Guanajuato is one of the coolest cities to walk around in Mexico. There are colorful colonial-style buildings everywhere, the streets are all made of picturesque cobblestone and there are endless alleyways to explore. One of my favorite parts of the city though is its parks and plazas. It seems like every time you turn the corner there is another charming place to sit, whether it be a major park or just a couple of benches.
I only stayed in Guanajuato for a month so I really just barely scratched the surface of its parks and plazas. There are so many more I didn’t get the time to visit, but here are some of my favorites so far.
While staying in Guanajuato I lived in a house right behind this plaza. With the colorful buildings, pretty fountain and abundance of delicious street food, this plaza is definitely one of my favorites. If you go down any of the alleyways (or callejons) spouting off from this plaza, at the right time of the day, you will seriously find some of the best street food in Guanajuato and at some of the best prices too.
Probably the most famous thing to do in Guanajuato is to make the “trek” up to the Pipila and take pictures of the city from above. From the center of Guanajuato, the uphill journey will take about 10-20 minutes and has some great photo opportunities along the way.
Plaza de Mexiamora
I discovered this plaza when looking for a laundromat and thought it was a pretty place to sit for a bit. I noticed while drawing that the majority of the people here seem to be couples in high school. They ranged from holding hands and talking to almost having sex on the benches. I felt a little better when families with childen came later haha.
One of the most beautiful parks but also one of the most crowded, Parque Jardin is a great place to people watch. There are always mariachi bands playing or resting here between sets. The park is surrounded by upscale restaurants and the benches are usually full of people. On the weekends there is a lot of street food around this area, though a little pricier than most other parts of the city. It’s touristy but definitely worth a visit.
When walking from the center to the pressa (dam), you will likely walk through this area of the city known as Embajadoras. This park always has a few good food stalls, mostly seafood, fruit and ice cream. I know seafood in the park sounds sketch but I got a tostada de ceviche here and it was pretty good.
Plaza de Los Angeles
This plaza is a common spot to see locals sitting around, talking to friends. It seems especially common to see younger people hanging out here at night after work or class. If you walk up these steps past the fountain, in the back left corner, you’ll see an alleyway which eventually leads to the Pipla.
Baby Park Near Tulum
I’m not sure if this is really considered a park or if it has a name but its right across the street from a restaurant called Restaurante Tulum. This little park consists of a few benches sitting in a circle around a statue of Diego Rivera, probably because Diego Rivera’s childhood home (and now a museum) is right around the corner. The best thing to do is eat in Restaurante Tulum at one of their open-window seats with your sketchbook and draw.
Jardin Reforma is located across the street from the famous Hidalgo Market. There seems to be a book fair around this park very often, possibly every week, though I’m unsure of the times. A man in this photo may be wearing a jacket, but don’t let that fool you, it was probably around 80F.
Parque Florencia Antillon
This is another park on the way to the Presa, just before you hit it. This is one of the most shady parks in Guanajuato and a great place to hide out on a hot, sunny day. There are usually a few people around but it’s much quieter and calmer than most parks because it’s further away from the center and its a pretty big park too.
Jardin El Cantador
This park is great for people watching because it has the most things going on. There are always people riding bikes and skateboarding and on the weekend it’s the place to be with your family. You might see a group of people dancing in costumes or you might see a little kid learning how to ride their bike.
For some reason in all the photos I took of this park it looks like it autumn. It just happened to be cloudy every time I came here. Again some people pictured here are wearing a lot of clothing but it was definitely above 80F. This park is another great place to come when it’s too hot out because it is lower than the rest of the city. Unless you’re here right in the middle of the day, the sun seems to pass right over this little area and it feels a little cooler than the rest of Guanajuato.
If you are thinking of traveling in Mexico and want something a little different than the average tourist destinations, like Cancun, I urge you to give Guanajuato a try! Guanajuato is about 5 hours away from Mexico City on a bus. Primera Plus is the best bus company to go through and you can find their website here. It’s also about a 5 hour bus ride from Guadalajara. You can also fly into Leon, Guanajuato’s state capital, but I think these flights are generally more expensive as it’s a smaller airport.