The best local travel guide for Guadalajara Mexico.
August 31, 2018
by Daniela Quintana
Guadalajara is the third biggest city in Mexico and is no wonder every Mexican wants to move to this city. It has so many beautiful places, amazingly delicious food, many great Mariachis, a lot of job opportunities and oh gosh don’t even get me started on the exquisite Tequila and Mezcal. It’s very simple to move around the city and even though it doesn’t have an excellent metro system it is always easy to access a bus or a cab that can take you to whatever is the place you want to go, but I’ll get into all the details further on.
Main attractions in downtown
The centro of Guadalajara like every other centro in any city or town in Mexico, is a very traditional place where people will always find many churches and historic buildings to visit. What I love the most about every centro in Mexico is that every historic place that you will want to see is around the same square mile so you can easily just walk around and get to everyplace you want to go, that saves you a lot of time.
You should start in the cathedral of Guadalajara, (location: Av Alcalde 10, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara) take some time to go inside and admire the majestic sculptures and architecture it has. In front of the cathedral you will find Plaza Guadalajara surrounded by historic buildings that are now government offices. At the right hand side of the cathedral (if you are standing outside of it and are looking at the Plaza Guadalajara) you will see the Rotonda de los Jalisciences Ilustres an emblematic monument, and to the left side of the cathedral you will find Plaza de Armas. Behind the cathedral we have Plaza de la Liberacion and the incredible Teatro Degollado (this one is a must).
Around this main places I’ve just mentioned you will see several museums and government offices. Keep walking towards the back of the Teatro Degollado and you will see Plaza Fundadores, then Plaza Tapatia and at the end the wonderful Hospicio Cabañas, a neoclassic building that used to be the home of many orphans back in the1800’s.
Eleven blocks from the cathedral you will find yourself with the Templo Expiatorio (location: Calle Manuel López Cotilla 935, Centro, Americana, 44100 Guadalajara) a historic church with Italian mosaics, a clock tower and stained glass.
If you can visit all this buildings both during the day and at night time you’ll have fully lived the Guadalajara historic experience because at night they all light up and it’s just such a lovely view you can’t miss.
Most delicious food to try out
Food, the best existing thing ever! It’s not because I’m Mexican, but out of all the food I have ever tried Mexican is by far my favourite. All the flavours, the colours, the mixtures, the textures it’s just complete food porn. Guadalajara and the state of Jalisco in general have many tasty dishes but this are just the main ones you have to try when you visit:
Of course you cant come to Mexico and not eat tacos, the main tacos in Guadalajara are Barbacoa, you won’t find any other place in Mexico that sell this kind of taco, and this are the best ones:
- Tacos de barbacoa Omar Carlos
- Tacos de barbacoa El Ranchero
- Tacos Arturo: Calle de Morelos 957, Centro, 44100 Guadalajara
- Tacos Juan: Calle José Clemente Orozco, Santa Teresita, 44600 Guadalajara,
You will not, and I repeat, will not find a torta ahogada as delicious as the ones in Guadalajara, most cities don’t even sell them because the bread that they are made from is just made in Jalisco so it’s very difficult to get this bread anywhere else. Being the main dish in Guadalajara you will see a lot of places that sell this but not all of them are really good, so this are the places you can go to that will leave you fascinated:
- Tortas Toño: There are several places so its more efficient to look them up in Google maps.
- Tortas don Jose: Mexicaltzingo 27, 44180 Guadalajara,
- Tortas El Principe Heredero: 286 Manzano, Guadalajara (Behind Sears)
3-Carne en su jugo:
It’s a delicious kind of meat soup, you just have to try it and you will know what I’m talking about.
- Carnes en su jugo de la Torre: My favourite carne en su jugo, you will not regret it. Av. N. Copérnico 3675, Arboledas, 45070 Zapopan,
- Carnes en su jugo Navarrete: Av Guadalupe 1675, Chapalita Oriente, 45040 Zapopan
- Carnes Garibaldi: These are the most common ones so there are several places which you can look up in Google Maps
- This are tacos al pastor: Tacos Tomate: Av Chapultepec Sur 361, Americana, 45681 Guadalajara,
Places you must visit around Guadalajara
Besides visiting the downtown area there are many other interesting places to visit that are not that far away from Guadalajara. The municipality of Tlaquepaque is such an enchanting colourful place that you will not want to miss it. Explore its streets and eat as much as you can, there are so many traditional snacks to try you will never run out of options. The best place to eat in Tlaquepaque is a traditional restaurant where people actually do a small Mexican performance and dance, is called El Abajeño, after a long walk go to this restaurant and enjoy its delicious food (you have to order a “casuelita”, it is a tequila beverage that will leave you speechless)
Outside of Guadalajara
Jalisco is the number one place in the world where the tequila is made so of course you can’t miss Tequila Town, and yes, that is its actual name. On your way to tequila town there is this famous place called Los Cantaritos el Guero in Amatitan where you buy this prepared tequila beverage, there is music and some really good snacks to enjoy before you arrive to Tequila. Once you are in Tequila Town and see how the tequila is made, try out every tequila they give you and enjoy all the agave fields, trust me you’ll have a very happy ending.
Best bars in Guadalajara
The main beverages we drink in Jalisco are tequila and mezcal, they are each made from a particular agave and they have their own creation process making them very different from one another but still very tasty. This are some of the places you will not want to miss if you want to try out this special drinks:
- Bar Mezcal Aguita: Calle Marsella 167, Lafayette, 44150 Guadalajara,
- Hudson Bar: Calle Miguel Lerdo de Tejada 2055, Americana, 44160 Guadalajara
- Peter Brown Bar: Calle Morelos 1454, Americana, 44160 Guadalajara
- Reyes Salon Cantina: Real de Acueducto 360, Puerta de Hierro, 45116 Zapopan
Cheap places to shop
Overall, Mexico is quite a cheap country especially if you bring dollars, euros or pounds because whatever amount you exchange will last you a lot more than what it normally does. When it comes to shopping for souvenirs or just simple items you might be interested in the Mercado San Juan de Dios is just the place to go (location: Avenida Javier Mina 52, San Juan de Dios, 44380 Guadalajara) It’s near all the places I mentioned at the beginning of the article so if you still have time the day you go to downtown definitely to a bit of shopping before heading back to your accommodation. If you continue down the street of Javier Mina you will find many other cheap shops and it’s just a matter of walking around to find whatever is that interests you because all that area is just cheap shopping.
There is just so much more to tell you about this wonderful city that paragraphs can just go on and on but I really hope you find all this info useful for your next trip to Mexico!