Do you know Tijuana, “La Puerta de México”, “La Esquina de Latinoamérica”? It is the westernmost city in Latin America and if you have not visited it, perhaps you should plan a trip soon to immerse yourself in this charming town that is also the most populated in Baja California. Look at everything that Tijuana can offer you.
1.- Eat where the Caesar salad was invented
This restaurant was founded in the 1920s, during dry law, preserving many of the traditions of that time. You have to try the Caesar salad of the place, they prepare it at your table. It is located on Revolution Street in downtown Tijuana, between Fourth and Fifth Streets.
2. Visit the CECUT
The main cultural reference of the city, the Tijuana Cultural Center, is a must-see. Its main structure is an impressive dome that will surprise you from afar, the work of Mexican architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Manuel Rosen Morrison.
This city icon is home to the Baja California State Orchestra and the Hispano-American Guitar Center. In addition, the Innovative Tijuana event takes place there every two years, a meeting dedicated to science, art and technology.
3. Museum of the Californias
If you are starting to get to know Mexico, you should know that there are several Californias. The state belonging to the American Union, a territory historically and culturally linked to Mexico, and the Mexican peninsula of Baja California, where the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur are located.
This museum, which is part of the Tijuana Cultural Center, traces Californian history and culture from before the arrival of Europeans to the present day.
4. Visit the CECUT Caracol Garden
One of the most interesting facets of Mexico is the richness of its pre-Hispanic culture. The Caracol Garden, a large open-air space at the Tijuana Cultural Center, is the place to immerse yourself in the Mayan, Toltec, Aztec and several other civilizations that make up the Mexican indigenous cultural heritage.
5. Eat carne asada and marinated tacos at tacos el Frank
Located at Blvd. Sánchez Taboada 9013, 22000, you must try the delicious adobada and carne asada tacos. You have the best adobada tacos in town.
6. Eat a seafood taco at Mazatleño
In the Otay area there are tacos el Mazatleño, located at Calzada del Tecnológico 473, Tomas Aquino, 22414. Here you can get to know the different regional Mexican cuisines and their typical dishes, but if you prefer your favorite fast food chain, it is also an option.
But since you are in Mexico, we recommend you try the delicious seafood from the Pacific Ocean. If you prefer fish, you can order a red snapper, the name given to red snapper in Mexico. Of course, there are all the dishes of traditional Mexican food.
7. Visit Paseo Chapultepec
Paseo Chapultepec is one of the newest commercial areas in Tijuana and its gastronomic offer is in keeping with that modernity. There you will find the most representative dishes of national foods from countries such as Cuba, Italy, Spain, China, Japan and Thailand. If you fancy some Cuban tostones, this is the ideal place to enjoy them, but if you want to try sushi, lasagna or Chinese rice, you can do that too.
8. Wax Culture
The Tijuana Wax Museum is another institution belonging to the Tijuana Cultural Center that you cannot miss.
The wax characters are distributed in four rooms, the pre-Hispanic era, the colonial period, the legends and stories, and the heroes of the republic. Admire the replicas of characters from the remote past, such as Cuauhtémoc, Moctezuma and Hernán Cortés; from the independence and revolutionary era (Hidalgo, Zapata) and from the recent past (Pedro Infante, Cantinflas) is an experience that is both aesthetic and fun.
9. Visit the El Trompo Museum, a children’s educational paradise
If you travel with your children, they will love the El Trompo Museum, a space dedicated to the dissemination of science and technology through interactive means, which are a delight for the little ones. The museum has four interactive rooms, the “Experience” room being the most entertaining. It also has a 3D and high definition movie theater with 220 seats and an auditorium for 4,000 people where cultural events and artistic presentations are held.
10. Art cubed
The El Cubo Museum, integrated into the Tijuana Cultural Center, is the place for art in the city. There you can admire works by the great masters of universal art and attend different cultural events. In its crowded “Estación Vizcaíno” you can enjoy the great compositions of classical music and literary recordings in the voices of the most important Latin American writers. Its terraces and its mezzanine are frequent settings for artistic presentations.
11. Go to a match at the Estadio de los Xolos!
Its proximity to the United States makes Tijuana a city with varied sports tastes, very similar to those of the great country to the north. So whatever sport you prefer, in Tijuana you will find something to see. If you are inclined towards soccer, in the city you should support Club Tijuana, the popular Xolos, a team founded in 2007, which plays at the Caliente Stadium. The atmosphere in the stadium lives up to its warm name.
12. To play in the Morelos park
Parque Morelos awaits you on Tijuana’s Insurgentes Boulevard. This beautiful place of trees, green areas and water offers the possibility of playing outdoors, taking a boat ride on the lake or on its children’s train. You can rent a barbecue and prepare your own barbecue or if you prefer, you can eat at their restaurant. It also has a small zoo where you will see various species native to Mexico. It is named after the priest and patriot José María Morelos, hero of the Mexican Independence.
13. Visit Teniente Guerrero Park
In the heart of Tijuana there is a first-hand place to take a break from the frenetic activity of the city: Teniente Guerrero Park. Sitting on one of its benches, under a leafy tree, you can review your options for lunch or to plan your next walks. Chess fans from Tijuana made their sanctuary in this place, so if you are a fan of science sports, you can play a game or just watch.
14. A park for friends
The Otay Mesa is a large cross-border territory between the United States and Mexico. On the Mexican side, Mesa de Otay is more of a residential and industrial area. But although it is urbanized, the table guards a very crowded natural space: the Parque de la Amistad. It has grills, a bike cross track and areas for children’s games, one of them for disabled children. During the weekends there are outdoor theater performances.
15. An ecosystem in danger
The Alamar Forest is a riparian zone – area at the interface between soil and fresh water – bathed by a small stream also called Alamar. It is one of the main concerns of Tijuana environmentalists due to the deterioration it has experienced in recent years. If you visit the place, you may come across one of the frequent meetings that environmental activists hold there.
16. Tower with history
If you like to try your luck, you can no longer try it in what was the most famous casino in Tijuana, Agua Caliente. This betting house was built in 1927, as a result of the implementation of the Dry Law in the United States and was the most important in all of Baja California. It had a tower that was a reference in the distance for motorists approaching the city.
The casino disappeared but a replica was made of the tower, which has been one of the architectural symbols of Tijuana since 1988. Since you can’t go to the casino, go to the tower.
17. To the movies!
Apart from the various chains of movie theaters found in every modern city, the city also has the Cineteca Tijuana, the main meeting place for local moviegoers and visitors.
There you can enjoy from the films that have marked the history of legendary Mexican cinema, to modern filmography, passing through historical documentaries and other categories. Its main room bears the name of the well-known Mexican writer Carlos Monsivais, one of the great scholars and promoters of national cinema.
18. Go to a Tijuana Bulls baseball game
In Tijuana, the American national pastime, baseball, is as popular as soccer. If your trip coincides with the summer season of the Mexican Baseball League, which takes place between the months of April and August, you can enjoy a game of the Toros de Tijuana, the city’s team. They play at the Gasmart Stadium, better known as the Cerro Colorado Stadium, with a capacity for 16,800 spectators.
19. Basketball, sorry, futsal!
If you are inclined towards basketball, then your sports destination in the city will be the “Fausto Gutiérrez Moreno” Municipal Auditorium, home of the Tijuana Zonkeys, a franchise of the Pacific Coast Basketball Circuit. The club was founded in 2010 and only waited until 2014 to give the first league championship to the boisterous Tijuana fans. In the same venue, with capacity for almost 5,000 people, futsal matches are played.
20. To the bulls!
Mexico is the Latin American country with the greatest bullfighting roots, so if you are a fan of the brava party, in Tijuana you have the Plaza Monumental Playas de Tijuana, located on Avenida del Pacífico. Its stands can accommodate 22,000 spectators in the sun and shade, being the third largest bullfighting arena in the world after the plaza in Mexico City and Madrid’s Las Ventas. The greatest bullfighters from Spain, Mexico, Venezuela and other countries with a bullfighting tradition have passed through its arena.
21. Grab a bite at one of the famous food trucks
Its time to eat? In Tijuana you have all the options that a modern city can offer. One of the most frequented is the Zona Río Gastronomic District. The Zona Río is Tijuana’s financial district, but it’s just as good for business as it is for eating. It has expensive restaurants for bankers and high finance executives, but on Sánchez Lozada Boulevard it also offers menus in line with the tourist’s budget. There you can enjoy a dish from anywhere in the world at an affordable price.
22. Universal gastronomy
Tijuana is a cosmopolitan city and the restaurants of the recent gastronomic area 3rd Stage Río Tijuana, located on Insurgentes Boulevard, confirm it. According to connoisseurs, it is the ideal place to try the tender and delicious Argentine meat. So if you’re hungry, we recommend ordering a generous churrasco de rump, which you can accompany with one of the good Californian wines. If you opt for American chain food, Chili’s, Fridays, Applebees and many others are on the spot.
23. For drinks: Visit the party square
The busiest area in Tijuana to have a drink or to go partying is Plaza Fiesta, a space for nightlife that began in the 1980s with a unique and lively establishment that bore that name. The area for fun grew with continuous openings of premises, but keeping the name of the pioneer bar. It is the party “district” of Tijuana. There are bars and bars for all tastes and drinks for all budgets.
24. Visit Sixth Street
Young people from Tijuana and visitors have made Calle Sexta the ideal place to chat, over a beer or a Margarita cocktail. Locals and tourists mingle on the street and in its bars, after leaving work, university or the hotel. The most emblematic bar is the Dandy del Sur.
25. Industrial tourism
If you integrate the new trend of industrial tourism, people who are interested in knowing the economic support of a city or region, while you visit it, you can take a tour of the Otay Industrial Park. Many maquiladora companies are installed in this business condominium that take advantage of lower Mexican labor costs to manufacture their products, whose main destination is the nearby and lucrative US market.
26. Some hard rock?
If you are passionate about the intense sound of a Gibson Les Paul, a Stratocaster or any other electric guitar, played by uninhibited young people, your destination in Tijuana passes through the Tj Art & Rock café. There you will enjoy the emulators of Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and Kirk Hammett in their Mexican versions, and your favorite drink, in the company of your friends. If you have traveled alone, so much the better. It will be a great opportunity to meet someone. You can order coffee, although few people do.
27. To the theater!
If you are a fan of tabla, one place you cannot miss in Tijuana is Teatro Las Tablas, a space for intimate theater that always has plays with young playwrights, directors and performers from Tijuana, Baja California and from all over the world. Mexico. It is located at Avenida Unión 2191, near Agua Caliente Boulevard. If you travel with your children, the space frequently offers children’s and youth performances.
28. Order your tequila and your nopalitos while listening to trova
One of the most frequented places in Tijuana is El Lugar del Nopal, a cozy establishment that has been combining art and culture with good food and excellent drinks for more than 20 years. This cultural forum is located on Avenida 5 de Mayo. There you can admire works of art, see a theatrical performance or listen to music, while enjoying the pleasures of the table in a rustic mansion that relaxes you from the city races.
29. Tea Time
If you rather want to relax with a good cup of tea in the company of some delicious homemade cookies, we recommend you visit ArTé Casa Cacho, the “tea house” in Tijuana. They have more than a hundred varieties, so you will hardly be pleased with your taste, no matter how particular it is. You can have it hot or cold, on its own or with one of the delicious salads or sandwiches on the menu.
If your trip to Tijuana coincides with the second fortnight of August or the first of September, you will surely be able to attend a show at the Feria de las Californias, the city’s annual fair event, which is attended by thousands of Mexicans and through which they cross the border many others. There is a village theater, concerts, palenque, equestrian, gastronomic fair, traditional games and much more.
31. Visit the Tijuana History Museum
The ideal place to start getting to know Tijuana is the city’s Museum of History. Tijuana is relatively young, since it was founded in 1889, but in 127 years there is a lot of history. All the facets around the birth and evolution of a city are included in the five permanent rooms. From the first urban planning to the economic history of Tijuana, going through the main political, social and cultural events. The museum is located in the Palace of Culture.
32. Tequilas with Mariachi
We are not inviting you to a lively Mexican tavern, but to the tranquility of the Mariachi and Tequila Museum. This nice space dedicated to drinks and the national musical genre will surprise you. There you will not find someone who will serve you a tequila or a pulque, but in return you will learn about the ancient cultural process around the country’s emblematic liquor. As tequila and mariachi go together, you will be able to admire the instrumental and clothing associated throughout history with the world-renowned Mexican music.
I suppose you will have finished a little tired. Rest and on your next trip to Tijuana you will be able to visit other places that you had to leave waiting for now! The friendly Tijuanenses are waiting for you!
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