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21 Greatest Issues To Do in Guadalajara in 2023

Usually neglected by travellers, Guadalajara is an enchanting metropolis with a wealth of cultural sights, mouth-watering delicacies, and a few unimaginable nightlife — there are limitless issues to do right here to maintain you busy!

Mexico’s 2nd largest metropolis is situated within the state of Jalisco, which is house to 2 of the nation’s most well-known exports — tequila and mariachi.

Whereas it most positively lives within the shadow of the capital, Mexico Metropolis, there’s loads happening in Guadalajara so as to add a cease right here in your Mexico travels.

In only a few days right here, I took within the sights of the historic metropolis centre, visited the nation’s largest lake, and joined the raucous crowd for a soccer sport! These are only a few of the numerous issues to do in Guadalajara, one of many prime locations to go to in Mexico.

Profit from your journey to the town by trying out this listing of prime 21 issues to do in Guadalajara.

A custom map of the attractions in and around Guadalajara. Click the image to go to an interactive version of the map on Google Maps where you can zoom, find directions and locate each attraction in relation to the other geographically.
Click on The Above Map To See an Interactive Model

1. Discover the Historic Centre

One of the simplest ways to get launched to Guadalajara is with a stroll via the Centro Historico (Historic Centre). This tour with skilled information, Diego, is a good choice and can cowl the entire spots.

Right here you’ll discover tree-lined plazas, attractive cathedrals, necessary cultural establishments, bustling markets, and much extra. It’s an excellent place for an off-the-cuff stroll, as there are a number of pedestrian-only streets.

Things to do in Guadalajara visit the plaza de armas

In the event you determine to go by yourself, begin your exploration off within the Plaza de Armas, which is surrounded by the double-spired Guadalajara Cathedral and the historic Governor’s Workplace.

Make sure to stroll via the close by Liberation Sq. to snap a photograph with the Guadalajara signal. Wandering round this sq. is likely one of the greatest free issues to do within the metropolis.

From right here you might have easy accessibility to a number of museums, such because the Regional Museum of Guadalajara. You can additionally simply seize a espresso and watch the town go about its day.

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2. Go on a Free Strolling Tour

Whereas the historic centre is well visited by yourself, it’s all the time extra useful to get an area’s perspective on the town. Each morning at 10AM, you’ll be able to be a part of the free strolling tour to soak up the sights together with insights from an area information.

In the event you’re questioning what to do in Guadalajara whenever you first arrive, that is it.

Excursions meet on the gazebo within the Plaza de Armas and final about two hours. Along with studying concerning the historical past and tradition of Guadalajara, you’ll get strong suggestions from somebody who is aware of the town and also you’ll in all probability find yourself making a number of new associates.

Happening a strolling tour is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Guadalajara to get your bearings within the metropolis.

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3. Feast on Tortas Ahogadas

tortas ahogadas what to eat in guadalajara

All that strolling round is bound to make you hungry. When in Guadalajara, you’ll be able to’t miss out on the native favorite referred to as tortas ahogadas. The title actually means “drowned sandwiches,” and also you’ll know why as quickly as you see one.

These native specialties are usually made with birote bread and chopped fried pork. The sandwich is then utterly drenched in a sauce made primarily from dried chili peppers.

They’re then served up with some slices of white onion, radishes, and the standard array of salsas and sizzling sauces you’ll discover on any Mexican desk.

Grabbing certainly one of these sandwiches is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Guadalajara when you might have a hangover — the locals contemplate it the very best treatment (and I’ve to say, I agree).

Take a look at Tremendous Tortas Ahogadas and Tortas Ahogadas Don Jose…or, ask your strolling tour information, Airbnb host or buddy the place the very best sandwiches in Guadalajara will be discovered! Consuming superb meals is unquestionably one of many prime issues to do in Mexico.

I extremely suggest becoming a member of a meals tour like this one to not solely style the meals, however have an skilled native information inform concerning the historical past and significance of every dish. Discover out extra about the very best meals tour in Guadalajara right here.

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4. Go to the Authorities Palace

visiting the government palace is one of the top things to do in guadalajara

This 18th-century constructing seems very unassuming from the skin, however when you enter, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful murals from the artist Jose Clemente Orozco.

The dimensions of the work is unimaginable, particularly the certainly one of Hidalgo which is situated on the primary staircase.

The Authorities Palace is free to enter, making it a prime exercise for many who are backpacking Mexico on a finances. Observe that it’s not open on weekends.

Be part of a strolling tour extremely rated one so you’ll be able to have an area information present you the sights and clarify the historical past and tales behind the points of interest. This strolling tour may be very extremely rated with a pleasant and educated information. Click on right here to study extra.

5. Hearken to Dwell Mariachi Bands

listening to Mariachi is one of the top things to do in guadalajara

Maybe no sort of Mexican music is extra well-known than mariachi. It even made the UNESCO listing of Intangible Cultural Heritage a number of years in the past.

In every single place you go in Mexico, the sounds of mariachi music comply with, whether or not it’s a roaming band on the seaside or the presidential inauguration ceremony.

Take a look at this tour the place you’ll get to see the unimaginable Mexican conventional Charro cowboys, full with a Charreada (rodeo) and a few drinks whereas being serenaded with Mariachi. Click on Right here to study extra about this expertise.

It’s believed that modern-day mariachi music originated in Jalisco, the Mexican state the place Guadalajara is the capital. As such, there’s no higher place to dive into this conventional Mexican music than proper right here in GDL.

Head to the Plaza de los Mariachis within the night and rent a band to serenade you. Simply remember to come ready with a number of songs apart from “La Cucaracha.”

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6. Go Buying in Tlaquepaque

travel to tlaquepaque is one of the best things to do in guadalajara mexico

In the event you’re trying to take house some distinctive souvenirs out of your journey to Mexico, you’ll need to remember to embody a visit to close by Tlaquepaque (attempt saying that one 3 times quick).

This tremendous cool day journey tour will take you to Tlaquepaque and Tonala, two of the very best villages for purchasing round Guadalajara. Click on Right here to study extra about this tour.

As soon as its personal metropolis, Tlaquepaque was absorbed by the city sprawl of Guadalajara and have become a municipality.

Tlaquepaque is known for its lovely, hand-painted pottery. Within the Nahuatl language, the title truly means “place above clay land.”

You can begin off within the Mercado de Artesanías to get a really feel for what’s on provide, after which department out and go to extra of the person outlets on the town if you wish to see extra. Don’t really feel like determining transportation and the logistics for a visit to Tlaquepaque? Take a look at at the present time tour.

7. Go to the Cultural Institute Cabañas

Guadalajara Museums

One of the vital attention-grabbing issues to do in Guadalajara is to go to the Cultural Institute Cabañas. It was based in 1791 as a hospital/orphanage by the Bishop of Guadalajara and finally grew to become a cultural establishment. It’s a ravishing neo-classical constructing with a number of courtyards and galleries to discover.

This cool strolling tour with a pleasant information will actually assist you to make a visit to the Cultural Institute of Cabañas in addition to many different sights across the metropolis. Click on Right here to study extra about this tour.

The spotlight of visiting is unquestionably seeing the superb frescoes by Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco, together with his well-known work Hombre de Fuego (The Man of Fireplace).

It’s closed on Mondays however free to go to on Tuesdays. In any other case, it prices about $2 to get in and one other $1 if you wish to use your digicam. Click on right here to search out it on the map.

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8. Drink Tequila in Tequila

things to do in guadalajara take the tequila train to tequila

Do you know that Mexico’s most well-known beverage comes from a city of the identical title?

Not removed from Guadalajara, you’ll certainly discover the Mexican city of Tequila. Taking a visit up there to go to the agave fields and some of the distilleries is unquestionably one of many coolest issues to do in Guadalajara, Mexico.

You’ve got a number of choices for visiting Tequila, from merely catching an area bus and doing it your self to taking a trip on the famed Tequila Specific practice. It’s a bit dear, nevertheless it’s definitely an superior expertise that’s value splurging on.

In the event you don’t need to take the practice, this enjoyable tour contains transport there and again, tequila tastings, snacks, a pleasant and educated information, and a go to to a distillery. Click on Right here to study extra.

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9. See a Lucha Libre Struggle

Lucha Libre
See the high-flying luchadores!

One of the vital enjoyable issues to do in Guadalajara is seeing a Lucha Libre match. This was a spotlight of my journey to Guadalajara for certain.

On Tuesday night time, head to Enviornment Coliseo to soak up the high-flying Mexican wrestling. The expertise contains round-trip transportation, your ticket to the matches, data out of your native information about what is definitely happening, and drinks.

Even if you happen to’re not an enormous wrestling fan like me, an evening of lucha libre is tons of enjoyable. My spouse consistently rags on me for my love of American professional wrestling, however she loves going to lucha libre and has already seen three exhibits.

We even put collectively a handy-dandy information to seeing lucha libre in Mexico for you, so test it out and add it to your itinerary in GDL. Don’t miss this reasonably priced, enjoyable exercise in Guadalajara! Click on right here for particulars. 

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10. Pattern Craft Beers

Overlook about Corona and Modelo whenever you’re in Guadalajara and take a look at a number of the metropolis’s superior cervezas artesenales (craft beers). The craft beer scene is quickly increasing right here, that means you might have a number of selections for the place to seize a pint.

You may be a part of this distinctive tour that can embody strolling round and trying out a few of Guadalajara’s cool structure, adopted off by a brewery tour and sure… some scrumptious native beers. Click on right here to study extra.

Considered one of my private favorite spots to sip on a tasty craft beer in Guadalajara is the Patan Ale Home. They’ve tons of superior native beers on faucet, a strong menu of artistic bar meals, they usually even have DJs spinning on the weekend. Salud!

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11. Wander Round Mercado Libertad

Mercado Libertad is a sprawling indoor market situated within the historic centre of Guadalajara. For an all-out assault in your senses, wander across the maze-like stalls of this large market that appears to be promoting nearly all the things beneath the solar.

Mercado Libertad in guadalajara

This highly-rated strolling and meals tour is led by a really skilled information who has spent a long time purchasing, consuming and guiding vacationers across the market. Extremely advisable! Click on right here to study extra.

There’s recent produce, bootleg DVDs, leather-based merchandise, and even pets on the market right here.

It’s greatest to return to the market hungry, as there’s a big meals courtroom right here cooking up a number of native specialties, such because the aforementioned tortas ahogadas and scrumptious bowls of pozole. It’s quick, low cost, and tremendous native – a profitable mixture. Discover the market on the map, right here.

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12. Take Half in a Native Competition (probably the most cultural issues to do in Guadalajara)

things to do in guadalajara see a festival

There are completely different festivals happening all all year long in Guadalajara, so remember to verify the calendar earlier than planning your journey.

You may find yourself on the town throughout a literary, movie, or music pageant. In Mexico’s 2nd largest metropolis, there’s all the time one thing happening. Click on right here to search out out what’s on throughout your journey.

One of the vital well-known and necessary occasions of the yr in GDL is the Worldwide Mariachi Competition, which takes place on the finish of August.

There are parades, free live shows within the sq., and gala exhibits with world-class mariachi musicians within the theatre. Talking of the theatre, that brings us to the subsequent level in our listing of greatest issues to do in Guadalajara.

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13. See a Present at Teatro Degallado

Teatro Degallado attractions in guadalajara

One of the vital lovely buildings in Guadalajara, Teatro Degallado is a neo-classical theatre within the historic centre of the town. To actually admire the constructing, you’ll need to go inside and see the unimaginable murals. It’s free to enter when there isn’t a present on.

There are common performances within the theatre, together with operas and symphony orchestras. In the event you’re fortunate, you’ll be able to rating tickets to one of many gala performances throughout the mariachi pageant.

I attended one this yr and extremely suggest it if you happen to get the possibility. Click on right here to buy tickets to the theatre, or just cease in whenever you’re visiting Guadalajara to see if there’s a last-minute present you’ll be able to attend. Discover the theatre on the map, right here.

14. Have Dinner at Birreria las 9 Esquinas

birria tacos in mexico

One other dish that Guadalajara is known for is birria – a spicy stew often produced from goat or lamb. Though, typically it may be made with beef, mutton, and even hen. The meat is completely seasoned and extremely tender and is a must-try when within the metropolis. It’s probably the greatest dishes, I find it irresistible!

Whereas there are tons of locations cooking up birria in Guadalajara, few locations do it higher than Birreria las 9 Esquinas. You might need to attend for a desk right here, nevertheless it’s positively value it to do that native specialty.

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15. Go to the Gardens in Parque Colomos

Guadalajara Japanese Garden

Parque Colomos is a big inexperienced house within the northwest a part of the town. It’s stuffed with strolling paths and picnic areas, making for an excellent place to spend a leisurely afternoon outdoor.

A visit here’s a good break from the hustle and bustle of downtown and is likely one of the extra stress-free locations to go to in Guadalajara.

The perfect half about taking a stroll via Parque Colomos is with the ability to see the beautiful Japanese gardens. In the event you can ignore the man blasting reggaeton via his cellular phone, it’s nearly such as you’re truly in Japan. Click on right here for instructions to the park, it’s probably the greatest free issues to do in Guadalajara.

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16. Go to the Guachimontones

Los Guachimontones guadalajara attractions

Not removed from Guadalajara (a couple of 45-minute drive), you’ll discover the superb archaeological website referred to as Los Guachimontones. It dates again to the Teuchitlan custom, a pre-Columbian society that existed from round 300 BCE to 900 CE.

This website is notable for its round stepped pyramids, which aren’t discovered wherever else on the planet.

Exploring this archaeological marvel is likely one of the most attention-grabbing issues to do in Guadalajara and effectively definitely worth the day-trip. It prices 30 pesos to enter, or you’ll be able to rent a information on website for 200 pesos. In the event you’d desire, you’ll be able to be a part of a tour.

Soccer is a large a part of Mexican tradition, whether or not it’s cheering on the nationwide group throughout the World Cup or watching native groups compete within the Liga MX. Guadalajara is house to two soccer groups – Chivas and Atlas. The previous performs at Estadio Akron whereas the latter hosts its video games at Estadio Jalisco.

Guadalajara Football
Cheering on Atlas at a house sport.

The dynamic between the 2 groups is type of like that between the Yankees and Mets. One wins on a regular basis and the opposite, effectively, doesn’t.

If you wish to watch probably the greatest groups within the league, bounce on the Chivas bandwagon. In the event you’d fairly root for the underdog, give your assist to the fledgling Atlas squad. Both manner, you’re assured a beer-soaked celebration if the native heroes win.

18. Social gathering on Avenida Chapultepec

partying in guadalajara

Guadalajara is a metropolis that likes to celebration, and probably the greatest locations to take action is Avenida Chapultepec. This stylish road is stuffed with eating places, bars, and golf equipment and is enjoyable any night time of the week.

On the weekend, you’ll additionally discover a bustling market on the island in the midst of the avenue. Native retailers peddle all types of wares right here, and it’s a very vibrant, vibrant scene. You could find the road right here.

19. Take pleasure in Automobile Free Sundays

Guadalajara Bike Ride
No vehicles on Sundays!

In the event you’re questioning what to do in Guadalajara on a Sunday, that is it. Whereas the celebration goes actually late on Saturday night time, Avenida Chapultepec transforms come Sunday morning.

Each week from 8AM-2PM, half of the road is shut all the way down to all motorized autos. Joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers, and skaters all take to the streets to take pleasure in a number of hours freed from the grid-locked visitors that often plagues the town.

You’ll additionally discover pick-up volleyball video games, group health lessons, and numerous non-revenue organizations arrange alongside the highway. In the event you’re visiting Guadalajara on a Sunday, remember to test it out.

20. Go on a Hike in Parque Mirador

parque mirador guadalajara

For some nice views of the canyon and a few recent air, head as much as Parque Mirador for a brief hike. After strolling as much as the point of view, you’ll be able to sit all the way down to lunch on the Restaurant El Mirador.

This makes for a straightforward and enjoyable half-day journey out of the town. It’s robust to get your self on the market on public transportation, so that you’re higher off ordering an Uber. Attempt to organize for them to return again and get you a number of hours later.

21. Take a Day Journey to Lake Chapala

visiting lake chapala is a great day trip from guadalajara

Positioned about an hour’s drive south of the town is Lake Chapala, the largest freshwater lake in all of Mexico.

There are a number of completely different cities alongside the lakeshore you’ll be able to go to, reminiscent of Chapala and Ajijic. Due to its average local weather and delightful environment, Lake Chapala can be a favorite of expats, snowbirds, and retirees. Take a look at this tour from Guadalajara which takes in Lake Chapala and Ajijic.

The lake is a very fashionable place for locals to go to on weekends and holidays. As such, it’s higher to go to throughout the week if potential.

Take pleasure in a stroll alongside the lakefront Malecon or go on a brief boat journey out to the small islands. If in case you have a number of days to spare, I extremely suggest staying for an evening or two. It is a chilled out place that we actually loved visiting. If in case you have the time, ensure to take a look at Lake Chapala.

Visiting Guadalajara: FAQs

Is Guadalajara value visiting?

Guadalajara is unquestionably value a go to. It’s smaller and extra manageable than Mexico Metropolis, and gives an excellent metropolis break from coastal Puerto Vallarta. Guadalajara has numerous festivals and occasions happening, nice eating places and bars, and plenty of enjoyable day journeys as effectively.

What’s Guadalajara greatest identified for?

Town of Guadalajara is understood for tequila, mariachi, historical past and traditions. That is the second largest metropolis in Mexico, and is a good place to go to.

What number of days are sufficient in Guadalajara?

I like to recommend spending every week within the metropolis of Guadalajara when you’ve got the time. After all, you may spend longer, or you may even go to on a weekend. However, with every week, you’ll be capable to catch a soccer match, discover the historic heart, go to a number of the parks, possibly catch an occasion or two, and naturally, do a day journey to Tequila, Tlaquepaque and Lake Chapala.

Is Guadalajara secure?

Guadalajara is usually secure for vacationers, however regular precautions for an enormous metropolis apply. Don’t go away your belongings unattended, don’t flash your valuables, keep away from darkish streets at night time, and stroll with associates if you happen to can. It’s greatest to stay to the touristy, vigorous downtown heart, and it’s suggested to keep away from the east aspect of the Calaza de la Independencia, particularly after darkish. As with wherever, ask your resort or Airbnb host the place to go and the place to keep away from throughout your keep.

Now You Know What To Do in Guadalajara

As you’ll be able to see, Guadalajara is a metropolis that has loads to supply potential travellers. It has all of the perks of an enormous metropolis minus a number of the downfalls.

For example, whereas there are unimaginable issues to do in Mexico Metropolis that you simply shouldn’t miss, Guadalajara is way smaller and simpler to get round than the capital.

There’s sufficient to see within the historic centre to maintain you busy for a day or two, loads of superior day-trips to scenic places, and wonderful culinary and nightlife scenes to return house to.

In the event you’re planning a journey to Mexico, remember to add Guadalajara to your itinerary. It’s the proper place to cease for a number of days on an extended journey round Mexico.

I visited the town between travelling round Guanajuato and having fun with the entire superior issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. Nonetheless you get right here, you’re certain to have a good time having fun with all the highest issues to do in Guadalajara. 

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