Antigua is known as a destination for people who want to learn Spanish through immersion. There are many Spanish language schools in Antigua and it is one of the most popular and best recognized centers for Spanish language study by students from Europe and North America. Language institutes are one of the primary industries of Antigua, along with tourism.
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Antigua GFC football club has played in the Guatemala top division for several years but have been playing in the second division lately. Their home stadium is the Estadio Pensativo which has a capacity of 9,000. They are nicknamed Los panzas verdes (“Green bellies”).
A number of restaurants can be found in Antigua. Many small eateries can be found at the Antigua marketplace located next to the central bus stop, next to the main market. In Antigua one can find restaurants serving Mediterranean, Italian, Asian and American, as well as traditional Guatemalan cuisine.
Antigua is a growing tourist destination in Guatemala as it is close to Guatemala City but is much calmer and safer, with more tourist oriented activities. It is possible to take buses from Antigua to many parts of Guatemala, many travel agencies offer shuttles to the main touristic places: Monterrico beach, Atitlan Lake, Coban, Tikal or even Copan in Honduras, though the transportation is more central in Guatemala City. Antigua is also known for its chocolate makers: At ChocoMuseo, the museum of cacao and chocolate you can learn how the Mayas were using cacao and make your own chocolate inside the artisanal factory. Other places such as Chocolalala, Fernando’s Koffee and Chocolarti make and sell chocolate.
Important ruins and other tourist attractions
- Church and Convent of Capuchins
- Cathedral of San José
- La Merced Church
- La Recolección Architectural Complex
- Ruins of old San José
- Old weapons Museum
- Church School of Christ
- San Francisco Church
- Santo Domingo Monastery
- Hermano Pedro’s Hospital
- The cacao and chocolate museum
- Museum of the Old Book (El Libro Antiguo)
- Museum of Colonial Art, in the former San Carlos University Building
- The Jade museum
- Casa del Turista