Guadalajara City Guide
The city of Guadalajara, which is known as “The Pearl of the West,” is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco. Guadalajara is also Mexico’s second largest city and is often considered to be the ‘most Mexican’ of all cities. If you are in the mood for a truly Mexican vacation, which features much tequila and mariachi music (indigenous Mexican music performed with string instruments, Jalisco is the birthplace of Mariachi music), perhaps you should book a vacation to Guadalajara and discover its many Mexican delights.
Besides featuring on the tourist trail, Guadalajara is also a fast developing urban center in Mexico, which has a booming industrious side and is home to a rapidly growing electronics industry along with other fast developing industries like finance, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and fashion. All this business and industrial activity render the colonial city of Guadalajara, as an important stop on the business travel network as well.
Where to stay in Guadalajara
The Centro Histórico is the heart of the city, which offers many plazas, historical landmarks, museums and the Cathedral. Restaurants, shops and nightlife options abound in this city center, which also offers diverse hotels that range from luxury hotel properties to discount hotels and budget accommodation. The majority of visitors on a visit to Guadalajara tend to stay within the city’s Centro Histórico district as it is easily navigable on foot and offers numerous attractions including a market and a huge park.
The West Side of Guadalajara is an exclusive enclave of the city that is home to several consulates as well as upscale restaurants, boutiques, galleries and an assortment of luxury hotels. If you have a penchant for luxury hotel stays then you should perhaps direct your hotel search towards these Guadalajara luxury hotels. We at Fare Buzz will then ensure that we get you the best hotel rates for your stay in Guadalajara.
The other main neighborhoods in Guadalajara are areas like Zapopan, which was founded in 1542 and is home to the 18th century basilica, which is dedicated to the patron saint of Guadalajara, the Virgin of Zapopan.
Business travelers to Guadalajara tend to concentrate their visits to Guadaljara around the Minerva and Chapultepec neighborhoods of the city, which are also its main commercial centers.
Also of note are the areas of Tlaquepaque and Tonalá, both of which are located near the outskirts of the city and are home to numerous craftsmen and artisans, who produce the many arts and crafts that Guadalajara is famous for; such as furniture, wrought iron carvings, pottery, blown glass, jewelry, woodcarvings, leather goods, sculptures, and paintings. These Guadalajara neighborhoods do not feature as accommodation choices rather they provide numerous opportunities for sight-seeing and souvenir and gift shopping for holidaymakers on a vacation to Guadalajara.
Places to see in Guadalajara
The Catedral Metropolitana is a prominent attraction of Guadalajara, located in
the heart of the city. This Cathedral was built in 1561 but was not consecrated
until 1616. The cathedral, which hosts one of the oldest organs in the city, is
a mish-mash of several architectural styles like Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical.
The original towers of the Cathedral were destroyed by an earthquake in 1818 and
then rebuilt during the 19th century.
Basílica de Zapopan
The Basilica de Zapopan is one of the oldest churches in Jalisco, which is considered
to be an architectural gem. The church was built by Franciscan friars in 1690 and
offers Doric columns, vaulted Gothic ceilings along with a Corinthian altar. The
church is the focal point of the Romería de la Virgen de Zapopan religious festival
held every year on the 12th of October to honor the patron saint, the Virgin of
the Immaculate Conception.
Instituto Cultural Cabañas
Yet, another not to be missed landmark on a trip to Guadalajara is this neoclassical
building, which has been declared a world heritage site. This building was built
at the end of the 18th century and was inaugurated in 1810. Until 1980, the edifice
was known the Casa de la Misericordia (House of Mercy which was a home for orphans).
The main hall was decorated in 1938 by the celebrated muralist José Clemente Orozco.
His famed masterpiece, "El Hombre de Fuego" (Man of Fire) can be found in the vault
of the building, which is now an arts institution that hosts a permanent collection
that features works of Orozco and other artists along with temporary exhibitions.
Mural de la Biblioteca Iberoamericana Octavio Paz
This building is a library and hosts the impressive mural, which was painted by
internationally renowned muralist José David Alfaro Siqueiros and Amado de la Cueva,
a Tapatío painter in 1917. The mural depicts labor and rebellion as it features
a peasant and a factory worker and symbols of their respective domains. The difference
between the two worlds is depicted as a conflict in the midst of the mural, which
also depicts aspects of the 1910 revolution and an imaged of Emiliano Zapata, the
The Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum)
This museum is located in the city center of Guadalajara and is housed in an 18th
Century building. The museum was established here in 1992 and offers historical,
urban, ethnographic and artistic exhibits, which relate to the city of Guadalajara.
The museum organizes exhibitions, concerts and workshops regularly for adults and
The Museo Regional de Guadalajara
This museum was inaugurated in 1918 in an 18th century building and chronicles the
history of Guadalajara and features exhibits that include archeological artifacts,
furniture, colonial and indigenous paintings as well as contemporary artworks by
artists like Diego Rivera and Dr. Atl.
Best time to visit Guadalajara
The weather in Guadalajara is warm year round and the city experiences warm, wet winters and dry, mild winters. The city, in fact, receives a substantial amount of rainfall all throughout the year though July is generally the wettest month of the year while March tends to be the driest.
The warmest month in Guadalajara is usually May when average daytime temperatures usually hover around 33C (90F) while the coldest month in this home city of the Mariachi is usually January, which has a comfortable daytime temperature averaging around 24C.
Aside from its year round amenable weather, Guadalajara also hosts several important cultural events such as the International Film Festival of Guadalajara and the Guadalajara International Book Fair, which encourage visitors from around the world to book a trip to Guadalajara. In fact if you are currently planning a visit to Guadalajara, you must explore the many flight and hotel deals that Fare Buzz has for the city.
Getting around in Guadalajara
Guadalajara is served by its Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport which welcomes a whole host of domestic and international carriers. The airport is located roughly 12 miles south east of the city and is accessible via a 25 minute drive from the city center.
Fare Buzz in addition to its Guadalajara hotel deals also offers a wide variety of flight deals for Guadalajara all throughout the year. Even if you need a last minute flight to Guadalajara, Fare Buzz can come through for you, for its repertoire of travel deals is exhaustive and includes affordable last minute deals for flights, hotels as well as vacation packages.
Guadalajara offers a public transport system that consists of public buses, a small subway system and numerous taxi cabs. However, like in other mainly Spanish speaking cities, it helps to know the local language if you are desirous of using public transport. Otherwise, you can rent a car for the duration of your stay in Guadalajara as the city is quite easy to navigate, once you familiarize yourself with its layout and its main arterial roads and freeways.
Where to shop in Guadalajara
Guadalajara is considered to be the shopping capital of Mexico. The city offers gigantic, modern malls like the Plaza Galerias, which is one of the largest shopping centers in Latin America and offers 220 stores. Yet, another popular mall in Guadalajara is Andares, which is a big indoor and outdoor shopping facility in Zapopan.
Aside from these modern shopping centers, Guadalajara also offers its traditional shopping enclaves like the Mercado Libertad, which is the city’s main marketplace in the Centro Histórico section of downtown and the artisanal villages of Tlaquepaque and Tonala, all of which provide ample souvenir and gift shopping opportunities for holidaymakers on a vacation to Guadalajara.
Where to eat in Guadalajara
The dining scene in Guadalajara is dominated by restaurants that offer exquisite Mexican fare though the city’s restaurants do offer other world cuisines like Japanese, French, American, Mediterranean and more. Highly ranked restaurants in Guadalajara, according to recent surveys, include eateries like Los Itacates( Mexican), El Arca( Mexican), Casa Bariachi(Mexican), Osteria 10( Italian), Entre (French), and Paninoteca(Mediterranean).
Nightlife in Guadalajara
Guadalajara offers a variety of nightlife options but on a visit to this home of the Mariachi, you must make it a point to take in some authentic Mariachi performances at clubs like Casa Bariachi and La Bodeguita del Medio which are renowned for their talented Mariachi performers.