20 Must-Visit Attractions in Guadalajara

Guadalajara at night I
Guadalajara at night I | © Enrique Vázquez/Flickr
Pablo Mares

As one of the most important cities in Mexico and best-known as the home of tequila and mariachi music, Guadalajara has a great deal to offer beyond tipples and tunes. With beautiful buildings, a fascinating history, and a rich heritage that continues to draw visitors from far and wide, its attractions are many. Here we’ve whittled down the best on offer to bring you the must-visits of the city.

1. Instituto Cultural Cabañas

1. Instituto Cultural Cabañas

As the most visited place of the city, and declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, this building has been both an orphanage and military barracks during the Mexican revolution, and now it is a museum with the murals of José Clemente Orozco.

Calle Cabañas 8, Las Fresas, San Juan de Dios, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3668 1642

Instituto Cultural Cabañas I © Gildardo Sánchez/Flickr

2. Mercado Libertad / San Juan de Dios


This is the largest and most picturesque market in the city, and sells typical Guadalajara food, fresh fruits and traditional candies, clothes and all kinds of souvenirs.

Calzada Javier Mina No.52, San Juan de Dios, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3618 0506

3. Plaza Tapatía

Tapatío is the colloquial name for the inhabitants of the city, and the moniker given to this pedestrian corridor. Built in 1982 with the intention of uniting the city that had traditionally been divided in east and west, it’s a nice place to walk and take some pictures.

Calzada Independencia Sur, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

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5. Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco


This building was opened in 1774 and is currently the seat of state government. The venue has four murals by José Clemente Orozco. Admission is free from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Avenida Ramón Corona No. 31,, Centro, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, +52 33 3668 1825

6. Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres

6. Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres

Built in 1952, this monument is a tribute to the people of Jalisco who were outstanding in the fields of history, art, culture and politics, with statues alongside.

Av. Miguel Hidalgo s/n, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México

Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres I © David Leonardo Méndez/Flickr

7. Museo Regional de Guadalajara


As with many other buildings in the historic center of Guadalajara, this was originally intended for religious purposes, but over the years it became a museum of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

Calle Liceo 60, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3613 2703

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El mamut de Catarina #primerospobladores

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8. Catedral de Guadalajara


With tall yellow towers that are a symbol of the city, this is an imposing building that does not go unnoticed in the center of Guadalajara.

Av Alcalde 10, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3613 7168

9. Biblioteca Iberoamericana


This beautiful building has more than 400 years of history, and is now dedicated to books. On its walls you can see the murals of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Amado de la Cueva.

Calle Pedro Moreno, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México


10. Ex Convento del Carmen


This museum shows works of art, concerts and exhibitions. The five rooms and an auditorium surrounding a large central courtyard are a privileged place for showcases of painting, photography or sculpture by national and international artists.

Avenida Juárez 638, Zona Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3030 1355

11. Museo de las Artes de La Universidad de Guadalajara

Building, Museum

Opened in 1994, this museum shows modern art in a building constructed to French Renaissance style architecture.

Calle Juárez, 975, Colonia Centro, Americana, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3134 1664

MUSA I © Javier Diaz/Pixabay

12. Templo Expiatorio

Building, Church

One of Guadalajaras most ornate architectural highlights
© Jaec / Flickr
This Catholic Temple is of neo-Gothic architectural style – its construction began in 1897, and took 75 years to complete.

13. Arcos Vallarta Guadalajara

13. Arcos Vallarta Guadalajara

Located on Vallarta Avenue, this monument is one of the most important in the city that crosses from east to west. It is a few steps from the emblematic Glorieta de La Minerva.

Av Ignacio L. Vallarta, Arcos Vallarta, Vallarta, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3819 2327

Arcos Vallarta I © Hugo Hernandez Quezada/Flickr

14. La Minerva

The fountain with the Statue of the Goddess Minerva has become an emblem of the city and meeting point to celebrate the triumphs of the soccer teams of the city or the national team.

Av. de los Arcos 4413, Vallarta, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México

15. Zoológico Guadalajara


Inaugurated in 1988, the Zoo houses almost 4,000 specimens of 392 different species, as well as an animal research center and 14 different areas for visitors.

Calle Paseo del Zoológico 600, Huentitán El Alto, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3674 4488

Jaguar I © D. Alexander Carrillo Mtz./Flickr

16. Selva Mágica

Amusement Park, Park, Zoo

© Martin Lewison / Flickr
This amusement park was opened simultaneously with the Zoo in 1988. Its mechanical games and rollercoasters are in the largest park in the west of the country.

17. Tlaquepaque

Art Gallery

Colourful art installations in Tlaquepaque, Mexico
© Patrick Trujillo - Photography / Flickr
Just a few minutes from the historic center of Guadalajara is Tlaquepaque, a colorful area that retains the charm of a small typical Mexican town.

18. Basílica de Zapopan


Every year millions of believers make the pilgrimage from the center of Guadalajara to the center of Zapopan, part of the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, in one of the largest religious processions in the country. The tour begins in the Cathedral of Guadalajara and ends in the basilica at Zapopan.

Calle Eva Briseño 152, Zapopan Centro, Zapopan, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3676 1726

20. Tonalá

This place to the east of the city is a shopper’s paradise of crafts and souvenirs worth knowing about. If you’re looking for souvenirs to take home, browse among the colourful offerings to pick up a gift or two for loved ones back home.

Hidalgo 21, Centro, Tonalá Centro, Tonalá, Jalisco, México, +52 33 3586 6000

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