Not every exciting trip to Mexico has to be anchored by a picture-perfect beach and upscale resorts. Many of Mexico’s historical cities can be a trip of a lifetime.

No matter if you’re a foodie, budget traveler, history buff, or simply just want to learn more about this fascinating country, over-crowded beaches isn’t the place.

Sure, it’s right to wonder if Mexico’s major cities are safe given the common mainstream narrative that Mexico is dangerous.

Any seasoned traveler will tell you that’s not the case as millions upon millions of Western tourists visit Mexico and go back home unscathed.

There is one timeless city perfect for a summer getaway. Easy to reach, affordable, safe, and oozing European vibes, it’s time to start planning your next vacation to Guanajuato.

The Anti-Mexico City

Teatro Juarez in Guanajuato

Mexico’s most popular destinations aren’t all beach getaways. Cancun is always the top spot, but Mexico city is consistently in the top 5.

While there is no place quite like Mexico’s largest metropolis, there are definitely some frustrations and claustrophobia-inducing crowds to deal with.

Guanajuato is the anti-Mexico City, where traffic, elbow-to-elbow crowds, and Americanized chain restaurants are nowhere in sight.

Okay, there is one Starbucks, but with all the local cozy cafes packed into this city, it’s easy to turn a blind eye.

Colorful cobbled streets of Guanjuato

Guanajuato is no longer a secret, but it’s definitely one-of-a-kind. Its history runs back as late as 1554 and still shows today in the best of ways through endless cobbled streets, eye-popping architecture, and fascinating traditions.

No skyscrapers, no name-brand hotels, or inauthentic chain restaurants – not even a Chili’s at the airport.

Guanajuato is timeless. It may be old, but never gets old to visit.

Budget-Friendly And Easy To Explore

There are so many affordable getaways in Mexico, but not all of them are as culturally immersive.
And there is unquestionably no other place in Mexico with such European flair.

Tourist in Guanajuato

Walking down certain streets feel as if you’re in Spain rather than the country often deemed a danger zone anywhere outside of Cancun.

Guanajuato’s streets are very pretty and you can spend hours wandering the city and not feel it’s enough.

There are many hills here, but that’s really the only downside. Despite seeming as if it’s been in a time capsule, Guanajuato does have some modern amenities for tourists, like Uber.

This makes getting around the city easier, especially if the hills become too much. But one thing you don’t have to worry about is traffic. It’s easy to get lost with all the winding roads, but there is a surprisingly effective tunnel system alleviating the headache of traffic.

Tunnels running through Guanajuato

Less time on the road and more time spent enjoying your trip. Not only is Guanajuato easy to get around, it’s very affordable.

What if you were told you could stay in a castle for under $50 per night? Well, consider this that moment…

There are some awesome stays from cheap Airbnbs to local boutique hotels like Hotel San Diego, but Hotel Castillo Santa Cecilia trumps them all.

Tucked away from the city center, but still very convenient, this historic property dating back centuries is Guanajuato’s top hidden gem.

Tourist in Guanajuato

I’ve personally been here twice and this unique stay will always be at the top of my list when I go back.

A Solo Traveler’s Dream

Even though solo travelers have the whole world at their fingertips, picking the right place can be a daunting task.

Good news is we’ve solved your problem – go to Guanajuato!

With multiple nonstop flights to Leon, a 30 minute Uber* from Guanajuato, getting here is a lot easier than one might expect.

Upon arriving, plentiful cheap stays away, especially if you want some extra space instead of hostels.

Woman sitting in a Guanajuato alley

It’s easy to find Airbnbs and boutique hotels on a budget and you won’t break the bank visiting the top sites, like the Museo de Mumias, and amazing restaurants.

Guanajuato is very underrated for its old-school, traditional cuisine and there’s perhaps no more scenic city in Mexico to enjoy a rooftop bar, and there’s a lot!

*Side note for Uber pickups at Leon’s airport – you will need to walk to the Oxxo store just outside the airport for safe pick-ups due to Uber/Taxi conflicts.

Guanajuato City Is Very Safe

Don’t let news headlines scare you; Guanajuato City is much safer than Guanajuato state where the U.S. State Department classifies it as ‘Level 3′.

Cathedral in Guanajuato on nice day

Once you’re in the city limits, you are in a safe haven where both domestic and international tourists love to visit.

Especially, as great as the weather is year-round, you’ll want to spend a majority of your time exploring.

I went as recently as February and never felt an ounce of uneasiness walking the streets late at night, bar-hopping, and joining in on the fun of the Estudiantina, a long-held tradition of storytelling and singing through the streets.

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