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It's Official, Guanajuato Is Mexico's Most Colorful City

Posted by Auvi Evans on 4/29/19 4:21 PM

ILP Mexico

This is a favorite place for our ILP volunteers to visit during their semester abroad in Mexico. It's easy to get to (luckily so close to where ILP volunteers live!), crazy colorful, and has the best shopping. Many volunteers actually end up going more than once because they just can't get enough.

For ILP volunteers, you're living just an hour or two away from this favorite city, so we think the $5 or less bus ticket is well worth it for a weekend getaway. We think everyone should go here during their time in Mexico!

Looking for other places to visit in Mexico?
Here's a guide to our favorites that you shouldn't miss!

Here's everything you'll want to know about visiting Guanajuato  we know you'll love it! 

Making A Trip To Guanajuato

  1. Our Favorite Things To Do
  2. Places To Eat
  3. How To Get Here
  4. Where To Stay

ILP adventure

Our Favorite Things To Do

The Alley Of The Kiss

Don't miss the alley of the kiss! Legend says there were to young lovers who wanted to be together but the girl's dad forbade her to see the boy. They continued seeing each other in secret and their alley was so narrow that they could still kiss from their balconies.

Supposedly you're going to have seven years of good luck if you get a kiss in this spot. Either way, just go with your friends and get some colorful pictures in the gorgeous alleyway!

Address: 36000, Patrocinio 58, Zona Centro, Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico

ILP Adventure

ILP Mexico

The Callejoneada!

It's a musical night tour that some ILP group just rave about.  Locals say that if you don't go to a Callejoneada while in Guanajuato, it's almost like you didn't even visit. This musical performance that is always a part of a wedding, but includes singing, dancing, and stories about the city. You'll walk through the streets and hills at night with a guide who conducts all the festivities. Past groups have booked their tour during the day, just keep a look out for people in costume around the city center. Their tour was 150 pesos each if that helps you know what what price to ballpark. 

Visit Creepy Mummy Museum

The mummy museum is super popular and houses over 100 mummified bodies. At the museum you will learn about the history of the mummies, how they were mummified, and more. Pretty unique!

Address: Explanada del Panteón Municipal s/n, Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico

Hours: Monday- Thursday 9-6 and Friday-Sunday 9-6:30

Price: 50 Pesos about ($2.50 USD)

Ride The Funicular To The Best Overlook

The funicular is a cable car which pulls you up the mountain. The view you get at the top is stunning and over looks the vibrant city. This is the ultimate viewpoint so make sure to bring your camera! You can't miss this iconic horizon of the city.

Address: De La Constancia 17, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico

Hours: 9am-9:30pm daily

Price: 25 pesos one way ($1.30 USD)

ILP Mexico

ILP Mexico

The Diego Riviera Art Museum

Diego Riviera was a famous Mexican painter and husband to Frida Kahlo, you may have seen his work! His art is unique and colorful  just like Guanajuato. Diego's home was turned into a museum where you can look at his work and I'd highly recommend going!

Address: Positos 47, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico

Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 10:00 AM -  6:30 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM- 2:30 PM

Price: 25 pesos ($1.30 USD)

Ex Hacienda San Gabriel De Barrera

This is a set of gorgeous gardens. Past groups recommend going early to get great lighting, cooler weather, and a pretty empty park to wander around with just your group. There is also a museum on the grounds if you'd rather have an indoor activie, 

Address: KM 2.5, Guanajuato - Marfil, El Cerrito, 36050 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico

Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Learn more on their website. 

Hidalgo Market

Okay, do ALL your shopping at this indoor market!  Seriously, the prices can't be beat and the variety is awesome. Our volunteers say to save your pesos and do your shopping in Guanajuato instead of at more popular tourist markets you'll see on vacation.

You'll find a lot of street booths throughout the city but the best prices around are at the Hidalgo Market. Find woven baskets, amazing piñatas, purses, clothing, shoes (including those leather sandals we love so much), painted pottery, and more. 

  • Address: Av. Benito Juárez 3, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico
    Hours: 7:30 AM - 9:00 PM
ILP Mexico

ILP Mexico

Photos At The University Of Guanajuato 

This college makes our list of things to see in Guanajuato for a few reasons — it's a captivating slice of history with roots that trail back almost 400 years, and is quite the place for a photo op. The university started as the Holy Trinity Institute in 1732, and has transitioned to be a program sponsored by the government. Now, it's a education center for thousands of students, from high school all the way up to those achieving masters and doctorate degrees.  Fittingly, you'll find this gorgeous picture  at the Faculty of Architecture building. 

Find it: Av. Benito Juárez 77, ¡Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico


Wander Through Colorful Streets

One of the best parts of the city is being able to wander. Make sure and set aside time to explore this cute city and you won't be disappointed! You'll find hidden gems, colorful picture ops, and adorable winding streets as you explore.

ILP Mexico

ILP Mexico

ILP Mexico


ILP Mexico

Eat Here

As far as restaurants go, we have some recommendations below. But for food items to look for, one ILP volunteer says to make sure you try the guacamayas. They're a spicy sandwich piled high with crispy chicharrón pork rinds, avocado, spicy pico de gallo salsa, lime juice, and salt. Yum! 

Pizza Ilmitada

This place has delicious sweet and savory pizzas. For just 80 pesos (about $4.25 USD) you get unlimited pizza ... so if you're looking for a cheap way to fill up, this is it! It's also conveniently located right in city center. 

Address: Av. Juárez #9 planta baja, 36000 Guanajuato, Mexico

El Trompo de San Javier

This little hole in the wall won't disappoint! The tacos and quesadillas are especially delicious and they have several different options of salsa to add on top. Yum! We highly recommend going here. 

Address: Allende 7 Zona Centra 3600 Guanajuato, Mexico

Santo Cafe

This cozy little cafe has great prices and big portions. They'll have a little bit of everything so whether you are looking for pastries, nachos, or smoothies they've got you covered!

Address: Campanero 4 Puente, Del Campanero, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Mexico

Los Campos

This is another great place for variety and good prices.Their guacamole can't be missed and their pork is fantastic in whatever you get it in.

Los Campos is a pretty small place so get a reservation if you are going at night when it gets busy! 

Address: Plaza Baratillo, De La Alameda 4a, Centro, Alameda, Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico

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How To Get There

From Irapuato and San Jose Iturbide 

Getting to Guanajuato city from other parts of the state is super fast, easy and cheap! 

By Bus

If you're coming from Irapuato, by bus it only takes about an hour to get to Guanajuato and there are several buses headed there every day. Coming from San Jose Iturbide is about two hours, but still well worth the drive for the weekend trip. Tickets cost about 100 pesos ($5 USD) from Irapuato and you can book them easily on this site

Once you get to the bus station in Guanajuato you'll need to get another bus to take you into the actual city, or grab a taxi. Both will be inexpensive, just make sure they are taking you to the city center where all the action is.

By Taxi

Depending on how many people you are going with, a taxi can be a great option for getting to Guanajuato. It will cost about 500 pesos ($26 USD) from Irapuato, but when you split it between your group that isn't too bad! Tell the driver you want to go to the city center and agree on a price before you go to make sure you get a good deal.

ILP Mexico


Stay Here

Because Guanajuato is so close, many ILP volunteers just make it a day trip. But if you are wanting to spend more time (definitely recommended!) then consider staying at one of these places during your trip. 

Corral de Comedias Hostel

Previous ILP groups recommended staying here and said it was a good location in the city. It's a pretty simple hostel but will have everything you need for a good, comfortable stay!  Some mention that the walls a pretty thin, so it's hard to sleep unless you have earplugs, but the breakfast is great. Book it here

Casa a 29

It doesn't get closer to the city center than this hostel! It's small, cozy, and quiet with a helpful and friendly staff. Oh, breakfast is also included which means you can spend those pesos on tacos at lunch! Book it here

Hostel Casa de Dante 

This hostel is so fun, bright, and beautiful. You'll love the decor and there's a balcony you can hangout on with a gorgeous view of the city. Seriously we dig this place. Book it here

This AirBnB

You have your pick of AirBnBs in the city, but we are listing some that past groups have stayed at if that's helpful. This option has a great location which makes it easy to walk to most of the city's highlights. 

ILP Mexico

Ready to jump into Mexican culture?

Mexico has more to offer than you could ever imagine. Volunteering for a semester is the perfect way to soak it all in and fall in love with the beautiful country.

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Topics: Central America

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We are ILP, a Utah-based non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. We love travel so we're sharing all our tips for making the most of your time living abroad + seeing the world, and how to do it all on the tiniest budget.

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