"Tijuana--South Of The Border!" Top 5 Page for this destination Tijuana by lmkluque

Tijuana Travel Guide: 654 reviews and 1,056 photos

Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

Welcome to my Tijuana page,

There is so much I could say about Tijuana that it's difficult deciding what to include.

The Border between San Diego, California, USA and Tijuana, (Baja California,) Mexico is open 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week and there is no border charge to enter TiJuana or for that matter to re-enter into the USA.

For USA citizens:
If you plan to stay seventy-two hours or less and travel no farther south than Ensenada, you will need no passport, visa or tourist card to stay in the northern part of Baja California .

Update:
Changes have been made! The requirements to enter Tijuana has stayed the same, but the requirements for RETURNING to the USA have changed.

Whether you are a citizen of the USA or not a citizen take a look at the TRAVEL page of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection which is connected to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. There you will find the exact information you'll need.

However, if you want to go further or stay longer, you'll need a "Tourist Card" which is free and can be obtained from Mexican Customs at the border as you cross.

For Any non-USA citizens who plans to travel to Tijuana from the USA:

Those with passports which includes "multiple entry" status should have no problem making the trip across the border and back.

All my friends and students who held "single entry" status in their passports had no problem crossing to Tijuana and back either, but it would be wise, since security is heightened these days, to stop at the US Customs station in San Ysidro to make sure you will be allowed back into the USA if that is your plan.

Also take a look at the International Travelers Section on the US Customs and Border Patrol's website to get the specific information you'll need.

I've traveled across the San Ysidro border into Tijuana, Mexico for more than forty years, to visit friends, shop, do lunch--or dinner and spend an evening dancing--without the slightest bit of trouble.

Yet, there are many people--usually US American--who express fear of going into Tijuana, and there are those who are so shocked by the poverty they feel uncomfortable spending any time in Baja at all.

Well, for those of you who may want to know what it is that attracts me to this lively border town, I'll continue....

The WELCOME sign above a curio shop does more than welcome you. It is a call for your attention, "PLEASE VISIT MY SHOP AND SPEND HERE."

Most of these shops are owned by an industrious individual who simply want to feed his/her family and have a little extra to buy more goods to sell. The competition is high, so each seller tries his/her best to get your attention.

It may be a little annoying for those not used to it, but keep in mind that these people are not hanging out waiting for their welfare checks, they are working to support themselves the best way they know how.

That's enough, in my book, and I admire them for it.

Dining and Dancing in Tijuana is so much fun. The atmosphere is relaxed, festive and gracious. I can honestly say that the service in Tijuana is very accommodating and they do aim to please and will show you a great time, so sit back and enjoy your visit to TJ.

Enjoy Your Visit,
Linda

The Limited View

In response to questions on the VT Tijuana Forum, asking for advice on the ways and means of getting to Tijuana from San Diego for a day trip, I ventured out, on foot, to see what options there were.

Actually, I hadn't realized how long ago it was that I last walked across the border to see or do anything in TJ. Most of my travels to and around Tijuana have been by car, which allowed me to by-pass the tourist sections and go directly to the place of my choice.

Taking this walking trip gave me a better understanding why some people rage against the idea of visiting Tijuana at all.

As soon as the photos are developed I will add tips focusing on my discoveries and will try to give an objective view, so you will be able to decide for yourself if it is worth your time.

My advice in the meantime, is to sit back relax, and look beyond poverty to see the heart of the people.

Under Construction Again!

Throughout the downtown areas of Tijuana beautiful architecture, such as the Jai Alai Palace on Avenida Revolucion between Calle 7 & 8, can be seen and is a reminder of the historical development of the city.

Every few years Tijuana re-invents itself. The changes seem to be historically influenced by the cravings of it's tourists and by Mexican pride. Like no other city in the world, that I know of, Tijuana has been in the unique position of being able to offer that which couldn't be got, by the citizens of it's northern neighbor, at home.

Whether it be Horse Racing, Bullfights or Boxing Matches in the late 1890's, Gambling Casinos and Bars during the US Prohibition in the 1920's or the Jai Alai Games in the late 1940's, Tijuana was there with the offer and we crossed the border to accept.

Today in Tijuana you will see many pharmacies--medicine is less expensive in Mexico---nightclubs and bars geared to the interests of the 18 to 20 year old--18 is the legal drinking age in Tijuana and 21 is the legal drinking age in California. Many of the newer restaurants offer terraced dining--popular with tourists and the curio shop inventory is being replenished with items that seem to appeal to the present day shopper.

One of the most intriguing developments in recent years is the focus of more cultural sites, especially relating to contributions made by Mexicans, and the history of Mexico. However, to seek out the cultural and historical offerings in Tijuana, more than a day trip walking across the border to the tourist areas is necessary.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Warm Friendly People. Festive Atmosphere. Great Prices!
  • Cons:The Face Of Poverty easily seen.
  • In a nutshell:An Intriguing Border Town With Friendly People.
  • Last visit to Tijuana: Jun 2011
  • Intro Updated Feb 29, 2012
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Reviews (77)

Comments (36)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Me again, coming back to read some of your more recent tips and updates. Since 18 is the legal drinking age in Tijuana and 21 is the legal drinking age in California, I can imagine the problems this would cause, especially since most of these people return home by car. When I was growing up in Illinois, our legal drinking age was 21 and across the border in Wisconsin it was only 18. So there was lots of driving up to Wisconsin and back, and every weekend stories of kids who didn't make it back alive. I hope the kids today are more conscientious about having a designated driver.

    • lmkluque's Profile Photo
      Apr 10, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      Since passports are now required the 18-20 year olds tend not to go over as they used to. Also, there have been a decline because of the stories about drug cartel activities. Kids for the most part didn't get quite so wild as to have frequent/major problems.

  • wabat's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Linda, nice to see balanced and positive page on Tijuana. Seems easy to get there, lots of options , lots to do and interesting local customs.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Your Tijuana tips have an authoritative ring to them, since you have been there so often. Also I liked your sensible and balanced disclaimer tip on Tijuana.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Jan 29, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Hi Linda, in the past year you have re-vamped this entire page and added some useful updates. Good work! I had forgotten (if I ever knew) that Tijuana has the busiest border crossing in the world.

  • Oct 27, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Hello Linda. I recently heard about an upcoming event at a place in downtown TJ named the Cactus Place. Know where it is, or anything about it? Thanks. Steve. (steve.enyart@gmail.com)

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    jessicahulan, Obviously you are taking exception with something I've written but, your point is not clear to me. Sorry.

  • Jan 22, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    we were on a family vacation with two kids under the age of 10..your to tell me that my kids were beligerently drunk..i dont think so..you have the facts wrong..but something tells me that you already know that!!

  • Aug 12, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    I would not stay at Hotel Caesar if planning to sleep between 8:00PM to 7:00AM. There is a strip club on the first floor that plays loud music every night.

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    thanks for all the hard work you have put into this page. I am not sure that I will ever get to Tijuana, but your tips will help many that do ;-)

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    Nice Tijuana tips and homepage.

  • eviltooth's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2008 at 7:05 AM

    Thanks for sharing your tips! How long does it take to drive from San Diego to Tijuana? By the way ronhh not wearing a seat belt in Australia would cost you $500 so stop whinging and wear your seat belt!

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