Guadalajara city guide

10 places you need to visit in Mexico
10 places you must visit in Mexico
Change of plans
Change of plans
Show all

Guadalajara city guide

Guadalajara city guide Mexico

Guadalajara is famous for mariachi, tequila and drugs (thanks to the series Narcos). It is the second largest city in Mexico. Common term 'Guadalajara' is actually five cities: Guadalajara, Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá and Tlajomulco. Over 8 million people live there in total. I've been here for 2 months. Here is my subjective Guadalajara city guide.

Places you must visit in Guadalajara:

Guadalajara Center, Mexico

Guadalajara center

The center of Guadalajara is similar to beautiful European cities. Visit richly decorated churches and the Teatro Degolla

Mercado Libertad - San Juan de Dios, Guadalajara, Mexico

San Juan de Dios

Mercado Libertad - San Juan de Dios is the largest of Latin American trade fairs. You can buy fruit, souvenirs, fake bags, and electronic equipment here. The market is located in the city center.

Watch out for thiefs!

ZApopan Centrum, Jalisco, Mexico carousel

Zapopan center

Zapopan Center is my favorite place in the whole 'Guadalajara'. You can feel the atmosphere of a small Mexican town here. Visit the church - Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan and Museo de Arte De Zapopan (free of charge), eat baked corn or churros.

Bosque Colomos, Zapopan, Guadalajara, Mexico - Japanese garden

Bosque los Colomos

Bosque los Colomos is a great, urban forest popular among health-conscious athletes. Visit the Japanese garden (shown in the picture) and meet hundreds of gray squirrels.

Mariachi, Guadalajara, Meksyk, Mexico


Come to El Parian de Tlaquepaque over the weekend and listen to real mariachi.

Mercado de Abastos, Guadalajara, Mexico, Meksyk

Mercado de Abastos

Mercado de Abastos is a huge market where you can buy cheap fruit, vegetables, all kinds of spices, nuts and seeds. See giant trucks, check if oranges are falling from the sky ...

Day trips from Guadalajara:

Chapala, lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Lake Chapala

Only in an hour you will get from Guadalajara to the towns of Chapala and Ajijic lying next to great Lake Chapala. The towns are charming. Be sure to take a walk around the malecon (promenade by the water) and see the show of traditional sky dancers - voladores de pepitlan - in Chapala.

Tequila, Jalisco, Meksyk, Mexico


An hour by car or bus from Guadalajara separates you from the town where tequila comes from. Ride a barrel-shaped bus, visit the tequila factory and see the agave fields (from which this liquor is made). In Gudalajara, you can also buy a trip to Tequila - you will travel by José Cuervo Express train and while you are traveling you will taste tequila and admire the view of the mountains outside the window.

If you are not afraid of challenges you should see a 32 meter waterfall, go to Cascada Los Azules Tequila.

Note: the descent is really steep, you'll have to use your hands and the access road is nothing but potholes!

Rio Caliente in Bosque de la Primavera, Jalisco, Mexico

Rio Caliente

On the way back from Tequila to Guadalajara, turn to Bosque de la Primavera, where you will find a river with hot thermal water. If you are lucky, maybe you'll also meet a shaman?

Transport in Guadalajara:

Most residents of Guadalajara think that cycling or driving scooter is very dangerous in Mexico. If you don't want to spend too much money, download these 2 apps to your phone:

  • Moovit - lets you know the bus routes. It does not work offline, but you can check the route before traveling and use GPS without access to the Internet. Don't believe the timetables. The routes are correct. The one-way ticket costs 7-10 pesos. You get in through the front door and pay the driver or vending machine (you collect the ticket from the driver anyway). Unfortunately, you can catch the last buses around 9:30 p.m. That's why you will need another app later in the evening.
  • Uber cheap car journeys. You need internet access again. I recommend Pool journeys (you share the cost of the journey with other passengers unknown to you).

Entertainment in guadalajara

Everyone will find something for themselves in Guadalajara. You can choose from hundreds of bars, pubs, many theaters, cinemas, concerts. I recommend going to the center of Zapopan in the evening - feel the local atmosphere, eat good street food and, depending on the season, go ice skating or play Mexican stall games. If you like to dance, be sure to check out Salon Veracruz on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. there are salsa and cumbii lessons with a constant change of partners. There are lots of very good dancers here. You will feel like at the best dance party in your life. The cost is only 80 pesos per person.

Where to eat in Guadalajara:

Mexico is a paradise for street food lovers. Even vegans can eat baked corn on the street, baked sweet potatoes or pumpkin in a sweet sauce, buy fresh fruit already cut into cubes. If you are looking for a good and cheap restaurant, I recommend:

  • La Flaca – wegańska restauracja z daniami meksykańskimi, baaardzo smaczne jedzenie i w dobrej cenie – 1 taco to koszt 20-25 pesos, lód na patyku np. o smaku brownie – 38 pesos. To moja ulubiona restauracja w całym Meksyku 😉
  • El Jardin - vegetarian buffet (with many vegan options) - you can eat to your heart's content for only 100 pesos. The price also includes drinks and desserts.

Did you know that Guadalajara is a Mexican silicon valley?

Guadalajara is an interesting place. Each of its five cities is different. Despite many fears of my friends and family, I feel completely safe here. Did my Guadalajara city guide convince you to visit this city? Or maybe you have other impressions from this place? Feel free to share them in the comments below :).

You may also be interested in my other posts:

Maria Inspires
Maria Inspires
My name is Maria Durczyk. I love traveling, illustrating, people. I travel to near and distant countries and towards health and inner peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Pola, których wypełnienie jest wymagane, są oznaczone symbolem *