Tijuana, San Diego’s sister city just across the border is always a fun place to visit. My husband and I love going down there for the day or a quick weekend getaway. On our frequent trips, we have discovered some of the most fun and unique things to do in Tijuana and want to share them with you.
10 Best Things to Do in Tijuana Mexico
Tijuana has an incredible food scene, whether you are in the mood for street tacos, fresh seafood by the water, the OG Ceasar Salad, or a fine dining experience. Mexican food is one of our favorites and we feel lucky that we can just hop on the trolley, walk over and get some delicious and authentic Mexican food so easily. Here are some of our favorite taco shops and restaurants in Tijuana:
Telefonica Gastro Park: This place consists of a collection of local food trucks and breweries that offer something for everyone. Just walk around, take a look at their menu and grab what you are in the mood for.
Address: Baja California MX, Blvd Agua Caliente y Avenida Sirak Baloyan #8860, entre Quintana roo, 22020 Tijuana, Mexico
Mariscos Titos: Located in Playas, this is a casual seafood eatery that has some of the best fish tacos, ceviche, and seafood cocktails for a fair price.
Address: P.º Estrella del Mar #605, Playas, SECCION CORONADO, 22505 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
Taconazo: Some of the best TJ-style street tacos in Playas. This is what tacos are all about. Just writing about this place makes me drool. I would just about kill for a lengua taco from there right now.
Address: P.º Ensenada 712, Playas, Jardines Playas de Tijuana, 22500 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
Ceasar’s: Most people don’t know that the Ceasar Salad was first created in Tijuana at the place that gave this famous salad its name: Ceasar’s. This legendary restaurant should be on every Tijuana itinerary.
Address: Av. Revolución 8190, Zona Centro, 22000 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
La Traditión: This spot right at the Plaza Santa Lucia at the end of Revolutión Ave is a great spot. I admit, it looks a little like a tourist trap, but the food is seriously delicious. I had the Chilaquiles con Mole there and they were amazing!!!
Address: Santiago Argüello 721, Zona Centro, 22000 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
Tijuana Street Food Tours:
- Mexican Street food, Tijuana Day trip from San Diego
- Shared 6 Hours Tijuana Taco and Craft Beer Tour
- Taco Tuesday hop in Tijuana from San Diego
2. Explore Downtown Tijunana
Just a few blocks from the US/Mexican border, this is one of the most popular areas among tourists and few venture beyond this area. If you are looking for zonkeys, colorful nightlife and want to dare your friends to drink Rattlesnake Tequilla, this is the spot.
Avenida Revolución: This is the main street in downtown Tijuana and where you will find clubs, bars, restaurants, and shops catering to tourists.
Tijuana Monumental Arch: One of the architectural icons of Tijuana is the majestic arch measures 196 feet (60 meters) in height and is 110 feet (33.5 meters) wide. While it is also called Millenial Arch, construction did not begin until December 31, 1999 and ended in late 2001.
Plaza Santa Cecilia: Located at the northern end of Avenida Revolución, this picturesque plaza is a great spot to hang out, people watch, and soak up the atmosphere. If you are hungry, eat at La Traditión. Great food!
Mullme Museum: The Collection and Lucha Libre museum is a quirky little museum in downtown Tijuana that is showing some impressive collections and all about the history of the Lucha Libre sport. See more info about what Lucha Libre is below.
1889 TJ Museum: This fun little museum may not look like much at first glance, but it is filled with curiosities and fun stories about the history of Tijuana, such as the Tijuana donkey. And the best part? It supports a good cause: The founders use the entrance fee and donations to bring the Tijuana donkey to children’s hospitals to cheer them up. What a sweet cause, don’t you think?
Tijuana Walking Tours:
- Tijuana Cultural Private Day Tour
- Crossing Borders: Tijuana Day Trip from San Diego
- Intro to Mexico Walking Tour: Tijuana Day Trip from San Diego
- Shared 5 Hours Tijuana Walking Tour from San Diego
Where to stay in Downtown Tijuana:
Hotel Lafayette Tijuana: This stunning boutique hotel is right in the heart of downtown Tijuana. Each room is unique and decorated with so much attention to detail and an eye for authentic mid-century modern design. And the best part? They are dog-friendly (very rare in Tijuana!). Can’t wait to bring Robby on our next trip to TJ! Book your stay here>>
3. Enjoy the Beaches in Playas de Tijuana
Playas de Tijuana is Tj’s beach town closest to the city. This is the perfect spot to grab some fresh seafood, enjoy the beachy vibe and relax. Grab some fish tacos, a cold beer, and relax on the beach.
Another must is the Friendship Park along the border. It always strikes me how vibrant, lively, and colorful the Mexican side is. I love the powerful murals along the border, showing how this random line on a map has impacted so many people in this border town and beyond.
4. Visit the Tijuana Cultural Center – CECUT
The Tijuana Cultural Center is one of the most interesting architectural beauties of Tijuana. The round dome is home to an IMAX theatre, but you will also find an aquarium, movie theatre, a performance stage, the Museo de las Californias (Museum of the Californias), a Lucha Libre arena, a souvenir and book shop, etc. It is loved and frequented by visitors and locals alike. Each year, over one million people visit the CECUT to enjoy culture and arts.
This is where many of Tijuana’s cultural festivals and events take place, so if you are in town, check out the events calendar and see if something sparks your interest.
5. Go Wine Tasting in Guadalupe Valley
Wine tasting is always a good idea. If you have a few days in Tijuana, reserve one day to go wine tasting in Guadalupe Valley (Valle de Guadalupe) just about 1.5 hours south of Tijuana.
During the summer, open-air restaurants pop up across the valley with local delicacies, while the harvest season is celebrated with wine festivals throughout August.
I recommend hiring a driver or going on a tour, so you can taste all the wines and not have to worry about drinking and driving. Also, check out these fabulous boutique hotels in Guadalupe Valley!
Guadalupe Wine Tasting Tours:
- Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego
- Guadalupe Valley Wine Route Tour in Baja California
- Xecue Wine Tasting in the Guadalupe Valley
- Sensory Tasting in Valle de Guadalupe
- Small-Group Off-Road Adventure in Valle de Guadalupe + Wine Tasting
6. Try TJ’s Amazing Craft Beers
We are pretty spoiled in San Diego with some amazing craft breweries. But Tijuana has some amazing brews as well. I have done a few brewery tours and lots and lots of research aka tastings down there and I am a big fan of the brews from Tijuana.
Craft brews can be found all around the city. Breweries have little tasting bars in various neighborhoods, or you can go to a bigger taproom that lets you sample beers from multiple breweries. Here are some of my favorite Tijuana Craft Breweries:
7. Go See A Lucha Libre Event
If you have ever been to a Mexican market, you have probably seen those strange, colorful facemasks that kinda look like a mix between Halloween costumes and fetish attire. Those are Lucha Libre masks, used in the popular Mexican wrestling style called Lucha Libre.
A mix between regular wrestling and WWF, the fighters actually touch each other but are trained to not hurt the opponent. The sport has an avid following and many events take place in Tijuana. Most fights happen at CECUT at the Auditorio Fausto Gutierrez Moreno, so check out the website for upcoming Lucha Libre events.
If you want to learn more about the history of Lucha Libre and see some amazing collections on this interesting entertainment sport, you have to visit out the Mullme Museum in downtown Tijuana.
8. Check out the Markets in Tijuana
Traditional open-air markets are a great way to dive into the food and culture of a country. Tijuana markets are a lot of fun, whether you are just wandering, taking photos, souvenir shopping, or trying new-to-you foods and local delicacies.
I love to take photos of the colorful stores, mountains of chiles, and friendly faces. Here are two of my favorite markets in Tijuana.
Address: Av. Del Fuerte 3612, Campestre Murua, 22455 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
This buzzing market is a bit east of downtown, but worth the ride as it is less touristy and cheaper than the markets closer to Avenida Revolutión. You will find many fruterias and spice shops here, a fantastic cheese shop, a holistic apothecary (Botánica Mendoza), and many hole-in-the-wall eateries with amazing and authentic food. This is also a great place to shop for pottery and artisanal crafts and local goods.
Address: Niños Heroes, B.C., Mexico
This is the main market of Tijuana and similar to Mercado Hidalgo, but a lot more expensive and touristy. However, it is much easier to get to if you want to stay in downtown Tijuana.
Los Mercados Artesanías
Address: C. Benito Juárez 2da 8540, Zona Urbana Rio Tijuana, 22010 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
This market has everything. From Dia de Los Muertes figurines to ceramic pots, outdoor furniture to leather bags, shoes, clothing, and kitchen wear, you will find it here.
9. Go Horseback Riding on the Beach
Horses are amazing animals and nothing makes a day better than riding through the waves along the beach in Mexico. While you can go horseback riding on the beach in San Diego, it is much easier (and cheaper) in Baja. So if your spirit animal is the horse, definitely add horseback riding to your list of things to do in Tijuana.
Horseback Riding on the Beach
- Authentic horse back riding experience in beautiful La Mision
- Horseback ride on the beach and Puerto Nuevo Lobster / Rosarito
10. Enjoy a Day Trip to Ensenada
About 1.5 hours south of Tijuana is the city of Ensenada – a beautiful coastal town and port city and the perfect day trip from Tijuana. Ensenada has a cute little city center with shops, great restaurants, and parks to explore and enjoy. Just outside the city, you can find the famous La Bufadora blowhole on the coast.
On your way back from Ensenada towards Tijuana, stop at Puerto Nuevo for some of the best lobster in Baja. Or you could spend a day or two in Ensenada and stay at one of these cute Ensenada hotels.
Fun Tours in Ensenada
- Bufadora / La guerrerense seafood / four four vineyards
- Ziplining: Las Cañadas Canopy Tour in Ensenada
- Ford model T tour through Ensenada
Tijuana has so much to offer and lots of fun things to do. Greg, Robby, and I love going down there to enjoy the food and culture of Mexico. Whether you are a local or visiting San Diego, I highly encourage you to head down to Tijuana for a fun and tasty time!
I want to send a big thank you to Descubre Tijuana for showing me some new spots in Tijuana. Of note: Common to the travel industry, the destination hosted some of the activities mentioned in this post. However, this does not influence my review.
Last Updated on September 15, 2021 by Maria Haase