Guadalajara is a must-see on your visit to Mexico; Here is why!
Guadalajara is the second-largest city in Mexico with 4 million inhabitants and shows a great mix of colonialism roots and remarkable modernity.
As reported by Visit Guadalajara the city reach prosperity in 1560 when it became the capital of the Nueva Galicia province.
These days, the city has so much to offer. Art and culture flourish on every side of the city, with multiple events and manifestations organized periodically. Furthermore, the city presents itself as one of the most important commercial centers in Mexico, especially concerning the textile sector; all this in a mild climate surrounded by hills but only 4 hours from the coast.
1- The Story.
Guadalajara was founded on 14 February 1542 by Cristóbal de Oñate, and flourished with the advent of the industrial revolution in the late 19th century. The city continued is growth throughout the 20th century till becoming one of the major financial and industrial center in LATAM. The state of Jalisco is the creator land of some of the main components of Mexican culture including the Mariachi, Tequila and Birria.
Located 4 hours from the Pacific Coast of Mexico on the northwest side of the country, Guadalajara has a crucial position on the map.
Surrounded by hills, the main city of the Jalisco region offers a warm climate all the year, alternated just by the rainy season during the summer period.
3- The City.
Guadalajara has a beautiful historic centre with lots of ancient monuments and buildings.
Here are some iconic places worth visiting in the city:
- Guadalajara Cathedral. It is one of the main temples of the Catholic Church in Mexico and one of the most representative buildings in the city.
- Mercado Libertad – San Juan de Dios. Located in the downtown area of the city, it is the largest covered market in Latin America.
- Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan. Its a Franciscan sanctuary located in the heart of Zapopan. The square around it is beautiful and it is worth going to discover the area also just for a walk.
- Museo de Arte De Zapopan. If you are an art lover I recommend that you check which exhibits will be offered in this nice museum.
- Barranca de Oblatos. The Huentitán Ravine; also called “Barranca de Oblatos”, it is a canyon and a protected natural area located just 30min by car from the Providencia area.
- Plaza de la liberación. Located just crossing with Plaza de las Armas, Plaza Guadalajara and the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres. All this part of the historic center is worth a visit.
- Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento. Stunning neo-Gothic style church located in the center of the city.
- The Government Palace. Historical place located in Avenida Ramón Corona.
Despite the historical surroundings in the city centre, if you prefer a more vibrant and cool atmosphere, the recommendation is to visit the neighborhoods of Americana and Providencia.
The first one is the focus of the nightlife. There you can find amazing restaurants, clubs and bars.
The second one is the financial centre of the city. It’s also a good residential area with many malls, shops and restaurants located there.
Guadalajara offers non-stop activities and events. The city is home to, among other things, the film festival, Corona Capital, the Pride and the book fair. There are numerous events that every month take place in this electrifying city. You can consult them weekly on this site.
5- Some of my favorite restaurants in the city are:
- Allium. Located in barrio Americana offers awesome fish dishes.
- Hablamos de Asado. For meet lovers, here is a great Uruguayan restaurant.
- Avocalia. Best choice for healthy food.
- Trattoria Ragazzi. Great Italian restaurant located in Americana, 2 min walking from Av. Chapultepec.
6- Here is the list of my most loved cafés:
- The House Cafe. Place surrounded by greenery. Fantastic for taking a break or working on the pc.
- Karmele. Tasty food and coffee and amazing vibe in this new-born caffetteria near Chapultepec.
- Cafe Chai Vallarta. Nice place that offers a huge variety of tea.
- El Terible Juan. A famous coffee chain located in different parts of the city.
7- See here some top clubs and events in Guadalajara:
- Bar America. The most famous club in the city. It hosts international artists of different electronic genres.
- The Conscious Club Mx is a great collective that organizes events throughout the city. Dates and locations are variable, you can consult them on their Social Pages.
- Lazy Sundays. A well-known party that regularly takes place in the city. Follow the page to find out when and where the next one will take place.
- Cosmos. A new high-level musical project involving different clubs and bars in the city.
- Re-Booth. A Music collective with an excellent musical taste that always offers unmissable night experiences.
8- Some recommended Bars include:
- Pimp. Nice vibe, good music and great cocktails in this music bar located in Americana.
- Plutarco. A cellar that organizes live events of different musical genres, from rock to house.
- Jamaica Go Go. Bar-Club in the open air, a nice place to spend early evening or less invasive nights compared to a disco.
9- As mentioned, what makes Guadalajara an incredible spot, is its location; therefore, here are some trips we suggest you do:
- Visit Tequila. If you are staying in Guadalajara for a few days, be sure to not miss the occasion to visit Tequila. The village was elected as “Pueblo Magico”, and when you see it for the first time, you can understand why.
- Visit the desert Wirikuta and the Pueblo Magico Real de 14. A more unique than rare experience. Find out about tours and tourist guides to visit this fascinating place.
- Visit Chapalita. Beautiful town in the municipality of Guadalajara that covers an area close to 80 hectares. Check here what to see in Chapalita.
- Visit the Pueblo Magico of Ajijic. Just 1 hr from Guadalajara this charming pueblo overlooking the Chapala lake is a highly recommended destination for a day of walking and tranquility.
- Visit Puerto Vallarta and the Pacific coast. Located 4 hours from Guadalajara, is its main coastal destination.
My time in Guadalajara has been incredible! I stayed in this beautiful city for four months, and I enjoyed every moment. I was living in the Americana neighbourhood. Pretty much every weekend there was something going on. An event, a fair or a festival…we had never get bored!
If you intend to travel to Mexico for several months, my advice is to take some time to dedicate to this side of the country because it is really worth it!
Have you already visited some of these places? Write us about your experience!