Juarez Mexico: How to Experience the Vibrancy of This Border City

juarez mexico
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Juarez Mexico: How to Experience the Vibrancy of This Border City

Ciudad Juarez is known for being an important center for the manufacturing industry, particularly in the electronics and automotive sectors.

The city is also famous for its lively nightlife, delicious cuisine, and cultural monuments such as the Chamizal National Memorial and La Rodadora Interactive Museum.

This busy border town, originally known as El Paso del Norte, is located in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. However, in 1888 Mexican President Benito Juárez changed its name to Ciudad Juárez.

I know, Juarez doesn’t have a good reputation given the tragic and violent moments that occurred during the so-called “drug war” between 2008-2012.

However, things are quite “normal” now and it’s no different from any other major border town, like Tijuana.

Juarez Mexico is full of tourist attractions, along with special events such as the Tequila and Mariachi festivals and sporting events.

The city’s vibrant culture sets it apart from other cities in Mexico, making it truly worth a visit.

Where is Ciudad Juarez, Mexico?

Juarez shares the Rio Grande River with Texas and it’s right across from El Paso.

Together with the surrounding area, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez comprise the second-largest binational metropolitan area on the U.S.-Mexico border with a combined population of more than 2.7 million people.

There are several ways to get to Juarez Mexico, depending on where you are departing from:

  • By air, you can fly into the Abraham Gonzalez International Airport in Ciudad Juarez, which is served by several Mexican airlines, and from the United States
  • By car, if you are coming from the United States, you can drive to Ciudad Juarez by crossing one of several border crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border. The most convenient and popular ones are El Paso (Texas) and Santa Teresa (New Mexico)
  • By bus, several coach companies are servicing Ciudad Juarez from different cities including Mexico City, Monterrey, and Chihuahua. The main bus terminal in Ciudad Juarez is the Central de Autobuses.

Getting around Ciudad Juarez

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, you can get around using a variety of transportation options such as cabs, buses, rental cars, Ubers, and public transportation.

Cabs and Ubers are available throughout the city, and buses are the most economical option, with frequent service on major routes.

However, if you prefer more flexibility, you can rent a car to tour the city at your own pace. Keep in mind that traffic can be heavy during rush hour, so plan accordingly.

10 Best things to do in Juarez, Mexico

In addition to being a border town, it is an important cultural and business center, full of tourist attractions to keep you busy for at least a full day. 

You’ll find everything from archaeological sites, parks, and white sandy dunes to monuments and historic buildings.

1. Admire the Cathedral and the Mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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The Juarez Cathedral

Established in 1659, the Mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe is considered “The Queen of Missions” for being the first in the Paso del Norte.

Today, it is still preserved and opened on special occasions. Visitors often go to admire its beautiful adobe walls, wooden beams, and palm tree trunks.

In the 1940s the growth of the congregation was such that the small mission was not enough, so a large cathedral was built next to it.

With its neoclassical style, twin bell towers, and high ceilings, the Cathedral is a must-see attraction when visiting Juarez.

2. Sandboarding in the Samalayuca Dunes

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Sandboarding in the Samalayuca dunes is one of the best activities to do in Ciudad Juarez only minutes away, perfect for travelers interested in extreme sports.

You will be able to admire the incredible view while walking through the desert and its impressive environment.

The beauty of the desert resembles the Sahara Desert in Africa. About 152 square kilometers make up the Samalayuca dunes.

3. Visit the Antigua Presidencia Municipal (Old City Hall)

old city hall
Juarez Mexico Old City Hall

Located behind the mission and the cathedral is another iconic building: The Old City Hall.

Over the years, this building served as a prison, a garrison for troops to defend against Apache attacks, and to protect travelers and the city hall.

Today the building houses the Municipal Arts Center, where various concerts and productions are held.

Admiring the building alone is worth it, and maybe, you may be able to catch a free concert.

4. Explore the Casa de Adobe Museum in Juarez, Mexico

juarez mexico adobe museum
adobe museum

This interesting and charming museum is on the outskirts of the city, accessible by a dirt road and a few meters from the Rio Grande River, next to the border with the United States.

From this small two-room adobe house, Generals Francisco Madero and Pancho Villa planned the battle of Juarez during the Mexican Revolution in 1911.

Unfortunately, the original structure was destroyed by fire, but a new house was built to educate the public about the importance of the Revolution and its impact on the country.

The house holds some artifacts and is decorated with pieces from the period.

5. Revolution Museum on the Border

revolution museum juarez

The Museum of the Revolution on the Border is just one of the many museums that can be found in Ciudad Juarez. It was formerly known as the Edificio de la Aduana (customs building).

The museum’s name suggests that it was the scene of many important historical events during the 19th century.

In September 1889, the museum became the border checkpoint between Mexico and the United States, thus the name Museo de la Revolución en la Frontera (Museum of the Revolution on the Border).

This museum is an ideal place for tourists interested in artifacts and historical events.

It takes visitors on a journey back in time to the period when Juarez lived through the Mexican Revolution.

To fully appreciate the beauty of the place, it is essential to first gain a deeper understanding of its history.

6. Fine dining at Hacienda Flor Nogal

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Beautiful grounds at Hacienda Flor Nogal

To savor fine dining you must visit Hacienda Flor Nogal. Chef Oscar Hererra has transformed his home into an event venue and restaurant that has made the list of the 120 best restaurants in Mexico.

Local and seasonal produce is used to create exceptional dishes that any food lover would enjoy.

From fish tacos to steaks and lamb, every dish is fantastic.

Chef Hererra is also one of the founders of a culinary school in Juarez that teaches a new generation of chefs.

Some of the produce they use is grown in their greenhouses and they use a wood-fired stone oven to bake their bread.

Hacienda Flor Nogal is located on the east side of Juarez. Don’t skip it!

7. Rodadora Museum in Juarez, Mexico

juarez mexico

Ciudad Juarez is home to one of the largest museums in all of Latin America, the Museo Rodadora.

It’s one of the best places for visitors interested in learning about the history and culture of the city.

It is a perfect place to spend with your family because it has a wide range of exhibits that kids can enjoy. It features paleontology themes and the social environment of Ciudad Juarez.

The Museo Rodadora offers facilities such as a 3D room and a library. After walking through the museum, you can take a break and grab lunch in the food court.

8. Get souvenirs at the Ciudad Juarez Market


Some people just love to buy souvenirs in every place they visit.

The best market for this purpose in Ciudad Juarez is near the Cathedral and the Mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Those curious about what a typical day is like for the locals can make a quick stop at the Mercado Ciudad Juarez.

There is a wide range of Mexican souvenirs, glassware, pottery, and quality jewelry to choose from.

The vibrant culture of the city can be seen and felt around the market, as evidenced by the presence of street musicians and costumed dancers performing in the area.

9. Savor the Original Margarita

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Yummy Margaritas at the Kentucky Bar

Most visitors to Juarez make a must-stop at The Kentucky Bar, known as the home of the original margarita.

The bar opened in 1922 and is named after a distillery in Juarez that operated during Prohibition to create “Kentucky bourbon.”

After Prohibition was enacted in the United States, several Tennessee whiskey makers moved to Juarez to continue making their whiskey.

Kentucky Pioneer was one of those brands and was distilled here. The handmade wooden bar was built in France and installed in the club in 1935.

Over the years, the bar has become popular with tourists, the famous and the infamous.

Located on Benito Juarez Avenue, a few hundred yards from the International Bridge is the world-famous Kentucky Club.

While inside the bar, visitors can see photographs of famous stars who enjoyed their margaritas, such as John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Burton.

10. Ciudad Juarez, home of the Burrito


A trip to Juarez will be pointless if you skip Mexican food and drinks!

This border town is credited with inventing one of the world’s most famous dishes: The burrito.

There are different versions as to where burritos were born, but many claim that this is where you will find the original. Try some!

Other cool places near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

juarez mexico

These are some nice places to visit on a day trip from Ciudad Juarez.

  • Casas Grandes Archaeological Zone: a historical site approximately 3 hours from Ciudad Juarez, known for its well-preserved ancient culture and extraordinary Mesoamerican architecture
  • Palomas, Chihuahua: located about 3 hours from Ciudad Juarez, Palomas is a charming town that attracts with its beautiful colonial architecture, delicious restaurants, and world-class wineries
  • Guzman Lagoon: a serene natural wonder, Lake Guzman is a peaceful oasis perfect for fishing, hiking, picnicking, and nature watching. It is approximately 2 hours drive from Ciudad Juarez
  • Janos: a picturesque town surrounded by mountains and grasslands, it is a great destination for travelers who love outdoor adventures such as hiking, horseback riding, and bird watching


In addition to the burrito, you’ll find many authentic Mexican foods to try:

  • Carne Asada: this is a popular Mexican dish that consists of grilled beef. The meat is usually marinated in lime juice, garlic, cumin, and other spices to enhance its flavor
  • Chiles Rellenos: stuffed Poblano peppers with melted cheese and ground beef. They are then coated with a light batter and fried until golden brown
  • Tacos: another popular dish you can find in Ciudad Juarez. They are soft or crispy tortillas that are usually filled with meat, beans, vegetables and covered with salsa
  • Menudo: a traditional Mexican soup made with tripe, ground corn, and spices such as chili powder, garlic, and oregano. It is often served with lime and fresh spearmint as garnish
  • Enchiladas: another popular dish in Ciudad Juarez. They are usually made with corn tortillas filled with meat or cheese, rolled, and then covered with a spicy tomato sauce
  • Gorditas: these are thick corn tortillas filled with meat, cheese, beans, or other fillings. They are often served with guacamole and sour cream on top

When is the best time to visit Juarez?

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Winters in Juarez can be harsh

The best time to visit Ciudad Juarez is usually during the autumn months, October and November.

Temperatures are mild and pleasant and there is less chance of precipitation than during the summer months (June-August).

However, it is important to keep in mind that Ciudad Juarez can experience extreme temperature fluctuations, with hot summers and cold winters.

So, if you prefer a milder climate, the autumn months are an ideal time to visit.

Is Juarez Mexico safe?

As I mentioned earlier, Juarez Mexico is a city that has a reputation for being very dangerous due to the high levels of crime and violence related to drug cartels.

However, the situation has improved in recent years and the city is not as unsafe as it used to be.

Juarez is safe during the daylight hours and in popular tourist destinations, but it is advisable to avoid traveling at night or venturing into the outskirts of the city alone.

The city offers a lot of cultural and historical attractions, but it is not a destination for inexperienced or careless travelers.

You should always exercise caution and common sense, and follow the safety tips and recommendations from the local authorities and reliable sources.

Mexico in general is pretty safe. But if you come looking for trouble or get involved in criminal activities, then that’s another story.


Juarez, Mexico is a city that has a lot to offer to travelers who are willing to look beyond its negative image.

It is a city that has a rich and diverse culture, a lively and colorful atmosphere, and a fascinating and complex history.

This town is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, and that has a resilient and friendly spirit.

Ciudad Juarez deserves a chance to be explored and appreciated, it may surprise you with its vibrancy and charm.

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