Welcome to Tijuana, Mexico!
Tijuana is a place that leaves many people wondering what it really is and what it can be. North of the border, It’s known for many things. Parties, drugs, an abundance of alcohol, crime, and other less-than-desirable aspects, but while Tijuana does host a large nightlife and party influence. In addition, it also exerts some of the most important influence in politics, education, art, and culture, not only throughout Mexico but in the U.S as well. It’s definitely a place where there is more than meets the eye.
A worldwide local knows getting up close and personal with a city is the best way to experience it, and this inside guide to Tijuana will help you get acquainted.
Worldwide Local Tip: Daily, a lot of American tourists visit Tijuana, the border crossing from the US, so English is widely spoken in the major tourist centers of the city. Moreover, many businesses will accept U.S dollars but you’re always better off getting pesos ahead of time before crossing, as it will probably save you some money in the long run.
Start at Avenida Revolucion
After settling into their Tijuana hotels, most people will probably make the Avenida Revolucion their first stop. This is the downtown area and the place where most tourists tend to congregate. Just like any downtown area, it can be a little grimy, but because there are so many visitors in the area, there is also a police presence, especially at night when the bars and clubs open up, so unless you’re doing something illegal, it’s not dangerous to hand around here. Avenida Revolucion stretches for about eight blocks and you’ll find all the souvenir shops, little restaurants serving homemade food, and lots of bars.
Worldwide Local Tip: While on the Avenida Revolucion, make sure to stay south of the famous arch. Beyond that is the Zona Norte, where you’ll find the red light district. Of course, if you’re looking for that sort of night out, Zona Norte has brothels and sex clubs. The area can be a little seedy, so try not to go alone.
Skip the Tourist Clubs for Zona Rio
Locals know where to go for fun and if you’re going to travel like a worldwide local, you’ll want to know where to go. Although the Avenida Revolucion is a popular place for tourists to hit up bars and clubs, the hot spot for locals is in the Zona Rio. The Plaza Zapato area is a little more upscale than the Avenida Revolucion area, and it primarily caters to locals instead of weekend visitors.
Worldwide Local Tip: Because this area is mostly a local hangout, knowing a little Spanish will help you get along easier. If you’re not up to clubbing, the area is also filled with trendy bars and some of the best restaurants in the city
Enjoy the Tijuana Weather with a Day at the Beach
Hanging around the city, will no doubt provide you with a lot of fun and adventure, but after a night or two of partying, you may want to relax a little. Head to Playas de Tijuana which is, as the name suggests, a beach. Most Tijuana visitors ignore this part of town, so locals are the ones hanging out here most of the time. Located mostly on the western side of the city, this long beach stretches from the southern end of the border to Puenta la Joya. The beach is beautifully kept with clean sandy shores and waves that roll in at about waist height.
Worldwide Local Tip: On the weekends, families and groups of friends tend to congregate around the beach looking to relax and hang out by the water. The raised promenade behind the beach offers, delicious restaurants serving some of the best fresh seafood you can find in Mexico. Also, it goes without saying that if you’re looking for tacos, Tijuana is your city.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Whether you’re stopping by Tijuana for a weekend of margaritas and sightseeing, or you’re staying a while to get the insider’s view of this amazing city, it’s obvious that Tijuana is a fun place. Locals know it, and even people internationally are aware, but to be a worldwide local, you have to see it for yourself, because Tijuana is so much more than what you see in the news.