I recently had the experience to cross the Mexican border and spend a night in Tijuana, Mexico with my friends family! At first, we only went to Tijuana because we had a trip to Cancun and had flown into Tijuana Airport. Our bags got stuck in Mexico City and were being flown back to Tijuana (watch my YouTube video on my experience in Tijuana) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVGglNnsQ_SlCMhzWlbsNeA
Our bags ended up not being there and were being flown back to LAX and so we decided, why not make a day of it and explore Tijuana!
The beautiful border town of Tijuana is home to many tourist attractions. Tijuana does has a reputation of not being the safest area, so it is best to go with a local who knows the city or for you to have good knowledge of where you are going beforehand.
Other than that, here are the top things to do in Tijuana as well as my experience and what I did there as well!
Starting off the list is Plaza Hipodromo. This plaza is a little small but nevertheless beautiful. It has multiple shops, restaurants and even gyms. It's more on the new side and has gorgeous decor all around. The pond in the center is home to various turtles and coy fish that you can feed! This was the only place my friend and I had time to go too but it made our Tijuana trip unforgettable. We felt completely safe walking around the plaza alone and there were lots of families and kids that walk the plaza as well. They have a parking garage and it is very accessible to everyone.
Eat local cuisine
After Plaza Hipodromo, we decided to stop by a street vendor for a local traditional snack! You will see a lot of street vendors here in Tijuana and almost all the food that they sell is incredibly delicious!!! This specific street vendor was selling corn. and it tasted AMAZING! Corn is traditional here in Mexico and so I highly recommend you stop to get some as a snack if you're hungry! Street vendors also sell tacos, and since Tijuana is famous for their tacos, try your best to get some as soon as you can! By the way... Caesar salad was invented here in 1924 so that's another local-ish cuisine you MUST try!
Explore the streets of Tijuana (safely)
There's so much beauty when walking the streets of Tijuana. Not only do you get immersed in the culture and are able to see the way others live, but you can explore at your own pace. If you do not have a local showing you around or a guide, I wouldn't recommend exploring alone. There are some touristy streets you can go too like Avenida Revolucion! Avenida Revolucion is located in Zona Centro and it's home to many local restaurants and bars.
Hangout with the stray dogs of Tijuana
Here in Tijuana they have THOUSANDS of stray dogs. They are almost all so loving and kind and just want love. They can be dirty, so make sure to wash your hands and be careful which dog your'e petting... not all can be friendly! Lot's of dogs here are given food and water and so if you have food to give, make sure to feed it to the beautiful pups that roam the streets here!
Cross the border into the USA!
If you have all your visas then crossing the border is quite the experience! There are times where the border takes four or more hours to cross, but when we crossed it miraculously only took 25 minutes! If you're lucky to see that the line isn't long, then I would cross just for the experience. There are dozens of street vendors on the side of the border selling all kinds of things! From hammocks to food to dogs, you can really get a taste of Mexican culture from crossing the border.
Test taste different Mexican candies
Every candy here is different in Mexico. They have all sorts of funky stuff! I wish I could buy one of everything just to try all the different things they have! You can find these type of stands anywhere in Mexico... on the streets, in plazas, in stores! If you want a traditional experience, I'd definitely get something like this to snack on!
Like I said, Tijuana is a beautiful city with a lot to do! It's perfect for a day trip or if you need to kill time before a flight! Again, there are some dangerous zones so be careful but if you want a traditional Mexican experience then this a cool town to visit!