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Guadalajara Travel Guide


Guadalajara, the capital city of Jalisco state in Mexico, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis with a rich history, colorful architecture, and an unparalleled cultural scene. Known as the birthplace of mariachi music and tequila, Guadalajara is a destination that should be on every traveler's bucket list.

Here is all you need to know to plan your visit to Guadalajara:

Getting There

Guadalajara is easily accessible by air, road, and rail. The Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport, located about 16 km south of the city, is the main point of entry for visitors arriving by air. The airport is well-connected with major cities in the United States, Canada, and other parts of Mexico.

If you're traveling from other parts of Mexico, you can take a bus or drive to Guadalajara. The city is well-connected to other major cities in Mexico, and the bus network is extensive and affordable.

Getting Around

The best way to explore Guadalajara is on foot or by public transportation. The city has an extensive bus network, with buses running frequently throughout the city. You can purchase a rechargeable card called "Tarjeta de Prepago" that you can use to pay for your bus rides. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber and Didi are also available, but they can be more expensive than buses.

Things to Do

Guadalajara has plenty of attractions to keep you busy for days. Here are some of the top things to do in the city:

  1. Explore the Historic Center: The heart of Guadalajara is its historic center, which is home to beautiful colonial-era buildings, museums, and plazas. The Plaza de Armas, the Teatro Degollado, and the Cathedral of Guadalajara are some of the must-visit landmarks in the area.

  2. Visit the Museums: Guadalajara has several museums that showcase the city's history and culture. The Regional Museum of Guadalajara, the Museum of the Arts, and the Trompo Mágico Children's Museum are just a few of the popular museums in the city.

  3. Enjoy the Music: Guadalajara is the birthplace of mariachi music, and you can experience it firsthand by attending a live performance at one of the many mariachi venues in the city. The Plaza de los Mariachis is a great place to start.

  4. Taste the Tequila: No visit to Guadalajara is complete without sampling some tequila. You can take a tour of a distillery or visit one of the city's many tequila bars to try different varieties of this iconic drink.

  5. Experience the Nightlife: Guadalajara has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. The Chapultepec neighborhood is known for its nightlife, but you can find great options throughout the city.

Where to Stay

Guadalajara has a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some of the popular areas to stay in the city:

  1. Historic Center: Staying in the historic center puts you in the heart of the action and gives you easy access to many of the city's top attractions.

  2. Zona Rosa: The Zona Rosa is a lively neighborhood with plenty of bars, restaurants, and nightlife options. It's a popular choice for younger travelers.

  3. Tlaquepaque: This charming neighborhood on the outskirts of the city is known for its colonial architecture, artisan markets, and street performers. It's a great option if you're looking for a more relaxed and bohemian vibe.

Where to Eat

Guadalajara is a food lover's paradise, with a diverse culinary scene that combines traditional Mexican dishes with modern twists. Here are some of the top places to eat in the city:

  1. La Tequila Cocina Mexicana: This upscale restaurant in the historic center serves creative takes on traditional Mexican dishes, along with an extensive selection of tequila and mezcal.

  2. Birrieria Las 9 Esquinas: This no-frills eatery in the Tlaquepaque neighborhood is famous for its birria, a spicy stew made with goat meat.

  3. Hueso: This trendy restaurant in the Lafayette neighborhood is known for its inventive dishes, which are served on a unique backdrop of animal bones and skeletons.

  4. El Parián: This lively restaurant in the Plaza de los Mariachis is a popular spot for trying traditional Mexican dishes like pozole and menudo, while enjoying live mariachi performances.

  5. Mercado San Juan de Dios: This massive indoor market is a foodie's paradise, with countless food stalls selling everything from tacos and ceviche to fresh juices and ice cream.


As with any travel destination, it's important to take precautions to ensure your safety while visiting Guadalajara. The city has a relatively low crime rate compared to other major cities in Mexico, but it's still a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take common-sense precautions.

Some tips for staying safe in Guadalajara include:

  1. Avoid traveling alone at night, especially in isolated areas.

  2. Keep your valuables, including your passport and cash, in a secure location.

  3. Be cautious when using ATMs, especially at night.

  4. Use licensed taxis or ride-hailing services, and avoid getting into unmarked or unofficial taxis.

  5. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, it's better to be safe than sorry.


Guadalajara is a fascinating destination that offers something for everyone, whether you're interested in history, culture, food, or nightlife. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your visit to Guadalajara is a safe and enjoyable experience that you'll remember for years to come.

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