Top 10 Best Things to Do in Guadalajara, Mexico

What are the top tourist spots in Guadalajara, Mexico?

Guadalajara Cathedral photo via Pixabay

Guadalajara Bucket List: 10 Best Places to Visit in Guadalajara, Mexico

Guadalajara, Mexico, is known for its high-grade fine tequilas, classical Mariachi, long-established traditions, and rich history. Guadalajara ranked as the 8th must-visit city in Southern America and home to several cultural activities such as the Guadalajara International Film Festival and the largest book fair in America, the Guadalajara International Book Fair. To make the most out of your visit to Guadalajara, we summed up the 10 best things to do in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Guadalajara Cathedral

Guadalajara Cathedral photo via Pixabay
Guadalajara Cathedral photo via Pixabay

A must-see for anyone who loves and travels to Mexico, Guadalajara Cathedral or Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady is a Spanish Renaissance and Neo-gothic style church originally built in 1541.

The cathedral’s breathtaking architectural interior and façade make it a top tourist attraction. Also, the cathedral holds a mummified body of a young girl who was killed by her father in the 1700s.

Instituto Cultural de Cabañas

Hospicio Cabanas by El Agora via Wikipedia CC
Hospicio Cabanas By El Ágora – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

Formerly known as Hospicio Cabañas, the Instituto Cultural de Cabañas was established in 1791. The structure is a world heritage site and is one of America’s oldest and largest hospitals.

The museum holds fascinating paintings of Jalisco’s artist, incredible murals of Jose Clemente Orozco, other art pieces, and also has a library, book store, and temporary expositions.

La Barranca de Huentitán

Barranca de Oblatos by Noe Gonzalez via Wikipedia CC
Barranca de Oblatos By Noé González – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

La Barranca de Huentitán or Barranca de Oblatos is a must-visit for those who are seeking to explore nature. The picturesque canyon has an amazing and serene view, perfect for hiking trips on the city’s outskirts.

There are also small pools with thermal water, perfect for a day trip with family and friends.

Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento

Templo Expiatorio del Santisimo Sacramento by Adrian Ceron via Wikipedia CC
Templo Expiatorio del Santisimo Sacramento By Adrián Cerón – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

The Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento is another must-visit church in Guadalajara, Mexico, a masterpiece of Neo-Gothic architecture. The stunning façade and grandeur intricately designed interiors make it a special place to celebrate mass.

The church was built from 1897 to 1972 and is now undeniably one of the most beautiful structures in Mexico.

Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan

Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan at Night by Andum via Wikipedia CC
Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan at Night By Andum – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Situated in downtown Zapopan at Jalisco, Mexico, the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan should not be missed on your tour in Guadalajara. The church is a 17th-century Franciscan sanctuary and one of the most visited sanctuaries in Western Mexico.

It is a beautiful place for an afternoon stroll, with many restaurants, souvenir shops, and local food stall vendors.

Teatro Degollado

Teatro Degollado photo via Pixabay
Teatro Degollado photo via Pixabay

If you love to watch theatric performances, visit the neoclassical Mexican theatre, the Teatro Degollado. Situated in the central plaza of Guadalajara, the Teatro Degollado was built in 1855 during Mexico’s theatrical movement.

The theatre museum is stunningly beautiful, and if you don’t want to watch anything, you can just appreciate the theatre’s neoclassical façade.

Guachimontones

Guachimontones photo via Pixabay
Guachimontones photo via Pixabay

Guachimontones is a great place to see and one of the best things to do in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The impressive circular pyramid is an archeological site that dates back from 300 BCE to 500 CE and is a famous tourist attraction.

The ancient ruin of Guachimontones is an exciting and unusual site worth visiting with an interpretative and informative museum.

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque Entrance Gate by Chivista via Wikipedia CC
Tlaquepaque Entrance Gate By Chivista at German Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

If you are looking for the best souvenir to take home from Guadalajara, head to the small town of Tlaquepaque. The small yet vibrant city is known for its artisan crafts such as glassware, clay pots, and art galleries.

When visiting Tlaquepaque, don’t miss to check the El Parián area where several high-end bars and restaurants lined up and where Mariachi bands play.

Parque Agua Azul

Parque Agua Azul photo via FB Page
Parque Agua Azul photo via FB Page

An excellent place for a walk and a relaxing picnic is Guadalajara’s famous public Park, the Parque Agua Azul, Blue Water Park. Established in 1952, the 168,000 square meters park has luscious green gardens with a Butterfly House, Orchid House, and an Aviary with various native species.

Guadalajara Zoo

Guadalajara Zoo by Joanto via Flickr CC
Guadalajara Zoo by Joanto via Flickr CC

Rated as one of the top and largest zoos in Latin America with a variety of species population, the Guadalajara Zoo is a zoological park established in 1988. The Guadalajara zoo is a famous tourist attraction perfect for family trips, especially for kids.

The facility has a diverse species of mammals and birds, and the famous zoo’s residents are Bengal tiger, white alligator, Baird’s tapir, Polar bear, and American black bear.

References

  • Cocking, (2018), The Top 10 Things To Do In Guadalajara, The Culture Trip
  • 15 Best Things to Do in Guadalajara (Mexico), The Crazy Tourist
  • Drillinger, Dearsley, (2021), 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Guadalajara, Planet Ware

Guadalajara Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, tour packages, and affordable flights in Guadalajara and nearby cities? Check out our list of affordable Guadalajara hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking.

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