Guadalajara

Travel Guide North America Mexico Jalisco Guadalajara

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Introduction

Typical Guadalajara night

Typical Guadalajara night

© tommydavis

Guadalajara is the capital of the state of Jalisco, in the western Pacific area of Mexico. The city itself has over 1.5 million inhabitants, the metropolitan area well over 4 million, in both cases making it the second most populous city in the country. It sits at an elevation of about 1,600 metres above sea level, giving the city some relief of the heat that usually exists in lower areas. It's Mexican's equivalent of silicon valley and also is the high tech capital of the country, given it's electronics industry and software industry respectively.

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Neighbourhoods

Guadalajara consists of a number of districts, neighbourhoods and sectors, the main ones are:

  • Sector Hidalgo - located in northwest of the Centro Histórico, Hidalgo is a largely residential sector encompassing the financial district and the Country Club Guadalajara
  • Sector Libertad - located northeast of the Centro Histórico, Sector Libertad is mostly given over to industrial use. However, the southwest part of the sector, close to the Centro Histórico, boasts a traditional market
  • Sector Reforma - located southeast of the Centro Histórico, Reforma is also a mostly industrial sector, but visitors will no doubt be interested in the pleasant, tree-filled Parque Agua Azul, as well as the Tianguis Cultural de Guadalajara, a street market where alternative clothing and articles such as spiked belts, black trenchcoats, military uniforms, used books and trading cards are for sale at good prices.
  • Centro Historico - At the center of everything is the main area of interest to tourists, the Centro Histórico, or the historic downtown. Most of your time will probably be spent here. It is filled with colonial-era buildings and, famously, also boasts several important mural paintings by Jalisco-born José Clemente Orozco, one of Mexico's most important artists.
  • Tlaquepaque - about 30 minutes by car southeast of the Centro Histórico, downtown Tlaquepaque is a charming streetscape redolent of old Mexico. An important arts and crafts center, Tlaquepaque has a vibrant shopping district where you can buy local pottery and handicrafts, as well as many lovely restaurants, art galleries, and a regional ceramics museum.
  • Zapopan - a large, busy suburb located southwest of Guadalajara, is famous for the old-fashioned charm of its downtown, its active nightlife fueled by the three large private universities within the city limits (Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac), its proliferation of modern shopping malls that will make American suburbanites feel right at home, and, by contrast, also large expanses of pristine nature, such as the Bosque de Colomos and the gargantuan Bosque La Primavera.
  • Tonalá - situated immediately east of Tlaquepaque, Tonalá contains Guadalajara's main bus station, handicraft shops and markets, and the large Parque Solidaridad.

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Sights and Activities

  • City Museum, Independencia 684, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 1201 8712. Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-17:30, Su 10:00-14:30. Exploring Guadalajara's over 450 years of history, the Museo de la Ciudad is situated in a former convent in the Centro Histórico that dates to the 18th Century. The museum's permanent collection is housed in six exhibition halls arranged chronologically according to century (16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st) and comprises artifacts and explanatory tests related to the history of Guadalajara in terms of art and architecture, ethnography, urban development, and the everyday life of Tapatíos. Temporary exhibits are also displayed, and lectures, workshops and symposiums often take place in the auditorium and outdoor courtyard. M$16, teachers and students $8.50, free for children under 12 and under.
  • Belén Cemetery, Belén 684, El Retiro, ☏ +52 33 3613 7786. Tours Tuesday-Saturday 10:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 14:00, Thursday-Saturday also at 20:30, 22:00 and 23:30. This old cemetery dates back to 1786. It has been converted into a museum that is full of interesting stories of the haunted cemetery and Tapatío culture in general. There are also night tours Thursday-Saturday that many people are afraid to take! Admission M$22, students $11. Photo and video fee $60. Tours $60.
  • Cabañas Cultural Institute, Cabañas 8, San Juan de Dios, ☏ +52 33 3942 1200. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. This UNESCO World Heritage Site east of Plaza de la Liberación is a cultural and art center where the fresco paintings of Jose Clemente Orozco are exhibited. M$70, teachers and students $35, seniors and children 6-12 $20. Camera fee $30, video fee $40. Guillermo del Toro Cinema $30, teachers, students and seniors $25.
  • Plaza Guadalajara, west of the cathedral, between Av. Hidalgo and Calle de Morelos, Zona Centro. Located directly in front of the cathedral, Plaza Guadalajara contains a circular fountain and an outdoor restaurant. Under the fountain there is an underground commercial center which offers all kinds of goods for sale including fruit, beverages and even jewelry.
  • Plaza de Armas, south of the cathedral, between Calle de Morelos and Calle Pedro Moreno, Zona Centro. Plaza de Armas offers one of the best views of the cathedral, as well as the Government Palace. It features a French ironwork bandstand that was purchased by former Mexican president Porfirio Díaz in 1885, and four statues on the corners of the place symbolizing the four seasons. The bandstand serves as the performing arena for marching bands, but due to its recent use for all kinds of political protests, it's guarded by the police 24/7.
  • Plaza de la Liberación, east of the cathedral, between Av. Hidalgo and Calle de Morelos, Zona Centro. This plaza 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 Governor's Office. It also serves as an atrium for the oldest surviving theater in the city, the Teatro Degollado, and it's the usual spot for massive free concerts.
  • Rotunda of Illustrious Jaliscans, north of the cathedral, between Av. Hidalgo and Calle Independencia, Zona Centro. This lovely circular monument of fluted columns is a mausoleum containing the ashes of 98 important men and women born in Jalisco. The bright and busy atmosphere of the park around it contrasts with the serious aspect of the Rotunda. On the southern side (across the street from the cathedral) is the bus stop for the TuriBus.
  • Government Palace, Corona 31, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3668 1800. Daily 09:00-20:00. This is the historical center of the government of the State of Jalisco. Today it is mostly visited for its murals, the work of the famous Jalisciense artist, 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.
  • Guadalajara Cathedral, Fray Antonio Alcalde 10, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3613 7168. Construction of this Guadalajara landmark started in the 1560s and took about 50 years to complete. The current towers were replaced on 1854 by architect Manuel Gómez Ibarra after an earthquake destroyed the originals in 1818. While visiting the Cathedral, a must-see is the mural "The Immaculate Conception" (La Purísima Concepción) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The cathedral's architecture is an eclectic mix of the Gothic, Neoclassical and Palladian styles.
  • Guadalajara Regional Museum, Liceo 60, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3613 2703. Tu-Sa 09:00-17:30, Su 09:00-16:30. A pleasant museum to spend a few hours in, especially on a hot day when you need some time out of the sun. It features the skeleton of a mammoth found on the nearby Laguna de Chapala.
  • Plaza de los Mariachis, Av. Javier Mina at Calz. Independencia Sur, San Juan de Dios. The official name of this small triangular plaza is Plaza Pepe Guizar, named for the composer who was responsible for the song "Guadalajara". However, its popular name comes from the mariachi bands who, for a small fee, will serenade you while enjoying the restaurants and bars around the square (a word of warning, though: this neighborhood becomes sketchy after dark). The Plaza de los Mariachis is where the famous Mexican Hat Dance (Jarabe Tapatío) was born.
  • Chapalita Roundabout, Av. Guadalupe at Av. de las Rosas, Chapalita, Zapopan. A verdant gathering place in a lovely neighborhood (colonia) in the suburb of Zapopan, this "garden of art" sees local artists showing off their creations every Sunday while local residents show off their dogs. Raucous celebrations take place here on national holidays.
  • Colomos Forest El Chaco 3200, Colomos Providencia, Zapopan, ☏ +52 33 3641 3804. M-F 09:00-15:00. This lovely, family-friendly green space is a 92-hectare urban forest that boasts 30,000 trees of diverse species. Its mission is to conserve a beautiful example of a native woodland in an urban environment and educate visitors on ways for humans to better coexist with nature. In terms of visitor amenities, Colomos boasts lovely gardens including a Japanese garden and a cactus garden, goldfish ponds where children enjoy feeding the fish, and horseback riding. Smoking is strictly prohibited. M$6, free for children under 12 and on Su, parking M$6.
  • The Expiatory Church of the Blessed Sacrament, López Cotilla 935, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3825 3410. This finely detailed Gothic Revival cathedral was built over decades starting in the late 19th century. There is a mechanical clock in the bell tower that features a procession of the Twelve Apostles at 09:00, 12:00 and 18:00. The interior of the church features a lovely collection of stained glass windows.
  • Minerva Roundabout, Av. Ignacio Vallarta at Av. Adolfo López Mateos, Zona Centro. 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 football team wins a major game.
  • Monument of the Child Heroes, Av. Niños Héroes at Av. Chapultepec Sur, Moderna, ☏ +52 33 3825 1340. A massive stone spire that memorializes six teenage military cadets who died defending Mexico City's military academy from U.S. forces during the Mexican-American War.
  • Vallarta Arch, Av. Ignacio Vallarta just east of Glorieta Minerva, Zona Centro. This Romanesque double arch stands at what was once 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.
  • Blue Water Park, Calz. Independencia Sur 973, Reforma, ☏ +52 33 3619 0328, ✉ parque-agua-azul-92@hotmail.com. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Open air concerts, a butterfly enclosure, an aviary and plenty of greenery are some of the things that can be enjoyed at Agua Azul. 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 archaeology just across Calzada Independencia. The 1.5 km from the Centro Histórico to the park is quite walkable, but it is also accessible via the 62A and 62D buses along Calzada Independencia. M$4, students, teachers and seniors M$2.
  • Huentitán-Oblatos Canyon, North end of Calz. Independencia Norte, Huentitán el Alto, ☏ +52 33 3674 0238. This is the forested gorge of the Río Lerma-Santiago, accessible via buses #62A and #62D which run along Calzada Independencia. There are two locations with fine views of the gorge.
  • Guadalajara Zoo, Paseo del Zoológico 600, Huentitán el Alto, ☏ +52 33 3674 4488. W-Su 10:00-18:00 when school is in session, daily 10:00-18:00 during summer break and on holiday weekends. The modern Guadalajara Zoo is next to the Barranca de Huentitán-Oblatos. It's worth visiting for its view of the canyon, and for its collection of animals, its safari ride and its panoramic train. Other highlights include a reptile house, a nocturnal environment exhibit and a tropical forest simulated environment. M$63, children 3-11 $32, SkyZoo $36, special packages available for access to panoramic train, safari and/or aquarium.
  • Independencia Overlook Park. This lovely park is at the northern terminus of Calzada Independencia adjacent to the Barranca de Huentitán-Oblatos, with beautiful views of the canyon. Pretty gardens and benches are peppered around the park, allowing visitors to sit and enjoy the different views the park has to offer. This is also the starting point for many of the hiking trails that traverse the canyon.

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Events and Festivals

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexciowhere where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

  • Grito de la Independencia - September 15th is Mexican Independence Day! A massive celebration involving plenty of singing, dancing and fireworks takes place in the Zócalo. Everyone here awaits an appearance from Mexico's president who rings a bell from a central balcony of the Palacio Nacional overlooking the Zócalo. The president then shouts out the Grito de Dolores, or the Cry of Dolores which was Father Hidalgo's famous call to arms against Spanish rule in 1810.
  • Guadalajara International Film Festival - the most important one in Mexico.
  • Guadalajara International Book Fair - Every year in early December.
  • Guadalajara May festival - Every year in May.
  • ENART Crafts and Decorative Art Products show - Twice a year in February and August.
  • Dia de la Candelaria. Candlemas is held February 2nd and commemorates Jesus being introduced into the temple 40 days after his birth. This nationwide celebration sees many different ways of celebrating and many towns hold processions, bullfights and dances. Of course, plenty of delicious, traditional foods are served during Dia de la Candelaria as well.
  • Carnaval is held in late February or early March throughout all of Mexico. This big party is meant to celebrate the 40 day penance of Lent. Carnaval always takes place during the week or so prior to Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday. Mexicans celebrate this holiday with fireworks, food, dancing, parades, dancing and drinking.
  • Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a huge celebration which starts on Palm Sunday. This is a very popular time for Mexicans to take a short break; as a result, it seems most of the country is on the move, with buses and hotels often booked out. As for the celebration of Semana Santa, expect colorful processions and many masses at churches everywhere.
  • Día de Nuestra Seňora de Guadalupe, or Day of our Lady of Guadalupe, is held December 12th. There is a week-long build up to this religious celebration in honour of the Virgin who appeared to the indigenous Juan Diego in the year 1531. Since then, the Lady of Guadalupe has been Mexico's religious patron and her veneration is very significant. It is traditional for young boys to be dressed as a Juan Diego and for young girls to be dressed in indigenous garb and brought to a special mass, held at many churches throughout the country.
  • New Year's Eve. Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve or locally known as Año Nuevo, by downing a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties, during New Year's, with colors such as red, to encourage an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow to encourage blessings of improved employment conditions, green to improve financial circumstances and white to improved health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient whose slice contains the coin or charm is believed to be blessed with good luck in the new year. One can expect a lot of firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers being fired. At midnight there is a lot of noise and everyone shouts: "Feliz año nuevo!" People embrace, make noise, set off firecrackers, and sing Auld Lang Syne.

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Weather

Because of its elevation, Guadalajara has a mild climate though the warmest months still see average daytime temperatures above 30 °C (late March - early June). During the rest of the year temperatures during the day are a pleasant 25 °C to 28 °C. Nights average around 8 °C between November and March, while from April onwards nights become warmer and from June to September it's mostly around 16 °C. Actually, this mainly has to do with the fact that June to September is also the wettest time of year with around 10 to 15 days of rain, as opposed to the period of October to April when months can go by without a single drop of rain.

During the rainy season from June to September, most of the rain will fall in the mornings and evenings. Most of the time this will mean an hour of heavily down poor which will flood the streets. During day time it will be dry most of the time though.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max24.7 °C26.5 °C29.2 °C31 °C32.4 °C30.6 °C27.4 °C27.3 °C27.2 °C27.3 °C26.6 °C25 °C
Avg Min10.2 °C11 °C13 °C15.1 °C17.2 °C17.8 °C16.8 °C16.7 °C16.8 °C15.4 °C12.8 °C11.2 °C
Rainfall19.9 mm4.5 mm3.9 mm6.8 mm18.8 mm184.9 mm273.8 mm219.7 mm166 mm50.6 mm15.3 mm8 mm
Rain Days21.10.51.3314.221.319.414.55.621.8

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Getting There

By Plane

Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) functions as the main gateway of the city. It has quite a few flights to other Mexican cities and to cities mainly in the rest of North America. These include Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Fresno, Las Vegas, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, New York and Phoenix.

Domestic destinations are Mexico City, Cancun, Tijuana, Monterrey, San José del Cabo, Mexicali, Hermosillo, La Paz, Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, Mazatlan, Mérida, Puerto Vallarta, Veracruz, Oaxaca, among a few other places.

To add, there are also flights to and from Panama City.

By Car

Guadalajara is 535 kilometres northwest of Mexico City and 344 kilometres east of Puerto Vallarta. Highways 15, 15D, 23, 54, 54D, 80, 80D and 90 all converge here, combining temporarily to form the Periférico, a ring road around the city. Puerto Vallarta is about 3.5 hours away along the toll roads, Mexico City about 5.5 hours.
You can rent cars at the international airport or downtown agencies from most of the main international companies like Dollar, Hertz, Alamo, Thrifty and Budget.

By Bus

Regular buses travel to many regional destinations within the state of Jalisco, as well as places further away, including frequent ones to Mexico City.

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Getting Around

By Car

You may rent a car from airport, most major car rental companies such Avis, National Car Rental, Hertz and Eropcar have booths at the baggage claim area. There are also some local car rentals such Veico Car Rental located just outside the airport, they also have good cars and often lower prices.

By Taxi

Taxis can be found all over Guadalajara and are safe to take. There are many taxi stands but in general taxi rates are better if you flag them down from the street. It is not common to give a tip to a taxi driver. You can bargain about the price but also can ask for the taxi meter. If you want to have an idea of the price before talking to a taxi driver ask somebody on the street for an indication. This often works very well.

Taxi rates (for up to 5 seats/people):

  • Day rate between 6:00am and 10:00pm - Meter starts at $8.50, Kilometre rate $6.45
  • Night rate between 10:00pm and 6:00am - Meter starts at $9.68, Kilometre rate $7.11

By Public Transport

Public transport is well organized in Guadalajara. There are 3 forms of public transportation which are the bus, the underground and the macro bus.

Bus
There are buses that take you anywhere for 6 pesos, children between 5 and 12 the rate is 3 pesos (rate in 2011). To find out which bus you have to take you can have a look on the following website Public transportation routes Guadalajara.

Be aware. For taking any bus you have to hold up your hand. Buses wont stop if nobody who is waiting will not hold up there hand. Almost at any corner there can be a bus stop. When you want to get off, walk to the end of the bus where you have to push a button. The bus will stop on the first corner where it is allowed to stop.

There are 2 types of buses. The standard bus which will cost you 6 pesos and the luxury buses which will cost you 10 pesos. The 10 pesos buses also called TUR have a turquoise color and will have air-conditioning and some times TV. There is only a view of these and they sometimes don’t stop when all seats are taken. Standard buses will some times not stop when a bus with the same bus number is behind them.

Payment is done to the driver and often will not have change for bills bigger then a 100 or 50 pesos.

The Underground (Tren Ligero)
The underground has only two routes from north to south and east to west. The routes can be found on the following website. Public transportation routes Guadalajara. The price is 6 pesos and for children between 5 and 12 the rate is 3 pesos.

The Macro bus
The Macro bus is a fairly new way of transportation. It is a combination of bus and underground. The vehicle is a bus that has it special lane where only he can drive. The bus stops are special bus stations and there are only a view routes. The routes can be found on the following website. Macro bus routes Guadalajara. The price is 6 pesos and for children between 5 and 12 the rate is 3 pesos.

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Eat

Food vendors in Guadalajara seem to like to rip off foreign tourists. 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" (I need to know). Of course, do this with a smile and you will not be ripped off.

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

In addition to traditional Mexican specialties, Tapatíos seem to be especially fond of Italian food—a considerable number of restaurants of that type can be found around Guadalajara. If you miss American fast food, worry not: in addition to the restaurants listed here, Guadalajara has 14 McDonald's outlets.

  • Birrería Las Nueve Esquinas, Cristóbal Colón 384, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3613 6260. M-Sa 09:00-22:00, Su 09:00-19:30. Well known for its lamb birria, a specialty of Jalisco, this popular place is in an old part of the Centro Histórico called "Las Nueve Esquinas" (Nine Corners), for its unusual street layout.
  • La Chata, Corona 126, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3613 1315. Daily 07:30-00:00. 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 still pretty reasonable. M$60-190.
  • La Rinconada, Morelos 86, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3613 9925. It's on the Calle de Morelos pedestrian mall in the Centro Histórico, in a restored 19th-century mansion. Traditional Mexican fare (including breakfast) is served to the tourist crowd, with serenades by strolling mariachis in the evening. M$70-300.
  • Almacén del Bife, Plaza Andares 4965, Puerta de Hierro, Zapopan, ☏ +52 33 3611 2668. Daily 13:00-00:00. "Beer and wine, our passion" (in translation) is the motto of this Argentinian restaurant in Plaza Andares. In addition, a wide selection of chicken dishes, pastas and a daily seafood special are offered. M$120-800.
  • Chop, México 2328, Ladrón de Guevara, ☏ +52 33 3630 3557. Su-Th8:00-00:00, F Sa 08:00-01:00. Lovely deli midway between Chapultepec and Minerva and owned by a local chain of coffeehouses. Salads, sandwiches and wraps, paninis, calzone and pizza are on the menu, as well as a large selection of breakfasts served daily. Kids' menu. M$60-135.
  • Goa... Un Sabor de la India, López Cotilla 1520, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3615 6173. M 16:00-22:00, Tu-Sa 13:00-00:00, Su 13:00-19:00. A restaurant specializing in North Indian cuisine served in a lovely and exotic environment. M$100-200.
  • El Sacromonte, Pedro Moreno 1398, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3825 5447. M-Sa 13:30-00:00, Su 13:30-18:00. The food here is traditional Mexican served a little more artfully for a more well-off clientele. Subdued, violin-centered mariachis play here in the early afternoon.
  • Il Duomo, de las Américas 302, Ladrón de Guevara, ☏ +52 33 3615 4952. Daily 13:30-00:00. Creative Italian cuisine at reasonable prices including pastas, meat dishes and fine wines, served by polite and attentive (but not over-attentive) waitstaff.
  • Kamilos 333, José Clemente Orozco 333, Santa Teresita, ☏ +52 33 3825 7869. Daily 08:00-01:00. Unpretentious, traditional Mexican fare reigns supreme here—Kamilos' menu goes heavy on meat dishes, which are juicy and delicious. Breakfast served daily. Those who don't speak Spanish well may have trouble with the (intentionally) misspelled words on the menu—"camarones" becomes "kamaronez", "quesadilla" is rendered "kezadya", etc.
  • Suehiro, La Paz 1701, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3826 0094. M-Sa 13:30-17:30 and 19:30-23:30, Su 13:00-19:00. Laid-back Japanese restaurant whose gargantuan menu encompasses excellently prepared cuisine in the teppanyaki, nabemono, and tempura cooking styles, as well as a huge selection of sushi and sashimi. Quality and service are beyond compare. Outside is a beautifully landscaped garden complete with koi pond.
  • Tacos Providencia, Rubén Darío 534, Lomas de Guevara, ☏ +52 33 3641 6049. The tacos this place serves up—particularly the tacos al pastor, the specialty here—have been described as the best in Guadalajara. Quesadillas are also served.
  • Tintoretto, México 2916, Residencial Juan Manuel, ☏ +52 33 3642 7242. Daily 13:00-01:00. Elegant and mouth-watering—and surprisingly reasonably priced—Italo-Argentinian fare featuring a mind-boggling selection of steaks and chops, carpaccios, wood-fired pizzas, salads, pasta dishes, desserts, and fine wines.
  • Casa Fuerte, Independencia 224, Tlaquepaque Centro, Tlaquepaque, ☏ +52 33 3639 6481. Daily 12:00-20:00. An artful and upscale, yet faithful, take on traditional Mexican cuisine served up in an elegant old mansion in historic downtown Tlaquepaque.
  • El Parián, Corner of Calles Juárez and Progreso, Tlaquepaque Centro, Tlaquepaque. This central square of Tlaquepaque's historic downtown boasts several restaurants with a bandstand in the center. It's a nice place to sit and have a drink or enjoy a meal, with numerous mariachis who will play for you for a small fee and also public performances that begin at 21:30.
  • TlaquePasta, Reforma 139, Tlaquepaque Centro, Tlaquepaque, ☏ +52 33 3635 7522. M-Th 17:00-22:00, F-Su 14:00-22:00. It's in the Quinta Don José Boutique Hotel, and offers a nice mix of cuisines, with traditional Tapatío dishes rubbing shoulders on the menu with the only Italian specialties available in Tlaquepaque. Great tasting food, attractive setting, and reasonable prices.

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Drink

Guadalajara has a vibrant nightlife that's spread out all over the city, from the touristy places in the Centro Histórico (Plaza de la Liberación is a good place to start your search) to the college bars in Zapopan. However, perhaps the most active bar district in Guadalajara is centered along Avenida Chapultepec between Hidalgo and Niños Héroes, about 2km west of the Centro Histórico. This is the place where GDL's hipster crowd makes the scene, with bar after bar lining the sides of the streets. Many of these places double as popular live music venues.

A good suggestion is to search out a bar with a large collection of tequilas and taste a great blanca, reposada and añejo. Real tequila is nothing like the junk you've had elsewhere. If you ask for a traditional tequila from Los Altos, you will almost certainly get something good. Los Altos is the region northeast of Guadalajara where the best tequila in the world is made, bringing up images of tradition, patriotism and individualism.

  • Los Famosos Equipales, Juan Álvarez 704, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3614 1500. M-Th 10:00-00:00, F & Sa 22:00-02:30. One of its famous drinks here is named "Las Nalgas Alegres" (Happy Buttocks), which is a delicious pink-colored but deceptively strong concoction. A jukebox plays music constantly, and snacks are available too.
  • Impala Bar, Enrique Díaz de León Sur 132, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3827 3266. W-Sa 21:00-03:00. Directly in front of the Expiatorio, this place is very popular with the college hipster crowd and occasionally hosts live music acts.
  • El Primer Piso, Pedro Moreno 947, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3825 7085. Tu-Sa 19:30-01:00. A lively and fun jazz bar with good music, good food and a red upholstered ceiling are trademarks.
  • Angel's Club, López Cotilla 1449, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3630 5478. At the center of the gay nightlife district, the Zona Rosa, the biggest LGBT bar in Guadalajara also attracts a healthy-size straight female crowd with its thumping music and smart decor.
  • Anime Bar, Chapultepec Sur 193, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3827 5990. Well-known to the locals known for its lit up bottles on the shelves, the Anime Bar has low-key lighting and plays contemporary music.
  • Bar Américas, de las Américas 959, Ladrón de Guevara, ☏ +52 33 3585 8463. W-Su 21:00-05:00. Popular with fans of electronic music, this lively bar and concert venue features DJs spinning house, trance, and techno tunes and ladies' night every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Barba Negra, Justo Sierra 2194, Ladrón de Guevara, ☏ +52 33 3673 3802. W Th 13:00-02:00, F 13:00-03:00, Sa 19:30-03:00. Features live rock music.
  • La Incondicional, México 2916, Ladrón de Guevara, ☏ +52 33 3640 1592. M Tu 19:00-03:00, W-Sa 19:00-04:00. Every drink you can imagine, and DJs every night.
  • Salón del Bosque, José Guadalupe Zuno 2200, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3616 4297. M Tu Sa 13:00-23:00, W-F 13:00-01:00. Upscale, laid-back atmosphere featuring live jazz and bossa nova.
  • La Diablita Cantina, Lázaro Cárdenas 3475, Chapalita, Zapopan, ☏ +52 33 3121 9110. Tu-Su 13:00-04:00. Beer and snacks with a side order of live alternative rock (no cover).
  • La Jijurria, 20 de Noviembre 351, Zapopan Centro, Zapopan, ☏ +52 33 3365 0051. Su Tu W 18:00-01:00, Th-Sa 18:00-03:00. This laid-back place in downtown Zapopan features food, drink and occasional live music.
  • El Palco Sports Bar, 20 de Noviembre 351 Int. 28 y 35, Zapopan Centro, Zapopan, ☏ +52 33 1140 9481. Sports bar in the heart of historic downtown Zapopan featuring beer, snacks, and many large-screen TVs showing sports.

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Sleep

There are many inexpensive hotels available in the city center, especially around the old bus station (Central Camionera Vieja). If you plan to spend much time downtown, don't get a hotel farther away - it's much more convenient to be within walking distance of your daytime activities than to navigate the bus system back to a less central location (e.g. the Minerva area), and walking long distances through the streets of Guadalajara late at night is not a terribly good idea.

Budget

  • Hotel La Calandria, Estadio 100, Las Conchas, ☏ +52 33 3619 6579. What this hotel lacks in luxury, it more than makes up for in old-Mexico charm. A very clean and generally very nice property for very reasonable prices. Bilingual staff, WiFi available in public areas. It's a short distance south of the Centro Histórico, near Parque Agua Azul and the old bus station, where buses leave regularly for popular regional destinations such as Cocula and Tequila. On-street parking, but there are many free parking lots available (including Walmart, which is also nearby). M$135-250/night.
  • Hostal de María, Nueva Galicia 924, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3614 6230. A great place with a bohemian vibe in the historic neighborhood of Nueve Esquinas. Hostel has dormitories with shared baths as well as private rooms with private baths, and a common dining area perfect for lounging. Dorm beds M$170/night ($160 with HI membership), private rooms M$390-410/night.
  • Hostel Hospedarte Guadalajara Centro, Maestranza 147, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3562 7520. This youth hostel is situated in a stately National Heritage building from the 19th century. Reading room, common area with TV, free wireless Internet. Organized tours to Tequila leave regularly from the hostel, including two distilleries. Dorm beds M$180/night ($160 with HI membership), private rooms M$350-720/night.
  • Hostel Tequila Backpacker, Hidalgo 1160, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3825 1326. Check-in: anytime, check-out: 12:00. Free breakfast, hot showers, very clean, excellent reviews. Restaurant on ground floor that serves traditional Mexican food. Promotions are available (buy 3 nights get a 4th free, student discounts, etc.) M$180-450/night.
  • Hostal Galería, Morelos 1281, Americana, ☏ +52 33 3825 3801. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. It's a short walk from the bars, nightclubs and restaurants of Chapultepec, 15 minutes by foot from the Centro Histórico. The hostel has twin size beds in all the rooms, WiFi, hot showers, roof terrace, roof garden, free breakfast, and helpful staff. For an extra fee, walking tours of Guadalajara are offered as well as longer bus excursions to regional destinations such as Chapala and Tequila. M$180-490/night.

Mid-Range

  • Hotel de Mendoza, Venustiano Carranza 16, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3942 5151. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 13:00. At the Hotel de Mendoza, guests can stay in a peaceful, airy ambience within walking distance of all Centro Histórico destinations. Rooms (including suites) include free WiFi, 32-inch flat screen TVs, and charming colonial decor; the hotel also has a business center, gym, restaurant and outdoor pool. M$840-1050/night. edit
  • Hotel San Francisco Plaza, Degollado 267, Zona Centro, ☏ +52 33 3613 3256. Check-in: noon, check-out: 14:00. In operation since 1986, this colonial-style hotel is a few blocks from the storied Teatro Degollado and 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 a room 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. Air conditioning, full baths, free WiFi. Suites available. Personal laundry available for a small fee. Breakfasts at the hotel restaurant ("Don Quijote") are very good. Beatriz, the usual morning waitress, is a bundle of sunshine. M$690/night.
  • Fiesta Americana Guadalajara, Aurelio Aceves 225, Vallarte Poniente, ☏ +52 33 3818 1400. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 13:00. The Fiesta Americana is in a quiet yet hip residential area in the shadow of the Glorieta de la Minerva monument. Its lively nightclub attracts its share of hip young locals. It's a business hotel, minutes from the World Trade Center Guadalajara and has the city's second-largest convention center. Each room has a coffeemaker, minibar, and cable television, with deluxe rooms also have individual sofas with footrests and phones. Business center and room service operate 24 hours a day. The hotel offers a fitness center, laundry, dry cleaning and ironing service, gift shop, currency exchange, concierge, restaurant, airport shuttle.. There's free high-speed wireless Internet all over the property. Parking costs M$50/day, but it comes with complimentary valet service. M$850-1800/night.
  • IbeuroHotel, Mariano Otero 3235, Fraccionamiento Valle Verde, ☏ +52 33 3134 3230. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:30. Decent prices here, but you get what you pay for. For a large business hotel—one directly next to the Expo Guadalajara convention center, no less—this place skimps on the amenities. Still, the rooms are clean and all the basics are covered: color television, air conditioning, telephone, free wireless Internet, laundry and dry cleaning. Adequate if unimpressive food is served in the cafeteria. Private covered parking lot. M$660-1200/night.
  • Hotel NH Guadalajara, Sao Paulo 2334, Providencia, ☏ +52 33 3648 9500. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. A luxury business hotel next to Country Club Guadalajara in the heart of one of the city's financial districts, this high-rise hotel has 137 guest rooms with contemporary decor, amenities, and, in many cases, views over the city. Free WiFi, fitness center, restaurant ("Nhube") and garden bar, conference center, concierge services and complimentary shoeshine. Suites available. M$1500-5700/night.

Upscale

  • La Mansión del Sol, Moctezuma 1596, Ciudad del Sol, Zapopan, ☏ +52 33 3647 4762. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. "Modern yet unmistakably Mexican" is a good way to describe the decor of this luxury boutique hotel in Zapopan. Manicured exterior with sitting areas, a fountain, palm trees and ubiquitous hummingbirds surround this lovely property whose airy rooms boast all the modern amenities: 32" LCD flat-screen TV's, CD stereo system, alarm clock, hair dryer, workspace, free wireless Internet, ironing board, and dessert minibars. Other amenities include an on-site bar and restaurant ("Los Colibríes"), laundry and dry-cleaning service, sauna and steam room, business center, gym, complimentary continental breakfast, and room service. M$1500/night.
  • Posada del Marqués, Victoriano Salado Álvarez 72, Ladrón de Guevara, ☏ +52 33 3630 3206. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. An all-suite property near the charming Minerva district. The living areas, kitchenettes, and work areas all have modern decor and amenities such as air conditioning and free WiFi. Some suites also have full kitchens. There's also a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and complimentary breakfast. M$1080-1600/night.
  • Villa Ganz, López Cotilla 1739, Lafayette, ☏ +52 33 3120 1416. In the heart of the Zona Rosa. A 1930s mansion-turned-boutique hotel. Villa Ganz's ten suites are named after Jalisciense author Juan Rolfo's literary creations. Amenities include air conditioning, cable TV, hair dryers, and free WiFi, antique furnishings and decor, custom-designed toiletries, designer bathrobes and slippers, bedding and duvets containing imported goose, bookcases containing a wide-ranging selection of literature, and elegant French doors looking out either onto the peaceful garden or lively Avenida López Cotilla. A concierge is on staff. Guests at Villa Ganz also receive complimentary access to the Kristal Century gym, one block away from the hotel—this includes yoga, Pilates, and dance classes. Complimentary breakfast is served, as well as wine and appetizers in the evening. M$1900-2800/night.
  • Quinta Don José, Reforma 139, Tlaquepaque Centro, Tlaquepaque, ☏ +52 33 3635 7522. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Charming 19-room boutique hotel in the heart of Old Tlaquepaque. Amenities include high-speed WiFi, cable TV, air conditioning, complimentary continental breakfast (a full breakfast featuring traditional Mexican favorites is also available for an extra fee), an onsite tequila bar and restaurant (TlaquePasta). Landscaped exterior, tiled pool, manicured gardens, and a leafy terrace. Airy, sun-drenched rooms decorated with Old Mexican traditionalism and contemporary simplicity. The hotel organizes group tours of the artisan workshops that have made Tlaquepaque famous, and excursions to the Laguna de Chapala, Guachimontones, Tequila, and downtown Guadalajara (20 minutes away by car). M$980-1900/night.

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Learn

  • University of Guadalajara,often referred to simply as "U de G", is the most important institution of higher learning in western Mexico, and the second most important in the country after Mexico City's mammoth UNAM. The University also serves as a center of cultural activity enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, such as the Ballet Folclórico and the Cineforo Universidad.

Guadalajara offers many language schools for the fast growing need for learning Spanish:

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafe's are widely available and you generally can find one in the direct vicinity. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Phone cards can be purchased anywhere and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044 if the cell phone is registered in the same state where you are calling from or 045 if the cell phone in registered in another state. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52. For a landline you would have to dial 0052 + (area code) + (8 digit local landline number) for a cell phone you would have to call 0052 (1) followed by the 10 digit cell phone number.

Post

The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 20.6766306
  • Longitude: -103.3461596

Accommodation in Guadalajara

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Guadalajara searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 46. Last edited at 19:32 on Jun 27, 20 by road to roam. 51 articles link to this page.

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