Despite being the state capital of Jalisco and the second-largest city in Mexico, Guadalajara has managed to maintain the distinct personality of a community conscious of its own traditions. With its broad boulevards lined with trees, green plazas, Spanish-inspired architecture, and bustling sidewalks filled with events and attractions, the city has a distinctly European feel. Guadalajara is a stronghold for Charreadas, the Mexican version of the rodeo, as well as a center for mariachi music. Here we will discuss top-rated attractions for tourists in Guadalajara and we would suggest going there through Southwest airlines, and Icelandair Reservation which are the best two options to book your tickets to start your journey at a discounted price.
The Jarabe Tapatio, a well-known folk dance performed by the Tapatios, as the inhabitants of Guadalajara are known, is celebrated. When people think of Mexican folk traditions, they frequently conjure up these three things together, and Guadalajara is the hub of them all.
Its mild subtropical climate makes it a simple city to explore. The city’s four magnificent squares, which are conveniently connected and arranged in the shape of a cross, make it simple to navigate. The city’s top tourist attractions and activities are located around these four magnificent squares.
Although much smaller and less bustling than Mexico City, Guadalajara is just as diverse and culturally rich. Read our list of the top tourist attractions in Guadalajara for suggestions on where to go.
The stunning Guadalajara Cathedral (Catedral de Guadalajara) stands with its façade facing the adjacent Plaza de Los Laureles, a smaller square with an impressive fountain, despite taking up a large portion of the lovely public square known as Plaza de Armas.
The cathedral, although mostly Baroque in appearance, exhibits a remarkable mingling of different styles, especially in its lovely mostly Gothic interior. It was constructed between 1558 and 1616 and significantly altered during later periods. Some of Mexico’s best painters, including Cristóbal de Villalpando, Miguel Cabrera, and Murillo, are credited with creating the paintings in many of the chapels. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary, one of Murillo’s most exquisite works, hangs above the sacristy’s entrance.
Instituto Cultural de Cabañas
The magnificent Neoclassical former hospital and orphanage known as Instituto Cultural Cabanas, which is listed on the World Heritage list and was formerly known as Hospicio Cabanas, is located in the downtown historic core.
The Cabanas Cultural Institute and the Cultural Heritage of Humanity are currently housed in the complex. The collection of 57 magnificent frescoes painted by José Clemente Orozco, which are widely regarded as among his best works, is the main attraction here, in addition to the building’s elegant architecture, which was inspired by similar designs in Paris and Madrid.
The vast nave and cupola are adorned with the majority of the murals, including his well-known The Man of Fire (El Hombre del Fuego) mural. It is highly advised to take one of the English or Spanish-speaking guided tours.
Despite being one of Guadalajara’s more recent churches—work on it began in 1897 and wasn’t completed until 1972—the Templo Expiatorio del Santsimo Sacramento is unquestionably among the best places of worship in the city.
The neo-Gothic church is renowned for its lavishly embellished exterior and numerous European-made parts. Highlights include its exquisite mosaics from Italy, one-of-a-kind German clock, finely carved doors inlaid with bronze reliefs, and a magnificent carillon capable of playing 25 different pieces of music while figures of the 12 Apostles move around it. This carillon can also be played from inside the church.
The Government Palace
The Government Palace is located in the Plaza de Armas, the best of Guadalajara’s four main squares, just a few steps from the cathedral (Palacio de Gobierno). This magnificent Baroque structure, which was begun in 1643 and finished in 1774, is well worth a visit because of its numerous columns with zigzag ornamentation, huge volutes, and Churrigueresque pilasters (estates).
The building’s elegant old staircase and several murals by renowned fresco artist José Clemente Orozco, a native of the state of Jalisco, depicting the War of Independence and the heroes of the three Mexican wars, are notable interior highlights.
The most significant and stunning performing arts venue in the city is the Neoclassical Teatro Degollado, which is located across from the cathedral. This magnificent theatre, which opened its doors in 1866, is well worth seeing because of its exquisite architectural details and opulent interior decor. 16 Corinthian columns and a marble relief of Apollo surrounded by the nine muses are visible on the exterior.
The theatre is home to the Guadalajara City Ballet and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco, among other local cultural organizations. It also hosts international Mariachi competitions and is renowned for its excellent acoustics. It’s worth peeking inside even if you can’t attend a performance here to gawk at the lavish, gilded interior.
Where to Stay in Guadalajara for Sightseeing
The historic city center of Guadalajara is the ideal location for lodging if this is your first trip there. The Government Palace, the Rotunda of Illustrious Men, and the Guadalajara Cathedral are all conveniently close to one another in this central location. A few of the city’s upscale hotels are located close to Expo Guadalajara, just a short taxi ride from the historic district. Here are a few well-rated accommodations in these handy areas.