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Things to do in Guadalajara

The capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco, Guadalajara is at the heart of the second largest urban area in Mexico.

The city has monuments to match its status, like the Hospicio Cabañas, a splendid hospital complex from the turn of the 19th century, and a 400-year-old Colonial Renaissance cathedral.

Also in Guadalajara’s conurbation is the city of Tlaquepaque, featuring a charming old centre with a flair for arts and crafts and mariachi.

For a day trip, Tequila is an easy drive through fields of blue agave cultivated for Mexico’s beloved spirit.

Guadalajara also hosts the mammoth Mercado San Juan de Dios, the largest indoor market in the Americas.

There you’ll be tempted by treats like iced horchata, a refreshing rice, vanilla and cinnamon drink, and tortas ahogadas, sandwiches soaked in a chilli sauce.

And, as the home of mariachis and the gateway to tequila country, Guadalajara is considered the most ‘Mexican’ city. Its extraordinary colonial monuments, museums, folklore, hospitality and mild climate are among the big draws for travelers.”

Here are the top 5 things to do in Guadalajara:

  1. Visit the Hospicio Cabañas: The Hospicio Cabañas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in the Americas. The complex now serves as a museum, showcasing contemporary art exhibitions and murals by José Clemente Orozco.
  2. Explore the historic center: The historic center of Guadalajara is home to numerous historic buildings, plazas, and churches. Some popular sites to visit include the Guadalajara Cathedral, the Plaza de Armas, and the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres.
  3. Visit the Mercado San Juan de Dios: The Mercado San Juan de Dios is one of the largest markets in Latin America, offering a wide range of products including souvenirs, clothing, and local food. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and shop for authentic Mexican goods.
  4. Enjoy the local food and drink: Guadalajara is known for its delicious food and drink, including tequila, tortas ahogadas (drowned sandwiches), and birria (spicy goat stew). Some popular places to try these specialties include the Tequila Express train ride and the many taquerias and street food vendors throughout the city.
  5. Visit the Instituto Cultural Cabañas: The Instituto Cultural Cabañas is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and a former orphanage and hospital complex. It’s now a cultural center and museum, featuring exhibits on Mexican art and history as well as temporary art installations. The highlight of the museum is a series of murals painted by José Clemente Orozco.

Best time to visit Guadalajara

The best time to visit Guadalajara is between the months of October and December when the weather is dry, temperatures skim the lower 80s and festivals fill the calendar. The five months that span January and May are another great time to visit the city, thanks to decreased hotel prices.

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