With spangled costumes and romantic flair, mariachi is at the heart of Guadalajara culture. The music, now recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage, rings from local bars, balconies, and plazas in the vibrant city, where modern mariachi music evolved. Here's where to listen to it.
Plaza de Armas
Zona Centro, Guadalajara, JAL
Thanks to its proximity to several Guadalajara landmarks—notably the Guadalajara Cathedral, Hospicio Cabañas, and Degollado Theater—the Plaza de Armas features on most city walking tours, including several food tours. You can easily wander the square, admire the surrounding buildings, and people-watch from a wrought-iron bench in less than an hour, before heading off to see more of Guadalajara’s historic center.
Depending on your budget, you can also visit the Guadalajara Plaza de Armas as part of a totally customizable full- or half-day private tour, ideal for those with limited time in the region.
Things to Know Before You Go
The central location of Guadalajara's Plaza de Armas means it’s the ideal place to rest during a day of sightseeing in the historic center.
Take time to admire the bandstand’s eight once-scandalous ornate pillars, each decorated with a different female figure.
Snacks and drinks are available from roaming vendors, so take small bills and coins if you wish to buy something.
Guadalajara Plaza de Armas is fully wheelchair accessible, but the surrounding buildings may not be.
How to Get There
From most central Guadalajara neighborhoods, the Plaza de Armas—which borders both the Cathedral and Palacio del Gobierno—is both easily accessible on foot and is also well connected via public transport. The closest light rail station is Plaza Universidad. Several bus routes also stop nearby, although the Guadalajara bus system can be confusing—opt for a hassle-free taxi or rideshare instead.
When to Get There
For fewer crowds and cooler weather, stop by Guadalajara's Plaza de Armas in the morning before spending the hottest parts of the day hopping between the surrounding indoor attractions. Be sure to stop by on Thursday and Sunday evenings too, when the square and neighboring cathedral are illuminated as the state band puts on a free concert.
What to Do Nearby
The Guadalajara Plaza de Armas’ privileged location in the heart of downtown means it’s a stone’s throw from several worthwhile attractions. Admire Orozco murals in the Palacio de Gobierno and Hospicio Cabañas, marvel over the twin yellow spires of the Guadalajara Cathedral, and shop for souvenirs at the San Juan de Dios Market before dropping by the century-old Cantina La Fuente for a drink.
- Degollado Theater (Teatro Degollado)
- Guadalajara Historic Center (Centro Histórico)
- University of Guadalajara Museum of the Arts (MUSA)
- Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento
- Guadalajara Cathedral
- Guadalajara Wax Museum (Museo de Cera de Guadalajara)
- Governor's Palace (Palacio de Gobierno)
- Mariachi Plaza (Plaza de los Mariachis)
- Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres
- Tequila Sightseeing Trains
- Hospicio Cabañas
- Pantaleón Panduro Museum (Museo Pantaleón Panduro)
- Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan)
- Selva Mágica