Guadalajara is the second-largest city in Mexico and a major cultural centre. This is the birthplace of mariachi music, tequila, and charros (Mexican cowboys). The historic centre of the city has a plethora of stunning churches and other grand buildings, including must-sees like the Guadalajara Cathedral, the Palacio de Gobierno, and the Templo Expiatorio. A number of parks and monuments also contribute to making Guadalajara a very attractive place.
Guadalajara Cathedral © Ari Helminen
It is also a very busy place. There is always something to see and do in Guadalajara, whether it's football games at the Estadio Omnilife, bullfights at the Plaza de Toros, free concerts by roving mariachi musicians at the Plaza de los Mariachis, or simply browsing the hundreds of stalls at the multi-level Mercado Libertad. A dozen outdoor markets provide ample shopping opportunities for handcrafted items made by the local Huichol Indians, and tired sightseers can rest their feet while they sample local delicacies at any of Guadalajara's excellent restaurants. Zapopan is the centre of the nightlife in Guadalajara, with many bars and clubs serving the local Los Altos tequila.
The region around Guadalajara offers a number of excursions as well, ranging from rowdy (Tequila Express Tours), to educational (pre-Hispanic pyramids at Guachimontones), to relaxing (picturesque towns around Lake Chapala).