35 Best Places and Things To Do in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México

Guadalajara, the capital city of the state of Jalisco in Mexico, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination. Known for its mariachi music, tequila, and colonial architecture, Guadalajara offers a wide array of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Guadalajara:

1. Acuario Michin Guadalajara

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Acuario Michin features a wide variety of exhibits showcasing diverse marine life from different ecosystems around the world. You can observe and learn about various species of fish, turtles, sharks, rays, seahorses, and more. The aquarium is designed to provide an immersive experience, allowing you to get up close to the fascinating marine creatures.

2. Instituto Cultural Cabanas

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Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Instituto Cultural Cabañas is a former orphanage that now serves as an art and cultural center. Explore its courtyards, galleries, and corridors adorned with more murals by José Clemente Orozco.

3. Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento

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The Templo Expiatorio showcases stunning Gothic Revival architecture, inspired by European cathedrals. The temple’s construction began in 1897 and was completed in 1972, spanning several decades. Its intricate details, towering spires, and ornate decorations make it a visually striking structure. The temple was built to honor the Blessed Sacrament and is dedicated to expiating sins. Its design follows traditional Gothic elements, such as pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and rose windows. The facade features intricate stone carvings and statues, adding to its grandeur.

4. Guadalajara Cathedral


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As mentioned earlier, the Guadalajara Cathedral is a magnificent architectural masterpiece that should not be missed. Take a guided tour to learn about its rich history and marvel at the intricate details of its interior.

5. Zoológico Guadalajara

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The Guadalajara Zoo is home to a diverse array of animal species from around the world. From majestic lions and tigers to playful primates, curious giraffes, colorful birds, and fascinating reptiles, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The zoo focuses on conservation efforts and provides a safe and enriching environment for its animal residents. The zoo features exhibits designed to replicate natural habitats for the animals. You can explore different areas, such as the African Savannah, where you can observe zebras, rhinoceroses, and antelopes. The Tropical Rainforest exhibit showcases lush vegetation and houses species like jaguars, monkeys, and exotic birds. Each habitat aims to provide an immersive experience for visitors while prioritizing the well-being of the animals.

6. Bosque Los Colomos

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Bosque Los Colomos is known for its abundant green spaces and well-maintained gardens. The park features a diverse range of plant species, including towering trees, colorful flowers, and manicured lawns. As you explore the park, you’ll encounter picturesque pathways lined with lush vegetation, creating a tranquil and scenic environment. The park offers a network of walking and hiking trails that wind through its natural landscapes. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more active hike, you’ll find trails suited to different fitness levels. The trails take you through wooded areas, along streams, and to viewpoints where you can admire the beauty of the surrounding nature.

7. Plaza de la Liberación

The plaza in 2021; one of the square's fountains is in the foreground and Guadalajara Cathedral is in the background

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Plaza de la Liberación has played a pivotal role in Mexico’s history. It was in this square that Miguel Hidalgo, a key figure in the Mexican War of Independence, declared the end of slavery in Mexico on December 6, 1810. The square commemorates this historic event, symbolizing freedom and liberation. Dominating the plaza is the iconic Liberation Arch, an impressive white marble structure with neoclassical architectural elements. The arch stands as a symbol of independence and is adorned with sculptures and reliefs depicting important moments in Mexico’s history. The arch serves as a gateway to the historic center of Guadalajara.

8. Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan

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The basilica is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, specifically Our Lady of Zapopan, who is the patron saint of Zapopan. The history of the devotion to Our Lady of Zapopan dates back to the 16th century when a small statue of the Virgin Mary was brought to the region by Spanish missionaries. The basilica serves as a shrine for the venerated statue and has become a focal point of religious devotion. Within the basilica complex, you’ll find the Museum of Our Lady of Zapopan. The museum houses religious artifacts, paintings, sculptures, and historical objects related to the Virgin Mary and the basilica’s history. It offers visitors the opportunity to delve deeper into the devotion and cultural significance surrounding Our Lady of Zapopan.

9. Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco

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The Palacio de Gobierno is a stunning example of neoclassical architecture. Its grand facade features a blend of Baroque and Moorish influences, characterized by ornate carvings, intricate details, and a central balcony. The exterior is adorned with sculptures and reliefs that depict important moments in the history of Jalisco. One of the highlights of the Palacio de Gobierno is the collection of murals created by renowned Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco. The main staircase and several rooms in the building showcase Orozco’s powerful and thought-provoking murals, which depict significant historical events and social struggles. These murals are considered masterpieces of Mexican muralism.

10. MUSA Museo de las Artes Universidad de Guadalajara

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MUSA is dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from local, national, and international artists. The museum features a rotating schedule of exhibitions that encompass a wide range of artistic mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, video art, and installations. The exhibitions often explore thought-provoking themes and reflect current artistic trends, providing visitors with a diverse and engaging experience.

11. Glorieta La Minerva


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Glorieta La Minerva, often referred to simply as La Minerva, is an iconic landmark and traffic circle located in Guadalajara, Jalisco. This prominent monument is a symbol of the city and holds cultural and historical significance. The centerpiece of Glorieta La Minerva is a majestic statue of the Roman goddess Minerva, standing tall at the center of the traffic circle. The statue, made of bronze and covered in gold leaf, depicts Minerva with her shield, spear, and owl, symbolizing wisdom and protection. The statue is a symbol of Guadalajara’s progress and modernity.

12. Nueve Esquinas

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Nueve Esquinas is renowned for its picturesque streets lined with traditional Mexican-style buildings. The architecture reflects the colonial and neoclassical influences prevalent in the historic center of Guadalajara. Walking through the neighborhood, you’ll encounter colorful facades, ornate balconies, and narrow cobblestone streets, creating a delightful and photogenic environment. Nueve Esquinas is considered a cultural hub in Guadalajara, as it is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and cultural centers. The neighborhood offers a vibrant artistic scene, with various exhibitions, performances, and cultural events taking place throughout the year. It’s an ideal place to immerse yourself in the local arts and culture.

13. Casa-Museo López Portillo

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José López Portillo was an influential figure in Mexican politics, and the museum provides insights into his personal and political life. The exhibits focus on his presidency, significant events during his tenure, and his contributions to Mexican society. The museum is housed in López Portillo’s former residence, which adds a personal touch to the exhibits. Visitors can explore the various rooms, including the living areas, study, and library, providing a glimpse into the daily life of the former president.

14. Glorieta Chapalita

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Glorieta Chapalita is situated at the intersection of Avenida López Mateos and Avenida Niños Héroes, in the Chapalita neighborhood of Guadalajara. It is easily accessible and serves as a hub for transportation, connecting various parts of the city. The centerpiece of Glorieta Chapalita is a beautiful fountain. The fountain features intricate designs and provides a picturesque focal point in the middle of the roundabout. The fountain is often lit up at night, creating an enchanting ambiance.

15. Bosque de la Primavera

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The Bosque de la Primavera encompasses approximately 30,000 hectares of land, making it one of the largest natural areas near Guadalajara. The reserve boasts a stunning array of landscapes, including forests, meadows, canyons, rivers, and hot springs. The natural beauty of the area provides a tranquil and picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The forest is home to a rich and diverse ecosystem, housing hundreds of plant and animal species. As you explore the reserve, you may come across native flora such as oak, pine, and agave, as well as a variety of bird species, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. It’s a haven for birdwatching and wildlife observation.

16. Barranca de Oblatos

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The Barranca de Oblatos offers stunning natural beauty and picturesque landscapes. The canyon is characterized by towering cliffs, rugged rock formations, and lush vegetation, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring setting. The panoramic views from the canyon’s edge are truly breathtaking and provide a unique perspective of the surrounding area.

17. Guadalajara Wax Museum

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Located in the heart of the city, the Guadalajara Wax Museum showcases lifelike wax figures of historical figures, celebrities, and iconic Mexican personalities. It’s an entertaining and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

18. Rotonda de Los Jaliscienses Ilustres

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This monument pays homage to the illustrious figures of Jalisco, including writers, politicians, and artists. Take a stroll through the beautifully landscaped plaza and learn about the state’s cultural heritage.

19. Museum of Sacred Art

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The museum houses a wide range of religious artworks spanning various periods and styles. You can see sculptures, paintings, altarpieces, religious icons, and other objects of devotion. These artworks depict religious figures, biblical scenes, and important moments in Christian history, offering insights into the religious and artistic traditions of the region.

20. Fuente De Los Ninos Miones


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The fountain was created by artist Jorge de la Peña in 1957 and quickly became an iconic symbol of the city. It has since become a popular tourist attraction and a recognizable landmark in Guadalajara. The fountain is located in the Plaza de los Mariachis, which is a bustling square known for its lively atmosphere, mariachi bands, and street performers. It is a central gathering place in Guadalajara and offers a vibrant setting for locals and visitors alike.

21. Museo Regional de Guadalajara

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The museum is located in the former Saint Augustine Monastery, a historic building that dates back to the 1770s. The architectural beauty of the monastery itself is worth admiring, with its arched corridors, courtyards, and grand staircases. The museum’s collection is displayed throughout the building, allowing visitors to appreciate both the artwork and the historical setting. The Museo Regional de Guadalajara presents a comprehensive overview of the region’s history, from pre-Columbian times to the present day. The exhibits feature archaeological artifacts, colonial-era objects, and displays that highlight significant historical events and cultural traditions of the region. Through these exhibits, visitors can gain insights into the diverse cultural heritage and development of Guadalajara and its surroundings.

22. Selva Magica

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The amusement park boasts a variety of rides and attractions to cater to different tastes and age groups. From roller coasters and water rides to classic carnival games and family-friendly attractions, Selva Mágica offers a diverse selection of entertainment options. Some of the standout rides include the El Jaguar roller coaster, the Splash water ride, and the Ferris wheel, which offers panoramic views of the park and the city. Selva Mágica provides a range of attractions suitable for families with young children. There are gentle rides, carousels, and interactive play areas where kids can have fun and let their imaginations run wild. Additionally, the park often features live shows, parades, and entertainment performances that add to the family-friendly atmosphere.

23. Templo de Nuestra Señora de Aranzazú

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The Aranzazú Temple is known for its stunning architecture, which blends different styles. The building combines elements of Baroque, Neoclassical, and Churrigueresque architectural styles, creating a unique and visually striking façade. The exterior features intricate details, ornate decorations, and beautiful stonework that showcase the skill and craftsmanship of the time.

24. Iglesia La Luz del Mundo

Flagship Temple of La Luz del Mundo Church

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The Iglesia La Luz del Mundo follows a unique interpretation of Christian teachings. The church places strong emphasis on the belief in Jesus Christ as the only Savior and adheres to the teachings of the Bible as the sole authority in matters of faith. They emphasize the importance of baptism as a necessary step in receiving salvation. The church conducts regular worship services where members gather for prayer, singing hymns, and listening to sermons that focus on spiritual growth and biblical teachings. Services are typically held in the church’s temples, and members often wear white clothing as a symbol of purity and unity.

25. Templo de San Agustín

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The church showcases a blend of architectural styles, including Baroque and Neoclassical elements. The façade features ornate carvings, intricate details, and decorative motifs that reflect the artistic craftsmanship of the period. The interior of the church is equally impressive, with its high ceilings, grand arches, and richly adorned altarpieces. The Templo de San Agustín is an active place of worship, and regular religious services, including Masses and sacraments, are held here. Visitors have the opportunity to participate in the church’s spiritual activities and experience the faith and devotion of the local community.

26. Ex Convento Del Carmen

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The Ex Convento del Carmen dates back to the 17th century when it was originally established as a Carmelite convent. It served as a religious and educational institution, housing monks and offering religious instruction to the local community. The convent showcases stunning colonial architecture with Baroque and Neoclassical influences. The exterior features intricate stone carvings, arches, and a bell tower. Inside, you’ll find beautiful courtyards, archways, and a spacious church adorned with ornate altarpieces and religious art.

27. Parque Agua Azul

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Parque Agua Azul is nestled in a natural setting, surrounded by lush greenery and trees. It provides a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, offering a serene and peaceful environment for relaxation and leisure. The park is named after the “Agua Azul” (Blue Water) springs that flow through the area. These natural springs create small waterfalls, streams, and ponds within the park, adding to its charm and providing a tranquil ambiance. Visitors can enjoy the soothing sound of running water and even dip their feet in some of the shallow pools.

28. Museo del Ejército y Fuerza Aérea

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The museum features a range of exhibits that trace the history of the Mexican Army and Air Force. You can explore displays of military uniforms, weapons, artillery, aircraft models, and other artifacts that highlight the evolution of these forces throughout the years. One of the main highlights of the museum is its collection of military aircraft. Visitors can see a variety of aircraft on display, including fighter jets, transport planes, helicopters, and historical aircraft used by the Mexican Air Force. These exhibits offer an up-close look at the impressive machines that have played a crucial role in Mexico’s military operations.

29. Templo Santa Maria de Gracia

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The church has a rich history that dates back to the 18th century when it was constructed. Its architectural style reflects the Baroque and Neoclassical influences prevalent during that era. The church stands as a testament to the colonial heritage of Guadalajara and its architectural legacy. The Templo Santa Maria de Gracia showcases stunning architectural features. The façade exhibits intricate stonework, ornate carvings, and decorative details that reflect the craftsmanship of the period. The interior is equally impressive, with high ceilings, elegant arches, and richly adorned altars.

30. Museo de la Ciudad de Guadalajara

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The museum features a range of exhibits that explore the history of Guadalajara from its pre-Hispanic roots to the present day. Visitors can explore displays of artifacts, photographs, documents, and interactive exhibits that highlight the city’s development, important events, and influential figures. Housed in a historic building, the museum itself is an architectural gem. The building showcases the architectural styles that have influenced Guadalajara over the centuries. You can appreciate the architectural details and the ambiance of the space as you explore the museum’s exhibits.

31. Museo de Paleontologia de Guadalajara

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The museum showcases a diverse collection of fossils, including plant and animal specimens from different geological periods. Visitors can see the remains of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, marine reptiles, ancient mammals, and extinct plants. The exhibits provide insights into the evolution and biodiversity of life on Earth. The museum offers interactive displays and educational resources that engage visitors of all ages.

32. Museo del Periodismo y las Artes Gráficas

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The museum offers a comprehensive collection of exhibits that highlight the history of journalism in Mexico. You can explore displays of vintage newspapers, photographs, printing presses, typewriters, and other artifacts that showcase the evolution of journalism and its role in shaping society. The museum also emphasizes the importance of graphic arts, including printmaking, illustration, and graphic design. You can see original artworks, posters, book illustrations, and other graphic materials that reflect the creativity and visual communication techniques used in journalism and media.

33. Templo de Jesús María

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The church has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century when it was first built. It underwent several renovations and expansions over the years, reflecting different architectural styles and influences. The church stands as a symbol of the city’s colonial heritage and religious traditions. The Templo de Jesús María showcases a blend of architectural styles, including Baroque and Neoclassical elements. The façade is adorned with intricate stonework, decorative details, and ornate sculptures. The interior features high ceilings, elegant columns, and beautifully crafted altars, creating a visually stunning atmosphere.

34. Casa-Museo José Clemente Orozco

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The museum is housed in the former residence of José Clemente Orozco, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the artist’s personal living space. The house itself may have architectural significance and offer insights into the period when Orozco lived and worked. The museum displays a collection of José Clemente Orozco’s artwork, including paintings, drawings, and sketches. The exhibits highlight his distinct style, which often incorporated powerful imagery and social commentary. You can admire his masterpieces and gain a deeper understanding of his artistic contributions.

35. Templo de San Sebastian de Analco

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The Templo de San Sebastián de Analco is one of the oldest churches in Guadalajara, with its origins dating back to the 16th century. It is considered a cultural and architectural landmark in the city. The church features a mix of architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque influences. Its facade displays intricate stone carvings and ornamental details, showcasing the craftsmanship of the time.

These are just a few highlights of what Guadalajara has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, cuisine, or simply enjoying the lively atmosphere, Guadalajara provides a captivating experience that showcases the best of Mexican traditions and hospitality.