The hub of visitor travel, the Centro Historico (or Historic Center) District, is laden with centuries-old colonial-era buildings. Look to the Hospicio Cabanas for painted murals by one of Mexico's most important artists - Jose Clemente Orozco. For culture and entertainment, consider the Teatro Degollado, where actors play to audiences in an 1866 playhouse, complete with ornately painted ceilings and a columned facade.
The center stone of this historic district is El Parian, a plaza found in the middle of the district that houses more than a dozen restaurants and bars. Diners and imbibers are treated to the trumpets, guitars, and vocal chords of traditional mariachi bands. Venturing a few blocks from El Parian, visitors encounter shops, galleries, and the pride of the district, the Premio Nacional de la Ceramica - a nationally renowned pottery museum.
This dual-spired architectural marvel was first constructed in 1618 and then partially rebuilt in the 1800s after a decimating earthquake. Ringing the main entrance to the Catholic cathedral are vendors selling religious items, including prayer cards and saintly figurines. Once inside, be sure to look to the stained-glass windows near the altar for beautiful renditions of saints.
The abolition of slavery in Mexico was proclaimed from the grounds of the Palacio de Gobierno and Plaza de Armas in 1810, a move that was ratified in 1829. Today, visitors can view murals painted by Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco in the Palacio's state council room. One of the murals, perhaps among his most famous works, depicts the historic event that ended slavery in Mexico.
The exhibition rooms of the Museo Regional de Guadalajara are divided into two floors within this monumental building, with numerous exhibits respectively dedicated to paleontology, archaeology, geology, and other natural sciences.
Franciscan Friars ordered the construction of this architectural gem to honor the Virgin now known as the Virgin of Zappopan. Today, the Basilica remains one of Mexico's major religious centers.
Watch the luchadores battle it out in this epic coliseum, built in 1959 on the grounds of an old hacienda. The grandfather of Lucha Libre, the Blue Demon, contended in the very first main event held here.
A night out at La Mutualista is practically a requirement for any dance aficionado visiting Guadalajara. This vintage dance hall recalls the venues of Old Havana, complete with chandeliers.
No trip to Mexico would be complete without a visit to the birthplace of Mariachi, which happens to be the cultural and gastronomic center of Guadalajara's San Juan de Dios district.
Discover the magic of tequila in the heart of Mexico. From the fields to the processing distillery follow the path of the Agave to give you a wonderful overview of this strong spirit. Highlights include: *Learn the history of Tequila *Follow the Agave plant from field to distillery *Visit Camp Agavero, known for its special blend of Tequila *Sample the product!
Casa Tomas offers authentic fish and seafood dishes, along with meats, salads, and sides that combine to create a great meal. The wine cellar is well thought out as are the drinks at the bar. The service is elegant and discreet, complementing the unique experience of the restaurant.
Thirteen Sioux tribes, a thousand rituals, one magical place: Santa Fe, New Mexico. We honor this city at Santo Coyote. It is a place where the Creole cuisine, great wine, and a great atmosphere, converge to create a true dining experience.
Talento is a diverse culinary experience and a new style of fusion cuisine. They have received the Five Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, and became the first restaurant in Guadalajara to receive this award for three straight years (2007, 2008 and 2009). Talento offers a unique culinary experience where one can delight their senses with delicious creations created with unmatched flavors and textures with Thai influences.
Much like Central Park in New York City, Parque Agua Azul (or Blue Water Park) is a green retreat from an otherwise urban environment. Outdoor concerts are common here, and every Saturday morning a street market sets up on park grounds. The iridescent wings of delicate butterflies can also be seen at the park's butterfly enclosure. In addition, park visitors can stand on the banks of a lake or visit the Archaeological Museum of Western Mexico.
The Guadalajara Zoo boasts an wide variety of services, educational services, and many other activities directed to promoting positive attitudes in favor of the conservation of natural resources.
Opened in 1886, this large neo-Classical building is home to the city's opera and orchestra. Frescoes in the theatre dome show impressive scenes from Dante's Divine Comedy by Gerardo Suarez.
La Fuente is one of Guadalajara's oldest cantinas, featuring small wooden tables and authentic Mexican ambiance. It's also a popular locals bar, but tourists are welcome to relax and sip a tequila in the heart of the historic city center, just a stone's throw from the Plaza de Liberacion.
Teatro Diana was an impressive state-of-the-art movie theater that closed its doors in 1995. However, in 2001, a massive remodeling project began, culminating in its grand re-opening in 2005 as a performing arts venue. Among the many acts to visit Diana's stage are Pavarotti, Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, the Alan Parsons Project, Placebo and Ballet Folklorico.
All kinds of fruit, vegetables, and meats are available from the Mercado Corona in Guadalajara's Downtown. Farther inside are food stalls, souvenirs and some useful shops.
Looking for a souvenir or gift? Shop for all kinds of delicious foods and unique items including ceramics, blown glass, palm leaf crafts, candies, and handmade clothing at the Mercado Libertad "Liberty Market" in downtown Guadalajara.
Visit two colorful trading centers for thousands of Mexican handcrafted gifts and decorative items, and view firsthand the making of blown glass, papier mache, ceramics and more, on this guided tour of Tonala and Tlaquepaque.