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FEBRUARY 12
:: Mexico Travel GuideExplore MexicoGuadalajara




Explore Mexico: Guadalajara


Capital of Jalisco and second city of the Mexican Republic, GUADALAJARA has a reputation as a slower, more conservative and traditional place than Mexico City, somewhere you can stop and catch your breath. Many claim that this is the most Mexican of Mexican cities, having evolved as a regional centre of trade and commerce, without the imbalances of Monterrey's industrial giants or Mexico City's chaotic scale. Being less frenetic than the capital, however, doesn't make it peaceful, and by any standards this is a huge, sprawling, noisy and energetic city. Growth has, if anything, been accelerating in recent years, boosted by the campaign to reduce Mexico City's pollution by encouraging people and industry to move to the provinces, and its partial conversion to a sleek metropolis has resulted in a hike in prices and some sacrifice of Mexican mellowness in favour of a US-style business ethic. However, enthusiasm for the new has not replaced affection for the old and it's still an enjoyable place to visit, with the edge on all other big cities of Mexico for trees and flowers, cleanliness and friendliness. It also remains a great place to see something of traditional and modern Mexico, offering everything from museums, galleries and colonial architecture, to magnificent revolutionary murals by José Clemente Orozco, to a nightlife enlivened by a large student population.

Parks, little squares and open spaces dot Guadalajara, while right downtown around the cathedral is a series of plazas unchanged since the days of the Spanish colonization. This small colonial heart of the city can still, at weekends especially, recall an old-world atmosphere and provincial elegance. The centre is further brightened by the Plaza Tapatía, which, driven straight through the heart of some of the oldest parts in the late nineteenth century, manages to look as if it has always been there. It creates new sight-lines between some of Guadalajara's most monumental buildings and opens out the city's historical core to pedestrians, as well as mariachi bands and street theatre. Around this relatively unruffled nucleus revolve raucous and crowded streets more typical of modern Mexico, while further out still, in the wide boulevards of the new suburbs, you'll find smart hotels, shopping malls and modern office blocks.

Explore Mexico


  ?Acapulco
  ?Chiapas
  ?Guadalajara
  ?Mexico City and around
  ?Oaxaca
  ?Puerto Vallarta
  ?Tijuana and The Baja Peninsula
  ?Yucatán




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