15 Best Things to Do in Tijuana

15 Best Things to Do in Tijuana

The notorious border town- Tijuana is just across San Diego. Though it was once quite a shady place that people used to avoid, Tijuana is now one of the most sparkling tourist locations. From the popping Zona Centro to the sunny Pacific coast- Tijuana is quite a looker when it comes to its tourist spots. The home of terrific Margaritas and Tequila shots- Tijuana has some of the best bars and hot Mexican foods. So shake off this idea of Tijuana being a grubby town, and go visit this place that has been newly decorated with plazas, shopping centers, or beautiful beaches! Let us have a look at some of the best things to do in Tijuana now:

Drop by the spherical Tijuana Cultural Center

Tijuana Cultural Center
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Every tourist on their way to Tijuana has only one thing in mind apart from tequila and food, and that happens to be Tijuana Cultural Center. It can be recognized from a far away as it has an iconic spherical shape and is in the color of bricks.
A branch of the National Council for Culture and Arts- Tijuana Cultural Center is the one and only in all of Mexico. It is extremely close to the border, and is in the Zona Rio region of Tijuana. It was constructed back in the 1980s and is now an icon of the place.

Enjoy the food scenes at Avenida Revolución

Avenida Revolución in Tijuana
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Avenida Revolucion, in reality, means legendary! Tijuana which used to be a scary name for tourists, and people used to avoid the place, is now a peaceful place loved by tourists. To mark this success- Avenida Revolucion was built. The place is filled with international brands, restaurants, and cafes.

This is one one of the best places to buy your friends and family a souvenir. Stuffed with Tijuana native handicrafts, candles, leather items, and figurines- Avenida Revolucion is truly a good place to finish your shopping under a budget.
Also, you will find a lot of restaurants lined up on the streets that serve both international as well as local cuisine.

Learn about science at El Trompo

El Trompo
Delia Martínez / Festival Ambulante, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

El Trompo vows to teach the locals as well as tourists about science through its various games and exhibitions. With a mere entry fee of just $5, the place is filled with events and activities. You can visit El Trompo any time of the year, and it is guaranteed that there will be an event going on here.

The experience really lets people take an interest in learning and even lets them get their hands dirty by doing the experiments. There is also an auditorium here that can fill over 4000 people along with a Multipurpose room. There are several spaces for various conferences and even concerts.

Enjoy the beach life of Playas de Tijuana

Playas de Tijuana
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Too busy to head to Rosarito? Worry not, for Tijuana has some beach surprises too. Playas de Tijuana is located quite near to downtown Tijuana. Running from the Azteca Park to the U.S. border, there is a boardwalk made up of pedestrian bridges. The border can even be seen crossing the Pacific Ocean. This is how you know that the issues are real here!

Playas de Tijuana is a wonderful place filled with beaches offering a nice time and of the best sea-food you will ever devour in your life. Tourists mainly come to this place as it has some cozy beaches and a lazy kind of vibe.

Relish the nightlife scenes

Beer tasting in Tijuana
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Americans have this legacy of coming across the border to cut loose for a night or two. For generations, Tijuana has served as the entertainment factor of Americans. The name Tijuana reeks of Tequila to most tourists, and the city is well known for its lively nightlife!

Avenida Revolución and Zona Centro are the two main places that have some of the best bars and pubs in town. If you want to blow off some steam, these two are the most recommended places. Calle Basil is another one of the places if you are looking for some of the expensive classy bars. Plaza del Zapato is also well known for some good nightclubs.

Admire the street art of Pasaje Rodríguez

Ever thought an alley would be one of the biggest tourist attractions of any place? Well, this alley ain’t no ordinary one. Filled with local food, energetic people, and gorgeous street art- Pasaje Rodriguez is a must-visit in Tijuana if you want to experience the ever evolving city!

In 2009, Pasaje Rodriguez was a project that locals took to finish in their own hands. Since then, the area has always been filled with artists and photographers. Honestly, the place has some energetic vibes that does not make people want to leave. Today, there are a lot of street art and even tiny art galleries in alleys that inspire up and coming artists to do their best.

Shop at El Popo

Want to get into the lives of the locals for a day? Interested to see how the locals of Mexico shop? Say no more for we have the El Popo for you! The local markets of Mexico are well known for having some of the best fresh products of the local cuisine and El Popo is another one of them.

The moment you enter the market, the fresh smell of raw Mexican goods will hit your nose. The different spices and curry flavors will blow your brains away. The market is very colorful with colors popping from everywhere. Local cinnamon, oils, candles, chillies are found here in abundance. You can eat like a local, or even buy a gift.

Book a day trip to Ensenada

Ensenada Beach
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Planned a trip to only Tijuana? Stay one day more for Ensenada is not something to be missed! Do you want to know more about the Baja culture? The cosmopolitan city of Ensenada looks quite like the twin of Tijuana, just 70 miles away.
Did you know why the Baja culture is so prominent here?

Ensenada used to be the capital of Baja for 33 years straight. Locals, tourists from other parts of Mexico as well as the States all flock to Ensenada. The fish tacos are a must-try in Baja cuisine. The views of Ensenada are splendid with the water front as well as the surroundings.

Grab souvenirs at Plaza Rio Tijuana

Dorians in Plaza Rio, Tijuana
PedroEmiliano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Plaza Rio Tijuana is one of the best shopping malls in all of Mexico. It has a shopping space of almost 73,500 square metres. Earlier there were no modern shopping malls in Mexico. It was in 1981, that the government decided to construct a shopping mall entirely like the American ones.

It has a lot of international brands, and good local shops inside too. There is also a food-court where you can try out Chinese, Mexican as well as Italian cuisines too. There are also two movie theatres inside the mall.

Cherish the sunset at Rosarito beach

Rosarito beach
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No-body is too busy for a good beach town, are they? If you are done with the local sight-seeing of Tijuana, head over to the wonderful beaches of Rosarito. It is actually a town filled with residential areas, but it meets with the ocean at its end!
The coastal region is just a drive away from Tijuana at a distance of just 20 kilometers. Katharine Hepburn, Dolores del Río, Spencer Tracey, and many other golden stars all treated Rosarito as their weekend getaway from the hectic shooting life.

The beach is filled with white sand, and is never crowded. It is so huge that no matter how many people go to the beach, it is always empty! Try to stay a night at Rosarito Beach Hotel which overlooks the ocean.

Enjoy the local delicacies of Puerto Nuevo

Fried Lobster with Tortillas in Puerto Nuevo
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Are you already in Rosarito? Why go away now when you can visit the delicious town of Puerto Nuevo. People visit this town for its crabs mainly. But, the lobster taco is a must-try here for almost 100,000 crustaceans are cooked at the restaurants here in the town.

There are also surfing options here along with the best beach fun. The wine list of the local restaurants are also the best of Mexico!

Eat the authentic Caesar salad

Do you always order Caesar Salad when you are at a restaurant? Did you know you are technically ordering Mexican food? Yes, Mexico is deemed to be the birthplace of the caesar salad. But, most importantly people say that it is here- in Tijuana that gave birth to the Caesar Salad. So, when in Tijuana- ordering Caesar Salad would mean eating an authentic Mexican dish.

The exact location where it was invented is Caesars Restaurants Bar. Moreover, the owner of the restaurant himself came up with this dish- Caesar Cardini. He created this dish because the celebs of Hollywood flew to Tijuana if they wanted to have a little fun as most things were banned in America during that period.
P.S- You can still have the iconic dish right in its birthplace!

Explore the hidden gem of Casa de la Cultura

Casa de la Cultura
CesarBojorquez, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Did you think there is not a single cultural place in Tijuana? Then, you are very wrong! Casa de la Cultura located in Tijuana is declared by the officials that it should have its name in historical heritages.

Years ago, it was actually designed to be an elementary school, but soon back in 1975, it was declared a cultural site. Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez (a library), a theatre, Literary Cafe, Benjamin Serrano Gallery, and many other exhibitions and classes are in the campus. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Tijuana. It is estimated that almost 25000 people visit this cultural site every year.

Walk around Plaza Santa Cecilia

Colorful street in Plaza Santa Cecilia
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Want to step back in time to get a taste of what old Tijuana used to be? Situated on the confluence of the two streets of First Street and La Revu, Plaza Santa Cecilia is the birthplace of the town of Tijuana. You can tell by the decor and the aura that this is no doubt the oldest part of Tijuana.

But, the area is now so well developed that it is getting hard to predict as time flies by. Businesses have bloomed now in this part of the town as modern shops and malls can now be seen here. But, if you tilt your head, you can still see the colorful flags fluttering above. It did not use to be such a peaceful place, but now it is just a colorful location that attracts the tourists.

Get amazed by the food scenes of Zona Rio

Famous Taco place in Zona Rio
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Downtown Tijuana is what brings economic growth to the tow. The place is filled with trade and commerce having some of the best places along with delicious food scenes. Mexican food is something that is relished by the entire world.

Even to this day, whenever people want to enjoy spicy- Mexican food comes to our mind first! So, why not try the authentic cuisine from the makers themselves? Zona Rio has Mercado Hidalgo, which is almost like a food market. In order to know what the real flavor of Tijuana is- Mercado Hidalgo is the ideal solution. From the best tortillas, to Mexican coffee, spicy candies, and pinatas- you can get every authentic Mexican item at an arm’s length here.

So, what are you waiting for? Go experience the Baja Californian culture along with the best nightlife and shopping experience! Tijuana really has some good spots and experiences waiting just for you!