Guadalajara is a city that I originally didn’t even want to visit. In the end, I spent a week there. This was due to some coincidences but nevertheless, I am really glad I did spend that much time there. Guadalajara somehow appeared as the smaller Mexico City to me. It is quite a big city, very modern with a big historic centre and beautiful colonial buildings. However you have different districts and as there is more than one university it is also a student’s city which means there are a lot of young people, bars and a ton of art and culture. You find vegan food, film festivals and live concerts. At this point I definitely recommend you to check out Matilde Band, a Mexican band that I got to know in Guadalajara and that I got me fascinated. If you want to see them live as well, you should check out their tour dates for Spain in July, I’m for sure going there!
However, there are a lot more things to do in the beautiful city of Guadalajara, so here I present you my top four things to do.
Bars and Cafés in Avenida Chapultepec
Now and then I really enjoy discovering nightlife in a city and going out for a drink with people. Avenida Chapultepec is the best option for it! It is packed with bars, from low-budget over alternative to higher class ones, so there’s something for every taste and every budget. The same goes for a side street, the Calle Manuel López Cotilla. This was also the street in which the concert of Matilde Band was, to be precise at the Unplugged Whisky Bar. A really nice place that I can only recommend if you’re a fan of good live music and amazing interior design at the same time. But Avenida Chapultepec and Calle Manuel López Cotilla are not only great nightlife places. There’s also a huge range of cute coffee places and restaurants and a small alternative market called Mercado Chapultepec where you can find everything from organic honey products over ice cream to fusion kitchen. Chapultepec and Manuel López Cotilla are definitely great places to hang around, both during the day and at night.
The Parque Mirador is a little further away from the centre but it’s absolutely worth going there! As soon as you see the depth and the length of the immense canyon, it’s gonna take your breath away. I really just felt like jumping right into nature and never return to the city again. The view is one of the most stunning things I have ever seen in my life. Plus, I spotted a little friend running around, not sure though if it was a meerkat or something else. Zoology people, please help me and let me know down below if you do know what animal that was. Anyway, even though it’s quite a distance from the city centre to the Parque Mirador, it is actually super easy to get there. You just have to get to the Calzada Independencia (same road in which the Mercado San Juan de Dios is located, see down below) and take the Macrobus for just a few pesos. This is gonna take you all the way up to Parque Mirador. Oh, and have I already mentioned the beauty of the amphitheatre directly in front of the canyon? Yeah, definitely a magical place.
Yes, Tequila is actually a village. Didn’t know that either before I got to Guadalajara. Actually the first tequilas they produced there were called “Vino Mezcal de Tequila” until at some point they just called it tequila. By the way, every Tequila in the world is produced in Mexico, to be precise only in a few states of Mexico. How do I know that? I did take a tour in Tequila. And it was totally worth it. We paid $180 (ca. 9€) to visit two different distilleries. One was the Jesus Reyes distillery which only produces tequila two months a year because everything is made in a very traditional way, so that takes time for the plants to grow and for the tequila to get done. The second one was Orendain, one of the most famous and best tequilas in the world. It was super interesting to see how they actually make tequila out of agave (which, by the way, is a pretty amazing and incredibly multifunctional plant!). Unnecessay to say that they let us try the tequila, I guess. A LOT of tequila.
However, the village has more to offer than that. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills that you can (more or less) easily climb up. Just take a little walk to the edge of the village and see how far up you can get. It’s totally worth it!
How to get there: If you don’t wanna go to Tequila with a tourbus you can do what we did – take a Camión to Tequila which is a lot cheaper. You pay like $160 (ca. 8€) for a roundtrip. Just check the webpage of Tequila Plus. The busses go from the Antigua Central (NOT from where the ADO busses leave) and it takes about two hours to get there.
Mercado San Juan de Dios or Mercado Corona
Food shouldn’t be missing on my list with my favourite things to do. I just love being in different places and trying some special food. In Guadalajara it was definitely Tacos that ruled the market. However, I have seen them in a very different style here. They put two small corn trotillas together in a red non-spicy sauce, then fill them with ingredients and afterwards they deeep-fry them. Just that it’s not really deep-frying cause they’re not crunchy. Just really greasy. And delicious. But I couldn’t eat a lot of them because of all the grease. If you would want something healthier, just go check out the sushi area in Mercado San Juan de Dios (at the Calzada Independencia). This is a huge market with different food sections and funnily enough they do have a whole section with Asian food. And it is really quite good! If San Juan de Dios is too big for you and you fear to get lost, then maybe Mercado Corona is the better option for you. It’s smaller but still big enough for you to have a range of different food options.