”Traveling” within my own city isn’t easy at all, although showing the positive side to the travelers is my every day reality.
In this city where I grew up the challenge is the culture and the people who doesn’t support traveling as a way of living, what I do the most after I came back from Canada basically is hosting people in Couch surfing, connecting with other culture in my own city is my own way to travel without leaving the city, but at the same time the challenge is to educate people around me about this life style, of course I get judged and criticized but some of them at the end help me with the travelers and show the best face of the city they can; people’s willing.
This city with 1,301 millions of humans walking around and living their lives is almost 127 years old, not well organized, and government and citizens don’t help much in taking care of her, social status differences are well marked and neighborhoods are also separated, (a few Rich areas and the rest of the city) . Places and prices to hang out are different as well, this way you as a traveler can get to know different faces of the city depending on who you get to know in here.
Exploring the famous Manu’s muse.
Because is a small city if we talk about things you can actually do and places you can visit it is easier for me to make the tours for the travelers and move around, Most of the city is just residential areas, and almost all the things to see are concentrated in a specific place….
”El Centro de Tijuana” retains its original structure with modern details. Really close to the San Ysidro/ San Diego CA border, the main street ”Avenida Revolucion” it the classic spot for the tourist and travelers, with 11 streets there are a lot of things to see such as bars, restaurants, coffee shops, curious shops for the souvenirs, breweries, important places, museums. Just this tour takes a day if you go and visit almost everything, something that I really like about my city is that people my age are opening new restaurants with new ideas and are changing the vibe of the avenue, they are creating studios, galleries doing events, having more vegan and vegetarian, organic projects, which i thing is awesome for the city, because now people have options to try DIFFERENT things, something people is really afraid of.
Street by street you will see a total different concept, the best street at night to have party for example is the 6th street best known as ”la sexta” this is full of bars, pubs and clubs all with different music, different styles and different prices, you can explore them all with locals and have a really good time. Bars as Dandy del sur, Tropics, Porkys place, Chips, Shots, Zebras-Ladrillera are a few of the good bars in la sexta, but you can also find some good ones in Avenida revolucion for example Nelson’s bar in the 1st Street, Tilly’s in the 7th St and so on… Revolution Avenue and its streets won’t let you down. from underground to fancy we have it all.
The neighborhood and the beach.
Tijuana has a beautiful cold beach, placed in ”the corner of latin america” or ”where our country begging” this spot is one of the places You must visit ! this border was made out of wood in past but now is a metal wall where people write names of their relatives who crossed ”to the other side” to have a better life, some of them are dead, but you can also find love/peace messages and murals, there is a pier you can walk by the beach with amazing coffee shops and restaurants where you can feel a different vibe from the rest of the city, this because playas is a different culture in Tj if we talk about how clean it is, the amount of north american people they have living there, pets culture just to mention some of them.. with a view of Coronado Island, border patrols and helicopters all above us nobody can cross even if it looks easy. Playas is a nice spot to chill and relax by the beach, to run in the mornings and try some sea food, during the weekend there is live music on stage with a local rock band good to have a nice afternoon with the family and pets and dance if you feel like it
There is a mini mountain where the best view of the entire city is: ”el cerro colorado” it takes between 30 to 40 minutes to climb it but at the end it will worth it cause the view is 360 up there, you will find out how small Tj is compared to cities as D.F (Mexico city). I took some of my surfers here and they were happy at the end, the best part is that It counts as exercise ! totally worth it.
ZONA RIO-PLAZA DEL ZAPATO-ZONA CULTURAL.
Zona Rio area has cultural things to see, famous monuments on its roundabouts, CECUT (cultural theater, museum, Imax screen, and conferences rooms) and some of the most famous malls in the city ass well as some fancy night clubs, restaurants and hospitals.
Plaza del zapato is a place where you can find very good Vietnam food, and some other local restaurants with their own menus, as well as a lot of breweries with really good local beer, here the variety of styles for bars are as complete as in 6th street.
Just to mention some of the BARS you can find:
Mods bar which speciality is ”leche de pantera” hard to explain but delicious. This places offer its services as bar and venue for concerts.
Depa: with a ladies thursday where girls drink for free.
Tigre: that offers good food and beer.
AND SOME BREWERIES
all craft beers
Fauna, Madueño, El local, Ramuri, Insurgente
El tigre, Depa, Paralelo 28, border psycho
3b, Agua mala, and Mamut (the last one is also available in the 3rd st in down town)
THE LUNGS OF MY CITY
We have two beautiful parks where families get together for picnics and chill on weekends.
PARQUE DE LA AMISTAD
Located in the Otay area (Tijuana) and close to the Otay Ranch border this park is host of a lot of ducks who people loves to feed, specially kids, there is also a lake where people can use boats to have fun.
This park is located in Insurgentes area, is not close to any border but is easy to get there from down town with public transport, it has a mini zoo inside, a water park as well and lots of threes and activities such as painting, racing go karts and pavilions for parties
This city besides all the struggle its people lived in the past years still fighting to show how hard we are willing work for our lives to be better.
In my personal experience everybody I’ve hosted from different countries has said ”I was told bad things about Tijuana, I’m glad I came here, I’m happy I didn’t listen, Te quiero Tijuana (love you tj) ” that is the best part, that’s when I knew I was doing something Right, so I’ll keep doing it, and I hope to see you here to travel my city with you.
All pictures in this article were taken recently or in the past few years during my tours with friends and surfers.