A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Acapulco de Juarez vs. Guadalajara for Nightlife, Couples, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Acapulco de Juarez

Acapulco de Juarez is a vibrant, built-up, and well-known city. It's also popular because of the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a vibrant, cultural, and historical city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Acapulco de Juarez and Guadalajara: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Guadalajara than Acapulco de Juarez. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Guadalajara is very popular for its museums, food, historical sights, shopping, and big city activities, while Acapulco de Juarez attracts visitors for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches. Acapulco de Juarez is more touristy than Guadalajara and is popular for its large hotels, golf courses, and lively bars and clubs. Guadalajara is famous for its mariachi music, tequila, and many festivals. It is also well known for the Guadalajara Cathedral.

How is Acapulco de Juarez different from Guadalajara?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Guadalajara and Acapulco de Juarez. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Acapulco de Juarez is a city with minimal options for its historical sights.

Guadalajara offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. It's a city that's filled with culture and history, with many impressive landmarks such as the Guadalajara Cathedral. Also make sure you visit the Instituto Cultural de Cabañas, Expiatory Temple, the Government Palace, and the Regional Museum of Guadalajara.

While most people don't head to Acapulco de Juarez specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. There are a couple of history and cultural museums in the city that can be a nice way to spend a rainy day.


Is the Food Better in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Acapulco de Juarez is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Dining out in Guadalajara is an experience not to be missed. The cuisine uses some key ingredients such as corn tortillas, chilis, and beans. You'll find a lot of street food which includes tacos and tortas as well as restaurant dishes like birria (meat stew), pozole (hominy soup), and fish ceviche.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Acapulco de Juarez. The local cuisine is influenced by the area's indigenous cultures combined with Hispanic influences. Seafood is common as well.

Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for Nightlife?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Acapulco de Juarez is an amazing city to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Guadalajara is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife.

Acapulco de Juarez has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. The nightlife scene is part of what originally put this city on the map. Spring break is a prime time for partying and you'll find many bars along Costera Street, with the liveliest around Condesa Beach.

Guadalajara has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The city comes to life at night. You'll find vibrant dance clubs, live music, and traditional bars. The craft beer scene has also grown in recent years. The most active areas are around Chapultepec Avenue and Zapopan.

Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for Resorts?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Acapulco de Juarez is an amazing city to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Guadalajara is not a resort destination.

Acapulco de Juarez offers an unforgettable resort vacation. You'll find no shortage of resorts in the city, most with large pools and beachfront views.

Guadalajara is not a resort destination.


Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Acapulco de Juarez is great for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Guadalajara is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Many visitors go to Acapulco de Juarez to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. There are plenty of dive shops that offer snorkeling and scuba diving trips to premier spots.

Guadalajara is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for Beaches?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Acapulco de Juarez is great for the beach. However, Guadalajara is not a beach destination.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Acapulco de Juarez. The beaches are well developed with restaurants, hotels and bars lining the long stretches of sand. You'll find all kinds of water sports and activities nearby and several of the most popular beaches include Condesa Beach, Caleta Beach, and Icacos Beach.

Guadalajara is not a beach destination.

Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for its Old Town?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a great destination for its historic old town charm. However, Acapulco de Juarez does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Guadalajara. The city center is filled with Spanish colonial architecture. With a walking tour you will find baroque, neoclassical, renaissance, and Gothic style buildings that highlight the city's long running past and rich history.

Acapulco de Juarez does not have a historic old town.


Is the Shopping Better in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a great destination for its shopping areas. Also, Acapulco de Juarez is still popular, but not quite as popular for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Guadalajara. One of the best shopping streets is Avenida Juarez. A must-see stop is also the large indoor market of Mercado Libertad. You'll also find shopping centers and retail outlets around town.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Acapulco de Juarez. You'll find tons of beachside shops where you can pick up any beach supplies you may need as well as souvenirs from your trip. The city also has retail outlets and shopping centers.

Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for Families?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Acapulco de Juarez is great for its kid-friendly activities. However, Guadalajara is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Acapulco de Juarez. It may have been made famous by spring breakers, but families with kids will find plenty to do as well. There are water parks, playgrounds, museums and, of course, the beach.

Guadalajara is not the most family-friendly destination. While it's not the most popular destination for families, those who visit will enjoy exploring the nature parks or amusement parks.

Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for Couples?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Acapulco de Juarez is an amazing city to visit for couples. Also, Guadalajara is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

Acapulco de Juarez has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. Whether you're looking for an active nightlife scene, or romantic sunset walks, then this city has it all. The beach is active and beautiful, there are also botanical gardens and wonderful restaurants to experience.

Guadalajara is a nice destination for couples. It's filled with nice architecture, a vibrant nightlife scene, and great urban parks, making it a nice and romantic destination for couples.


Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a great destination for backpackers. However, Acapulco de Juarez is a city with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Guadalajara is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. There are plenty of hostels and cheap hotels around town.

Acapulco de Juarez is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There are more hotels and resorts than hostels, so most backpackers head elsewhere. There is a young crowd during the spring break season.

Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Acapulco de Juarez is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Guadalajara does not have public transit.

While Acapulco de Juarez offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's an elaborate and fun bus system that travels around the city.

Guadalajara does not have public transit. There's a bus system as well as a metro system with two lines, which are primarily used by commuters.

Is Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara a more walkable city?

Acapulco de Juarez
Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a great destination for its ease of walking around. Also, Acapulco de Juarez is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.

Guadalajara is a very walkable destination. The city center is pedestrian-friendly. This is also where you'll find most of the sights.

Acapulco de Juarez is somewhat walkable. The downtown and beachfront areas are the most walkable and many sights are within a short distance of each other.


For even more information, also check out Is Acapulco de Juarez Worth Visiting? and Is Guadalajara Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Guadalajara or Acapulco de Juarez?

How long in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Acapulco de Juarez and Guadalajara. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Acapulco de Juarez than in Guadalajara. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Acapulco de Juarez, and 2-3 days is enough time in Guadalajara.

Families should spend more time in Acapulco de Juarez than Guadalajara. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Acapulco de Juarez, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Acapulco de Juarez than Guadalajara. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Acapulco de Juarez that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Guadalajara than Acapulco de Juarez if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Guadalajara.


  • How many days in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara? Ideal Length of Stay
    Acapulco de Juarez 3-5 
    Guadalajara 2-3

One day in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the built-up city of Acapulco de Juarez. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Most people visit for the nightlife. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the vibrant destination of Guadalajara. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the built-up destination of Acapulco de Juarez. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This city offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Guadalajara is a popular place to visit. Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the historical city of Guadalajara. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Guadalajara has to offer.

Five days in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the vibrant city of Acapulco de Juarez. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Many people enjoy the food and shopping when visiting Guadalajara. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.


A week in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Acapulco de Juarez. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people visit for the nightlife. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Guadalajara is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Visiting the old town is also a must. It offers something for everyone. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in Mexico, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Mexico, The Best Adventure Tours to Mexico, and The Best Sightseeing Tours in Mexico.


Which place is cheaper, Guadalajara or Acapulco de Juarez?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Acapulco de Juarez is $80, while the average daily cost in Guadalajara is $117. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Acapulco de Juarez and Guadalajara in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Acapulco de Juarez $39
    Guadalajara $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Acapulco de Juarez $78
    Guadalajara $84
Compare Hotels in Acapulco de Juarez and Guadalajara

Looking for a hotel in Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Acapulco de Juarez


Hotels in Guadalajara


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Acapulco de Juarez Hotel Prices and Guadalajara Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Acapulco de Juarez $16
    Guadalajara $39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Acapulco de Juarez

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Acapulco de Juarez:

  • Private Airport Transfer &on 2nd Day 4Hr TourAll AttractionsCombo: $90
  • Private Best Round Trip Airport - Hotel - Airport Transfer : $70
  • Private - One Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer: $66
  • Airport Transfer in Suburban: $55
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Vehicle Acapulco Airport (ACA) - Bahia de Acapulco: $49
  • Acapulco Airport (ACA) to Acapulco hotels - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $40
  • Transfer in private minivan from Bahía de Acapulco -Acapulco Airport (ACA): $32
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Bahía de Acapulco - Acapulco Airport (ACA): $24
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Acapulco Airport (ACA) -Bahía de Acapulco: $24
  • Acapulco Airport Transfer: $7.00
  • Shared transfer from Acapulco Airport (ACA) - Acapulco: $6.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guadalajara

Also for Guadalajara, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport Transfer to Guadalajara Hotels: $149
  • Airport-Chapala/Ajijic Transfer: $229
  • Guadalajara Airport (GDL) to Guadalajara hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $100
  • Guadalajara Airport (GDL) to Tequila - Arrival Private Transfer: $39
  • Guadalajara Airport (GDL): Transfer to Guadalajara hotels: $177
  • Guadalajara hotels to Guadalajara Airport (GDL) - Departure Private Transfer: $50
  • Guadalajara to Tequila - Private Transfer with English-speaking driver: $166
  • Airport to City Transfer: $155
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Airport to Guadalajara, Chalapa & Tequila Hotels: $63
  • Private Transfer from Guadalajara Airport(GDL) to Manzanillo Port: $77
  • Private Transfer from Guadalajara city hotels to Manzanillo Port: $77
  • Private transfer from Guadalajara to Sayulita: $242

Is it cheaper to fly into Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Prices for flights to both Guadalajara and Acapulco de Juarez change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Acapulco de Juarez $29
    Guadalajara $48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Acapulco de Juarez

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Acapulco de Juarez.

  • High Divers DeLuxe Three Course Dinner +Three Drinks plus SUNSET: $49
  • Cliff Divers Exhibition 2 Drinks + Tacos al Pastor Dinner & Beer: $55
  • Lucha Libre-Wrestling Experience Taco Dinner Beer ONLY SATURDAYS: $72
  • Cliff Divers Show With Dinner At Acapulco: $72
  • Wrestling-Lucha Libre Experience Tacos Beer Dinner Only SUNDAY: $84
  • Off the Beaten Path Mexican Cooking Class Lagoon Boatride &Lunch: $89
  • Hands ON - Mex Cooking Class Experience - City Market & Lunch : $90
  • Hands On Mexican Cooking Class with Food Tasting & Market Visit: $100
  • Mexican Fiesta Show & Dinner: $115
  • Bella Vista PRIVATE Al Fresco 3 Course Dinner Cliff Diver3Drinks: $191
  • Super DeLuxe Bella Vista Dinner &1 Drink +2 Drinks at CliffDivers: $193
  • Divers Show and Luxury Dinner in Acapulco: $199

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guadalajara

For Guadalajara, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Mexican Cooking Classes and Market Visit in Guadalajara: $61
  • Guadalajara private food tour: $68
  • Mexican Traditional Cooking Class: $86
  • VIP Tequila Night Tour with Dinner and Tasting: $199

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Acapulco de Juarez $18
    Guadalajara $28

Tours and Activities in Acapulco de Juarez

Here are a few actual costs in Acapulco de Juarez for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 4Hrs City Tour Exclusively for Hotels, Divers, Chapel & Mural.: $44
  • Small-Group or Private All Inclusive 4 Hours City Tour & Divers: $36
  • 4 Hrs Exclusive to Cruise Ship Passengers Sightseeing Experience : $62
  • 4-6Hrs Acapulco City Tour With a Fun Guide. Diver Show, Mex Lunch: $44
  • 4Hr City Tour for Cruisers or Hotels Mural, Chapel & High Divers: $49
  • 4Hrs Small Group Half Day City Tour with Lunch at High Divers: $85
  • 4hr City Tour For Cruises or Hotels Diver Peace Chapel & Mural: $40
  • 6Hr City Tour Cruise or Hotel Turtle Nesting High Diver & Market: $51
  • 6Hr Cruise or Hotels City Tour, Divers, Baby Turtles Peace Chapel: $51
  • 6Hr Cruisers or Hotels High Diver Peace Chapel BabyTurtleRelease: $50
  • Acapulco City Tour: $56
  • Acapulco City Tour : $35

Tours and Activities in Guadalajara

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Guadalajara.

  • Uncover Past & Present: Puerto Vallarta In-App Audio Tour: $11
  • KidZania Entrance Ticket: $12
  • 10-Day Audio Guide Tour of Guadalajara: $15
  • Orendain Classic Tour: $20
  • Guadalajara City Tour: $20
  • Great Experience With A Tour Guide With Spark: $21
  • Downtown Mexico City: Self guided tacos and market tour: $23
  • ticket to Michin Aquarium: $28
  • Guadalajara : Must-See Sites Walking Tour With A Guide: $30
  • Culture, Architecture, and Market Walking Tour: $33
  • Private Tour with a Local Guide in Guadalajara: $34
  • Guadalajara Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Acapulco de Juarez $11
    Guadalajara $18

Sample the Local Flavors in Guadalajara

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Guadalajara:

  • Friday Night Bar Crawl in Guadalajara, Mexico: $25
  • Cultural tour, city fields and distillery: $32
  • Guadalajara Arquitecture and Brewery Tour: $58
  • Tequila distillery experience, Jose Cuervo & Tequila Magic Town: $77
  • Private One Day Adventure Tour in Tequila and La Fortaleza Distillery: $178
  • Private Adventure to El Tequileño Distillery and visit to Tequila: $178
  • Sip & Savor Tequila Experience Distillery w/ Lunch fr Guadalajara: $180
  • Private Tour La Fortaleza Distillery and visit to Tequila: $190
  • Private Tour to Distillery Tequila Ocho and Arandas : $200
  • Private Tour to Tequila Ocho Distillery and the Town of Arandas: $215
  • Private Tour one day in Guachimontones and La Fortaleza Distillery: $215
  • Private Adventure to Casa Sauza Distillery and Visit to Tequila: $215


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Acapulco de Juarez and Guadalajara, we can see that Guadalajara is more expensive. And not only is Acapulco de Juarez much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Acapulco de Juarez would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Acapulco de Juarez and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Guadalajara would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Guadalajara than you might in Acapulco de Juarez.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Acapulco de Juarez Expensive? and Is Guadalajara Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Acapulco de Juarez or Guadalajara?

Guadalajara has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Acapulco de Juarez. When comparing the sizes of Acapulco de Juarez and Guadalajara, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.