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Things To Do In Guatemala City, Guatemala

things to do in Guatemala City
Angelyn
Angelyn
Updated

Famous for Mayan history, the capital of Guatemala and the largest city in Central America is undoubtedly a place that every traveler wants to experience in a lifetime. From jaw-dropping architecture to rich culture and history, the city has thousands of stories and tales just waiting to be explored by curious wanderers. Indulge in traditional Guatemalan food to kick start a day of learning about its ancient settlers or opt to experience the city like a local while strolling around the neighborhoods surrounded by beautiful colonial landmarks and buildings of modern design. Whatever your preference may be, these things to do in Guatemala City, Guatemala, is all you need to complete your getaway in this side of the Land of Eternal Spring.

1. Shop till you drop while touring Guatemala City (from USD 70.0)

Spend your hard-earned cash while strolling around the beautiful streets of Guatemala City where you can find unique items and delectable foods that will allow you to have a deeper understanding of their culture. Be with the locals and explore the lively Central Market for traditional handcrafted products and delicacies perfect as a gift back home or a souvenir for yourself. Don’t settle for window shopping but indulge in signature apparel at Oakland Mall or spoil yourself for great finds at the huge Paseo Cayalá shopping complex. Whatever your preference, you’re bound to find all kinds of typical items just around the corner of the capital city.

Shopping Tour in Guatemala City

Duration: 7 hours

1 review

2. Be close with nature at La Aurora Zoo (from USD 18.0)

Meet the astounding animals in this beautiful zoo divided into three main areas to cater to species from African, Asian, and South American regions. Have a close encounter with the animals in the jungle including reticulated python snake, tiger, and elephants while learning more about them with the help of informative guides promoting awareness about each species. Stay late or visit on full moon nights to enjoy seeing nocturnal animals that usually sleep during the day. With hundreds of creatures to see, remember to have something to eat and drink to enjoy your trip or take advantage of the restaurants around the zoo offering filling treats.

La Aurora Zoo Admission Ticket near Guatemala City Airport

Duration: 2 to 6 hours

3. Discover Mayan Art at Museo Popol Vuh (from USD 65.0)

things to do in guatemala city | discover mayan art at museo popol vuh

Learn about Mayan culture in this archaeology and Colonial art museum renowned for its large number of funerary urns. Wander around the small gallery that is full of wonderful pieces such as a variety of portable stone sculptures and Mayan pottery like vases and bowls. Take advantage of the informative tour guides who are passionate to share the history of Guatemala and read the information about the artifacts that are both in Spanish and English to learn more about their culture. Make sure to drop by Ixchel Museum, which is in the same place, with the finest collection of Maya textiles to truly maximize your visit.

Guatemala City Archaeological and Textile Museum Tour

Duration: 3 hours

4. Treat the kid in you at IRTRA Mundo Petapa (from USD 25.0)

dragon irtra petapa
Source: Photo by Flickr user Fernando Reyes Pa... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Unleash the thrill-seeker in you in this 11.25 hectares (27.80 acres) theme park complete with a mini-zoo, arcade games, and a theater. Bond with your family and friends while enjoying the rides in The City of Gnomes, The Frisby, The Magic Bike, and The North Pole. Fret not of getting hungry for food kiosks and restaurants are just around the corner to fill you up whenever you need to recharge your energy. Make sure to wear your most comfortable shoes for kids of all ages and adults, too, are bound to enjoy the park’s attractions and facilities.

Guatemala City Irtra Mundo Petapa Theme Park Admission Ticket

Duration: 1 to 6 hours

5. See ancient Guatemalan treasures at Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología (from USD 71.0)

Step back in time as you enter this national museum where you can have a glimpse of the history of Guatemala and experience its rich culture. Be mesmerized by a collection of about 20,000 archaeological artifacts and 5,000 ethnological items including pieces of jades, masks, and potteries showing the cultural diversity of Guatemalan society. Hop on to the different rooms of the gallery divided into pre-classic, classic, and post-classic exhibits of the Mayan civilizations. Take all the information by heart to understand their culture and acquire the needed knowledge before heading to actual ruins around Guatemala to truly enjoy your tour.

Full-Day Guatemala City Sightseeing Tour

Duration: 8 hours

1 review

6. Delve into history at Plaza de la Constitución (from USD 62.0)

Discover the main square of Guatemala City’s historical area by heading to this park where most parades, demonstrations, and other important events take place. Surround yourself with street vendors selling everything you can imagine including books, handcrafts, and apparel. Enjoy people watching or just pet the pigeons flocking in the main square after exploring the historical route around the plaza including the National Palace, the city Cathedral, and some government buildings. Wrap up your day by rewarding yourself with authentic street food from any of the market stalls offering delicious treats perfect while you’re relaxing near the beautiful fountain.

Combo Tour: Colonial Antigua plus Guatemala City Sigthseeing

Duration: 10 hours

10 reviews

7. Take a selfie with Torre del Reformador

Torre del Reformador Fabriccio Díaz
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Fabriccio Díaz used under CC0

Marvel at the towering 75 meters (246 feet) steel architecture located in Zone 9 built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of their former president. Resembling the Eiffel Tower of Paris, complete your visit by taking selfies at different times over a few days to get the best pictures anywhere near the structure. Wait for it to be illuminated especially during fine weather to truly appreciate its beauty with the trail of lights from cars passing beneath it. Remember to be careful under the tower, for it is a busy street with people minding their own business all the time.

Torre del Reformador

Address: 7A Avenida, Guatemala

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

8. Tour around Guatemala City Railway Museum

Museo del ferrocarril
Source: Photo by Flickr user adels used under CC BY 2.0

Tour this little museum boasting a collection of engines and different types of rail cars kids and adults will surely love. Walk inside the well-preserved locomotives and learn its history through the informative guides or take time exploring the exhibit with valuable historical pieces including articles and photographs of the railroad of yesteryear. Don’t forget to pose for a picture between the two large steam engines at the front of the museum while exploring the grounds. If you have a local to take you, do so since the museum is located on an off-the-beaten-path and you may get lost along the way.

Museo del Ferrocarril de Guatemala

Address: 9A Avenida 18-03, Guatemala

Website: Museo del Ferrocarril de Guatemala

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 2 GTQ (0.3 USD)

9. Have a gastronomic tour around Mercado Central (from USD 77.0)

Prepare for a gastronomic adventure as you spend a day hopping between the food stalls at this three-level indoor market located just behind the cathedral. Considered as one of the largest markets in Central America, surround yourself with the most delectable fresh produce while having a good chat with local food vendors. Complete your food trip with traditional Guatemalan snacks, many types of delicacies, and typical sweets that go well with any local drinks. Aside from the food area, there are also other sections to explore like Guatemalan textiles, household goods, and crafts perfect for last-minute shopping and buying souvenirs.

Guatemala City: Holy Guatemole - Food and Market Walking Tour

Duration: 4 hours

10. Spend a day at Ecological and Sports Park Cayalá

Ecological park
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Chill with nature and enjoy a day of bird-watching without leaving the city as you visit this park. Breathe the fresh air from the dense forest surrounding this park that is home to over 117 species of birds, beautiful butterflies, and other fauna. With 14 blocks to wander around, you will never go wrong spending a day or two to see the exquisite variety of flora bringing colors inside the park. Gather your family and enjoy a memorable picnic where kids and young at heart can play football or have a leisurely walk along the trails perfect after a morning jog.

Ecological and Sports Park Cayalá

Address: Calzada la Paz, Guatemala

Website: Ecological and Sports Park Cayalá

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 8am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 10 GTQ (1 USD)

11. Walk along La Sexta Avenue (from USD 60.0)

Sunday Monuments & Market Pop Up Tour (Guatemala City)

Visit the historic center while walking along the famous Sixth Avenue surrounded with authentic Guatemalan touches from small shops, stately hotels, and cheerful locals. Do last-minute shopping for souvenirs in Pasaje Rubio where you can find traditional clothing, antique shops, and bookstore. Satiate your cravings at San Martin for a light lunch before heading again to the street to browse for stalls of artisanal handicrafts, paintings, and decorative plants. Stay late and enjoy hanging out with your friends at El Portalito for a glass of beer or a Guacamole mix that goes well with any dish to end your day.

Sunday Monuments & Market Pop Up Tour (Guatemala City)

Duration: 7 hours

12. Embrace mother nature at La Asunción Ecological Park

Ecological park
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Get out of the routine and be with nature while touring around this park offering a different way to bond with your family. Pack some snacks and explore the established trails with lavish greens on both sides enough to provide shades when the sun is up. Take advantage of facilities like games for children and sports fields to bond with your kids while cooling down in any of the shaded benches in the table area. Make sure to visit the first orchid garden in Guatemala City located right inside the park with welcoming arches made from a wide variety of flowering plants.

La Asunción Ecological Park

Address: Guatemala City, Guatemala

Website: La Asunción Ecological Park

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free

13. Spend time with your kids at The Children's Museum of Guatemala

Children's museum
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Have a day of fun and excitement together with your kids in this interactive museum specially curated for the little ones. Allow your child to have a hands-on educational tour like exhibits about the history and science complete with lessons and experiments. Excite your kids with a wide variety of cool activities including a bubble-making section, a giant room for plastic balls, and a room with activities for pre-walkers and toddlers. Though all ages are welcome, remember that the museum is for kids, and adults who will go without an accompanying kid will not be allowed to enter the premises.

The Children's Museum of Guatemala

Address: 5 Calle 10 - 00 Zona 13, Guatemala City

Website: The Children’s Museum of Guatemala

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 8:30am - 4:30pm; Sat - Sun: 9:30am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 40 GTQ (5 USD)

14. Say a little prayer at Iglesia Yurrita

Arquitectura
Source: Photo by Flickr user Josué Goge used under CC BY 2.0

Christian or not, travelers cannot help but to stop and admire the sight of this blood-red tower and stonemasonry located in Zone 4. Take pleasure in taking photos of the church built with a mix of styles from neo-Gothic to baroque as soon as you get close to the structure that is oozing with architectural details. Get to see Roman columns with sparkles, arches, and a nice altar adding to the solemnity of the church. If you’re lucky to be there during a mass, don’t forget to make time to ask for guidance before or after touring Guatemala City.

Iglesia Yurrita

Address: 8-52, 01004, Ruta 6, Guatemala

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free

15. See the ancient Mayan city at Miraflores Museum (from USD 133.0)

Embark on a historical tour in the first site museum in Guatemala City featuring the artifacts from the ancient Mayan city of Kaminaljuyu. Channel your inner explorer and enjoy a whole new experience of learning the way of life of Mayans as you wander around the actual place where Kaminaljuyu was. Browse the collection of around 500 artifacts excavated from the ancient city including a mosaic mask and sculpted stone column together with other pieces from pre-Columbian sites. Don’t forget to visit the museum’s botanical garden where you can see 3 of the original 25 ancient mounds surviving from Kaminaljuyu.

Kaminal Juyú Archaeological Site and Miraflores Museum Tour

Duration: Flexible

16. Discover the beautiful Jardin Botánico

Botanical garden
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Take a leisurely walk in this garden that is considered as first of its kind in Central America and known as the only botanical garden in Guatemala. Surround yourself with a wide variety of indigenous plants and flowers together with some exotic specimens offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visit the big century-old euphorbia or marvel at the colorful flying birds and butterflies. If you still have some time to spare, make sure to check out the exhibits of minerals, insects, and fungi for additional learnings, especially for your kids.

Jardin Botánico

Address: Avenida La Reforma, 0-63, Guatemala

Website: Jardin Botánico

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 8:30am - 3pm (closed from Sat - Mon)

Price: 10 GTQ (1 USD)

17. Catch a play at Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias

Entrada de artistas Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ElfenBar used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Catch an artistic performance in this theater with intriguing architecture and located on the hill, right in the heart of the city. Have an extravagant night filled with opera, theater, and ballet performances featuring great local talents with their delighting music and dance routine. Relax in a comfy chair that is strategically designed to offer a good view of the stage from any section. If you’re not a fan of theatrical plays, enjoy wandering around the complex during the day for great views of the Civic Center and the mountains that surround the city.

Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias

Address: Calle 24 3-81, Guatemala

Website: Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias

18. Visit the Relief Map of Guatemala (from USD 69.0)

See how the terrain of Guatemala looks like without leaving the city by visiting this open-air museum showcasing its geography and topography. Enjoy a bird’s -eye view of the whole of Guatemala with the use of towered observatories to see all its detailed features such as the bodies of water, cities, and roadways. Know the spot where you’re standing at the moment, where you’ve been, and where you’re going to see the progress of your journey around Guatemala. Make sure to listen to your tour guide for basic information about this scaled map made over a hundred years ago.

Guatemala City Landmarks

Duration: 8 hours

19. Watch a movie at Cinépolis

ATRASCCMIRAFLORES
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Shasu used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Catch the latest movie with your group of friends or with your family in any of the 11 movie theaters by Cinépolis surrounding Guatemala which offers a great bonding moment with your loved ones. Ready your popcorn and flavored drinks to complete your cinema experience. Relax while seating in a comfy chair complemented with a state-of-the-art sound system and a big screen to enjoy your stay. Book your tickets in advance to skip the lines and take advantage of their limited-time offers and deals to save more or to be rewarded with additional perks when you visit the participating branches.

Cinépolis Miraflores

Address: Centro Comercial Galerías Miraflores, 21A Avenida 4-32, Guatemala

Website: Cinépolis

20. Go shopping at Oakland Mall (from USD 76.0)

Browse the exclusive range of boutiques in this high-end shopping mall where you will find modern shops, delighting eateries, and many other services. Have a unique shopping experience from the moment you enter the expansive four-floor mall filled with excellent stores of major brands and extremely clean facilities. Let your kids enjoy their time in the creative area and play area while you’re doing your shopping spree moments. After a day of shopping, hang out with your friends in any of the fine restaurants or check out the food court on the upper level for more affordable yet scrumptious treats.

Shopping Tour in Guatemala City from Antigua

Duration: 8 hours

1 review

21. Eat Guatemalan food at Restaurante Kacao

Authentic Guatemalan dinner at Kacao #guatemala #guatemalacity #kacao #ceviche #adobe
Source: Photo by Flickr user Frederik Hermann used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Have a feast fit for royalty in this restaurant serving traditional and gourmet Guatemalan food perfect for the entire family. Feel the warm Guatemalan hospitality as soon as you enter the giant hut in a “palapa”-style architecture complemented with traditional decoration and local music. Fulfill your cravings for something hefty with dishes like Maya lasagna, pepian, and their special—a combination of tenderloin, marinated pork, chicken, sausage, and cheese. If you’re in the restaurant for dinner, stay late to enjoy the live band performance happening around eight in the evening while sipping a glass of red or white wine.

Restaurante Kacao

Address: 2 Avenida #13-44, Guatemala

Website: Restaurante Kacao

Opening hours: 12pm - 10:30pm (daily)

22. Experience the nightlife at Las Cien Puertas

Circus Bar Ciudad Guatemala
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Javier Aroche used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Skip the basic bars and beers and hop to this small restaurant offering a good nightlife experience while in Guatemala. Located within a passage that is full of history, The 100 Doors is the place to be if you’re looking for great music, delicious food, and traditional drinks. Pose for some shots together with all of the murals and signs on the walls perfect for your Instagram feed. Feel free to dance the night away in the beat of the band if you happen to be in the area during a live jamming session.

Las Cien Puertas

Address: Pasaje Aycinena, Zona 1, Guatemala City

Website: Las Cien Puertas

Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 11:45am - 12am; Thu - Sat: 11:45am - 1am (closed on Sun)

23. Slow down and relax at Plaza Fontabella

Plaza Fontabella and Edificio Atlantis
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Roberto G. Medina used under CC BY 3.0

Wander around the colonial-style cobbled streets in colonial style complete with lovely fountains while catching great finds and souvenirs in some of the upscale shops. See the newest movie on a big screen as the place also have a cinema to keep you entertained after hours of window shopping. Whether you’re craving for something Italian, Peruvian, Chinese, or Mexican, you will never go wrong looking for the right restaurant in this shopping mall offering authentic flavors at a reasonable cost.

Plaza Fontabella

Address: 4A Avenida 12-59, Guatemala

Website: Plaza Fontabella

Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)

24. Play golf at Guatemala Country Club

Golf course
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Perfect your skills in this country club that is complete with tennis courts and a well-maintained field of golf. Book a tee and challenge yourself to finish an 18-hole course in the 6,828 yards (1.4 acres) of lush greens, complemented with 142 slopes. Make new friends with people who share the same love for the sport or spend quality time with your travel buddies while enjoying the tranquil views surrounding the country club. After your thrilling activity, make sure to reward yourself with a sumptuous meal and a refreshing drink in the restaurant and bar available inside the facility.

Guatemala Country Club

Address: 30 Avenida Final Zona 11, Guatemala City

Website: Guatemala Country Club

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 6am - 8pm (closed on Mon)

25. Aim for a strike at Astro Bowling

Bowling alley
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Impress your friends with perfect strikes in this recreational facility complete with bowling alleys and retro arcade games perfect to keep everyone occupied especially during the rainy days. Try your luck, plan your strategy, and challenge your team for a match with a small bet to truly enjoy playing a 10-pin bowling game. Let the kids who still can’t roll a ball enjoy their time playing in the arcade section including video games, basketball, and air hockey. Order some delicious treats from the restaurant serving refreshments and snacks like pizza and nachos to fuel your energy and keep you going.

Astro Bowling

Address: Blvrd Austriaco, Guatemala

Website: Astro Bowling

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 12:30pm - 11pm; Fri: 12:30am - 12am; Sat: 11am - 12am; Sun: 11am - 10pm

Price: 200 GTQ (26 USD)

26. Explore the inside of the National Palace (from USD 91.0)

Wander inside this iconic architecture built in 1939 to learn the fascinating history of the country. Boasting an intricate exterior and lavish interior structure and being the former headquarters of the President of Guatemala, this building is a great place to have an educational and cultural experience for kids of all ages and adults, too. Explore the several rooms of the palace decorated with big murals, chandeliers, and sculptures all well-maintained to last a lifetime. Make sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled while following the very knowledgeable tour guide to truly understand the history of the place.

Guatemala City Half Day Private Tour

Duration: 4 hours

1 review

Experience the best things in Guatemala

Partake on an exhilarating journey of discovery and learning on your next getaway in this part of Central America. Update your itinerary to include these things to do in Guatemala City, Guatemala, packed with historic, cultural, and nature trips that will surely satisfy your curiosity. Whatever adventure you wish to experience, Guatemala City is sure to keep you busy on your upcoming holiday.

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An outdoor enthusiast who treats the summits and pristine beaches of the Philippines as her protected playground. Angelyn is used to traveling on a budget and is a certified travel deal hunter for...Read more

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