb these stairs, you’ll feel like royalty ascending to the throne.

It’s a perfect spot for a photo shoot or to sit and watch the students hustle and bustle about their day.

The Universidad de Guanajuato is at No 5 No, C. Pedro Lascurain de Retana, Calzada de Guadalupe, 36700 Guanajuato.

Top tour: Running Tour in Guanajuato.

12- Step Into Colonial Past At Casa Del Conde Rul Museum

For an enjoyable cultural experience in Guanajuato, don’t miss the Casa del Conde Rul Museum.

This 18th-century mansion-turned-museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s colonial past.

It is filled with period furniture, artwork and other artefacts that give visitors a real sense of what life was like in Guanajuato centuries ago.

One of the intriguing things about the Casa Del Conde Rul Museum is the underground tunnel system beneath the house, which were used by the wealthy families of Guanajuato to transport goods and people throughout the city.

Today, you can walk through the tunnels to feel what living in this secret world was like.

Another museum highlight is the beautiful courtyard, filled with greenery and fountains.

This tranquil oasis is a beautiful spot to escape from the busy city and enjoy a moment of tranquillity.

13- Sit Back And Relax At Jardin De La Union

Welcome to the beautiful Jardin de la Union, a triangular plaza across the Templo de San Diego.

Lined with eateries, cafes and bars, this plaza is a hub of activity that offers a delightful view of the Calle De Sopena, a favourite spot for photographers.

It’s also the perfect spot in town for people-watching, enjoying live music by talented street musicians and trying out local street foods from the various vendors.

Jardin De La Union is at Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.

14- People Watch At Plaza San Fernando

Plaza San Fernando is a magical place you don’t want to miss in Guanajuato.

With its captivating beauty and charm, it’s no wonder why it has become one of the most popular and ‘instagrammable’ plazas in the city.

The plaza’s stunning architecture and picturesque surroundings make it a haven for artists who flock here to capture its beauty on their canvases or sketchpads.

In addition to the plaza’s artistic appeal, there are plenty of cosy cafes, lively bars and delicious restaurants to enjoy so if you’re feeling hungry or want to take a break from walking, there are plenty of options.

Plaza San Fernando is at Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato.

Top tour: Bar Tour in Guanajuato.

15- Explore History In Plaza San Roque

Explore some of the most colourful and historic sites in Guanajuato City in Plaza San Roque.

The first icon in this historic plaza is the San Roque Temple, an 18th-century church with a stunning interior!

If you’re a fan of bright and beautiful things, don’t miss the famous flower pot house on this square too.

This private residence is a local landmark and a must-see on your Guanajuato adventure.

Plaza San Roque is at Del Truco 9-11, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato.

16- Go Deep Into The Mines Of Guanajuato

Guanajuato owes its origins to the silver mines, which were the lifeblood of the local economy for centuries, so why not take a step back in time and see what it was like to work in the depths of these underground tunnels?

The Nopal Mine, located conveniently close to the city centre, is a great place to start but if you’re looking for a more extensive tour, the Valenciana Mines (also known as Minas San Cayetano) are a popular option, albeit a little further from the city centre.

You can easily join a bus tour departing regularly to this site.

The tours are typically in Spanish, but even if you don’t speak the language, it’s worth following the guide underground for the 35-minute tour.

Are you ready to put on a hard hat, leave the sunlight behind and embrace the darkness as you delve into the heart of the earth?

The Nopal Mine is at Panoramica San Javier S/N KM 19.5, San Javier, 36050 Guanajuato.
The Valenciana Mines are at Guanajuato-Cubilete Hill Highway, Mineral de Valenciana, CP 36350, Guanajuato.

Top tour: ATVs through the mountains and city of Guanajuato.

17- Go Rowboating At Presa De Olla

Escape the hustle and bustle of Guanajuato’s city centre and venture to Presa de la Olla, a stunning dam surrounded by a tranquil park, perfect for a day of relaxation and fun.

You can rent a rowboat here to glide around the calm, pristine lake, enjoy the peaceful scenery, or climb up the small tower for a breathtaking, panoramic view of the surrounding area.

The tranquil environment and picturesque scenery make for the perfect getaway from the city.

Presa De Olla is at Barrio de la Presa, Guanajuato, Gto. If you’re looking for more active things to do, check out these:

18- Have A Laugh With A Traditional Callejoneadas

If you’re looking for an entertaining way to experience Guanajuato’s rich culture, you won’t miss the Callejoneadas tradition.

For over 50 years, tourists and locals alike have been indulging in this night-time adventure through Guanajuato’s winding alleys and bustling plazas.

Accompanied by strolling musicians dressed in colourful period costumes, the Callejoneadas is a show you won’t forget.

This is one of Guanajuato’s must-do things but bear in mind that it is conducted entirely in Spanish.

Be sure to book in advance to secure a spot, and don’t forget to bring your sense of humour.

19- Go On A Pilgrimage To See The Cristo Rey Statues At Cerro Del Cubilete

Imagine ascending a towering mountain, feeling the wind whip through your hair as you approach one of Mexico’s most stunning religious sites, perched atop Cerro del Cubilete, the magnificent Cristo Rey statue of Jesus Christ.

At 8461 feet (2579 m) above sea level, today’s statue is the second incarnation after the original was destroyed in the Cristero War, a rebellion against the 1917 constitution.

This is the perfect half-day trip that will stick in your mind as a memorable experience.

20- See Don Quixote Brought To Life At Don Quixote Iconographic Museum

don quixote monument and blue sky
An interesting thing to do near Guanajuato is to discover the history of Don Quixote. This monument is at the entrance of the old town and is dedicated to Don Quixote and other famous figures.

Explore a hidden gem of an art museum in Guanajuato that brings Miguel de Cervantes’ literary masterpiece, ‘Don Quixote,’ to life.

Focusing on Don Quixote, the museum showcases the novel’s influence on Spanish culture and society, creating a truly immersive experience.

Even if you’re not familiar with the famous novel, the museum’s wide array of captivating artwork is sure to keep you entertained and engaged.

The signage for this museum has been thoughtfully translated into English, so you can fully appreciate the intricate details of this impressive collection.

If you’re a fan of Miguel De Cervantes’ work, don’t miss the annual Cervantino Festival, the city’s biggest celebration, held in his honour.

Museo Iconografico del Quijote is located at: Cantarranas 1, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato.

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Jane Williams is a writer living in Mexico. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, she has visited over 30 countries and lived in Japan for two years. Passionate about culture and history, her fascination for ancient civilisations has led to her to explore the world's iconic sites, such as Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat. Even though she loves uncovering the secrets of the past, she feels equally at home exploring contemporary culture. A mother of two with a degree in anthropology, she enjoys sharing her travel adventures with others.