Are you planning to take a trip south of the border to Tijuana? If so and this is your first time we have some recommendations. There is so much to do at this tourist destination. You won’t have any problem filling your days there, but there are a few hidden treasures that you might miss unless you know about them in advance. Here are the 20 best things to do in Tijuana for first-timers.
20. Go to the Tijuana Cultural Center
We recommend a visit to the Tijuana Cultural Center as one of the first things to do while you’re in the city. It’s located at Paseo de Los Héroes 9350, Zona Urbana Rio Tijuana, 22010 Tijuana, B.C. It’s one of the major attractions in the city. The spherical-shaped city icon points the way to the educational site that first opened its doors in the 1980s. When you’re in the center you’re just within shouting distance of the US Border. Enjoy the IMAX dome for an educational film for a panoramic experience. While at the Tijuana Cultural Center you will find the Museum of the Californias loaded with exhibitions and history lessons about the Baja California region. You’ll also find entertainment at the aquarium, the Performance Hall, and much more at the center.
19. Experience Avenida Revolucion
Avenida Revolucion is an area in the downtown part of Tijuana that is one of the most colorful neighborhoods to tour. It’s the most popular part of the city for foodies to go. It’s loaded with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and more. You can easily find souvenirs at the local shops and vendors on this street along with handcrafted items from the Yucatan and Oaxaca, Talavera pottery, and much more. Enjoy the food offerings, look through the artisan craft shops, and catch a few of the local performances that are offered from time to time.
18. Visit the El Trompo Interactive Museum
The El Trompo Interactive Museum is one of the most spectacular science museums for families as well as tourists. This is a place that you can take the entire family for the afternoon. The admission is affordable around $5 per ticket. It’s a good idea to check the museum’s official website before you go. There are frequent events held at the museum. It’s great for people of all ages with a learning space for children and families to perform science experiments that apply to their everyday lives. Plan on spending at least a few hours. The museum is a four-story space that contains interactive rooms, exhibits, a multipurpose room, and a large auditorium for special events that can hold up to four thousand people. The address for el Trompo Museum is Av de Los Insurgentes s/n, Rio Tijuana 3ra Etapa, 22226 Tijuana, B.C.
17. Stroll through Pasaje Rodriguez
Pasaje Rodriguez is no the easiest place to find, but it is well worth the effort. This area is a passageway that is little more than a back alley in between the hotels of La Revu. Here you will find a variety of food options and a back ally that is filled with art and eateries. It’s a must-see for those who appreciate murals, small hidden restaurants, and occasionally, parties in the evenings. There are also organized exhibitions from time to time.
16. Go to the El Popo Market
Tijuana is filled with amazing local markets. Mercado El Popo is one of the most highly recommended markets to visit. If you want to get a good taste of Tijuana culture, then start with the El Popo Market. You’ll find a variety of fresh food products including dire chilies, candy, cheeses, cinnamon, herbs, fruit, incense, soaps, candles, and more. It’s a great place to pick up some of ht local groceries as well as a few souvenirs to take back with you. There are also some great eateries at El Popo Market. You can find it at 22000, Calle Benito Juárez 2da 8053, Zona Centro, 22000 Tijuana, B.C.
15. Visit the Playas de Tijuana border wall
The border wall at Playas de Tijuana is a must-see for all first-timers to the city. It’s located in the heart of the city’s downtown area. It’s a great place to get a good workout as the boardwalk runs a distance of four miles in a ring of pedestrian bridges. It’s best to begin your walk at Azteca Park. The boardwalk leads to the U.S. border. While you’re there, check out some of the seafood eateries and enjoy a snack or meal before you head back.
14. Go to Casa de la Culture
as de la Cultura is a building in Mexico that has been designated as a historical heritage site. When the building was completed, it was used as an elementary school. This building is significant because in 2014 it became the first cultural site for the city of Tijuana to become a heritage site under ownership of the state. There is plenty to do at Casa de la Cultura including a literary cafe, the Benjamin Serrano Gallery, the Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez library, and a theater. The address of Casa de la Cultura is Calle Benito Juárez 2da y Constitución s / n, Zona Centro, CP 22000.
13. Visit Plaza Santa Cecilia
Plaza Santa Celia is in the city of Tijuana’s oldest neighborhood. You will find it at First Street and La Revu’s intersection. This is the area that spawned the city of Tijuana. Here you will find a little bit of everything. Although there are medical, dental, and business offices, there are also several restaurants, outdoor craft stalls, and more. You can also find art and music there. It’s a must-see for all first-time visitors to Tijuana.
12. Shop at Mercado Hidalgo
Mercado Hidalgo is located in the east end of the downtown part of Tijuana. This area is an interesting place to visit because it is filled with a rarity of different great places to eat. There are tons of shops, restaurants and interesting foods and souvenir items. Mercado Hildago’s Foodgardn is one of the most popular places to eat. Numerous food stalls are run by the younger generation of chefs in Tijuana. The Plaza Rio Shopping Mall is one of the major attractions of the area. It’s located at Paseo de Los Héroes 96-98, Zona Urbana Rio Tijuana, 22010 Tijuana, B.C.
11. Go on a horseback ride at the ocean
Whether you’re there with a partner or going solo, a horseback ride through the hills that encircle Tijuana, Ensenada, and Rosarito is refreshing and adventurous. Check out the longer rides that take you to amazing vistas that overlook the ocean. It’s a great way to see the backcountry near Tijuana.
10. Spend a night in a Bubble Suite
Plan on renting a suite at the Campera Hotel Bubble for 5-star luxury. This is a boutique hotel that lets you feel like you’re sleeping under the stars. This is a high-tech suite that promises a night that you will never forget. The experience also comes with a bubble bar with wines from the local winery.
9. Feast on Lobster and wine
Puerto Nuevo is one of the best places to get Lobster near Tijuana. You’ll find this delicacy cooked to perfection and served hot with warm tortillas and butter. Slip over to Ensenada to enjoy a tour of the local wineries. Keep an eye out for the traditional Mariachi bands as they frequent lobster eateries. There is little that beats a feast of lobster and wine and these are some of the best places to find them. No trip to Tijuana is complete without indulging yourself.
8. Explore the Los Arenales Dunes outside Tijuana
There are plenty of ATV rentals near Los Arenales for exploring the sandy dunes on your own. It’s only a couple of miles outside of Tijuana and near Rosarito. If you’re into adventure sports this is an adventure that you’ll remember for years to come. You can also schedule an exploration run with the team riders if you don’t want to go by yourself. It’s an experience that includes both sand and sea that offers great photo opportunities so bring your camera.
7. Visit Museo del Coleccionista de Tijuana
Museo del Coleccionista de Tijuana is also known as the Tijuana Collector’s Museum. This is an amazing experience that includes a total of three museums in one. You’ll find the event center on the first floor featuring a pop culture museum. It’s filled with collectibles and toys that date back 70 years. The third floor is filled with exhibits about the history of bullfighting. The second floor holds the Lucha Libre Museum. It’s a form of wrestling that was introduced to Mexico during the 1930s era. It is an interesting sport where wrestlers wore special masks and belts in an often violent display of freestyle wrestling. Collectibles from this era are displayed on the second floor of the museum.
6. Catch a Lucha Libre exhibition
You can attend an extreme Lucha Libre match while you’re in Tijuana, the birthplace of the sport in the country of Mexico. It’s comparable to WWE wrestling in the United States with some major differences. It’s really a free fighting style and many spectators wonder if the fighting is staged or real. It’s animated and entertaining. It’s been confirmed that some matches are staged for the exciting entertainment effect, but there are Lucha Libre fights that are completely real and unstaged. They’re held weekly and tickets are required to attend the matches.
5. Visit the El Museo de Historia de Tijuana
El Museo de Historia de Tijuana is translated as The Tijuana History Museum. This is the place to go for the carefully preserved and perpetuate the history of Tijuana. It’s situated in the Old Municipal Palace, Tijuana’s oldest building that dates back to 1921. It was previously the seat of local government until being replaced in 1986. There is a Permanent Exhibition Hall that retells the interesting history of the city and the people who founded Tijuana.
4. Visit Plaza Santa Cecilia to do some shopping
If you love to shop then you absolutely must go to Plaza Santa Cecilia. It’s one of the oldest shopping areas in Tijuana. It’s found at First Street and Revolution Avenue. Here you can shop for hours, and then stop at one of the many restaurants for a bite to eat or enjoy a brew at one of the local bars. If you’re there on a weekend or one of Tijuana’s special holidays, there are different kinds of performances held in the plaza.
3. Check out Tijuana’s Street Art Scene
Tijuana is a city that is brimming with some of the best street art in the world. The best examples are found along Revolution Avenue. You’ll see the works on the walls in the form of murals and in exhibitions set up by local artists. Take your camera along because the area is rich with street art.
2. Have a cold one at the Norte Brewing Company
The Norte Brewing Company features some o the best craft beer in the city. There are a variety of breweries and tasting rooms to choose from. The best place to find a variety of them is at Plaza Fiesta with more than 10 tasting rooms. Watch out for the Norte Brewery taproom. It’s just off of Avenida de Revolucion to the north of 4th street. You have to enter the parking garage to get there. Jump on the elevator and ride it to the fifth floor. The entrance to Norte Brewery is just to the left outside of the elevator. It’s one of the hidden treasures in Tijuana.
1. Spend an afternoon at Rosarito Beach
Rosarito Beach is a 20 km trek but it’s well worth the short travel time. This is a coastal resort area that features some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood enjoyed the white sand of these beaches. Spencer Tracey, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and others visited this area in the past. After enjoying the beach there are plenty of restaurants and a few nightspots for having a good time.