Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)
Explore this grand 19th-century cathedral as part of a half-day, full-day, private or group tour, allowing a native expert to share the history behind the church and those of the city’s major cultural attractions. Tours allow you to immerse yourself in the Mayan civilization and Guatemalan culture at the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and shop for handmade textiles and leather and silver goods at the Central Market. You may want to add extra days to visit more destinations outside the city such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Antigua, the Chichicastenango Market, and the volcanic Lake Atitlán.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Metropolitan Cathedral is an ideal spot for spiritual travelers, architecture and history buffs.
- Take a moment to reflect at the entrance’s 12 pillars, which are inscribed with the names of hundreds of Guatemalans forcibly disappeared or murdered during the brutal civil war (1960 - 1996).
- Remember to dress appropriately (cover your shoulders; no short skirts or shorts) to enter houses of worship in Guatemala.
- No photography is allowed inside.xa0The cathedral is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Metropolitan Cathedral is centrally located at Plaza de la Constitución in the historical center of Guatemala City. The Transmetro rapid bus system makes getting around Guatemala City easy. Just look for the modern green buses running along dedicated lanes, stopping in the middle of the road in heavy pedestrian areas. Line 1 stops one block away at Estación Mercado Central.
When to Get There
Metropolitan Cathedral is open everyday until about 8pm, with daily mass services. Visit the cathedral in the morning when the neighborhood is just waking up. Sundays are fun days to visit, as the plaza comes alive with families picnicking and street musicians adding a festive soundtrack.
Markets Nearby Wander behind the Cathedral to the Central Market to find colorful and reasonably priced Guatemalan handicrafts, hand-woven textiles, leather bags and belts, carved wood goods, and pottery. Also nearby are the more informal market stalls beside Plaza Barrios where you can sample tasty street food while pursuing kiosks filled with souvenirs and clothing.
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- National Palace
- Plaza de la Constitución (Parque Central)
- National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (MUNAE)
- La Aurora Zoo (Zoólogico la Aurora)
- Iglesia de Santo Domingo
- Relief Map (Mapa en Relieve)
- Popol Vuh Museum (Museo Popol Vuh)
- IRTRA Mundo Petapa
- Mixco Viejo
- Santo Tomas Church (Iglesia de Santo Tomás)
- Biotopo del Quetzal