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Guadalajara is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is in the central region of Jalisco in the Western-Pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,495,189 it is Mexico's fourth most populous municipality. The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area includes seven adjacent municipalities with a reported population of 4,328,584 in 2009, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City. The municipality is the second most densely populated in Mexico, the first being Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in State of Mexico.
Guadalajara is the 10th largest city in Latin America in population, urban area and gross domestic product. The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara, the name of which came from the Andalusian Arabic wād(i) l-ḥijāra(واد الحجارة or وادي الحجارة), meaning "river/valley of stones". The city's economy is based on industry, especially information technology, with a large number of international firms having manufacturing facilities in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area. Other, more traditional industries, such as shoes, textiles and food processing are also important contributing factors.
Guadalajara is a cultural center of Mexico, considered by most to be the home of mariachi music and host to a number of large-scale cultural events such as the Guadalajara International Film Festival, the Guadalajara International Book Fair, and globally renowned cultural events which draw international crowds. It is home to the C.D. Guadalajara, one of the most popular football clubs in Mexico. This city was named the American Capital of Culture for 2005. Guadalajara hosted the 2011 Pan American Games.
|POPULATION :||• City 1,495,189|
• Metro 4,424,252
|FOUNDED :||February 14, 1542|
|TIME ZONE :||Time zone CST (UTC−6)|
Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
|AREA :||• City 151 km2 (58 sq mi)|
• Metro 2,734 km2 (1,056 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||1,566 m (5,138 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||20°40′N 103°21′W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.5%|
• Female: 51.5%
|AREA CODE :||33|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+52 33|
Guadalajara is the capital of the central state of Jalisco in Mexico, and the second-largest city in the country, with about a million and a half citizens (known as "Tapatíos"). It is considered a colonial city, though much of its architecture dates from the independence period. Although it has a far more relaxed feel than Mexico City, the city center can still seem a bit stuffy and dusty, especially during rush hour when the sun is out. All in all, however, it is a lovely city and contains many nice areas for walking, not just in the center.
Guadalajara is the cultural center of western Mexico and the second most important cultural center in the country. It is nicknamed the "Pearl of the West." While it is a modern city, it has kept many of the rural traditions of Jalisco, such as mariachi and a strong sense of Catholicism. Cultural tourism is one of the most important economic activities, especially in the historic center. Guadalajara is a center of learning with six universities, two culinary institutes and a thriving art scene. Guadalajara has twenty two museums, which include the Regional Museum of Jalisco, the Wax Museum, the Trompo Mágico children's museum and the Museum of Anthropology. The Hospicio Cabañas in the historic center is a World Heritage Site. For these attributes and others, the city was named an American Capital of Culture in 2005.
Guadalajara is divided into several districts. The main areas of interest to tourists are the Centro Historico and the Minerva - Chapultepec - Zona Rosa areas. These are located on an East-West axis centered on Av. Vallarta (named Av. Juárez in the Centro Historico) and stretch from the Plaza Tapatía/Plaza Mariachis on the East side to the Fuente Minerva/Arcos Vallarta on the West side. Outside of the downtown area are three areas also of interest to the tourist: Tlaquepaque, Tonalá - located SE of the centro and known for their handicraft shops and markets, and Zapopan - located NW of the centro and famous as a site of pilgrimage and for it's old-town charm. Conveniently the 275-diagonal bus route runs from Tlaquepaque through the centro to Zapopan, providing convenient access to all of these sites.
The city was established in five other places before moving to its current location. The first settlement in 1532 was in Mesa del Cerro, now known as Nochistlán,Zacatecas. This site was settled by Cristóbal de Oñate as commissioned by Nuño de Guzmán, with the purpose of securing recent conquests and defending them against the still-hostile natives. The settlement did not last long at this spot due to the lack of water; in 1533 it was moved to a location near Tonalá. Four years later, Guzmán ordered that the village be moved to Tlacotán. While the settlement was in Tlacotán, the Spanish king Charles VI granted the coat of arms that the city still has today.
This settlement was ferociously attacked during the Mixtón War in 1543 by Caxcan,Portecuex and Zacateco peoples under the command of Tenamaxtli. The war was initiated by the natives due to the cruel treatment of Indians by Nuño de Guzmán, in particular the enslavement of captured natives. Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza had to take control of the campaign to suppress the revolt after the Spanish were defeated in several engagements. The conflict ended after Mendoza made some concessions to the Indians such as freeing the Indian slaves and granting amnesty.
The village of Guadalajara barely survived the war, and the villagers attributed their survival to the Archangel Michael, who remains the patron of the city. It was decided to move the city once again, this time to Atemajac, as it was more defensible. The city has remained there to this day. In 1542, records indicate that 126 people were living in Guadalajara and, in the same year, the status of city was granted by the king of Spain. Guadalajara was officially founded on February 19, 1550 in the Valley of Atemajac. The settlement's name came from the Spanish hometown of Nuño de Guzmán.
In 1559, royal offices for the province of Nueva Galicia were moved from Compostela to Guadalajara, as well as the bishopric. Construction of the cathedral was begun in 1563. In 1575, religious orders such as the Augustinians and Dominicans arrived, which would make the city a center for evangelization efforts.
The historic city center encompasses what was four centers of population, as the villages of Mezquitán, Analco and Mexicaltzingo were annexed to the Atemajac site in 1669.
In 1791, the University of Guadalajara was established in the city, which was then the capital of Nueva Galicia. The inauguration was held in 1792 at the site of the old Santo Tomas College. While the institution was founded during the 18th century, it would not be fully developed until the 20th, starting in 1925. In 1794, the Hospital Real de San Miguel de Belén, or simply the Hospital de Belén, was opened The hospital was opened in 2016.
Guadalajara's economy during the 18th century was based on agriculture and the production of non-durable goods such as textiles, shoes and food products.
Guadalajara remained the capital of Nueva Galicia with some modifications until the Mexican War of Independence. After Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla decided not to attack Mexico City, despite early successes, he retreated to Guadalajara in late 1810. Initially, he and his army were welcome in the city, as living conditions had become difficult for workers and Hidalgo promised to lower taxes and put an end to slavery. However, violence by the rebel army to city residents, especially royalists, soured the welcome. Hidalgo did sign a proclamation ending slavery, which was honored in the country since after the war. During this time, he founded the newspaper El Despertador Americano, dedicated to the insurgent cause.
Royalist forces marched to Guadalajara, arriving in January 1811 with nearly 6,000 men. Insurgents Ignacio Allende and Mariano Abasolo wanted to concentrate their forces in the city and plan an escape route should they be defeated, but Hidalgo rejected this. Their second choice was to make a stand at the Puente de Calderon just outside the city. Hidalgo had between 80,000 and 100,000 men and 95 cannons, but the better-trained royalists won, decimating the insurgent army, forcing Hidalgo to flee toward Aguascalientes. Guadalajara remained in royalist hands until nearly the end of the war.
After the state of Jalisco was erected in 1823, the city became its capital. In 1844, General Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga initiated a revolt against the government of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, which the president managed to quell personally. However, while Santa Anna was in Guadalajara, a revolt called the Revolution of the Three Hours brought José Joaquín Herrera to the presidency and put Santa Anna into exile. During the Reform War, President Benito Juárez had his government here in 1856. French troops entered the city during the French Intervention in 1864, and the city was retaken by Mexican troops in 1866.
Despite the violence, the 19th century was a period of economic, technological and social growth for the city. After Independence, small-scale industries developed, many of them owned by immigrants from Europe. Rail lines connecting the city to the Pacific coast and north to the United States intensified trade and allowed products from rural areas of Jalisco state to be shipped. Ranch culture became a very important aspect of Jalisco's and Guadalajara's identity since this time. From 1884 to 1890, electrical service, railroad service and the Observatory were established.
Guadalajara again experienced substantial growth after the 1930s, and the first industrial park was established in 1947. Its population surpassed one million in 1964, and by the 1970s it was Mexico's second largest city and the largest in western Mexico. Most of the modern city's urbanization took place between the 1940s and the 1980s, with the population doubling every ten years until it stood at 2.5 million in 1980. The population of the municipality has stagnated, and even declined, slowly but steadily since the early 1990s.
The increase in population brought with it an increase in the size of what is now called Greater Guadalajara, rather than an increase in the population density of the city. Migrants coming into Guadalajara from the 1940s to the 1980s were mostly from rural areas and lived in the city center until they had enough money to buy property. This property was generally bought in the edges of the city, which were urbanizing into fraccionamientos, or residential areas. In the 1980s, it was described as a "divided city" east to west based on socioeconomic class. Since then, the city has evolved into four sectors, which are still more-or-less class centered. The upper classes tend to live in Hidalgo and Juárez in the northwest and southwest, while lower classes tend to live in the city center, Libertad in the north east and southeast in Reforma. However, lower class development has developed on the city's periphery and upper and middle classes are migrating toward Zapopan, making the situation less neatly divided.(napolitano21-22).
Since 1996, activity by multinational corporations has had a significant effect on the economic and social development of the city. The presence of companies such as Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and IBM has been based on production facilities built outside the city proper, bringing in foreign labor and capital. This was made possible in the 1980s by surplus labor, infrastructure improvements and government incentives. These companies focus on electrical and electronic items, which is now one of Guadalajara's two main products (the other being beer). This has internationalized the economy, steering it away from manufacturing and toward services, dependent on technology and foreign investment. This has not been favorable for the unskilled working class and traditional labor sectors.
1992 sewer explosions
On April 22, 1992, gasoline explosions in the sewer system over four hours destroyed 8 km (5 mi) of streets in the downtown district of Analco. Gante Street was the most damaged. Officially, 206 people were killed, nearly 500 injured and 15,000 were left homeless. The estimated monetary damage ranges between $300 million and $1 billion. The affected areas can be recognized by their more modern architecture.
Three days before the explosion, residents started complaining of a strong gasoline-like smell coming from the sewers. City workers were dispatched to check the sewers and found dangerously high levels of gasoline fumes. However, no evacuations were ordered. An investigation into the disaster found that there were two precipitating causes. The first was new water pipes that were built too close to an existing gasoline pipeline. Chemical reactions between the pipes caused erosion. The second was a flaw in the sewer design that did not allow accumulated gases to escape.
Arrests were made to indict those responsible for the blasts. Four PEMEX (the state oil company) officials were indicted and charged, on the basis of negligence. Ultimately, however, these people were cleared of all charges. Calls for the restructuring of PEMEX were made but they were successfully resisted.
The city has hosted important international events, such as the first Cumbre Iberoamericana in 1991, the Third Summit of Heads of State and Governments from Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union in 2004, the Encuentro Internacional de Promotores y Gestores Culturales in 2005, and the 2011 Pan American Games. It was named the American Capital of Culture in 2005, Ciudad Educadora (Educator City) in 2006 and the first Smart City in Mexico due to its use of technology in development.
In its 2007 survey entitled "Cities of the Future", FDi magazine ranked Guadalajara highest among major Mexican cities and designated Guadalajara as having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city, behind Chicago. The magazine also ranked it as the most business-friendly Latin American city in 2007.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Guadalajara has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa) that is quite close to a tropical climate, featuring dry, warm winters and hot, wet summers. Guadalajara's climate is influenced by its high altitude and the general seasonality of precipitation patterns in western North America.
Although the temperature is warm year-round, Guadalajara has very strong seasonal variation in precipitation. The northward movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone brings a great deal of rain in the summer months, whereas for the rest of the year, the climate is rather arid. The extra moisture in the wet months moderates the temperatures, resulting in cooler days and nights during this period. The highest temperatures are usually reached in May averaging 33 °C (91 °F), but can reach up to 39 °C (102 °F) just before the onset of the wet season. March tends to be the driest month and July the wettest, with an average of 273 millimetres (10.7 in) of rain, over a quarter of the annual average of about 1,002 millimetres (39.4 in).
During the rainy season, afternoon storms are very common and can sometimes bring hail flurries to the city, especially toward late August or September. Winters are relatively warm despite the city's altitude, with January daytime temperatures reaching about 25 °C (77 °F) and nighttime temperatures about 10 °C (50 °F). However, the outskirts of the city (generally those close to the Primavera Forest) experience in average cooler temperatures than the city itself. There, temperatures around 0 °C (32 °F) can be recorded during the coldest nights. Frost may also occur during the coldest nights, but temperatures rarely fall below 0 °C (32 °F) in the city, making it an uncommon phenomenon. Cold fronts in winter can sometimes bring light rain to the city for several days in a row. Snowfall is extraordinarily rare, with the last recorded one occurring in December 1997, which was the first time in 116 years, since it last fell in 1881.
Climate data for Guadalajara
|Record high °C (°F)||35.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||24.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||17.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||9.5|
|Record low °C (°F)||−1.5|
|Source #1: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional|
Guadalajara has the third-largest economy and industrial infrastructure in Mexico and contributes 37% of the state of Jalisco's total gross production. Its economic base is strong and well diversified, mainly based on commerce and services, although the manufacturing sector plays a defining role. It is ranked in the top ten in Latin America in gross domestic product and the third highest ranking in Mexico. In its 2007 survey entitled "Cities of the Future", FDi magazine ranked Guadalajara highest among major Mexican cities and designated Guadalajara as having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city behind Chicago. FDI ranked it as the most business-friendly Latin American city in 2007.
In 2009 Moody's Investors Service assigned ratings of Ba1 (Global scale, local currency) and A1.mx (Mexican national scale). During the prior five years, the municipality's financial performance had been mixed but had begun to stabilize in the later two years. Guadalajara manages one of the largest budgets among Mexican municipalities and its revenue per capita indicator (Ps. $2,265) places it above the average for Moody's-rated municipalities in Mexico.
The city's economy has two main sectors. Commerce and tourism employ most: about 60% of the population. The other is industry, which has been the engine of economic growth and the basis of Guadalajara's economic importance nationally even though it employs only about a third of the population. Industries here produce products such as food and beverages, toys, textiles, auto parts, electronic equipment, pharmaceuticals, footwear, furniture and steel products. Two of the major industries have been textiles and shoes, which are still dynamic and growing. Sixty percent of manufactured products are sold domestically, while forty percent are exported, mostly to the United States. This makes Guadalajara's economic fortunes dependent on those of the U.S., both as a source of investment and as a market for its goods.
However, it is the electronics and information technology sectors that have nicknamed the city the "Silicon Valley of Mexico." Guadalajara is the main producer of software, electronic and digital components in Mexico. Telecom and computer equipment from Guadalajara accounts for about a quarter of Mexico's electronics exports. Companies such as General Electric, IBM, Intel Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor, Hitachi Ltd., Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, Flextronics, Oracle, TCS, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Jabil Circuit have facilities in the city or its suburbs. This phenomenon began after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). International firms started building facilities in Mexico, especially Guadalajara, displacing Mexican firms, especially in information technology. One of the problems this has created is that when there are economic downturns, these international firms scale back.
In 2007, fDi magazine stated that Guadalajara has the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city, behind only Chicago. The same research noted Guadalajara as a "city of the future" due to its youthful population, low unemployment and large number of recent foreign investment deals; it was found to be the third most business-friendly city in North America.
The city has to compete with China, especially for electronics industries which rely on high volume and low wages. This has caused the it to move toward high-mix, mid-volume and value-added services, such as automotives. However, its traditional advantage of proximity to the U.S. market is one reason Guadalajara stays competitive. Mexico ranked third in 2009 in Latin America for the export of information technology services, behind Brazil and Argentina. This kind of service is mostly related to online and telephone technical support. The major challenge this sector has is the lack of university graduates who speak English.
Guadalajara proper is divided into four districts corresponding approximately to the northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast quarters of the city. At the center of everything is the main area of interest to tourists, the Centro Histórico, or the historic downtown. Most of your time will probably be spent here. It is filled with colonial-era buildings and, famously, also boasts several important mural paintings by Jalisco-born José Clemente Orozco, one of Mexico's most important artists.
Outside the Centro Histórico are:
- Sector Hidalgo—located in northwest of the Centro Histórico, Hidalgo is a largely residential sector encompassing the financial district and the Country Club Guadalajara.
- Sector Libertad—located northeast of the Centro Histórico, Sector Libertad is mostly given over to industrial use. However, the southwest part of the sector, close to the Centro Histórico, boasts a traditional market (Mercado Libertad) and the Plaza de los Mariachis.
- Sector Juárez—located southwest of the Centro Histórico, Sector Juárez is a shoppers' paradise: it boasts two shopping malls (Centro Magno andGalerias), as well as the popular Minerva, Chapultepec, and Zona Rosashopping areas.
- Sector Reforma—located southeast of the Centro Histórico, Reforma is also a mostly industrial sector, but visitors will no doubt be interested in the pleasant, tree-filled Parque Agua Azul, as well as the Tianguis Cultural de Guadalajara, a street market where alternative clothing and articles such as spiked belts, black trenchcoats, military uniforms, used books and trading cards are for sale at good prices.
Still further from central Guadalajara are several suburbs (municipios) that are cities in their own right. Several of these are also of interest to visitors, including:
- Tlaquepaque—about 30 minutes by car southeast of the Centro Histórico, downtown Tlaquepaque is a charming streetscape redolent of old Mexico. An important arts and crafts center, Tlaquepaque has a vibrant shopping district where you can buy local pottery and handicrafts, as well as many lovely restaurants, art galleries, and a regional ceramics museum.
- Tonalá—situated immediately east of Tlaquepaque, Tonalá contains Guadalajara's main bus station, handicraft shops and markets, and the largeParque Solidaridad.
- Zapopan, a large, busy suburb located southwest of Guadalajara, is famous for the old-fashioned charm of its downtown, its active nightlife fueled by the three large private universities within the city limits (Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac), its proliferation of modern shopping malls that will make American suburbanites feel right at home, and—by contrast—also large expanses of pristine nature, such as the Bosque de Colomos and the gargantuan Bosque La Primavera.
Conveniently, the 275-diagonal bus route runs from Tlaquepaque through the Centro to Zapopan, providing convenient access to all of these outer districts.
Prices in Guadalajara
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$0.85|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$5.90|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$13.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$25.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$4.30|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$2.15|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.10|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$3.70|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$5.50|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.07|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$2.70|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$1.35|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$41.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$30.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$66.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$0.40|
33 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
95 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
- Libertador Miguel Hidalgo International Airport (IATA: GDL) is located south of the city along the Guadalajara-Chapala Highway. Along with Mexico's main domestic carriers - AeroMexico, Volaris, Interjet and VivaAerobus - other major airlines, including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta, and United (has the largest number of flights to the US) also serve Guadalajara.
You can take a taxi from the airport to anywhere but many hotels offer airport pickups that can be cheaper. There is also a bus that stops at the bottom of Terminal 1 which goes to the Central Camionera Vieja close to the historic centre and costs MXN6. A taxi down to the Lake Chapala area around Ajijic or Chapala will cost about MXN380. At the airport always buy the taxi chit from the booth before exiting the terminal. Present the chit to the licensed driver.
You may also rent a car from Airport, most major car rental companies such Avis, National Car Rental, Hertz and Eropcar have booths at the baggage claim area. There are also some local car rentals such Veico Car Rental located just outside the airport, they also have good cars and often lower prices.
The new main bus station is in the suburb of Tonalá, which serves all routes further than 100km or so, generally those which leave the state of Jalisco. The old bus station just south of the centro is served by bus lines motoring to nearby pueblos like Tequila and Chapala. Be warned that bus rides can sometimes be a bit jumpy and jittery because of the state of the roads, but the buses themselves are very comfortable. A taxi from the new bus station to the Centro Historico should cost around MXN60, or you can get a city bus which will cost MXN6 unless you get a TUR bus which costs MXN10, just ask for 'centro'.
Transportation - Get Around
The Centro (downtown) is best accessible by walking. Most attractions lie within an area of about 1km long by 350 meters wide. For longer trips, or to get in and out of the Centro, use the bus, subway or a taxi. There are also horse-drawn carriages (calandrias), which are more expensive and touristy.
There is an android app called Rutas GDL that contains almost all the bus routes for the city, but is not 100% accurate as of November 2014. Also there is a web site Buscaturuta.com with bus routes throughout Mexico, but it is less accurate and harder to use.
Dozens of bus routes provide transportation around the city. As of February 2011, regular buses cost $6; there are also luxury buses (Turquesa, Tour and Cardenal) for $11. Look on the front window of the bus to determine its destination, and ask the driver if you're uncertain. You can also try to purchase a route map (the Guia Roja Red Vial Ciudad de Guadalajara is one option, or ask at any magazine stand or one of the tourism kiosks downtown for a book with bus routes), although as of early 2008 they are no longer being published and are therefore almost impossible to find. This means planning your route ahead—or asking the locals, provided you know some Spanish. Riding the bus also provides a good chance to see different parts of the city and get your bearings. Note that bus drivers will give you change within limits, though after even a day in Guadalajara you might find more 10-peso pieces in your pocket than you can dispose of.
It can be hard to spot bus stops in Guadalajara; in theory there should be a signpost with a blue sign and a picture of bus as well as triangular markings on the road with the word parada (bus stop). However, these aren't always there; sometimes the markings have worn away. Look around and see where there's a crowd of people waiting; sometimes there are even seats. If not, the buses might stop at the corner or in front of traffic lights. If they drive past you, keep looking at them and try to see where they stop.
If you know a bit of Spanish, most municipal bus routes can be seen at the web site of Sistecozome , the Metropolitan Area Mass Transit System (Sistema de Transporte Colectivo de la Zona Metropolitana). Alternatively, try Busca Tu Ruta (Search for Your Route).
One particularly useful method for getting back and forth between the Centro Histórico and the Zona Rosa/Minerva area is the Guadalajara Trolley Bus (Trolebús de Guadalajara). Westbound trolleys travel along Avenida Vallarta; eastbound trolleys along Avenida Hidalgo. Just look overhead for the pair of electrical power cables. In the Centro Histórico you can catch the Trolebús on Avenida Hidalgo up to the east side of the Plaza de la Liberación, where it makes the turn to head up to Calzada Independencia and back west.
There is also an open-top double-decker tourist bus (TuriBus) that leaves from the Rotunda and will take you past all the main sites in Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque and Zapopan. Riders can get on and off the bus at will all day long, for a flat rate.
Taxis are another option if you don't want to try to figure out the buses. You can either agree on a price with the cab driver or ask him to turn the meter on. Using the latter option, there is a risk that the driver won't the take the shortest possible route if he thinks you don't know it yourself. The meter will normally be a better price than the price the hotel will tell you to pay if they call you a cab. As always, be sure to ask the fare before you get in. Cabs cost more at night or when they have to cross the outer ring (Anillo Periférico) of the city. Daytime fares within the city are rarely more than $50, and should never exceed 100. At night, the prices are doubled. As a rule of thumb, during the daytime the fare is about $3-4/km and at night about $8-9, but if the driver is using a meter, there's also a starting price of around $5-10.
Fares to and from the airport are set at $260. If arriving at the Guadalajara airport, a taxi monopoly provides the service from the airport. Pre-purchase your taxi ride at the booths outside of the arrival halls. You can take a normal taxi to the airport, though.
You may also rent a car from Airport, most major car rental companies such Avis,National Car Rental, Hertz and Eropcar have booths at the baggage claim area. There are also some local car rentals such Veico Car Rental located just outside the airport, they also have good cars and often lower prices.
There is a small light-rail subway system (the Tren Ligero) that can be useful for travelers who happen to be headed where the trains go. There are two lines that meet at the western edge of the Centro Histórico. One runs north-to-south beneath Avenida Federalismo to the edges of the city in both directions. The other runs west-to-east through the Centro Histórico to the eastern suburbs. Fares cost $6. The subway closes at 11pm.
A new bus service named Pre-Tren ("Pre-Train") extends from the main subway station (Juárez) through the Zona Rosa to the west Anillo Periférico at a 50% discounted fare for subway card users. Pre-Trenes provide a good service with new, air-conditioned, red-colored units. The service is better than the smaller buses (camiones).
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The shopping scene in Guadalajara is centered around two opposing faces of Latin American culture: traditional open-air markets (tianguis) and the modern shopping plazas and malls that, more and more, are sprouting up around the outskirts of town. The latter can be found in particular proliferation southwest of the Centro Histórico in Sector Juárez, as well as in suburbanmunicipios such as Zapopan.
A refreshing exception to this rule is the historic downtown district ofTlaquepaque, southeast of Guadalajara proper. This area is characterized by a lively collection of shops centered on the pedestrian-only streets, Calle Independencia and Avenida Juárez. Emphasized in these charming shops are arts and handicrafts of all kinds: one-of-a-kind handmade furniture, textiles, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, glassware, home decor, and even chocolate.
These temporary open-air street markets or bazaars are a Mexican tradition dating back to the Aztec days, and are a great way to get up close and personal with local culture at its most real—and score some bargains in the process. Some of the biggest tianguis in Guadalajara include:
- Guadalajara Cultural Tianguis (Tianguis Cultural de Guadalajara), Plaza Benito Juárez, corner Av. Wáshington and Av. 16 de Septiembre, Zona Centro. Sa 7:00-19:00. Popular especially with young people, the Tianguis Cultural is not only a great place to buy clothes and music, but also to catch free open-air concerts, mingle, see and be seen.
- Liberty Market (Mercado Libertad), Javier Mina 52, San Juan de Dios, . Daily 6:00-20:00. Known by locals as Mercado San Juan de Dios because of the river that used to pass through the area, the Mercado Libertad is a very busy, multi-story enclosed market; with hundreds of vendors, it's the largest market in Latin America. The market also houses a very popular and very good food court featuring everything from seafood to local favorites like birria (goat stew) and pozole (hominy and pork stew). It's a great place to get souvenirs. Unfortunately, it isn't the safest place in town, so make sure to always keep on the lookout for purse-snatchers.
- Tianguis el Baratillo, Corner of Calle Puerto Melaque and Calle Porfirio Díaz, Santa María. Su 7:30-15:00. The largest tianguis in Guadalajara, this market sells anything and everything—tools, furniture, food, clothes and accessories, kitchenware, toys, and all manner of other articles—with an emphasis on used items sold at great bargains (hence its name El Baratillo, which roughly translates as "The Flea Market").
Malls and shopping centers
- Centro Magno, Vallarta 2425, Arcos Vallarta, .Located between Avenidas Vallarta and López Cotilla, the Centro Magno has a big, wide, closed space in the middle, surrounded mostly by restaurants, fashion, electronics and bazaar stores, with a cinema on the top floor. It's served directly by bus routes 629A and 629B, and routes 626, 622, 24, 258 and 101 are also nearby.
- Galería del Calzado, México 3225, Vallarta, . M-Sa 11:00-21:00, Su 11:00-20:30. This is an entire mall that contains over 60 shoe stores, great for the dedicated footwear obsessive. As you can imagine, all prices and styles can be found here.
- Galerías Guadalajara, Rafael Sanzio 150, Residencial La Estancia, Zapopan, . Guadalajara's biggest mall, located at the intersection of Avenidas Vallarta and Rafael Sanzio. It houses Guadalajara's biggest multiplex cinema, with 20 THX projection rooms and 4 VIP rooms. Has multi-level parking ramps as well as more than 1 square kilometer of open parking space shared with a Wal-Mart and a Sam's Club. Served by bus routes 25, 47 and 629.
- Plaza Andares, Puerta de Hierro 4965, Fraccionamiento Plaza Andares, Zapopan,. Guadalajara's newest mall, located at the corner of Avenidas Patria and Puerta de Hierro. Designer stores abound here: DKNY, Cartier, Hugo Boss, Mont Blanc, Helmut Lang, Fendi, Alexander McQueen, Versace, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Valentino, Diesel, Cavalli, Calvin Klein, Channel and Dior.
- Plaza del Sol, López Mateos Sur 2375, Ciudad del Sol, Zapopan, . This mall, Guadalajara's second-largest, is located near the corner of Avenidas López Mateos and Mariano Otero. The mall boasts a multi-story car park and an open layout, with big, open spaces in the middle, surrounded by hallways. Served by bus routes 357, 101, 24, 258, 626, 629, 645 and 701, as well as the longer-distance buses that connect the nearby town of Santa Anita with the metropolitan area. TheTorrena Tower, measuring 336.5 meters in height, is under construction next to both Plaza del Sol and Plaza Torrena, a smaller, underground mall nearby that can be recognized by its white concrete dome.
- Plaza Patria, Patria 45160, Altamira, Zapopan. Bounded by Avenidas Patria, Ávila Camacho and Américas, this two-story mall, smaller than many of the others on this list, nonetheless has a sizable assortment of stores. Clothes and electronics can be bought here, and there are also convenience stores and a supermarket. Served by bus routes 24, 25, 604, 622, 632, 634 and 701.
Food vendors in Guadalajara seem to like to rip off foreign tourists. For example, when trying to get some tacos or a burger or something from a street food vendor, the vendor will tell you not to worry about the price, and when it's time to pay you will get an inflated bill. Be sure to ask for the pricebefore you order. If the vendor tells you not to worry about the price, say "necesito saber" (I need to know). Of course, do this with a smile and you will not be ripped off.
Birria, tortas ahogadas, and chilaquiles are some of the most traditional Tapatío dishes. The food court in the Mercado Libertad is a good place to sample the variety of local specialties.
- Birria is a savory stew made of roast chiles, spices and traditionally goat meat, though you will usually be given other meat options like mutton or beef depending on the restaurant. For birria, the restaurants in the Nueve Esquinas area (a few blocks south of Templo San Francisco) are popular and reliably good.
- Tortas ahogadas (literally "drowned sandwiches") are elongated sandwiches on birote bread, akin to submarines or po' boys, smothered in a savory chile and tomato sauce. Numerous restaurants in the Centro Histórico specialize in these.
- Pozole is a hearty soup of pork and hominy topped with fresh cabbage, radish, onion and cilantro. There are some very good pozole stands in the food court of the Mercado Libertad.
- Mollete. Popular for breakfast among locals, this is a French-style roll split and covered with refried beans, then topped with ham or chorizo and cheese and toasted.
- Tamales consist of pockets of masa (a starchy dough of corn flour) filled with mole (a sauce or gravy made from any of an infinite combination of chili peppers, spices, and chocolate) and the choice of chicken or pork. Most people make tamales for holidays such as Christmas, the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Independence Day, or New Year's Day.
- Enchiladas are a corn or flour tortilla rolled around and filled with meat, cheese, vegetables and/or potatoes and covered with spicy chile sauce, dressed variously in sour cream and/or cheese.
In addition to traditional Mexican specialties, Tapatíos seem to be especially fond of Italian food—a considerable number of restaurants of that type can be found around Guadalajara. If you miss American fast food, worry not: in addition to the restaurants listed here, Guadalajara has 14 McDonald'soutlets.
Centro Histórico and nearby
- Birrería Las Nueve Esquinas, Cristóbal Colón 384, Zona Centro, . M-Sa 9:00-22:00, Su 9:00-19:30. Well known for its lamb birria, a specialty of Jalisco, this popular place is located in an old part of the Centro Histórico called "Las Nueve Esquinas" (Nine Corners), for its unusual street layout.
- La Chata, Corona 126, Zona Centro, . Daily 7:30-midnight. Very popular and very crowded. Traditional food the way mom used to make it, or so they say. Needless to say the prices are higher here than in other places serving the same fare—but still pretty reasonable. $60-190.
- La Fonda de San Miguel, Donato Guerra 25, Zona Centro, . M 8:30-18:00, Tu-Sa 8:30-noon, Su 8:30-21:00. The restaurant is housed in an old convent, with most of the seating in the covered courtyard. It is quite picturesque. The fare is traditional Mexican, including standards like chicken in mole poblano, chiles en nogada, etc. Open for lunch and dinner Su-M; lunch only Tu-Sa. $120-200.
- La Rinconada, Morelos 86, Zona Centro, .Located on the Calle de Morelos pedestrian mall in the Centro Histórico, in a restored 19th-century mansion. Traditional Mexican fare (including breakfast) is served to the tourist crowd, with serenades by strolling mariachis in the evening. $70-300.
Chapultepec, Minerva, Zapopan, and west of the Centro Histórico
- Almacén del Bife, Plaza Andares 4965, Puerta de Hierro, Zapopan, . Daily 13:00-midnight. "Beer and wine, our passion" (in translation) is the motto of this Argentinian restaurant in Plaza Andares. In addition, a wide selection of chicken dishes, pastas and a daily seafood special are offered. $120-800.
- Chop, México 2328, Ladrón de Guevara, . Su-Th 8:00-midnight, F-Sa 8:00-1:00. Lovely deli located midway between Chapultepec and Minerva and owned by a local chain of coffeehouses. Salads, sandwiches and wraps, paninis, calzone and pizza are on the menu, as well as a large selection of breakfasts served daily. Kids' menu.$60-135.
- Goa... Un Sabor de la India, López Cotilla 1520, Americana, . M 16:00-22:00, Tu-Sa 13:00-midnight, Su 13:00-19:00. A restaurant specializing in North Indian cuisine served in a lovely and exotic environment. $100-200.
- El Sacromonte, Pedro Moreno 1398, Americana, . M-Sa 13:30-midnight, Su 13:30-18:00. The food here is traditional Mexican served a little more artfully for a more well-off clientele. Subdued, violin-centered mariachis play here in the early afternoon.
- Il Duomo, de las Américas 302, Ladrón de Guevara, . Daily 13:30-midnight. Creative Italian cuisine at reasonable prices including pastas, meat dishes and fine wines, served by polite and attentive (but not over-attentive) waitstaff.
- Kamilos 333, José Clemente Orozco 333, Santa Teresita, . Daily 8:00-1:00. Unpretentious, traditional Mexican fare reigns supreme here—Kamilos' menu goes heavy on meat dishes, which are juicy and delicious. Breakfast served daily. Those who don't speak Spanish well may have trouble with the (intentionally) misspelled words on the menu—"camarones" becomes "kamaronez", "quesadilla" is rendered "kezadya", etc.
- Suehiro, La Paz 1701, Americana, . M-Sa 13:30-17:30 and 19:30-23:30, Su 13:00-19:00. Laid-back Japanese restaurant whose gargantuan menu encompasses excellently prepared cuisine in the teppanyaki, nabemono, and tempura cooking styles, as well as a huge selection of sushi and sashimi. Quality and service are beyond compare. Outside is a beautifully landscaped garden complete with koi pond.
- Tacos Providencia, Rubén Darío 534, Lomas de Guevara, . The tacos this place serves up—particularly the tacos al pastor, the specialty here—have been described as the best in Guadalajara. Quesadillas are also served.
- Tintoretto, México 2916, Residencial Juan Manuel, . Daily 13:00-1:00. Elegant and mouth-watering—and surprisingly reasonably priced—Italo-Argentinian fare featuring a mind-boggling selection of steaks and chops, carpaccios, wood-fired pizzas, salads, pasta dishes, desserts, and fine wines.
- Casa Fuerte, Independencia 224, Tlaquepaque Centro, Tlaquepaque, . Daily noon-20:00. An artful and upscale, yet faithful, take on traditional Mexican cuisine served up in an elegant old mansion in historic downtown Tlaquepaque.
- El Parián, Corner of Calles Juárez and Progreso, Tlaquepaque Centro, Tlaquepaque. This central square of Tlaquepaque's historic downtown boasts several restaurants with a bandstand in the center. It's a nice place to sit and have a drink or enjoy a meal, with numerous mariachis who will play for you for a small fee and also public performances that begin at 21:30.
- TlaquePasta, Reforma 139, Tlaquepaque Centro, Tlaquepaque, . M-Th 17:00-22:00, F-Su 14:00-22:00. Located within the Quinta Don José Boutique Hotel, a nice mix of cuisines is on offer here, with traditional Tapatío dishes rubbing shoulders on the menu with the only Italian specialties available in Tlaquepaque. Great tasting food, attractive setting, and reasonable prices.
Sights & Landmarks
Centro Histórico and nearby
- Belén Cemetery (Panteón de Belén), Belén 684, El Retiro, . Tours Tu-Sa 10:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 14:00, Th-Sa also at 20:30, 22:00 and 23:30. This old cemetery dates back to 1786. It has been converted into a museum that is full of interesting stories of cemetery hauntings and Tapatío culture in general. There are also night tours Th-Sa that many people are afraid to take! Admission $22, students $11. Photo and video fee $60. Tours $60.
- Cabañas Cultural Institute (Instituto Cultural Cabañas), Cabañas 8, San Juan de Dios, . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. This UNESCO World Heritage Site east of Plaza de la Liberación is a cultural and art center where the fresco paintings of Jose Clemente Orozco are exhibited. $70, teachers and students $35, seniors and children 6-12 $20. Camera fee $30, video fee $40. Guillermo del Toro Cinema $30, teachers, students and seniors $25.
- City Museum (Museo de la Ciudad), Independencia 684, Zona Centro, . Tu-Sa 10:00-17:30, Su 10:00-14:30.Exploring Guadalajara's over 450 years of history, the Museo de la Ciudad is situated in a former convent in the Centro Histórico that dates to the 18th Century. The museum's permanent collection is housed in six exhibition halls arranged chronologically according to century (16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st) and comprises artifacts and explanatory tests related to the history of Guadalajara in terms of art and architecture, ethnography, urban development, and the everyday life of Tapatíos. Temporary exhibits are also displayed, and lectures, workshops and symposia often take place in the auditorium and outdoor courtyard. $16, teachers and students $8.50, free for children under 12 and Su.
- Cross of Plazas (Cruz de Plazas). These four plazas are laid out in the form of a cross, with the Catedral at the center. Any of them offer a nice spot to walk through or rest in for a few minutes, and most have plenty of food vendors nearby. The plazas that make up the Cross are:
- Plaza Guadalajara (West of the cathedral, between Av. Hidalgo and Calle de Morelos, Zona Centro). Located directly in front of the cathedral, Plaza Guadalajara contains a circular fountain and an outdoor restaurant. Under the fountain there is an underground commercial center which offers all kinds of goods for sale including fruit, beverages and even jewelry.
- Plaza de Armas (South of the cathedral, between Calle de Morelos and Calle Pedro Moreno, Zona Centro). Plaza de Armas offers one of the best views of the cathedral, as well as the Government Palace. It features a French ironwork bandstand that was purchased by former Mexican president Porfirio Díaz in 1885, and four statues on the corners of the place symbolizing the four seasons. The bandstand serves as the performing arena for marching bands, but due to its recent use for all kinds of political protests, it's guarded by the police 24/7.
- Plaza de la Liberación (East of the cathedral, between Av. Hidalgo and Calle de Morelos, Zona Centro). This plaza features two large cup-shaped fountains and a gigantic sculpture of Miguel Hidalgo, the man who signed the Mexican Declaration of Independence in the current Governor's Office. It also serves as an atrium for the oldest surviving theater in the city, the Teatro Degollado, and it's the usual spot for massive free concerts.
- Rotunda of Illustrious Jaliscans (Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres) (North of the cathedral, between Av. Hidalgo and Calle Independencia, Zona Centro). This lovely circular monument of fluted columns is a mausoleum containing the ashes of 98 important men and women born in Jalisco. The bright and busy atmosphere of the park around it contrasts with the serious aspect of the Rotunda itself. On the southern side (across the street from the cathedral) is the bus stop for the previously mentioned TuriBus.
- Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno), Corona 31, Zona Centro, . Daily 9:00-20:00. This is the historical center of the government of the State of Jalisco. Today it is mostly visited for its murals, the work of the famous Jalisciense artist, José Clemente Orozco. The most famous of these is a huge portrait of Miguel Hidalgo in the vault of the old chambers of the State Council.
- Guadalajara Cathedral (Catedral de la Asunción de María Santísima), Fray Antonio Alcalde 10, Zona Centro, .Construction of this Guadalajara landmark started in the 1560s and took about 50 years to complete. The current towers were replaced on 1854 by architect Manuel Gómez Ibarra after an earthquake destroyed the originals in 1818. While visiting the Cathedral, a must-see is the mural "The Immaculate Conception" (La Purísima Concepción) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The cathedral's architecture is an eclectic mix of the Gothic, Neoclassical and Palladian styles.
- Guadalajara Regional Museum (Museo Regional de Guadalajara), Liceo 60, Zona Centro, . Tu-Sa 9:00-17:30, Su 9:00-16:30. A pleasant museum to spend a few hours in, especially on a hot day when you need some time out of the sun. It features the skeleton of a mammoth found on the nearby Laguna de Chapala.
- Plaza de los Mariachis, Av. Javier Mina at Calz. Independencia Sur, San Juan de Dios. The official name of this small triangular plaza is Plaza Pepe Guizar, named for the composer who was responsible for the song "Guadalajara". However, its popular name comes from the mariachi bands who, for a small fee, will serenade you while enjoying the restaurants and bars around the square (a word of warning, though: this neighborhood becomes sketchy after dark). The Plaza de los Mariachis is where the famous Mexican Hat Dance (Jarabe Tapatío) was born.
Minerva, Chapultepec, Zapopan and west of the Centro Histórico
- Chapalita Roundabout(Glorieta Chapalita), Av. Guadalupe at Av. de las Rosas, Chapalita, Zapopan. A verdant gathering place in a lovely neighborhood (colonia) in the suburb of Zapopan, this "garden of art" sees local artists showing off their creations every Sunday while local residents show off their dogs. Raucous celebrations take place here on national holidays.
- Colomos Forest (Bosque Los Colomos), El Chaco 3200, Colomos Providencia, Zapopan, . M-F 9:00-15:00. This lovely, family-friendly green space is a 92-hectare urban forest that boasts 30,000 trees of diverse species. Its mission is to conserve a beautiful example of a native woodland in an urban environment and educate visitors on ways for humans to better coexist with nature. In terms of visitor amenities, Colomos boasts lovely gardens including a Japanese garden and a cactus garden, goldfish ponds where children enjoy feeding the fish, and horseback riding. Smoking is strictly prohibited. $6, free for children under 12 and on Su, parking $6.
- The Expiatory Church of the Blessed Sacrament (El Expiatorio, Templo del Santísimo Sacramento), López Cotilla 935, Zona Centro, . This finely detailed Gothic Revival cathedral was built over decades starting in the late 19th century. There is a mechanical clock in the bell tower that features a procession of the Twelve Apostles at 9:00, noon and 18:00. The interior of the church features a lovely collection of stained glass windows.
- Minerva Roundabout (Glorieta Minerva), Av. Ignacio Vallarta at Av. Adolfo López Mateos, Zona Centro. This glorieta (traffic circle) showcases a giant statue of the Roman goddess Minerva (one of the most important symbols of Guadalajara), surrounded by a fountain. It's sometimes shut down to traffic and opened to pedestrians when there's a major city celebration—such as when the Chivas football team wins a major game.
- Monument of the Child Heroes (Monumento a los Niños Héroes), Av. Niños Héroes at Av. Chapultepec Sur, Moderna, . A massive stone spire that memorializes six teenage military cadets who died defending Mexico City's military academy from U.S. forces during the Mexican-American War.
- Vallarta Arch (Arcos Vallarta), Av. Ignacio Vallarta just east of Glorieta Minerva, Zona Centro. This Romanesque double arch stands at what was once the western edge of the city. There are nice views to be had from the top, and interesting murals to view on the way up.
Huentitán and east of the Centro Histórico
- Blue Water Park (Parque Agua Azul), Calz. Independencia Sur 973, Reforma, , e-mail: [email protected]. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Open air concerts, a butterfly enclosure, an aviary and plenty of greenery are some of the things that can be enjoyed at Agua Azul. This is a good place to take a break from the often dry, dusty and crowded environment of the city. The park houses a museum of paleontology, and there is a museum of regional archaeology just across Calzada Independencia. The 1.5 km from the Centro Histórico to the park is quite walkable, but it is also accessible via the 62A and 62D buses along Calzada Independencia. $4, students, teachers and seniors $2.
- Huentitán-Oblatos Canyon (Barranca de Huentitán-Oblatos), North end of Calz. Independencia Norte, Huentitán el Alto, .This is the forested gorge of the Río Lerma-Santiago, accessible via buses #62A and #62D which run along Calzada Independencia. There are two locations with fine views of the gorge:
- Guadalajara Zoo (Zoológico Guadalajara), Paseo del Zoológico 600, Huentitán el Alto, . W-Su 10:00-18:00 when school is in session, daily 10:00-18:00 during summer break and on holiday weekends. The modern Guadalajara Zoo is located adjacent to the Barranca de Huentitán-Oblatos. It's worth visiting not only for its view of the canyon, but also for its collection of animals, its safari ride and its panoramic train. Other highlights include a reptile house, a nocturnal environment exhibit and a tropical forest simulated environment. $63, children 3-11 $32, SkyZoo $36, special packages available for access to panoramic train, safari and/or aquarium.
- Independencia Overlook Park (Parque Mirador Independencia).This lovely park is located at the northern terminus of Calzada Independencia adjacent to the Barranca de Huentitán-Oblatos, with beautiful views of the canyon. Pretty gardens and benches are peppered around the park, allowing visitors to sit and enjoy the different views the park has to offer. This is also the starting point for many of the hiking trails that traverse the canyon.
Things to do
Guadalajara's sports culture is one of the most vibrant in Mexico, with a well-developed infrastructure of stadiums and facilities, achievements under its belt such as its successful turn as the host of the 2011 Pan-American Games, world-class athletes such as professional golfer Lorena Ochoa calling the city home, and big plans for the future. Guadalajara is also home to many Ballet schools surrounding the metropolitan area.
Of course, one would be remiss in talking about Guadalajara sports without mentioning the three professional football (futbol, i.e. what Americans call soccer) teams based there: Estudiantes, Atlas, and of course, Chivas. Chivas, more properly known as Club Deportivo Guadalajara, is, according to FIFA, the most popular football team in Mexico. Chivas has won 11 first-division titles and holds the longest-ever season-opening winning streak: 8 back-to-back wins. Chivas is also the only football team in Mexico with exclusively Mexican players, whereas other teams have players of varying nationalities. The team colors are red, white, and blue, signifying "Fraternity, Union, and Sports". The new stadium, Estadio Omnilife, with a capacity of 49,850, was inaugurated on July 30, 2010.
- Omnilife Stadium (Estadio Omnilife), Circuito JVC 2800, Ayamonte, Zapopan, . This is the stadium where most of the outdoor events for the 2011 Pan-American Games were held, and—more importantly—where the most popular football team in the city and the whole country, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas), has played since 2010. Chivas plays here every other Saturday at 19:00, unless otherwise specified. If you happen to be in Guadalajara on a Saturday, you are most likely to find either a Chivas football game in this stadium, or an Atlas game at Estadio Jalisco (below). Big games to watch out are Chivas vs. Atlas (which can be held in either stadiums depending on which one is scheduled as the home team) and Chivas vs. América—the "National Superclassic" (superclásico nacional)—as these teams are bitter rivals. Either of these match-ups are sure to sell out the stadium and treat those lucky enough to get tickets to an intense atmosphere. It should be noted that Estadio Omnilife is a difficult place to reach by public transport. It is close to the Periférico Oriente, so taking a taxi is the best option. Alternatively, use any bus that will go around Periférico and you'll eventually get there, just ask the driver to let you know when you are there, since the stadium's visibility from Periférico is very limited.
- Jalisco Stadium (Estadio Jalisco), Siete Colinas 1772, Independencia, . Located in Colonia Independencia, it can be reached by taking any bus along the Calzada Independencia and asking for the Estadio Jalisco. You will almost definitely see it if you look out, it will be on your left as you come from the center. Here the football team Atlas plays. Chivas used to play on this stadium until 2010, when Estadio Omnilife was completed. During the season there are league games every other Saturday. If Atlas is playing as a visitor, then you can look for a Chivas game at Estadio Omnilife. A big game to watch out for is Atlas vs. Chivas, which has an incredible atmosphere, though most games are worth experiencing. If you are of a nervous disposition, perhaps avoid the upper stands when there is a large crowd as it's known to shake when the crowds begin to jump.
- March 3rd Stadium (Estadio 3 de Marzo), Patria 1201, Villa Universitaria, Zapopan, . The Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara's football stadium in the north of the city, where "Los Estudiantes" play, is named for the date of the founding of the university in 1935. The Estudiantes play in the Primera Liga along with the other Guadalajara teams, Atlas and Chivas.
- Nuevo Progreso Bullring (Plaza de Toros Nuevo Progreso), Montes Pirineos 1930, Monumental, . Located right across the road from the Estadio Jalisco, just off Calzada Independencia, bullfights take place at the Plaza Nuevo Progreso every Sunday at 16:30. Those arriving by bus might not be able to see the bullring from the street, as it's hidden behind some trees, so get off when you see the Estadio Jalisco and go in the opposite direction.
Festivals and events
Spring and summer
- Guadalajara Film Festival (Festival Internacional del Cine de Guadalajara), Nebulosa 2916, Jardines del Bosque, . The biggest film festival in Latin America as well as one of the most important showcases for Mexican and Latin American cinema on the world stage, the Festival Internacional del Cine de Guadalajara takes place annually in early March. A bevy of awards are given in all categories of film, and it also serves as a forum for education and creative interchange among Latin American cineasts.
- International Mariachi and Charrería Conference (Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi y la Charrería). Mariachi bands from all over Mexico and the world meet the last week of August and the first week of September, usually at Teatro Degollado and the surrounding area, to play and compete for the delight of fans. You won't witness anything like this unique event anywhere else.
- Independence Day (Día de la Independencia). Visitors who find themselves in Guadalajara on the 16th of March are in for a festive and patriotic treat. One traditional way that Tapatíos enjoy celebrating this holiday is with a reenactment of the "Cry of Dolores" (Grito de Dolores), the incident that, in 1810, kicked off the war that ended with Mexico's independence from Spain. At the stroke of midnight, locals go to the main square and shout out in unison: half yell "Viva" and the other half "México", going on to the names of important heroes of Mexican history: "Viva Hidalgo", "Viva Morelos", and so on.
- Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Zapopan (Romería de la Virgen de Zapopan). Celebrated in Guadalajara on October 12th, this event honors the local Virgin Mary figure of the Guadalajara area, the Virgen de Zapopan. On this day, over a million people parade the famous statuette from the downtown cathedral to its home in the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan. This festival is only celebrated in the Guadalajara area, and is one of the largest examples of a romería outside Spain.
- International Book Fair (Feria Internacional del Libro). The "FIL" takes place every November in Guadalajara. Companies and delegations come from all over the world to exhibit their books and see books from other places. Every year a country or region serves as the guest of honor, presenting books that represent its particular literary tradition.
- Christmas (Navidad). A Tapatío Christmas tradition that you may witness if you're in Guadalajara over the holidays is known as "Las Posadas" (The Inns). Children parade through the neighborhood recreating the passage of Joseph and Mary through Bethlehem, asking for shelter and being refused. Generally nowadays this is a celebration for family and friends, but if you know a Mexican, it's a great way to experience Mexican culture firsthand. Regular appearances include piñatas, mariachi bands, Mexican beer, tequila and general merriment.
- Foundation of Guadalajara (Fundación de Guadalajara). Held on February 14th, this is a celebration to commemorate the foundation of the city of Guadalajara on that day in 1542.
Guadalajara has a vibrant nightlife that's spread out all over the city, from the touristy places in the Centro Histórico (Plaza de la Liberación is a good place to start your search) to the college bars in Zapopan. However, perhaps the most active bar district in Guadalajara is centered along Avenida Chapultepec between Hidalgo and Niños Héroes, about 2km west of the Centro Histórico. This is the place where GDL's hipster crowd makes the scene, with bar after bar lining the sides of the streets. Many of these places double as popular live music acts.
A good suggestion is to search out a bar with a large collection of tequilas and taste a great blanca, reposada and añejo. Real tequila is nothing like the junk you've had in the USA. If you ask for a traditional tequila from Los Altos, you will almost certainly get something good. Los Altos is the region northeast of Guadalajara where the best tequila in the world is made, bringing up images of tradition, patriotism and individualism.
Centro Histórico and around the Universidad de Guadalajara
- Los Famosos Equipales, Juan Álvarez 710, Zona Centro, . M-Th 10:00-midnight, F & Sa 22:00-2:30. One of its famous drinks here is named "Las Nalgas Alegres" (Happy Buttocks), which is a delicious pink-colored but deceptively strong concoction. A jukebox plays music constantly, and snacks are available too.
- Impala Bar, Enrique Díaz de León Sur 132, Americana, . W-Sa 21:00-3:00. Located directly in front of the Expiatorio, this place is very popular with the college hipster crowd and occasionally hosts live music acts.
- El Primer Piso, Pedro Moreno 947, Americana, .Tu-Sa 19:30-1:00. A lively and fun jazz bar with good music, good food and a red upholstered ceiling are trademarks.
Chapultepec, Zona Rosa and Minerva
- Angel's Club, López Cotilla 1449, Americana, .Located at the center of the gay nightlife district, the Zona Rosa, the biggest LGBT bar in Guadalajara also attracts a healthy-size straight female crowd with its thumping music and smart decor.
- Anime Bar, Chapultepec Sur 193, Americana, .Well-known to the locals known for its lit up bottles on the shelves, the Anime Bar has low-key lighting and plays contemporary music.
- Bar Américas, de las Américas 959, Ladrón de Guevara, . W-Su 21:00-5:00. Popular with fans of electronic music, this lively bar and concert venue features DJs spinning house, trance, and techno tunes and ladies' night every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Barba Negra, Justo Sierra 2194, Ladrón de Guevara, . W-Th 13:00-2:00, F 13:00-3:00, Sa 19:30-3:00. Features live rock music.
- La Incondicional, México 2916, Ladrón de Guevara, . M-Tu 19:00-3:00, W-Sa 19:00-4:00. Every drink you can imagine, and DJs every night.
- Salón del Bosque, José Guadalupe Zuno 2200, Americana, . M-Tu & Sa 13:00-23:00, W-F 13:00-1:00. Upscale, laid-back atmosphere featuring live jazz and bossa nova.
- Bostons Whiskey Bar, Tepeyac 5000, Chapalita, Zapopan, . W-Sa 20:30-3:00. Extensive selection of cocktails and live rock music.
- La Diablita Cantina, Lázaro Cárdenas 3475, Chapalita, Zapopan, . Tu-Su 13:00-4:00. Beer and snacks with a side order of live alternative rock (no cover).
- La Jijurria, 20 de Noviembre 351, Zapopan Centro, Zapopan, . Su, T & W 18:00-1:00, Th-Sa 18:00-3:00. This laid-back place in downtown Zapopan features food, drink and occasional live music.
- La Oveja Negra, Vallarta 4454, Don Bosco Vallarta, Zapopan, . Immensely popular bar and nightclub, performances by internationally famous live music acts, the place to see and be seen in GDL.
- El Palco Sports Bar, 20 de Noviembre 351 Int. 28 y 35, Zapopan Centro, Zapopan, . Sports bar in the heart of historic downtown Zapopan featuring beer, snacks, and many large-screen TVs showing sports.
Things to know
The Universidad de Guadalajara, often referred to simply as "U de G", is the most important institution of higher learning in western Mexico, and the second most important in the country after Mexico City's mammoth UNAM. The University also serves as a center of cultural activity enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, such as the Ballet Folclórico and the Cineforo Universidad.
Guadalajara offers many language schools for the fast growing need for learning Spanish.
Safety in Guadalajara
Guadalajara is known as one of the safest cities in Mexico. Nonetheless, as in any large city, the usual precautions should be taken. Crimes against tourists and foreign students are quite infrequent and mostly take the form of purse-snatching. Criminals usually work in teams and target travelers in outdoor restaurants, bars and other bus places. Should anyone spill something on you, be alert to your surroundings and step away—accidental spills are a common method of distracting their marks.
Never carry illegal substances with you; Mexican police are very strict regarding these cases.
- Emergency: 066
- Police: +52 (33) 3668 0800
- Fire: +52 (33) 3619 5155 or +52 (33) 3691 0510
- Air and Land Ambulance: +52 (33) 3616 9616
- Green Angels (road assistance): +52 (33) 3668-1800 ext. 31489
In an emergency, it's also a good idea to get in contact with the embassy or consulate of your country of origin.