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24 Hours in Antigua: What to Do and Places to Visit

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some cars on the streets of antigua guetamala

24 hours in Antigua obviously doesn’t sound like that much time. However, you could do quite a lot in 24 hours, obviously minus six to 8 hours that you need to sleep. You have 24 hours in Antigua, Guatemala. What are you going to do? This is your time to learn.

If you had the time, I really recommend you to visit Finca el Amate and check its old lava trails, it’s stunning.

Related Read: 48h in Antigua: Things to Do and Places to Visit

24 Hours for a Day in Antigua

Walk Around

So the main thing about Antigua is walking around. So the cool thing about Antigua is that it’s literally about ten blocks squared. It’s not a big colonial city. It’s quite adorable, and you could pretty much access everything on foot.

That’s the beauty of Antigua, actually. Quite a lot of people come here, never expecting you to do anything other than walk.

Hop on a Tuk Tuk

If you do want to get from one place to another, and you don’t have that much time, there are tuk-tuks everywhere. So that’s also kind of cool. You can hop into a tuk-tuk for, like, two or $3, and it will take you anywhere you really need to go.

Visit Parque Central

You want to go, obviously, to Central Park (parque Central). This is where the cathedral is. This is where the beautiful fountain is. This is where you could just sit probably for even an hour and simply enjoy the life that’s all around you. If you’re not much of a sitter, not a problem. You can walk around.

There are stores everywhere, coffee shops. You could take a coffee and just sit in the park. So it’s a really enjoyable place. Sometimes, depending on the time of the day, there are also musicians or dancers or just people watching. 

square antigua guatemala

Visit the Calle de Arco

Right next to the park is obviously the cathedral. You could go inside and look at the main cathedral. Then there’s also Arch Street or Calle de Arco, depending on how you pronounce it. So Calle de Arco is also a pretty main street. On weekends, they close it off, so it’s just a pedestrian street. During the weekdays, there’s not that much traffic around, so you could easily walk around.

 It’s got the coolest stores there.

arc and clock in antigua guatemala
Antigua

Shop Jade Jelwery

Jade, is the rock or the gemstone of Guatemala. So a lot of places along that particular street, and there are actually a lot of streets all around Antigua, especially near Parque Central, that sell jade jewelry. So those stores are actually certified. They do sell you the real stuff. 

Visit the Main Market

You could definitely go to the market. So that’s the next thing, right walking around. I definitely recommend at least visiting the main market. You can easily walk to the main market.  It’s near the bus terminal. So there are market days.

Make sure that you listen to the episode about the market days of Antigua, but I’ll just give it to you really quickly. So market days are Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. And the only reason for market days, not much really changes with market days itself, other than a lot more fruits and veggies and flowers come in, so it’s a lot more chaotic.

But I personally don’t enjoy going on the market day because you could still get everything you need without an actual market day.

So there are outdoor parts of the market with all the veggies and whatnot, and then you can also walk inside.

antigua central market

Visit a Local Eatery

Inside the actual market, it’s mainly closed. There are a lot of very local eateries. Go at your own risk.  I’m not going to say anything more than that about eating there, having lunch, or even a drink. Again, go at your own risk. They’re not the most sanitary, but they are definitely a fun experience.

Visit the Artisan Market

Right next to that main market, there’s also the artisan market, and that’s a really cool place. That’s open seven days per week. And that’s where you can find everything you want, like the colorful fabrics and cups and jewelry and clothing, and pretty much anything you want.

You could definitely bargain, really get really great prices. So those two are right next to each other. And honestly, I don’t think you’ll need more than 2 hours, and even 2 hours, that’s a long time. That is if you’re really walking around slowly having a drink, it’s not that big.

So now you’ll have a lot more time to then head back into Antigua Center. If you’re into museums, there are certainly some I’m not going to mention here because you’re not here for that long. So I would recommend just continuing walking around.

Visit a Restaurant

Then there are quite a few restaurants that have these amazing terraces upstairs. You could find quite a few different ones just walking around, or these beautiful restaurants that have these incredible courtyards inside.

You could just literally go around peeking in these different areas and just be shocked by what looks like a small little entrance to open up to this huge courtyard with restaurants and terraces and whatnot.

Conclusion

Honestly, Antigua is all about walking around. And if you only have one day to do that, you will get more than enough from just walking around and enjoying your surroundings. I definitely recommend if you are going to be there for a short period of time, even if you’re going to be there for longer, stay in Antigua Center. The closer you are to Park Central, the more central you are, and the further you are.

Even though it can say it’s a five-minute walk, it can get a little bit lonely. So the majority of the action is all around Parque Central and closer to the market area. So that is really all that you’d have when you go to Antigua.

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Last Updated on September 29, 2023

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