Are you planning on taking a trip to Tlaquepaque, Jalisco?
Known for its mariachis and animated street sellers why wouldn’t you?
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the numerous things to do in Tlaquepaque.
Not only will you find this satisfying experience to be more engaging than other parts of Jalisco. But, you’ll find the culture here to be quite mesmeric.
Tlaquepaque, Jalisco: Why Come Here?
You may already be aware that Tlaquepaque is famous for its ceramics, blown glass, and mariachi. Not to mention, it’s absolutely full of life.
No matter what your reason for visiting Tlaquepaque is, walking around the city by foot is the best way to explore.
Speaking to locals is by far the most effective way to learn about the culture, history, gastronomy, and geography of any place.
Here’s some of the cultural aspects I feel you may enjoy:
- Shopping for high quality pottery, blown glass & traditional wares
- Sampling Mexican lunch in the colorful market settings
- Immersing yourself into a vibrant artistic regional Mexican atmosphere
- Watching by as artisans work inside of colonial mansions
Right, get yourself a Grenadine Horchata and sit back as we looking at some of the best things to do in Tlaquepaque.
Getting From Guadalajara to Tlaquepaque
If you are already staying in Guadalajara you should be aware of any saftey precautions or the usual travel warning for tourists.
Also, you may, or may not, already know how to get to Tlaquepaque. If you’re on a backpacker’s budget, you may want to get there by bus.
Actually, the cheapest way to get from Guadalajara to Tlaquepaque via the urban electric train system.
Look for Sitren Línea 3 it costs USD$1 and takes around 40 minutes.
If you have a bit more cash to splash and/or strapped for time you can easily get a taxi from Guadalajara to Tlaquepaque.
This is by far the quickest way and you’ll arrive in the center of Tlaquepaque in around 10 minutes.
If you can I recommend you get the hop on hop off bus to visit Tlaquepaque. You can also get to Tonala as mentioned below via the same bus.
This, I’d say, is by far the most enjoyable way to see more and do more depending on your unique preferences.
Things to do in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco
Before we dive into this list, if you’re backpacking Mexico it’s worth nothing the historic name which is San Pedro Tlaquepaque.
More than likely you’ll travel to Guadalajara before arriving in Tlaquepaque.
Amongst the things to do in Guadalajara I’ve shown you how easy it can be to reach Tlaquepaque using three different modes of transport.
See Janine’s guide which explains how the buses in Mexico work.
Tlaquepaque is an independent city within the state of Jalisco but it isn’t a neighborhood belonging to Guadalajara.
So, with that in mind, what are some of the best things to do in Tlaquepaque?
Without further ado let’s take a look at some options:
Let’s start our trip of things to do in Tlaquepaque with the most important: a trip through Independencia Avenue.
Pick up a map while you’re there. It’s a fantastic experience and one that should make it very easy for you to have a good time.
This avenue gets crowded, but you’ll find it’s going to be a place that makes it easy for you to take in the local culture without any uncertainty around.
As you might imagine, this stunning museum is host to some very impressive pieces of ceramic.
Not to mention a fantastic place to be able to learn and understand more about the history of Mexican ceramics.
Amazing works from all manner of eras will stand strong here, with amazing cutlery and dishes through to fantastic ornate artworks.
After a visit here you’ll finally be able to work out all the different types of ceramic pieces you find elsewhere in Mexico.
All I can recommend is that you avoid touching anything: some of the artwork in here is irreplaceable, so be cautious.
It’s a simple museum but the collections are impressive. Look out for the tiny figurine collections. You’ll have to brush up on your Spanish conversation as all the signs and guides are in Spanish.
Remember to check out the museum shop before you leave and save some room in your backpack for a little souvenir or two.
Popular tours near Tlaquepaque
- Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque Tour
- Tlaquepaque Food Tour and Tequila Tasting
- Lake Chapala and Ajijic Tour
- Full-Day Tequila Tour
The Artisan Market
A fun place to come, the Artisan Market will take you through a fun little-cobbled street where you can find all manner of classic Mexican goods.
Throw yourself into the local culture and enjoy the richness of their produce.
Some of the items you’ll find here are delectable and should make it increasingly easy to settle.
This is the perfect place to really get acquainted with the local people as you may well know markets are where life happens in Latin America.
Another fine trip to take would be that of the Jardin Hidalgo.
It’s a stunning complex and should offer you an immediate understanding of why there are so many things to do in Tlaquepaque.
There are great shops here and some awesome architecture to see, so be sure to take your time looking around the Jardin Hidalgo and you should find it easy to see why so many people visit here.
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Plaza de Armas
If you’ve not been before Tlaquepaque, heading over to Guadalajara is a must.
Plaza de Armas is easily one of the best ways for you to enjoy yourself in the city: it’s a special location that has some historical sights to see as well as plenty of ways to have a good time.
You can enjoy a wonderful sightseeing tour of the plaza, with many free evening gigs and concerts held here for you to enjoy as you walk past.
Note, that this is an idea of what to do in Guadalajara when you pass by. Since both places are interconnected I’ve added it to the list.
Besides, you’ll need to head over to Guadalajara to visit the art museum which is located in the University; as mentioned below.
See mariachi at El Parian Restaurant
The Parian Restaurant is a very famous place to be for entertainment and to witness the mariachi. Many people complain about the premium prices.
Also, don’t expect a single restaurant when you enter you’ll find there is a collection of restaurants all under one roof with familiar menus and food.
The service can be slow due to the number of people and the trumpets can get very loud.
You may find more satisfying food by doing a tour or exploring some local eatery by yourself but remember, you’re paying for an experience at the Parian.
Get ready to see the mariachis dressed up strumming the guitar, singing and giving you a pretty impressive spectacle for the evening.
Museo de las Artes
Held at the Universidad de Guadalajara, this amazing venue will give you a true appreciation of Mexican art.
It’s easily one of the most satisfying ways to enjoy the experience and should go some way to really making your discovery of Mexican culture a bit easier.
Just be sure to show respect for the artwork, keep your voice down and pay attention to any instructions provided to you by staff.
Head over to Tonalá
If you’re backpacking Mexico as I did, may you’re only passing through. Many travelers head over to Tonalá which is a neighboring city.
Looking closer to your cultural periscope, you find that Tonalá is slightly different from Tlaquepaque. Tonala presents Mexican culture in a different way.
I wish you’re lucky enough to arrive in Tonala in September there’s a possibility you’ll get to experience the annual festival.
Like Tlaquepaque, you’ll encounter many street vendors, musicians, and Mariachis. This is real Mexico if you’re in doubt.
No matter what time of year you get to go, however, for the real Tonala experience visit on a market day (Thurs or Sun).
One could say a little lo-fi in comparison to the picturesque Tlaquepaque but hey, if you want to see local life at its finest the market, as I always say, is the best place to start.
Travel Tips for Mexico
Now you know what things to do in Guadalajara, see some of the other travel recommendations below.
See these useful tips that you can easily implement into your itinerary.
Where to stay in Guadalajara
Have you read my ebook, the Latin Explorer? If so you’ll know my methods for finding the best places to stay in Latin America.
My strategy encompasses different accommodations to be able to get a fuller experience.
Places to stay in Guadalajara:
- Casa Vilasanta → In the Heart of Guadalajara
- Hostel Hospedarte → Great for activities
- Blue Pepper Chapultepec → Best Location
If traveling further afield in Mexico and want to know other great places to stay, see my post on backpacking Mexico, for more ideas.
Travel Insurance for Guadalajara
Protect all those valuables whilst you travel. I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Things to do in Tlaquepaque Jalisco
With so many options to pick from, then, you might find it hard to immediately pick out where you wish to visit here.
With a host of things to do in Tlaquepaque, you should find that your visit here will make it much easier for you to enjoy the wider experience.
Regardless of where you choose to visit first, each of the above locations should make it very easy to see just why this unique location is so respected and revered by tourists, travelers, and locals alike.
I hope this quick guide can help you in some way.
Tlaquepaque, Jalisco is a vibrant place and easy to connect with local people. If heading east from here you can stop off in Guanajuato click here to get more info on what to do there in just a short space of time.
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