Things to Do in Guadalajara (Mexico)
This list of the best things to do in Guadalajara de Mexico is perfect to know all the points of interest of the capital of the state of Jalisco, making the most of the time.
This huge metropolis, which has an international airport and good bus connection with important cities such as Mexico City or Guanajuato, is known as the pearl of the West for its excellent quality of life and its extensive offer of leisure, culture and gastronomy, in addition to combining modernity with tradition and maintaining some of the most representative symbols of Mexico such as tequila and mariachi.
Although a full day is enough to see its main attractions, we recommend spending the night in the city and investing time in knowing some of the wonders of the surroundings such as the Tonalá Artisan Market and the colonial town of Tlaquepaque.
Cathedral of Guadalajara
You can start your visit in the Plaza de Armas, presided over by the Cathedral and heart of the historic center, considered the most emblematic and ancient monument to see in Guadalajara.
Built in the sixteenth century by order of Philip II King of Spain and rebuilt after suffering several landslides due to earthquakes, this magnificent baroque style church surprises with its two neo-Gothic towers crowned with yellow tiles and the beautiful chapels and the main altar inside.
Under the altar is a crypt where several bishops rest and several secret tunnels that were used as shelter during the religious persecution known as the Cristero War.
In addition to visiting the cathedral by day, it is worth approaching at dusk to see its magical illumination.
Rotunda of the Illustrious Jaliscienses
A few meters from the Cathedral and surrounded by trees, is the Rotunda of the Illustrious Jalisco, a structure in the form of a stone ring supported by 17 columns that has engraved the legend “Jalisco to its enlightened children”. Inside this roundabout there are 98 urns with the remains of illustrious people from all over the state and in the surroundings, up to twenty-two statues are located for the most outstanding characters in the history of Jalisco.
State Government Palace
Continuing in the heart of the historic center, formed by the 4 squares that surround the Cathedral and known as “Cruz de Plazas”, is the imposing State Government Palace, another of the most interesting places to visit in Guadalajara.
In this palace of 1790, current seat of the state government of Jalisco, slavery was declared abolished in New Spain and stands out for housing the fantastic murals of the renowned Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco, such as the famous portrait of the liberator of Mexico.
Visit the Degollado Theater, one of the things to do in Gualajara
The Degollado Theater, built in the mid-nineteenth century in honor of General Santos Degollado in a neoclassical style, following the influence of Italian theater, is another of the most beautiful buildings and one of the great cultural references of Guadalajara (Mexico).
Its portico with 16 columns and a marble relief, with the image of Apollo and the nine Muses, reminiscent of a classical Greek temple, gives way to a vestibule that will lead you to a beautiful main hall where the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco plays.
Regional Museum of Guadalajara
Knowing the history of the city and the state of Jalisco by visiting the Regional Museum, located very close to the Plaza de la Liberación, where the Legislative Palace and the Palace of Justice are located, is another of the best things to do in Gualajara.
Built in the late eighteenth century, this imposing building that occupies an entire block, stands out architecturally for its baroque façade, its beautiful interior courtyards and a monumental staircase.
In addition to knowing the history of the city, during the visit to the different rooms inside the museum you can see from petrified fossils, different archaeological pieces, to a valuable pictorial collection.
When leaving the museum you can have a drink of tequila in the mythical Cantina La Fuente, a meeting point for artists and intellectuals, which has as its icon an old rusty bicycle.
San Juan de Dios Market
When leaving the museum you can take a walk along Calle Morelos passing through Plaza Tapatía and the Fountain of the children, which represents the joy of childhood and is one of the many works of the sculptor Miguel Miramontes, until you reach the San Juan de Dios Market, another of the places to see in Guadalajara.
Considered the largest roofed market in Latin America, with more than 4,000 square meters, this endless space has hundreds of stalls selling from typical food, Jalisco handicrafts, clothing, footwear, fruits, vegetables, prepared food, sweets, to jewelry; all at very reasonable prices. If you do
not feel like eating in the market we recommend you go to La Chata or La Gorda, which are two of the best restaurants to eat in Guadalajara where you can try some typical dishes such as meat in its juice, tortas ahogadas or birria (spiced goat meat).
Another good option to get to know this market is to book this fun street food tour in which you will be accompanied by an expert guide in the typical food and traditions of Guadalajara.
Hospicio Cabañas, one of the places to visit in Guadalajara
Near the market is the Hospicio Cabañas which at the time was one of the best orphanages in Latin America and was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
This neoclassical building, built between 1801 and 1810, housed orphans, elderly and homeless children for more than a century until it was used as a barracks during the War of Independence.
It currently works as a museum showing the murals of the renowned artist José Clemente Orozco as well as hosting exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.