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Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala, a country in Central America.
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Points of Interest in Guatemala City
Antique churches provide the capital city with a very special historic and architectural touch, such as Cerrito del Carmen, Catedral Metropolitana, Calvario, Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Iglesia de Yurrita, and Iglesia de la Merced. The archaeological site of Kaminal Juyú is located within this capital city, which according to specialists, is a city buried under one of the most commercial areas of the city, comprising Zona 7 and Zona 11.
- Mapa en Relieve, ☎ 2254-1114. Located at Minerva Park, at end of Av. Simon Cañas, Guatemala Zona 2 Entrance is Q16 and it's open daily 9-5 This relief map depicting Guatemala's precipitous topography is so immense you have to view it from an observation tower. What makes it even more amazing is that it was built in 1904, before satellite or even aerial photography.
- Ixchel Museum of traditional costumes, ☎ 331-3638/34. 6 Calle final, Zona 10, at the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 Sat 9:00-13:00. Q25 adults, Q15 students. A large collection of traditional costumes, information on weaving and dying techniques, the processing of the materials in use, the history and development of the traditional costumes and a collection of paintings by Carmen Pettersen. The explanations are in both English and Spanish. The museum also has a shop where you can get fine examples of Guatemalan artesania. The prices are higher than at the markets, but the quality is also higher and the selection is good. The shop also has a variety of books, including its own series of publications about the traditional costumes of Guatemala, hard to come by in other book stores, and also the book The Maya of Guatemala - life and dress (with text in English and Spanish) by Carmen Pettersen, for Q465 (raised because the book is now out of print).
- Popol Vuh Museum, ☎ 361-2301/11. 6 Calle final, Zona 10, at the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 Sat 9:00-13:00. Q35 adults, Q15 students, Q15 for permission to take pictures (without flash), Q25 for video. The museum has no particular focus on the Popol Vuh as the name suggests, but has a rather nice collection of archaeological items from the pre-Hispanic Mayan world. There is also a room dedicated to Colonial items. The explanations are in both English and Spanish.
- Archaeology and Ethnology Museum, 7 Avenida, Zona 13. Presents an archaeological sample of the Mayan civilization. This is where you find the famous Tikal mask.
- Museum of Modern Art, 7 Avenida, Zona 13. This is directly across from the Archeology and Ethnology Museum and the ticket from it should get people into both.
- Aurora Zoo, Zona 13. See local and exotic animals in a decent environment. Make sure to listen to the songbirds that gather in the trees above.
- Kaminaljuyu, Zona 7. An early Maya ruin right in the heart of the city. The buildings are mostly mounds, however, the excavations have opened up a lot of areas that are interesting to tour.
- Museo Miraflores, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.. 7 Calle 21-55, Zona 11. Tel 475-4621. Tu, Wed, Sun 9-19, Thu, Fri, Sat 9-20. Monday closed. Museum that focuses on the ancient city of Kaminaljuyú.
- Parque Central and The Cathedral.
- Palacio Nacional, Zona 1, can be seen via free guided tours (40Q if your not a Guatemalan citizen) that operate every 15 minutes, and last about 30 min. You can see the interior courtyards and official function rooms, decorative artwork and wall murals, as well as a small statue commemorating the end of the civil war: a pair of hands that hold a fresh rose.
- National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia)
- Museo Carlos F. Novella. Mirador Basin Museum is free and located inside a cement factory. 15 Avenida 18-01 Zona 6, Interior Finca La Pedrera. (502) 2286-4100 ext. 6435. Go by cab to the front entrance and tell the guard you are visiting the Museo de la Cuenca Mirador.
- Jardines Botánico, Calle Mariscal Cruz 1-56, Zona 10, ☎ +502 334 6064. First botanical garden in Central America. Houses a large variety of indigenous and exotic plant species in a mature, well-maintained facility. The garden is part of the Museum of Natural History--a operation of UCA.
About Guatemala City
Guatemala City is located in the department (territorial division) of Guatemala, and it's the capital of the country. All the main highways start at Kilómetro 0, located inside Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace), in Centro Histórico (Historic Center).
Guatemala City became the capital after Antigua Guatemala had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. With a population of around 3 million people, Guatemala City is the largest and most modern city in Guatemala. It can be interesting to visit "Guate," as it is also called by the locals. Guatemala City has attractions and restaurants, often with few tourists. Sunday evenings' gatherings of hundreds of locals at the main plaza is certainly an unforgettable experience.
- INGUAT, 7 Avenida 1-17, Zona 4. Travellers have mixed reports about the service being unreliable here at the official travel office. There is little written material You can get some nice posters for Q6, and if you bring your own blank CD, they will copy some marimba music for you. Although it holds a repelling reputation for violent crime, Guatemala is also known for its good-natured, friendly citizens.
Recreational activities can be done as well, from climbing volcanoes (Agua and Pacaya), to swimming in several recreational facilities, as well as water sports in Lago de Atitlán (lake).
For recreation, you can visit 4 Grados Norte: pedestrian roads that offer great entertainment, commerce and cultural activities, and Zona Viva, an area of Zona 10 that has become the main center for nightlife. Guatemala City is an urban center with cultural diversity, cosmopolitan as well as traditional, in which traditional and folkloric abundance stands out, with legends such as El Cadejo or La Llorona. The city offers the tourist all the services and commodities and is normally the center of operations to set out to any of the other destinations in the Republic.
- Shopping at the Central Market
- Every Sunday hundreds of People stroll at the Main Plaza ("Plaza Mayor")in Zona 1, where music, arts and food is provided
- Magic Place, Avenida Las Americas, Zona 14.
- Los Proceres
- La Pradera
- Tikal Futura
- Pradera Concepcion. Newest cinemas in Guatemala with IMAX Theater
If you want to experience a fútbol game in a fútbol nation, spend a Sunday morning/afternoon at Estadio Mateo Flores. You can catch a match of the most popular fútbol club in the country, CSD Municipal ("Los Rojos"). Tickets are cheap and you can get them at the stadium entrance. Go to  to see when there is a local match. "Palco" is the most expensive seating with ample spaced seats followed by "Preferencia", "Tribuna",where the "hinchas", or fanatics, sit and "General Sur y Norte" which are the cheapest. The first three are best for a good view.
The other big Guatemala City fútbol team is Comunicaciones ("Los Cremas"). If Municipal isn't playing, go see Comunicaciones play as they both share "Estadio Mateo Flores" as their home venue.about 12
- LiveGuate (LiveGuate Tours), 16 Ave. 20-60 (Zona Viva), ☎ 4149-5025. 24/7. Visit the highlights of the city with this comprehensive and educational tour. Tours run daily, call in advance. Private transportation and tour service is available throughout the entire country. 89.00.
You can find quite an array of American fast food restaurants (McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, etc.) as well as Pollo Campero which is the most popular Guatemalan fast food chain. Fast food restaurants in Guatemala are very clean and accessible only to the middle class.
Though a little risky, there are great street vendors that offer a variety of good local foods. Just remember to scope out the one with the best hygiene. This is the most more local.
- "Shucos" can be found in carts that are usually parked in between "Estadio del Ejercito" and "Campo Marte" zona 5. They are comparable to a super charged hot dog with guacamole, meats such as "longaniza", "chorizo", bacon etc... Just make sure you get the one with everything (Con todo).
- "Mangoes or Cucumbers with Salt, Pepitoria & Limón"You can also get sliced fruit such as magoes with "pepitoria" (roasted, crushed pumpkin seeds), salt, and lemon in a small clear bag. Or sliced oranges from carts all over the city.
- "Gauchitos" are also good cart foods. They are basically a pattie with scrambled egg, "chimichurri" and some dressings on a bun. You can find them in various places throughout the city. One favorite is on the "Mirador" on Carretera an El Salvador. It sits adjacent to Cafesa, diner like restaurant, on an outlook overlooking the city. You can order a "Súper Gauchito", a soda, and sit and admire the hustle and bustle of the city below.
- "Atol de Elote" Is a very local and custom drink made from a corn (maize) base. It's somewhat sweet and a drink you must try. It's very rich so if you're not too hungry you can substitute it for a meal. The best place to try it is on the outlook on the other side of the city leaving towards Antigua. Just before you get to San Lucas. Its also another place where you can sit and admire the city from atop a mountain.
Carretera a Antigua Guatemala
- Restaurante La Abuelita, the best homemade food in San Lucas.
Zona Viva, between Avenida La Reforma, 6 Avenida, 16 Calle and 10 Calle in Zona 10 is the best place to find restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Zona 10/Zona Viva
- ONE Restaurant+Lounge, 14 Calle 4-74, Zona 10, ☎ +502 2368.0724/2337.3903. ONE is a contemporary restaurant and lounge with an avant-garde design. It offers Fusion Cuisine. For RSVP: 502 5736.6117. Main dish Q70-190.
- Kacao, 2 Avenida between 13 and 14 Calle, Zona 10. A nice restaurant with waiters in traditional Mayan costumes, tables covered with huipiles, under a big thatched roof. Serves traditional Guatemalan food like Pepián, Jocón, Suban-lek (ceremonial dish from the Cakchiquel royalty of San Martín Jilotepeque), Lomito Chiltepe. Q70-170.
- Café de Paix, Hotel Intercontinental, 2 Avenida, Zona 10. Expensive French restaurant with typical dishes like entrecote and onion soup. Q90-190.
- Hacienda Real, ☎ 2368-1168/2333-5408/9. 13 Calle 1-10, Zona 10. One of the best places for steak. Try the tortillas with guacamole, frijoles (beans) and chorizo for starters, and the steak pimienta as the main course. Main dish Q70-140. Serves a free, delicious caldo while you wait for the meal.
- Tre Fratelli, ☎ 2366-3164/68, e-mail: email@example.com. 2 Avenida 13-25, Zona 10. . Mainly Italian food. Main dish Q40-80. Also restaurants at Unicentro, Tikal Futura, Miraflores and Las Majadas.
- Tamarindos, ☎ 2360-2815/35. 11 Calle 2-19A, Zona 10. Asian fusion cuisine, duck, ostrich, steak, shrimps, and maybe the best sushi in town. Try the Moo Shu Duck, the tuna dishes, and for dessert the bread pudding with ice cream and bourbon sauce, or the chocolate surprise. Main dish Q80-170. Expensive cocktails, Q45.
- FRIDAS, ☎ 2333-7473/2368-0686. 3a AVE 14-60, Zona 10. Mexican food. Main dish Q35-60. Chicken fajitas, Tortilla soup, pechuga de pollo en salsa de mango, pay azteca, a la flauta flautas, and for starters the queso fundido mixto (melted cheese with mushrooms) are all good. The best margaritas in Guatemala, but watch out when they ask you what kind of tequila you would like in/with it - the price might rise from the normal Q29 to Q85.
- Casa Chapina, ☎ 2337-0143/2368-0663. 1 Avenida 13-42, Zona 10. Traditional Guatemalan food. If you are lucky/unlucky (depending on your preferences) you might also be treated to the traditional marimba during your meal.
- Donde Mikel, 13 Calle 5-19, Zona 10. Great place for steak and shrimps. Often full, so book in advance, or show up early.
- Tapas y Cañas, ☎ 2367-2166. 13 Calle 7-78, Zona 10. Spanish tapas. Try pinchos españoles, pinchos de pollo and albondigas de lomito. You have a choice between sitting in the restaurant or in the bar.
- El Gran Pavo, ☎ 2362-0608/9. 6 Avenida 12-72, Zona 10. Mexican food.
- Inka Grill, ☎ 2363-3013. 2 Avenida 14-22, Zona 10. Peruvian food. Main dish Q45-100.
- Vesuvio, 18 Calle 3-36, Zona 10, close to Los Proceres shopping mall. Tel 337-1697. Great pizza made over open fire.
- Saint Honore, Hotel Intercontinental, 2 Avenida, Zona 10. Maybe the best coffee in Guatemala City. Serves cakes and small dishes. Expensive.
- Los Alpes, ☎ 2331-4606. Zona 10. Swiss bakery, lunch dishes at Q30-45 (a bit boring), fancy cakes.
- Zürich, 6 Avenida 12-52, Zona 10. Swiss bakery with cakes and chocolate. Also serves breakfast and lunch.
- HOOTERS. Avenida La Reforma 16-01, Zona 10, local 18. The same as the ones in the USA.
- Friday's, 12 Calle 1-25 Zona 10, Edificio Géminis 10 and 8 Calle 26-55 Zona 11, Parque Comercial Las Majadas and at Pradera Concepción shopping mall; the same as the ones in the USA.
- El Ganadero, 20 Calle 2-19 Zona 10, across the street of Los Próceres shopping mall; excellent steaks.
- tacontento, 2a Avenida 14-06, Zona 10, across the street from the Intercontinental Hotel. Serves excellent tacos for Q20-28 per set of three. Try the spicy pulled pork tacos. The crowd is a mix between hip locals and foreigners.
- Chili's, Av Reforma/12 Calle. Big burgers and Tex-Mex style food. Slow service.
- Los Cebollines. Plaza España, 7 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 9.
- Del Tingo Al Tango, ☎ 2334-2449. 12 Calle Esquina 4-08 Z-9 You'll find some of the best "lomitos" for very comfortable prices here. Some say the best stake house for the buck in the city.
- Altuna, 5 Avenida 12-31, Zona 1. Stylish interior. Spanish and Basque cuisine, seafood and paella.
- Hotel Pan-American, ☎ 232 6807/8/9, fax: 232 6402. 9 Calle 5-63, Zona 1. Noisy hotel with clean rooms, Spanish'influenced architecture, and cool tile flooring. Q60-100.
- Hotel Ajau, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 8a av 15-62, Zona 1. . Beautiful old hotel with decorations from around Guatemala. Nice restaurant with waiters dressed in traditional costumes. Q80.
- El Rey Sol 8 Calle 5-36, Zona 1 (just off Plaza Central). Vegetarian restaurant, good value.
Carretera an El Salvador
- San Ángel, Carretera an El Salvador. Great view of the city, especially at night; security is VERY tight, so you can eat with no worries. Try the lomito and the one called Mar y Tierra (Sea and Land): you get a large steak and big shrimps.
Santa Catarina Pinula (suburb just above Zona 10 and the airport)
This town is historically famous for its pork products, and the best tasting, cleanest, most authentic place around is "La Cabanita" which is a quarter block directly south of the cathedral. Fresh "carnitas" Guatemalan style, plus "chicharrones", "longanizas", etc... if you're a fan of those exotic dining-gems from the Food or Travel channels then you'll love this place.
Supermarket and food markets
- Central Market, between 8 and 6 Calle/8 and 9 Avenida, Zona 1
- Hiper Paiz supermarket. 9 Avenida 5-30, Zona 1, just one block from the Central Market
- Hiper Paiz supermarket. 6 Avenida/13 Calle, Centro Capitol, Zona 1
- Econo Super, Av Reforma/16 Calle (close to Obelisco), Zona 9
- Gourmet Center, Blv. Los Proceres, Zona 10
- Tiendas, little grocery stores (with any name imaginable) that you can find all over the city; you can get soft drinks, beer, bread, candy, combs, razors, pens, toilet paper, any kind of snack you can think of, phone cards (some of them), etc.; cash only
- Wal-Mart (Supermarket), Pradera Conception mall, Pan American Hwy (CA1) near Colnia Los Flores
- 4 Grados Norte. Is a cultural district located in Zona 4 in Guatemala City. It was a project of the municipality to convert this area into an attractive pedestrian area in 2002. Additionally, many green areas were created. Today the district also features bars, restaurants, shopping and cultural activities and has become one of the city's trendy and open minded areas, competing with Zona Viva in Zona 10.The most interesting places are perhaps the ones just outside the main street. More recently has become less popular and developed a poor reputation.
- Bodegita del Centro, 12 Calle 3-55, Avenidas 3/4, Zona 1.
- El Portal, inside the complex (entrances from 8 Calle, 9 Calle and 6 Avenida) facing Parque Central, Zona 1. Supposedly Che Guevaras favorite place when he lived in Guatemala City in the early '50s.
- ONE Restaurant+Lounge, 14 Calle 4-74, Zona 10, ☎ +502 2368.0724/2337.3903. ONE is a contemporary restaurant and lounge with an avant-garde design. 25% off from 4pm through 8pm, Monday through Friday. Wednesday and Saturday is Ladies' Night with 2x1. For RSVP: 502 5736.6117. Main dish Q70-190.
- El Establo, Zona 10.
- Kahlua. Zona 10
The gay circuit in Guatemala is somewhat extensive, and it is growing every day.
- Genetic, Near 4 Grados Norte. 8:00 pm - 1:00 am. It is Guatemala's biggest gay club, where you can get for free if you come before 9:00 pm. It has two floors, and shows a variety of music: from Latin beats to europop. $12.00.
Guatemala is famous for its textiles. In the city you should be able to find textiles from all over the country. If you are particularly interested in Guatemala or the Maya, you might find books (in Spanish) here that are hard to get anywhere else. For books in English, you get better prices at an online bookstore like Amazon in most cases.
- In Nola, 18 Calle 21-31, Zona 10. Tel 367-2424/367-2655/59. Mon-Fri 8:30-18-30, Sat 8:30-13:30. Enormous selection of fabrics by the yard (prices from Q20-60 depending on quality/thickness). Wood, clothes, leather, ceramic, souvenirs, traditional costumes. You can also get clothes sewn there.
- The artesania market, Zona 13.
- Lin-Canola, fax: 232-0858. 5 Calle 9-60, Zona 1. Tel 253-0138. Enormous selection of fabrics by the yard (prices from Q20-60 depending on quality/thickness). Wood, clothes, leather, ceramic, souvenirs, traditional costumes. You can also get clothes sewn there.
- Centro guatemalteco de textiles, 5 Calle 9-41, Zona 1. Ceramic, wood and fabrics by the yard (Q15-25). Can't compete with the selection at Lin-Canola, but cheaper. In the same street you will find more shops with fabrics in the same price range, but none with the selection of Lin-Canola.
- Central Market, between 8 and 6 Calle/8 and 9 Avenida, Zona 1.
You can rarely find travel guides for the region at these places (not even a Guatemala guide).
- Sophos, 12 Calle 4 Avenida, Zona 10.
- Artemis Edinter, Gémimis Center, 12 Calle/1 Avenida, Zona 10, or 5 Avenida 12-11, Zona 1, or Centro Comercial La Pradera, Zona 10.
- Libreria del Pensativo, ☎ 2332-5055. 13 Calle/7 Avenida, Zona 9.
- Arnel, 9 Calle/7 Avenida, Edificio el Centro, Local 108 (basement), Zona 1.
Geminis Bookshop, 3a. Avenida 17-05 Zona 14, Edificio Casa Alta; 23661031. Books in Spanish and English.
- La Pradera, Blv. Los Proceres, Zona 10
- Los Proceres, 16 Calle/2 Avenida, Zona 10
- Unicentro, Zona 10
- Oakland Mall. Diagonal 6, Zona 10 (The newest shopping mall in the city, boasting the first restaurant aquarium in Latin America going by the Nais Aquarium).
- Tikal Futura, Zona 11
- Miraflores, Zona 11
- Pradera Concepción. In Puerta Parada, next to the road to El Salvador.
6 Avenida (Zona 1)
This street has undergone massive changes in the last year and is now free of street vendors. Now almost fully pedestrianized, it is best experienced on a Sunday afternoon or early evening. Several coffeeshops and restaurants.
The Aurora International Airport
The Airport is going through remodeling in phases. The first phase, the North wing, has been finished as of December 2007. It is a modern design with nothing to envy from airports in developed nations. Phase two will see the construction of the South wing. When finished, the airport is said to be the most modern and largest airport in Central America being able to tend to 32 airplanes of different sizes at one time.
One thing you should take home with you from Guatemala is the prize winning rum Ron Zacapa Centenario. If you don't drink, somebody else is bound to be very happy for a bottle of this exquisite rum. The price tag is around $45 for a full liter, slightly cheaper than at a supermarket. Note that there are two duty-free shops. The fancy one everybody passes by on the way to/from the gates and one at the end of the terminal behind Gate 11. The latter one is about 20% cheaper for Ron Zacapa rum. The souvenir shops have some nice things if you need some last minute gifts before you leave the country (a bit more expensive than the markets, but not too bad). The books they sell at the airport are ridiculously expensive, double or triple price of a bookstore.
Visa is the most common credit card for use in ATMs. In the main shopping areas, especially in Zona 10, you should have no trouble finding an ATM that takes Visa.
There is a Visa/MasterCard ATM at the south side of the central plaza 8 Calle 5-36, a Visa-only ATM at 5 Avenida 9-39, and a MasterCard only at the corner of 5 Avenida/11 Calle, all in Zona 1.
Note that ATM key pads can be oriented with the 9 at the top left with the numbers descending right and down, or with the 1 at the top left with numbers ascending. If you have a spatial memory and have memorized the motion of punching in your PIN instead of the actual numerical sequence, you might be in for a surprise!
==Banks== (International) CitiBank or Citi is found throughout the country! The retail branch in La Antigua Guatemala is a fine place to bank and perform international transactions.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Guatemala City on Wikivoyage.