Blake Walsh

19 Best Things to Do in Tijuana, Mexico

  • Published 2022/05/17

The world’s most visited border city, Tijuana is located just across San Diego.

It stands right on the US-Mexico border.

With attractions that range 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, the city has some of the best bars and hot Mexican dishes.

Visit this place decorated with plazas, shopping centers, and beautiful beaches.

Want to know what else this city has in store for you?

These are the best things to do in Tijuana, Mexico:

Visit the Spherical Tijuana Cultural Center

Exterior of the Tijuana Cultural Center

magraphy /

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.

A branch of the National Council for Culture and Arts, it is located close to the border and is found in Tijuana’s Zona Rio region.

Back details of Spherical Tijuana Cultural Center's exterior

Denis Kabanov /

The cultural center can be recognized from far away because of its distinct spherical shape.

It was constructed in the 1980s and is now one of Tijuana’s most iconic attractions.

Eat and Shop to Your Heart’s Content at Avenida Revolución

The millennial arch at Avenida Revolución in Tijuana

Denis Kabanov /

Avenida Revolucion is one of Tijuana’s legendary attractions.

The place is filled with international brands, restaurants, and cafes.

This is one of the best places to buy souvenirs for your friends and family.

People walking along Avenida Revolución

Sherry V Smith /

Offering native handicrafts, candles, leather items, and figurines, Avenida Revolucion is an excellent place to do your shopping on a budget.

You will find many restaurants that serve both international and local cuisines.

Shops at Avenida Revolución

Denis Kabanov /

Learn about Science at El Trompo

Exterior of El Trompo

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

El Trompo vows to teach its visitors about science through various games and exhibitions.

The place hosts various events and activities all year round.

Offering a unique experience for visitors, El Trompo lets people take an interest in learning and even has them get their hands dirty by doing the experiments.

There is also a multipurpose room and an auditorium that can house over 4,000 people.

There are several spaces for various conferences and concerts.

Live the Beach Life at Playas de Tijuana

Scenic view of Playas de Tijuana

Fernando Cebreros /

Too busy to head to Rosarito?

Worry not, for Tijuana has some beach surprises, too.

Playas de Tijuana is located quite near downtown Tijuana.

High angle view of Playas de Tijuana

Chad Zuber /

Running from the Azteca Park to the US border, there is a boardwalk made up of pedestrian bridges.

The border can even be seen crossing the Pacific Ocean.

Playas de Tijuana is a beautiful place filled with beaches offering a lovely time and some of the best seafood you will ever devour in your life.

Tourists mainly come to this place as it has some cozy beaches and a laid-back vibe.

The border or Mexico from USA at Playas de Tijuana

Richard Newsome /

Relish Tijuana’s Exciting Nightlife

Beer tasting in Tijuana

Robert Briggs /

Americans have a history of coming across the border to let loose for a night or two.

For generations, Tijuana has served as a place of entertainment for Americans.

The name Tijuana is practically synonymous with tequila for most tourists, and the city is well-known for its lively nightlife.

Avenida Revolución and Zona Centro are the two main places with some of the best bars and pubs in town.

Calle Basil is another notable spot if you’re interested in checking out the city’s classier and more expensive bars.

Plaza del Zapato is also known to have some excellent nightclubs.

Admire the Street Art at Pasaje Rodríguez

Filled with local food, energetic people, and gorgeous street art, Pasaje Rodriguez is an excellent place to experience Tijuana’s vibrant culture.

In 2009, Pasaje Rodriguez was a project that locals took to finish with their own hands.

Since then, the area has always been filled with artists and photographers.

The place has an energetic atmosphere that makes visitors never want to leave.

Today, Pasaje Rodriguez has a lot of street art and tiny art galleries that inspire up-and-coming artists to do their best.

Shop Like a Local at El Popo Market

Want to live like the Tijuana locals for the day?

Head to El Popo Market.

Mexico’s local markets are known to offer fresh local products, and El Popo Market is one of them.

The fresh smell of raw Mexican goods will hit your nose the moment you enter the market.

The different spices and curry flavors will blow you away.

Local cinnamon, oils, candles, and chilis are sold here in abundance.

El Popo Market is a vibrant place with colors popping from everywhere.

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 Mexico.

It has a shopping space of almost 73,500 square meters.

Earlier, there were no modern shopping malls in Mexico.

Cinepolis movie theater at Plaza Rio Tijuana

osdarin, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It was in 1981 that the government decided to construct a shopping mall like the American ones.

The mall comprises many local and international shops.

There are also two movie theaters and a food court inside the mall.

Have an Authentic Caesar Salad at Its Place of Origin

Do you always order Caesar salad when you are at a restaurant?

Did you know you are technically ordering Mexican food?

Tijana is actually the birthplace of the Caesar salad.

When in Tijuana, having a Caesar salad equates to eating an authentic Mexican dish—and in its place of origin, no less.

The Caesar salad was specifically invented in Caesar’s by the restaurant owner himself, Caesar Cardini.

Caesar’s still operates today, so you can have the iconic dish right in the home of the Caesar salad.

Explore the Hidden Gem of Casa de la Cultura

Exterior of Casa de la Cultura

CesarBojorquez, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Casa de la Cultura was actually designed to be an elementary school, but in 1975, it was declared a cultural site.

The place comprises Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez (a library), a theater, Literary Cafe, Benjamin Serrano Gallery, and many other exhibitions and classes.

It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Tijuana.

It is estimated that almost 25,000 people visit this cultural site every year.

Walk around Plaza Santa Cecilia

Colorful street in Plaza Santa Cecilia

Sherry V Smith /

Want to step back in time and experience Tijuana as it used to be?

Situated on the confluence of First Street and La Revu, Plaza Santa Cecilia is the birthplace of Tijuana.

Clothing and bag vendor at Plaza Santa Cecilia

Sherry V Smith /

Although the area is getting more and more developed as time goes by, you can still tell by its decor and aura that it is the oldest part of the city.

Businesses have bloomed in this part of Tijuana, as modern shops and malls can now be seen here.

You can still see the colorful flags fluttering above if you tilt your head.

Get Amazed by the Food Scenes of Zona Rio

Famous Taco place in Zona Rio

Robert Briggs /

Downtown Tijuana brings economic growth to the city.

The place is filled with trade and commerce, with some of the best sites that offer the most mouth-watering dishes.

Mexican food is enjoyed all over the globe, so how about enjoying some authentic Mexican food?

Zona Rio is where you’ll find Mercado Hidalgo, one of the best places to sample the flavors of Tijuana.

You can try just about every authentic Mexican food item, from the best tortillas to Mexican coffee and spicy candies.

Have a Lovely Stroll at Parque Morelos

There are many romantic activities for couples in Tijuana, such as spending the day in Parque Morelos.

Environmental reserve Parque Morelos, which opened in 1987, has many onsite amenities that visitors may enjoy.

You may want a miniature train ride, zoo, dedicated picnic sites, and picturesque pathways.

It also has an artificial lake, several distinct gardens, a water park, and more.

Visit this park with your special someone and have fun.

With its glistening lake, postcard-like flower beds, and zip lining, it’s the ideal place to make new memories with your loved one.

Get up close and personal with exotic creatures in the onsite zoo, or cool down in the fantastic splash park.

Catch a Game at Estadio Caliente

The field of Estadio Caliente

Lrios82, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While mainly utilized for football, Estadio Caliente hosts several other events, such as concerts and sporting competitions.

More than 27,300 people may be accommodated at a time.

Thanks to its comfy seats, modern equipment, state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and other perks, it’s a must-see for every sports fan.

Football game at Estadio Caliente

Hefebreo from Tijuana, Mexico, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A professional Mexican football team called Club Tijuana plays there.

Depending on their plan, this stadium can also hold other sporting events and spectacular live concerts.

You can catch a nail-biting football game or a tense boxing event while you’re at the venue.

A sports team with their flag at Estadio Caliente

Hefebreo from Tijuana, Mexico, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Satisfy Your Inner Wrestling Fan at Mullme

The Museum of Mexican Wrestling, or Museo de La Lucha Libre Mexicana in Spanish, is Mullme’s official name.

At least 6,800 wrestling memorabilia are on display at the museum.

If you’re planning a memorable trip to Tijuana, you may be on the lookout for exciting sites to visit.

This museum is a must-see if you’re in the area.

At Mullme, you may learn about Tijuana’s history and cultural relevance.

Many pubs, restaurants, boutique shops, and other attractions are located nearby.

Look through tens of thousands of pieces of genuine Mexican wrestling memorabilia in under an hour.

Explore various items, such as authentic masks, realistic wrestling dioramas, small miniatures, belts, and more.

Try Your Luck at Caliente Casino

Caliente Casino is a well-known Mexican casino with a large selection of cutting-edge slot machines.

In addition to the more than 2,100 slot machines, there are several table games and wagering options for sports and motorsports.

Try your luck at this fantastic casino while in Tijuana to create new memories.

You may choose from various slot machines, table games, or a fun bingo night at this establishment.

Make money on various sports, including boxing and horse racing, at its sportsbook.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Book a Day Trip to Ensenada

Daytime view of Ensenada Beach

Anthony Nevarez /

When you’re visiting Tijuana, take advantage of its location and visit the nearby city of Ensenada.

This port city, which lies just an hour and a half away, is a place you won’t want to miss out on.

Do you want to know more about the Baja culture?

Colorful name sign of Ensenada

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Ensenada was the capital of Baja California for 33 years.

Visitors from other parts of Mexico and the United States flock to this city.

Fish tacos are a must-try in Baja cuisine, and Ensenada is one of the best places to enjoy this mouth-watering dish.

Famous fish tacos at Ensenada

Robert Briggs /

Cherish the Sunset at Rosarito Beach

The pier of Rosarito beach

VG Foto /

If you are done exploring Tijuana’s attractions, head over to the beautiful beaches of Rosarito.

Rosarito Beach is a resort town less than 30 minutes away from the city.

Scenic sunset at Rosarito Beach

VG Foto /

Katharine Hepburn, Dolores del Río, Spencer Tracey, and many other golden stars have treated Rosarito as their weekend getaway from the busy celebrity life.

The stunning white sand beach is so vast that it never seems to get crowded no matter how many people visit.

Silhouette of a kid walking along Rosarito Beach

roberta d’amore /

Enjoy Fresh Crabs and Lobster Tacos in Puerto Nuevo

Fried Lobster with Tortillas in Puerto Nuevo

ArtDary /

Are you interested in exploring Tijuana’s surrounding towns?

Head to Puerto Nuevo, a neighboring town that you can reach in under 40 minutes via car.

People mainly visit this town for its crabs and lobster tacos.

Almost 100,000 crustaceans are cooked at Puerto Nuevo’s restaurants.

The restaurants also serve some of the best wine in Mexico.

Apart from the food, Puerto Nuevo is also an excellent place to surf and have some beach fun.

Final Thoughts

Because of its location close to the US border, Tijuana is home to the world’s busiest land crossing.

This city is a popular day destination for visitors looking for a quick cultural change and is just a short drive from San Diego.

However, a little digging will reveal a plethora of attractions that will keep you entertained for many days or even weeks.

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