Guatemala City Introduction Walking Tour, Guatemala City

Guatemala City Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Guatemala City

Life in Guatemala City is exciting and lively, as it is the largest city of the Republic of Guatemala. The city is separated into numerous zones with streets that are well endowed with colourful shops, cafes, relaxing areas and street markets. All these give tourists a realistic impression of what it is like to live in Guatemala City. The following walking tour will take you to the most fascinating spots in the city.
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Guatemala City Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Guatemala City Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Guatemala » Guatemala City (See other walking tours in Guatemala City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Author: sabrina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Cathedral of Guatemala City
  • National Palace of Culture
  • Central Park
  • Portal del Comercio
  • San Francisco Church
  • Guatemala Post Office Building
  • Central Market
  • National History Museum
  • La Merced Church
  • Cerrito del Carmen
Cathedral of Guatemala City

1) Cathedral of Guatemala City (must see)

The Cathedral of Guatemala City, also Metropolitan Cathedral is the main church of Guatemala City and of the Archdiocese of Guatemala (Archidioecesis Guatimalensis). It is located at the Parque Central in the center of the city. The main body of the church was built between 1782 and 1815 while the towers were completed in 1867. Its massive structure incorporates baroque and classical elements and has withstood numerous earthquakes. Damage by the devastating earthquakes of 1917 and 1976 has been repaired.

The inside of the cathedral is relatively sparsely decorated but impresses by its size and its structural strength. The altars are ornate and decorative. In front of the cathedral stand a series of 12 pillars, solemnly remembering the names of thousands of people forcibly disappeared or murdered during the counterinsurgency violence of Guatemala's internal armed conflict, which began in 1960 and lasted until the final peace accord was signed in 1996.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
National Palace of Culture

2) National Palace of Culture (must see)

The symbol of Guatemala and a fine architectural gem, Palacio National de la Cultual or National Palace of Culture is an ornate landmark building crowning Parque Central. Construction of the Palace was completed in 1943 under orders from president General Ubico, and it was to function as presidential headquarters. The Palace is also known to be a ‘Zero Kilometer’, a point from which all the country’s roads start. The Palace has over three hundred rooms, with many open to the public. The mixture of architectural designs includes Moorish courtyards, carved stone frescoes, window arches and ornate columns.
Central Park

3) Central Park (must see)

Central Park, officially called Plaza de la Constitución, is the focal gathering point for locals. The park faces two prominent city buildings: National Palace on the northen side and Cathedral on the east. With its stunning fountain, which was built in 1943 and designed by Guatemalan artist Rodolfo Galeotti Torres, the park is never empty during the day; one is likely to see parents walking with kids, teenagers hanging out, ice-cream vendors and sometimes open-air political gatherings.
Portal del Comercio

4) Portal del Comercio

Situated on the southern side of the Central Plaza, Portal del Comercio (Gate of Commerce) is a beautiful Neo-classical building dating back to 1788. The building houses several shops, cafes and stalls selling local crafts and food. During the day this place is always filled with Guatemalans and tourists wandering about. Great place to experience the vibe of daily life in the city.
San Francisco Church

5) San Francisco Church (must see)

San Francisco is a large Catholic Church famous for its religious relics such as a statue titled Jesus Nazareno del Perdon, wooden carvings of Jesús Crucificado and La Pasión and a sculpture of Inmaculada Concepción, donated by Carlos V, which sits upon the 88-meter high and 11-meter wide altar. The construction of the church started at the very beginning of the 19th century and was completed in 1829. Mass services are held here every day.
Guatemala Post Office Building

6) Guatemala Post Office Building (must see)

Guatemala Post Office Building was built between 1937 and 1940. This attractive structure with its notable Arch is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city. The construction of this building was inspired by the famous Santa Catalina Arch in Antigua. The Post Office is situated in the historic center of Guatemala City close to other popular attractions.
Central Market

7) Central Market (must see)

This large indoor Central Market is definitely a must-see attraction. Situated just behind the Cathedral, this three-level market is always filled with locals and tourists wandering around; it is the best place to buy attractive souvenirs and native wares at reasonable prices. A variety of hand-crafted items such as jewelry accessories, textile, leather goods, pottery and many others can be found on the top level. The second level has vendors selling food. Here visitors can see what kind of food locals eat and how they buy it. The last level features independent areas that specialize in making baskets, ceramics or wedding attributes. Central market is a great place to purchase something special and to witness local daily life.
National History Museum

8) National History Museum

National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia) is housed in a charming historic building, which has been used as a National Property Registry to date. The museum provides you with a great opportunity to learn about the history of Guatemala’s economy, society and culture since its independence in 1821. It hosts interesting displays of past presidents and other important historical figures, portraits, old documents and other valuable artifacts. There is also a fascinating collection of paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, weekends 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm.
La Merced Church

9) La Merced Church (must see)

Built in 1540, La Merced Church is the most decorated Catholic Church in Guatemala City. Founded by the La Merced Order and taken over by Jesuit priests in the 19th century, this beautiful Baroque style church is a sister church of the famous Le Merced Church in Antigua, Guatemala’s second largest city. Lots of colourful activities and liturgical services are held here daily. The church houses an extensive collection of sculptures, paintings, religious art and other relics. Open daily from 6am to 6pm.
Cerrito del Carmen

10) Cerrito del Carmen (must see)

Dating back to the 16th century, Del Carmen Church is the oldest church in the city located on the top of the hill called Cerrito Del Carmen. Legend has it that in the past, this area was a place where drug addicts and criminals would meet, but nowadays, it is a charming spot for locals and tourists. Around the church there are many trees and vegetation that create an attractive park with benches and pathways. Guatemalans gather here to play games as well as to jog, exercise and relax while reading books in a peaceful atmosphere. It is also a place where vendors sell a variety of gifts and souvenirs. The historical church possesses a number of religious images including the well-known model of the Virgin Mary. Some people pray to this picture as they believe it is a blessed image, since it was stolen from here and returned back 100 years later. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of the city from this hill.

Walking Tours in Guatemala City, Guatemala

Create Your Own Walk in Guatemala City

Create Your Own Walk in Guatemala City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Guatemala City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Guatemala City Culture Venues

Guatemala City Culture Venues

Guatemala attracts many tourists with its numerous prominent landmarks, statues and interesting museums. The museums provide the opportunity to discover some important historical artifacts. The following walking tour will take you to the most interesting cultural attractions in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Religious Buildings Walk

Religious Buildings Walk

Guatemala City features something interesting and entertaining for everyone. The landmarks here are amazing and the architecture is impressive and unique. Every religious building in this city is a part of local culture and life. Take this walking tour to discover some of the most famous churches in Guatemala City.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles