How Safe Is Guadalajara for Travel?

Guadalajara, Mexico
Safety Index:

Being the capital city of the central state of Jalisco in Mexico and the second-most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, Guadalajara is divided into several districts.

It is a lovely city which contains many nice areas for walking.

It is not just in the city center which is the main area of interest to tourists due to its historical sites, old and modern buildings and temples that has its charisma.

Outside of the downtown area are three areas also of interest to the tourist and those are Tlaquepaque, Tonalá and Zapopan, a site of pilgrimage known for its old-town charm.

The University of Guadalajara serves as a center of cultural activity such as the Ballet Folclórico and the Cineforo Universidad.

Warnings & Dangers in Guadalajara

Overall Risk


Considering all the types of crimes, Guadalajara can be considered a medium safe city, since there are drug-related crimes, robbery and auto-part theft which should be worrying for tourists. Guadalajara is a big city and it is a normal thing that there is a crime.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Taxis which are marked and registered are reliable and safe, unlike the public transportation which is generally unsafe for travelers, due to the pickpocketing, bag-snatching, and armed robberies that are happening there. However, be aware that there is a risk that the driver will not take the shortest possible route if he/she perceives that you do not know where exactly he/she should drive. If you decide to drive, you should be alert for changing road conditions, drive defensively and leave space to maneuver.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpockets operate in tourist places like in any other big city. They usually work in teams and focus on tourists to steal valuables. Sometimes, they even use motorcycles for a quick escape. The tactic they use is the accidental spills which will distract the victims. There are numerous reports of robbery, auto-part theft, and non-violent crimes.

Natural Disasters Risk


When the natural disasters are in question, there are no hazards in Guadalajara, except some Pacific hurricanes which might occur. However, Mexico is prone to earthquakes, hurricanes and active volcanoes so it is good to get informed about it when traveling to this country.

Mugging Risk


Kidnapping is a serious problem in Guadalajara, either virtual or real kidnapping must be immediately reported to the police and your consulate. Types of virtual kidnappings include communicating via text message from stolen or lost cell phones to extort money from their families. Auto-theft commonly involves the threat of force and in these cases, if the victim does not resist, thieves rarely do any physical harm, since they are after money.

Terrorism Risk


Even though the terrorist threat exists everywhere in the world, Guadalajara is considered as being a low-threat location for terrorist activity.

Scams Risk


When it comes to scams, telephonic extortion by which the caller tricks the victim into transferring money by pretending to be a member of a cartel who kidnapped the victim’s family member and asking for the ransom is developing and the reports of these incidents are increasing.

Women Travelers Risk


Just as in any other city, female travelers need to be cautious and pay special attention when traveling by public transportation. There are frequent reports of sexual harassment, especially in bars and nightclubs, but as long as you remain vigilant, there is no risk of being assaulted.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Whether you need a visa when entering Mexico depends on the country you are coming from. The citizens of the US, Canada, the EU, Israel, and Japan are exempted from obtaining a visa. The valid passport during your stay is obligatory for everyone.
  • Currency - The Mexican Peso is the official currency of Mexico and it is believed to be an inexpensive country to visit. There are various types of accommodations both for not so rich travelers, and the wealthy ones as well.
  • Weather - In Guadalajara, the temperature is warm year-round, with very strong seasonal variation in precipitation. March is the driest month and July is the wettest. Winters are relatively warm and January daytime temperatures reaching about 25 °C.
  • Airports - Besides all the major airports in Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana which can be used when coming to Guadalajara, there is the Libertador Miguel Hidalgo International Airport, located south of the city, which also serves Guadalajara.
  • Travel Insurance - When coming to Mexico, the travel insurance policy should be obtained, in case of an accident or loss of personal belongings.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Guadalajara Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 16° C
Feb 17° C
Mar 19° C
Apr 22° C
May 23° C
Jun 24° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 22° C
Sep 22° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 18° C
Dec 16° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

21 Reviews on Guadalajara

  1. My wife and I went to Guadalajara for our 5 year anniversary and while I didn’t feel unsafe or uneasy, my wife did. She was tense the entire trip there. We had some issues with items being stolen out of our hotel room and a group of men following us a few times who didn’t speak English. I know she don’t want to ever go back but I wouldn’t mind it. I am not intimidated very easily.

    1. J
      Joel Kraft says:


      Right . You’re a tough guy. A couple cartel guys, all hit men, would pose no problem for you.

    2. A
      Andrew T Cochran says:

      Everything can be safe…it’s up to you

      I think it might be more about where you stay and the activities you engage in. I’ve been traveling to Guadalajara constantly for the last six months. I pretty much stick to the nicest areas and I don’t go out at night. Best place to stay is obviously the Hyatt Regency and from there you can walk to any number of amazing shops and stores and really nice restaurants so I never felt the need to go further than that.

  2. V
    Vincent K. says:


    I loved the area when I traveled there back in 2008 but since all the issues with immigrants, I am a bit put off on going to Mexico. I am not sure if it would be safe. I know most areas in Mexico are risky but usually cities like this are okay. Anyone go more recently know?

    1. Just went in July 2020, it was safe, reminds me of old school mexico. Went to the plaza of mariachis at night, it was like downtown LA in the eighties lots of passed out drunks and drug addicts just best to avoid this area

  3. Safe And A Must!

    I have visited downtown Guadalajara a few times as an adult. It has certainly changed since I was a kid. These last couple of times I did not feel unsafe. I feel you need to be street smart as you are in any major metropolitan area. Being from Chicago this was a no brainer for me. Be smart and don’t look like a tourist and fumble with maps and smart phones. Plan your sites and enjoy a stroll. Make sure you’re in an area with lots of people. I would consider this a safe trip and will return again.

  4. H
    Harry Navel says:

    Big Navel

    My wife ate tomato soup out of my unusually large bellybutton in Guadalajara. It was a great trip that we’ll remember.

    1. jealous of navel

      ok then! got to try this lol

  5. J
    Juan Ciudadano says:


    Understandable. I live and work in GDL and have been held up. It Is becoming a nasty place with half-witted, obnoxious thugs driving around in their gruesome gringo-style pickups and shitty banda music everywhere. I am a Mexican Citizen, and being quite honest, would not recommend the place to say, Calgary résidents or peaceful tourists from Western Europe. Sad, but true: Narcos, corruption, and vulgarity prevail. GDL Is not the city of Bing Crosby golfing and Chapala visits anymore. It Is an oafish, provincial bastion of Sinaloa. Sad, very sad.

    1. F
      F. Parr says:

      You’re so full of it. Mexicans should be glad they got rid of you. I’ve been to Guadalajara many times and haven’t had any problems. Many things to enjoy as long as you don’t act stupid, which is the same everywhere.

      1. D
        Dean Market says:

        You speak the truth my friend!

        1. P
          Pedro Rojas says:

          Don’t judge

          Juan could have been VERY traumatized if he were in fact held up. His response appears extreme but it is important to consider the reason he reacted this way. Many locals are angry with the cartel and have a right to be fed up with cngj. Trying to take the high ground over a local sounds arrogant, selfish, and insensitive to their reality, which could be very painful if they grew up in one of gdl’s tougher neighborhoods. He clearly states that he still lives there. Guadalajara is a very nice city. Stay away from the area past La calzada independencia in the city center and Calle priciliano Sanchez at night. Also, ten blocks north of the cathedral on Pedro Loza should be a no go area. Try carnes garibaldi, tejuino, and a torta ahogada while you are there. Cheers.

      2. r
        r.riojas says:

        Exactly F. Parr. Like most big cities in the US if you go looking for trouble or participate in illegal activities then you are going to put yourself at risk. I have visited several times and never felt unsafe. Something can happen to you in any big city in the world just be aware of your surroundings and you’ll have a pleasant time. People love Paris but I had a bag stolen from me as I was walking from the Gare du Nord to my Airbnb and I am a physically large guy. I didn’t feel any safer there than I do when I go to Guadalajara. The danger is all blown out of proportion from the American media especially when most large US cities are just as bad. And remember Cartels most likely wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the huge drug habit of the US which is prevalent in all walks of life here and not just in minority communities.

      3. Lives under a bridge

        Another nasty troll here to attack people from behind the screen. I’m talking about you Parr, not the OP.

  6. A
    Anonymous says:

    Second trip

    This is my 2nd trip here, and I am pleased with my visit. As in any visit outside one’s
    comfort zone, be ever vigilant and have a way out of any situation. Go where there is plenty of people traffic, and most of all…look and act like a “native”. For the most part
    while visiting the many tourist venues that can be found, the people are friendly and polite. Of course, there’s always the few rude ones that don’t have any sense of respect for others, ie, cutting in front of you while you are taking a photo, or forcing themselves to the front of the line. Overall, I’ve enjoyed my trip. Gracias,
    Roberto de California.

  7. Awesome local experience

    I just came back from staying in a house in the Santa Maria/Talpita colonia – Was able to walk around that area day and night with no issues of feeling unsafe. Ventured off to Zona Medrano and multiple other tianquis of lots of people moving through small spaces.

    As in all big cities – be aware of your surroundings. But ultimately I’ve felt much uncomfortable in several areas here in the states.

  8. D
    David L Levine says:

    Check out this undiscovered gem in Mexico

    I just returned from my first trip to Guadalajara. I was pleasantly surprised at the charm the city exudes. Lots of lovely colonial architecture that goes on for block after block. I stayed at the Holiday Inn in Centro Ciudad (221 Juarez) which was well located for walking to the cathedral, museums, and other areas of interest. People were consistently friendly and helpful. American tourists were few and far between. Hotel couldn’t do currency exchanges but loads of stores on Ave were easily available with good rates and flexible hours. Museum of Guadalajara was a highlight containing exhibits on paleontology, history, and fine art. Interjet Airlines now flies non-stop from several North American cities, offering low rates (and surprising amount of legroom on its planes)

  9. V
    Vidal Demonti says:

    A wonderful experience

    I visited Guadalajara many times and stayed for months at the time. The experience has always been exceptional. I love the people, the ambiance, the climate. I always felt safe and never had any problems. I am recommending this city because I have personally experienced. Take your time, rent long term and enjoy the in·cred·i·ble life in this beautiful city.

  10. D
    Dean Market says:

    It's a great safe City!

    It is a great safe City when you travel you don’t go to the Hood rat areas! travel to the tourist areas only they’re very safe! mind your own business enjoy the city be happy nobody wants you! nobody needs anything from you! enjoy your yourself!

  11. Anything can happen to anyone anywhere

    I haven’t been, but hope to go to Guadalajara one day. I live for a few months of the year in zihuatanejo with my Mexican fiancé. Then work in the US to pay for Mexico. I love it there and I want to be there all the time!!! I want to travel to numerous cities all over Mexico. I love CDMX!! Just stay in Roma Norte and you can be out at night,safely,too. Guanajuato was gorgeous and is my pick above SanMigel. Mexico is my second home. Love,love,love it!!!!!

Rated 4 / 5 based on 21 user reviews.

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