If you want to experience authentic Mexican folklore, the city of Guanajuato is probably your best option since his gem of Mexico’s colonial past has been considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the entire country.
In fact, if you visit Mexico without spending at least one weekend at Guanajuato, you’re definitely missing out! Today we shall explore the best attractions of Guanajuato and the many attractions people can find there.
Enjoy the 5 reasons why Guanajuato is the most beautiful city in Mexico and remember to be back next week to read about the many Myths, Legends and Mummies (yes, Mummies) that you can encounter at this city.
Reasons why Guanajuato is the most beautiful city in Mexico #1: Its narrow alleys and romantic streets
Guanajuato is without any doubt, the most romantic city in Mexico, its historical center is not unlike those of Europe, with narrow alleys and pedestrian streets.
There’s even one special alley where you can literally jump from one side to the other via two balconies, there’s a very special folktale about two star-crossed lovers at the “Callejón del Beso” (Alley of the Kiss).
Can it get more romantic than that?
Reasons why Guanajuato is the most beautiful city in Mexico #2: Its cultural-rich historical value
It was here that the Mexican Independence War had its first victory against the Spaniards in 1810. Today, you can visit the Alhondiga de Granaditas, the fort where the Spaniards were massacred by the ragtag might of the Independence army.
Inside you’ll find some exquisite murals and interesting displays of the history of Mexico during the Spaniards rule and the struggle for Independence. Also, in downtown Guanajuato, you can visit the house where Diego Rivera, Mexico’s best known muralist, was born.
Also, don’t forget to check out the many Don Quixote’s monuments found around the city. The reason for this devotion to the character is because Guanajuato is the home of the Cervantino festival honoring Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote’s epic novel.
Reasons why Guanajuato is the most beautiful city in Mexico #3: The panoramic view from the Pipila monument
On a hill located on top of the city, you can find the monument of the Pipila, a hero of the Mexican Independence War. You can either walk for 20 minutes to the top or take the conveniently located cable car for a very small fee (about 1.50 USD).
From the Pipila monument you can get a perfect view over this colonial gem. Can you see that white castle-like building behind the yellow basilica? That’s actually an university (read all about the University of Guanajuato here) and yes, you can climb its steps to get another great view of Guanajuato.
Magical, isn’t it?
Reasons why Guanajuato is the most beautiful city in Mexico #4: The amazing colonial-era architecture
As I said before, there’s just something special about how the old blends in with the new. In Guanajuato, the local Government has forbidden people to paint their houses in any other color than the vibrant traditional ones that distinguish this city above the rest.
Inside any of the many churches, you will see amazing gold leaf decorations and statues made of porcelain. A special mention goes to the church’s domes, which are all decorated in a very unique manner, such as the one of the Basilica of Guanajuato.
Be on the look out for the high number of bronze sculptures scattered around the city, specially in the plaza near Teatro Juárez.
Reasons why Guanajuato is the most beautiful city in Mexico #5: It’s a foodies’ paradise
Where else in all of the world can you taste more than 100 flavors of ice cream? From avocado to pork, Guanajuato and the nearby city of Dolores Hidalgo specialise in making the most bizarre flavours of ice cream!
The best part? The friendly sellers can give you more than a few dozen samples for free as long as you end up buying at least one from them. I recommend you to try out the Tequila Ice cream, which is basically a 1 USD Margarita.
Incredible, uh? Other recommended flavors include seafood, pork meat, avocado and gansito (baby goose*).
*No, this isn’t really a goose-flavored ice cream, Gansito is the name of a Mexican pastry!
Practical information about travel to Guanajuato, Mexico
Guanajuato is located about five hours to the north-west of Mexico City, there are many daily buses that will get you there for about 35 USD. From Acapulco, you can take an overnight bus to Leon and from there proceed to Guanajuato.
From Guanajuato, you can easily reach Leon, the shoe capital of Mexico; San Miguel de Allende, the best city to live in according to a recent 2013 poll and Dolores Hidalgo, cradle of the Mexican Independence War.
Alternatively, you could go further west to Guadalajara, home of the Mariachi and the Tequila or to Queretaro, a beautiful colonial city with a wonderful Roman Aqueduct!
Where to stay in Guanajuato, Mexico
When it comes to accommodation, Guanajuato has plenty of awesome choices located within the historical centre of the city. Here’s a list of my recommendations for all types of budgets.
Luxury & Boutique Hotels of Guanajuato:
Hotel Boutique 1850, in the centre of Guanajuato, Hotel Boutique 1850 features beautiful individually decorated rooms in a charming, neoclassic building, dating from the 1850s. It features a spa and a sit-down restaurant.
Villa Maria Christina Hotel, with spacious, luxurious suites as well as first-rate services and an elegant restaurant, this stylish hotel provides guests with an ideal escape in the interesting city of Guanajuato.
Budget Hostels and Guest Houses of Guanajuato:
La Casa de Dante, featuring a roof terrace with views of tne hills surrounding Guanajuato, Hostal La Casa de Dante is located in Cerro de los Leones. This hostel offers simple accommodations with balconies.
Hostal La Casa del Tio, located in Guanajato’s old town, Hostal La Casa del Tio offers free Wi-Fi. Set in an Art Deco building, it is just 10 minutes’ walk from Juárez Theatre and Pípila Funicular Railway Station.
I hope you have enjoyed this travel guide to the Guanajuato, the most beautiful city in Mexico. Don’t forget to subscribe in order to get more awesome updates and tips straight to your e-mail!
Have you ever been to Guanajuato? Would you like to? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think!
Until next time, my friends!