All roads lead to Guadalajara! (map) This city which name means “Stone Valley” is picturesque wherever you see it. The streets reflect a Mexico full of mariachi, tequila and traditions. Its downtown hosts beautiful temples, monuments and plazas where you can comfortably go for a walk.
It is home to numerous landmarks, including *Guadalajara Cathedral (map), the *Teatro Degollado (map), the *Templo Expiatorio (map), the *Hospicio Cabañas (map), and the San Juan de Dios Market (map) — the largest indoor market in Latin America.
Guadalajara is a global city and one of Mexico’s most important cultural centers. It is home to numerous mainstays of Mexican culture, including Mariachi, Tequila, and Birria and hosts numerous notable events.
Guadalajara has a lively cultural life. The city exhibits works by international artists and is a must-see for international cultural events whose radius of influence reaches most of the countries of Latin America, including the southwestern United States. >> *Culture of Guadalajara
Guadalajara proper is divided into four districts corresponding approximately to the northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast quarters of the city. At the center of everything is the main area of interest to tourists, the Centro Histórico (map), or the historic downtown. Most of your time will probably be spent here.
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, map) to the college bars in Zapopan. However, perhaps the most active bar district in Guadalajara is centered along Avenida Chapultepec (map) between Hidalgo (map) and Niños Héroes (map), about 2 km west of the Centro Histórico.
The city hosts the Feria Internacional Gastronómica en Guadalajara (International Gastronomy Fair) each year in September showcasing Mexican and international cuisines. Many restaurants, bars, bakeries and cafés participate as well as producers of beer, wine and tequila.
*Tequila (map) – 65km in the west. Situated in a picturesque countryside setting, it’s perhaps the quintessential Guadalajara side trip, and is the best place to sample Mexico’s favorite liquor.
These temporary open-air street markets or bazaars are a Mexican tradition dating back to the Aztec days, and are a great way to get up close and personal with local culture at its most real—and score some bargains in the process. Some of the biggest tianguis in Guadalajara include:
Liberty Market (Mercado Libertad, map). Known by locals as Mercado San Juan de Dios, is a very busy, multi-story enclosed market; with hundreds of vendors, it’s the largest market in Latin America. 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).
Tianguis el Baratillo (map). The largest tianguis in Guadalajara, this market sells anything and everything—tools, furniture, food, clothes and accessories, kitchenware, toys, and all manner of other articles—with an emphasis on used items sold at great bargains (hence its name El Baratillo, which roughly translates as “The Flea Market”).