Tlaquepaque is one of those places that shoppers dream of. This Guadalajara suburb is a “must” on any vacationers agenda. I know people who have flown halfway around the world just to shop in Tlaquepaque. The main shopping area has been closed off to traffic so that you can stroll and shop at a leisurely pace. Specialty shops are everywhere you look. Over three hundred quaint shops will make your shopping experience, in this traffic free environment, a real pleasure. This seemingly small town offers some great bargains and an incredible variety of items in just about anything in the way of quality handmade goods, from fine crystal to furniture, and almost everything in between.
Plan on at least one full day for your visit to Tlaquepaque. If shopping is the main purpose of your trip you may even want to spend a night or two at one of the bed and breakfast inns that have recently appeared nearby. Take your time and explore the shops that really interest you. Make time to enjoy a fabulous lunch at one of the sidewalk or patio cafes. A few of the shops have their own restaurants so that if you are so inclined, you may shop during your meal. Mariachi bands play in many of the restaurants and plazas. Tlaquepaque claims to be the original home of the mariachis, but this claim is also shared by another town, Cocula, which is also in the state of Jalisco.
El Parián, which was built in 1878, is a block square cantina that offers snacks, meals and very cold Margaritas. There are some shops also, but the main attraction (late afternoon & evenings) are the strolling Mariachis. El Parián is a good place to rest, after a long day of shopping, and enjoy some local charm.
Prices in Tlaquepaque may surprise you, as they are usually very reasonable when you consider the quality offered. The quality of any item, of course, is what usually determines the final price. Most of the stores offering the higher quality items have fixed prices. If you are buying a houseful of furnishings and accessories, be sure to bargain and agree on the final price, for all merchandise, before you agree to your purchase. Most of the shops here are more than willing to handle all of the arrangements for shipping on large orders. For smaller purchases, there are a few pack and ship establishments located within in the relatively small shopping area of Tlaquepaque.
There are numerous companies that offer guided tours to Tlaquepaque, but a taxi is probably just as easy, as a guide is really not necessary.