The candy-coloured Mexican city of Guanajuato knows how to make a statement, with houses in every shade from deep teals to vibrant fuchsias. It’s got a fascinating history too – thanks to its 1559 origins and colonial architecture, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’d think this charming city would be crammed with international visitors, but instead many of them are Mexican and Spanish-speaking, adding to a sense of authenticity.
Staying in a Guanajuato hostel puts you right in the centre of the city, with all the major attractions within walking distance. You’ll get to experience a slice of the city’s history when you stay here, as many of the hostels are housed in Guanajuato’s historic buildings. Hostels in Guanajuato have interesting original features, traditional Mexican interiors and balconies or terraces in most of the hostels. The majority also offer free Wi-Fi and a free breakfast.
The main historical centre of Guanajuato, next to the Jardín de la Unión, is easy to stroll around with its network of winding streets. For the best views of the city, you can make the picturesque hike up into the hills to the northern part of the city, La Valenciana (or you can always take the bus). Another key area to visit is La Alhóndiga, where you’ll find the city's museums and pretty plazas.
Rising from Guanajuato’s cobbled streets is the brightly-painted Basilica de Guanajuato. This mustard-colour, 17th-century church sits in the main plaza and is the perfect starting point to explore the winding paths that branch off it. Travelling as a couple? Be sure to visit the Alley of The Kiss, which has a fascinating story behind it. If you're looking to sample authentic tastes and flavours of Mexico, tour the city sampling the delicious street food. You can scour the markets for fresh fruits and when you need a break, grab a cup of freshly ground coffee in an al-fresco café.
If you’re touring the country, you can get to Guanajuato by bus from Mexico City (about a five-hour journey) or from Puerto Vallarta International Airport on the coast (roughly a nine-hour journey). The nearest airport is Del Bajío International Airport (officially called Aeropuerto Internacional de Guanajuato), which is a 30-minute drive from the city centre. Buses run from 7am to 10pm in the centre of town and take you to most parts of the city. You can also pick up a taxi from the centre.