Tijuana is Baja’s largest city, México’s fifth largest, and can boast of the most daily border crossings in the entire world. Tijuana alone, accounts for over 65% of the population of the entire Baja peninsula. Tijuana is also known as a party town for underage Americans who cross the border because of the lax enforcement of drinking age laws in México. Tijuana does have its seedy side but it has also become a very sophisticated city and northwest México’s busiest transportation hub, trade center and a manufacturing giant.
The area known as Zona Río is an area of wide, tree lined boulevards and traffic circles, each with their own monument. Zona Río is the financial center of the city and home to high rise office towers, trendy restaurants and upscale watering holes, Tijuana’s busiest mall and the city’s cultural center are also located here. You could easily imagine yourself in any modern U.S. city while exploring Zona Río.
The Centro Cultural de Tijuana is an impressive project that contains a performing arts center, galleries, murals and sculptures, a museum and an IMAX theatre. Near Zona Rio is the ever popular Mercado Hidalgo, the one square block, open air, central market that sells everything from produce to sushi – household goods to piñatas and almost everything in between.
Avenida Revolución is the part of Tijuana that most people remember. This is where the seedy bars and strip clubs outnumber the respectful businesses. This is where the younger tourists flock to party and have their pictures taken on donkeys painted like zebras. One of Tijuana’s best shopping areas is also located at Av. Revolución and Calle 7, Bazar de México offers shoppers a large choice of shops selling arts and crafts articles, some of very high quality, from all over México. This is one of the better places in Tijuana to bargain for quality crafts and you can see various artisans practicing their trade.
Tijuana also has two bull rings where you can see bullfights, on selected Sundays, from May to November. There is a reasonably priced 18-hole golf course and night time dog racing at the old horse racing facility, Caliente racetrack. There is also a respectable wax museum.