Things to do in Guadalajara

Itineraries for Your Trip to Guadalajara

Guadalajara locals share their perfect days.
Find your Guadalajara

1 Day in Guadalajara for First Timers

Curated by Lauren CockingLauren is a Mexico City–based writer, editor, and translator from Yorkshire with bylines at CNN, BBC Travel, and Al Jazeera. She’s currently working on her first full-length literary translation in between harassing her cat, drinking smuggled Yorkshire Tea, and blogging about Latin American literature at

From cool cocktail bars and a fantastic culinary scene to colonial architecture and a wealth of museums, Guadalajara combines culture and cuisine with ease. Here’s how to see plenty of Guadalajara’s star attractions, even if you only have one day to dedicate to Mexico’s walkable second city.


After a typical breakfast at one of the many cafés, restaurants, or markets in Guadalajara, dedicate your morning to the historic center and explore on foot before the sun reaches its peak in the city of eternal spring. Visit the yellow-spired cathedral and other sights independently, or—to learn more than you could alone—take a private guided city tour. Art fans can even opt for a tailored murals tour, with stops at the Degollado Theatre and Cabañas Orphanage, among others. Skip-the-line entry at the Cabañas Orphanage will speed up your morning of sightseeing, which is ideal when you have limited time in the city.


In the afternoon, get back to nature, go for lunch, or both. Explore the culinary heritage of Guadalajara during a guided food tour, some of which include tastings and drinks. Then, once it gets too hot in the city center, escape to the wooded outskirts. Pay a visit to Los Colomos Forest, explore the Japanese Gardens, and feed the squirrels. Alternatively, take a detour to the Guadalajara Zoo or visit the neighboring Selva Mágica theme park. Buy your admission tickets for both in advance so you don’t waste time waiting in line.


It wouldn’t be a trip to Guadalajara—an hour from the town of Tequila—without a taste of the city’s nightlife. Head for popular Chapultepec Avenue, lined by clusters of bars, or opt for a structured bar crawl if you’re not sure where to begin. Perfect for solo travelers looking to make friends, most pub crawls also include complimentary drinks. Alternatively, if drinking isn’t your thing, try your hand at an escape-room experience instead. Booking tickets in advance will guarantee you a slot at a time that fits your schedule.  

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