Guadalajara (Jalisco): Top 40 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions


Things to do in Guadalajara: The 40 Best Places to Visit

You’re planning to visit Guadalajara during your next trip and you’re looking for the best places to visit?

You’re at the right place!

Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, is renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. It’s a city where traditional Mexican charm meets modern urban life.

In order to help you plan your stay, I have written this guide of the best things to do in Guadalajara with all the must-see attractions and points of interest.

At the end of the article, you will also find family friendly activites, itineraries to visit Guadalajara in 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days as well as my suggestions of the best accommodations depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in Guadalajara? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!


1. Plaza de Armas: The Heart of Guadalajara

As you step into the Plaza de Armas, the vibrant epicenter of Guadalajara, you’re immediately enveloped in the city’s dynamic pulse.

Surrounded by imposing historical buildings, including the Government Palace and the Cathedral, this square is not just a feast for the eyes but also a hub of cultural activity.

Here, you can relax on one of the many benches and soak in the lively atmosphere, often enhanced by street musicians and local artists.

The Plaza de Armas is a great place to start exploring Guadalajara. It shows you the city’s rich history and modern life. You can take photos of the beautiful buildings or relax with a coffee at a café nearby. It’s a place you should definitely visit in Guadalajara!

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Plaza de Armas, Guadalajara

2. Guadalajara Cathedral

In the heart of Guadalajara stands its magnificent Cathedral, a blend of Gothic, Baroque, and Moorish styles, and home to one of the largest organs in Mexico, originally from France.

Inside, you’ll be greeted by the elegant Gothic interior, featuring three charming chapels and nine altars. Each altar is decorated with stunning paintings by renowned Mexican artists.

This cathedral is not just a place for prayer; it’s a symbol of the city’s rich history and art, making it a must-visit destination in Guadalajara.

cathedral guadalajara
Cathedral, Guadalajara

3. Palacio de Gobierno

The Palacio de Gobierno (State of Jalisco Government Building) is a key site in Guadalajara, important for both its government role and its history.

Inside, you’ll see powerful murals by José Clemente Orozco that show Mexico’s fight for freedom.

There’s also a museum that offers a detailed look at the history of the region, including the lives of the ethnic groups that first inhabited the area, the impactful events during the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, and the founding of the city of Guadalajara.

  • Free entrance
  • mon-sat 10am-6pm, sun 10am-3pm
Palacio de Gobierno Guadalajara
Palacio de Gobierno Guadalajara

4. Museo Regional de Guadalajara

Located in a beautiful 18th-century building, the Regional Museum of Guadalajara stands as a dynamic center, offering a vast collection of paleontological, archaeological, historical, and ethnographic pieces.

As you start your journey on the first level, you’re greeted with an incredible sight – a mammoth skeleton!

Beyond its permanent displays, it hosts temporary exhibitions and a variety of cultural events, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

To keep up with the latest happenings and special exhibits, don’t forget to check their Facebook page before your visit.

  • tue-sat 9am-4.30 pm, sun 9am-4pm
  • 90 pesos
regional museum Guadalajara
Regional Museum of Guadalajara
colection Regional Museum of Guadalajara
Regional Museum of Guadalajara
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Regional Museum of Guadalajara

5. Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres

The Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres is a meaningful spot in the center of Guadalajara, dedicated to the state’s most influential figures.

This area, with its statues and green spaces, pays tribute to Jalisco’s heroes, including writers, scientists, and educators who have shaped the state’s history and culture.

Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres Guadalajara
Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres, Guadalajara

6. Palacio Municipal de Guadalajara

The Palacio Municipal de Guadalajara (city hall) is a special place that combines beautiful architecture with interesting history.

When you go inside, you’ll see amazing murals that tell the story of the city, especially on the first floor.

Upstairs, on the second floor, you can enjoy a lovely view of the cathedral.

The Palacio frequently hosts temporary exhibitions alongside its permanent statues and displays, ensuring there’s always something new to see.

Personally, I really enjoyed walking around in its cool, shaded halls when it was hot outside! 🥵

  • free entrance
  • 8am-4pm, monday closed
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Inside the beautiful City Hall of Guadalajara
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Palacio Municipal, Guadalajara

7. Teatro Degollado

Teatro Degollado, as one of the top attractions in Guadalajara, is a beacon of cultural significance in Jalisco.

As the home of the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, it hosts several key cultural events, including the Galas of the National Traditional Mariachi Encounter, the International Mariachi and Charrería Encounter, and the Cultural Festival of May.

The theater’s neoclassical architecture, celebrated as the best-preserved in Latin America, provides an elegant backdrop for these prestigious events.

You can check out upcoming events (click here), but it’s also worth a visit in its own right, even without attending a concert!

Good to Know
Be sure to visit the Café Boutique Teatro Degollado, a cozy spot perfect for enjoying a coffee and people-watching.
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degollado guadalajara mexico
teatro degollado guadalajara
Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara

8. Plaza Fundadores

Located just behind the Teatro Degollado, Plaza Fundadores holds a special place in the heart of Guadalajara as the city’s original Plaza de Armas.

What I personally find fascinating about Plaza Fundadores is how it reflects the complex duality of Mexico’s identity.

Here, you’ll find two significant sculptures: the ‘Friso de los Fundadores,’ depicting the Spanish founders of Guadalajara, and a statue of Francisco Tenamaztle, an indigenous leader from the 16th-century Mixtón War.

9. Biblioteca Iberoamericana

Nestled in the heart of Guadalajara, the Biblioteca Iberoamericana Octavio Paz offers a unique combination of historical and cultural riches.

This four centuries-old building, now a part of the Universidad de Guadalajara, is home to over 90,000 volumes, making it a haven for book lovers. Equally impressive are its murals by renowned artists like David Alfaro Siqueiros, which depict themes of education, labor movement, and socialism.

Open to the public free of charge, the Biblioteca Iberoamericana is a perfect spot for those looking to immerse themselves in a world where art, history, and literature converge in Guadalajara.

Biblioteca Iberoamericana Octavio Paz guadalajara
Biblioteca Iberoamericana Octavio Paz, Guadalajara

10. Museo del Periodismo y las Artes Gráficas

This museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of radio, film, journalism, and television.

It occupies a historic site where, in 1792, the city’s first printing press was established and where ‘El Despertador Americano’, the first independent newspaper in America, was printed.

The museum features a didactic room where visitors can explore the history of graphic communication presented as a timeline.

This timeline takes you from ancient cave paintings to the first printing press in Guadalajara, including the pivotal invention of the printing press in Germany in 1450.

It also houses sections dedicated to graphic arts, detailing the processes of pre-printing, printing, and binding, and displays 19th-century printing presses and equipment used for printing magazines and newspapers.

  • Free entrance
  • tue-fri 10am-6pm, sat-sun 10am-4pm

11. Casa Museo Lopez Portillo

Near Plaza de la Reforma and its famous Carrusel Monumental, Casa Museo Lopez Portillo, once a family home, now stands as a cultural gem set in a late 19th-century household ambiance.

The museum features nine permanent rooms, each offering a glimpse into a bygone era.

Visitors can admire rooms furnished with decorative objects and oil paintings in styles ranging from Victorian to Empire, and Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Additionally, the museum boasts the Gabriel Flores Gallery for temporary exhibitions and a dedicated Music Room, enriching its cultural offering.

  • free entrance
  • tue-sat 10am-5pm, sun 10am-3pm
House Museum Lopez Portillo Guadalajara
Casa Museo López Portillo, Guadalajara
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Casa Museo Lopez Portillo, Guadalajara

12. Plaza de los Mariachis

I stumbled upon Plaza de los Mariachis while wandering, a bit lost, in search of the famous San Juan de Dios market.

This charming square is a tribute to mariachi music, recognized by UNESCO for its cultural significance.

Lined with cafes and restaurants, each boasting terraces where you can relax, it’s a place vibrant with live mariachi performances.

What’s really cool is that at any time of the day, there’s always a mariachi band around. You can request songs directly from the bands in the plaza or even call them up to your terrace!

  • The cost for a song starts around 150-200 pesos
plaza mariachis guadalajara
Plaza de los Mariachis, Guadalajara

13. Plaza Tapatía

Close to Plaza de los Mariachis and the bustling San Juan de Dios market is Plaza Tapatía, a name that reflects its deep connection to the city: “Tapatía” means “from Guadalajara”.

This expansive square, stretching from the Teatro Degollado to the Hospicio Cultural Cabañas along Calzada Independencia, is not merely a single plaza but rather a collection of several smaller ones, including the Paseo del Hospicio and the Central Esplanade.

A standout feature of the plaza is the Inmolación de Quetzalcóatl fountain, adorned with a striking sculpture that represents Quetzalcóatl, a key figure in Mesoamerican mythology, rising from the earth.

My Advice
 When exploring Plaza Tapatía, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Secretaria de Turismo del Estado de Jalisco, located within the plaza.

It’s a great place to stop by for tourist information and tips on what to see and do in Guadalajara! 

14. Instituto Cultural Cabañas (Hospicio Cabañas)

The Instituto Cultural Cabañas, whose construction began in 1805, is a large and impressive building with 23 patios, 106 rooms, 78 hallways, and 2 chapels. It’s recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, known historically as the Hospicio Cabañas.

Within the Capilla Tolsá, you’ll find stunning murals, including Orozco’s famous ‘El hombre de fuego‘ (The Man of Fire) on the dome. Additionally, the institute houses 340 of Orozco’s works, which are exhibited to visitors on a rotating basis.

Besides Orozco’s art, the institute also has art shows from Mexico and other countries. It has special collections by artists like Mathías Goeritz and works by artists from Jalisco, called the Colección pueblo de Jalisco.

  • tue-sun 10am-5pm
  • 80 pesos, free on tuesday
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Cabañas Museum, Guadalajara
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El hombre de fuego, José Clemente Orozco

15. Explore the Markets of Guadalajara

No visit to Guadalajara is complete without exploring its vibrant markets, Mercado Corona and Mercado San Juan de Dios.

Mercado Corona, situated in the heart of the city, offers an authentic local experience. Here, you can find a variety of fresh produce, traditional foods, and unique crafts. It’s a great place to taste local delicacies and interact with the friendly vendors.

Mercado Libertad, also commonly known as Mercado San Juan de Dios, is renowned as the largest indoor market in Latin America!

There are about 3000 stalls that sell clothes, glasses, shoes, movies, video games, musical instruments, candies, cold meats, fruits and vegetables, and so on.

Obviously my favorite part is the ground floor, with the local food from Guadalajara, such as tortas ahogadas, which is the most typical dish of Jalisco, tacos, pozole, menudo, etc. This is where I experienced my first torta ahogada!

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Torta ahogada at San Juan de Dios Market
Mercado San Juan de Dios guadalajara
Mercado San Juan de Dios, Guadalajara

16. Taste the Famous Torta Ahogada

The Torta Ahogada is the most iconic dish of Guadalajara, and it’s so beloved that, believe it or not, September 10th is celebrated as ‘Día de la Torta Ahogada‘ in the city to honor this special culinary creation!

Even though there are some variations today, the traditional recipe consists of birote (a local bread essential for this dish – without it, it’s NOT a true Torta Ahogada), refried beans, carnitas (pork), and a sauce made from tomato and chile de árbol.

On my visit to Guadalajara, I first tried the Torta Ahogada at Tortas Mario in San Juan de Dios Market. It was a good-sized portion at a fair price. Though it was tasty, I wasn’t quite used to a saucy, moderately warm sandwich, so my brain was a bit confused at first.

Then, seeking to compare, I went to a more hidden spot, El Chino – the best places are often tucked away, right?

I hadn’t known that locals usually eat Torta Ahogadas in the morning and for lunch, so by 4pm when I got there, they had completely run out of birote bread and only had a little meat left.

But, and this is the best part, the owner was incredibly kind. He set up a table for us outside and even sent his helper to quickly get more bread.

He made us a Torta Ahogada with what he had left. It was my most delightful encounter in Guadalajara – his kindness made that Torta Ahogada unforgettable and it now holds a special place in my heart. Plus, I preferred his slightly crisped carnitas over the softer ones at the market. 😋

  • But even though the welcome at El Chino was far superior, each Torta Ahogada was unique in its own way, and I’m glad I had the chance to taste both!
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Tortas Ahogadas (El Chinito), Guadalajara
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Torta ahogada at El Chino, Guadalajara
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Torta ahogada at Mario (San Juan Market), Guadalajara

17. Plazoleta Las 9 Esquinas: For Food and Culture

Plazoleta Las 9 Esquinas is a charming square in Guadalajara, famous for offering a real taste of Jalisco.

Here, you can enjoy birria, a special dish originally from Jalisco, even though it’s now popular in other states too. The square is also known for its bright stands selling pitayas, juicy fruits mostly from the village of Techaluta de Montenegro.

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Plaza de las 9 Esquinas, Guadalajara
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Plaza de las 9 Esquinas, Guadalajara
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Plaza de las 9 Esquinas, Guadalajara

18. Ex Convento del Carmen

Originally built in the 17th century for the Carmelites, the Ex Convento del Carmen now stands as a captivating piece of history in Guadalajara.

Its classic architecture is highlighted by a beautiful archway encircling a bright, white patio.

Today, this historic building functions as a key cultural center, offering five rooms that display a range of art shows, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

  • free admission
  • tue-sat 10am-8pm, sun 10am-6pm
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Ex-Convento del Carmen, Guadalajara
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ex convento del carmen guadalajara

19. Templo Expiatorio

The Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento is a striking example of neo-Gothic architecture and is considered the finest example of this style in Mexico.

It was designed by Adamo Boari, who was also involved in the planning of Mexico City‘s Palacio de Bellas Artes and Palacio de Correos – two magnificent buildings in the capital.

The construction of the temple took an astonishing 75 years to complete, partly due to the disruptions caused by the Mexican Revolution!

  • One of the temple’s most captivating features is its clock, made in Germany, which includes a musical carillon. At 9 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm, figures of the twelve apostles of Jesus emerge as the bells ring, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.
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Templo expiatorio, Guadalajara
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templo expiatorio guadalajara inside

20. Museo de las Artes

The Museo de las Artes (MUSA) at the University of Guadalajara is a central point for artistic exploration, showcasing a wide range of contemporary art from Jalisco.

The museum is home to two magnificent murals by the master artist José Clemente Orozco: “El hombre creador y rebelde” (The Creative and Rebellious Man) depicts the dynamic and ever-changing nature of humanity, while “El pueblo y sus falsos líderes” (The People and Their False Leaders) portrays the struggle between the people and those who mislead them.

MUSA’s collection features over 100 pieces, including a variety of techniques and formats from the most significant artists in Jalisco, as well as national and international artists.

  • free entrance
  • tue-sat 10am-6pm, sun 10am-3pm
museo artes guadalajara
Museo de las Artes, Guadalajara
El pueblo y sus falsos líderes orozco
El pueblo y sus falsos líderes, Orozco
El hombre creador y rebelde orozco
El hombre creador y rebelde Orozco

21. Puente de las Damas Museum

I was really captivated by the Puente de las Damas when I visited Guadalajara!

This hidden 18th-century architectural and hidraulic marvel, discovered in 2016, lies beneath the intersection of Colón Street and Avenida de La Paz in the historic Mexicaltzingo neighborhood.

This remarkable discovery led to the establishment of the Museo de Sitio del Puente de las Damas, a museum dedicated to showcasing the rich history of the tunnels and bridges that once graced Guadalajara.

The Puente de las Damas stands out as a nearly intact survivor of this elaborate system, a testament to the city’s past, even though it was eventually buried under the rapid urban expansion in the early 20th century.

Exploring the Puente de las Damas reminded me of how much I love walking through the underground tunnels in Puebla!

  • Entry is free, but you must enter with a guide
  • Tours are available every hour from 11 AM to 5 PM, but closed on Mondays
  • Each tour lasts about 20-30 minutes.
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Puente de las Damas, Guadalajara. Source: Gobierno de Jalisco
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Puente de las Damas, Guadalajara. Source: Gobierno de Jalisco

22. Calle Chapultepec: The Vibrant Heart of Guadalajara

Avenida Chapultepec is renowned for being one of the most iconic and cultural streets in the city.

As you stroll, you’ll find it’s much more than just a place for a walk. It regularly hosts musical events, bringing a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere.

It transforms into a vibrant market on weekends and weekdays with a variety of stalls with crafts, bazaars, and unique items, perfect for a shopping and local art experience.

Also, the avenue is a popular spot for nightlife, offering many bars and clubs that suit different preferences.

My Advice
Every Sunday (and holidays falling on Mondays) from 8 am to 2 pm, Chapultepec Avenue and other main avenues in Guadalajara are closed to cars to allow bicycles to circulate freely and safely! – Click here to see the complete map of closed streets.

This is the perfect time to rent a bike at one of the city’s bike share stations!

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Avenida Chapultepec, Guadalajara
Vía RecreActiva Chapultepec Guadalajara
Vía RecreActiva, Avenida Chapultepec, Guadalajara

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23. Antiques Market

Every Sunday for over 30 years, Guadalajara’s Avenida Mexico transforms into the Tianguis de Antigüedades (Antiques Market), a vibrant marketplace that serves as a portal to the past.

Vendors from all over set up their stalls early, offering everything from vintage furniture and classic vinyl records to books and unique jewelry.

Both locals and visitors wander through, searching for hidden treasures or soaking up the nostalgic and ecclectic ambiance.

  • It usually starts in the morning around 9 or 10 AM and runs until the early afternoon, around 2 or 3 PM
Tianguis antiguedades guadalajara
Antiques Market, Guadalajara
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Antiques Market, Guadalajara
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Antiques Market, Guadalajara

24. Stroll through Colonia Americana

Colonia Americana, one of Guadalajara’s oldest neighborhoods, is celebrated for its stunning blend of historical and contemporary architecture.

As you walk through its streets, you’ll come accross cozy cafés, quiet libraries, and a variety of boutiques offering trendy fashion and artisanal crafts, alongside numerous art galleries.

The dining scene is vibrant and hip, featuring trendy restaurants that serve a mix of traditional Mexican and international cuisine, sure to satisfy any taste.

As night falls, the neighborhood transforms into a lively scene with an array of unique bars, each offering a different vibe.

This rich combination of culture, shopping, dining, and nightlife makes Colonia Americana an exceptional destination, recognized by “Time Out International” as the world’s most attractive neighborhood for travelers!


colonia americana guadalajara
Colonia Americana, Guadalajara

Where to eat and drink in Colonia Americana?

In Colonia Americana, my go-to spots for dining and sipping are:

  • El Habanero Negro: This place captured my heart with its delectable cochinita pibil and plantain tacos. Their chejuino (beer and tejuino mix) is not just refreshing but addictively good, and the ambiance is enhanced by their unique decor.
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Habanero Negro, Guadalajara
  • Neretta: Just a stone’s throw from El Habanero Negro, it’s my favorite spot for a post-meal espresso. Pairing it with their homemade gelato is an absolute delight.
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Neretta Cafe, Colonia Americana (Guadalajara)
  • La Postreria: A paradise for dessert lovers seeking creative indulgences.

Following them on Instagram heightened my excitement, and my visit did not disappoint! Each creation, from the Bosque with its unique blend of eucalyptus, forest fruits, pistachio, and fresh herbs, to the tropical fusion in the Coconut dessert, was a work of art.

The camembert & jerez, combining cheesecake, pine nuts, honey, and jerez, added a distinctive and unforgettable flavor to their impressive lineup.

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“Bosque”, Postreria, Guadalajara
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“Coconut”, Postreria, Guadalajara
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Camembert & Jerez, Postreria, Guadalajara
  • De La O Cantina

Striking a unique balance between a traditional cantina and a tiki bar, this is the best place to have a drink in Colonia Americana, exuding a hipster vibe that’s both inviting and trendy.

With good music setting the scene, their cocktail menu and snacks are top-notch. I recommend trying the cecina, the chicharrón quesadilla, the nopales tostada, and the bean taco – each offering a taste of authentic Mexican flavors.

The cantina’s name, inspired by the Mexican revolutionary Genovevo de la O, adds a historical touch to its modern ambiance.

Do note that it’s closed on Tuesdays.

de la o cantina guadalajara
De La O Cantina, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara

25. Walk in the Center of Zapopan

Zapopan, originally founded as an ancient town in 1541 and now a vital part of the Guadalajara metropolis, derives its name from ‘Tzapopan’ or ‘Tzapotl’ in Nahuatl, meaning “place of zapotes (fruit).”

It stands as the second most populous municipality in Jalisco and the seventh most populous in Mexico.

Though I’m not sure you’ll find many zapote trees these days, the historic center of Zapopan is a must-visit in Guadalajara, definitely worth exploring.

To make the most of your visit to Zapopan (2-3h), here’s a recommended itinerary:

  1. Begin at the entrance from Zapopan Fountain and Monumento Arcos de Zapopan.
  2. Walk along Andador 20 de Noviembre, a pedestrian street filled with cafes featuring terraces, boutiques, and more.
  3. Visit the Museo de Arte de Zapopan
  4. Take a photo with the giant Zapopan letters
  5. Explore Plaza de las Americas (Juan Pablo II)
  6. See the Basilica de Zapopan
  7. Finally, visit the Museo de Arte Huichol Wixárika, a small museum- a bit hidden right next to the Basilica- dedicated to the art and craftsmanship of the Huichol people

My Advice
If you’re keen on learning more about Huichol culture, I highly recommend buying the small book available at the “Wixarika Museo de Arte Huichol” souvenir shop.

It’s incredibly informative and concise, covering topics like mythology and religion, symbolism, main celebrations, traditional homes, music, and traditional clothing, among others. 

Andador 20 de Noviembre Zapopan
Andador 20 de Noviembre, Zapopan
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Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan
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zapopan letters guadalajara
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The Wixarika Art Museum in Zapopan

26. Discover the Charro Culture

In Mexico, a charro is traditionally a countryside horseman and often a ranch worker, known for performing various tasks on horseback with exceptional horsemanship and lasso skills, and distinguished by a unique riding costume.

While from afar, a charro might seem similar to a Mexican cowboy, in reality, it embodies a deeper and richer aspect of Mexican culture, marked by pride, elegance, and extraordinary equestrian artistic talents.

The term now also refers to practitioners of charreada, Mexico’s national sport akin to a rodeo, adhering to traditional rules that date back to colonial times.

The charro’s history is deeply ingrained in Mexican heritage, particularly in Jalisco, where the tradition of Charrería is still fervently alive and celebrated, notably during the International Mariachi and Charrería Festival.

My Advice
 If you’re eager to dive into the captivating world of the Mexican charro, consider taking the Charro and Charreada Cultural Tour.

This experience begins at the Lienzo, a charro arena, where a charro will greet you and introduce the history of Mexican charros in the on-site museum. You’ll see a fantastic array of traditional costumes and accessories used in the Charreada (charreria contest).

The tour includes a lasso lesson, showcasing the uniquen Mexican lasso techniques compared to those used globally. You’ll get hands-on experience with grooming and saddling horses, and if possible, join a horse parade alongside the charros.

The tour also involves participating in traditional Charrería activities, guided by an expert charro. The experience concludes with a celebration, enjoying tequila and mariachi music.

In my humble opinion, it is the best tour in GuadalajaraBook the charro experience here:

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Charros in Guadalajara
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Charros in Guadalajara

27. Taste the Artesanal Beers of Guadalajara

Mexico’s craft beer industry has grown significantly recently, with Jalisco at the forefront of production and sales.

The country now boasts over 1,400 craft breweries, and Jalisco alone contributes 20% to the nation’s total craft beer output, surpassing 37 million liters last year!🍺

Of course, as the capital of the state, Guadalajara is an excellent place to taste some of the best craft beers Jalisco has to offer.

I highly recommend checking out these bars and taprooms in Guadalajara for a taste of the local beer scene.

On my last trip to Guadalajara, I visited El Deposito and was impressed by their extensive selection.

I ended up choosing a Playacar from Minerva, which is undoubtedly the most famous craft beer company in Jalisco. It’s an India Pale Pilsner with a bright yellow color, refreshing notes of guava, soursop, lychee, and freshly cut citrus: it was the perfect choice for a hot day!

Brewing Tour
Take the brewing tour in Guadalajara for a unique experience!

Meet your guide at Via Libertad and walk through Colonia Americana, seeing historic buildings along the way.

Visit Loba, one of Guadalajara’s top breweries, for a tour of their beer-making process and enjoy a pint.

Finish with a tasting of five different beers in their taproom. It’s a great way to start your night and dive into the local brewing scene.

Book it here:

craft beer guadalajara
Though Minerva isn’t exactly from Guadalajara, it’s undoubtedly the most famous craft beer company in Jalisco!
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El Deposito, bar in Guadalajara

28. Experience Lucha Libre

Attending a Lucha Libre show is a must-do activity in Guadalajara. These unique professional wrestling events, held at the Coliseo every Tuesday at 9 PM, are a vibrant part of Mexican popular culture.

Known for high-flying maneuvers, colorful masks, and a blend of athleticism and theatrical flair, Lucha Libre (Mexican Professional Wrestling) offers an exciting and authentic cultural experience.

I have to say, while the luchadores in Guadalajara are certainly impressive, what I love the most is the crowd’s enthusiasm. The energy is infectious, with people cheering and sometimes booing, which adds so much to the experience. It’s really fun!

My Advice
 Join the Lucha Libre tour for an unforgettable experience!

Starting from Plaza de las 9 Esquinas, you’ll first visit a traditional cantina for a drink, setting the mood for the evening. Then, on a short walk to the arena with your guide, you’ll discover the myths and legends of the historic neighborhoods you pass through. Finally, you’ll arrive at the thrilling Lucha Libre match!

Book it here:

lucha libre guadalajara
Lucha Libre in Guadalajara. Source:

Around Guadalajara

There are several destinations worth exploring from Guadalajara. Each offers a unique glimpse into the region’s diverse landscape and culture.

29. Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque, a town in Mexico renowned for its rich artisanal heritage, offers a deep dive into the world of ceramics and pottery.

Beyond its impressive craftsmanship, the town’s tourist sites and picturesque rustic streets add to its charm. Conveniently near Guadalajara (6 miles, 10km), it’s an ideal destination for a quick and easy day or half-day trip.

For a memorable day in Tlaquepaque, begin with a visit to the Ceramic Museum, a walk along Independencia Avenue, and some relaxation at Jardin Hidalgo.

Continue your afternoon with a visit to Centro Cultural El Refugio, a delightful lunch at El Parian or Restaurante Luna, and shopping at El Arca Artesanias y Antiguedades and Casa del Artesano.

End your evening at Nuestros Dulces. Fun fact: they not only offers a wide variety of typical sweets but also boasts the largest selection of tequila in the world!

How to get to Tlaquepaque from Guadalajara:

  • You can get there in about 20-30 minutes by Uber, depending on the traffic.
  • Alternatively, public transportation is a viable option: you can take the Tren Ligero (light rail) Line 3 from Guadalajara to Tlaquepaque, or hop on one of the local buses connecting the two cities.

My Advice
If you’re short on time and prefer to skip the transportation hassle, booking a tour is the ideal choice.

It handles everything for you: transportation, a guided tour of both Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque, plus some free time to explore these places at your leisure.

Book the Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque tour here! 

jardin hidalgo tlaquepaque
Jardin Hidalgo, Tlaquepaque
calle independencia tlaquepaque
Avenida Independencia, Tlaquepaque

30. Tonala: A Craft Lover’s Paradise

Just a stone’s throw away from Tlaquepaque, Tonala stands out as an artistic center famous for its handicrafts and pottery.

A visit to the town’s vibrant artisan market is essential, offering an array of traditional Mexican crafts and souvenirs. Be sure to explore local workshops to see the talented artisans in action.


31. Tequila: More Than Just a Drink

Known for its iconic liquor, Tequila, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is conveniently located a brief drive from Tlaquepaque.

This scenic town is home to famous tequila distilleries like Jose Cuervo and Herradura, where you can dive into the fascinating history of tequila, learn about the tequila-making process and sample this famous Mexican spirit.

Be sure to wander through the stunning agave fields that characterize the area’s landscape.

My Advice
 If you want to learn about Tequila and prefer not to worry about transportation, joining this guided tour is your best option!

The tour will start with a pick-up from your Guadalajara hotel. You will explore agave fields, taste Tequila in a distillery, see how this famous drink is made, visit the towns of Tequila and Amatitán, and then return to Guadalajara.

Book the tequila tour from Guadalajara here:

tequila tasting jalisco
Tequila tasting during the tour
tequila jalisco
Tequila, Jalisco

32. Pre-Hispanice Site of Guachimontones

Located just 90 minutes from Guadalajara, Guachimontones stands as a significant site in Western Mesoamerica.

This site is home to circular stepped pyramids and other fascinating structures from the Teuchitlán culture, thriving from about 300 BCE to 900 CE.

Visiting Guachimontones gives you a unique insight into the area’s ancient history and culture. Be sure to check out the interpretive center on-site for essential information and context about the site and its ancient inhabitants.

  • Click here to book this tour, which includes pick up from your hotel in Guadalajara and a guided visit to Guachimontones with the museum
  • For a more comprehensive experience, consider booking this tour (click here) that includes visits to both Guachimontones and the Jose Cuervo Agave fields and Distillery for an immersive tequila tour.

33. Lake Chapala

Lake Chapala, not only a favorite spot for locals and tourists but also Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, offers a scenic waterfront and charming towns like Ajijic and Chapala.

It’s perfect for a range of activities, including boat rides, bird watching, enjoying local cuisine and a fresh tejuino.

I was particularly charmed by Ajijic, with its art galleries, cute boutiques, and colorful streets. 😍

My Advice
If you’re planning to visit Lake Chapala from Guadalajara, consider booking this tour (click here), which includes transportation from your hotel, guided tours of Chapala and Ajijic, and some free time to explore!
Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala

34. Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is an exceptional destination, offering stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and a relaxing atmosphere.

If you’re visiting Guadalajara, I highly recommend extending your trip to include Puerto Vallarta. It might seem a bit of a stretch, but trust me, it’s a fantastic addition to the top things to do when in Guadalajara.

Think of it as an exciting road trip opportunity! I personally traveled from Mexico City to Guadalajara and then on to Puerto Vallarta.

Even though I was impressed by the capital of Jalisco, traveling to Puerto Vallarta was a great opportunity to see the amazing state’s diversity.

My Advice
If a road trip isn’t your preference, there’s also the convenient option of a direct flight from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta, which takes just about an hour.

This makes it incredibly easy to experience the vibrant city life and the tranquil beauty of the beach without the long drive. 

In Puerto Vallarta, you can stroll along the Malecon, wander through the Zona Romantica, visit Casa Kimberly (the famous house of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor), relax at Playa Los Muertos, or – my personal favorite – take a boat tour to hidden beaches (click here to book!) like Colomitos, Las Animas, Quimixto, Las Caletas, and Yelapa.

For all the details on Vallarta, make sure to check out:

playa los muerto puerto vallarta
playa los muerto puerto vallarta
playa las animas puerto vallarta
playa las animas puerto vallarta

35. Mazamitla: A Mountain Getaway

Mazamitla, often referred to as the “Switzerland of Mexico,” is a picturesque mountain town that provides a peaceful retreat from city life.

This quaint village is celebrated for its alpine-style buildings and dense pine forests. It’s a perfect spot for enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, and zip-lining, or just unwinding amidst stunning natural surroundings.

To explore Mazamitla from Guadalajara, you can book a tour (click here!) that includes hotel transport, a stop at “Los Vampiritos,” a short hike to a waterfall in an eco-park, and some free time to wander around Mazamitla.

What are Vampiritos?
In San Luis Soyatlan, a popular stop on the way from Guadalajara to Mazamitla, you’ll find “vampiros” (translating to “small vampires”).

This refreshing drink combines ice, natural lemon and orange juices, grapefruit soda, salt, and homemade sangrita.

Sangrita is a flavorful mix of orange juice, tomato juice, chili, lemon, salt, and hot sauce, which can be spiked with various types of tequila or served non-alcoholic for minors. 😉


36. Opal Mines of Magdalena

Located on the Tequila Route and just an hour from Guadalajara, Magdalena is a key player in opal mining and jewelry making.

The town, known as the world’s second-largest producer of opals, has a long mining tradition dating back to the colonial era when gold and silver were extracted.

In the Magdalena region, which has only 30,000 inhabitants, the focus is now on opal mining, with over 200 active mines.

My Advice
The best way to visit Magdalena from Guadalajara is by joining a tour.

You will experience mining firsthand with tools provided by the miners, starting with a visit to an opal shop, exploring 4 opal mines, and even hunting for your own opals! ⛏️

The tour also includes a stop at an obsidian field. Enjoy some free time to look at various opals and make purchases, followed by lunch at a traditional Mexican restaurant.

You can book the opal tour here:

opal magdalena jalisco
Opals from Magdalena, Jalisco

37. Picturesque Villages of Tapalpa and Atacco

  • Tapalpa is a charming town in the mountains of Jalisco, known for its scenic beauty and traditional Mexican architecture.

Renowned for its pine forests and picturesque landscapes, the town offers outdoor activities like hiking and horseback riding, making it a perfect getaway for nature lovers.

Its tranquil streets, lined with whitewashed houses and red-tiled roofs, create a peaceful and rustic atmosphere, ideal for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

  • Close to Tapalpa and on the way to El Salto de Agua, the highest waterfall in the state (344 ft), you’ll come across Atacco, the first evangelization center in the area.

The Franciscans built the Hospital de Indios here to care for the indigenous population, which you can now visit.

This community is known for preserving its customs and traditions more than any other in the area.

My Advice
To easily reach both villages, you can join a full-day private tour to the Pueblo Mágico of Tapalpa and the indigenous village of Attaco.

Starting from Guadalajara, discover Tapalpa’s beautiful scenery, visit its central plaza, old churches, and colonial buildings.

After lunch, explore Attaco, a village with a rich history and traditions, including a Franciscan-built “Hospital de Indios” and discover numerous medicinal plants.

tapalpa jalisco
Tapalpa, Jalisco

What to Do with Kids in Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a fantastic family destination in Mexico, offering numerous top activities that are perfect for kids. Here’s a list of the best things to do with children in Guadalajara:

38. Selva Magica: An Amusement Park Adventure

Selva Mágica, one of the country’s largest amusement parks, is the top family destination in Guadalajara.

The park offers something for all ages, featuring gentle carousels for young kids and thrilling roller coasters for adrenaline seekers.

This variety ensures that every family member, regardless of age or preference, has something to enjoy. Selva Mágica offers a well-rounded and enjoyable experience for all.

Secure your VIP pass to Selva Mágica here, which includes access to 29 attractions, 8 thrilling activities at the Comando Training Center like ziplines and bungee jumping, plus lunch:

selva magica guadalajara
Selva Magica, Guadalajara

39. Guadalajara Zoo

The zoo is a top attraction for families in Guadalajara, known as one of Mexico’s largest zoos with over than 2,000 animals from 360 species!

It boasts the biggest herpetarium in Latin America, featuring an extensive collection of lizards, turtles, crocodiles, snakes, and vipers.

Among its attractions are a panoramic train ride, an aquarium, a veterinary ranch, Adelie penguins, and many family-friendly shows.

My two favorite activities at the zoo are the thrilling 20-minute Safari tour aboard a special truck, which offer an up-close experience with various animals, and the Sky Zoo, an incredible aerial adventure that provides stunning panoramic views of Monkeyland, gorillas, wolves, bison, lions, and more.

guadalajara zoo
Safari at Guadalajara Zoo

40. Acuario Michin (Aquarium)

Acuario Michin offers children a fantastic opportunity to learn about marine life while also contributing to its conservation through breeding programs for species like axolotls and neotropical otters.

It has more than 300 species and more than 9000 specimens which can be admired throughout 5 pavilions:

  1. Wixárika: Freshwater species, reptiles, amphibians, including axolotls.
  2. Maya: Coral reef species, like clownfish.
  3. Mixtec: Semiaquatic species, crocodiles, neotropical otters; includes aviary, petting zoo (Achcalli Farm), and feeding experiences.
  4. Konkaak: Cold water Pacific species, including jellyfish.
  5. Olmeca: Gulf of Mexico species, various sharks, and diving experiences.

Additionally, a sixth section, Marine Challenges, offers interactive games and activities like laser tag, rock climbing, and an arcade.

Acuario Michin is undoubtedly one of the best activities for kids in Guadalajara!

  • open from 11am to 8pm (last access 7pm)
  • 249 pesos
michin aquarium guadalajara
Michin Aquarium, Guadalajara

41. Wax and Ripley Museums

Even if you’ve visited a wax museum and the Ripley’s museum elsewhere, they remain top family activities in Guadalajara.

They are especially popular on rainy days as they have the advantage of being located in the same place, the Plaza de la Liberacion, offering hours of entertainment!

The Museo de Cera (Wax Museum) features 12 rooms with over 130 Mexican and international figures, including athletes, singers, actors, politicians, and more.

At this typical Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, you can discover amazing mysteries and phenomena, including torture devices, Egyptian legends, ancient rituals, and a variety of cultural traditions, plus optical illusions and artistic displays from different civilizations.

My Advice
My absolute favorite part is the 4D cinema with its moving chairs and 3D glasses – I had a blast when I went by myself, and I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, as a 37-year-old than the kids do! 😂 
  • Open everyday from 11am to 8pm
  • Ticket prices vary depending on whether you choose one or both museums, the 4D movie, and other activities, starting at 95 pesos for kids and 110 pesos for adults.
  • Get your tickets here
wax museum guadalajara
Wax Museum, Guadalajara

42. Bosque Los Colomos

Parque Los Colomos, a beloved urban forest and recreational natural park, has been a favorite destination for families in Guadalajara since the 20th century.

The park features extensive walking trails and a charming 30-minute horse ride, partially alongside a small river, which adds to its scenic beauty.

Visitors can also explore the exquisite Japanese Garden and the historic Castle, which now houses the Casa de la Cultura de Guadalajara.

It’s noteworthy that the park is exceptionally well-maintained, including its clean and orderly toilet facilities.

This combination of natural splendor, cultural richness, and historical significance makes Parque Los Colomos an excellent place to visit with kids in Guadalajara. Moreover, it serves as a perfect cool and refreshing haven for everyone during the city’s hot days!

  • free access from 6am to 7pm
bosque colomos guadalajara
Bosque Los Colomos, Guadalajara

Map of the Best Things to Do in Guadalajara

Here is the map highlighting the must-see places in Guadalajara, as featured in my detailed article:

Where to Stay in Guadalajara

When choosing where to stay, consider your itinerary and what you want to see:

  • Staying in the city center is convenient for visiting Guadalajara historical sites.
  • For a more modern experience, Zapopan can be a good choice.
  • If you’re interested in a vibrant area with a mix of historic charm and contemporary lifestyle, consider staying in Colonia Americana

Each area offers a different perspective of Guadalajara, so pick one that aligns best with your travel plans and interests!

Here are my personal recommendations for the best hotels in Guadalajara:

  • Hostal Hospedarte Centro: A cozy and colorful hostel in the heart of Guadalajara, close to the Cathedral and Plaza de Armas. Dorm or private room with shared bathroom, from 34 $usd per night, breakfast included. Highlights: free walking tours of the city, friendly staff, lively common areas – this is my choice for a cheap and fun stay in Guadalajara!
  • Hotel Dalí Plaza Ejecutivo: A modern and comfortable hotel 320 ft meters from the Teatro Degollado and the Plaza de la Liberación. Room with private bathroom and cable TV, from 44 $usd per night. Highlights: central location, rooftop terrace, free parking.
  • Hotel de Mendoza: A historic and elegant hotel next to the Teatro Degollado and the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres. Spacious room with balcony and panoramic view of the city, from $67 usd. Highlights: outdoor pool, gym, colonial charm, restaurant.
  • Casa HabitaA restored 1940s mansion in the Colonia Americana neighborhood, 3 km from the historic center. Very elegant and comfortable room with terrace and pool view, from 150 $usd per night, breakfast included. Highlights: the outdoor pool, the bar, the retro atmosphere.
  • Boutique Hotel Villa Ganz: A renovated mansion in the Colonia Americana district, 3 km from the historic center. Cozy and elegant room with fireplace and garden view, from 200 $usd per night. Highlights: the personalized service, the gourmet restaurant, the beautiful decoration, it’s my favorite hotel in Guadalajara for a romantic stay!

How Many Days to Visit Guadalajara

To fully experience the charm of Guadalajara, I recommend spending at least 3 to 4 days. This will give you enough time to explore the city’s main attractions, enjoy the local cuisine, and maybe even take a day trip or two to the surrounding areas.

Day 1: Historic Center of Guadalajara

  • Explore the historic center of Guadalajara and the markets (ex: San Juan Libertad)
  • You can join a guided tour (click here!) to cover all significant landmarks and markets
My Advice
Check out my guide for the best one-day itinerary in Guadalajara!

Day 2: Tlaquepaque and Colonia Americana

  • Morning: Visit Tlaquepaque, famous for its artisanal crafts and cultural atmosphere. – Book the Tlaquepaque tour here!
  • Afternoon: Walk through Colonia Americana, known for its architecture and vibrant streets.

Day 3: Zapopan and Bosque Los Colomos

  • Morning: explore the historic center of Zapopan 
  • In the evening, visit Bosque Colomos, conveniently located nearby, for a relaxing end to the day

My Advice
Explore the Ultimate Guide to the Perfect 3-Day Itinerary in Guadalajara!

Day 4: Tequila

Day 5: Lake Chapala

  • Explore Lake Chapala, experiencing both the towns of Chapala and Ajijic, known for their scenic beauty
  • Consider taking a guided tour (click here!) for convenient transportation and insightful local knowledge.

How to Get Around in Guadalajara

By Public Transport

The city has an accessible public transportation system that uses the same rechargeable card for 30 pesos (ticket price 9.50 pesos). This card gives you access to:

  • Mi Macro (rapid bus) with 42 stations
  • Mi Tren or Light Rail (electric train) with 56 stations
  • The Trolleybus, which is an electric bus

You can top up the card at an Oxxo store, or on your Mi Movilidad app (iPhoneAndroid)

My Advice
I suggest using the Moovit app to help you travel by public transport in Guadalajara.

It provides routes and schedules for buses, trains, and subways, making planning and completing your trips easier.

autobus guadalajara
Public Transport in Guadalajara

By Bike

There are about 360 bike stations throughout the city.

The service is available every day of the year, from 5:00 AM to 12:59 AM, for trips under 30 minutes.

  • To use them, download the “Mi Bici” app (iPhoneAndroid): 1 day for 105 pesos, 3 days for 209 pesos, 7 days for 367 pesos
bike guadalajara
Bike station in Guadalara

What Should You Eat and Drink in Guadalajara?

When in Guadalajara, you are in for a culinary treat that’s as rich in flavors as it is in history.

A must-try is the iconic Torta Ahogada, a spicy pork sandwich submerged in a tangy tomato sauce, embodying the bold tastes of the region.

Don’t miss out on tasting Birria, a savory stew traditionally made with goat or beef, seasoned with a blend of spices and served with corn tortillas.

Another local favorite is Carne en su Jugo: This dish features a stew of chopped beef, slow-cooked in its own juices, accompanied by pot beans and crispy bacon pieces, and is garnished with fresh chopped onions and cilantro.

For something sweet, indulge in Jericalla, a dessert similar to flan, with a burnt top and a deliciously creamy texture.

And of course, your gastronomic journey isn’t complete without sipping some locally produced Tequila or trying the artisanal beers that reflect Guadalajara’s burgeoning craft beer scene.

When is the Best Time to Visit Guadalajara

Coming from Canada, where we experience extreme weather, I find that Guadalajara has nice weather most of the time.

But it’s good to keep in mind that during the summer, from May to October, it can get really hot and rainy!

If your plan is to explore the city on foot and discover all its attractions, the best time to visit Guadalajara is between January and April.

During these months, the weather is cooler (but not cold at all), and there’s hardly any rain, plus it’s still sunny. This makes it perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing!

And if you like cultural events and music, Guadalajara has many big festivals during the year that are worth checking out:

  1. Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) (November/December): One of the largest book fairs globally, attracting publishers, authors, and book lovers from all over the world.
  2. International Film Festival in Guadalajara (FICG) (March): A major film festival showcasing a wide range of films, with a focus on Mexican and Ibero-American cinema.
  3. Guadalajara International Mariachi Festival (August/September): Celebrates Mariachi music with performances by top Mariachi bands, workshops, exhibitions, and a grand parade.
  4. Fiestas de Octubre (October): A month-long festival featuring music, dance, food, and art, celebrating Mexican traditions.
  5. GDLuz Festival (February): Transforms the city with light installations, projections, and performances, celebrating Guadalajara’s founding anniversary.
  6. Guadalajara Jazz Festival (Dates Vary): A gathering for jazz enthusiasts with performances by local and international artists.
  7. Festival Cultural de Mayo (May): An annual festival showcasing a mix of music, dance, theatre, and visual arts, often featuring a guest country.

How to Get to Guadalajara

Guadalajara is easily accessible by plane, bus, or car. Here’s a detailed look at how:

By car

Traveling to Guadalajara by car can be a convenient option, especially if you’re coming from nearby cities or enjoy road trips. The city is well-connected by a network of highways, making it accessible from various parts of Mexico.

  • If you’re driving from Mexico City, you’ll take the Mexico 15D highway, a journey of approximately 5 to 6 hours covering around 550 kilometers.
  • From Puerto Vallarta, it’s about a 4 to 5-hour drive via Federal Highway 70 and 80, offering scenic views

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Guadalajara and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Rentalcars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

Key Tips for Getting to and Navigating Guadalajara by Car
  • Driving on Mexico’s toll roads is generally safer (and faster) than using the free roads.
  • To plan your trip and budget effectively, consider using the ‘Traza tu Ruta‘ tool, which helps calculate the toll fees for your journey.
  • Keep an eye on the traffic, especially during peak hours, as Guadalajara’s bustling urban activity can lead to congestion.
  • The Waze app is the best tool to check real-time road situations and traffic updates.
  • Upon reaching Guadalajara, you’ll find ample parking spaces, both on-street and in secure parking lots. If you’re in the center of Guadalajara, I recommend using the underground parking lot located right across from Teatro Degollado.
  • Please note that if you park on the street, you may have to pay. In this case, it’s best to download the Parkimovil application (IphoneAndroid) onto your smartphone.

guadalajara parking app

By plane

The Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport is the third busiest airport in Mexico, after Mexico City and Cancun airports.

It acts as a major connection hub for flights to the United States, offering a wide range of destinations.

Additionally, the airport provides flights to several cities in Mexico (ex: Mexico City 1h30, Cancun 2h45, Tijuana 3h, Puerto Vallarta 1h) along with routes to South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

For the best deals on flights to Guadalajara and within Mexico, make sure to use our flight comparison tool, developed in partnership with Skyscanner. It will help you find the cheapest prices!

Getting from the airport to your hotel

Once you arrive at the airport, here are the different ways you can reach your hotel in Guadalajara:

1. Taxi 

Inside the airport terminals, you can book and pay for a taxi at the designated taxi counters. Once outside, use your taxi ticket to board one.

Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 have their own taxi ranks, and these airport-approved taxis are known for being very safe and reliable.

It should cost around 250-300 pesos to the center.

2. Uber

Alternatively, you can opt for an Uber, which is usually a bit more affordable, typically costing around 220-250 pesos to the center. However, keep in mind that with Uber’s dynamic pricing, the cost will vary depending on traffic conditions and the time you book your ride.

For safety, always ensure the car’s make, model, color, and license plate match the details provided in your Uber app.

The best spot to catch an Uber is near the crosswalk in the arrival zone of Terminal 2.

3. Book an Airport Transfer

Finding a taxi at the airport can be a challenge, especially at Guadalajara’s busy airport where sometimes many flights land at once, causing longer waits for a taxi.

You can make your trip easier by arranging a simple and comfortable ride from Guadalajara Airport to the city area.

Your driver will be waiting for you right outside the airport doors, holding a sign to help you easily locate them.

Book your transfer here:

4. Public Transportation

The bus stop at Guadalajara Airport is just a 4-minute walk away from Terminal 1, located between the UPS Customer Center and FedEx (at your right when exiting the terminal).

Buses by Chapala Plus (Urviabus) run from here to Guadalajara’s city center.

The journey to Central Vieja bus station takes about 45 minutes and costs 10.00 MXN, payable to the driver. From Central Vieja, it’s a 20-minute walk to Guadalajara’s historic center.

Note that Guadalajara has two main bus stations: Central Vieja for local buses and Nueva Central de Autobuses for longer routes.

By Bus

From Mexico City

Traveling from Mexico City to Guadalajara by bus takes approximately 7 to 10 hours with ETN Turistar, Futura, Primera Plus, Autobuses Elite, etc.

When purchasing your ticket online, double-check the departure (Central de Autobuses del Norte, TAPO or Central Autobuses del Sur in Mexico City) and arrival stations (Terminal de Buses Zapopan or Nueva Central Camionera in Guadalajara), as they are significantly distanced from each other.

The good news is that there are many departures every day, both during the day and at night, offering flexibility for your travel schedule!

From Puerto Vallarta

Departing from Central de Autobuses de Puerto Vallarta, the bus ride to Guadalajara takes only about 4 to 4h30 (Pacifico, Futura, Vallarta Plus, ETN, Primera Plus) arriving at either Zapopan or Nueva Central Camionera de Guadalajara.

However, be mindful that some buses might take longer, up to 6 hours!

bus puerto vallarta
Autobuses Pacífico

Best Tips to Visit Guadalajara

Visiting Guadalajara, with its rich culture and vibrant city life, can be an exciting experience. Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your trip:

  • Planning and Navigating Guadalajara: Given its size, it’s wise to plan your Guadalajara itinerary by area to maximize sightseeing and minimize travel. The city center is easily walkable, but for attractions further out, consider using a car, public transport, or taxis/Uber.
  • Accommodation Choices: Guadalajara is quite spread out, so picking the right place to stay is key. The city center is great for historic sites, Zapopan offers a modern feel, and Colonia Americana is perfect for its trendy vibe and arts scene. Each area offers a unique experience!
  • Public Transportation: Guadalajara has an efficient public transportation system, including buses and a metro system, which is a cost-effective way to get around. Familiarize yourself with the routes relevant to your itinerary.
  • Tourist City Pass: To make the most of your Guadalajara trip, consider purchasing the city pass for access to various attractions. This can be a cost-effective way to explore and enjoy what the city has to offer.
  • Stay Hydrated and Protected: The climate can be warm, so carry water with you, especially if you’re walking around a lot. Also, use sunscreen, as the sun can be quite strong, even on cooler days.
  • Explore Local Cuisine: Guadalajara is known for its delicious cuisine. Don’t miss trying local dishes like birria, tortas ahogadas, and tequila from nearby regions.
  • Be Mindful of Safety: Like in any major city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Keep your valuables secure and stay in well-populated and well-lit areas, especially at night.
  • Learn Basic Spanish Phrases: While you’ll find English speakers in tourist areas, knowing some basic Spanish can enhance your experience, especially in local markets and smaller establishments.
  • Check for Events and Festivals: Guadalajara hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Check the local calendar to see if you can align your visit with any of these events.

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I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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