Guatemala’s capital city is helpfully named Guatemala City, and it is also the largest city in the country. As the capital, it is the center for Guatemala’s government and it is also the principal business city. It is also the site of the country’s main international airport, so even though it may not be the main tourist destination it is where most tourists will enter the country. It is for this reason that you will find lots of cheap hotels in Guatemala City.
Instead of neighborhoods, Guatemala City is divided into what are called “zonas” – and there are a few which you should know about. Zona 1 is the historic center of the city where many of the attractions are, and zona 10 has a high concentration of shops, restaurants, bars, night clubs, and high-end hotels. Zona 10 is known as the “Zona Viva” because of the sometimes boistrous nightlife activity, so if you are a light sleeper you may want to look at cheap hotels in Guatemala City that are not in zona 10!
Visitors to Guatemala City enjoy the city’s fine museums, including one dedicated to the traditional costumes worn by the native people and one about the archaeology of the Mayan civilization. There are also several interesting churches which are nice to tour, and even people who do not particularly like shopping will probably enjoy the cultural aspects of browsing through the Central Market.
Some of the cheap hotels in Guatemala City you should check out for your trip are Spring Hotel (no website, tel. 2230-2858, 39 rooms, 32 rooms with en suite bathroom, in zona 1, no in-room air conditioning, on-site cafe), Princess Guatemala (in zona 9, 108 rooms, on-site restaurant & bar, laundry service, free parking, swimming pool, sauna, fitness center, WiFi access available, air conditioning), Hotel Ciudad Vieja (in zona 10, 26 rooms, internet access available, on-site restaurant & bar, free breakfast, 1 hour of internet free, free shuttle to hotel from airport), and Guatemala City Marriott Hotel (in zona 9, 356 rooms, 3 on-site restaurants, internet & WiFi access available, outdoor pool, paid parking available, free airport shuttle).