Are you on the hunt for a Mexican experience while in San Diego and need help figuring out where to start?
The city of Tijuana is located in Baja California, a state that borders San Diego. It’s the gateway for many Americans embarking on journeys through Mexico.
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room! Is Tijuana safe? As a San Diego local, who goes to Tijuana every couple of weeks, sometimes even by myself, I tell you this: Tijuana is a border town with a high crime rate. You definitely need to be smart about visiting and keep some things in mind, such as:
- Keep your wits about you, so don’t get drunk or be under the influence
- Don’t get involved in shady stuff like buying drugs
- Stay in the more touristy areas of town
- Take taxis or Uber between places if you don’t know the area well
- Don’t be flashy with money, jewelry, and your passport – split up your money and credit cards in a few places
- Read the news about the current situation before you visit
- Tell people where you are going and how long you will be staying before you go
- Go with a group, if you feel uncomfortable by yourself
However, visiting Tijuana with a group tour is, in my opinion, a perfectly safe way to see the city and get a taste of Mexico and I highly recommend it. Whenever we have visitors in town, we always plan a day trip to Tijuana and it is always a highlight of our guests’ trip. The city offers visitors who make the short journey from San Diego tasty culinary delights, exciting history, and fabulous street art.
It’s no wonder the trip has become so popular among tourists.
Thinking about taking a day trip tour from San Diego to Tijuana? Follow this list to find the best Tijuana day trips from San Diego. Dozens of tours run every day, so you’re spoiled for choice.
The Best Tijuana Day Trips From San Diego
Walking Tours In Tijuana
Crossing Borders Day Trip Walking Tour
Discover all that Tijuana has to offer on this informative walking tour. On this tour you’ll visit the city’s cultural sights, try out the Mexican street food which everyone raves about, and shop in local areas.
Cross the Mexico border with your professional driver, who will look after you for the day, and dip your toes into the Tijuana lifestyle.
Follow your professional guide around the city on foot to experience how the locals live outside of tourism. Listen to the music they play, smell and sample the food they eat, and learn about the people who make Tijuana what it is.
The six hour day trip to Tijuana begins at 1 pm sharp and includes pick up from San Diego and drop off back at the border. Plus, locally made tacos, craft beer, all tickets needed, and bottled water. Everything you need to have a fantastic day.Book here
Tijuana Local Walking Tour From San Diego
Come and join this exciting 4.5-hour walking tour of Tijuana from San Diego that includes a local guide from the area. They’ll bring you to the city’s best locations to learn about its history and culture. It’s a brilliant way to see Tijuana if you have very little time on your hands.
The local guide will meet you at the border and take you to the city center, where you’ll pass by various famous sights like the Tijuana Arch, El Popo Market, Pasaje Rodriguez, and Avenida Revolucion, where the metropolis began. After you’ve picked up some handmade souvenirs, the guide will bring you back to the border.
Food or drink isn’t included with this fun half-day tour of Tijuana. However, there will be plenty of stops along the way where you can grab a bite.Book here
Intro To Mexico Walking Tour
See the best of Tijuana on foot in 4 – 5 hours, learning about its genuine hospitality and savoring authentic cuisine while immersing yourself in the culture. Throughout your tour, you’ll spend the day walking downtown, seeing sights like the Tijuana Arch, and venturing to Avenida Revolucion, the city’s birthplace.
Stop off at a unique local eatery to try out the food that Tijuana’s citizens eat daily. You’ll get the raw version of Mexican cuisine, not the watered-down stuff you get on the other side of the border.
Pickup is from the US border edge. You’ll meet your personal guide at San Ysidro Trolley Station and be taken over from there. The return drop-off places you on the Mexican side, from which you can walk. Food tastings, lunch, and bottled water are all included in the price.Book here
Tijuana Toe Dip Walking Tour
Tour Tijuana’s historical sites with a guide adept at navigating the narrow streets, showing tourists a side of the city few others see.
This excursion, which is five hours long and includes round-trip pick up and drop off from the border, is perfect if you want a quick taste of Mexican culture.
Receive running commentary about the city’s evolving society and past history. Grab some photographs of Tijuana’s famous landmarks, like the fascinating Tijuana Arch, see some street art by Pasaje Rodriguez. Then enjoy a traditional lunch that comes with your booking at El Popo Market.Book here
Shared Tijuana 5 Hour Walking Tour From San Diego
Why join a tour alone when you can do it with other people? Sign yourself up for this shared five hour walking tour of Tijuana.
Collaborate with your guide at the San Ysidro Transit Centre, where you’ll make your way into the city. Roam around on foot and hop on public transport for a real, local experience. Pass by the spice market to test some authentic Mexican tacos, go through Mercado Hildago, where street art is abundant, and finish the day with a nice drink in a trendy bar.
The downside to this tour is that while your guide and transportation are included, bus tickets, food, and drink aren’t. Although, they are cheap, it won’t be much on top of the fee you paid.Book here
Food Tours in Tijuana
Taste Of Tijuana Market & Street Food Culinary Tour
Are you an Anthony Bourdain fan? If so, you might remember his trip to Tijuana. Take a trip to some of those very places, introducing visitors to Tijuana’s delightful food scene.
Start the day by meeting your bilingual guide at the US side of the border in San Ysidro, California, at 9:30 am. They’ll walk you to the Mexican side, where a private vehicle awaits. The first stop is at the visually stimulating Mercado Hildago.
The group takes a two hour walk through Tijuana’s famed produce market, samples various street-style birria tacos, and sips some agua fresca or licuado.
Next up is Las Ahumaderas, often referred to as “taco alley” because of the unique style of tacos made here. Try a fresh al pastor taco with the finest marinated pork.
The third stop will be at Telefónica Gastro Park, known for its collection of styled food trucks surrounding a Mexican microbrewery. This is where the group will get to sample some hoppy Mexican craft beer.
Finally, venture back to the border while soaking up the Mexican countryside along the drive. You’ll be dropped at the entrance, where you can walk across to the US side.
This six hour tour is entirely all-inclusive. Everything is included except for tips. What more could you ask for?Book here
Mexican Street Food Tour
Come enjoy this Tijuana tour from San Diego that foodies are going absolutely mad for.
The tour has everything you need for seven perfect hours: Three appetizing Mexican courses are served throughout the day — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — all with drinks and round-trip transportation from the US side of the border and back to the Mexican side. Not having to stress about any vehicle is a massive weight off your shoulders.
Indulge in tacos at the neighborhood food vans, from recipes with simple beans to explosive tacos al pastor (Asada pork with spices), be sure to add guacamole, lime, and salsa on the side for a proper kick.
Stop by the neighborhood tap room to try out the flavorful craft beers or visit an authentic Mexican cantina, where you can see what an honest Margarita tastes like. You decide.Book here
Taco Tuesday Hop in Tijuana
Everyone loves taco Tuesday. Experience it in the land where the phenomenon originated. This small, seven hour group tour will take you south of the border to fulfill your craving for Mexican delicacy.
Enjoy various types of tacos, like carne asada, birria, adobada, even seafood if you’re a fan of fish tacos. Wash it all down with some ice cold craft beers afterward.
Food and drink are included in your tour. Plus you’ll get round trip transportation from and to the border, so you don’t have to worry about driving after a few drinks.Book here
Taco Tour from San Diego
Visiting Tijuana without trying tacos would be like hitting a bar and not having a beer, it’s criminal. Join this short, three hour tour for a scrumptious day out.
The tour includes return transportation to and from the border, plus lunch, bottled water, and any necessary public transportation tickets.
Hit up the famous Avenida Revolucion district for not one, but two taco feasts that will make your pallet tingle with excitement. Pop your head into two bustling mercados to observe how the locals shop. Eye opening, to say the least.Book here
Tijuana Food Tasting
Let the tastes and flavors of Mexico’s cuisine blow up in your mouth on this small, six hour food sampling tour through the streets of Tijuana.
Hop from one stall to another while trying out bites you’ve never even heard of. Sip a couple craft beer flights and get the inside gossip on all there is to know about Tijuana’s foodie scene.
Like most tours on this list, a return ride from the US side of the border and back to the Mexican side is included, as are all food and beer tastings. Getting your money’s worth has never been so fun.Book here
Tacos In Tijuana
Grab your sombrero and leap over the Mexico border, where a feast of tacos await. Bite into an array of tacos, from carne asada to a surf and turf combo. Ride public transportation with your guide while asking them all the questions you’ve got and seeing Tijuana from a different perspective.
The tour is short and sweet, just lasts three hours. But it has everything you need for a great time in Tijuana: transportation, five taco samples, lunch, and some bottled water to keep you hydrated in the Mexican heat.Book here
Carne Asada Hangout In Tijuana
Have you ever heard of carne asada? It’s a Mexican luxury that translates to “roast beef” or “barbeque.” Anyone who lives in northern Mexico holds it extremely close to their heart.
Imagine gathering around a grill with your closest friends and having a little party while cooking up a mouthwatering piece of meat that’s about to go on a crispy taco for you to devour.
Come see what it’s all about on this six hour tour that provides you with transport from the border, all your food, and alcoholic beverages. Shop for your ingredients at the mercado and head to a secret location to prepare a once-in-a-lifetime meal.Book here
Puerta Nueva Lobster, Margaritas, & Mariachi Private Tour
Are you searching for something a little different while in Tijuana? Why wait at the border for some form of public transportation when you can have a private driver come get you near San Diego?
Start your adventure at the Tijuana Cultural Center for insight into the region. Check out Playas de Tijuana to hear the story of Donald Trump’s controversial wall and see it with your own eyes.
Soak up the Mexican beach lifestyle at Playas de Rosarito while sipping a cheeky margarita on the rocks. End your day with lobster Baja-style while a mariachi band hums away in the background in Puerto Nuevo.
When you book this tour, you’ll receive transportation, lunch, and up to five alcohol tastings with your booking. Of course, if you’d like to drink more, or take an ATV or horse ride on Playas de Rosarito, you can do so at your own expense. No drinking and driving.Book here
Mexican Gourmet Tasting
We’ve saved the fanciest food option for last. This is for those who love a splurge every once in a while.
Nourish your soul with some delectable bites from Baja Med cuisine on this small group, six hour tour that stops at three culinary spots in Tijuana. It even includes a visit to the city’s most iconic restaurant. You could only find these places with a local.
This Tijuana day trip from San Diego includes everything a five-star tour should have, such as gourmet food, alcoholic beverages, and private transportation from and to the border.Book here
Beer Tasting Tours in Tijuana
Tijuana Craft Beer & Street Tacos Tour
Get your passport out and embark on this eight hour guided tour of Tijuana’s craft beer scene. All while sampling various taco recipes of the region.
Meet your private tour guide on the US side of the border at 9:45 am sharp, they’ll cross over with you. A private vehicle for the group will be waiting on the other side.
Stop at Mercado Hildago for some taco tastings and a “Welcome to Mexico” shot of either tequila or locally made mezcal. The proper way to kick off any tour in Tijuana!
Visit four breweries at Avenida Revolucion, Tijuana’s popular tourist district, while consuming a four beer taster flight at each one. Finish up by making the tipsy ride back to the border with your guide, who will drop you at the Mexican side to walk back.
With your booking, everything is included in the price, e.g. food, transportation, alcohol, etc.Book here
Baja Craft Beer Tasting Tour
The Baja Craft Beer Tour takes you to several breweries within seven hours, giving you enough time to get home before it gets dark.
Cross the border from the US side with your guide’s private vehicle. Stop at many breweries in Tijuana to taste a pint of their own crafted Mexican beer. Devour a traditional Mexican lunch together with your new friends. All is included in the price.
How many breweries the group will visit depends on how things are going. But don’t worry, you’ll see quite a few. Learn about each company’s brewing process and ask them about the secret to their product. You’ll definitely learn a thing or two.Book here
Mexican Craft Beer Intro in Tijuana
Calling all beer enthusiasts, we have something special for you. Cross the border for this five to six hour small group craft beer excursion. The tour includes four flights of craft beer, a visit to one of Tijuana’s oldest craft breweries, a Mexican meal all to yourself, and private transfers from and to the border.
Find out everything there is to know about the city’s thriving craft beer scene. Learn all the secrets from your well-versed guide and see the work that goes into crafting the perfect brew, all while trying a few for yourself.Book here
Convenience is everything when on vacation. These Tijuana day trips from San Diego are a great way to see Mexico on a short trip.
Of course, you can do it all on your own. However, Tijuana is a lesser visited tourist destination compared to other places, so having someone do all the hard work for you is easier than going at it alone.
You’re in for an unbelievable day trip, whichever way you decide to do things.
Looking for more ideas? Check out these 10 Fun & Unique Things To Do In Tijuana.
Travel Resources for Planning Your Trip
Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Maria Haase