Guadalajara is a favorite destination for shoppers. This is one of Mexico’s top artisanal hubs, where you'll find pottery, glassware, leather goods, silver jewelry, regional clothing and more at excellent prices.
The Mercado Libertad in Guadalajara offers handicrafts (as well as almost every other product under the sun), but for serious shoppers, visits to Tlaquepaque and Tonala are mandatory. Both of these municipalities of Guadalajara offer plenty of options to visitors interested in acquiring the handicrafts for which Jalisco is famous.
Tlaquepaque is a colonial neighborhood southeast of the Guadalajara city center. In recent years it has become a trendy shopping district offering fine arts and crafts. Several streets are closed to traffic, making it a pleasant place to walk and shop. The Regional Ceramics Museum on Independencia Street is worth a visit. After a full day of shopping, stop at El Parian where you can have a cold drink or a meal and listen to itinerant mariachis perform traditional music.
Tonala has been a center of pottery making since Pre-Hispanic times. Now part of the Guadalajara metropolitan area, it is a working village where you'll come across hundreds of craft workshops producing blown glass, forged iron, paper mache and rustic wooden furniture, as well as clay in a variety of techniques. Industrious artisans go about their work, but you can visit their studios.
On Thursdays and Sundays in Tonala, a giant street market extends over several blocks, with vendors offering all kinds of handcrafted items and novelties from just about everywhere in Mexico. As you navigate the crowds, you'll be rewarded with some great bargains.
Selecting which items to take home with you is the easy part; figuring out how to get them there may be more difficult. Many companies offer packing and shipping services so you can ship your purchases home safely and conveniently.