We decided to come to Guadalajara because, as we were searching for flights from Portland to Mexico City, we saw there were direct flights to Guadalajara. In doing research on Guadalajara, it looked like a great destination and perhaps easier than going to Mexico City, with a great historic city centre and many museums and galleries to explore.
Now, I’ve never been to Mexico City (perhaps next time) but I read that Guadalajara is becoming a cultural centre like Mexico City without the smog! And so we ended up here and fell in love with this place. Perhaps staying in the European Lifestyle Hotel and Suites has influenced our feelings, being surround by art and sculpture, but really, the city can stand on its own.
We caught the 51 AB bus downtown (7 pesos each) and got off at the 16th of September Avenue. From there we had several blocks to walk to the beginning of the historic centre. The historic centre is about 3 blocks wide and 14 blocks long and is almost exclusively for pedestrian use, with churches, palaces, museums, galleries, plazas, fountains, bronze sculptures, vendors and lots of people.
We wandered to the east end of the Centre, to the Mercado Libertad, one of the largest indoor markets in Latin America. We only saw a small part of it, because as soon as we got in, Galen wanted to get out. Later, we went to the Mercado Corona on the other end of the plaza, which wasn’t as crowded and he actually enjoyed it.
We spent several hours exploring the Hospicio Cabanas. The huge complex was built in the early 1800s as a hospital, orphanage, and workhouse. It is a World Heritage Site. This building alone would make a trip to Guadalajara worthwhile. We didn’t realize we could take photos with our phones (no real cameras allowed) until we were past the area with impressive murals. Room after room is filled with exhibitions of various artists.
On our second day in downtown Guadalajara, we went to the Museum of Graphic Arts, the Regional Museum of Guadalajara, and the Museum of Popular Art.
Our Flickr album for Guadalajara has more photos of the historic downtown, as well as photos from the hotel, Tlaquepaque and Zapopan. Hope you enjoy it, and if you ever want to spend some time in Guadalajara, I highly recommend the European Lifestyle Hotel and Suites.