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10 Things to See and Do in Historic Guadalajara

Visit Historic Guadalajara

As one of the largest cities within Latin America, Guadalajara has a large culture influence. Pronounced gwa-dele’hara, it is the capital city in the Jalisco state of Western Mexico known for tequila and mariachi music.  The historic center is full of amazing architecture, cathedrals and museums that are a must see for any traveler.

Let’s take a peek at the 10 things you need on your sightseeing list, keeping in mind you don’t want to start your day too early as most places won’t be open to visitors.

1st stop: The Church of Atonement – The gothic architecture of this church is breathtaking and similar to those you would see in Europe.

Church of Atonement Guadalajara

2nd stop: The University of Guadalajara –  Located right next door to the church you’ll find the University, it is regarded as the most significant university in the state and the second in the country.

3rd stop: Teatro Degollado – this Mexican theater dates back to 1800s and the exterior is full of artistic beauty, I can only image how beautiful it is inside.  Watching a performance in this historical building would be breathtaking and bring anyone to tears.

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4th stop: La Fuente is the legendary cantina dating back to 1921 and was the first bar in Guadalajara.  Be sure to stop in for a shot of Herradura Reposado and ask about the legend of the Famous Bike.

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5th stop: Guadalajara Cathedral – this historic Roman Catholic Cathedral was built in Spanish Renaissance style with Neo-gothic bell towers.  If the outside doesn’t already impress you take a step inside and explore.

6th stop: The Government Palace which started in 1643 and finished later in 1774 the outside has amazing character while the inside has amazing murals including those depicting the War of Independence.

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7th stop: Plaza de la Constitución also known as Plaza de Armas is one of the oldest meeting places dating back to the 19th century.  The character of the square reminds me of French architecture and is the perfect place to capture a tourist photo or two.

Plaza de la Constitución

8th stop: Guadalajara sign, you can’t be a real tourist without stopping by for a photo.  Spend some time in the square taking in the sites and enjoying the water fountains.

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9th stop: Mural paintings by Jalisco-born José Clemente Orozco, one of Mexico’s most important artists can be found in buildings throughout Historic Guadalajara and are an important part of the history.

10th stop: Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres – a landmark that honors the memory of the people of Jalisco that has transcended through history.  Many people were picnicking on the benches around the monument, it had greenery to enjoy as you walked through and learned about the history of the state.

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You could easily spend a couple days exploring Guadalajara but if you only had a day to do it these are the 10 things you should try to see.  My recommendation is to wear good walking shoes because by foot is the best way to experience all the sites.  Taking a backpack with a hat, water, sunscreen and a few snacks is also a good idea because time can quickly slip away on you while you’re exploring.  A tour of Historic Guadalajara is one you won’t soon forget.

Also, check out Tlaquepaque Mexico in One Day & How to Taste Tequila Like a Pro



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Tracy Iseminger

Tracy is a busy mother to 2 girls, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 17 chickens! Her adventures in cooking led her to create Daily Dish Magazine. She has a passion for pairing food with travel and wine. She is Marketing Director at Crimson Vine Marketing, Social Media Specialist at Cougar Digital Marketing, and a Dental Hygienist in her spare time... but her favorite thing to do is spend time with her family.

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