A very common tour for those traveling to San Diego is to visit Tijuana, the first city in Mexico. This is due to the proximity between the two municipalities, each on one side of the wall.
Whether this is a good ride, however, is complicated. The city is known worldwide for its violence, being a little dangerous. Still, it is also famous for its parties, with the Latin soul that is lacking in the United States.
Anyway, leaving California to visit the Mexican city is a fairly regular program. Do not think, however, that you will go to see beautiful beaches or natural beauty. The main attractions here are the ballads – and the 18-year-old majority -, their football team – Tijuana FC – and some other points.
During my round the world, I went to visit Tijuana with some friends from my school while studying in San Diego. So, below I show some tips to enjoy the tour as much as I do.
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Is it worth visiting Tijuana, Mexico?
Even with this scenario, tourism in Tijuana is very popular with tourists from Southern California. Most of them are students living in San Diego.
It is an opportunity to visit Tijuana and learn more about the North America, through Mexico, during the exchange experience in United States.
Still, it is necessary to analyze if the attractions of the city really interest you and are worth the trip.
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How to visit Tijuana from San Diego
If you want to bet on the tour and leave California to visit Tijuana, there are some alternatives for that. After all, believe me, you are not the only one making the journey this day. Many Mexicans even come and go every day to work in the United States.
So, the two most used ways to get from California to Tijuana are the trolley and the car. The first is a San Diego surface train system that connects the main points of the city.
Just take the trolley that goes to Tijuana (the daily pass costs $ 6.00) and cross the border on foot. It is a bridge that separates the two countries and there is no problem with leaving the United States.
Another way is through the use of a car, a great option for anyone who wants car hire in california. For this, you will pass through a kind of toll, where the customs are. There, you must present your passport, both on the way and return.
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Must see => Discover Tijuana in 1 day from California
The city of Tijuana
Tijuana is among the 20 largest metropolitan areas in Latin America, with more than 2 million inhabitants. It is also one of the most important hubs for the Mexican economy. So it is good to know a little about the city before visiting it.
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Right after crossing the border you will be in the Center of Tijuana, a historic region of the city. Here are located the Municipal Palace, the Cultural Center and Plaza Río Tijuana, the largest shopping center in the region.
However, the main interest is the crossing between Calle Sexta and Av. Revolución. This is where the main concentration of bars, clubs, nightclubs and strip clubs is located. Right next to it is the North Zone, in case you want to know Calle Coahuilla.
A little further, about 2 km from the border, you will reach Zona Rio, the city’s main business district. This is the place to enjoy the most chic bars and restaurants in the city.
If you are going to visit Tijuana on your own, the most common thing is to stay around Av. Revolución. So you can get to know the sights, dine at a restaurant over there and end the night by jumping from bar to bar.
Know that the last trolley time back to San Diego is 1:00 am. So, if you want to stretch the night, you’ll stay in one of Tijuana’s nightclubs until dawn.
Program yourself => Cruise through magnificent San Diego Bay
Tijuana’s fame in the United States is that the city is dangerous and you shouldn’t go alone. Especially if you don’t know what to do or where to go. I agree with this point of view, because the tourist area of the city is very busy and it is easy to be deceived.
A good tip is to hire a tour to Tijuana, whether sold over the internet or recommended directly by your hotel. Probably the attendants will be able to indicate the best excursion for your situation.
Still, it is always good to know some of the main attractions that should be on your tour. I suggest putting Morelos Park, El Trampo Museum and Tijuana Cultural Center on your list.
For those who want to extend the visit, the beaches of Playas Del Tijuana are quite popular with locals. Tourists, however, prefer to go further south until reaching Rosarito, a tourist resort where you can enjoy the sun. Enseada beach is another tourist region of prominence, with excellent resorts right in front of the sea!
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See more => See accommodation options in Rosarito
Tips for visiting Tijuana with peace of mind
If you are still in doubt, or if you have already decided to visit Tijuana, it is good to know some things. Thinking about it, I have separated some tips below for you to make this tour more peaceful.
- Even though it is very close, you must always remember that we are talking about visiting another country. Thus, one must adapt to the local culture. A good tip, therefore, is to know at least the minimum of Spanish to communicate here.
- Likewise, the local currency is the Mexican peso, not the dollar. Even so, the American currency is widely accepted due to the number of tourists. As a tip, I suggest taking a little of each in kind so as not to suffer.
- Again, remember that you will leave one country and enter another – and then return. Because of that, don’t forget to take your passport!
- Still on this subject, in certain situations the American visa is in an old passport. If this is the case, be sure to bring both documents, as you will need a visa to return to the United States.
- One of Tijuana’s greatest attractions for young people is the age of 18. Soon, many Americans and tourists who cannot drink in the United States go to Mexico to enjoy it. However, caution is needed in alcohol consumption in the city, as it is less safe than California.
- It is possible to shop in Tijuana, but be aware of the limits for the time to return to American territory. Also beware of substances that are or are not allowed in the United States.
Enjoy => Unforgettable visit to the USS Midway Museum in San Diego
After all, is it worth visiting Tijuana?
I know that many tourists want to visit Tijuana, but are afraid to be a place known for its problems. Violence, problems with immigrants, drug trafficking and prostitution, among other situations that constantly appear in the media.
However, it is a city that has its charms, just discover them to know if they please everyone’s taste. So, if you have availability and interest, visiting Tijuana can be quite a fun ride.
And did you go to meet Tijuana during the trip to San Diego? Tell us about your experience. Be sure to share!
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