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Is Guadalajara Safe? Safety Tips for Traveling to Guadalajara, Mexico for 2021

Guadalajara is the second-largest city in the state of Jalisco and it has many things to offer first-time visitors. When traveling to Guadalajara, you will be engulfed by its beauty, delicious food, and history. However, before you pack your bags, you may be wondering if Guadalajara, Mexico is dangerous to visit? 

Generally speaking, Guadaraja is a safe place for tourists to visit. Nonetheless, it is important to take necessary precautions before visiting a large city like Guadalajara. Like other large cities, there is a crime, but travelers will be happy to know that they will be safe when visiting Jaliscos second-largest city. 

Traveling to another country or city can be intimidating because of the unknowns. Usually whatever you put in your head about a place is usually the complete opposite of what it's actually like. For example, I had reservations about going to Guadalajara because of what I had read online about the crime. But, when I finally made it to Guadalajara I was met with an absolutely beautiful city filled with friendly people.

Read on, as I talk about safety tips for traveling to Guadalajara, Mexico. In addition, I will give recommendations on things to do, places to eat, and where to stay.  

Plaza de la liberacion, Guadalajara, Mexico

Safety Tips For Traveling To Guadalajara, Mexico

No matter what city you travel to native or foreign, it is wise to use your common sense. Not saying that bad things don't happen, but when you use some simple common sense then the chances of something life-threatening happening are low. Here is a list of simple safety tips for traveling to Guadalajara, Mexico.

Stay Where There Are Larger Crowds

With over 1.4 million people, Guadalajara is a fast-moving city. Its city traffic is busy from the streets to the sidewalks of people sightseeing and working. If you are a first-time visitor to Guadalajara it is easy to get lost and possibly wander into a bad area of town.

When we visited, we stayed in Zona Centro because this area offers the core of Guadajara's colonial history. We never felt unsafe as there were police around almost every corner. Staying in larger crowds means more eyes, making it harder for criminals to get away with crimes. Walk with confidence and act like you know where you going even if you don't. This will make you less susceptible to petty thefts. 

Centro Historico, Guadalajara, Mexico


Be Aware Of Your Surroundings And Pickpockets

As travel bloggers and vloggers, we always have some of our gear on us at all times. We stayed in a hotel in Zona Central and when we first arrived, we were warned by the hotel manager to keep a stronghold on our GoPro 9

Why? What could happen?

In the busy downtown streets, motorcyclists will drive by people and snatch their phones, cameras, and video gear out of their hands and drive off. Keep your gear around your neck or in your inside hand when walking down sidewalks.

When we weren't using our equipment we put them in our backpack secured with a lock. This almost completely took the stress out of worrying about getting our expensive gear stolen. 

Watch for distractions such as someone spilling something on you and then trying to help clean it up. This is a common pickpocket trick that is a perfect opportunity for things to be taken out of your pockets. Be polite, and say no thank you, and don't let them touch you. 

After all, your belongings like your wallet or cell phone are more important than the mustard they just spilled on your pants. 

Ask Your Host What Neighborhoods To Stay Away From

Whether you stay at an Airbnb, hotel, motel, or with a friend, those people live in Guadalajara and will be able to help you with some insight on where and where not to go. It is important to just stick to the nice areas such as Historic Center, The Americana, Providencia, Chapalita, Zapopan, and Puerto de Hierro. We were told to stay clear of neighborhoods near the railroad tracks and also to stay around busy streets at night. 

We stayed for three full days and felt like we had more than enough things to do just in the Historic Center or Zona Central. While we were there, we never had a moment where we felt like we were at risk. 

However, this doesn't mean that we let down our guard and acted recklessly. We weren't flashy, paid attention to our surroundings, and stayed confident wherever we went. 

Night View of Guadalajara, Mexico

Avoid Parking On Side Streets

If you are traveling by car it is important to be mindful that car thefts are common in Guadalajara. Research places to stay that offer valet parking or a place to park your vehicle that is more secluded. This will give you peace of mind that your rental or personal vehicle isn't at risk during your stay. 

If you are making a quick stop to check out other areas of surrounding Guadajajara like Tlaquepaque then I recommend parking in paid public parking. There are several of these parking lots around the historic and tourist areas.

 It cost us 54 pesos or about $3 for three hours of parking. The benefits of parking in the paid parking lots in Guadalajara are:

  1. You can park in the shade.
  2. You have someone watching your vehicle.
  3. You can park close to the local attractions.
We would put any belongings that we weren't taking with us in the trunk of the vehicle just to be out of sight of any onlookers. 

Take An Uber or Taxi At Night

Guadalajara has an incredible nightlife scene boasting street food vendors, clubs, bars, and mariachi bands in the plazas. If your destination is a longer walk than you would like then rest assured you can easily get a quick Uber or Taxi at a fair price. We didn't want to do a 30-minute walk at night for safety reasons, so we got an Uber that was under $5 with a tip. 

If you want some cool views of the city during the day or night there are some great patio bars around the Centro. We had drinks at Guasango which has up an personal view of the Guadalajara Cathedral. Fun fact, famous boxer Canelo Alvarez was married there and they blocked off the hold city block for his wedding. 

We also had drinks at the DoubleTree Inn rooftop restaurant and that was a sight to see. Drinks are a little pricier but it was more than worth the view of the Historic Centro. Then we ended the day with street al pastor tacos at La Maquinta that were absolutely mouth-watering. La Maquinta is run by a local family and tacos are about 65 cents apiece, so obviously I had ten. 

Uber drivers and taxi drivers are also great people to get some local insight from. They drive all over the city and know the good local places to eat and drink. Heck, they might even help you with your Espanol during the drive like our two Uber drivers did. 

Al Pastor Tacos in Guadalajara


Where Is The Best Place To Stay In Guadalajara, Mexico?

If it is your first time visiting Guadajalara, then I highly recommend staying in the Historic Central area. There is so much history there and you can walk to almost everything. We stayed at the Hotel Real de Castilla in Zona Central and were quite pleased with the friendly service received. It's a reasonably priced hotel and is smack dab in the middle of the history center. 

Hotel Real de Castilla has a restaurant that serves breakfast and also has free valet parking. Even though we had a slight language barrier the employees at the hotel gave us advice and insight on the area. 

There are many other hotels, hostels, and Airbnb options in the Centro area of Guadalajara. Staying around this area gives you an opportunity to take advantage of the breathtaking cathedrals, monuments, markets, and museums.

I always make sure I check the reviews of each place before booking. Look at the ones that have the most positive reviews. For example, the one we stayed at had 91 reviews with a rating of 4.6 out of 5. 

La Minerva Knight Statue in Guadalajara

In Conclusion: Is Guadalajara, Mexico Safe?

Overall, we felt completely safe while visiting Guadalajara. That's not to say we weren't first intimidated by how big it actually is. Once, we started exploring the city, we realized it was just like other big cities that we have visited in the United States like Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, and Charlotte. They all have crime but they all have something amazing to offer. 

Take the necessary precautions when you travel anywhere whether it's new to you or not. In my home city in Montana only has a population of 100,000 people and has a crime of some kind that hits the news every day. But that doesn't mean I don't go outside and explore.

Bad things happen to good people every day, but as you go to more new places, you will find out that there are a lot more good people in this world than bad ones. 

If you want to explore other great places, check out this article on Chicha Itza: 


I would love to hear from you about visiting Guadalajara, Mexico. Leave me a comment below!

Comments

  1. My husband and I loved Guadalajara! We wished we would have known about the Lucha Libre fights. Next time!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We liked the Fricki Plaza!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Torta Ahogada are a must when visiting! Guadalajara is also very safe

    ReplyDelete

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