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Antigua is a preserved colonial city lathered with culture and exoticism. Its elaborate history extends back to the Spaniard Conquistadors and the indigenous Mayans, making it an exciting place for any historical enthusiast. This is a guide to the museums of Antigua that educate their visitors about the history of the area, from how the city became one of the most important capitals in Central America, to indigenous Guatemalan culture, It also listing other historical places of interest such as colonial churches and key Antigua landmarks.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Like a Local

11 Places

11 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Museo de Arte Colonial

Art Museums

Iglesia de La Merced

Churches & Cathedrals

ChocoMuseo

Cooking Classes, Speciality Museums

The Plaza Central Park

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Arco de Santa Catalina

Ancient Ruins

Casa Santo Domingo Museums

Speciality Museums, History Museums, Art Museums

Cathedral de Santiago

Sacred & Religious Sites

Mayan Creations Arts & Crafts

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Paseo De Los Museos

Speciality Museums

Cerro de la Cruz

Points of Interest & Landmarks

La Azotea Cultural Center

Speciality Museums, History Museums

Arielle W's City Tips

  • If you need directions to any of the museums, ask your hotel/hostel reception, or at any tourist agency (as the front-desk attendants will most likely speak English).
  • Antigua is a walking-friendly city, so you can easily walk to all of these museums.
  • It is better to visit the museums in the morning to give yourself more time to explore.
  • It might be an idea to do some research into Mayan culture and coffee production before your tours to give yourself more contextual understanding.
  • If you're a coffee lover, definitely do not miss the complimentary cup of authentic coffee during the Museo de Café tour!
  • If you prefer to travel via private shuttle, you can hire a private driver from any tour agency.
  • Give yourself a couple of hours to spend at each museum so you are not rushed. For more elaborate museum tours (e.g., La Azotea Cultural Center), three hours should be sufficient.
  • Many of the more touristy museums have bilingual tour guides so you won't miss a detail during your museum tour!
  • Public transportation is very accessible and affordable.
  • It is better to bring local currency to pay for your admission fees and other expenses. Some places do not accept credit/debit cards.
  • It's preferable to wear comfortable walking shoes, rather than sandals or flip flops, to navigate Antigua's cobbled streets.
  • Save
    Museo de Arte Colonial
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    This museum is located in the former Universidad de San Carlos building and has a collection of 17th century religious paintings. The museum is a little costly for what's on offer but the building itself is well-worth a look — a great destination for history and architectural enthusiasts.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Bring cash for the entrance fee if you do wish to go inside and look round.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    • Leisurely paced stroll 19/02/2018
    • First University in Central America 01/12/2017
    • Museo de Arte Colonial
    Address:
    5a Calle Oriente 5
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 7832 0429
  • Save
    Iglesia de La Merced
    Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    La Merced is a beautifully-preserved historic church that has been sacred to the city of Antigua since 1767. Although the interior design of the church has been restored, it still maintains a pristine appearance from its high ceiling murals and outdoor courtyard stone-fountain. Visitors are welcome to tour the inside when religious services are not taking place.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Be sure to dress respectively, covering legs and shoulders.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful 16th century church and large fountain. 20/02/2018
    • Gorgeous 09/02/2018
    • Iglesia de La Merced
    Phone:
    +502 7832 0559
  • Save
    ChocoMuseo
    Cooking Classes, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    If you are a chocolate fan, get ready to become even more enthused about chocolate, from the bean to the bar! In the workshops here, you'll learn how to prepare chocolate starting from its early life in the form of a cacao bean. Not only will you love chocolate more, you'll have a new appreciation for its production too!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • You may want to explore the museum, browse the gift shop, or spend time in the courtyard, so give yourself plenty of time to look around.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 10 Classes & Workshops in Antigua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The bean-to-bar class is so much fun!! 19/02/2018
    • Check it oit 19/02/2018
    • ChocoMuseo
    Address:
    4a Calle Oriente
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 7832 4520
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    10:00 - 18:30
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 - 19:30
    Other:
  • Save
    The Plaza Central Park
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    The Parque Central is a significant landmark in Antigua, and a popular historic location in the heart of the city. You'll see many locals and tourists chatting and drinking coffee on the park benches here, and vendors selling, fruit, scarfs or musical instruments. Around the park are many shops and restaurants to explore while you're here.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The mornings are a peaceful time to come to the park to read a book and observe the scenery before the afternoon rush starts.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Unique Plaza 21/02/2018
    • Excellent view of local life 20/02/2018
    • The Plaza Central Park
    Address:
    Plaza Mayor
    City Center
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 7832 4801
  • Save
    Arco de Santa Catalina
    Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    This is a historic place to come to for its picturesque beauty and cultural significance. Built in the 17th century, it initially connected a convent to a school and was used so that the nuns could easily cross the road. It's now one of the most important landmarks in Antigua and a must-see on your tour of the city's historical sights.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Make sure to bring a camera for pictures!
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Arch, beautiful city 21/02/2018
    • Photo op 19/02/2018
    • Arco de Santa Catalina
    Address:
    Av. Norte and 2 Calle Poniente 5
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 7832 3080
  • Save
    Casa Santo Domingo Museums
    Speciality Museums, History Museums, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    This is a beautiful place for nature walks through gardens with cobblestone paths, flowers, and preserved ruins. It is also a great place to come for a tour through one of its museums, followed by a bite to eat at the restaurant, and even an overnight stay in the hotel. There are six museums in total to explore here: Colonial Museum, Archeology Museum, Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and Modern Glass, Marco Augusto Quiroa and The Artist Halls, Silver Museum, and the Pharmacy Museum. If you are looking for a luxurious cultural experience in one of Central America's most colonial cities, Casa Santo Domingo is where you'll want to be!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Luxury Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you plan to stay in the hotel or eat in the restaurant, make a reservation at least a couple of days in advance.
    • Remember that this is a high-end hotel with many perks included — not a budget hotel.
    • You do not need a reservation to go to the museums. Just show up!
    • I recommend that you bring cash for your admission fee to the museum.
    • Hotel guests can lounge by the pool after exploring the museums here.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • You have to see it! 17/02/2018
    • Learn, chill and hang out 16/02/2018
    • Casa Santo Domingo Museums
    Address:
    3a Calle Oriente 28
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 7820 1220
    Other:
  • Save
    Cathedral de Santiago
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    Visit this impressive cathedral in order to witness the prestigious preservation of colonial architecture. The cathedral was affected by the 18th century earthquakes in Antigua, but has been partly restored, and its beauty has been preserved just enough so that people today can still enjoy it. The historical essence and beautiful architecture of the building are what gives it substance. If you are an enthusiast about colonial architecture and preserved ruins, this place is worth visiting!

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The church prohibits the wearing of revealing clothing such as shorts and low-cut tops.
    • Make sure you plan your visit during hours/days when religious services are not taking place. Services normally take place on Sundays.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Smack in the middle of town and in active use with the community 19/02/2018
    • Beautiful ruins and splendid facade 05/02/2018
    • Cathedral de Santiago
    Address:
    Calle Oriente 5
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 7832 0909
  • Save
    Mayan Creations Arts & Crafts
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    If you love collecting artifacts from around the world or you would like to start, this place is for you! The shop is set out a little like a museum or gallery, so you can learn as you browse.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Come with an open mind for new interpretations about art, and an eager ear to listen to the story behind it.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #40 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    • Excellent quality arts and crafts 02/03/2017
    • Explore the art 02/01/2016
    Address:
    4a Avenida Norte No. 22
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 7832 9382
    Other:
  • Save
    Paseo De Los Museos
    Speciality Museums
    Arielle W Says:

    This museum is located within Hotel Santo Domingo and has a collection of over 50 colonial artifacts, ceramics, and artworks to be admired. Many of the artifacts date back to the era of the Mayans, which makes this museum an exciting place for Latin American history enthusiasts.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • It is a self-guided tour, so give yourself plenty of time to explore the museum.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    • More about the amazing setting... 07/02/2018
    • Special pieces 30/12/2017
    • Paseo De Los Museos
    Address:
    Avenida 1a
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 7820 1222
    Other:
  • Save
    Cerro de la Cruz
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    No cultural or historical tour of Antigua would be complete without a visit to the Cerro del la Cruz. The cross is a significant landmark in Antigua and seen as a protector of the city. This is the perfect destination to catch a glimpse of the best view of Antigua — and is also a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends or spend a couple hours in the grass reading a book.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Make sure you bring your camera for lots of photos!
    • Wearing good walking shoes would be advisable as there is a 30-minute walk to reach the cross.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 88 things to do in Antigua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excellent viewpoint of the city 20/02/2018
    • Check already in the center if Fuego is visible 18/02/2018
    • Cerro de la Cruz
    Address:
    Antigua, Guatemala
    Antigua 03001
    Guatemala
    Other:
  • Save
    La Azotea Cultural Center
    Speciality Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Arielle W Says:

    La Azotea Cultural Center in Jocotenango is located about 10 minutes from the center of Antigua, and you can get there via public bus (chicken bus) or private shuttle. The center is comprised of three museums: Museo de Música Maya, Rincón Sacatepéquez Museum, and Museo del Cafe. At the Casa K'ojom Mayan Music Museum (Museo de Música Maya) you will discover the rhythm and vision of historic Pre-Columbian Guatemala through a collection of musical instruments, artifacts and paintings. The name of the museum translates to music, or various musical instruments in various Mayan languages. In the Rincón Sacatepéquez Museum you can take a closer look at the traditions of the villages of Guatemala, and there are exhibitions displaying the colorful dress and rituals of the ancient Mayan people. The Museo del Cafe (Coffee Museum) teaches you about how coffee is harvested, and at the end of the coffee tour you receive a complimentary cup of authentic Guatemalan coffee!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The center is open Monday through Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm, and on Saturday from 8.30am to 2pm — but closed on Sundays.
    • The admission fee includes a tour to the Rincón Sacatepéquez and the Coffee Museum.
    • There is a gift shop for those who would like to purchase an artifact or souvenir to remember their experience by.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Jocotenango
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting History of Mayan Music 04/10/2017
    • Wonderful place! 17/04/2017
    • La Azotea Cultural Center
    Address:
    Calle del Cementerio
    Final
    Jocotenango 03002
    Guatemala
    Phone:
    +502 3011 0786
    Price range:
    US$ 7 - US$ 7
    Other:
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