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Guadalajara, Mexico

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By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 03, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of Guadalajara, Mexico is 1,640,589 people. People describe Guadalajara as a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful colonial architecture, and a lively nightlife. Expats love living in Guadalajara for its friendly people, great food, and affordable cost of living. The weather in Guadalajara is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (10-30 Celsius). The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 USD per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is around $400 USD per month, and a two bedroom apartment is around $600 USD per month.

What do I need to know about living in Guadalajara?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Guadalajara, they said:

"Before retiring in Guadalajara, it is important to understand the language and culture as well as familiarize yourself with the temporary visa process and immigration laws. You should also become familiar with the local climate and the cost of living to ensure you can afford to live comfortably. It is important to research the different neighborhoods to find the one that best meets your needs, and connect with the expat community to make the transition smoother. Additionally, make sure you take into account the medical care available and the international retirement visa requirements before making your decision," remarked another expat living in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Mexico

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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What do I need to know before moving to Guadalajara?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Guadalajara, they said:

"- Weather: Guadalajara has hot summers (temperatures reaching up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit) and mild winters (low 60s Fahrenheit). - Language: Spanish is the official language in Guadalajara, and English is not widely spoken. - Cost of Living: The cost of living in Guadalajara is lower than many cities in the United States or Europe, making it an attractive option for expatriates. - Transportation: The city has a reliable and cheap public transportation system that includes metro, buses, and shared taxi (called “peseros”). - Health Care: Guadalajara has both public and private hospitals and clinics that offer quality health care. - Safety: Generally, Guadalajara is a safe city, but it is advisable to use caution when exploring the area and to be aware of potential scams in tourist areas. - Cultural Events: There are many cultural and music festivals that take place throughout the year, so there is always something interesting to do. - Cuisine: Guadalajara is known for its variety of delicious regional cuisine, such as birria (spicy stew) and pozole (corn soup)," wrote a member in Guadalajara.

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How do I find a place to live in Guadalajara?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Finding a place to live in Guadalajara is possible by searching through different real estate websites and contacting experienced real estate agents. You can also search for rentals on popular websites like Airbnb or Vrbo, or browse through listings on housing websites like RentCafé or Idealista. Additionally, you can join online expat forums and ask current residents in Guadalajara for their advice and suggestions. Word of mouth can be a great way to find a suitable home in the city. Visiting Guadalajara and seeing the neighborhoods firsthand can also be a great way to get a feel for the area and find a place to live," remarked another expat who made the move to Guadalajara.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Guadalajara?

"Expat homes and apartments in Guadalajara tend to be spacious, with high ceilings and a typical Mexican feel. The city is known for its vibrant colors, so expect houses and apartments to be filled with lots of bright colors that give the spaces a unique and exotic flair. Many of the homes come with balconies and terraces so you can take advantage of the great weather and beautiful city views. Off-street parking and security measures are also popular amongst expats in Guadalajara," wrote a member in Guadalajara.

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What is the average cost of housing in Guadalajara?

If you are thinking about moving to Guadalajara, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Guadalajara varies depending on the area and type of housing. Generally, the cost of apartments and houses in Guadalajara tend to be moderate, with prices ranging from affordable to mid-level," explained one expat living in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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How do I meet people in Guadalajara?

When we asked people living in Guadalajara about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"One way to meet people in Guadalajara is to join a local club or organization. There are many different types of clubs to choose from, including book clubs, sports teams, and political organizations. You can also try attending community events or local festivals, which provide great opportunities to meet new people. Additionally, volunteering is a great way to meet people and give back to the community. Getting involved in the local church or visiting coffee shops or bars are also great options to connect with people in the area," commented one expat who made the move to Guadalajara.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What should I bring when moving to Guadalajara?

People living in Guadalajara were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Clothing suitable for warm weather, sunscreen, umbrellas, Spanish language books or audio resources, a local map, comfortable walking shoes, an adapter plug for electronics, a medication list from your doctor (including refills or contact information for replacements), toiletries, basic cooking supplies, a water filter or store-bought bottles, a Mexican cell phone plan or a prepaid SIM card, a good novel in Spanish or in your native language, travel insurance documents, passport, visas and other important documents, and a bag with snacks and drinks," remarked another expat living in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Guadalajara?

We asked expats in Guadalajara what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"There are several banks in Guadalajara where you can open a bank account. Some of the most popular are Banco Santander, HSBC, Banco de México and BBVA Bancomer. All of these banks offer a variety of services, including savings and checking accounts, credit and debit cards, investment accounts and more. You can find branches of all of these banks conveniently located throughout Guadalajara. Additionally, many of these banks offer online and mobile banking services," remarked another expat living in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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Will I be able to find a job in Guadalajara?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Guadalajara, they reponded:

"It is possible to find a job in Guadalajara, depending on your qualifications and the current job market. If you have the right qualifications and experience, you could find opportunities in a variety of industries and sectors. You could also start your own business or work freelance in the area. The local government and businesses also offer numerous job postings and connections. Networking is key when looking for jobs, so explore job fairs and other opportunities to meet potential employers in the city," remarked another expat living in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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What is life like in Guadalajara?

When we asked people living in Guadalajara what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Life as an expat in this area can be extremely rewarding, offering a great opportunity to experience a different culture and way of life. The climate is pleasant and there are a range of activities available to enjoy year-round. Expats in the area can take advantage of the excellent healthcare, educational opportunities, and abundant shopping and dining options. There are plenty of expat-friendly communities, with various social and sporting events that foster a sense of community, helping expats to make new friends. Public transport infrastructure is relatively good and the cost of living is generally low. Expats in the area can also benefit from the country's vibrant culture and hospitality, offering an unforgettable experience," said another expat in Guadalajara.

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What do expats in Guadalajara appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Guadalajara appreciate the friendly, welcoming and generous local people, the relaxed way of life and the cultural richness of the city. They enjoy the excellent weather, the fantastic cuisine, the stunning natural surroundings and the vibrant nightlife. They appreciate the affordability of the city, the multitude of sightseeing opportunities, the modern infrastructure and amenities, and the excellent healthcare services available. They enjoy the colorful festivals, the vibrant music and dance scenes, and the opportunity to learn and practice their Spanish language skills. Finally, they value the lower cost of living and the fact that crime rates have stayed relatively low in the area," said another expat in Guadalajara.

"The people. We also loved alambres carbon, the markets, the aguas and tortillas. Music was wonderful," added another expat who made the move to Guadalajara.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats often find the lack of familiarity to be the most challenging. Moving to a foreign country without knowing the language or cultural norms can be daunting. Other challenges can include adjusting to a new job, setting up bank accounts and utilities, dealing with the bureaucracy of visas and other paperwork, finding a place to live, and adapting to a new lifestyle," commented one expat who made the move to Guadalajara.

"Pounds to kilos. :-) Power-outages for no reason. Bugs (especially black widow spiders and scorpions hitching a ride on the plant trucks). exchange rates and devaluations. (Luckily we had a USD account when they devalued the peso by 50%," remarked another expat living in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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Is there a lot of crime in Guadalajara?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Guadalajara has a noticeably lower crime rate than other cities in Mexico. However, crime still exists and visitors should take the normal personal safety precautions recommended when traveling to a large city," commented one expat who made the move to Guadalajara.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Guadalajara accepting of differences?

"Guadalajara is a multicultural city that prides itself on its vast cultural diversity and acceptance of differences. People from around the world have migrated to the region, giving rise to a diverse, multiethnic and multilingual population. The major communities that call the city home include Mestizos, or mixed European-indigenous heritage individuals, who make up the majority of the population. There is also a growing population of African and Asian descendants, as well as other minorities who contribute to the vibrant cultural diversity of the city. The people of Guadalajara are welcoming and accepting of differences, with mixed heritage backgrounds as well as international customs embraced by locals," explained one expat living in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Mexico

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

What are the schools in Guadalajara like?

"Schools in Guadalajara are highly regarded, offering quality education in an international setting. Many schools offer bilingual programs, with curricula focusing on Mexican and international studies alike. Local schools typically offer technical and vocational training, in addition to providing the standard academic courses. Most schools also offer sports and extracurricular activities, allowing students to develop and apply their skills in a whole variety of ways. In addition, parents have the option of sending their children to private or parochial schools, to provide for their educational needs," commented one expat when asked about in Guadalajara.

"Understand the Mexican cultural context and realize this is in no way an international schools. Math program is strong and the English Language arts are quite weak," remarked another expat living in Guadalajara with children attending American School Foundation of Guadalajara.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Guadalajara?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Guadalajara responded:

"I like the weather, cost of rent, fresh food don't like: dogs barking, heavy traffic," said an expat in Guadalajara.

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Mexico

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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