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I am the lucky recipient of a trip to Guadalajara this weekend. We'll be there for three nights: Sat/Sun/Mon and we're staying at this place.

 

I know virtually nothing about the area and am frantically reading all that I can about it. Does anyone have any advice for me? Anything will be helpful - places to eat, where to shop, what to see........

 

Thanks!

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Does anyone have any advice for me?

 

Lauren, Do NOT, repeat NOT, drive yourselves anywhere in Mexico.

 

Otherwise, I can't remember much about Guadalajara except that it is a charming city with some fine hotels, restaurants, shops, etc., etc.

 

I don't plan on doing any driving. Just much walking and cabbing.

 

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Does anyone have any advice for me?

 

Lauren, Do NOT, repeat NOT, drive yourselves anywhere in Mexico.

 

Otherwise, I can't remember much about Guadalajara except that it is a charming city with some fine hotels, restaurants, shops, etc., etc.

 

I don't plan on doing any driving. Just much walking and cabbing.

 

Actually, I've rented cars and driven in Mexico any number of times. I find it to be just swell, and I'm an old lady that frequently travels on my own. However, for your short stay in Guadalajara, a city where you've not been before, and where it's difficult to find parking, you wouldn't need one.

 

Our own Cristina lived in Guadalajara for many years, and I'd suggest you look over her blog MexicoCooks for suggestions. In particular, there's an absolutely wonderful seafood restaurant in Tlaquepaque, near to your hotel, and I'm sure she mentions it in her blog.

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Actually, I've rented cars and driven in Mexico any number of times. I find it to be just swell

 

J, As you say, things are fine usually. HOWEVER, if there is a traffic incident things usually get ugly and expensive very fast (and very drawn out...often days/weeks) regardless of who is at fault.

 

I am aware of numerous examples that were not pretty.

 

 

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Actually, I've rented cars and driven in Mexico any number of times. I find it to be just swell

 

J, As you say, things are fine usually. HOWEVER, if there is a traffic incident things usually get ugly and expensive very fast (and very drawn out...often days/weeks) regardless of who is at fault.

 

I am aware of numerous examples that were not pretty.

 

Because you're aware of examples contrary is no reason to generalize the entire area based on your [negative] experience. It's one thing to offer helpful advice, it's another to dictate, I repeat, DICTATE what they should or should not do. You made car rental sound worse than Herpes.

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I am the lucky recipient of a trip to Guadalajara this weekend. We'll be there for three nights: Sat/Sun/Mon and we're staying at this place.

 

I know virtually nothing about the area and am frantically reading all that I can about it. Does anyone have any advice for me? Anything will be helpful - places to eat, where to shop, what to see........

 

Thanks!

Lauren, I just this minute saw your post! I'll post back later this afternoon with a bunch of information for you.

 

You will LOVE this B&B! It's gorgeous.

 

Cristina

 

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I am the lucky recipient of a trip to Guadalajara this weekend. We'll be there for three nights: Sat/Sun/Mon and we're staying at this place.

 

I know virtually nothing about the area and am frantically reading all that I can about it. Does anyone have any advice for me? Anything will be helpful - places to eat, where to shop, what to see........

 

Thanks!

Lauren, I just this minute saw your post! I'll post back later this afternoon with a bunch of information for you.

 

You will LOVE this B&B! It's gorgeous.

 

Cristina

 

Thanks Cristina! I've been reading through your site and getting very excited about this trip. I look forward to soaking up all your advice.

 

Turns out we're now staying at Hotel Casa Campos.

I hope you think we'll love it too!

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I am the lucky recipient of a trip to Guadalajara this weekend. We'll be there for three nights: Sat/Sun/Mon and we're staying at this place.

 

I know virtually nothing about the area and am frantically reading all that I can about it. Does anyone have any advice for me? Anything will be helpful - places to eat, where to shop, what to see........

 

Thanks!

Lauren, I just this minute saw your post! I'll post back later this afternoon with a bunch of information for you.

 

You will LOVE this B&B! It's gorgeous.

 

Cristina

 

Okay, here goes.

 

First of all, you're staying in Tlaquepaque, which is one of the best known places in Mexico for artisan shopping. I'm not familiar with your B&B, but it should be fine. Not far from your B&B, you'll find Calle Juárez and its gazillion shops filled with eye-popping amounts of stuff. Just after Calle Juárez is Calle Independencia, which has been closed off to cars and is just one shop after another--really high-end stuff that you'll love. Be sure to go to a store called Herlinda Palacios(on Calle Independencia)...that's the name of the owner, and she sells the very best of artisan work from many places in Mexico. I've thought for years that her shop is the best one in Tlaquepaque. Still on Calle Independencia, you'll want to poke around in Adobe, which specializes in really high-end Mexican artisan goods as well as items from Indonesia and Africa. In addition to Calles Juárez and Independencia, there are many, many other shops scattered around the part of Tlaquepaque where you're staying. You can't beat the area for excellent buying.

 

As to food in Tlaquepaque, DO NOT MISS El Pescador Rojas. It's Mexican seafood at its absolutely most wonderful. Try a coctel de camarón (Mexican-style shrimp cocktail), the empanadas de camarón (shrimp turnovers), and the huachinango dorado (whole fried red snapper). The snapper is perfection. Ask at your B&B for directions, because I don't remember the address. It's walking distance from where you're staying, though, and they'll know. Adobe (the store I mentioned in the first paragraph) also has an excellent restaurant; I particularly like the crema de cilantro (cream of cilantro soup). Places not to bother with: El Restaurante Sin Nombre (touted in all the guidebooks and just horrid), El Patio (just so-so), El Abajeño (fair). But oh, when I think of you going to El Pescador Rojas, I turn green with envy.

 

Things I particularly recommend seeing in Guadalajara:

 

1. the Cathedral

2. the Templo Expiatorio (just tell a cabbie you want to go there)

3. the Museo de Arte de la Universidad de Guadalajara (across the street from the Templo Expiatorio). Closed Mondays, so try to get there on Saturday. Be sure to see the Paraninfo (the auditorium of the museum). It's painted with José Clemente Orozco murals.

4. the Hospicio Cabañas, famous worldwide for its José Clemente Orozco murals (including the Man in Flames). Hire a guide (lots speak English) to explain the murals to you. The paintings are very complex, loaded with symbolism, and virtually impossible to understand without a guide. It won't be expensive and it will be well worth your time and money.

5. the Mercado de Abastos. This is a longish taxi ride from your B&B, but for anyone really interested in food, it's a must-see. I wish I could be there to guide you through the enormous quantities of produce and other comestibles that you'll see--there's so much you won't recognize.

6. the Mercado Libertad. See this just for its OH MY GOD value. I think it's still the largest indoor market in Latin America.

7. If you like antiques and other old stuff (or even stuff just made to look old), go to the Sunday morning flea market on Avenida México. Tell your cabbie that you want to go to the trocadero on Av. México near Av. Chapultepec. This flea market starts at a decent hour (no need to get there before 10AM) and is lots of fun.

8. Ask your cabbie to take you around the Glorieta Minerva. The statue and fountain are worth seeing and they're emblematic of Guadalajara.

9. If you don't want to go to the trocadero, hop a cab to the Tianguis del Sol on Sunday morning. This is the largest outdoor market in Guadalajara. You'll find anything you can think of to buy, from new shoes to a new rubber ring for your blender. There are a zillion stands selling produce, meats, fish, seafood, mole pastes--oh lord, I wish I could go with you! Plus you will have a choice of probably 50 fondas--small restaurants set up to sell every kind of meal from seafood to birria and everything in between. Ask here for directions to El Ostión Feliz (read about it here: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cook...dalajarans.html

 

As far as restaurants in Guadalajara, here are some that I love best.

 

1. Karne Garibaldi, at the corner of Calle José Clemente Orozco and Calle Garibaldi. Don't be taken in by the place next door. KG is the real deal. They only sell one dish (carne en su jugo), it's off the beaten tourist track, and it's pure regional food from here. Very inexpensive. Open every day from early till about 1AM.

 

2. La O, on Calle José Guadalupe Zuno near Unión. Fixed price, delicious food, fantastic salad bar. Drinks are not include in the fixed price and can get expensive, but the food itself is fabulous and inexpensive.

 

3. La Matera, on Av. México. Superb Argentine beef. Expensive but worth it.

 

4. Ma Come No, on Av. de las Américas near Angulo. Italian, marvelous, don't miss the highly unusual and out of this world salad bar. Mid-range prices.

 

5. Taco Fish La Paz, a seafood street stand on Av. La Paz near downtown. I like the shrimp tacos best, but you might like the fish tacos best. Closed Sundays. Read about it here: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cook...uadalajara.html.

 

The real do-not-miss places are Karne Garibaldi, Ma Come No, and Taco Fish La Paz.

 

Now I'm feeling all nostalgic for Guadalajara, but it looks like I'll be there at the end of the month. I sure hope so!

 

PM me if there's anything else I can help you with, have a marvelous time, and POST BACK!

 

Cristina

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Christina - you're the best! I wish you were going to be there too!

 

I'm so glad to know about El Restaurante Sin Nombre because, of course, we had read about it and it was on the list. Not any more! And the advice about hiring a guide to explain the murals is brilliant. I wouldn't have thought of that.

 

I will be reporting back for sure.

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Christina - you're the best! I wish you were going to be there too!

 

I'm so glad to know about El Restaurante Sin Nombre because, of course, we had read about it and it was on the list. Not any more! And the advice about hiring a guide to explain the murals is brilliant. I wouldn't have thought of that.

 

I will be reporting back for sure.

The Hospicio Cabañas has great guides for hire--and a GREAT bookstore. Ask a salesperson to show you where the shelves are for the Conaculta series of 50+ indigenous/regional cookbooks. They're inexpensive, small, and marvelous.

 

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