10 Free Things To Do In Guatemala City
We recently read this post on the Travel Noire website, which showed us just how beautiful and inspiring Guatemala is, and we couldn’t let it go without bringing you our own take. Not only is it relatively cheap to score tickets to this stunning central American country, but it seems that it’s a hotspot for black travelers right now, including everyone’s favorite comedy king, Will Smith. So, what’s Guatemala City got to offer? For free, no less. Let’s find out.
Take a Walking Tour Through the Streets of Guatemala City
If you want to get your steps in, be a little bit more eco-conscious, and see the sights, why not take a free walking tour of the city? On this website, there are 3 tours to choose from; one self-guided walking tour through the centre that lasts an hour, another one hour self-guided tour through the authentic locals spots, which stops at plenty of cafes for refreshments, and a two hour self-guided tour that’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of the most beautiful architectual spots that the city has to offer.
Follow a Guide Through the Heart of the City
If a self-guided tour isn’t really your kind of thing, you may want to look into this walking tour, which is lead by a local tour guide who can not only give you their own personal highlights, but let you in on the historical and cultural aspects of the city that a self-guided tour often misses. You’ll be treated to the best architectural delights of the city, and let in on a few secrets on where to pick up a hearty breakfast or lunch just like a local. This way, not only do you get to uncover the city with a trusty companion, but you’ll also be helping to support local businesses. That’s a win-win for us.
Visit Iglesia La Merced
Checking out this canary yellow church built in 1918 is a must for anyone interested in religion or architecture. The stories these walls could tell would transport you into another world. Right now, it’s a museum, holding trinkets and artifacts from as far back as the 17th Century. Before that, it played the role of the city’s police headquarters. An odd parallel, but incredible history all the same. Entry is free for all. This church building is a must-visit.
Take a Look Around Casa Mima
Guatemala City is full of museums that’ll ask you to pay an admission fee – but Casa Mima is the best free museum to visit if you’d like to save a bit of cash. This 17th Century house is home to antique furniture, decorations, and clothing from the1800s, and a unique insight into how the upper middle class would have lived 3 centuries ago. You can wander through the old house’s rooms, take a guided tour with a local who’ll be able to tell you all the extra juicy details of what it was like to live at this time, and there are plenty of free cultural activities to get stuck into too. It’s a great experience for the whole family.
Wander Through Mercado Central
Mercado Central is a bustling market full of locals selling their wares. Whether you’re looking for a slice of the local cuisine, cooked and served up on the street, with a freshly squeezed juice on the side, or a few souvenirs to take home to your loved ones made by hand by the people of Guatemala City, this is an incredible spot to feel the true authenticity of the city. Stroll around the stalls taking in the sights and the smells of local life,and don’t forget to take your camera to catch it all on film. You won’t want to miss it. Head there early if you want to catch the best deals and miss the crowds of course!
Take a Look at the Metropolitan Cathedral
Believed to be the beating heart of the city, Metropolitan Cathedral is a must see for anyone who loves architecture or history. This is one of the most important buildings in the city. In fact, you’ll find 12 pillars in front of the cathedral inscribed with thousands od names: the poor souls who lost their lives or were simply lost and never seen again during the Guatemalen Civil War. Take a wander through the cathedral for free too, and get ready to be awe inspired by the decorations that lie within the walls.
Take a Tour of Cervecería Centroamericana
If you’re a beer connoissieur, this is the tour for you. Cervecería Centroamericana is Guatemala City’s main brewery, and where the beer Gallo comes from. Take a sip of the legendary beer and take a tour around this incredible piece of Guatemala’s culture (tours are given in both Spanish and English throughout the day). It’s a popular tour, so do make sure you book in advance. Need a link for that? Click here and get yourself signed up!
Go on a Shopping Spree at Paseo Cayala
Okay, so whilst it’s technically not free if you go on a shopping spree, Paseo Cayala is a super spot to lose yourself for a few hours. Think shopping, cool cafes, and entertainment, plus cultural activities going on almost every day of the year, and you’ve got yourself the perfect picture of what this place can do for you. A little more urban, and a little less historical, but hey, we’re here for a bit of everything, right?
Climb Cerro de la Cruz
Head to the top of this easy to climb hill for a gorgeous view across the city and Volcan Agua, Guatemala’s breathtaking volcano. Take a picnic for lunch with a view, and take in the peace and quiet out of the hustle and bustle of the city.
Ready to head out into this central American beauty? Guatemala City could be the next spot on your bucket list, so what are you waiting for?