The following 24 hours in Guanajuato, Mexico itinerary walks you through exactly where to stay, eat, drink, and more on your next trip in this hidden gem of a city in Mexico!
Guanjuato is just a one hour drive from Leon, MX. My family had a close family friends wedding in Lagos de Moreno and decided to do a day excursion into Guanajuato. If you find yourself in Mexico, I highly recommend adding this city to your bucket list. Give yourself at least a perfect 24 hours in Guanajuato to explore this beautiful European-like city nestled in the mountains of Mexico.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at the Hotel Boutique 1850 which I HIGHLY recommend as we absolutely loved our stay. Every room has a different name and interior décor and the staff is incredibly accommodating. We stayed in the Inés Suite which is great if you need two beds and our other family members were in the María Master Suite and the Natalia Deluxe Room. The service was top notch with shuttle service to the airport, perfect English, great recommendations, and concierge service to take your bags to your room. The AC was fully functioning with very nice bathrooms with hot water for showers.
How To Get To Guanajuato:
The closest airport to Guanajuato is Leon, Mexico. Upon arrival you can either A) rent a car or B) coordinate a hotel shuttle (if offered where you choose to stay). The city is incredibly walkable, so getting a shuttle through the hotel may be your best option depending on what else you plan to do through the remainder of your trip.
24 Hours in Guanajuato Itinerary:
- 11 AM: Walk over to Diego Rivera House (~5 min walk)
- The home of the young Diego Rivera along with galleries of his and other artists’ work on upper floors.
- Keep in mind that they are closed on Mondays, open until 7PM the remainder of the week except for Sunday with a 3PM close time.
- Tickets are only $2 to enter with a gallery of paintings worth upwards $15 million.
- 12-2PM: Walk to Costal Cultura Cafetera for lunch.
- Creative Mexican Cuisine with an amazing rooftop view of the city.
- Highly recommend visiting this restaurant during your visit in Guanajuato and try the octopus tacos, ceviche tostadas, shrimp pasta, and sous-vide chicken. (Our family had two member split two different entrees which we were grateful for as some are heavy pasta or meat so this gave a better balance to the meal).
- 2-5PM: After lunch I would recommend choosing one of the following:
For the Photographer:
- Walk over to Alhondiga de Granaditas Museum
- Site of the first battle of Hidalgo against the Spanish. Displays murals highlighting the Mexican Independence in addition to a Hall for the Heroes who fought for independence from Spain.
- Keep in mind this museum is closed on Mondays and closes at 2:30PM on Sunday’s. The rest of the days they close at 5:30PM.
- English translations available upon request.
- Afterwards walk over to the Funicular for some amazing views of the city. Wait time varies but will take around 15-30 minutes depending on how busy they are. Once at the top you likely will need 30 minutes max to snap some pictures and head back down.
- Tickets cost 30 Pesos to go up and 60 Pesos to come back down.
For the history/museum buff:
- Uber/taxi to the Mummy Museum
- This is a little further out which is why you can’t squeeze everything into your day.
- The museum contains mummified bodies of all genders and ages including fetuses and pregnant women.
- The museum costs $50 pesos (~$2) to enter and is open from 9AM-6PM daily.
- 5-6 PM Freshen up at the hotel
- 6-8 PM Dinner at Los Campos
- Make a reservation ahead of time! They are closed Mondays and open T-Sunday 2-10 PM.
- 8-9 PM Drinks on Hotel Rooftop
- The rooftop has a fun, chic vibe at night time with upbeat music and fun lights. The waiters are very attentive and there are booths with heaters (if needed) to sit around and hangout.
- 9-11PM Callejoneada Dancing tour
- We decided to not do this tour during our time in Guanajuato as we had a 6 am flight to wake up for. However, this is a highly recommended tour to do and is super fun and upbeat. We saw a few tours in progress walking back from dinner, and they looked awesome. They sing, dance, and give you a tour around the city.
Other food/drink options:
- La Vie en Rose – Super cute French bakery/restaurant. Open 10AM-10PM Tuesday-Sunday.
- Casa Valadez – Close to the Teatro Juarez in the center offering a variety of menu options.
- Cafe Tal – #1 on Trip Advisor. Come here for coffee & pastries.
- Oajillo – Mexican and Spanish food with a chic terrace (great views of city) and raving reviews on Trip Advisor. Try the mojitos, fresh squeezed juice, huevos rancheros, papas bravas, and cocktails.
- Costal Cultura Cafetera – highly recommend & amazing rooftop with views of the entire city
- Café Bossanova – great lunch spot with international food options
- Los Huacales – lunch spot with tacos/quesadillas and not too greasy. Try the enfrijoladas, chilaquiles, or molletes. Open 9AM-8PM daily and closed on Mondays.
- Truco 7 – Hole in the wall with with vegetarian/gluten free options.
- Los Campos – Mexican tapas in a cavelike restaurant. Not the best service but amazing food (make a reservation ahead of time)!! They are closed Mondays and open Tuesday-Sunday 2-10 PM.
- Casa Mercedes – Mexican food with vegetarian options. #3 on Trip Advisor restaurants in Guanajuato. Open 2-10 PM Tuesday-Saturday, 2-6 PM on Sundays, and closed Mondays. Further out from town and pricier than other options but worth the efforts.
- Mestizo – Upscale Mexican food and #8 restaurant on Trip Advisor. Open 1-10 PM Tuesday-Saturday, 1-6 PM on Sundays, and closed Mondays. From what I’ve read, try the steak!
- Casa Ofelia – Mexican classics. Vegetarian options.
- Mexico Lindo y Sabroso – Authentic Mexican with variety of options all made from scratch. Closes 10PM Mon-Sat and 8PM on Sundays.
- Escarola – International menu with wide variety and vegan/gf options
- Santo cafe – Cute cafe with tables on the bridge. Mexican/latin food with vegan & gluten free options. Slightly more upscale yet reasonably priced. Be prepared for a wait as this is a more popular restaurant.
What to Pack:
- Lots of layers! During the day the city will get hot and it will cool down considerably by nighttime.
- Comfy walking shoes/sandals
- Jacket/cardigan for layering
Additional tips for visiting Mexico:
- Do NOT drink the tap water. This is not a myth. Avoid tap water at all cost, and ice is generally safe if at a nice restaurant or hotel. When brushing your teeth use a water bottle, not the tap.
- Avoid eating salad in most cases to avoid an upset stomach. This is an extra precaution as the salad can be washed with tap water.
- If you have a tendency to get sick, some of my family members swear by taking a Pepto tablet each morning.
- Don’t exchange your currency at the airport. Wait until you get to the city for a better rate.
- You can use Google Maps if you get lost to navigate through the city.
- Just like any other city, if you use your street sense you will be fine. There was not one moment throughout our time in Guanajuato that I felt unsafe. Just be sure to keep close tabs on your belongings & watch out for pick pocketers as you would in any big city and you will be totally fine!
& that’s a wrap on my perfect 24 hours in Guanajuato guide. be sure to leave a comment below & let me know which part was your favorite!
Additional Mexico Posts to check out:
- 4 Days in Mexico City Itinerary (Stay, Do, Eat, Drink)
- Destination Wedding in Merida, Mexico – Hacienda Tekik de Regil