Is Guanajuato Safe? A Mexico Travel Guide

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May 14, 2024
8 min read

Guanajuato City

Guanajuato is a hidden gem nestled in central Mexico, just northwest of Mexico City. It is one of Guanajuato's most charming travel destinations, offering visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and stunning architecture. This beautiful city holds the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is rich in colonial history.

When planning your trip to Guanajuato, it's important to stay safe and be aware of your surroundings. While it's generally considered safe for tourists, like any other city, it's always wise to take necessary precautions.

The main Guanajuato city center is relatively compact and easily walkable, making it a perfect place for solo travel. One of Guanajuato's iconic landmarks is the Hidalgo Market, located right in the heart of the city.

This bustling market offers an authentic taste of Mexican street food and local crafts. Take a stroll through its vibrant aisles filled with colorful textiles, handmade jewelry, and aromatic spices - it truly captures the essence of Mexican culture.

Pictures of the mummies on display at the Mummy Museum

Another must-visit attraction in Guanajuato City is the famous Mummy Museum. Situated within an old cemetery crypt, this eerie yet fascinating museum houses naturally preserved mummies that were discovered in nearby graves dating back to the 19th century.

The mummies offer a glimpse into Guanajuato's past while simultaneously stirring curiosity among visitors. has something for everyone - from its captivating history to its lively festivals and events throughout the year.

As you wander through its narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses and picturesque plazas, you'll quickly fall in love with this enchanting part of Mexico. So now that we know what all this wonderful city has to offer, let’s take a look at the safety and if you may need to reconsider your plans? 

Get to know the ins and outs of visiting this charming city by reading more in our Guanajuato city guide.

Travel Advisories

When it comes to Guanajuato, it is worth noting that travel advisories often distinguish between different areas within a region. While parts of Guanajuato state may face security challenges, the city of Guanajuato itself is very safe.  It is worth noting that the US Department of state has issued travel advisories due to its high crime rates and possibility of kidnapping. It is at level “Reconsider Travel to” at the time of writing, which it will probably remain at for the foreseeable future.

While the city is renowned for its colorful streets and rich cultural heritage, it's important for you to be aware of the current situation and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe visit. Unfortunately, Guanajuato state currently experiences some of the highest murder rates in all of Mexico.

However, despite these disheartening statistics, it's important to recognize that not all areas within Guanajuato are equally affected by crime. I drove through the state and didn’t have any issues and felt really safe within the city. You may encounter some security checkpoints when driving around the state but within the city it’s really calm.

It should also be noted that while crime rates may seem alarming on paper, they don't necessarily translate into personal danger for everyone. I among other numerous people have visited Guanajuato without encountering any issues whatsoever. 

As with traveling anywhere else in the world, exercising caution and staying informed about your surroundings will help you ensure an enjoyable trip while minimizing potential risks.

While there might be regions within Guanajuato state facing security challenges due to organized crime activities associated with drug cartels operating throughout Mexico, the city of Guanajuato itself remains relatively safe for tourists. 

By sticking primarily to well-patrolled tourist areas and following general travel safety tips such as avoiding isolated places at night and keeping an eye on personal belongings when visiting crowded spots like markets or festivals, you can enjoy a pleasant and secure trip to Guanajuato.

The Situation in Guanajuato

Guanajuato state is home to some of the highest murder rates in Mexico. In 2022, there were over 3,500 homicides in the state. Which left it second, only behind the state of Mexico, for the most homicides in the country. 1

While certain areas of Mexico may have safety concerns, Guanajuato remains a relatively safe destination for tourists. Guanajuato's city center is bustling with activity, as both locals and tourists explore its charming streets. There isn’t a fear of going out here and it’s safe to travel around at night as well.

The city has earned a reputation for being safe for solo travelers, and it offers numerous attractions that showcase its cultural heritage. One must-visit spot in Guanajuato is the Museo Regional de Guanajuato (Regional Museum of Guanajuato), where you can delve into the art and history of this region.

The city takes pride in its historical significance and even has a patroness called "The Lady of Guanajuato." While it's important to exercise caution when traveling anywhere, especially in unfamiliar surroundings, Guanajuato is generally considered safe for visitors.

Is it Safe for Tourists?

When it comes to traveling to Guanajuato, one of the most frequently asked questions is whether it is safe for tourists. The state itself is one of the most dangerous when it comes to murder rates and is consistently in the top 5 states on a monthly basis. But that doesn't mean the city is not safe. Let me put your mind at ease – Guanajuato city is a safe place for travelers.

Driving through Guanajuato on our way to see pyramids

A lot of the violence that takes place is outside of Guanajuato city. If you drive here you will see the police check points along the way. Be mindful if driving through the state not to get off on any side roads and always stick to the main throughfares. You can read more here in my article discussing the challenges of driving around Mexico.

This vibrant city in Mexico has a lot to offer and ensures the safety and well-being of its visitors. Guanajuato, known for its stunning colonial architecture and rich history, has been a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.

Guanajuato is a stunning city that is not only vibrant and charming but also safe for tourists. As you walk through the colorful streets, you'll quickly realize that it exudes a welcoming atmosphere. The locals are friendly and always ready to help, making you feel right at home. Despite being on the US travel advisory list, I never felt concerned about my safety during my visit.

One of the reasons why Guanajuato feels so safe is its well-developed security measures. There is a strong police presence in the city, and you'll often see patrolling officers ensuring the safety of both locals and visitors alike. Additionally, Guanajuato has an excellent reputation when it comes to low crime rates, particularly violent crimes against tourists.

Tourist areas in Guanajuato are generally safe, especially the well-frequented areas such as the City Center and the Alley of the Kiss. These areas are heavily patrolled by local police officers who ensure the safety of visitors.

Additionally, you will find that locals are friendly and welcoming towards tourists. It's always advisable to use common sense and take necessary precautions no matter where you travel.

While Guanajuato city is considered safe overall, it's essential to be mindful of your surroundings and avoid walking alone late at night in dimly lit areas. 

If you have a rented car during your visit, make sure to park it in secure parking lots or use trusted valet services when available. You’ll still want to keep your bags or any luggage in the trunk.

Guanajuato is indeed a safe destination for tourists. You can immerse yourself in its rich culture, explore its fascinating history, and indulge in delicious local cuisine without any major concerns about your safety.

Travel Safety Tips

When it comes to traveling to Guanajuato, it's essential to prioritize your safety. While Guanajuato is generally considered safe for tourists, it's still wise to take precautions to ensure a smooth and hassle-free visit.

Here are some travel safety tips that can help you stay safe while exploring this beautiful city in central Mexico. First and foremost, when navigating the city, consider using reputable transportation options such as Uber or registered taxis.

These services provide a reliable and secure means of getting around without having to worry about hailing a random taxi on the street. 

Additionally, if you're planning a day trip from Guanajuato, make sure you arrange your transportation in advance through reliable tour operators or private drivers.

As with any tourist destination, be mindful of your surroundings and take precautions against petty crime. 

While Guanajuato city is relatively safe compared to other parts of Mexico, it's still important to keep an eye on your belongings and avoid displaying signs of wealth unnecessarily.

Pickpocketing incidents can occur in crowded areas such as markets or popular tourist sites like the Alley of the Kiss or museums. 

Keep valuables in the car trunk

Another valuable tip for solo travelers is to stay connected with trusted friends or family members back home and inform them about your travel plans while visiting Guanajuato. Sharing your itinerary with someone who can keep track of your whereabouts can provide an extra layer of security.

By following these travel safety tips, you should be able to enjoy your visit to Guanajuato without any major concerns for personal safety. However, always remember that unforeseen situations can arise anywhere in the world; staying cautious but open-minded will help ensure a memorable and safe experience in this vibrant Mexican city.

Guanajuato City

Things to Do in Guanajuato

A must-visit spot in Guanajuato is the iconic Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato, also known as the Lady of Guanajuato. This majestic church is considered one of the most important religious sites in the state of Guanajuato and attracts both locals and tourists alike.

Take some time to admire its grandeur, step inside to soak up its peaceful atmosphere, or simply enjoy the view from one of the nearby plazas. 

For a little adventure consider exploring the underground tunnels known as "callejones" is an exciting activity not to be missed. These tunnels were originally built for flood control but have now become a unique feature of Guanajuato's urban landscape. Venturing into these maze-like tunnels will lead you to hidden spots such as charming cafes, local artisan shops, and vibrant street art that adds a modern touch to this historical city.

Stroll through its picturesque streets lined with colorful houses and explore its vibrant art scene by visiting galleries and workshops. You can also stop by the Diego Rivera museum, which is housed in his former home.

Additionally, if you have extra time during your visit to Guanajuato, consider taking a day trip to San Miguel de Allende. This nearby town offers another perspective on Mexican colonial architecture and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.

You can read more in our article here discussing the top things to do in Guanajuato.


Guanajuato is a charming and vibrant city that offers a wealth of cultural experiences and historical landmarks. While it's important to stay informed about any travel advisories and exercise caution, Guanajuato is generally considered safe for tourists.

The city proper has a low crime rate, and the local authorities work diligently to maintain a safe environment for visitors. During your visit to Guanajuato, make sure to explore the stunning architecture and rich history of the city.

Don't miss the iconic Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), where young lovers share a kiss from balconies separated by inches. Dive into the fascinating world of art at Diego Rivera's childhood home-turned-museum, or marvel at the mesmerizing Quixote Iconographic Museum with its impressive collection of art and sculptures dedicated to the Cervantes story.

Venture outside the city to discover more wonders like San Miguel de Allende, another picturesque town known for its colonial charm and artistic community. 

With an international airport nearby and its proximity to other popular travel destinations such as San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato remains easily accessible despite being nestled away in central Mexico. You can read more about mobility in the city here in our article covering how to get around in Guanajuato.

So get ready to pack your bags with confidence, embrace adventure, and feel assured that you can have a safe experience while visiting this remarkable part of Mexico.

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Written by:

I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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