Best things to do in Guadalajara, Jalisco
Guadalajara is by many seen as the cultural center of Mexico.
It’s where Mariachi music originated and where many large cultural events are held, such as the Guadalajara International Film Festival, Guadalajara International Book Fair, and globally renowned cultural events.
Guadalajara is a large metropolitan area that includes several smaller cities within it. Guadalajara is just an hour away from the town of Tequila, the birthplace of distilled spirit made from blue agave.
Guadalajara offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From its historic architecture and bustling markets to its lively arts scene and delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this captivating city.
Here are some of the best things to do in Guadalajara:
Explore the Historic Center: Start your journey by wandering through the charming streets of Guadalajara’s historic center.
Admire the stunning colonial architecture, including the majestic Guadalajara Cathedral and the Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its impressive murals by renowned artist José Clemente Orozco.
Visit Mercado Libertad (San Juan de Dios): This is one of the largest indoor markets in Latin America.
Mercado Libertad offers a kaleidoscope of colors, aromas, and sounds, with stalls selling everything from fresh produce and traditional handicrafts to clothing and electronics.
Enjoy Tequila and Mariachi: Guadalajara is often associated with Mexico’s iconic symbols: tequila and mariachi music. Take a day trip to the nearby town of Tequila to tour distilleries and learn about the tequila-making process.
In Guadalajara, you can catch a lively mariachi performance at the Plaza de los Mariachis in the evening.
Discover Tlaquepaque and Tonala: Both towns are known for their artisanal markets. Tlaquepaque is famous for its galleries, boutiques, and traditional ceramics, while Tonala offers a bustling weekly market where you can find unique handicrafts.
Experience the Arts: Guadalajara has a thriving arts scene, with numerous museums and galleries showcasing contemporary and traditional Mexican art. The Museo de Arte de Zapopan and the Instituto Cultural Cabañas are must-visit destinations for art enthusiasts.
Sample Authentic Mexican Cuisine: Indulge in mouthwatering Mexican dishes at local eateries and restaurants. Don’t miss out on trying birria (“spiced stew”), tortas ahogadas (“drowned sandwiches”), and pozole (“hominy soup”).
And of course, savor the flavors of fresh tacos, tamales, and churros from street vendors.
Relax at Chapultepec Avenue: This bustling avenue is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, browse the boutique shops, and dine at trendy cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place to soak up the city’s urban vibe.
Experience Lucha Libre: Get a taste of Mexican wrestling culture by attending a Lucha Libre match. The high-flying acrobatics and colorful characters create an electrifying atmosphere that’s both entertaining and unique.
Escape to the Bosque Colomos: If you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, head to the Bosque Colomos. This sprawling park features lush greenery, walking paths, a serene lake, and beautifully landscaped gardens – perfect for a relaxing afternoon.
Attend Festivals and Events: Guadalajara hosts a diverse array of festivals and events spanning the entire year, each one passionately commemorating the realms of art, music, gastronomy, and cultural expression.
The International Film Festival of Guadalajara (FICG) and the International Mariachi Festival are just a couple of exciting annual gatherings that showcase the city’s vibrant spirit.
Guadalajara offers a rich blend of history, culture, and entertainment, making it a must-visit destination. Whether you’re exploring its historic sites, or immersing yourself in its arts and music, Guadalajara is sure to leave a lasting impression.