15 Best Things To Do in Guadalajara, Mexico

Located in western Mexico, Guadalajara is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Jalisco. This place is a major cultural centre of Mexico and is world famous for its Mariachi Music. This city hosts a number of cultural events such as Guadalajara International book fair, Guadalajara Film Festival and a lot more and thus this place is a leading vacation destination for travellers across the globe. From classic museums to vibrant entertainment centres, this city has something for every traveller. Let’s get to know most interesting tourist attractions in Guadalajara so as to collect everlasting memories.

Let's explore Guadalajara points of interest and 15 best things to do in Guadalajara:

1. Instituto Cultural de Cabañas

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Built in the beginning of nineteenth century, this place is a famous world heritage site. This place is basically a former orphanage and neoclassical hospital. It is one of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in America. Founded by Bishop of Guadalajara, it is a home to Cultural Heritage of Humanity and Cabanas Cultural Institute. Its ceiling and walls are adorned with the beautiful mural work. Along with this, one can visit Market hall nearby so as to indulge in shopping of traditional items. If travellers want to explore the real history of this building then guided tours are highly concerned recommended. 

2. Teatro Degollado

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Situated in the central plaza of the city, Teatro Degollado is a neoclassical Mexican Theatre. This place is a paradise for music and art lovers and is well known for hosting diverse performances and artistic designs. This theatre was originally constructed during Mexico’s Theatrical movement so as to showcase the cultural art of Guadalajara. The exterior of this building still retains its artistic beauty and thus grabs the attention of visitors across the globe. Its interior is adorned with plenty of beautiful paintings and murals. 

3. Guadalajara Cathedral

Top tourist destinations in guadalajaraImage Source: wikimedia.org

Also known as Cathedral of Assumption of our Lady, this is a Roman Cathedral located in the city of Guadalajara. This building is built in Spanish Renaissance style except for its Non – Gothic steeple. Guadalajara  Cathedral is famed for its architectural beauty and for a beautiful fountain placed in front of the main entrance. This cathedral was constructed somewhere in between the year 1558 and 1618. Its chapels are adorned with beautiful paintings that are attributed to some of the finest artists. The altar of this cathedral is made up of marble and silver. 

4. Palacio de Gobierno

Top tourist attractions in guadalajaraImage Source: wikimedia.org

Constructed in 18th century, Palacio de Gobierno is a fascinating government building which once housed Mexican’s Parliament in the nineteenth century. It is mainly located towards the north of the Guadalajara city. This is the place where several prominent laws were passed by the leaders of the country. Now, this building is transformed into a leading tourist attraction where visitors can admire the building’s baroque facade, famous and beautiful paintings. This building is open to the visitors on weekdays i.e. from Monday to Friday. No fee is charged for exploring the beauty and history of this place.

5. Spend some tranquil time at Expiatory Temple

What to see in guadalajaraImage Source: wikimedia.org

Popularly known as “Temple Expiatorio del Santisimo Sacramento”, this is basically a cathedral church dedicated to Blessed Sacrament. It showcases the example of one of the greatest works of its kind and is constructed in non-Gothic style. This church took almost 75 years to complete. Its construction began in the year 1897 and ended in 1972. This church is basically made up of stone and its doors are made up of Granadilla wood which enhances it beauty by manifolds. 

6. Coronilla Street

If travellers need a break from visiting galleries and museums then Coronilla Street might be the good option to explore. Located very close to Centro Historico, this is a cool, arty street. This place is stuffed with bunch of cool cafes and eateries where one can savour tempting Mexican cuisines and satisfy the craving of his taste buds. Along with delicious food, this place is ideal for enjoying organic coffee while enjoying street’s arty ambience. This street is ideal for offering unforgettable walking experience to the visitors so that they can stroll around and explore the real beauty of this city.

7. Guadalajara Zoo

Pinpointed in the north of city, Guadalajara Zoo is yet another tourist attraction to explore. This zoo is one of the largest and most popular zoos in the Latin America. It is the main zoological park in the city and is world famous for its wide range of flora and fauna. It is known for its diversity of species, especially birds. This zoo is a home to Bengal Tigers, White Lions, Black Panthers, Mexican Wolves, Gorillas etc. It also houses an aquarium and a reptile house. In order to make traveller’s trip more interesting, this place offers Safari Masai Mara, a fun ride. 

8. Avenida Chapultepec

If travellers have an ardent desire to taste some delicious delicacies then they should pay a visit at Avenida Chapultepec. This place is a hive of restaurants and bar which serve variety of cuisines and drink options. This place is ideal for those who want to enjoy some night time buzz. It is generally crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. It is interesting to know that the road of this avenue is closed for cars on Sunday and is opened only to cyclists. 

9. La Barranca de Huentitan

Also known as Barranca de Oblatos, this is a picturesque natural park and is one of the must-see places for all nature lovers. It is mainly placed in the northeast side of municipality of the city. The jaw dropping beauty and structure of this park make it a small version of Grand Canyon in USA. This place is a home to four types of vegetation Tropical forests, Riparian Forest, Rupicolous Gerbil Vegetation and Deciduous. This place is ideal for both observing different species of flora and fauna as well as for spending some leisure time in the lap of the nature. 

10. Guachimontones

Situated near the Mexican town of Teuchitlan, Guachimontones is a famous archaeological site. This striking feature of this place is its circular stepped pyramids placed in the middle of circular building complexes. This pyramid is almost 60 feet tall and has 13 high steps leading to the upper level, which has another 4 steps. This place is a sort of small museum which depicts the culture and lifestyle of people who inhabited this area in the past. This site boasts of two ball courts, ten circular complexes and four rectangular plazas. 

11. Visit Bosque Colomos

This is a natural lush green park in the Guadalajara city. This place is filled with picnic paths, picturesque landscape, Japanese Garden and short trails. This park is located just few kilometres away from the centre of the city and thus can be easily accessed by prepaid taxis and cabs. It should be remembered that this place is a home to some friendly squirrels and gophers but it is advised not to feed them as it can prove dangerous afterwards.

12. Centro Histórico

Centro Histórico is a major place to discover the history of this place and thus it is an ideal place for history buffs. Bounded by four plazas and some of the best known architectural structures, this place is worth visiting, especially in the afternoon time. Along with exploring the history of this city, this place is perfect for savouring some delicious delicacies in the restaurants here. Also, one can lose himself in shopping in these 4 plazas and enjoy dance performances in the evening. 

13. Wander around Rotonda de Los Jaliscienses Ilustres

This is a major landmark located in the Guadalajara city. This place is mainly designed to honour some special people of the Jalisco state and is thus can be visited at any time of the day. The building of this monument is constructed in neoclassical design with 17 large columns supporting one circular stone. It was built in the year 1952 and was earlier known as Rotonda de Hombres Ilustres de Jalisco but then in 2000 its name was changed to Rotonda de Los Jaliscienses Ilustres. This historical site offers peaceful and solemn atmosphere around the memorial. 

14. Discover the beauty of Lake Chapala

Lies in the southeast of Guadalajara city, Lake Chapala is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake. This lake is a habitat of variety of migratory birds and features three islands namely La Isla Menor, Isla Mezcala and Isla de Los Alacranes. Sheltered between picturesque mountains, this is an ideal spot to spend some leisure time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

15. Parque Agua Azul

Located 2 km south of the city centre, this lush green park is a lovely place to connect with nature. This place boasts of an outdoor theatre, anthropological museum, playgrounds, flower market, butterfly house and aviary. Also known as Blue Water Park, this place was opened in the year 1952. Along with exploring the natural beauty, one can also enjoy folk art at Casa de las Artesanias which is located nearby.

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Must see places in Guadalajara ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Guadalajara and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara | Added 172 times in trip plans
    Guadalajara Cathedral

    Tags: Church

    Address: Av Alcalde 10, Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Mexico

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The building of this cathedral began in the 1560s and ended almost five decades later. The towers that currently were built in 1854  and designed by Manuel Gomez Ibarra after an earthquake destro...Read more

  2. # 2 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara | Added 256 times in trip plans
    Plaza De Los Mariachis

    Tags: Square

    Address: Alvaro ObregOn esquina Lic. Verdad 23, San Juan de Dios, 44360 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    If you are keen on seeing Mexico’s culture up-close, then visit the small square called Plazuela de Los Mariachis in San Juan de Dios. This quaint little square located in the heart of the city ...Read more

  3. # 3 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara | Added 11 times in trip plans
    Hostel Hospedarte Chapultepec

    Tags: Hotel

    Address: Efraín González Luna 2075, Americana, 44160 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    Timings: 08:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    The homely property of Hostel Hospedarte Chapultepec in the heart of the cultural neighbourhood is surrounded by bars, restaurants, cafes and galleries. Students, businesspeople, families and couples ...Read more

  4. # 4 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara | Added 361 times in trip plans
    Expo Guadalajara Image

    Address: Verde Valle, 44550 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The Expo Guadalajara is a state of the art convention center with 32 rooms, 52 modulated rooms, exhibition floor and functional lobbies. This huge facility can cater up to sixty thousand people every ...Read more

  5. # 5 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara | Added 194 times in trip plans
    Museo De Arqueologia De Occidente De Mexico

    Tags: Museum, Archaeological Site

    Address: Calle Zaragoza 244, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    Museo De Arqueología De Occidente De Mexico is a small archeology museum in Guadalajara, Mexico. The museum building dates back to the 18th century and once was a convent for Augustinian Recoll...Read more

  6. # 6 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara
    Los Famosos Equipales Image

    Address: Juan Álvarez 710, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This well known bar offers great snacks to accompany its drinks. Make sure you try the “Las Nalgas Alegres” (Happy Buttocks) a pink coloured concoction with lots of kick. The juke box is a...Read more

  7. # 7 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara | Added 68 times in trip plans
    Parque Nacional Barranca De Huentitan

    Tags: National Park, Trail, Park, Nature

    Address: Calzada Independencia Norte #s/n, Huentitan El Bajo, Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    If you are looking for some adventure then Parque Nacional Barranca de Huentitan is your go-to place. A hike along the trails in this area will get the adrenaline rushing through your veins. Tucked aw...Read more

  8. # 8 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara | Added 4 times in trip plans
    Museum Of The Incredible Image

    Tags: Museum

    Address: Calle de Morelos 215, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    Timings: 11:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    The Museum of The Incredible, also known as the Wax Museum is a family-friendly quirky museum featuring various wax models of historic figures and social icons. Nestled in the Colonia Juarez, this wax...Read more

  9. # 9 of 93 Things To Do in Guadalajara
    Quinta Don Jose Boutique Hotel

    Address: Reforma 139, Centro, 45500 Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Situated in Tlaquepaque in the arts and crafts district of the city this is perfect if you love creativity. This boutique hotel has 15 rooms, a pool and bar and restaurant. It is also pet friendly.&nb...Read more

Explore the best things to do in Guadalajara. These are the most preferred tourist activities.