Mexico’s second city


Guadalajara: Mexico’s second largest city. Gritty, sprawling, beautiful. We spent a weekend here after my month-long intensive Spanish course wrapped up. It was the best little present, a quick getaway to a lovely hotel with seriously the best hotel breakfast buffet of all time. 


What we did and saw…

Parque Agua Azul: We came here for the small paleontology museum for our dinosaur-obsessed daughter, but we loved strolling through the beautiful gardens.

Cathedrals: Boy, does Guadalajara know how to do cathedrals. We saw Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento and Catedral de Guadalajara, and both were stunning.

Museums: Seeing the massive Orozco murals in the Hospicio Cabañas was one of my favorite parts of our entire trip to Guadalajara.

The Market: The Mercado San Juan de Dios (Mercado Libertad) is the largest indoor market in all of Latin America and it felt like it! Massive, maze-like, chaotic. And so much fun. While you’re there, try tejuino, a traditional drink made from fermented corn. (It’s super sweet!) And my favorite, jugo de caña, sugar cane juice.


Our Guadalajara favorites:

Hotel: Hotel NH Collection Guadalajara Centro Historico


  • La Chata: a Guadalajara institution. Big plates of home-style food cooked in an open kitchen. Great because you’ll be standing in line for a while waiting for a spot. But it’s well worth the wait. One of the best meals we had in all of Mexico.

  • Taco Fish La Paz: yummy fish and shrimp tacos. Eat outside. You’ll see the crowd.

  • Las 9 Esquinas: birria, a slow-cooked spicy Jalisco stewed meat dish (goat or lamb) that was sooo delicious.

Even bigger than Guadalajara, is Mexico’s capital, Mexico City. La Ciudad de México (CDMX), Distrito Federal (DF), the City of Palaces, Chilangolandia—whatever you call it, the city is a world unto itself.