Once a quaint outlying village, Tlaquepaque has been swallowed whole by Guadalajara. That said, the “town” retains its identity and feels more laid-back than Guadalajara proper. Tlaquepaque was originally known as a shopping Mecca for traditional ceramics and glass, and the town still boasts some of the best high-fire ceramics in the country. In addition, the area now abounds with galleries and boutiques selling Oaxacan rugs, Guerrero masks, fine leather purses, high end jewelry, antiques, traditional clothing, and all manner of rustic furniture.
Tlaquepaque is touristy but pleasant. Many shops and galleries are housed in Colonial mansions, and the pretty town plaza is worth a stroll. If shopping gets old, check out El Parian, an enclosed plaza ringed in bars and eateries where you can order local specialties like birria, a spicy beef or goat stew. El Parian is also a good place to hear mariachis, especially on Sundays when the locals flock and sing along.
Two local museums, the Museo Pantaleon Panduro and the Museo Regional de la Ceramica, have excellent displays of artesania, or folk art. Both museums are housed in old buildings that are worth a wander. Entry is free of charge.
Tlaquepaque is 5 km southeast of Guadalajara’s center. If you’re coming from downtown it’s a relatively inexpensive cab ride, or bus 275 runs south to Tlaquepaque from Av 16 de Septiembre and Madero.
Bargain hunters will want to visit the less picturesque Tonalá, a town 8 km southeast, where the bulk of Tlaquepaque’s wares are made.