The shopping scene in Guadalajara is centered around two opposing faces of Latin American culture: traditional open-air markets (tianguis) and the modern shopping plazas and malls that, more and more, are sprouting up around the outskirts of town. The latter can be found in particular proliferation southwest of the Centro Histórico in Sector Juárez, as well as in suburban municipios such as Zapopan.
A refreshing exception to this rule is the historic downtown district of Tlaquepaque, southeast of Guadalajara proper. This area is characterized by a lively collection of shops centered on the pedestrian-only streets, Calle Independencia and Avenida Juárez. Emphasized in these charming shops are arts and handicrafts of all kinds: one-of-a-kind handmade furniture, textiles, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, glassware, home decor, and even chocolate.
These temporary open-air street markets or bazaars are a Mexican tradition dating back to the Aztec days, and are a great way to get up close and personal with local culture at its most real—and score some bargains in the process. Some of the biggest tianguis in Guadalajara include:
Guadalajara Cultural TianguisPlaza Benito Jurez, corner Av. Wshington and Av. 16 de Septiembre, Zona CentroHours: Sa 7:00-19:00Popular especially with young people, the Tianguis Cultural is not only a great place to buy clothes and music, but also to catch free open-air concerts, mingle, see and be seen.
Liberty MarketJavier Mina 52, San Juan de DiosPhone: +52 (33) 3618 0506Hours: Daily 6:00-20:00Known by locals as Mercado San Juan de Dios because of the river that used to pass through the area, the Mercado Libertad is a very busy, multi-story enclosed market; with hundreds of vendors, it's the largest market in Latin America. The market also houses a very popular and very good food court featuring everything from seafood to local favorites like birria (goat stew) and pozole (hominy and pork stew). It's a great place to get souvenirs. Unfortunately, it isn't the safest place in town, so make sure to always keep on the lookout for purse-snatchers. Tianguis el BaratilloCorner of Calle Puerto Melaque and Calle Porfirio Daz, Santa MaraHours: Su 7:30-15:00The largest tianguis in Guadalajara, this market sells anything and everythingtools, furniture, food, clothes and accessories, kitchenware, toys, and all manner of other articleswith an emphasis on used items sold at great bargains (hence its name El Baratillo, which roughly translates as "The Flea Market").
Malls and shopping centers
Centro MagnoVallarta 2425, Arcos VallartaPhone: +52 (33) 3630 1113Located between Avenidas Vallarta and Lpez Cotilla, the Centro Magno has a big, wide, closed space in the middle, surrounded mostly by restaurants, fashion, electronics and bazaar stores, with a cinema on the top floor. It's served directly by bus routes 629A and 629B, and routes 626, 622, 24, 258 and 101 are also nearby. Galera del CalzadoMxico 3225, VallartaPhone: +52 (33) 3647 6422Hours: M-Sa 11:00-21:00, Su 11:00-20:30This is an entire mall that contains over 60 shoe stores, great for the dedicated footwear obsessive. As you can imagine, all prices and styles can be found here. Galeras GuadalajaraRafael Sanzio 150, Residencial La Estancia, ZapopanPhone: +52 (33) 3110 1142Guadalajara's biggest mall, located at the intersection of Avenidas Vallarta and Rafael Sanzio. It houses Guadalajara's biggest multiplex cinema, with 20 THX projection rooms and 4 VIP rooms. Has multi-level parking ramps as well as more than 1 square kilometer of open parking space shared with a Wal-Mart and a Sam's Club. Served by bus routes 25, 47 and 629. Plaza AndaresPuerta de Hierro 4965, Fraccionamiento Plaza Andares, ZapopanPhone: +52 (33) 3648 2298Guadalajara's newest mall, located at the corner of Avenidas Patria and Puerta de Hierro. Designer stores abound here: DKNY, Cartier, Hugo Boss, Mont Blanc, Helmut Lang, Fendi, Alexander McQueen, Versace, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Valentino, Diesel, Cavalli, Calvin Klein, Channel and Dior. Plaza del SolLpez Mateos Sur 2375, Ciudad del Sol, ZapopanPhone: +52 (33) 3121 5950This mall, Guadalajara's second-largest, is located near the corner of Avenidas Lpez Mateos and Mariano Otero. The mall boasts a multi-story car park and an open layout, with big, open spaces in the middle, surrounded by hallways. Served by bus routes 357, 101, 24, 258, 626, 629, 645 and 701, as well as the longer-distance buses that connect the nearby town of Santa Anita with the metropolitan area. The Torrena Tower, measuring 336.5 meters in height, is under construction next to both Plaza del Sol and Plaza Torrena, a smaller, underground mall nearby that can be recognized by its white concrete dome. Plaza PatriaPatria 45160, Altamira, ZapopanBounded by Avenidas Patria, vila Camacho and Amricas, this two-story mall, smaller than many of the others on this list, nonetheless has a sizable assortment of stores. Clothes and electronics can be bought here, and there are also convenience stores and a supermarket. Served by bus routes 24, 25, 604, 622, 632, 634 and 701.