Where to Buy Traditional Clothing in Guatemala City

Bold patterned fabrics traditional to Guatemala are often bought by tourists | © Apancak / Flickr
Bold patterned fabrics traditional to Guatemala are often bought by tourists | © Apancak / Flickr
Photo of Jack Guy
3 January 2018

As you walk around Guatemala City, you can’t help but notice people in brightly-colored traditional dress. If you’d like to buy some yourself, here are the best places to do so.

Pick up some souvenirs in Guatemala City | © wuestenigel / Flickr

Mercado de Artesanias La Aurora

Market, Bazaar
Map View
This is the official handicrafts market of Guatemala City, where there are various small stands offering products from across the country. It’s something of a one-stop shop for traditional clothing and accessories, and there are some unique pieces in among the generic stuff.

Maria’s Bag

Shop
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Traditional Mayan textiles are a great buy in Guatemala City | © Fernando Reyes Palencia / Flickr
Found in the Plaza Fontabella mall, this boutique offers high-quality bags that use traditional Mayan textiles. It’s a great place to pick up a present for someone special before you fly home. You can expect to spend a fair amount here, so don’t make the journey if you are on a tight budget.

Mercado La Terminal

Market
Map View
The largest market in Guatemala City is named after the bus terminal that sits in the middle. It’s a labyrinthine place, and crime can be an issue. People come here from all over the Guatemala to sell their wares, so look out for textiles from the interior of the country. Make sure you are out of the market before sunset, when the traders disappear and less savory characters start to emerge.

Plaza El Amate

Market
Map View
Sitting at the other end of Sixth Avenue from the Mercado Central, this market is less hectic but offers most of the same items for sale. There are jackets, shirts and trousers for sale among other souvenirs, as well as reams of counterfeit CDs and DVDs and almost anything else you can imagine. Keep a close eye on your valuables here.

Museo Ixchel del Traje Indigena

Museum
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This amazing museum has a huge number of exhibits, including 8,000 pieces of traditional textiles from 147 towns and 34 villages around Guatemala. There is also an on-site shop where you can buy selected pieces to take home with you. The prices here are higher than in the markets, but you will be getting high-quality pieces.

La Aurora International Airport

Architectural Landmark
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If you are really stuck for time, you can grab some souvenirs after you check-in for your flight. The selection is fairly limited and you will pay a premium over shops outside, but the airport souvenir stands could save your bacon if you’ve forgotten to buy gifts for your nearest and dearest. Just remember to take them out of the airport plastic bags before you get home!