Destinations > Guanajuato > Guanajuato City
Guanajuato City is a vibrant Mexican destination with an unsurpassable cultural experience. Explore its colorful colonial architecture, delicious cuisine, and numerous museums that showcase the city’s fascinating history.
Traveling to Guanajuato City, Mexico, is an enriching and unforgettable experience. This vibrant and colorful city, nestled in the mountains of central Mexico, boasts a rich cultural heritage and a lively atmosphere.
Guanajuato City is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, winding cobblestone streets, and underground tunnels. You can expect to be immersed in the city’s history by exploring its numerous museums, such as the Alhondiga de Granaditas and the Diego Rivera Museum, and marvel at the stunning churches like the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato.
The city also hosts various festivals throughout the year, including the famous Cervantino International Arts Festival, which attracts artists and tourists from around the world.
Guanajuato City is definitely worth visiting for those who appreciate history, culture, and unique urban landscapes. The city’s well-preserved colonial charm, combined with its vibrant colors and lively atmosphere, makes it a truly enchanting destination. Guanajuato City offers a wide range of activities for visitors, including wandering through the picturesque streets, attending a performance at the historic Juarez Theater, and taking a ride on the funicular to enjoy panoramic views of the city from El Pipila monument. Moreover, Guanajuato’s friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and bustling markets add to the overall appeal of this Mexican gem.
✈️ Planning a trip to Guanajuato City? Talk to an expert trip designer.
✈️ Guanajuato City Travel Guide: quick info
- 🇲🇽 State: Guanajuato
- ⏰ Timezone: Central Standard Time (GMT-6)
- ✈️ Airport: Bajio International Airport (BJX)
- 💲 Currency: The currency in Mexico is called Mexican pesos (MXN). Mexico also uses the $ sign so don’t be confused if you see this all over town – it’s not in USD so don’t be fooled! See today’s conversion rate here.
- 🔌 Power plug: Mexico uses a type A socket (US, Canada). For more information about power plugs in Mexico, see this link (with photos)
- 📱 Mexico sim card: See our complete Mexico sim card guide for more information.
🗺️ Guanajuato City Map
✨ Guanajuato City Travel Tips
- Learn basic Spanish phrases: While many locals in Guanajuato City speak English, having a basic understanding of Spanish can greatly enhance your experience. It will help you navigate the city more easily and make more meaningful connections with locals.
- Visit during the Cervantino Festival: If your schedule permits, plan your trip during the Cervantino International Arts Festival, held in October. This world-renowned event showcases a variety of performances, including music, dance, theater, and visual arts.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes: Guanajuato City’s hilly terrain and cobblestone streets can be challenging to navigate. Be sure to wear comfortable and sturdy shoes to make your exploration of the city more enjoyable.
- Use public transportation and taxis wisely: While Guanajuato City is relatively compact and walkable, using public transportation or taxis can save time when navigating the city. Just be mindful of taxi fares and try to negotiate the price before getting in.
- Explore the city’s lesser-known museums: In addition to the popular Diego Rivera Museum and Alhondiga de Granaditas, consider visiting lesser-known gems such as the Museum of Quixote Iconographic or the Don Quixote Iconographic Museum.
- Take a callejoneada: Experience a traditional callejoneada, a festive and musical walking tour led by local musicians and performers. This is a unique way to explore the city’s narrow alleyways and learn about its history and legends.
- Sample regional cuisine: Don’t miss out on trying some of Guanajuato’s delicious regional dishes, such as enchiladas mineras and guacamayas, which are unique to the region.
- Visit the Mercado Hidalgo: Immerse yourself in local culture by visiting the bustling Mercado Hidalgo. This indoor market offers a wide variety of local goods, including fresh produce, crafts, and souvenirs.
- Explore the surrounding towns: If you have time, venture out to the nearby towns of Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende, which also boast stunning architecture and rich history.
- Attend a performance at the Juarez Theater: Check the schedule for the historic Juarez Theater, and if possible, attend a performance or event. This beautiful venue offers a variety of shows, from classical music to contemporary dance, providing a memorable cultural experience.
🪅 Guanajuato City Travel Blog
🚌 Getting around Guanajuato City
- Walking: One of the best ways to experience Guanajuato City is by walking. The city’s compact layout, pedestrian-friendly streets, and picturesque alleyways make it an enjoyable place to explore on foot. Keep in mind that the city is hilly and has many cobblestone streets, so wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Taxis: Taxis are widely available throughout Guanajuato City and provide a convenient way to get around, especially if you’re carrying luggage or want to reach a specific destination quickly. Be sure to negotiate the fare with the driver before getting in, as not all taxis use meters.
- Public buses: The city’s public bus system is an affordable and efficient way to get around. Buses run frequently and cover most areas of interest. Be prepared for crowded buses during peak hours and keep some change handy for the fare.
- Tourist trolleys: For a more leisurely sightseeing experience, consider taking a tourist trolley tour. These tours offer guided trips around the city, allowing you to explore its main attractions without worrying about navigation or transportation.
- Funicular: The Guanajuato Funicular is a popular means of transportation for both tourists and locals. This cable-driven railway takes passengers from the city center up to the El Pipila monument, offering stunning panoramic views of Guanajuato City.
- Car rental: If you prefer to have more control over your transportation, consider renting a car. However, be aware that driving in Guanajuato City can be challenging due to its narrow streets, limited parking, and intricate network of underground tunnels.
- Bicycles: Renting a bicycle can be an enjoyable way to explore the city at your own pace. Some hotels and rental shops offer bikes for visitors. Be cautious when cycling on busy streets and cobblestone roads, as they can be tricky to navigate.
- Private tours: For a more personalized experience, consider booking a private tour with a local guide. This option allows you to customize your itinerary and explore the city at your leisure, with the added benefit of local insights and recommendations.
☀️ Best time to travel to Guanajuato City
The best months to visit Guanajuato City for good weather are typically between October and April. During these months, the city enjoys a pleasant climate, with mild temperatures and little rainfall. The daytime temperatures average around 21-27°C (70-80°F), making exploring the city and its many attractions comfortable. Remember that evenings can get cooler, so it’s advisable to pack a light jacket or sweater for nighttime strolls.
The cheapest months to travel to Guanajuato City are usually during the off-peak season, which falls between April to June and September to November. During these months, you are likely to find better deals on accommodations, flights, and other travel expenses as the city experiences fewer tourists. While the weather may not be as consistently pleasant as during the peak season, you’ll still enjoy moderate temperatures and lower humidity levels. Additionally, visiting during the off-peak season means you’ll encounter fewer crowds, allowing you to explore Guanajuato City more relaxedly.
📅 Guanajuato City weather by month
January in Guanajuato City
Traveling to Guanajuato City in January means experiencing cooler temperatures and relatively low humidity. Daytime temperatures average around 20°C (68°F), with nighttime lows dropping to approximately 7°C (45°F). January is generally a dry month, with minimal rainfall, making it a comfortable time to explore the city. In January, you can attend the International Film Festival (GIFF) held in nearby San Miguel de Allende, showcasing various international films and documentaries.
February in Guanajuato City
Guanajuato City in February brings mild temperatures and low humidity levels. Daytime temperatures average around 22°C (72°F), while nighttime lows can reach around 8°C (46°F). February also experiences minimal rainfall, making it a pleasant time to visit. While no major festivals occur in Guanajuato City in February, you can enjoy the city’s beautiful architecture, museums, and cultural events without the crowds.
March in Guanajuato City
March is a delightful month to visit Guanajuato City, as the weather is mild and rainfall remains low. Daytime temperatures average around 24°C (75°F), while nighttime lows hover around 10°C (50°F). With the pleasant weather, March is an ideal time to explore the city’s outdoor attractions and attend the Festival del Día de San José, a local celebration featuring parades, music, and traditional food.
April in Guanajuato City
Guanajuato City in April brings warmer temperatures and slightly higher humidity levels. Daytime temperatures average around 26°C (79°F), while nighttime lows are around 12°C (54°F). April is also a relatively dry month, with minimal rainfall. During this month, you can participate in Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations, which include religious processions, reenactments, and other cultural events.
May in Guanajuato City
May is one of the warmest months in Guanajuato City, with daytime temperatures averaging around 28°C (82°F) and nighttime lows of 14°C (57°F). Humidity levels remain moderate, and rainfall is minimal during this month. In May, the city hosts the Festival de Cine Guanajuato (Guanajuato Film Festival), showcasing various films, documentaries, and short films from around the world.
June in Guanajuato City
Guanajuato City in June marks the beginning of the rainy season, with increased humidity levels and more frequent showers. Daytime temperatures average around 26°C (79°F), while nighttime lows are around 14°C (57°F). Despite the rain, June is still a great time to visit Guanajuato City, as the showers tend to be short-lived and the city remains vibrant. No major festivals take place in June, but you can still enjoy the city’s many attractions, museums, and cultural events.
July in Guanajuato City
Traveling to Guanajuato City in July means experiencing the rainy season, with increased humidity levels and more frequent showers. Daytime temperatures average around 24°C (75°F), while nighttime lows are around 14°C (57°F). Despite the rain, July is still a great time to visit Guanajuato City, as the showers tend to be short-lived, and the city remains vibrant. You can attend the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF) in July, showcasing films, documentaries, and short films worldwide.
August in Guanajuato City
August in Guanajuato City brings warmer temperatures and the continuation of the rainy season. Daytime temperatures average around 24°C (75°F), while nighttime lows hover around 14°C (57°F). Humidity levels remain high, and rainfall is frequent, though usually brief. August is also the month when the city celebrates the Festival de la Virgen de la Asunción, featuring parades, live music, and traditional food.
September in Guanajuato City
September in Guanajuato City sees the end of the rainy season, with gradually decreasing humidity levels and rainfall. Daytime temperatures average around 23°C (73°F), while nighttime lows are around 13°C (55°F). In September, the city hosts the colorful and vibrant celebration of Mexican Independence Day on September 15th and 16th, with parades, fireworks, and street parties.
October in Guanajuato City
October in Guanajuato City brings pleasant weather, with mild temperatures and low humidity levels. Daytime temperatures average around 22°C (72°F), while nighttime lows are around 11°C (52°F). October is also a relatively dry month, with minimal rainfall. This month, the city hosts the renowned Festival Internacional Cervantino, one of Latin America’s most significant cultural events, featuring music, dance, theater, and art from around the world.
November in Guanajuato City
Guanajuato City in November offers mild temperatures and decreased rainfall, making it a great time to visit. Daytime temperatures average around 21°C (70°F), while nighttime lows hover around 9°C (48°F). November is an excellent month to explore Guanajuato City’s outdoor attractions, museums, and cultural events.
December in Guanajuato City
December in Guanajuato City brings cooler temperatures and relatively low humidity levels. Daytime temperatures average around 20°C (68°F), with nighttime lows dropping to approximately 7°C (45°F). December is generally a dry month, with minimal rainfall, making it a comfortable time to explore the city. During this month, you can enjoy Christmas festivities, including traditional posadas, light displays, and seasonal decorations throughout the city.
🛏️ Where to stay in Guanajuato City
- Hotel Castillo Santa Cecilia: This unique hotel is set within a 17th-century castle, offering guests an experience steeped in history. With a variety of room types, an on-site restaurant, and a pool, this hotel is perfect for a memorable stay. Prices range from $50 to $150 per night.
- Edelmira Hotel Boutique: Located in the heart of Guanajuato City, this boutique hotel features modern amenities and elegant decor. The property offers a rooftop terrace, pool, and on-site restaurant. Room prices range from $120 to $200 per night.
- Casa del Rector Hotel Boutique: This stylish hotel is situated in a renovated 18th-century building and offers an elegant atmosphere with contemporary amenities. With a rooftop terrace, bar, and pool, guests can expect a luxurious stay. Prices range from $130 to $250 per night.
- Antiguo Vapor Categoría Especial: This boutique hotel boasts a prime location near Jardin de la Union and offers comfortable, modern rooms in a beautifully restored historic building. Prices range from $100 to $180 per night.
- Quinta Las Acacias: A charming 19th-century French-style mansion turned hotel, Quinta Las Acacias offers a tranquil atmosphere with beautiful gardens and elegant rooms. Prices range from $80 to $200 per night.
- Hostal Casa de Dante: This highly-rated hostel offers budget accommodations without compromising on comfort or amenities. With a variety of room types, including dormitories and private rooms, prices range from $15 for a dorm bed to $50 for a private room.
- Villa Maria Cristina: For a luxury experience, this upscale hotel features elegant rooms, an on-site spa, indoor pool, and restaurant. The hotel is housed in a beautifully restored mansion, and prices range from $200 to $450 per night.
- Hotel San Diego: This centrally located hotel offers comfortable accommodations and stunning views of the city. With a variety of room types and a rooftop terrace, prices range from $60 to $150 per night.
- Casa Zuniga B&B: This charming bed and breakfast offers a cozy atmosphere with beautiful views of the city. Guests can enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast and comfortable rooms. Prices range from $80 to $150 per night.
- Casona de Cantera: This budget-friendly hotel offers simple, clean rooms and a central location near the city’s main attractions. Prices range from $30 to $60 per night.
🌆 Things to do in Guanajuato City
- Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato: This stunning 17th-century church is dedicated to the patroness of the city and houses a revered statue of the Virgin Mary. Its beautiful Baroque architecture and vibrant yellow facade make it a must-see attraction.
- Alhondiga de Granaditas: This historic building played a crucial role during the Mexican War of Independence. Today, it serves as a museum that showcases the city’s history and features a collection of paintings, murals, and artifacts.
- Diego Rivera Museum and Home: Visit the birthplace of the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, which now functions as a museum displaying some of his early works, as well as personal items and family photographs.
- Juarez Theater: This beautiful 19th-century theater features a stunning neoclassical facade and ornate interior. Attend a performance, or simply visit the theater to admire its architecture and history.
- The Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss): This famous narrow alleyway is known for its romantic legend of star-crossed lovers. According to local lore, couples who share a kiss on the third step of the alley will enjoy seven years of happiness together.
- Funicular and El Pipila Monument: Take a ride on the funicular railway to reach the El Pipila Monument, which offers panoramic views of Guanajuato City. The monument commemorates the hero of Mexican Independence, Juan José de los Reyes Martínez, known as El Pipila.
- Guanajuato Mummy Museum: This unique and somewhat eerie museum displays a collection of naturally mummified bodies discovered in the city’s Santa Paula Cemetery. The exhibit is not for the faint of heart but offers a fascinating insight into local history and preservation.
- The University of Guanajuato: This prestigious institution features a striking Baroque-style building and a grand staircase leading to its entrance. Wander through the campus and appreciate its architecture and vibrant atmosphere.
- Jardin de la Union: This charming tree-lined plaza is the heart of Guanajuato City and a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, dine at a nearby restaurant, or simply people-watch from one of the many benches.
- Mercado Hidalgo: Visit this bustling indoor market to experience the lively atmosphere, shop for souvenirs, and sample some local cuisine.
- The Don Quixote Iconographic Museum: This quirky museum is dedicated to the literary character Don Quixote and houses a collection of artwork, sculptures, and artifacts inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ famous novel.
- La Valenciana Mine: Explore this historic silver mine, once one of the richest in the world. Guided tours offer a glimpse into Guanajuato’s mining history and the opportunity to venture underground.
- Templo de San Cayetano: This stunning Baroque-style church, located near the La Valenciana Mine, features ornate decorations, a gilded altar, and impressive paintings.
- Callejoneada: Join a traditional callejoneada, a festive and musical walking tour led by local performers. This unique experience takes you through the city’s winding alleyways, accompanied by lively music and storytelling.
- Hiking in the surrounding hills: Take a hike in the hills surrounding Guanajuato City to enjoy scenic views and appreciate the area’s natural beauty. Popular trails include the route to the Cristo Rey statue and the Rayas Mine lookout point.
🚗💨 Day trips from Guanajuato City
- San Miguel de Allende: This picturesque colonial town is about 1.5 hours away from Guanajuato City. San Miguel de Allende is a must-visit destination known for its well-preserved architecture, vibrant art scene, and numerous galleries. Day tours can cost between $40 and $80 per person.
- Dolores Hidalgo: Located about 1 hour from Guanajuato City, Dolores Hidalgo is a historic town famous for its role in the Mexican War of Independence. Visit the main square, the church where the famous “Grito de Dolores” was made, and try the unique local ice cream flavors. Day trips can range from $30 to $60 per person.
- Mineral de Pozos: Approximately 2 hours from Guanajuato City, this once-thriving mining town is an intriguing destination for history and art lovers. Explore the abandoned mines and discover the growing arts scene. Day trips can cost between $40 and $80 per person.
- Querétaro: A 2-hour drive from Guanajuato City, Querétaro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful colonial architecture, museums, and a thriving arts scene. Day tours can cost between $40 and $80 per person.
- León: Just 1 hour away, León is known for its leather goods and lively city atmosphere. Shop for high-quality leather products, visit the historic center, and enjoy local cuisine. Day tours usually range from $30 to $60 per person.
- Peña de Bernal: Located about 3 hours from Guanajuato City, Peña de Bernal is home to the third-largest monolith in the world. Explore the charming town of Bernal and hike up to the monolith for breathtaking views. Day trips can range from $50 to $100 per person.
- La Sierra Gorda: Approximately 3.5 hours away, La Sierra Gorda is a natural reserve with stunning landscapes, waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. Enjoy hiking, bird-watching, and visiting the historic Franciscan missions. Day trips can cost between $60 and $120 per person.
- Aguascalientes: Just a 2-hour drive from Guanajuato City, Aguascalientes offers a blend of history, culture, and modern attractions. Visit the historic center, museums, and thermal baths. Day tours can range from $40 to $80 per person.
- Guadalajara: About 4 hours away, Guadalajara is Mexico’s second-largest city and offers a variety of cultural and historic attractions. Explore the historic center, visit the stunning Hospicio Cabañas, and enjoy the local cuisine. Day trips can cost between $60 and $120 per person.
- Tequila: Located around 4.5 hours from Guanajuato City, Tequila is the birthplace of the famous Mexican spirit. Visit distilleries, learn about the production process, and taste different tequilas. Day tours can range from $70 to $150 per person.
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🌮 Essential Guanajuato City restaurants
- Casa Valadez: This iconic restaurant, located near the Jardin de la Union, offers a wide variety of traditional Mexican and international dishes. The elegant atmosphere and excellent service make it a popular choice among visitors. Prices range from $10 to $30 per meal.
- Truco 7: Situated in a cozy, charming setting, Truco 7 serves up delicious Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. The menu features a range of dishes, from tacos to more elaborate entrees. Prices range from $5 to $20 per meal.
- Las Mercedes: Known for its romantic ambiance and stunning views of the city, Las Mercedes offers a fusion of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine. The menu features a variety of creative dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Prices range from $15 to $40 per meal.
- La Capellina: This Italian restaurant, located in a beautiful historic building, serves up delicious pasta, pizza, and other Italian favorites. With a warm atmosphere and attentive service, La Capellina is a popular choice for a relaxed dining experience. Prices range from $10 to $25 per meal.
- Santo Café: This charming café is the perfect spot for breakfast or brunch, offering a variety of delicious dishes, including traditional Mexican options and freshly baked pastries. Prices range from $5 to $15 per meal.
- Mestizo: With a modern and stylish setting, Mestizo serves contemporary Mexican cuisine using fresh, local ingredients. The menu features a range of unique dishes and a great selection of cocktails. Prices range from $10 to $30 per meal.
- El Midi Bistro: This cozy bistro offers a fusion of Mexican and French cuisine, with a menu that changes seasonally to incorporate fresh, local ingredients. The intimate atmosphere makes it a great choice for a romantic dinner. Prices range from $15 to $35 per meal.
- La Table de Andrée: A popular spot among locals and visitors alike, La Table de Andrée offers a variety of delicious dishes inspired by traditional Mexican and European cuisine. The cozy atmosphere and attentive service make it a must-try dining experience. Prices range from $10 to $25 per meal.
- Los Campos Restaurante: Set within a beautiful garden, Los Campos Restaurante offers a relaxed dining experience with a focus on organic, locally-sourced ingredients. The menu features a range of delicious Mexican dishes, including vegetarian options. Prices range from $10 to $20 per meal.
- Tenedor del Cerro: This restaurant, located near the La Valenciana Mine, boasts incredible views of Guanajuato City and serves a variety of Mexican and international dishes. The relaxed atmosphere makes it a great spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Prices range from $10 to $25 per meal.
🍸 Guanajuato City bars and nightlife
- Bar Fly: This popular rooftop bar offers stunning views of the city and a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a wide selection of beers, cocktails, and other beverages. Prices for drinks range from $3 to $10.
- La Clave Azul: Known for its live salsa music, La Clave Azul is a lively spot for dancing and enjoying a variety of cocktails and local drinks. Prices for drinks range from $3 to $8.
- El Salmón: This cozy bar near the Jardin de la Union offers a wide selection of craft beers and a laid-back atmosphere. It’s an excellent spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Prices for drinks range from $3 to $6.
- La Botellita: With a vibrant atmosphere and a great selection of cocktails, La Botellita is a popular spot among both locals and tourists. Prices for drinks range from $3 to $8.
- Bar Luna: Situated near the University of Guanajuato, Bar Luna offers a relaxed atmosphere, a diverse range of beverages, and occasional live music performances. Prices for drinks range from $2 to $6.
- Bar Tal: This underground bar in one of Guanajuato’s historic tunnels features unique decor and a mysterious ambiance. Enjoy a variety of local and international drinks. Prices for drinks range from $3 to $8.
- La Dama de las Camelias: This stylish speakeasy-style bar offers a great selection of cocktails and a cozy, intimate atmosphere. Prices for drinks range from $5 to $10.
- Escarabajo Scratch: This lively bar and club is popular among the younger crowd, offering a variety of local and international drinks and a dance floor. Prices for drinks range from $3 to $8.
- El Incendio: With its rustic decor and laid-back atmosphere, El Incendio is a great place to enjoy a drink and listen to live music. Prices for drinks range from $3 to $7.
- Capote Club: This trendy nightclub offers a modern atmosphere and a variety of electronic and dance music. Enjoy a range of cocktails and other beverages as you dance the night away. Prices for drinks range from $4 to $10.
💰 Cost of travel to Guanajuato City
Accommodation prices in Guanajuato City vary depending on the type and location of the lodging. Budget travelers can find hostels and budget hotels ranging from $10 to $30 per night, while mid-range hotels typically cost between $40 and $80 per night. For travelers seeking luxury accommodations, there are boutique hotels and upscale options available, with prices starting from $100 and going up to several hundred dollars per night. Keep in mind that prices may fluctuate depending on the season, with the highest rates usually occurring during peak travel periods.
Food prices in Guanajuato City can be quite affordable, especially if you opt for local markets and street food stalls. Inexpensive meals at these locations can cost between $3 and $7, while a meal at a mid-range restaurant may set you back around $10 to $20 per person. High-end dining experiences can range from $30 to $50 or more per person, depending on the restaurant and the dishes ordered. It’s worth noting that tipping is customary in Mexico, so budget an additional 10-15% for gratuity when dining out.
Tours and excursions costs
Tours prices in Guanajuato City vary depending on the tour’s duration, type, and provider. Guided walking tours of the city can range from $10 to $25 per person, while specialized tours, such as those focused on local cuisine or history, may cost between $30 and $60 per person. Full-day excursions to nearby attractions or cities can range from $40 to $100 per person, depending on the itinerary and inclusions. To get the best deals, consider booking tours in advance or as part of a package.
Transportation costs in Guanajuato City
Transportation costs in Guanajuato City are generally affordable. The city’s public bus system is the most cost-effective way to get around, with fares ranging from $0.50 to $1 per ride. Taxis and ridesharing services are also available, with fares varying depending on the distance traveled and the time of day. Short taxi rides within the city center usually cost between $3 and $6, while longer trips may cost $10 or more. If you plan to rent a car, expect to pay around $30 to $50 per day, plus the cost of gas and insurance.
🏧 ATMs, credit cards, and more!
ATM withdrawals are a convenient way to access cash in Guanajuato City. Most ATMs are connected to international networks such as Cirrus, Plus, and Maestro. Reputable Mexican banks with a presence in Guanajuato City include Banamex, BBVA Bancomer, Banorte, and HSBC. These banks usually offer more favorable exchange rates and lower transaction fees than independent ATMs. To minimize fees, consider withdrawing larger amounts of cash less frequently, and always inform your home bank of your travel plans to avoid any unexpected account freezes.
Using credit card
Using credit cards is a common method of payment in Guanajuato City, especially in hotels, restaurants, and tourist-oriented businesses. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards, with American Express being accepted in some establishments as well. However, smaller businesses and street vendors may only accept cash, so it’s a good idea to carry some local currency with you. To avoid any unexpected fees, notify your credit card provider of your travel plans and inquire about any foreign transaction fees or currency conversion charges.
Currency exchange can be done at banks, currency exchange offices (Casa de Cambio), and some hotels. For the best exchange rates, it’s recommended to exchange money at a reputable bank or a Casa de Cambio in the city center. Avoid exchanging money at the airport, as the rates are usually less favorable. Another option is to withdraw local currency directly from an ATM, which typically offers competitive exchange rates. Always be cautious when exchanging money and double-check the rates and fees before proceeding with any transaction.
Tipping culture in Guanajuato City is similar to the rest of Mexico. In restaurants, it is customary to tip between 10% and 15% of the bill, depending on the quality of the service. For taxi drivers, it is not mandatory to tip, but rounding up the fare or tipping a small amount (around 10%) for excellent service is appreciated. When receiving services from tour guides, hotel staff, or spa personnel, a tip of around 10% to 15% is also customary. Be sure to carry small denominations of the local currency for tipping purposes, as it is often difficult to obtain change for larger bills.
🤑 Guanajuato City Money-Saving Tips
- Eat at local markets and street food stalls: Guanajuato City has a rich culinary scene, and you can save money by eating at local markets and street food stalls instead of dining at high-end restaurants. These spots often serve delicious, authentic meals at a fraction of the price.
- Take advantage of free attractions: Guanajuato City has many free attractions, such as the Jardin de la Union, Plaza de la Paz, and walking through the city’s picturesque streets. Plan your itinerary around these free attractions to save on admission fees.
- Use public transportation: Save on transportation costs by using the city’s public bus system. Buses are affordable and cover most areas of interest in Guanajuato City.
- Travel during the off-peak season: Visiting Guanajuato City during the off-peak season (April to June and September to November) can help you save on accommodation and other expenses, as prices are generally lower during these periods.
- Book accommodations in advance: Booking your accommodation well in advance can help you secure better deals, especially during peak travel seasons.
- Look for discounts on attractions: Many attractions in Guanajuato City offer discounts for students, seniors, or children. Be sure to check if you qualify for any discounts before purchasing tickets.
- Choose a centrally located accommodation: Staying in a centrally located hotel or hostel will save you time and money on transportation, as many attractions will be within walking distance.
- Attend free cultural events: Guanajuato City is known for its vibrant cultural scene, and you can often find free events, such as concerts, performances, or art exhibitions, taking place throughout the city.
- Shop at local markets: Save on souvenirs and gifts by shopping at local markets, such as Mercado Hidalgo, where you can find unique items at more affordable prices compared to tourist-oriented shops.
- Carry a reusable water bottle: Tap water in Guanajuato City is not recommended for drinking, but you can save money by carrying a reusable water bottle and refilling it at purified water stations or buying larger bottles of water to refill your bottle.
🤑 Guanajuato City Safety Tips
- Be cautious in tunnels: Guanajuato City is known for its network of tunnels, which can be narrow and dimly lit. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone in tunnels late at night, and always carry a flashlight or use your smartphone’s light for better visibility.
- Keep an eye on your belongings: While Guanajuato City is generally safe, petty theft can occur, especially in crowded areas. Keep your belongings close, use a money belt or hidden pouch, and avoid displaying valuable items such as expensive cameras or jewelry.
- Use reputable transportation options: When using taxis or ride-sharing services, make sure to use licensed and reputable providers. Check the driver’s identification and confirm the fare before starting your journey.
- Be aware of your surroundings in crowded areas: Guanajuato City can get busy, especially during popular events like the Festival Internacional Cervantino. Stay aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your personal belongings to avoid pickpocketing or theft.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption: As with any destination, overindulging in alcohol can make you more vulnerable to accidents or crime. Drink responsibly and be aware of your limits.
- Learn some basic Spanish phrases: While many locals in Guanajuato City speak English, knowing some basic Spanish phrases can help you communicate more effectively and avoid misunderstandings, especially in emergency situations.
- Be cautious with street food: Street food in Guanajuato City can be delicious, but exercise caution when choosing where to eat. Look for stalls with high turnover and good hygiene practices to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
- Store important documents safely: Keep your passport, travel documents, and any valuables in a safe place, such as a hotel safe or a secure money belt. Make copies of important documents and store them separately from the originals.
- Be respectful of local customs and traditions: As a visitor, it’s essential to respect local customs, traditions, and religious practices. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and be aware of any cultural sensitivities to avoid offending locals.
- Have emergency contact information handy: Make sure you have the contact information for your country’s embassy or consulate in Mexico, as well as local emergency numbers, your accommodation’s contact details, and the contact information for a reliable local taxi or transportation service.