If you enjoy kicking it like a local, the thought of taking the metro to Tlaquepaque from Guadalajara is undoubtedly enticing. But if you’re looking at an old map or don’t speak Spanish, it can get confusing.
In September 2020, Guadalajara inaugurated Line 3 of its metro system.
Line 3 has 18 stations spanning Guadalajara, including Tlaquepaque. You read that right—until recently, it wasn’t even possible to take the metro from Guadalajara to Tlaquepaque.
I took the metro during my January 2022 trip and will share my takeaways to help you have a stress-free Tlaquepaque visit.
Which Metro Line Goes to Tlaquepaque?
You guessed it; Line 3 is the metro line that serves the Tlaquepaque station.
It took over 30 years for Guadalajara to jump on this metro train bandwagon—they released metro Line 1 in 1989 and Line 2 in 1994.
Needless to say, Line 3 (which corresponds with the color pink on Guadalajara’s metro maps) was a welcome development for most locals.
The almost 21-kilometer Line 3 runs from Zapopan to Central Camionera (Guadalajara’s primary long-distance bus station). The Tlaquepaque Centro station sits on the Central Camionera end of this metro, two stations from the final stop.
The metro to Tlaquepaque runs daily from 5:00 am – 11:00 pm.
I visited Tlaquepaque on a Sunday, and the metro was running beautifully. A metro passed by the Tlaquepaque station about once every seven minutes.
Metro Stations in Guadalajara
It’s possible that you’ll be traveling to Tlaquepaque from Zapopan if you arrive in Guadalajara from a beach destination such as Puerto Vallarta or Sayulita.
Zapopan has a small bus station, and it’ll save you time to get off there and head to the Zapopan metro station rather than fighting Guadalajara traffic to Tlaquepaque.
But most likely, you’ll be taking the metro to Tlaquepaque from downtown Guadalajara.
Doing so is easy, given that you can catch Line 3 from the Guadalajara Centro station. This is the same station that serves Line 2, should you be arriving from a destination on the city’s east side.
You can also take the metro to Tlaquepaque from the Bicentenario station, which is slightly southeast of Guadalajara’s Plaza de Armas.
Line 3 Metro Bus Stops
Below are all the bus stops on the Tlaquepaque metro Line 3, beginning from Zapopan.
- Arcos de Zapopan
- Periférico Belenes
- Mercado del Mar
- Zapopan Centro
- Plaza Patria
- Circunvalación Country
- Ávila Camacho
- La Normal (CETRAM)
- Guadalajara Centro
- Plaza de la Bandera
- Río Nilo
- Tlaquepaque Centro
- Lázaro Cárdenas
- Central de Autobuses
As you can see, if you hop on the metro in Guadalajara Centro, you’ll arrive at the Tlaquepaque Centro station on the sixth stop.
Tips for Buying Your Metro Ticket
If you’re in Guadalajara for a short trip, you’ll want to purchase a Univiaje ticket.
These one-time paper tickets must be purchased at the metro station. In the case of the station I boarded at, it said that my ticket was only valid for getting on at that specific station.
I didn’t see the same paper warning at other Guadalajara metro stops. However, I’ll go out on a limb and say this isn’t a situation where getting your ticket at other stations in advance could be helpful.
There’s a flat 9.50 peso fee for using the metro in Guadalajara, regardless of what destination you’ll be going to or how many times you have to change metro lines to get there (which can’t be many, given that the city only has three lines).
If you’re staying in Guadalajara for a while, consider purchasing a Mi Movilidad card. There’s an initial 20 peso ($1) fee for it. From there, you can recharge your card at metro stations, OXXO convenience stores, and Mi Macro Calzada.
In my case, I purchased a Univiaje ticket, and I learned the following:
- Only certain machines at the metro stations allow you to buy a Univiaje ticket. If you don’t see the option on the main screen of one machine, try another.
- The machines don’t give back change. Since few people have 9.5 pesos laying around, it means you’ll likely be paying 10 pesos for your metro ride.
- Because it’s worth reiterating, whatever you do, don’t put more than 10 pesos in the machine for a Univiaje ticket. It’ll permanently swallow whatever money you give it.
All About the Tlaquepaque Metro Station
If you’ve taken metro lines 1 & 2 in Guadalajara, you’re in for a treat. Tlaquepaque’s Line 3 is new, modern, and exceptionally clean.
The Tlaquepaque metro station itself sits high above a highway. It’s covered in floor-to-ceiling windows and offers an escalator for the steep downward journey to the ground floor (there’s an elevator for strollers and people with limited mobility).
You can expect a less chaotic feel at the Tlaquepaque Centro station compared to many other stations, particularly at Guadalajara Centro.
Getting to Tlaquepaque’s Historical Center from the Metro Station
From my experience, the only downside to taking the metro to Tlaquepaque is that it doesn’t drop you off in the historical center.
Yes, that “Tlaquepaque Centro” name is misleading to the average tourist.
So, once you take the escalator down the station and exit out onto the main road, head down to Calle Ignacio Zaragoza and swing a left.
This road isn’t anything to write home about, as it’s a side street with many potholes and rather run-down buildings. I felt safe walking down it alone as a single female traveler, but I’d be hesitant to do so at night.
After about 10 minutes, you’ll come across Calle Progresso. Turn right, and you’ll arrive at Tlaquepaque’s main plaza on the next block.
Distance from Guadalajara Centro to Tlaquepaque Centro Station
Line 3 is an overground metro for a portion of the ride, offering excellent neighborhood views as you depart Guadalajara Centro and arrive at the Tlaquepaque Centro station.
I had so much fun looking out the metro window that I forgot to keep track of the time it took to travel from Guadalajara Centro to Tlaquepaque.
But it was definitely less than 15 minutes and probably closer to 10 minutes.
Here’s a cool fact: If you ride Line 3 from Zapopan to Central Camionera, the journey will take you 33 minutes.
Ready to take the Metro to Tlaquepaque?
I traveled to Tlaquepaque twice from downtown Guadalajara. The first time was in an Uber, which cost $5 USD, and the second time was in the less than 50 cents metro.
Traffic in Guadalajara is excruciatingly backed up at nearly every hour of the day and night. So, it took me longer to take a taxi to Tlaquepaque than taking the metro. However, you also have to factor in that walk from the metro station to Tlaquepaque’s historical center.
Needless to say, provided that you’re relatively close to a metro stop in Guadalajara, you can expect to save both money and time by taking the metro.
Psst! Are you interested in visiting Chapala Lake? If so, don’t miss my post on how to take the bus from Guadalajara to Chapala like a local.