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Guadalajara

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For the Spanish city of the same name, see Guadalajara (Spain)
Guadalajara Cathedral

Guadalajara is the capital city of the central state of Jalisco in Mexico. It is also the second largest city in the country. It is considered a colonial city, though much of its architecture dates from the independence period. Although it has a far more relaxed feel than Mexico City the centre can still seem a bit stuffy and dusty, especially during rush hour when the sun is out. However, it is still a lovely city and contains many nice areas for walking, not just in the city centre.

Contents

Districts[edit]

  • Sector Juárez -- southwest central Guadalajara, with plenty of shops and 2 malls (Centro Magno and Galerias, encompassing the Minerva and Chapultepec commercial zones.
  • Sector Hidalgo -- northwest central Guadalajara, a largely residential area encompassing the financial district and the country club.
  • Sector Libertad -- northeast central Guadalajara, a largely industrial zone. The southwest part of the sector is pretty close to the historic downtown, there is a traditional market (Mercado San Juan de Dios) and Plaza de los mariachis where you can find the traditional mexican music.
  • Sector Reforma -- southeast central Guadalajara, also a mostly industrial zone. Parque Agua Azul, a large park with many trees, an auditorium, and a lake. On Saturday mornings there's a street market, the Tianguis Cultural, where you can buy alternative clothing and articles such as spiked belts, black trenchcoats, military uniforms, used books and trading cards for a fair price.
  • Centro Historico -- the historic downtown. Most of your time will probably be spent here. It is filled with colonial era buildings. It also boasts several important mural paintings by Jalisco-born José Clemente Orozco, one of Mexico's most important artists.
  • Zapopan -- (pronounced "Za-PO-pan") is both a large municipal region comprising much of the western edge of metropolitan Guadalajara and the small old town center of Zapopan northwest of the Minerva-Chapultepec area. Zapopan the region comrises several shopping malls (Plaza Patria, Plaza Galerias, La Gran Plaza, among others), the Mercado del Mar (Sea Market) where you can eat fish and seafood for a reasonable price, as well as downtown Zapopan where you can find many bars and cantinas. South of the downtown there are rich neighborhoods, night clubs such as White Lotus and Bossé, restaurants, three private universities (Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Tec de Monterrey and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac - UNIVA) and several shopping malls (Plaza Pabellon, Plaza del Sol). Zapopan actually is the largest municipality in the State and also has several parks (Los Colomos, Country Club) and a forest (La Primavera)
  • Tlaquepaque -- south and southeast Guadalajara, offers an old town Tlaquepaque area with a Mexican village setting. It has an important shopping district as it is a main arts and crafts center within Mexico. The old town offers many interesting restaurants, galleries, a regional ceramics museum and a "Premio Nacional de la Ceramica" (National Ceramics Awards) museum. There is a large variety of shops where you can buy local pottery and handicrafts, including indigenous huichol artesanship. "The Parian" is a square building in the heart of its downtown that houses a collection of 17 restaurant-bars and at the center has a traditional kiosk where mariachi groups and singers play for patrons. It's a great place to enjoy a cool drink on a hot day and listen to good music in a very Mexican setting. Tlaquepaque is about 30 minutes from Guadalajara's downtown and about 20 minutes from the airport. A private university, the ITESO, lies on southern Guadalajara.
  • Tonalá -- eastern Guadalajara, where you can also buy handcrafts. Besides there is a huge park, the Parque Solidaridad.

Understand[edit]

Guadalajara is divided into several districts. The main areas of interest to tourists are the Centro Historico and the Minerva - Chapultepec - Zona Rosa areas. These are located on an East-West axis centered on Av. Vallarta (named Av. Juárez in the Centro Historico) and stretch from the Plaza Tapatía/Plaza Mariachis on the East side to the Fuente Minerva/Arcos Vallarta on the West side. Outside of the downtown area are three areas also of interest to the tourist: Tlaquepaque, Tonalá - located SE of the centro and known for their handicraft shops and markets, and Zapopan - located NW of the centro and famous as a site of pilgrimage and for it's old-town charm. Conveniently the 275-diagonal bus route runs from Tlaquepaque through the centro to Zapopan, providing convenient access to all of these sites.

A rose by any other name: Tapatío / Tapatía[edit]

Some local vocabulary: a Tapatío (masc.) or Tapatía (fem.) is a resident of Guadalajara. Alonso de Molina, a colonial era Franciscan, argued that in Nahuatl the word meant "the price of something purchased." However nobody would call themselves that, and Nauhatl was never spoken in the region. Latter-day etymologies have struggled to come up with any credible account. So one might as well just take it as a fact: natives of Guadalajara call themselves Tapatío/as.

Guadalajara's History[edit]

The cofounders of Guadalajara were Doña Beatriz de Hernandez and Governor Cristobal de Oñate. In Plaza de los Fundadores there is a monument in honor of both of them.

Guadalajara and Jalisco in general were the center of the Cristero Wars (1926-1929), a rebellion by catholic guerillas against the secularizing reforms of Plutarco Calles's presidency. One of the first armed conflicts of the rebellion took place in Gudalajara in the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (August 3, 1926), where a group of several hundred cristeros engaged in a shootout with federal troops. Guadalajara itself was attacked (unsuccessfully) by the Cristero armies in March of 1929.

In the 1950s Av Juárez was widened to create the arterial axis of Juárez-Vallarta which you see today. A famous part of that work was moving the central telephone exchange without disrupting service. Pictures of this feat of engineering can be seen in the City Museum.

In April 1992, the Reforma area was rocked by a huge explosion of gasoline, when a gasoline pipe line leaked into the sewers over a period of days until the fumes finally detonated. Some 200 were killed and several thousand injured. The explosion affected mostly the working class and industrial sector on the South side of the city.

In May 1993, Cardinal Ocampo of Guadalajara was killed at the Guadalajara airport. Though at the time the murder was thought to have been some sort of politically motivated assassination, subsequent investigations favor the theory that the cardinal was caught by mistake in drug related violence, his motorcade having been mistaken for that of a drug lord. Cardinal Ocampo is buried beneath the high altar of the Guadalajara Cathedral, probably because his murder was initially fêted as political martyrdom rather than as an accident.

Contemporary Guadalajara[edit]

Guadalajara is Mexico's second largest city, and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. This growth has been driven in part by the booming electronic industry in the cities industrial outskirts. Other important and growing industries are pharmaceuticals, food processing, and fashion.

The University of Guadalajara, often referred to simply as "U de G" ("OOO day HAY") is Western Mexico's most important institution of higher learning, and Mexico's second most important after Mexico City's mammoth UNAM. The University also serves as a center of cultural activity enjoyed by residents and tourists alike, such as the Ballet Folclórico and the Cineforo Universidad.

Club Deportivo Guadalajara[edit]

Guadalajara is home to three profession soccer teams, Estudiantes, Atlas, and the biggest, Club Deportivo Guadalajara, known popularly as Chivas.

According to Fifa.com, Chivas is Mexico's most popular team. The team has won 11 first division titles and holds the longest winning streak at the beginning of the season with 8 back to back wins. Chivas is the only soccer team in Mexico to only have Mexican players while other teams have different players from different backgrounds. The team colors are red, white, and blue which mean "Fraternity, Union, and Sports". The new stadium, Estadio Omnilife, opened up on July 30, 2010, holding a capacity of 49,850.

Guadalajara Holidays[edit]

  • Founding of Guadalajara is celebrated on February 14 because it was founded on February 14, 1542.
  • Day of the Mariachi is celebrated the first week of September. A gathering of Mariachis from all over Mexico and even some parts of the world gather in Guadalajara usually at Teatro Degollado and the surrounding area to play. It is very unique and you won't witness something like this anywhere else.
  • Romería de la Virgen de Zapopan is celebrated in Guadalajara on October 12 to honor the Guadalajara area's local Virgin Mary figure, la Virgen de Zapopan. On this day over one million people parade the famous statuette from the downtown cathedral to its home in the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan. This day is only celebrated in the Guadalajara area, and is one of the largest examples of a Romería outside Spain.

Get in[edit]

  • Libertador Miguel Hidalgo International Airport (GDL) is located south of the city along the Guadalajara-Chapala Highway. Along with Mexico's main domestic carriers - AeroMexico, Volaris, Interjet and VivaAerobus - major airlines, including Alaska Airlines,American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta, United (has the largest number of flights to the US) and US Airways serve Guadalajara.

You can take a taxi from the airport to anywhere but many hotels offer airport pickups that can be cheaper. There is also a bus that stops at the bottom of Terminal 1 which goes to the Central Camionera Vieja close to the historic centre and costs $6. A taxi down to the Lake Chapala area around Ajijic or Chapala will cost about $380. At the airport always buy the taxi chit from the booth before exiting the terminal. Present the chit to the licenced driver. You may also prebook transportation from Airport to your hotel from companies available. Some are:

The new main bus station is in the suburb of Tonalá, which serves all routes further than 100km or so, generally those which leave the state of Jalisco. The old bus station just south of the centro is served by bus lines motoring to nearby pueblos like Tequila and Chapala. Be warned that bus rides can sometimes be a bit jumpy and jittery because of the state of the roads, but the buses themselves are very comfortable. A taxi from the new bus station to the Centro Historico should cost around $60, or you can get a city bus which will cost $6 unless you get a TUR bus which costs $10, just ask for 'centro'.

Get around[edit]

Morelos Street

The Centro (downtown) is mostly accessible by walking, assuming you are capable of bearing your own weight. Most attractions lie within an area of about 3/4 of a mile long by 1/4 mile wide. For longer trips or to get in and out of the Centro, use the bus, subway, or a taxi. There are also horse drawn carriages (calandria), which is more expensive and mainly for tours of the center, for those who want to travel in a previous century's style.

By bus[edit]

Dozens of bus routes provide transportation around the city. As of February 2011, regular buses cost $6; there are also luxury buses (Turquesa, Tour and Cardenal) costing $10. Look on the front window of the bus to see where it will go, and ask the driver if you're uncertain. You can also try to purchase a route map (the Guia Roja Red Vial Ciudad de Guadalajara is one option, or ask at any magazine stand or one of the tourism kiosk downtown for a book with bus routes), although as of early 2008 they are no longer being published and are therefore almost impossible to find. This means planning your route ahead, or asking the locals (provided you know some Spanish). Riding the bus also provides a good chance to see different parts of the city and get your bearings. Note that bus drivers will give you change within limits, though after even a day in GDL you might find more $10 pieces in your pocket than you can dispose of.

It can be hard to spot bus stops in Guadalajara, in theory there should be a signpost with a blue sign and a picture of bus as well as triangular markings on the road with the word 'Parada' meaning stop. However these aren't always there or the markings having been removed with time. Look around and see where there's a crowd of people waiting, sometimes there are even seats, if not, the buses might stop at the corner or in front of traffic lights. If they drive past you, keep looking at them and try to see where they stop.

If you know a bit of Spanish, try using this page [1]. It has most of the bus routes. Alternatively, this page [2] may fill in any routes the other page doesn't handle.

One particularly useful route for getting back and forth between the Centro Historico and the Zona Rosa - Minerva area is the Par Vial Route. Westbound it travels along Av Vallarta and Eastbound along Av Hidalgo. Just look up for the pair of electrical cables that it uses for power. In the Centro Historico you can catch it on Hidalgo up to the East side of the Plaza Liberación, where it makes the turn to head up to Independencia and back West.

There is also an open top double-decked tour bus (TuriBus) that leaves from the Rotunda and will take you past all the main sites in Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque and Zapopan and will also allow you to ride it all day, getting on and off as you will.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis are another option if you don't want to try to figure out the buses. You can either agree to a price with the cab driver or ask him to turn the meter on. Using the latter option, there is a risk that the driver won't the take the shortest possible route if he thinks you don't know it yourself. The meter will normally be a better price than the price the hotel will tell you to pay, if they hail. As always, be sure to ask the fare before you get in. Cabs cost more at night or when they have to cross the outer ring of the city. Day-time fares should never exceed $100 within the city and almost always the price should be even under $50. At night-time, the prices are doubled. As a rule of thumb, during the daytime the fare is about $3-4 per kilometer and at night about $8-9, but if the driver is using a meter, there's also a starting price of around $5-10.

Fares to and from the airport are set at $260. If arriving at the Guadalajara airport, a taxi monopoly provides the service from the airport. Pre-purchase your taxi ride at the booths outside of the arrival halls. You can take a normal taxi to the airport, though.

By subway[edit]

A simple subway network can be useful if you happen to want to travel along its currently limited path. There are two lines that join at the Western edge of the Centro Historico. One runs North-South beneath Avenida Federalismo to the edges of the city in both directions. The other runs East through the Centro Historico to the Eastern suburbs. Fares cost $6. The subway closes at 11pm.

A new bus service named 'Pre Tren' (Pre Train) goes from the main (Juárez) subway station through the Zona Rosa to the west Outer Ring at a 50% discounted fare for subway card users and provide a good service with new, air-conditioned, red colored units. The service is better than the smaller 'camiones' (bus) service.

See[edit][add listing]

Centro Historico Sights[edit]

Degollado Theater
  • Guadalajara Cathedral Construction started in the 1560's and took about 50 years to complete. The current towers were replaced on 1854 by architect Manuel Gomez Ibarra after an earthquake destroyed the originals in 1818. While visiting the Cathedral a must see is the mural "The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin" by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The cathedrals architecture is an eclectic mix of gothic, neoclassical and palladian architecture.
  • Plaza of the Crosses. Four Plazas shaped like a cross with the Cathedral at the center. Any of these offer a nice spot to walk through or rest in for a few minutes. Most have plenty of food vendors nearby.
  • Plaza Guadalajara west of (in front of) the cathedral has a circular fountain and an outdoor restaurant, under the fountain there is an underground comercial centre which offers all kinds of goods for sale including fruit, beverages and even jewellery.
  • Plaza de Armas south of the cathedral it offers one of the best views of the cathedral and the Palacio de Gobierno (Governor's Office). It features a French Ironwork bandstand bought by former mexican president Porfirio Diaz during 1885 and four States on the corners of the place symbolizing the Four Seasons. The bandstand serves as the performing arena for marching bands but due to it's recent use for all kinds of political (soap-box) manifestations it's guarded by the police 24/7.
  • Plaza de la Liberación east of (behind) the cathedral it features two large cup-shaped fountains and a gigantic sculpture of Miguel Hidalgo, the man who signed the Mexican Declaration of Independence in the current Palacio de Gobierno. It also serves as an atrium for the oldest surviving theatre in the city: "Teatro Degollado", and it's the usual spot for massive free concerts.
  • Rotonda de los Jalicienses Ilustres north of the cathedral it serves as a mausoleum for important men and women born in Jalisco, it's bright and busy atmosphere of the park around it contrasts with the serious aspect of the Mausoleum itself. On the southern side (across the street from the cathedral) is the bus stop for the previously mentioned TuriBus.
  • Palacio de Gobierno (Governor's Office)(east of the cathedral) This is the historical center of the government of the State of Jalisco. Today it is mostly visited for the murals painted there by José Clemente Orozco. The most famous of these is a huge portrait of Miguel Hidalgo in the vault of the old chambers of the state council.
  • Museo Regional de Guadalajara 60 Liceo St. Pleasant museum to spend a few hours in, especially on a hot day when you need some time out of the sun. It features a Mammoth skeleton found on the nearby Chapala Lake
  • Mercado Libertad, known by locals as Mercado San Juan de Dios because of the river that used to pass through the area, a very busy multi-storey enclosed market, with hundreds of vendors it is the largest in Latinamerica. The market also houses a very popular and very good food court featuring everything from seafood to local favorites like birria (goat stew) and pozole (hominy and pork stew). Great place to get souveneirs. Unfortunately it isn't the safest place in Mexico so make sure to always keep a look out for the purse snatchers.
  • Instituto Cultutal Cabañas, further east from Plaza de la Liberación, it is a cultural and art center where the fresco paintings of Jose Clemente Orozco are exhibited and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
  • Plaza de los Mariachis in a small triangular plaza in Guadalajara where you will find several mariachis band who will offer their services for a small fee. This is where the famous "Mexican Hat Dance" (Jarabe Tapatío) was born. Mariachis will serenade you while you eat at one of the small cafes or restaurants at a regular charge per song.
  • El Panteon de Belen (Belen Cemetery) is an old cemetery that dates back to 1786. It has been converted into a museum that is full of folklore and is full of interesting haunted cemetery stories. There is also a night tour that many people are afraid to take.

Sights on the West side of downtown - Minerva - Chapultepec[edit]

  • Templo Expiatorio, Madero at Diaz de Leon - A finely detailed neo-gothic cathedral built over decades starting in the late 19th century. There is a mechanical clock in the bell tower that features a procession of the 12 Apostles at 9am, 12 noon and 6 pm. The interior of the church features a fine collection stained glass windows.
  • Arcos Vallarta, Vallarta at Glorieta Minerva - A romanesque double arch which once signaled the western edge of the city. There are nice views to be had from the top and interesting murals to view on the way up.
  • Glorieta Minerva This glorieta (traffic circle) showcases a giant statue of the Roman goddess Minerva (one of the most important symbols of Guadalajara), surrounded by a fountain. It's sometimes shut down to traffic and opened to pedestrians when there's a major city celebration -- such as when the Chivas futbol team wins a major game.
  • Glorieta Chapalita, Guadalajara at Av. Las Rosas - Lovely neighborhood gathering place. On Sundays, local artists show off their creations while local residents show off dogs. Big celebrations here on national holidays.
  • Niños Héroes Monument to six teenage military cadets who died defending Mexico City's military academy from U.S. forces during the Mexican–American War.

Sights on the edge of downtown[edit]

  • Barranca de Oblatos, Northern terminus of Calz Independencia Norte. This is the forested gorge of the Río Lerma-Santiago. There are two locations with fine vistas of the gorge. At the Northern end of Calz Independencia is the Parque Mirador which not only offers vistas of the gorge, but hiking opportunities as well. Also the Guadalajara Zoo, East of Calz Independencia just past the Periférico, has wonderful vistas of gorge. You can reach both via buses #62A and #62D which run along Calz Independencia.
  • Zoológico - Guadalajara Zoo, [3]. The Guadalajara zoo is a modern zoological park worth visiting both for its collection of animals, its safari ride, and its views of the Barranca de Oblatos. Highlights include a safari ride, reptile house, nocturnal environment exhibit, a tropical forest simulated environment, and more.
  • Parque Agua Azul, East of Calz Independencia about 1.5 km South of the Centro, [4]. Open air concerts, a butterfly enclosure, an aviary and plenty of green to enjoy. This is a good place to take a break from the often dry, dusty and crowded environment of the city. The park houses a museum of paleontology and there is a museum of regional archeology just across Calz Independencia. The 1.5 km from the centro to the park is quite walkable, but it is also accessible via the 62A and 62D buses along the Calz Independencia.
  • Parque Mirador has beautiful views of Sierra Madre. It has pretty gardens and benches are scattered around the park which lets you sit and enjoy the different views the park has to offer.
  • El Parque Colomos has two beautiful gardens, a Japanese and a Cacti. This park is family friendly since it has goldfish ponds and that allows children to feed the fish. The park also offers horseback riding right in front of the entrance. This park is a beautiful place to take wedding pictures in or a special event.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Estadio Omnilife, Located in Zapopan, it is a difficult place to reach by public transport, but the most modern stadium currently in Mexico and Latin America. It is close to the Periférico Oriente, so taking a taxi is the best option. Alternatively, use any bus that will go around Periférico and you'll eventually get there, just ask the driver to let you know when you are there, since the stadium's visibility from Periférico is very limited. This is the stadium where the most popular soccer team in the city and the whole country, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (also known as 'Las Chivas') plays since 2010. Chivas play here every other saturday at 19:00, unless otherwise specified. If you happen to be in Guadalajara on a saturday, you are most likely to find either a Chivas soccer game in this stadium, or an Atlas soccer game at Estadio Jalisco (more information below). Big games to watch out for are Chivas vs. Atlas (which can be held on both stadiums, depending on which one is the local team) and Chivas vs. América (the "superclásico nacional", due to these teams being the main rivals, sort of a "derby"), which are sure to have a sold-out stadium and intense atmosphere surrounding them. This stadium will also be serving the opening ceremony to the Juegos Panamericanos Guadalajara 2011, and many of its competitions.
  • Estadio Jalisco, Located in Colonia Independencia, it can be reached by taking any bus along the Calzada Independencia and asking for the Estadio Jalisco. You will almost definitely see it if you look out, it will be on your left as you come from the center. Here the soccer team Atlas plays. Chivas used to play on this stadium until 2010, when their new stadium (Estadio Omnilife, listed above) was finished. During the season there are league games every other Saturday. If Atlas is playing as a visitor, then you can look for a Chivas game at Estadio Omnilife. There are also other games depending on any competitions that involve those clubs, e.g. the Copa Sudamericana, etc. A big game to watch out for is Atlas vs. Chivas, which has an incredible atmosphere, though most games will have an atmosphere worth experiencing. If you are of a nervous disposition, perhaps avoid the upper stands when there is a large crowd as it's known to shake when the crowds begin to jump.
  • Estadio 3 de Marzo, Another soccer stadium, located in the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara campus in the north of the city. Here the UAG soccer team (universally known as los Estudiantes) play, also in the Primera Liga along with the other Guadalajara teams, Atlas and Deportivo Guadalajara.
  • See a Bullfight, the Plaza de Toros (Bull ring) is located right across the road from the Estadio Jalisco on Calzada Independencia. You might not be able to see it from the bus, as it's hidden behind some trees, so get off when you see the Estadio Jalisco and go in the opposite direction. Bullfights take place every Sunday at 4.30pm.
  • Feria Internacional del Libro [5] (International Book Fair, known by it's Spanish initials as 'la FIL') takes place every November in Guadalajara. Companies and delegations come from all over the world to exhibit their books and see books from other places. Every year a country or region is invited to present its books.
  • Festival Internacional de Cine[6] (International Cinema Festival)
  • Grito de Independencia (Independece Yell) Traditional Independence day 'grito' or 'yell'. Locals go to the main square and collectively shout when the clock strikes midnight. Generally the people shout 'Viva' and then 'México' or the name of an important Mexican person, for example 'Viva Hidalgo', etc.
  • Las Posadas (The Inns) Traditional Mexican christmas practice, recreating the passage of Joseph and Mary through Bethlehem, asking for shelter and being refused. Generally nowadays this is a celebration for family and friends, but if you know a Mexican, it's a great way to experience first hand Mexican culture. Regular appearances include Piñatas, Mariachi bands, Mexican beer, Tequila and much merriment.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Tianguis (Street Markets), Typical Mexican place to buy goods and cheaper than other locations. There are a number of them in Guadalajara.
  • Tianguis el Baratillo, Huge tianguis which meets northeast of the centre, contains everything from electronics to old coins to dog toys to animals to DVDs and many more things besids.
  • Tianguis Cultural, [7], Every Saturday from 10:30am to 4:00pm in the Plaza Benito Juarez, immediately SW of the Parque Agua Azul at the corner of 16 de Septiembre and Av Washington. Free concerts, open air chess, artists at work and an open air market draw a young crowd to this weekly celebration of alternative culture.
  • Mercado Libertad, known universally as Mercado San Juan de Dios. Another large tianguis, great for collecting souveniers, also has cloth, food, clothes and traditional dresses.
  • Plaza Galerías, Guadalajara's biggest mall, located in the crossing of the Vallarta and Rafael Sanzio avenues. It houses Guadalajara's biggest multiplex cinema, with 20 THX projection rooms and 4 VIP rooms. Has multi-storey parking areas as well as more than 1 square kilometer of open parking space shared with a Wal-Mart and a Sam's Club. Served by the bus routes 25, 47 and 629.
  • Plaza Andares, Guadalajara's newest mall, located in the crossing of the Patria Avenue and Puerta de Hierro. It houses stores like DKNY, Cartier, Hugo Boss, Mont Blanc,Helmut Lang, Fendi, Alexander Mcqueen, Versace, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Valentino, Diesel, Cavalli, Calvin Klein, Channel and Dior among others.
  • Plaza del Sol, located near the crossing between the López Mateos and Mariano Otero avenues. Guadalajara's second biggest mall, it has a multi-story car park and an open layout, with big, open spaces in the middle, surrounded by hallways. Served by the bus routes 357, 101, 24, 258, 626, 629, 645 and 701, as well as the Santa Anita busses that connect the nearby town of Santa Anita with the metropolitan area. The Torrena Tower, measuring 336.5 m, is under construction next to Plaza del Sol, also next to Plaza Torrena, a smaller, underground mall that can be recognized by its white concrete dome located in the crossing of the López Mateos and Mariano Otero avenues.
  • Plaza Patria, enclosed by the Patria, Ávila Camacho and Américas avenues. It's a two-story mall, not as big as Plaza del Sol or other malls, but with a sizeable assortment of stores, including fashion, electronics, convenience stores and a supermarket. Served by the bus routes 24, 25, 604, 622, 632, 634 and 701.
  • Centro Magno, located between Vallarta and López Cotilla avenues. It has a big, wide, closed space in the middle, surrounded mostly by restaurants, fashion, electronics and bazaar stores, with a cinema on the top floor. Served directly by the bus routes 629A and 629B, and by the nearby routes 626, 622, 24, 258 and 101.
  • Tlaquepaque's Old Town District displays a huge assortment of Mexican arts and crafts as well as decorative traditional and contemporary home furnishings. All product qualities ranging from the finest ceramic, glass, pewter, etc, to traditional pottery created by many of Mexico's Great Masters is on display and for sale. Tlaquepaque is chosen by many homeowners and decorators to furnish and decorate their homes, restaurants or hotels.
  • Plaza Mexico it is located seven blocks west of the Plaza Galería del Calzado. Av. México 3300, it is the city second most popular shopping mall that offers about 120 stores. It is open daily from 10-8.
  • Galeria del Calzado located in Av. México Av. 3225 is an entire mall that contains over 60 shoe stores. This is a good store for anybody that is obsessed and dedicated with buying shoes. The prices and style vary. The store is opened from Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Eat[edit][add listing]

TIP: Guadalajara food vendors seems to like to rip off foreign tourists a lot more than in other cities. For example, when trying to get some tacos or a burger or something from a street food vendor, the vendor will tell you not to worry about the price, and when it's time to pay you will get an inflated bill. Be sure to ask for the price BEFORE you order. If the vendor tells you not to worry about the price, say "necesito saber" which means "I need to know". Of course, do this with a smile and you will not get ripped off.

  • Goa... un sabor de la India, López Cotilla 1520-A (Colonia Americana), 36156173, [8]. 13:00 - 24:00. Indian restaurant with a lovely and exotic environment. The food is mainly from North India. $100-250.  edit

Local Specialties[edit]

Birria, tortas ahogadas, and chilaquiles are some of the most traditional dishes in Guadalajara. The food court in the Mercado Libertad is good place to sample the variety of local specialties.

  • Birria Birria is a savory stew made of roast chiles, spices and traditionally goat, though you will usually be given other meat options like mutton or beef depending on the restaurant. For Birria, the restaurants in the Nueve Esquinas area (a few blocks South of Templo San Francisco) are quite popular (and quite good).
  • Tortas ahogadas these are subs on bolillo bread drowned in a savory chile and tomato sauce. Numerous restaurants in the Centro Historico specialize in these.
  • Pozole A hearty soup of pork and hominy topped with fresh cabbage, radish, onion and cilantro. There are some very good pozole stands in the food court of the Mercado Libertad.
  • Mollete A popular local breakfast food. A french style roll split and covered with refried beans then topped with ham or chorizo and cheese and toasted.
  • Tamales consists of a masa mix made of maseca which is corn based dough and in it contains mole which is red or green salsa and the choice of chicken or pork. Most people make tamales for holidays such as Christmas, the Day of the Dead, Mexican Independence Day, or New Years.
  • Enchiladas are a corn or flour tortilla rolled around and filled with meat, cheese, vegetables and/or potatoes and covered with chili pepper sauce. On top of the enchiladas it may have sour cream and cheese depending on what you may like on it.

Restaurants[edit]

  • La Rinconada, 86 Morelos on the Morelos pedestrian mall. Traditional Mexican fare served to the tourist crowd in a restored 19th century mansion. In the evenings you will be serenaded by strolling Mariachis here.
  • La Chata, Corona 126 South of Juarez, [9]. Very popular and very crowded. Traditional food the way mom used to make it, or so they say. Needless to say the prices are higher here than in other places serving the same fare, but prices are still pretty reasonable. You can view the menu on their website, but it's a bit annoying. You can have a good meal there for $100.
  • Fonda San Miguel, Donato Guerra No. 25, about 4 blocks W of the Cathedral. The restaurant is housed in an old convent, with most of the seating in the covered courtyard. It is quite picturesque. The fare is traditional Mexican, including standards like chicken in mole poblano, chiles en nogada, etc.
  • El Sacromonte, Av Pedro Moreno 1398 (at Colonias). The food here is traditional Mexican served a little more artfully for a more well off clientele. Subdued old-style violin centered mariachis play here in the early afternoon.
  • TlaquePasta, Calle Reforma 139 in Tlaquepaque area of Guadalajara. Located within the Quinta Don Jose Boutique Hotel offers a nice combination of 1/2 Mexican menu and 1/2 Italian (only Italian menu in Tlaquepaque). Great tasting food, attractive setting, and reasonably priced.
  • El Parián, in the centre of Tlaquepaque, not one restaurant but several surrounding a square with a bandstand. A nice place to sit and have a drink or enjoy a meal. It has numerous mariachis who will play for you for a fee and also public performances from 9.30 at night.
  • La Gran Vastaguera, KM 6.5 Highway OCOTLAN-LA BARCA. It’s the very best in Mexican and International food. At the restaurant you can enjoy a variety of appetizers, drinks, as well as meals including steak, seafood and chicken. We ensure that each guest receives prompt, professional, friendly and courteous service. We also count with three cactus gardens and in your visit you will be able to learn a little about cactus in Mexico, since we have the 65% of these plants. www.lagranvastaguera.com.
  • Tacos Providencia, located on Ave. Ruben Dario one block away from Ave. Manuel Acuna in Providencia neighborhood, is on of the finest taco shops in town. Is most famous for its tacos al pastor. The restaurant also includes quesadillas.
  • Birreria Las 9 Esquinas is located on Colon 384, corner of Galeana, Centro Histórico, Guadalajara, Jalisco. It is well known for its lamb birria. The restaurant is in a plaza that is one of Guadalajara's oldest neighborhoods named, Nine Corners, for its intersecting streets.

If you miss American fast food, then you're in luck. Guadalajara has 14 McDonald's outlets.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Search out a bar with large collection of Tequilas and taste a greate blanca, reposada and añejo. Real tequila is nothing like the junk you've had in the USA. If you ask for a tequila from Los Altos that is traditional, you will almost certainly get something good. Los Altos is the region NE of GDL where the best tequila is made and it brings up images of tradition, patriotism and individualism.

There are tons of places, in the centre of Zapopan, there are more than twelve bars near each other.

  • El Primer Piso. A lively and fun jazz bar, el Primer Piso is open Tuesday-Saturday night. Good music, good food and a red upholstered ceiling are trademarks. Pedro Moreno and Escorza.  edit

Different types of bars are pretty easy to find. There are many more youth-oriented places, along with others, near the Teatro Degollado (Opera House). Nice area.

  • Americas, St Cuauhtemoc, guadalajara, mexico. We found a lot of bars/cafés/restaurants along Cuauhtemoc (close to the suburb/area "Americas"  edit
  • Los Famosos Equipales located on Juan Alvarez 710, Guadalajara, Mexico 44100 is a famous bar that offers snacks to accompany your drinks. One of its famous drinks is named "Las Nalgas Alegres" (Happy Buttocks), which is a pink-colored delicious, albeit strong concoction. A jukebox is playing music at all times which allows you to have a good time.
  • Anime Bar located on Avenue Chapultepec Sur, Guadalajara, Mexico 44650 is also a famous bar known for its lit up bottles on the shelves. The bar has low key lightning and plays contemporary music.

Clubs[edit]

  • Ibiza Club is located on Avenida Mariano Otero 2407, Guadalajara, Mexico 44560. It specializes in electronic and dance music. This club usually attracts the youth because the music pumps up the energy for nonstop dancing.
  • Hard Rock Live is located on Av. Vallarta 2425, Local A-8, Guadalajara, Mexico 44160. It is a chain that is linked to Hard Rock Cafe. It is a venue designed for concerts with a capacity for up to 850 people. Local and international bands and soloists come here to perform songs and/or dance. The people who don't come to sing or dance can sit down have a drink and enjoy the music. The Hard Rock live no longer exists, but there are a lot of clubs to go. Mala Noche, Old Jack's, El Muro or the more spicy Bandida's.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Many inexpensive hotels are available in the city center. If you plan to spend much time downtown, don't get a hotel farther away. It's much more convenient to be able to walk back than to need to find a bus back to a less central location (e.g. the Minerva area).

  • Ibeurohotel, Av. Mariano Otero No. 3235, Fracc. Verde Valle, Guadalajara, Jal., Toll Free (Mex) 01 800 836 2181, [10]. checkin: 2 PM; checkout: 12 PM. This Hotel, offers the perfect accommodation for your conventions and business trips to the city. Its located just across the most important convention center of the city, Expo Guadalajara. It also offers spacious and roofed prívate parking lot, cafeteria, high speed wireless internet and safe deposit boxes" $36 dlls.  edit
  • Quinta Don Jose Boutique Hotel, Reforma # 139 (Tlaquepaque area) 1 866 629 3753, [11]. Located in Tlaquepaque which along with Tonala, make up the arts and crafts district of Guadalajara. 15 rooms, bar, pool, small restaurant. Pet friendly.
  • Hostel Tequila Backpacker, Ave. Hidalgo 1160, 33-38-251-326, [12]. checkin: 2 PM; checkout: 12 PM. By far the cleanest, chillest hostel in the city. If you´re sick of staying in grungy hostels, this is a good choice. Free breakfast, hot showers, super clean. Pay 3 nights, stay 4, student discount, etc. Highly recommended 180.  edit
  • Hostal Galeria, Morelos #1281 (Near to Chapultepec Avenue), 52-33-38-25-38-01, [13]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Located only 4 blocks from the bars, galeries, restaurants zone and 15 minutes walking to the Historic Center. The hostel has twin size beds in all the rooms, WiFi, hot showers, roof terrace, roof garden, free breakfast. The staff will help you in all your needs. $180.  edit

Budget[edit]

Centro[edit]

  • Hostel de María, Nueva Galicia # 924 (Zona de las nueve esquinas ) (33) 3614 6230, [14]. Cozy hostel walking distance from down town. $170 ($160 with an HI card).
  • Hostel Guadalajara Centro, Maestranza # 147 (on the corner of López Cotilla), (33) 3562 7520, [15]. An excellent youth hostel, $125 with a HI card, $165 without.
  • Hotel la Calandria, Estadio # 100. Very clean and overall nice hotel. Located very close to the old bus station (Central Camionera Vieja) and a Wal-Mart, which is always helpful when you need to get this and that. $170 for a two person room, even cheaper for one person. Nice and highly recommended.

Around the old bus station (Central Camionera Vieja) one can find very cheap hotels. Try to look around. A 20 minute walk around the area finds surprising results.

Mid-range[edit]

Centro[edit]

  • Hotel San Francisco Plaza, Two blocks East of the Plaza San Francisco, [16]. The hotel is centered on two covered courtyards. There are some awful rooms, so it's worth talking to the person you reserve with to see what it will cost to get something on one of the courtyards, on an upper floor, and away from the North side of the building where there is quite a bit of traffic. Merced is a good guy to talk with about this or anything else. Although he denies being "el jefe", he seems to be in charge. Rooms run about $500 a night. Breakfasts at the hotel restaurant are very good. Beatriz, the usual morning waitress, is a bundle of sunshine.
  • Posada del Marqués , located 5 minutes from La Minerva, the glorious fountain-monument that symbolizes the city. [17]. All rooms equipped with American breakfast, Air-conditioning, Living room and Work area. Some of its facilities and services are Wi-Fi access, 24-hour front desk, Baggage storage, Safe deposit boxes, Business center and outdoor swimming pool. Several places of interest and tourist attractions surround our hotel. Rates start at $1,080.
  • Casa Venezuela, On Venezuela street between La Paz and Guadalupe Zuno, [18]. Like staying in a museum of a tradition mexican home. Everything about the place is beautiful but there are only a few rooms so you have to schedule well in advance (occasionally there are cancellations - we got lucky and snuck in at the last minute). The breakfast is as good or better than any I've had in Mexico and they're included. The location is the Colonia Americana. It's on the outskirts of the actual centro but you can walk there (about 15-20 blocks) but right in the heart of the hip area that has all of the bars, universities, and trendy restaurants. I think the rooms are US$70-100 a night. By far, our favorite place in GDL.
  • NH Guadalajara, Sao Paulo 2334, Col. Providencia. 44630 Guadalajara. Guadalajara, Jalisco, +52 33 3648 9500, [19]. Located in one of the busiest districts of Guadalajara, this hotel offers 137 comfortable and relaxing rooms. Take advantage of the gym, the Nhube restaurant and the meeting rooms available on-site. From US$97.88.  edit

Splurge[edit]

Minerva-Chapultepec[edit]

  • Fiesta Americana Guadalajara, Aurelio Aceves 225, Tel: 33/3825-3434. Large, modern, full-service hotel on a busy street in a mostly residential area. Has a decent nightclub on site that seems to draw a fair number of locals. Impressive atrium and comfortably open lobby bar.
  • Quinta Real, near Glorieta Ave. Mexico and Ave. Lopez Mateos, small hotel great for couples, great restaurants.
  • Villa Ganz located in Lopez Cotilla 1739 Col. Lafayette, Guadalajara 44140, Mexico is a 4 star hotel that offers a welcoming drink, access to the gymnasium, parking available and unlimited local calls.
  • Hotel de Mendoza located in Calle Venustiano Carranza 16 Centro Histórico, Guadalajara 44100, Mexico is a 2.5 star hotel that are close to Teatro Degollado, Hospicio Cabanas, and Plaza de Armas. Also nearby are Catedral Metropolitana and University of Guadalajara Assembly Hall. It has an outdoor pool and a health club. Ecotours and golfing are nearby. The hotel offer one restaurant, has 4 floors, one patio, one outdoor pool and 17 suites.
  • La Mansion del Sol located in Av Moctezuma 1596 | Ciudad del Sol, Guadalajara 45050, Mexico is a 3.5 star hotel. Once you walk in you are greeted with fresh fruit and a glass of orange juice depending on the time of day. The hotel also includes a sauna, a steam room, and a fitness facility. The good thing about this hotel is that tourists that don't speak Spanish can come to this hotel that offers translating services. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning and there is a bar/lounge inside the hotel.

Stay Safe[edit]

Guadalajara is known to be one of the safest cities in Mexico. Nonetheless, the usual precations should be taken as in any other large city. Crimes against tourists and foreign students are not very frequent and mostly take the form of purse snatching. Criminals usually work in teams and target travelers in busy places, such as outdoor restaurants. Should anyone spill something on you, be alert to your surroundings and step away--accidental spills are a common method for distracting the victim.

Never carry illegal substances with you; Mexican police are very strict regarding these cases.

Emergency numbers in Guadalajara: Emergency (066); Air and Land Ambulance (52-33) 3616-9616; Green Angels or Road Assistance (52-33) 3668-1800 extension 31489; Municipal Anti Rabies Centre of Guadalajara (52-33) 3643-1917 or 3644-6206; Fire Fighters (52-33) 3619-5155 or 3619-0510; Guadalajara Amber Cross (52-33) 3605-0092; Mexican Red Cross 065 or (52-33) 3345-7777; Green Cross (52-33) 3614-5252 or 3613-1572; Municipal Police of Guadalajara (52-33) 3668-0800; and Safety for Tourists 01 800 36 32 200. You can also get in contact with the embassy or consulate of your country of origin.

Cope[edit]

Consulates[edit]

Get out[edit]

  • Tequila - great for tequila tasting experience. Drive or take a bus. The bus costs about US$9-12 round trip and about 1.5 hrs each way. It is beautiful countryside. For a memorable weekend day trip, take the Tequila Express --- it's a fun atmosphere with tequila shots and roving mariachis crooning you all the way to Tequila. The train leaves Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am from the Guadalajara train station, returning the same evening. [21] Jose Cuervo distillery has a packaged tour that will pick you from your hotel, take you to an agave farm, then to the distillery, show you around the distillery, give you samples, take you to their galleria and offer a free margarita and 10% off at a restaurant. The city is quaint and worth exploring.
  • Lake Chapala, the main regional vacation spot with picturesque towns like Chapala and Ajijic (the latter of which has a sizeable gringo expat community).
  • Guachimontones (pronounced "WHAH-chee-mohn-TOHN-ace"), a prehispanic (300 BCE - 900 CE) archaeological site near the town of Teuchitlán about an hour west of Guadalajara known for its unique circular stepped pyramids. This 100-plus acre complex was only discovered in the 1970s.
  • Mazamitla, a picturesque town in Los Altos south of Lake Chapala.
  • Tapalpa a great mountain town near Cd Guzman, offers hotel and cabana like rooms for a nice weekend retreat
  • San Juan de los Lagos, second most visited pilgrimage site in Mexico after La Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Places further away include Puerto Vallarta, Bolañas (an indigenous huichol community), Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Colima.


Routes through Guadalajara
TepicTequila  W noframe E  SahuayoZamora de Hidalgo




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