How We Spent 72 Hours in Guadalajara

By Lianne at LAN Photography | Updated on 04/10/22

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As we strolled around the city, our first thoughts were that this could be a great spot to post up for 6 months, enroll in some classes at the university, and explore the city by bike. We spent the next 72 hours in Guadalajara eating, walking, and eating even more. Visiting a city for only 3 days will never serve as 'knowing' a city, but this post will touch on our memorable moments. 

How We Got There

Living outside of the States, we usually hop on a bus to our destinations for the ease and affordability. A $30 bus ticket is much cheaper than renting a car, and less of a hassle than flying. We usually use Ubers, taxis, or bikes to get around in bigger cities. Primera Plus is a quality bus service that serves most of the west coast routes in Mexico. It's just a 5 hour ride from Puerto Vallarta to Zapopan, Guadalajara. 

Where We Stayed

Airbnb has been our #1 choice for accommodation since we started traveling in 2014. Based on recommendations from friends, we stayed in Colonia Americana to be close to great food and bar options, and not too far from centro. I found the cutest place, called Casa Nidal, for only $36 per night 🤭. 

Our Favorite Spots 

We ended up walking 15 kilometers around the city, stopping in as many restaurants as we could bare. We discovered some unique art pieces and awed at the amount of graffiti around the whole city. Here's a list of what stood out: 

1. Yunaites. Go for the torta de chorizo, but stay for the quesadillas 🤤. I almost want to keep this place a secret... I've never eaten such amazing dishes inside of a mercado before. 

2. Birriería las 9 Esquinas. Though this place was on the touristy side, the birria was delicious and the flan was some of the best we've ever had. It's located by an adorable fountain square, with several other good-looking restaurants nearby. 

3. Peter Brown Bar. After a long day of walking, this was a perfect place to chill and have a good beer. The crowd was very local, made up of young professionals and students. 

4. Hospicio Cabañas. This was an interesting 1800s hospital converted into a museum. The murals by Jose Clemente Orozco were truly one of a kind. 

And Of Course, The Tequila Train

The main reason why we came to Guadalajara was to take the famous Jose Cuervo Express. Since the train only runs on Saturdays, you have to book it far in advance. We opted for the Experiencia Premium Plus - Amanecer. This was a level up from the basic car, which ended up being great because you get a table and can mingle with the other riders. Amanacer means that you take the train TO Tequila and ride the bus back, instead of vice versa.  It's nicer because you're sober enough to really enjoy the excitement of the train ride. 🤪

We were nervous that this was going to be a cheesy & touristy experience, but it ended up to be really worth it! And Jose Cuervo doesn't play around... by 10am we were already 3 shots and 2 cocktails deep into the tequila tasting. The rest of the day involved touring the factory, free time to walk around the pueblo, a mariachi performance, and much more. The real highlight was the end of the day where they set up drinks and snacks in the middle of the tequila fields for a final celebration with all the riders. 

All in all, 72 hours in Guadalajara was an incredibly memorable trip. Click here to check out our other Mexico adventures.


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