Many people know Tijuana as the city beside the border. But, other than that, only a few people know about what this city offers. As such, this city is often overlooked and only enjoyed as the gateway to other Mexican cities and areas.
When you look at Tijuana besides the border, you’ll realize the city has plenty of things to offer its visitors. After all, it’s among the busiest and most visited cities for a reason. In Tijuana, you’ll find plenty of activities to try, whether staying for a day or longer.
To give you an idea, we listed 15 popular things to do while you’re in Tijuana. This information will help you know more about this city and what it offers to its visitors. After reading, you can set up a schedule and enjoy Tijuana the best way possible.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1. Explore the city’s Centro Cultural Tijuana
Although most people don’t consider Tijuana a cultural hub, it teems with cultural events with a center specifically for them. In addition, an exhibit about Baja California’s history is available, which is perfect if you’re beginning your drive along the peninsula. It also features an IMAX and a complete performance schedule.
2. Snap Photos at the Monumental Arch
The Monumental Arch of the city is so impressive that you should take a photo of it before you enter the border. One of Tijuana’s entertaining and free activities, it serves as an excellent welcome to the city. This spot is a must-see. However, I believe you’d be hard-pressed not to go.
3. Taste some Wine at L.A. Cetto
Many people cross the border and visit Ensenada in Cetto for a wine-tasting experience. However, if you need help squeezing this area into your schedule, you can always visit L.A. Cetto in the city to experience tasting some quality wine. You can enjoy the finest wine Mexico offers here without traveling far from the city.
4. Enjoy the Nightlife at Calle Sexta and Avenida Revolucion
The city’s nightlife is something you have to experience when visiting the city. As such, you can enjoy some spots at Calle Sexta or Avenida Revolucion. It can be the start, middle, or conclusion of your plans, and it doesn’t matter as long as you experience it. Also, it will let you know what nightlife means in the city. If you’re still getting familiar with nightlife, starting in Tijuana’s downtown would be a good idea.
5. Visit Playas de Tijuana for a Beach Scene
Playas de Tijuana is a famous beach in the city, and if you visit a party, everything is ready for you to take a bucket to the beach. You can get cold containers and ice from local stores around. If you’re not into drinking, at least visit this beach area to enjoy the sunset views. Enjoy Mexican beach life if you’re wondering what to enjoy in the city for the day. Compared to San Diego, it is a different experience; beach food from vendors and beers are only two examples.
To know more about this beach area, read our article about Playas de Tijuana.
6. Enjoy a Cup of Mexican Coffee
One thing to note is that Mexico is one of the world’s largest coffee producers. As such, you’ll find Tijuana the nearest place to enjoy a cup of Mexican coffee. When you do, ensure you’re getting one from a local coffee shop. If you need help finding some, many people enjoy their Mexican coffee in Chiapas.
7. Visit Tijuana’s Cathedral
You have a duty as a tourist to visit the city’s cathedral. If you agree with this fact, you can explore Tijuana’s cathedral, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral. Here, you can enjoy the architecture and a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. You don’t need to be a religious person to visit. A simple walk through this church will be enough.
8. Test your Luck at Casinos
If you’re lucky, you can always spend cash and enjoy playing slot machines at Tijuana’s Casinos. Please don’t overdo it, though, as you need cash to enjoy other things in the city. If you’re searching for a place to start, Casino Caliente has a lot to offer.
9. Snap a Photo of Banderas Monumentales
Tijuana’s flag is not just evident due to its size, but it also represents Banderas Monumentales. It’s a program that marks significant Mexican events with large flags in Mexico. In addition, it will make an exciting post on your social media telling your followers that you have just entered another country.
10. Shop at Tijuana’s Stores, Malls, and Markets
A visit to Tijuana will only be complete with experiencing its shopping districts. There are plenty of spots in Tijuana where stores and shopping markets flock.
For instance, you can enjoy places like Plaza Rio Tijuana and Sanborns if you’re searching for malls or department stores. You can also visit the Plaza Agua Caliente if you’re searching for designer products.
If you want fresh products, you can head to Mercado Hidalgo or Mercado El Popo. For convenience, you can arrange a day trip with lots of shops and some viewing if you’re a genuine shopaholic but want to avoid sorting out the city’s retail situation.
One concern you may have related to shopping is the payment method. Now, most stores accept both US dollars and Mexican pesos. However, you’ll find it best to use the local currency when paying. To learn more, read: Is It Better to Use Pesos or Dollars in Tijuana?
11. Explore Parque Morelos
If you’re into parks and some green space for a relaxing exploration, you can always visit Parque Morelos. At this park, you can find woodlands and traditional parks. Moreover, a train and a lake are also available, which you’ll enjoy if you visit the city with your kids.
12. Enjoy Some Tequila
Tijuana is a Mexican city, so getting some tequila is likely a must. If you love to try some high-quality tequila, there’s no better place than a Mexican city like Tijuana to do so. Here, you’ll get different sorts of tequila with any bars you see. If you have the budget to splurge for high-end brands, we recommend having Adictivo, and it’s a treat you’ll undoubtedly enjoy the tasting.
13. Grab some Tacos
Tacos and Mexico go hand in hand, and when you’re in Tijuana, this food is consistently among the first dishes to get. You cannot visit the city and not taste the local cuisine! Besides a good taco, you won’t find a wrong substantive plate in Tijuana. You can get Tacos at any local restaurant or stall, and you will be satisfied with them.
14. Taste some quality craft beer
Tijuana is also a city known for having the best craft beers. As such, you should try some craft beer during your stay in the city. The city offers plenty of spots to enjoy quality craft beers, and you will undoubtedly enjoy one if you give it a shot. However, when you do so, make sure you don’t overdo it, as you still have plenty of things to do, and it can be a hassle if you’re tipsy or drunk.
15. Experience the Malecón
It is not just the sea and sand that you can enjoy on the beaches of Tijuana; it is a whole lot more. There is a busy Malecón with street food vendors, local artisans, restaurants, and bars. If you are unsure where to start, we recommend starting downtown and moving your way through.
With this list, you now know about the popular things you can enjoy in Tijuana. If you stay for one day or plan to stay for a week, there are plenty of things to do around the city. When you look at Tijuana, besides being the border city, you’ll know you’re up for a wholesome experience, and the city will surely give you a fantastic trip and vacation.
If you’re coming from San Diego and you’re now interested to explore Tijuana, read How to Get to Tijuana from San Diego?