Best Things To Do In Guadalajara, Mexico

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After living in this city for 4 months I’m so excited to share with you some of the best things to do in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mexico is an amazing country. It’s one of the few places where I’ve traveled too where it feels like a genuine holiday destination.

There simply seems to be a fun vibe in the air, especially in areas like Sayulita, and Playa del Carmen. But if you’re wanting something a little different, with a touch of a European feel, but yet still very Mexican, than perhaps Guadalajara may be the option for you. It’s a little more off the beaten track, but it’s definitely well worth the effort to get to this very hip city.

To make things easier for your visit to Guadalajara, I’ve compiled this list of the best things to do in Guadalajara for you! I’ve even recommended my favourite hotel here: Hotel Portobelo (Click here for latest prices)


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Best Things To Do In Guadalajara, Mexico |

El Súper Clásico at Estadio Jalisco

While Spain may have Barcelona vs Real Madrid, this is the game that all of Mexico stops for. Club America Vs Guadalajara. The two biggest teams in Mexico who have had the most success, but also who have the biggest following.

This match can get a little spicy as each team is vying for bragging rights. If you’re a football/soccer fan, or even a sports fan, this is something that you need to check out as the atmosphere is ecstatic as it has a lively carnival feel. In my opinion watching the El Súper Clásico is one of the best things to do in Guadalajara.


Explore The Nightlife on Chapultepec

While Guadalajara may not be as renown as Playa del Carmen and Cancun for it’s night life, that’s not to say that there isn’t any in Guadalajara, it’s simply a different scene. While there are big clubs available in Guadalajara, there seems to be more of a laid-back scene based around bars with bands.

So wander down to Chapultepec and explore some of the many bars, try some local beers, sample some of the restaurants, and chill out by listening to some local music.

Live music wise there seems to be a burgeoning alternative rock scene. During the day Chapultepec is the spot where people hang out as there are numerous activities organized on the strip, especially during the weekend with dancing, bands, skateboarding, and markets.


Lucha Libre

When you think of Mexico there are several things which come to mind like mustaches, tacos, corona, and tequila. But another thing which encompasses the fun and flair of Mexico is Lucha Libre (wrestling). Lucha Libre is Mexican wrestling where both combatants wear a mask, with there being several fights leading up to the main attraction.

This may sound a little childish, but part of the fun of Lucha Libre is joining in with the locals when they insult and yell at the wrestlers. This may sound mean spirited, but it’s all part of the experience as you have the rich and poor all having fun. Lucha Libre should definitely be on your bucket list on things to do in Mexico.


Cemetery Tour of Panteón de Belén At Night

If you’re a little tired of the tried and tested tourist attractions there is something available for those of you who are feeling a little more adventurous. For as little as 25 pesos there is a night tour of the Panteón de Belén cemetery.

There is a day tour for those who are scared a little too easily. For those who are brave enough, try visiting during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).


Cathedrals, and Museums at Plaza de Arma

The city and the cultural center of Guadalajara, Plaza de Arma. From this point in the city you are within walking distance of the historic colonial cathedrals, museums, and art gallery’s which are scattered around the center.

In some of the museums there are some fabulous murals which cover the ceilings and roof, these murals are a social commentary of the Mexicans feelings towards the Spanish, along with some depictions of some major parts of Mexican history.

If you’re a history buff you’ll consider this one of the best things to do in Guadalajara.


Guadalajara Zoo

One of the things which can throw a person off from visiting a zoo is that they can become a depressing experience simply due to the conditions in which the animals are forced to live in. While this may be unfortunately true for some of the zoos around the world, that cannot be said about the zoo in Guadalajara. The animals are well looked after, cared for, and respected.

The enclosures offer the animals plenty of space to try and replicate their own environment in the wild, and I believe this shows as the animals do generally seem happier compared to other zoos, which makes the Guadalajara zoo one of the best things to do in Guadalajara.


San Juan de Dios Mercado

The largest indoor market in all of Central and South America. This place is huge, and worth a look if you’re spending some time in Guadalajara. While the majority of the items for sale are fruit and vegetables, there are CD’s, clothing, and some miscellaneous items.

Like most markets it’s impossible to say what bargains are to be had, but chances are there may just be something that’ll catch your eye that you wont be able to buy anywhere else. There is a food stall, so if you get a little hungry it’ll be a great chance to try a torta, a Mexican sandwich.


Where To Stay In Guadalajara?

I personally loved Hotel Portobelo (Click here for latest prices). In western countries a large room with a jacuzi would be four times the price but here it was hardly even a splurge.

However you can see other accommodation choices here: Hotels Combined.


Have you been to Guadalajara, and what did you think of it? Was there anything on this list that we forget?

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Written by Lexi
Lexi Forrest is an experienced luxury traveler who has a passion for scenic destinations. She's traveled to 25+ countries over the past 10 years.