Antigua Sights

Few places in the Americas hold such a repository of colonial architecture. Some still serve their original purpose, whereas others have morphed into hotels, restaurants, and shops. Still others stand magnificently in ruins. If ever there were a place you could overdose on history, Antigua is it. Avoid the temptation to rush from church to convent to monastery to palace and off to another church,

all in one morning. (You'll see dazed tour groups doing exactly that.) Build in some down time and delight in the small things (ice cream, music, or shoe shines) that make this one of the hemisphere's most special places.

Nearly everything of interest (sights, restaurants, hotels, and services) sits in a 10-by-10-block grid in the center of the city, and you could possibly narrow that down even further by focusing on the immediate orbit of the central park. Most of the sights lie east, south, and north of the park.

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Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Government Building 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Market/ Bazaar 1

Museum/ Gallery 3

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 6

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

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Antigua Sights

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Convento Santa Clara

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Shortly after it was founded in 1699, the Convent of St. Clare grew to be a rather elaborate complex housing nearly 50 nuns. When it...

Convento de las Capuchinas

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Antigua's largest convent was built by Capuchin nuns, whose number had swelled because they, unlike other sisterhoods, did not require...

Iglesia de La Recolección

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Despite opposition from the city council, which felt the town already had plenty of monasteries, La Recolección was inaugurated in 1717,...

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de La Merced

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The Church of Our Lady of Mercy is one of Antigua's most eye-catching attractions, known for its fanciful yellow stucco facade that incorporates...

Mercado Central

  • Market/Bazaar

The smell of fresh fruits and vegetables will lead you to this unassuming market, the place where local residents come to shop for all...

Museo de Arte Colonial

  • Museum/Gallery

After a year-long restoration and refurbishing, Antigua's Museum of Colonial Art gleams once again. On the former site of the University...

Palacio de los Capitanes Generales

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

A long restoration project (primarily reinforcement of the walls) is currently underway at the Palace of the Captains General, easily...

Palacio del Ayuntamiento

  • Government Building

As in colonial times, the City Hall continues to serve as the seat of government. Today it also houses two museums, the Museo de Santiago...

Parque Central

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

Surrounded by old colonial buildings, this tree-lined square is the center of Antigua, and one of Latin America's most pleasant central...

Paseo de los Museos

  • Museum/Gallery

The Casa Santo Domingo hotel complex contains several small museums that feature colonial and contemporary art, pharmacology, and archaeology...

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