Top Things to Do in Guadalajara

Top Things to Do in Guadalajara


Visit Guadalajara's best museums, malls, murals, markets and more. No visit is complete without a look at one of the several historic cultural sites and a tour inside a genuine tequila distillery. If time allows, be sure to include the ancient archeological site of the Guachimontones Pyramids, just one hour west of the city.

  • Basilica de Zapopan
    Explore the historic Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan which is a 17-century sanctuary and abbey located in the state of Jalisco.
  • The Guadalajara Cathedral lit up at night
    Built in the Spanish Renaissance style, The Guadalajara Cathedral is home to many Catholic altars and relics making it a popular destination when visiting Guadalajara.
  • Andaras Guadalajara shopping
    Andares is an indoor and outdoor shopping center located in the city of Guadalajara.

Tourists travel to Guadalajara to experience the destination's attractions in the main city as well as its surrounding area. The town of Tequila, where the alcoholic spirit originated and is still produced today, is a major attraction for tourists. Lake Chapala, located just a short ride from Guadalajara, is Mexico's largest lake and provides visitors with a tranquil escape from the city.

Hospicio Cabañas

The Hospicos Cabañas was built at the beginning of the 19th centurey to provide care and shelter for the disadvantaged – orphans, seniors, the handicapped and chronic invalids. This large complex which incorporates several unusual features designed specifically to meet the needs of its occupants, was unique for its time. It is also notable for the harmonious relationship between the open and built spaces, the simplicity of its design and its size. In the early 20th century, the chapel was decorated with a superb series of murals now considered some of the masterpieces of Mexican art. They are the work of Jose Clemente Orozco, one of the greatest Mexican muralists of the period.

  • Hospicio Cabañas Essential Information
  • Address: Cabanas No. 8 Col. Las Fresas, Plaza tapatia C.P. 44369
  • Tel: +(33) 3818 2800 ext. 31642
  • Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00AM - 6:00PM

Libertad or San Juan de Dios Mercado

Libertad Mercado, also known as San Juan De Dios Mercado, is one of the largest roofed markets in Mexico. Covering around 40,000 sq. meters, shoppers will find crafts of different materials like: ceramic, silver, blown glass, leather, palm leaf crafts, etc. Among the articles sold there are: embroidered clothes, typical outfits, "jorongos", overcoats, blankets, sweaters, "guayaberas" leathers coats and bags. Visitors will also find arts & crafts from all around the country: Chinconcuac, Saltillo, Santa Clara del Cobre, Taxco, Paracho, etc. On the second floor there are small restuarnats with assorted Mexican "antojitos". There are approximately 2,800 stands in the market every day and it is open all year long.

  • Libertad or San Juan De Dios Maraket Essentail Information:
  • Address: Javier Mina #52 (in between Alfareros and Cabanas) Guadalajara, 44380
  • Tel: +(33) 3618 0506

Catedral de Guadalajara

Guadalajara's cathedral is the city's most beloved and conspicuous landmark with distinctive neo-Gothic towers built after an earthquake toppled the originals in the mid-19th century. Begun in 1588 and consecrated in 1618, the building is almost as old as the city itself. Time your visit right and you will see light filter through the stained-glass renderings of The Last Supper and hear a working pipe organ rumble sweetly from the rafters.

The interior includes Gothic vaults, massive Tuscan-style gold-leaf pillars and 11 richly decorated altars that were given to Guadalajara by King Fernando VII of Spain (1814-33). The glass case nearest the north entrance is an extremely popular reliquary, containing the hands and blood of martyred Santa Inocencia. In the sacristy, which an attendant can open for you on request, is La Asuncion de la Virgen, painted by Spanish artist Bartolome Murillo in 1650. Of course, architectural purists may find flaws. Much like the Palacio de Gobierno, the cathedral is a bit of a stylistic hodgepodge, including Churrigueresque, baroque and neoclassical influences.

  • Catedral de Guadalajara Essential Information:
  • Address: Alcalde Ave. #10 (between Hildalgo Ave. and Morelos) Guadalajara, 44100
  • Tel: +(33) 3613 7168
  • Hours of Operation: 8:00AM - 8:00PM

Basilica de Zapopan

Zapopan's pride and joy, the Basilica de Zapopan, built in 1730, is home to Nuestra Senora de Zapopan, a petite statue of the Virgin visited by pilgrims year-round. During the Fiestas de Octubre, thousands of kneeling faithful from the Jalisco region crawl behind the statue as it is carried from the basilica to Guadalajara's central cathedral. The procession involves dancing and colorful tradional wear. The early evening is magical when local families throng the plaza outside and streams of pilgrims, nuns and monks fill the pews.

  • Basilica de Zapopan Essential Information:
  • Address: Evan Briseno #152, Guadalajara
  • Tel: +52 (33) 3633 6614
  • Hours of Operation: 9:00AM-8:00PM


Andaras is a shopping mall located in the Zapopan district of Guadalajara. This outdoor and indoor shopping center opened on November 19, 2008 and has been drawing local and visiting shoppers ever since. All the well recognized international luxury and commercial brands as well as independent retailers are housed there. The mall regularly offers free outdoor concerts, dance performances, film screenings and farmers markets. Surrounding the shops are fine dining restaurants and high end bars.

  • Andares Essential Information:
  • Address: Blvd. Puerto de Hierro #4965, Guadalajara, 45116
  • Tel: +(33) 3648 2280

Teatro Degollado

Construction on the noble neoclassical Teatro Degollado, home of the Guadalajara Philharmonic, was begun in 1856 and completed 30 years later. Over the Grecian columns on its front is a frieze depicting Apollo and the Nine Muses. The five-tiered interior is swathed in red velvet and 23 karat gold-leaf and crowned by a Gerardo Suarez mural based on the fourth canto of Dante's Divine Comedy.

  • Teatro Degollado Essential Information:
  • Address: Av. Hildalgo y Morelos, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, 44100
  • Tel: +(33) 3614 4773
  • Viewing times: Monday to Friday from Noon - 2:00PM
  • Free Admission

Museo de las Artes

To scratch your modernist itch if you've overdosed on classic art, head three blocks west of Parque Revolucion to this museum housed in a French renaissance building that formaearly served as the admin buildings for the University of Guadalajara. The highlight is the Paraninfo (auditorium), whose stage backdrop and dome feature large, powerful murals by Orozco. The rest of the space is given over to well-curated temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary Mexican art.

  • Museo de las Artes Essential Information:
  • Address: Av Jauarez #975, Guadalajara
  • Tel: +(33) 3134 1664
  • Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Free Admission