3-Day Guadalajara Excursion: Nightlife and Sightseeing Adventure

Guadalajara, Mexico

3 days

Guadalajara Cathedral of St. Innocent
Los Colomos park
Degollado theater at night
Cabanas cultural center
Arches of the old aqueduct

About Guadalajara, Mexico

Experience the vibrant culture and rich history of Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city. Known as the birthplace of mariachi music and tequila, Guadalajara offers a unique blend of traditional and modern attractions. Explore the stunning architecture of the Guadalajara Cathedral, immerse yourself in local art at the Instituto Cultural Cabañas, or stroll through the colorful markets of Tlaquepaque. Don't miss the chance to witness a traditional charreada, a Mexican rodeo, or to taste authentic Jalisco cuisine. With its year-round pleasant climate, Guadalajara also serves as a gateway to nearby natural wonders like Lake Chapala and the Tequila Volcano. Whether you're a history buff, foodie, or nature lover, Guadalajara promises an unforgettable travel experience.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Downtown and Experiencing Nightlife


Start your day with a visit to the Guadalajara Cathedral, a stunning piece of architecture that dates back to the 16th century. Take your time to admire the intricate details of the cathedral's interior and exterior.


Enjoy a traditional Mexican lunch in a local restaurant. Try some of the local specialties like birria, tortas ahogadas, and tejuino.


After lunch, head to the Instituto Cultural Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This museum is home to a collection of murals by José Clemente Orozco.


Have dinner in a trendy restaurant in the Americana neighborhood. This area is known for its vibrant dining scene, with a variety of cuisines to choose from.


Experience Guadalajara's nightlife in the Chapultepec Avenue area. This bustling street is lined with bars and clubs where you can dance the night away.


Visit the Guadalajara Zoo in the morning. This zoo is one of the most important in Latin America and is home to a wide variety of species.


Have lunch in a restaurant near the zoo. Try some seafood dishes, which are a specialty in this area.


Spend the afternoon exploring the Bosque Los Colomos, a beautiful park with walking trails, picnic areas, and a Japanese garden.


Dine in a restaurant in the Providencia neighborhood. This area is known for its upscale dining options.


End your day with a visit to the Teatro Degollado, where you can catch a performance by the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra.


Start your last day with a visit to the Mercado San Juan de Dios, the largest indoor market in Latin America. Here, you can buy everything from food to crafts.


Have lunch in a restaurant near the market. Try some street food like tacos or tamales.


Spend the afternoon in the Tlaquepaque neighborhood, known for its art galleries and craft shops. Don't miss the chance to buy some traditional Mexican pottery.


Have your last dinner in a restaurant in the Minerva-Chapultepec area. This neighborhood is known for its diverse food scene.


End your trip with a visit to the Mariachi Plaza, where you can listen to traditional mariachi music and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Attractions in Itinerary (8)

Guadalajara Cathedral

Guadalajara Cathedral

A Roman Catholic cathedral in the heart of Guadalajara, known for its stunning architecture and beautiful stained glass windows.

Religious Sites
Instituto Cultural Cabañas

Instituto Cultural Cabañas

A UNESCO World Heritage site, this cultural institute is housed in a historic hospital building and features murals by José Clemente Orozco.

Cultural Experiences
Guadalajara Zoo

Guadalajara Zoo

A large zoo featuring a variety of animals, a safari, and an aquarium.

Bosque Los Colomos

Bosque Los Colomos

A large urban park featuring a Japanese garden, horseback riding, and picnic areas.

Teatro Degollado

Teatro Degollado

A neoclassical theater that hosts a variety of performances, including concerts, ballets, and operas. It's also home to the Guadalajara Symphony Orchestra.

Cultural Experiences
Mercado San Juan de Dios

Mercado San Juan de Dios

One of the largest indoor markets in Latin America, this bustling market offers everything from food and drink to clothing and souvenirs.

Cultural Experiences


Known for its pottery workshops and local theater, Tlaquepaque is a charming neighborhood filled with artisan shops, galleries, and traditional Mexican restaurants.

Mariachi Plaza

Mariachi Plaza

Mariachi Plaza is a popular gathering spot for mariachi bands in Guadalajara. Visitors can enjoy live performances, hire a band for special occasions, or simply soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Tortas Ahogadas

Tortas Ahogadas

A popular dish in Guadalajara, it's a sandwich filled with pork, drowned in a spicy tomato sauce.



A traditional Mexican dish, originally from Guadalajara. It's a spicy stew, typically made from goat meat or mutton.



A traditional drink from Guadalajara, made from fermented corn and served with a scoop of lemon ice cream.

Carne en su Jugo

Carne en su Jugo

A traditional dish from Guadalajara, it's a beef stew cooked in its own juices, served with beans, bacon, and a variety of toppings.

Pozole Rojo

Pozole Rojo

A traditional dish from Guadalajara, it's a hearty soup made with hominy (dried corn kernels), meat, and garnished with shredded lettuce, chili peppers, radish, onion, lime, and oregano.

Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en Nogada

A traditional dish from Guadalajara, it's a stuffed poblano pepper filled with a mixture of meat and dried fruit, covered in a walnut-based cream sauce, and garnished with pomegranate seeds.


A traditional dessert from Guadalajara, it's a custard-like dish made with eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon, similar to flan.

A traditional dish from Guadalajara, it's a soup made with beef stomach in broth with a red chili pepper base.

Enchiladas Mineras

A traditional dish from Guadalajara, it's a type of enchilada filled with cheese or chicken, and topped with a sauce made from guajillo chili peppers.



A traditional dessert from Guadalajara, it's a type of caramel sauce made from sweetened caramelized milk.



A traditional drink from Guadalajara, it's a warm and thick chocolate-based drink, prepared with masa de maíz (lime-treated-corn dough), piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar), water or milk, and occasionally flavored with cinnamon, anise seed, or vanilla.



A popular street food in Guadalajara, they are small fish, similar to whitebait, that are fried until crispy and served with lime and hot sauce.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Guadalajara, Mexico is during the dry season, which runs from November to May. During these months, the weather is pleasant and there's less chance of rain interrupting your plans. The temperatures typically range from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C), making it perfect for exploring the city's rich culture, history, and beautiful architecture. Additionally, the Festival Cultural de Mayo takes place in May, offering a wide range of cultural events and performances.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

February 5


Constitution Day

March 18


Benito Juárez's Birthday Memorial

May 1


Labor Day / May Day

July 7


General Election Day

September 16


Independence Day

October 1


Inauguration day

November 18


Revolution Day Memorial

December 25


Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Public buses are a common way to get around in Guadalajara. They cover most areas of the city and are quite frequent. However, they can be crowded during peak hours and may not be the most comfortable option.

Taxis are readily available throughout Guadalajara. They can be hailed on the street, booked via a hotel, or called directly from a taxi company. It's a convenient option, but make sure to agree on the fare before starting the journey.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Didi are available in Guadalajara. They are often cheaper and more comfortable than taxis. You can book a ride using the respective apps, which also provide an estimated fare and arrival time.

If you're comfortable driving in Mexico, renting a car can be a good option. It gives you the flexibility to travel at your own pace and explore areas outside of Guadalajara. However, be aware of the traffic rules and parking regulations.

Guadalajara has a public bike-sharing system called MiBici. After registering, you can pick up a bike from one of the many docking stations around the city. It's a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city, especially the downtown area.

Guadalajara's light rail system, Tren Ligero, is a fast and efficient way to travel around the city. It has two lines that cover many tourist attractions. It's also a good option for avoiding traffic during peak hours.

Many of Guadalajara's attractions are located close to each other, especially in the downtown area. Walking can be a pleasant way to explore the city, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated.

The Tapatio Tour is a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus that covers major attractions in Guadalajara. It's a convenient way to see the city, especially if you're short on time or prefer not to navigate public transportation.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ MXN

Time zoneUTC-6

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 065; Fire: 068; Police: 060

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Guadalajara, Mexico as a first time visitor


Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico and is known as the 'Pearl of the West'.


The official language is Spanish, so it would be helpful to learn a few basic phrases.


The currency used is the Mexican Peso (MXN). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always good to have some cash on hand.


Guadalajara operates on Central Standard Time (CST).


The city has a humid subtropical climate. The average temperature ranges from 50°F to 80°F (10°C to 27°C).


The best time to visit is between October and December when the weather is most pleasant.


Guadalajara is known for its rich cultural heritage, including mariachi music and tequila, which both originated in the state of Jalisco.


Tipping is customary in Mexico. A tip of 10-15% is generally expected in restaurants.


Public transportation is widely available, including buses and a light rail system. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also available.


Guadalajara is generally safe for tourists, but like any large city, it's important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings.


The city has a vibrant nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and live music venues.


Traditional Mexican cuisine is a must-try. Local specialties include birria (a spicy stew), tortas ahogadas (a type of sandwich), and tejuino (a fermented corn drink).


Guadalajara is a shopper's paradise, with a mix of traditional markets and modern shopping malls.


The city is known for its beautiful architecture, including many colonial-era buildings.


Guadalajara is a major center for arts and culture, with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters.


The city is home to several universities and has a large student population, contributing to its vibrant and youthful atmosphere.


Guadalajara hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, including the Guadalajara International Film Festival and the Mariachi and Charreria Festival.


Healthcare facilities in Guadalajara are generally of a high standard. However, it's recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses.


Tap water is not safe to drink. It's recommended to drink bottled water.


Electricity in Mexico is 110 volts, the same as the United States. If your devices use a different voltage, you'll need a converter.

Basic Spanish to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving or saying goodbye to someone


Por favor

Por fa-vor

When asking for something

Thank you



After receiving something or someone's help



Agreeing with someone or something




Disagreeing with someone or something

Excuse me



Getting someone's attention or apologizing

I'm sorry

Lo siento

Lo see-en-to


Do you speak English?

¿Hablas inglés?

Ab-las in-gles

When you need to communicate in English

I don't understand

No entiendo

No en-tee-en-do

When you don't understand what's being said

Where is the bathroom?

¿Dónde está el baño?

Don-de es-ta el ban-yo

When you need to use the bathroom

How much does it cost?

¿Cuánto cuesta?

Kwan-to kwes-ta

When you want to know the price of something

I would like...

Me gustaría...

Me gus-ta-ree-a

When ordering food or asking for something




In case of emergency

Call the police!

¡Llame a la policía!

Ya-me a la po-lee-see-a

In case of emergency

I'm lost

Estoy perdido

Es-toy per-di-do

When you can't find your way

Can I use my credit card?

¿Puedo usar mi tarjeta de crédito?

Pwe-do u-sar mi tar-he-ta de cre-di-to

When you want to pay with credit card




To know if a place is open




To know if a place is closed




When toasting

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Sleepwear

  • Swimsuit

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash and coins

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and car rental reservations

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Travel adapter for electrical outlets

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel guidebook for Guadalajara

  • Spanish-English dictionary or phrasebook

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Umbrella or rain poncho

  • Plastic bags for dirty clothes or wet items

Weather Conditions

When visiting Guadalajara, Mexico, it's important to note that the city experiences a humid subtropical climate. This means that you can expect warm, humid summers and mild winters. The warmest months are typically between April and June, with average high temperatures reaching around 88°F (31°C). If you're planning to visit during this time, be sure to pack lightweight, breathable clothing to stay comfortable in the heat. Don't forget your sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun's strong rays. The rainy season in Guadalajara runs from June to October. During this time, you can expect heavy afternoon showers and thunderstorms. If you're visiting during these months, it's a good idea to pack a raincoat or umbrella. Despite the rain, temperatures remain quite warm, averaging around 77°F (25°C). From November to February, Guadalajara experiences its coolest temperatures, with averages around 68°F (20°C). If you're visiting during these months, you might want to pack a light jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings. Regardless of when you visit, it's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before your trip. This will help you pack appropriately and plan your activities. Remember, the weather can change quickly, so it's always best to be prepared.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


28° / 7°

January is the coldest month in Guadalajara, but it's still quite mild with average temperatures ranging from 7°C to 28°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.


30° / 8°

February sees a slight increase in temperature, with lows of 8°C and highs reaching up to 30°C. The weather is generally dry, making it a good time for outdoor activities.


32° / 10°

March is the start of spring in Guadalajara, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 32°C. It's a great time to explore the city's parks and gardens.


34° / 12°

April is one of the warmest months in Guadalajara, with temperatures reaching up to 34°C. It's a great time to visit if you love the heat.


36° / 14°

May is the hottest month in Guadalajara, with temperatures ranging from 14°C to 36°C. It's a great time to visit if you love the heat, but be prepared for occasional rain showers.


34° / 16°

June marks the start of the rainy season in Guadalajara, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 34°C. Despite the rain, the weather is still warm and pleasant.


32° / 16°

July is in the middle of the rainy season in Guadalajara, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 32°C. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind the occasional rain shower.


30° / 16°

August is another rainy month in Guadalajara, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 30°C. Despite the rain, the weather is still warm and pleasant.


30° / 15°

September marks the end of the rainy season in Guadalajara, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather and less rain.


28° / 12°

October sees a decrease in temperature, with lows of 12°C and highs reaching up to 28°C. The weather is generally dry, making it a good time for outdoor activities.


26° / 9°

November is a mild month in Guadalajara, with temperatures ranging from 9°C to 26°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.


24° / 7°

December is the second coldest month in Guadalajara, but it's still quite mild with average temperatures ranging from 7°C to 24°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.

Did you know?

Did you know that Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico and is often referred to as the 'Pearl of the West'?

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