Guadalajara: What To Do & Where to Go
Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city and one of the main business and economic centers in the country. Birthplace of the Tequila and Mariachi, the city known as the Pearl of the West has a metropolitan area made of 8 municipalities, among them Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá and Zapopan.
When visiting Guadalajara you’ll soon notice its distinctive combination of tradition and modernity, as it has ancient buildings that have been renovated and modern constructions as well. It has one of Mexico’s most up to date transportation systems, as well as one of the most outstanding sport infrastructures, including the Jalisco Stadium and the Akron Stadium (formerly known as Omnilife). Besides, Guadalajara has an intense calendar of events that comes from its modern Expositions and Business Centers. The cultural agenda is varied since there are venues specially created for hosting concerts, plays, art expositions, popular fairs and professional soccer, baseball and basketball games.
Guadalajara is well known for its gastronomy. It has one of the world’s most famous cuisines, represented by dishes like the birria, carne en su jugo and the tortas ahogadas. To go with these delights, the pulque, tejuino, tepache and of course, the tequila, a drink from the agave plant which is processed in the Magic Town of Tequila, one hour away from Guadalajara.
In the Metropolitan Area you’ll find magic towns and places of interest that are just a must. 30 minutes from the Historic Center of Guadalajara is San Pedro Tlaquepaque, where you’ll be able to enjoy its pedestrian street to see the Plazoleta del Arte, the Hidalgo Garden and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Soledad; Tonalá, one of Mexico’s main handcraft centers, is about 15 minutes from Guadalajara and is the best place to purchase handcrafts made of ceramic, papier maché and blown glass. These and more Guadalajara attractions can be visited thanks to the Tapatio Tour, a panoramic bus tour with daily departures. The tickets can be bought in the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres in downtown Guadalajara.
Historic Center of Guadalajara
Religious constructions and cultural buildings, cafeterias, bookstores and department stores, all gather in the Historic Center of Guadalajara, making it the favorite area of visitors. Some of the attractions you’ll find in the downtown area include:
– Cabañas Cultural Institute:
Address: Cabañas Street 8, Las Fresas, 44360 Guadalajara, Jal.
Its neoclassic style and over 50 murals by José Clemente Orozco make it one of the most beautiful jewels of the Historic Center of Guadalajara. It once worked as an asylum for those in need until 1980 to then be transformed into the cultural center that is today. The Cabañas Cultural Institute is open Tuesday to Sunday, with an entrance fee of $70.00 MXN. On Tuesdays is free.
– Guadalajara Cathedral:
Address: Av. Fray Antonio Alcalde 10, Downtown, 44100 Guadalajara, Jal.
One of the oldest constructions in the city, an example of the baroque style of the era. Built in 1558 and 1618, it outstands for its crypt of the archbishops where the remains of the ecclesiastic leaders rest; the martyr’s relic, the sculpture of the Virgen de la Rosa and bicentennial organ are treasures that the Guadalajara Cathedral protects.
– Degollado Theater:
Address: Degollado Street s/n, Downtown, 44100 Guadalajara, Jal.
Current venue of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco, the Degollado Theater is one of Guadalajara’s most representative monuments. It’s located right behind the Cathedral and it’s known for its stone façade with the image of Apollo and the Nine Muses.
– Expiatory Temple:
Address: Dirección: Calle Manuel López Cotilla 935, Col Americana, Americana, 44160 Guadalajara, Jal.
The Expiatory Temple is a unique building in Guadalajara. A neogothic style construction, it is a hand-carved rock structure designed by the same architect that made the Palace of Fine Arts. Its clock brought from Germany strikes at 9, 12 and 18 hours and that’s when you can see the figures of the 12 apostles.
– San Juan de Dios Market:
Address: Dionisio Rodríguez Street 52, La Perla, 44360 Guadalajara, Jal.
The San Juan de Dios Market is the perfect place to do shopping or eat the most delicious Mexican food. This is a 3-story market where you can find clothes, shoes, jewelry, handcrafts, typical candies and of course, food. Its location in the Historic Center, next to the Cabañas Cultural Institute, makes it a must place to visit during your stay in Guadalajara.
– Guadalajara Zoo:
Address: Paseo del Zoológico 600, Huentitán El Alto, 44390 Guadalajara, Jal.
Inaugurated in 1988, the Guadalajara Zoo is a 50 hectare space located in Barranca de Huentitan. Ideal for a fun family day, it has a panoramic train, herpetarium, safari, Australian village and aquarium, among many other attractions that make it a unique place in Guadalajara. The packages range from $90.00 MXN to $305.00 MXN per person, depending on the included attractions.