Antigua City Hall (Palacio del Ayuntamiento)
Make time to drop into the two small museums inside the hall: the Museo de Armas de Santiago, an arms and weapons museum where the colonial prison used to be, and the Museo del Libro Antiguo, which features a collection of valuable colonial-era books and documents and a replica of Central America’s first printing press. Visit Antigua City Hall as part of a guided walking tour, making stops in top attractions as well as the Jade Museum and a working coffee plantation.
Some tours start with a morning hike up Cero de la Cruz and end with a soak at hot springs heated by Pacaya, the most active volcano in Guatemala. If you have more time, take a multi-day tour that adds on excursions to the Chichicastenango Market and Mayan villages along Lake Atitlán.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Antigua City Hall (Palacio del Ayuntamiento) is an ideal spot for history and culture buffs.
- Admission is free, while a small fee is required to enter the two museums.
- The hall and the museums are wheelchair-friendly.
- Head upstairs for a scenic view of the city from the second-floor balcony.
How to Get There
Antigua City Hall is located on Calle Poniente at Playa Mayor in the center of Antigua, easily accessible by walking from most parts of the city. Taxis are readily available and inexpensive, and easier to navigate than public buses.
When to Get There
The hall is open weekdays, morning until late afternoon. The plaza out front is a constant hub of activity. Grab a spot on a bench and people-watch. At night, the palace and City Hall and surrounding buildings—Catedral de Santiago and the Portal del Comercio—are illuminated in a golden glow.xa0 High-elevation Antigua has a consistent tropical climate with cool nights year-round. Peak dry season runs from November to April.
City Hall History
Over the years, the carved-stone exterior of the hall has been rebuilt and restored many times, due to centuries of earthquakes, including the most devastating onexa0 in 1773. The epic tremors created so much damage throughout the city, the capital was transferred from Antigua to the more calm and quake-proof terrain of Guatemala City.
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- Santa Catalina Arch (Arco de Santa Catalina)
- Palace of the Captains General (Palacio de los Capitanes Generales)
- Antigua Central Park (Parque Central)
- Museum of Colonial Art (Museo de Arte Colonial)
- Catedral de Santiago (Antigua Cathedral)
- Jade Factory and Museum (Jade Maya)
- ChocoMuseo Antigua
- Church of San Francisco (Iglesia de San Francisco)
- La Merced Church (Iglesia de la Merced)
- Las Capuchinas (Convento de Las Capuchinas)
- Casa Santo Domingo (Monasterio de Santo Domingo)
- Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross)
- Pacaya Volcano