Wondering about the interesting things to do in Tijuana, Mexico? There are plenty!
Tijuana, Mexico, is an amazing city with a lot to offer. If you like great food, beaches, culture, nightlife, and shopping, you’ll love it there. This post will walk you through some of the very best things to do in Tijuana!
Tijuana is a bustling border city with over 1.8 million people who call it home. It’s located in the Mexican state of Baja California, but only 20 miles from San Diego, USA, and about 90,000 people cross the border every day!
It’s one of the busiest border crossings in the world!
Because Tijuana is such a busy city, there are many things to see and do! You may be wondering if Tijuana is safe to visit, as the city has a bit of a bad reputation.
I will cover whether Tijuana is safe to visit (spoiler: it is!) and all the awesome things to do while you’re there.
It’s a great destination, worthy of being included as one of the best places to visit in Mexico, whether you’re going for a day trip, a romantic getaway, or just a relaxing vacation.
Without further ado, here are 31 fun things to do in Tijuana!
Fun Things to Do in Tijuana
1. Eat Delicious Tacos
I’m sorry, but if stopping off at every taco stand and restaurant is not your #1 priority, then I don’t know if we can be friends! I’m kidding, of course, but this has seriously got to be at the top of your list of things to do in Tijuana.
Tijuana has some of the best tacos because it is a border city with a lot of influences from all over Mexico and the US.
You’ve got to try the carne asada (delicious slow-cooked meat), and I recommend checking out Taconazo if you are out near the coast in Playas de Tijuana, or Brasa Taquería if you are downtown.
Or you could join a full-day guided tour of Tijuana with a local guide to learn more about the best local spots and learn about Tijuana’s history.
PRIVATE FULL-DAY GUIDED TOUR OF TIJUANA
This 8-hour tour around Tijuana is led by a local guide born and raised in the city. He will take you around the most interesting areas and will tell you all about all the changes the city went through in the past decades.
2. Go Out for a Night in the Town!
I can’t make a list like this and leave this off it – Tijuana nightlife is amazing! There are tons of awesome bars and clubs to check out.
Most are located on Avenida Revolución, the main street downtown, and you can easily find somewhere to stop in, have a few drinks, and dance the night away!
3. Shop Until You Drop
A lot of people will hop across the border from San Diego to go shopping, and for a good reason – things are cheap in Tijuana!
Whether you’re looking for unique handmade items like pottery, blankets, or jewelry, or just for cheap tequila, Tijuana has tons of great shopping.
Like many tourist attractions, you’ll find most of the shopping in Tijuana concentrated along Avenida Revolución, so take a stroll and get some shopping in!
4. Stock up on Some Local Food at Mercado Hidalgo
Mercado Hidalgo is a great place to go shopping for food, produce, and homemade wares. It’s a traditional market where you will likely be shopping alongside residents of Tijuana. It’s super fun to wander through, checking out all the different stalls!
There is fresh fruit, vegetables, pastries, cheese, candy, bread… Everything you could need for a grocery run!
It’s typical to bargain over prices, so learning a bit of basic Spanish is useful! If you don’t know any, pointing and paying will also work! Mercado Hidalgo is located in Zona Río, about a 20-minute walk from downtown.
5. Try Some Tequila!
Tequila tasting is one of those other quintessential Mexican experiences! A lot of us have some not-so-fond memories of crazy nights with tequila, but trust me, you’ll want to give it another shot (literally) while in Tijuana!
It’s a national drink and actually can vary quite a bit in flavor and quality. You can stop into just about any establishment along Avenida Revolución and find somewhere to sample.
I assure you that if you let the server know you want to try some tequila, they can help you out!
You can also pick up affordable tequila just about anywhere. Make sure you look for the “100% blue agave” label to get the good quality stuff that isn’t mixed with cheaper alcohol.
6. Visit the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT)
It’s not all just food and drinking here in Tijuana! There’s a rich culture in this city as well. The best place to learn all about it is the Tijuana Cultural Center.
This museum educates visitors on the history and culture of the region.
It has a unique spherical design, which houses a movie theater, in addition to gardens full of interesting sculptures, an esplanade to walk along, and rotating exhibits to learn more about the area.
7. Try Your Luck at Caliente Casino
If you’re feeling lucky, this casino is the place to be! It’s located in the Galerías Hipódromo, a large outdoor shopping center and movie theater (also great to check out!).
You’ll likely need a taxi or Uber to get here, as it’s about 3 miles from downtown Tijuana.
This casino has all your tried-and-true favorites like Texas Hold’Em, Craps, or Blackjack. They also have a racetrack that hosts greyhound races on a regular basis! It’s a pretty unique experience to check out!
8. Eat Your Heart Out at Telefonica Gastro Park
Located a little bit outside of the business of downtown, The Telefoníca Gastro Park is where all the hipsters and young people – local and tourist alike! – Go to grab a drink and some food.
This is a food truck park with tons of local and delicious food options and more craft beer than you could ever imagine!
Prices here are slightly higher than elsewhere in the city, but it’s a trendy, fun environment you will enjoy. Just make sure to go hungry!
👉 You can also book a guided tour on VIATOR
9. Stock up on Mexican Candy at Walmart
I know, I know, Walmart is not that exciting! But, how often have you been to one in another country?! I recommend going here to stock up on some Mexican candies.
My favorites are Vero Mango (chili-covered mango lollipops), Pulparindo (tamarind and mango candy), and De La Rosa Marzipan candy (peanut candy). So delicious, so cheap. You can thank me later.
The closest location to Downtown Tijuana is out near Playas de Tijuana on Avenida Parque, Mexico.
10. Check Out Some Craft Beer
Drinking in Tijuana is not all wild parties and tequila shots. There is actually a very large and growing craft beer scene in Tijuana. Make sure to go check out a local brewery, get some recommendations, and try a new beer or two!
👉 You can also book a guided tour on VIATOR
Free Things to Do in Tijuana
11. Walk Along the Us-Mexico Border
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s cool to be at an international border looking into another country. In Tijuana, there is a fence along the border, and you can drive along the highway beside it!
If you’re out in Playas de Tijuana, you can see the fence extend right into the ocean.
The Tijuana side of the border is busy and bustling right up to the fence, but the American side is pretty empty. It’s a unique contrast that’s cool to see right up close!
12. Spend the Day at the Beach
After some time in the busy downtown area along Avenida Revolución, you might be looking for something a bit more low-key.
You must head out to Playas de Tijuana, along the city’s coast. This area has a beach town vibe with lots of cafes and restaurants along a boardwalk.
There is a whole stretch of boardwalk with beautiful murals to check out. Grab a blanket and some snacks from one of the many vendors, and enjoy a day at the beach!
13. Channel Your Inner Artist at Pasaje Rodriguez
This was once a run-down alleyway but was transformed into a fascinating collection of art galleries and shops! It’s full of art exhibitions and pop-up exhibitions.
It’s definitely worth a look for some insight into the art and culture scene in Tijuana. It’s located off of 3rd Street along Avenida Revolución.
14. Find Some Quiet at the Tijuana Cathedral
The main cathedral in Tijuana is called the Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. It’s a beautiful piece of classic Catholic architecture and totally free to go and visit.
It was constructed over 100 years ago, though not fully finished until the 1970s.
The cathedral is located in downtown Tijuana, just two blocks over from Avenida Revolución. It is a fully operational cathedral, so you can also visit for Sunday mass if you want.
15. See the Statue la Mona de Tijuana
This is a fascinating place to visit in Tijuana! It is an 18-ton, 5-story tall statue of a nude woman. It was built by the artist Armando Garcia in his backyard after the city declined his proposal to build the statue to mark the 1989 Tijuana centennial.
He actually even lived inside this statue with his wife! Now, it stands as a landmark and icon in the city.
The statue is located in the northeast region of the city, near the airport, and you can grab a taxi or Uber for the quick 15-minute drive from downtown Tijuana to see it.
16. Walk Down Avenida Revolución
I’ve already pointed out many things to do in this area, but you don’t need to spend money to enjoy walking down Avenida Revolución.
There is so much to see since it is such a busy and bustling street. You can take pictures at the Tijuana sign and iconic archway at the entrance, check out the architecture of the buildings, listen to street performers, and do some window shopping.
17. Be Your Own Tour Guide on a Self-Guided Walking Tour
GPS My City is an awesome resource to download a self-guided walking tour that will take you through some of the different neighborhoods in Tijuana. It’s a great way to learn more about the city and find some places you might not normally go to!
18. Get Some Exercise and Try the Cerro Coronel Hike
Technically, this hike is in Rosarito, but it’s absolutely stunning and worth the trip! It is a more challenging hike, with over 1000 feet of elevation gain.
However, this means the view from the top is even better! The hike is about 1.5 miles each way, and from the top, you will have stunning, sweeping views of the coastline.
Romantic Things to Do in Tijuana
19. Grab Some Dessert and Watch the Sunset in Playas de Tijuana
I already mentioned Playas de Tijuana as a must-see on your visit. Another reason to go? The amazing sunsets. It’s such a romantic place to spend an evening.
My recommendation to make it even better is to pick up some desserts from Beaven, a local bakery, to enjoy while you’re there. I love the cheesecake con cajeta with dulce de leche or the classic tres leches cake.
20. Enjoy Dinner at the Birthplace of Caesar Salad
There are a lot of nice restaurants to check out for a romantic dinner, but one of my top choices is Caesar’s.
It’s an upscale restaurant located on Avenida Revolución with a great menu…. But you absolutely must get the Caesar salad – it was, after all, invented here over 60 years ago!
21. Go Horseback Riding Along the Beach From Rosarito
Connected to Tijuana by a long stretch of beach is Rosarito.
This is the perfect place to try a horseback ride along the fabulous coastline.
There are a number of tour operators that will guide you on a horseback adventure, and one good choice is Pretty Horses Rescue, a non-profit that supports the rescue and rehabilitation of neglected horses in the area.
They offer a few riding options, including an ocean view and a romantic dinner sunset ride.
22. Take a Wine Tour
Just south of Tijuana is Valle de Guadalupe, an expansive wine region.
You can go at it on your own and pick a winery to visit, or join a tour from Tijuana and let someone else do the work!
This is a great option for a romantic day, visiting and trying out some new wines while taking in the gorgeous scenery around the area.
Here Below Are Some of the Most Highly Rated Wine Tours From Tijuana.
23. Splurge in a Luxury Hotel in the Valle de Guadalupe
If you’re looking for a romantic place to stay and love wine, you should splurge on one of the exquisite hotels in the Valle de Guadalupe. The most popular and talked about is Encuentro Guadalupe.
Spend the day relaxing in your glamorous Cabin or walking through the vineyards when you are not sipping wine and tasting delicious food.
24. Relax at a Spa
When relaxing with your loved one and creating a little romance, why not check out one of the many spa resorts in Tijuana? Because Tijuana prices are lower than what tourists are used to at home, you can really go all out and book something luxurious!
Several hotels also have spas, such as the highly-rated Quartz Hotel & Spa, or smaller local options around town.
25. Take a Boat Tour
Tijuana is located along the Pacific Ocean, so there is no shortage of water activities to try. If you’re looking for a romantic activity, why not join a boat tour, cruise, or even rent a boat yourself?
There are a number of companies that offer tours, so you can look out for one while in town.
Tijuana Day Trips
26. Visit Ensenada
This harbor city is located about 70 miles south of Tijuana. It’s a popular tourist destination and one of the largest cruise ports along the Pacific coast.
It has a laid-back beach-town vibe, and you’ll love strolling around the waterfront area and watching the boats come and go.
You will have to try some fish tacos: battered, topped with cabbage, lime, and pico de gallo – there’s nothing better!
27. Head to San Diego
Many people will start their trip to Tijuana in San Diego, and it’s worth a visit in its own right! A day trip to San Diego means you can check out the gorgeous waterfront marina, the expansive Balboa Park, or the trendy Gaslamp district.
28. Check Out Valle de Guadalupe
Wine, wine, and more wine. Valle de Guadalupe is a gorgeous wine region within two hours from Tijuana. You will have no shortage of vineyards and wineries to stop at as you travel through the scenic countryside.
Some wineries have been in operation since 1597 in this region, with over 150 in the area!
29. Go to Tecate
One of the Mexican Pueblos Magicos, and the only one in Baja California, this border town is located about 30 miles east of Tijuana, a 45-minute drive away.
Tecate is a popular location for wellness retreats, so if you’re into yoga, spirituality, or spas, you’ll love it here! This region also has many outdoor activities, such as hiking and rappelling.
30. Eat Your Way Through Puerto Nuevo
There is one good reason to make a day trip to Puerto Nuevo: lobster. You can buy a lobster meal just about anywhere and enjoy it alongside beans and tortillas.
Puerto Nuevo is located about 45 miles south of Tijuana along the coast.
31. Have an Adventure at Los Arenales Primo Tapia
If you are looking for a bit of adventure and adrenaline, head down to Los Arenales Primo Tapia, just a bit further south of Puerto Nuevo.
This area has miles of sand dunes, perfect for speeding around on a motorbike, quad, or sandboard! You can either join a tour or rent something yourself and go for a spin!
Is Tijuana Dangerous?
Because of this city’s news and reputation, many tourists wonder if Tijuana is safe to visit. Generally, Tijuana is safe to visit, but like any large city, you need to be smart and safe when traveling.
Use common sense while traveling by avoiding anything drug-related, being aware of pickpockets, and partying safely.
Playas de Tijuana is very clean, safe, and less crowded than the downtown areas, making it easier to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Downtown Tijuana is also safe, but you need to use more caution, as you would in any large city.
The red-light district of Zona Norte has more crime but isn’t typically where tourists go anyway, and you’re unlikely to wander in that direction.
Overall, Tijuana is not a dangerous city and should be considered like any large urban destination – you need to be smart and use common sense, but otherwise, it’s perfectly safe to go to!
➢ Do I need travel insurance in Mexico? Yes, you do! I can never stress enough what a lifesaver it can be in unexpected situations. Although I hope I never need it, it gives me peace of mind to know that whatever happens, I am covered. I have been using Safety Wing, and I find it quite fair, covering a lot for its pricing level. Depending on your needs or you can compare different insurance companies on this useful site, TRAVEL INSURANCE MASTER. Make sure you read carefully what’s included before making the purchase. If you are undecided yet, you can read my post on the best travel insurance for Mexico for more clarity.
How to Get to Tijuana
Are you convinced yet to head to Tijuana? There are so many fun things to do in Tijuana, and I hope you go visit!
There are a number of ways to get to this city from other parts of Mexico, though most international tourists will be coming from San Diego, just across the border in the US.
How to Get to Tijuana From San Diego
Most people visiting Tijuana for the day or weekend travel from San Diego. You have the option to walk, drive, or take the bus across the border.
Greyhound offers the bus service, which can be between $13-$25. It leaves from the San Diego Bus Station and arrives at Tijuana Central Bus Station (1-hour trip).
Crossing by car can take a very long time, with the lineups being extremely long. This is recommended only if you must have your car in Tijuana. Otherwise, walking across is probably the best option!
Walking Across the Border in Tijuana
The easiest option for tourists is to take the US San Diego Blue Line trolley from the border at the San Ysidro stop.
You can get on the trolley at various stops in San Diego for just $2.50. Once at San Ysidro (a 45-minute trip), you can follow the crowds and well-marked signs to the border to walk across at the PedEast crossing.
PedWest, Otay Mesa, and Cross Border Express are the other pedestrian crossings. To get to any of these locations, you can drive and park at the border, or take a taxi or rideshare and be dropped off.
Walking across the border is easy and smooth, with clear signage along the way to get you where you need to go!
Flying to Tijuana
There are no direct flights between San Diego and Tijuana, so flying doesn’t make sense. However, flying from other cities to Tijuana is possible and relatively easy.
The Cross Border Xpress pedestrian bridge connects the Tijuana International Airport with a service terminal on the other side. So, if you fly into Tijuana, you can cross the border right at the airport back into the US.
The Tijuana airport is large – the 11th biggest in Latin America – and therefore welcomes flights from all over. It is conveniently located just 6 miles from downtown Tijuana, so a short taxi or shuttle ride will get you right where you want to be!
Where to Stay in Tijuana
Wondering where to stay in Tijuana? Here are my top 3 hotel choices in Tijuana for every budget. Otherwise, you can check out this detailed map where you can find your favorite place to stay in Tijuana by location and price point.
The K Tower Boutique Hotel by Lucerna has a spectacular view of the city from the Rooftop bar and pool.
Guests rave about everything in the Marriott Tijuana Hotel, from the outstanding service to the great food in the buffet restaurant.
What guests love the most about the Hotel Frontiere Tijuana is the cleanliness of the room, free parking space, and the kindness of the staff. The rooms have a modern style of decor and are conveniently furnished. The hotel overall offers great value for money.
Things to Do in Tijuana: Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Tijuana Famous For?
It’s famous for its vibrant nightlife, tasty street tacos, epic bullfights, and the unforgettable experience of strolling across the bustling border between Mexico and the USA.
Is It Worth to Go to Tijuana?
Absolutely! Tijuana offers a vibrant mix of culture, delicious food, and exciting nightlife. Explore its unique charm, but be mindful of safety precautions and local customs.
Is It Safe to Walk Around Tijuana?
Yes, it’s generally safe to walk around Tijuana, but like any city, it’s essential to take precautions. Stay in well-populated areas and be aware of your surroundings.
How Do You Spend a Day in Tijuana?
You can take a guided tour to discover local places and learn about Tijuana’s history.
If it’s Sunday, join a heartwarming mass at Tijuana Cathedral. Then, head to Playas de Tijuana for a swim and stroll, and enjoy food at the seaside cafes and restaurants.
Is Tijuana an Expensive City?
Tijuana is a fantastic, budget-friendly destination in Mexico. Enjoy affordable shopping, dining, and quality tequila.
If you’re up for a lavish experience, consider indulging in luxury accommodations at Valle de Guadalupe and wine tours!
Do You Need Cash in Tijuana?
Most places in Tijuana take credit and debit cards but keep some cash on hand for street vendors and markets.
Remember, no need to carry loads of cash. ATMs are around to withdraw cash in Mexico, especially in Tijuana.
Before You Go…
Here are some useful posts that you may be interested in!
- Driving in Baja California
- Things to Do in Todos Santos Baja California Sur, Mexico
- Best Hotels in La Paz Baja California Sur, Mexico
- Best Liveaboards in Mexico for a Memorable Diving Experience
- Things to Do in Baja California Sur
Things to Do in Tijuana: Final Thoughts
After this post, I hope you are more confident about traveling to Tijuana and learning about all the amazing things you can do in this controversial city.
Liked It? Save It for Later…
About the author
Alyssa is a freelance writer with her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies degree. Alyssa is passionate about travel and has been to over 20 countries – and counting! Living in Vancouver, Canada, she loves to take advantage of the mountains and ocean by getting outdoors as much as possible. When she’s not writing, Alyssa is probably walking by the river, caring for her many houseplants, or grabbing a coffee with a friend. You can keep up with her on her personal blog.