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Five things to do in Guadalajara, Mexico

There is a lot to do when visiting, but here are five top things not to miss.

Guadalajara is one of the most important cities in Mexico. It was founded by 300 inhabitants in a place where there were no other towns or settlements, and little by little it has become one of the largest cultural centers in the country. It’s legacy in music, food, drink, and culture has grown to be known in other parts of the world. There is a lot to do when visiting, but here are five top things not to miss.

1. Visit the museums downtown
To get a taste of the city, a stroll through the historic center is always a good place to start. In Latin American cities it is almost always where the city was founded, and it’s no different in Guadalajara. It’s also where the best restaurants, museums, and hotels in Guadalajara are located. In the main square, the Plaza de Armas, is the Metropolitan Cathedral and is an excellent place to start.

One of the most interesting museums in the city is the Hospicio Cabañas. This building was formerly an orphanage and was turned into a cultural center and museum. The exhibits are mainly by artists from the region, especially from the state of Jalisco, where Guadalajara is the capital. The star of this museum is the Jalisco muralist José Clemente Orozco. The artist painted the dome and the walls of the chapel, making this the largest collection of his work. 

2. Eat a torta ahogada
Mexican food is absolutely delicious, whether you prefer veg or non-veg, however, if you are looking for vegan restaurants in Mexico City, read this guide here. The food of Jalisco is renowned throughout the country, especially for its broths, and its dessert par excellence, the jericalla. However, there is no dish better known than the torta ahogada. The torta is a type of sandwich made with a specific bread. In some Mexican states a bread called telera is used, but in Guadalajara and other places is the birote the one preferred, which is a baguette type bread. It’s filled with meat (it can be in strips, cubes, or pieces) and the bread is toasted very well. It is served with red onion as a side or on top.

The special thing about torta ahogada is that it is submerged in chile de árbol sauce, which gives it a special aroma (besides the spiciness). The fact that it is submerged in sauce is what gives it the name “ahogada”, which in Spanish means “drowned”.

3. Take the Tequila train
An hour’s drive from Guadalajara is the town of Tequila. This is where the traditional drink is made and it’s a place not to be missed. You can visit the town for a short time during the day, but the best thing to do is to take a train tour with tastings and much learning about its making.

The train takes around 9 and 11 hours, and in addition to the train experience, you visit the agave fields and take a tour of the factory. Different processes to make tequila are shown, and there is even time to visit the town.

The train returns to the hotels in Guadalajara, so no extra lodging is required in Tequila. It’s a tour recommended for the whole family, since children enjoy the train, as well as the activities prepared for them. 

4. Visit the towns in the metropolitan area
Where Guadalajara was founded, there were no settlements or towns, however, there were some in the surrounding area. This made the metropolitan area of Guadalajara to be full of different towns with their own culture, traditions, typical food, and even their own main square.

The main ones not to miss are Zapopan and Tlaquepaque. Zapopan occupies the north and west of the city and has become a very modern area. A visit to the basilica, as well as the Juan José Arreola public library should be considered, but above all, a bicycle tour through the town and surroundings.

Tlaquepaque is known mainly for its handicrafts. You can visit the Hidalgo Garden where you can rest among the different sculptures, or some of the museums and churches. Any of the local restaurants offer excellent typical food that can be enjoyed for a change from the city atmosphere.

5. Walk around the Chapultepec area
Chapultepec Avenue has become one of the most visited places by locals and tourists alike. On this street you will find restaurants, bars, and even an antique market. A photo exhibit decorates the Glorieta de los Niños Héroes, and there is also plenty to see on the sidewalk when a market is held on Saturdays. Here you can also find the best brunch, but also coffee, desserts, and typical food for any other time of the day.

Chapultepec is an avenue that is recommended to walk around at night as well. Besides finding the best bars and restaurants, there will also be music groups or dancers that entertain everyone who passes by.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.