If you’re looking for a city in Mexico that is safe, full of vibrant colors, and not overrun by tourists then Guanajuato is the one for you. Many call it the most beautiful city in Mexico, and these 30 pictures of Guanajuato will help you see why.
This charming town sits surrounded by mountains and is only a 1.5-hour drive from San Miguel de Allende (another colorful city). I do recommend visiting both if you have the chance.
Pictures of Guanajuato Mexico
Guanajuato will draw you in from the moment you drive into the center. The city welcomes you with its Baroque and colonial architecture, layers of colorful homes, incredible food, and the friendliest locals. Guanajuato is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Is Guanajuato Safe?
Just like San Miguel de Allende, I felt perfectly safe while in Guanajuato. Even at night, we were able to walk around the town without feeling uneasy.
The center is buzzing with people all day long well into the evening. I wouldn’t suggest walking outside the city center at night or through their tunnel system, but besides that, we didn’t have any issues.
Guanajuato has a famous tunnel system that helps keep traffic from clogging the city, but also allows for pedestrians to safely cross through the town. I didn’t walk through their tunnel system at all. Tunnels generally scare me, but it’s a popular choice for locals and visitors alike.
Have you heard of the Mexican horror legend of La Llorona (the weeping woman)? She drowned her children then killed herself, and her spirit would wander the streets at night weeping for them. I just learned that according to local legend, La Llorona still wanders the Guanajuato tunnels at night.
One time the GPS was directing us to walk through the tunnels to get to a cafe, but I was like “nope, I’ll take the longer route.” If you’re a baby like me when it comes to tunnels or just suffer from claustrophobia, you can easily avoid going through them by taking side streets.
Also, make sure you book your Airbnb or hotel near the city center to bypass the tunnel route. Check out my recommendation for where to stay below.
How to get to Guanajuato
We spent 2 days in Guanajuato and visited during a week-long trip to Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende, so I’ll share the route we followed.
- Fly into Mexico City (CDMX)- spend a day exploring.
- Fly into Leon, Guanajuato (BJX) from CDMX– Hire a shuttle to take you to San Miguel de Allende. Spend 2 days there.
- Hire a private driver to take you to the city of Guanajuato for another 2 days.
- Have the same driver take you back to BJX airport where you’ll fly to Mexico City for another 3 days of adventures.
For transportation companies, I highly recommend SMAride and BajioGo.
BajioGo– Excellent reviews on Tripadvisor, very responsive, and timely. They pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel door. The cost for both of us for a shared shuttle was $46. They also offer transfers from Mexico City.
SMAride– Even better reviews, but they only offer private transfers. However, they were timely, friendly, and super responsive. This may be a better fit if you don’t want to travel in a shared shuttle or if you’re traveling with a larger group. We used them to go to Guanajuato City ($70) and then back to BJX airport ($40). All in all, we loved our experience and glad we didn’t have to worry about a rental car.
Things to do in Guanajuato
We made the most of our 2 days in this colorful city, but there’s enough to fill up beyond a weekend in Guanajuato. Here are some of the most popular options.
WANDER THE COLORFUL STREETS Once again, this is my favorite thing to do when I travel. Guanajuato had so much to offer my camera that I didn’t tire of this activity. We walked somewhere new every day and took hundreds of photos of this layered city.
MONUMENTO AL PIPILA One of the most gorgeous viewpoints I’ve ever seen! You can either hike your way up through the winding streets or take a funicular up. We chose the funicular for the way up and walked back down when we were finished. Pipila refers to the hilltop statue overlooking the city.
CALLEJÓN DEL BESO Callejón del Beso is one of the most famous stops in Guanajuato. It is the narrowest alley in the city. So narrow that two lovers can easily share a kiss from opposite balconies. The story behind this little alleyway is filled with forbidden young love and tragic death. But now it makes for a cute photo opportunity. No tour is needed.
MUSEO CASA DIEGO RIVERA In this museum, which was Diego Rivera’s former home, you’ll find his original artwork and a collection of antiques from his house.
JARDÍN DE LA UNIÓN Gorgeous square lined with trees, open-air cafes, and plenty of people enjoying the moment. It’s a good spot to people-watch or to catch some of the local musicians perform.
MUSEO DE LAS MOMIAS This mummy museum is another popular stop in Guanajuato, but not one that I wanted to make. The museum has real mummies dug up from a nearby cemetery with a full history behind it. They have mummies of every age including babies, and I just wasn’t cool with seeing mummified babies.
EL CERRO DE LA BUFA If you’re looking for more nature during your time in Guanajuato, you can take a taxi to this scenic hiking trail. It’s a 6+ mile loop trail located near the city, about a 17-minute drive.
Since Guanajuato isn’t as visited as San Miguel de Allende, I couldn’t find any cool tours on GetYourGuide (my go-to) or Viator.
However, good ol’ Airbnb has plenty of tours and experiences offered by locals! Check those out if you’d rather have a guide show you around town.
Where to Stay in Guanajuato
Our stay at La Casona de Don Lucas hotel was amazing and right in the center of everything. I made sure to request a balcony overlooking the street with beautiful views of the church. We had a spacious suite with two floors.
The suite was clean and the bed was comfortable. We also didn’t struggle with noise considering we were right in the city center. The balcony has heavy doors to help keep the street noise out.
There’s a buffet breakfast included in the price and is decent for what you pay, but skip the coffee and try one of the many cafes around town. Click here for the latest prices.
If you’d rather something further away from the center, check out this Airbnb with an amazing view. We first tried booking this place when planning the trip but of course, it was booked solid. Maybe you’ll have more luck? If not, La Casona is a fantastic choice, or try any of the other well-rated Airbnbs.
Best Restaurants in Guanajuato
Enchiladas Doña Lupe– They serve enchiladas mineras, which is a traditional dish in Guanajuato. Historically, Guanajuato is known for its silver mines. Wives used to make these enchiladas for their miner husbands as a hearty work lunch. This restaurant is tiny and only has a handful of tables, but some of the yummiest enchiladas we’ve had! People line up to eat this delicious dish. Luckily, we knew this and got in line before they opened. We had to share a table with a nice local couple who confirmed that we were at one of the best spots in Guanajuato.
Gorditas Las Güeras– Delicious gorditas right on the street. These women set up shop in the same area every day, whipping up one gordita after another for a long line of fans.
Vivo– Our favorite cafe. They have various types of milk including coconut so it was a win for me. I ordered a regular latte while Jorge tried a horchata latte. We both loved the horchata latte so much that I had to order my own.
Café Tal– Cute cafe with good coffee. We got a little table by the window and enjoyed our cappuccinos while planning the day. Another cafe we wanted to try based on good reviews was Cafe Conquistador.
Estacion Gelato– Loved this gelato shop! They had amarena cherry flavor which I was so happy about because I can rarely find it outside of Italy. The setup inside is cute too, with a small balcony where you can enjoy your gelato.
Bartola– The cocktails were alright, pricey for Mexico, but the view and the vibe were lovely. We also got great photos of the pool with the city in the background. It was a nice place to just lounge for a while.
Hoping to visit other parts of Mexico? Here are some helpful guides
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I thoroughly enjoyed the photos shared here. GTO is truly one of the most magical places on earth. My Grandparents used to say, Mexicans travel to GTO, to learn about the history and heart of Mexico. I would agree.
Word of caution: Good shoes are a must. Cobblestone streets are unforgiving on the feet. Party goers flock to GTO during the Cervantino Festival. Avoid that time, unless Pura Pachanga is your idea of entertainment. If art, history and breathtaking scenery is more your style – choose a Spring our late fall travel date. I recommend 4 days – – and skip Las Momias.
Thank you for reading, Alicia! And also thanks for the extra tips 🙂
Looks like a beautiful place to visit!
It truly is!
I knew Guanajato is pretty and you photos confirmed it. The colors around the city are incredible. I have made plans to visit but then decide for another city in Mexico. That will not happen next time.
So glad to hear this, I hope you do get to visit soon!
Wow what a colourful city ,never heard about it before.thanks for the lovely post
Thanks for reading 🙂
OMG I had no idea that this existed! I love all the potted plants that are hanging on the stair cases. What a DREAM! Definitely going to look into visiting here.
Yay! Glad it inspired your list 🙂 thanks for reading!
Wow! Mexico is already my absolute favourite country to travel because I just love the many colourful cities the country offers. Beautiful, thanks for sharing!
Right? Mexico is stunning! So much to offer beyond just resorts.
I love colorful cities and this one looks amazing! The church is fantastic and I love the view from the viewpoint! Exceptional! Thanks for sharing, I haven’t heard about it before reading your article!
The viewpoint was amazing! So glad I was able to introduce a new place!