48 hours in Guadalajara (or everything you expect from Mexico)


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The capital of the state of Jalisco, and second largest city in the country, is a song to everything traditionally Mexican. Mariachis and tequila, of course, but also tree-lined plazas, cobbled boulevards, colonial relics, imposing cathedrals and a friendly, welcoming character that invites you to rethink that initial idea of ​​staying only two days. Come and discover it!


9 o'clock. Start the day in the purest Mexican style: with some good chilaquiles in the Historic Center. If you have risen with the adventurous foot, head to the San Juan de Dios Market, one of the most authentic (and cheap!) Gastronomic centers of the city, where you can share coffee pot and enchiladas side by side with neighbors from all over life.

For a less intense introduction to Jalisco life, try Café Madrid (Avenida Juárez 264). This institution has been feeding Guadalajara mornings for 50 years based on rancher eggs and purely tapaty hospitality.

10:30 Once forces are replenished, Guadalajara begins to know from its nerve center: the Plaza de Armas, with the Cathedral and its twin towers proudly presiding.

Consecrated in 1618, the Cathedral is almost as old as the city itself and, like the city, will not leave you indifferent. Gothic altars, gold pillars and stained glass with biblical scenes (essential that of the Last Supper) are combined in a hodgepodge of styles that can overwhelm the architectural purists, but which define, concentrated in a room, Guadalajara.

La Catedral de Guadalajara, con sus torres con agujas neogóticas, es símbolo de la ciudad.

The Guadalajara Cathedral, with its towers with neo-Gothic spiers, is a symbol of the city. © iStock

11:30 From one guadalajarense institution to another. If you only visit a museum in the city, make sure it is this: the Hospicio Cabañas Cultural Institute. World Heritage by UNESCO, is a jewel inside and out.

To the east of Plaza Tapatía, this ancient orphanage hides among its beautiful neoclassical walls a series of modernist murals by José Clemente Orozco, one of the great Mexican painters, showing scenes of pre-Hispanic Jalisco and the conquest.

In keeping with much of the Mexican muralist work, the works are modernist and dramatic, full of images of fire, prayer and chains, in a denunciation of the oppression of power and a warning against the dangers of fascism.

Thus dawned the @hospiciocabanas today! A shared publication of Hospicio Cabañas (@hospiciocabanas) on Sep 10, 2015 at 10:23 PDT

2:00 p.m. At lunchtime, do not even think about it and go to one of the many stalls that dot the Plaza de Armas and Plaza Tapatía in which they sell the Jalisco dish par excellence: the cake drowned.

This street delicatessen is as simple as it is satisfactory: a sandwich, filled with whatever you choose, literally drowned in sauce (spicy or non-spicy). Does the explanation leave you halfway? Don't let us tell you, and try it. In what position to take the big step is a matter of chance, but if you need a recommendation Las Famosas, three blocks from the Cathedral, is a classic.

Have you been hungry? Do not miss the opportunity to try the local cocktail: the tejuino, a drink made from corn, mixed with lemon sorbet and piloncillo (caramel), which is also sold in street stalls. Its alcohol content is very low, but do not trust: hit when you least expect it.

Una jaliciense torta ahogada, pero muy, pero que muy, ahogada.

A cake drowned from Jalisco, but very, very drowned. © iStock

4:30 p.m. In the afternoon, head north and head to Zapopan, the call to become the new Molón neighborhood of Guadalajara (although in reality it is a town adjacent to the capital) .

Its most emblematic building is its Basilica, built in 1730 and home of the Virgin of Zapopan, who receives the visit of pilgrims throughout the year. The Basilica comes alive after the six o'clock mass, when the families of the neighborhood, the pilgrims and the religious gather in the square after paying their respects.

In addition to the Basilica, Zapopan has other more secular charms. His Museum of Art is the best exponent of modern art in the city, and has had among its walls, among others, works by Frida and Diego.

Exposición Modulaciones, en el Museo de Arte de Zapopan.

Modulations Exhibition, at the Zapopan Museum of Art. © Zapopan Art Museum

20:30 At nightfall, Guadalajara comes back to life. Tapatíos, residents and visitors take to the streets in search of chelas, tacos and good company. The colonies (neighborhoods) with more night activity are Providencia and Chapultepec, which are conveniently located next to each other.

An institution of Providencia is La Cervecería Unión. Taking advantage of its privileged place on the corner of Americas Avenue with São Paulo Street, the brewery boasts a terrace almost as wide as its menu, which abounds with craft beer and creative Mexican cuisine. Do not miss the pachola tacos, a specialty of Los Altos de Jalisco brought to the big city.

Of the locals ?? @cervezaminerva? #Stout #PaleAle #Viena #CerveceriaUnion A shared publication of Cervecería Unión (@cerveceriaunion) on Apr 22, 2018 at 7:50 PDT

23:00 With high spirits and a full stomach, the night of Guadalajara has only just begun. For a dose of nostalgia and glam-rock, Genesis awaits you to transport you to another era. It doesn't matter if you are looking for hits from Abba, Alaska, the Spice Girls or the Chemical Brothers: here the retro rules.

Are you looking for something with more atmosphere? Not in vain they call Guadalajara the Mexican San Francisco, and if you come at the end of June you will find one of the most celebrated Pride parades in all of Latin America.

At any time of the year, Pride is lived in Angels Club. This mega-library (in which everyone is welcome) has three floors, many fans and march for the whole night.

Guadalajara está orgullosa de su día del Orgullo, uno de los más destacados de Latinoamérica.

Guadalajara is proud of its Pride day, one of the most prominent in Latin America. © Getty Images


10:00. Recover from the previous night (as good as you can) with a breakfast at La Cafetería, in the American neighborhood. This "home away from home", as presented, concentrates its menu on traditional Mexican dishes without artifice, with bean muffins as big stars.

To have breakfast! ??? ☕️ #LaCafeteria # Libertad1700 #CasaFueraDeCasa. Thanks to @styleambitions for the photo! A shared publication of Casa Out of Home (@lacafeteriagdl) on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:44 AM PST

To drink: try to bring your brain back to life with an iced cappuccino. After reviving (even badly), take a walk through the colony. Americana is in the heart of one of the most traditional and best preserved areas of Guadalajara, and tree-lined avenues hide old mansions, charming squares and cobbled streets that are worth losing.

12:30 If you agree that your second day in Guadalajara is Sunday (or Thursday), that means one thing: market day. The Tianguis de Tonalá is one of the largest in the state of Jalisco (and the country), and a purely local experience worthy of being printed in memory.

Rows and rows of stalls as far as the eye can see sell everything from tablecloths to masks, and it will cost you to decide which one to start. One piece of advice: go patiently, it is usually full of people.

El mercado Tianguis de Tonalá es uno de los más grandes de Jalisco y en él encontrarás todo lo que te puedas imaginar.

The Tianguis de Tonalá market is one of the largest in Jalisco and in it you will find everything you can imagine. © iStock

3:30 p.m. To eat in Tonalá, pull the traditional and authentic that El Rincón del Sol puts you on a tray. After hours haggling, some chiles en nogada will make you feel great.

five pm. Plan to spend the afternoon forgetting about the crowd and the big city, and head to Tlaquepaque. I could go through another magical town, blink and you will believe that you are in a colonial town many kilometers from Guadalajara.

Tlaquepaque is a dream of cobbled streets, pastel-colored houses and craft shops (nothing cheap, really). But even if you don't buy anything, it will cost you not to spend a few hours wandering aimlessly through its alleyways, and contemplating life from a bench in the lively Hidalgo Garden.

A must-see in Tlaquepaque is the Pantaleón Panduro Museum and its collection of folk art, collected and exhibited in an ancient religious mission.

Iglesia de San Pedro, en el idílico Tlaquepaque, mucho más que un pueblo mágico.

Church of San Pedro, in the idyllic Tlaquepaque, much more than a magical town. © Getty Images

20:30 At dinner time, you do not have to leave Tlaquepaque (we know what is difficult). The central square has a multitude of options, but a good one is Casa Luna and its rich phosphorus menu: fish and seafood are the kings of the table.

If your stomach only allows you to snack, but asks you to do it in a place with a lot of atmosphere, La Matatinta will welcome you to the rhythm of Bosanova.

And after dinner, do not miss the opportunity to say goodbye to Guadalajara with its most authentic sound: that of the mariachi band. The Parián, an apple full of bars in a porch in the central square, is the best place to do it … and much more if it is accompanied by a margarita.

En Casa Luna te impresionará su carta de pescados, pero también su singular decoración.

Casa Luna will impress you with its fish menu, but also its unique decoration. © Casa Luna