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Overview

For those who like to take travel warnings with a grain of salt, Tijuana can be an interesting place to go. This is, after all, where the U.S. and Mexico meet. It's the town that inspired musicians from Charles Mingus (Tijuana Moods) to Manu Chao(Welcome to Tijuana). It has greyhound racing, bullfights and lucha libre (free-form wrestling). If you dig deeper than the tourist haunts on Revolución, you'll find bars and clubs that are actually interesting — and you won't have to hear a single party-whistle blow. Tijuana also has a plethora of downright amazing places to eat, from curbside taco stands to fine-dining ...

For those who like to take travel warnings with a grain of salt, Tijuana can be an interesting place to go. This is, after all, where the U.S. and Mexico meet. It's the town that inspired musicians from Charles Mingus (Tijuana Moods) to Manu Chao(Welcome to Tijuana). It has greyhound racing, bullfights and lucha libre (free-form wrestling). If you dig deeper than the tourist haunts on Revolución, you'll find bars and clubs that are actually interesting — and you won't have to hear a single party-whistle blow. Tijuana also has a plethora of downright amazing places to eat, from curbside taco stands to fine-dining establishments serving gourmet Mexican cuisine based on ancient recipes. Sadly, Tijuana may be swapping its reputation for debauchery for one of danger. Gang violence and police corruption made international news throughout much of 2008 and 2009, and tourism in the "world's busiest border town" plummeted (troubles continued in 2010 and early 2011 as well). Avenida Revolución, normally packed with visitors exploring the infamous street's bars, strip clubs, kitsch shops and restaurants, turned practically silent. But conditions improved in 2012 and the risks aren't as great as they used to be. And reputations can be overblown. If you're adventurous and understand the risks, it can be fun finding out for yourself.

Danny Palmerlee
About the Expert

Danny Palmerlee is the main author of numerous Lonely Planet travel guides, including Ecuador, Argentina, South America on a Shoestring, and Pacific Northwest Trips.

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Danny Palmerlee for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the Mexican state of Baja California, situated on the U.S.-Mexico border adjacent to its sister city of San Diego, California.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Tijuana
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April through October