Guadalajara Travel Guide

Mexico  
Credit

Courtesy of camaralenta/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Free Things To Do in Guadalajara

If you have extra time, Guadalajara Cathedral is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Guadalajara
    View all Photos
    #1 in Guadalajara
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres, or Rotunda of the Illustrious Jaliscans, is a circle of 17 Doric columns and a monument to the region's favorite writers and revolutionaries. In fact, bronze statues of teacher Irene Robledo García, artist José Clemente Orozco and 20-some others ring the rotunda. Some of their ashes are even tucked into the monument. 

    Recent travelers said the rotunda is a great place to get a quick dive into the history of Guadalajara. Many also suggest viewing the monument at night when it's lit by multi-colored lights 

  • #2
    Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento
    View all Photos
    #2 in Guadalajara
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento is a Gothic church that first opened its doors in 1897. It's defined by large stone pillars and equally enormous stained-glass windows. If you're passing by at 9 a.m., noon and 6 p.m., you'll witness 12 apostles process out through a door in the clock tower – just like clockwork. 

    Recent visitors called this church "an amazing piece of art" and a must-see. Others recommend planning your visit on weekend afternoons when the plaza around the church fills with vendors selling delicious foods, such as strawberry and pineapple tamales. 

  • #3
    Guadalajara Cathedral
    View all Photos
    #3 in Guadalajara
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Guadalajara's cathedral is one of the region's most iconic landmarks. Begun in 1558 and finally completed in 1618, it didn't get its signature neo-Gothic towers until the 19th century after an earthquake damaged the structure. Aside from its fusion of architectural styles, some of the treasures housed inside include richly adorned vaults, one of the largest organs in Mexico and stained-glass windows imported from France.

    Travelers highly recommend stopping by the ornate cathedral (especially at night when it's illuminated), and some suggest visiting in November and December when street fairs fill the cathedral surrounds. Some reviewers even said the church's elaborate interiors rival Europe's most famous houses of worship.

  • #5
    San Juan de Dios Market
    View all Photos
    #5 in Guadalajara
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Tapatíos (Guadalajara natives) like to say that their San Juan de Dios Market – also called Mercado Libertad – is the world's largest indoor market, but whether that's true or not, the Mercado's modern building is filled with traditional treasures that are worth a perusal. Handfuls of stalls hawk everything from Paracho guitars to leather goods to scrumptious foods like gorditas and candy.

    Many visitors said this sprawling market is like a maze, adding that it's easy to get overwhelmed and even lost in its overflowing stalls. For many, it wasn't the market's goods that drew them to visit; it was the building itself. Many described the market's interior and the promenades surrounding it as visually arresting, while others cited this attraction as the best place to find affordable local food. For some of the market's best eats, travelers suggest visiting the stalls with the longest lines, which tend to be the most popular with locals. 

Explore More of Guadalajara

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

Holly JohnsonJanuary 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

Kyle McCarthyJanuary 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

Lyn MettlerDecember 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

Gwen PratesiDecember 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019