México » States » Jalisco » Guadalajara

Tourism in Guadalajara

Guadalajara is the capital of the State of Jalisco and the second largest city of México. It is known worldwide for its folklore, the renowned Mariachi, handcrafts, tequila and the national sport, charrería. Few cities can offer such a variety of interesting things to see and do, involving the visitors in a cultural, historical and legendary atmosphere.


Also known as the Pearl of the West, it has provincial characteristics, but at the same time modern, dynamic and with friendly people. Guadalajara is a city that invites you to walk through the streets of its Historic Center, since they have a grid layout that makes anyone who feels disoriented can immediately return to the road.

Guadalajara was founded on February 14, 1542. There are several ways to get to know the city, but the best of all is to live the experience of walking through its streets, trying its gastronomy, living with its people and of course knowing a little about what it is. beautiful city and its tourist sites, we are sure that after you know it you will remember Guadajalara.

You can begin your enchantment by visiting the Historical Center and its magnificent buildings. The rich colonial legacy can be seen all over the city, including the Cathedral, featuring the symbol that has become emblematic of Guadalajara, its towers. Tlaquepaque and Tonalá are located out of the city limit, both towns are worldwide known for the quality and wide variety of its handcraft.

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Map of Guadalajara

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Tourist Attractions in Guadalajara

Plaza Guadalajara

It is shaded by dozens of laurel trees and display a beautiful fountain. There are few fine cafes and some nice stores.

Municipal Palace

The building was finished in 1952. Inside City Hall are murals of the city’s founding, painted by Guadalajara native Gabriel Flores.

Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas

It is a rectangular plaza with a beautiful Art Noveau kiosk which was made in Paris in the 19th century. The plaza has preserved four bronze sculptures of figures representing the four seasons of the year. The kiosk becomes a stage for the State Band on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Coat of Arms of the City of Guadalajara

Ensemble of several bronze sculptures with two roaring lions facing each other, posing their forefeet on the trunk of an oak in a sign of victory. Beside this sculpture are two columns, six meters high that commemorate when Guadalajara was granted the title of a city in 1539 by Charles I, king of Spain.

Plaza de los Mariachis o Patio Tapatío

Plaza de Mariachis comes alive with the music of violins, guitars and trumpets of this unique musicias from Thursday to Sunday from 15:30 to 21:00 hrs. Karaoke nights, Monday through Wednesday from 21:30 to 03:00 hrs.

Plaza Fundadores

Founder’s Square contains a fountain and a relief sculpture of 21 mts. long and 3 m. high Jalisco designed by artist Rafael Zamarripa.

Government Palace

This building dates from the second half of the 18th century, and was built to replace an adobe structure which had been in use since 1643. The stone facade is adorned by gargoyles with an armor shape. In the interior you can find two of José Clemente Orozco’s most passionate murals. Schedule: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 20:00 hrs.

Panteón de Belén (Pantheon of Bethlehem)

It was built in 1848. In the old roundabout were the remains of important of politicians, educators, scientists, musicians and writers. Enigmatic, beautiful and invaded by legends. The diverse architecture of the tombs have become an exceptional museum. Schedule: there are tours available Tuesday to Saturday 10:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 14:00 hrs. Thrusday to Saturday 20:30, 22:00 and 23:30 hrs.

Justice Palace

Built in 1588, the edifice was part of a convent. On the wall of the staircase there is a magnificent mural painted by Guillermo Chávez Vega. Schedule: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00 hrs.

Legislative Palace

An 18th century building with a Neoclassic façade. It was remodeled in 1982 to host the congress. There is a concave wall recovered with regional pottery from Tonalá. Shedule: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 21:00 hrs.

Degollado Theater
Degollado Theater
Degollado Theater

The theater was inaugurated on September 1866 and it is a fine example of Neoclassical architecture. Inside, the vaulted ceiling contains a fresco depicting a scene from Dante’s Divine Comedy painted by Jacobo Gálvez and Gerardo Suárez. The portico supporting the pediment consists of 16 Corinthian columns. has a capacity of 1026 spectators.

Plaza Tapatía

This is a modern plaza built in 1982. It stretches for half a kilometer to the Instituto Cultural de Cabañas and along its length you’ll find modern shops and restaurants, fountains, and striking modern sculptures. Its centerpiece is the large Quetzalcoátl sculpture/fountain, it consists of five bronze pieces, and the central one is 25 meters (82 feet) in height. In the Devil ́s Corner is located the Jalisco Tourism Office, this building was used for the Holy Inquisition during the colonial period.

The Rotunda of Illustrious Men

The colossal work is composed of 17 fluted columns. This space pay tribute to the illustrious characters of Jalisco.

San Juan de Dios Market

It is the Latin America’s largest indoor market. It has a wide variety of artcrafts, typical candies, and small restaurants with assorted Mexican dishes.

Forest “Los Colomos”
Forest “Los Colomos” (Centro Cultural Casa Colomos)

It was inaugurated in 1902, and today is a cultural center with a wide variety of cultural events.

Guadalajara Zoo

One of the best and most modern zoos in Mexico. There is an impressive reptile section, two aviaries, a petting zoo, an interactive museum and restaurants.

Handcraft House (Casa de los Artesanos)

It has a wide display of more than 50 artisians. Schedule: Monday to Saturday 9:00 to 19:00 hrs.

“Selva Mágica” Theme Park

The amusement park has 33 rides, the bigest roller coaster in west of Mexico, a dolphin show at Mundo Marino and bird demonstrations. Schedule: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 20:00 hrs.

Agua Azul Park

It has well-kept gardens, football couts, aviary, butterfly sanctuary, an orchid house, and a “Concha Acústica”, a concet shell where local and international performers play. Schedule: Daily 10:00 to 18:30 hrs.

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Churches in Guadalajara

Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedral
Catedral Metropolitana de Guadalajara (Metropolitan Cathedral)

This building was constructed in 1561 under the orders of Philip II, King of Spain. The two towers rising to a height of 65 meters have a truly striking appearance and have become the symbol of the city. The interior has a Neoclassical decoration, unique in the country.

Sagrario Metropolitano (Metropolitan Tabernacle)

Building completed in 1843 with a neoclassical facade. In the interior, the lead stained glass windows stands out.

Templo de Jesus Maria

It was built in 1722 as part of a Dominican nuns convent. Inside there are nice neoclassical altarpieces and colonial paintings.

Templo de la Merced, Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

The building dates from about 1721 and has a baroque facade. The Sacristy has a series of paintings from the 17th and 118th centuries.

Templo de Santa Mónica

It was built in 1733 and the church is one of the best examples of the colonial architecture in the city. Its façades are filled with a rich Baroque style and the main altar has a neoclassical style.

Templo de San Agustín

A 16th century building with a barroque façade. The building to the left of the church, originally an Augustinian cloister, is now the University of Guadalajara’s Escuela de Música (School of Music).

Templo de San Juan de Dios

It dates back to 1726 and offers a sober and beautiful façade. Next to the church is the traditional “Plaza de los Mariachis”.

San Francisco de Asís Temple

It was built by the end of the 16 th century with a beautiful façade in a barroque style.

Templo de San José de Gracia

Elegante edificio neoclásico del siglo XIX, constuiído en el lugar donde se encontraba el Convento de Santo Domingo.

Templo de Santa María de Gracia

Elegant neoclassic 19th century building, constructed where the Santo Domingo Convent was established.

El Expiatorio
El Expiatorio
El Expiatorio, Templo del Santísimo Sacramento

Its construction started in 1897. The striking neo-Gothic Church of Atonement is Guadalajara’s most breathtaking church. The three tympana on the church’s facade are embellished with Italian mosaics created in the Vatican’s Mosaic Factory and it has e huge stained glass windows and a beautiful rosette on the facade.

Parrroquia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario

An interesting construction built in a neoclassical style in 1962. The interior has a classic style with wall paintings.

Parroquia del Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

It was concluded in 1781 a beautiful construction with a Churrigueresque style.

Templo de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

It was built in 1720. The church interior is simple, coming to a focus at the Neoclassical altars and murals.

Templo de San Diego de Alcalá

Built in the second decade of the eighteenth century it has a simple and elegant facade.

Templo de San Felipe Neri

Its construction was completed in 1802 with its beautiful plateresque style façade and a majestic tower. In the interior there are 14 paintings attributed to Miguel Cabrera, a prominent painter from the 18th century.

Templo de Nuestra Señora del Carmen

Fouded in the 17th century and rebuilt in the 19th century in a neoclassical style. Inside the church exhibit beautiful paintings from the colonial period.

San Miguel de Mezquitán Parish

The building was concluded in 1733, and it shows an interesting façade covered in quarry and preceeded by a great atrium.

Señor de la Ascensión Temple

A barroque construction of the 18th century.

“Nuestra Señora de Aranzazú” Temple
Templo de Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu

It is the only church in Guadalajara that contains several of its original gilded Churrigueresque altarpieces from the 18 th century. The polychrome main altar is the main feature of the church.

Templo de Nuestra Señora de Belén

The main façade is made out of quarry stone and still kept the three original altarpieces, a unique case in Guadalajara.

Ex-Convento del Carmen

It was built in 1758. Today the church is used as auditorium for cultural and social events.

San José de Analco Parish

It was built in 1543, an became the most important church of that time. The façade has a plateresque style.

San Juan Bautista Parish

It dates back to 1541. Today the construction is a transition style between baroque and neoclassical.

San Sebastián Temple

It is one of the oldest churches in Guadalajara.

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Museums in Guadalajara

Museo del Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace Museum)

It has 8 different rooms. There is a room named “El Agave Azul” (blue agave) showing the process of tequila and its history, and another displays the history of the indigenous groups who lived in Guadalajara. Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs, Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00 hrs.

Cabañas Cultural Institute
Cabañas Cultural Institute
Instituto Cultural Cabañas (Cabañas Cultural Institute)

This building was constructed by Manuel Tolsá and complete in 1845. The façade of the building is Neoclassical, it has 23 courtyards, 106 rooms, 72 halls and two chapels. One of its biggest attractions are the murals of Jose Clemente Orozco, one of the greatest Mexican muralists, which covers the main entrance hall. Among these murals is “Hombre del Fuego” (Man of Fire) considered to be one of Orozco’s finest works.

This remarkable complex house schools of arts and crafts, exhibition rooms, and areas for theatre, music, and dance. Immediately in front of the Cabañas are two groups of anthropomorphic bronze sculpture-chairs that are the delightful creation of Guadalajara native Alejandro Colunga, entitled “Hall of the Wizards” and “Universal Wizards”. The 19th Century building is a World Heritage Site. Shedule: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Museo del Periodismo y las Artes Gráficas – Casa de los Perros (Graphic Arts and Journalism Museum)

The building has a neoclassic style façade, and it was once known as the House of Dogs by the two dog statues that adorn the cornices of the building. Guadalajara’s first printing press was set up here in 1792. The museum displays a beautiful collection of prints and machinery of the years 1600 ‘s 1700 s . It shows a review of the journalism in Guadalajara, picture exhibitions, paintings and a library.

In addition, there is an interactive room illustrating the evolution of writing. Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00. to 18:00 hrs. Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00 hrs.

Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum)

Located in a 18th century house, it contain artwork, artifacts, and documents about the city’s development from pre-Hispanic times through the 20th century. Schedule: Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:30 hrs. Satuday from 10:00 to 17:30 hrs; and Sunday from 10:00 to 14:30 hrs.

López Portillo House – Museum

The 18th century building displays an impressive Barroque façade. The musum exhibits an stunning collection of 17th- through 20th-century European furniture and accessories. It houses concerts, conferences and different exhibitions. Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Sunday 10:00 to 15:00 hrs.

Museo de las Artes Populares (Popular Arts Museum)

It exhibits “the popular art” of the state of Jalisco. Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Sunday 10:00 to 15:00 hrs.

Museo Regional de Guadalajara (Regional Museum)

The Museum occupies a magnificent edifice built between the years 1701 and 1758 with a beautiful Barroque façade. The museum hosts a collection of pre-Hispanic and paleontological pieces, including an skeleton of a mammoth. It also exhibits an impressive collection of European and Mexican paintings from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:35 hrs; and Sunday from 9:00 to 16:30.

Museo de las Artes de la Universidad de Guadalajara (University of Guadalajara’s Contemporary Art Museum)

This building has a French renaissance style. With 5 rooms, the permanent collection of contemporary art, includes two murals by Orozco. The front yard displays a sundial clock commemorating the bicentennial anniversary of its founding. Schedule: Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. Sunday 12:00 to 16:00 hrs.

Ripley's Believe it or not! and Wax Museum
Ripley’s Believe it or not! and Wax Museum
Museo de Cera y de lo Increíble (Wax Museum and Ripley’s Belive it or not!)

It presents a collection of more than 150 wax figures representing renowned characters with actual scenery. Adjacent is the Ripley’s Museum, which exhibits peculiar and incredible objects. Schedule: Everyday 11:00 to 20:00 hrs.

Biblioteca Iberoamericana Octavio Paz (Iberoamerican Library)

It is located in a 16th century temple built by Jesuits. There are temporary exhibitions and other cultural events. Schedule: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 21:00 hrs. Saturday 9:00 to 17:00 hrs

Museo de la Historia de Medicina (Museum of Medicine)

Located at the Civil Hospital of Guadalajara that was originally part of the complex of the Bethlehem Cemetery. Among its collections are a room devoted to indigenous herbal medicine, photographs, paintings, sculptures, a library and medical items.

Museo de Arte Sacro de Guadalajara (Museum of Sacred Art)

It is located behind the Cathedral. It has an interesting collection of religious art. Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs.

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