Free Things To Do in Guadalajara
- #1View all Photos
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
- #2View all Photos#2 in GuadalajaraChurches/Religious Sites, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDChurches/Religious Sites, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME 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.
- #3View all Photos
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.
- #5View all Photos#5 in GuadalajaraShopping, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDShopping, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME 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.
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