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Important facts to know about Guadalajara


Area Code : The telephone area code is 33.

 a popular bookstore chain, has a branch across from Plaza de los Hombres Ilustres on Avenida Hidalgo, and another a few blocks south at Avenida 16 de Septiembre 118 (Alcalde becomes 16 de Septiembre south of the cathedral). It carries few English selections.

Sanborn's, at the corner of Juárez and 16 de Septiembre, does a good job of keeping English-language periodicals in stock, but most are specialty magazines. Many newsstands sell the two English local papers, the Guadalajara Reporter and the Guadalajara Weekly.

For the widest selection of English-language books, try Sandi Bookstore, Av. Tepeyac 178 (tel. 33/3121-0863), in the Chapalita neighborhood on the west side.

Business Hours: Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10am to 2pm and 4 to 8pm.

Climate & Dress: Guadalajara is mild year-round, with the occasional freak cold spell. Generally, from November through March, you'll need a sweater in the evening. The warmest months, April and May, are hot and dry. From June through September, the city gets afternoon and evening showers that keep the temperature a bit cooler. Dress in Guadalajara is conservative; attention-getting sportswear (short shorts, halters, and the like) is out of place.

The largest American consular offices in the world are here, at Progreso 175 (tel. 33/3825-2998or 33/3825-2700).

Other consulates include the Canadian consulate, Hotel Fiesta Americana, Local 31 (tel. 33/3615-6215).

British consulate, Eulogio Parra 2539, Oficina 12 (tel. 33/3616-0629).

Australian consulate, López Cotilla 2030 (tel. 33/3615-7418). These offices all keep roughly the same hours: Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm.

Currency Exchange: The best rates are found 3 blocks south of the cathedral on López Cotilla, between Corona and Degollado. There are more than 20 casas de cambio on these 2 blocks. Almost all post their rates, which are better than the banks', without the long lines.

Emergencies: The emergency phone number is tel. 080.

Hospitals: For medical emergencies, visit the Hospital México-Americano, Cólomos 2110 (tel. 33/3642-7152).

Police: Tourists should first try to contact the Jalisco tourist information office in Plaza Tapatía (tel. 33/3658-1600). If you can't reach the office, call the municipal police at tel. 33/3617-6060.

Post Office: The correo is at the corner of Carranza and calle Independencia, about 4 blocks northeast of the cathedral. Standing in the plaza behind the cathedral, facing the Degollado Theater, walk to the left and turn left on Carranza; walk past the Hotel Mendoza, cross Calle Independencia, and look for the post office on the left. It's open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 5pm, Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

Safety: Guadalajara doesn't have the violent crime that Mexico City does. Crimes against tourists and foreign students are infrequent and most often take the form of pickpocketing and purse snatching. Criminals usually work in teams and target travelers in busy places, such as outdoor restaurants: One will create a distraction while the other slips off with whatever the tourist has set down. Purse-snatchers usually target unaccompanied women at night and rarely in places with crowds. The same is true of necklace snatching (the assailant grabs a necklace, especially if it has a gold chain, and pulls hard, hoping it will break). Be especially alert if someone spills something on you -- this is a common trick.


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