During our visit to El Paso over Spring Break, we walked across the border into Ciudad Juarez for a morning of sight-seeing! The city has a bad reputation, but recently the US removed travel warnings to Juarez, and the city is welcoming tourist! We had a great time, but of course I learned some important tips while I was there, too!
The Heart of Juarez is a copper sculpture in the plaza on Avenieda 16 Septiembre, and it’s vibrant colors are a perfect symbol of the revitalization that is happening in the city! You can see the Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in the background!
Know Before You Go
We heeded numerous recommendations to WALK into Juarez instead of driving. We left our car at our hotel parking garage, the Hotel Indigo, but there is other parking nearby on Santa Fe Ave.
Cross the border on S. El Paso St., which is Ave Benito Juarez in Mexico. This is my BEST tip, because it’s NOT where we crossed, and not only did we have to walk further, but we were on back streets and alleys, not the main road.
Take cash for purchases, meals, etc. and quarters for the border turnstiles. No one turned down our American money, and it seemed we were all guessing at conversion rates. Do only go to a bank, ATM or one of the kiosk to convert your cash, and never from an individual. Click HERE to read an article from USA Today.
At the intersection of Ave Benito Juarez and Avenieda 16 Septiembre is the main plaza, with familiar sights like Dominoes and Church’s Chicken! I get such a laugh over the Papa John’s sign for $80 Pizza! Of course, that’s in pesos!
There is a ton of pottery and crafts. Remember that you have to declare any food or plants. My daughter bought a bouquet of flowers that we had to leave half of at the border crossing.
The City Market is a two-storied market full of inexpensive leather goods, pottery, baskets and much more.
Along the Plaza there are these beautiful fiberglass horses that have been painted by local artist! My son also found a Mexican pastry vendor. Again, no problem with American cash to pay even him!
The horses are in front of the Revolution Museum, which is FREE to enter! Click HERE to read more about it.
Cafe La Nueva Central Restaurant
I wanted to find a good place to eat, so I tapped into my blogger sisterhood, and connected with Emily at The Real Housewife of Ciudad Juarez, and she recommended a local favorite, La Nueva Central Restaurante! It was packed when we arrived for breakfast, but we were quickly seated and we did a great job of pointing at what we wanted to eat from the pictures in the menu! The food was terrific, and I loved the coffee with milk, served steaming in a plastic cup! Check out The Real Housewife of Ciudad Juarez on facebook, click HERE.
Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe
Completed in 1945, it’s a another great place for a photo. In fact, there are people everywhere with cameras ready to take tourist pictures for a small price. We had a great family picture that I let my 8-year-old take to school before I scanned it, and never saw it again.
There was also a small park and fountain with plenty of street vendors selling food and crafts, and many tables well situated under trees.
Back on the Avenieda 16 de Septiembre we saw many street performers and unique statues, which weren’t really statues at all but people dressed up and giving those unsuspecting a good jump! Loved it!
The Rio Grande
The Mighty Rio Grande isn’t very mighty as you cross over the bridge into Mexico. It was diverted to a concrete canal to create a constant border. Water from the Rio Grande is the main water source of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, and downstream it is used to irrigate farmland.
While there isn’t a stop walking into Mexico, you do have to go through Border Patrol to return to El Paso. We did have to wait in a long line, probably because it was a Saturday, but the line moved very quickly.
Things To Do in Juarez
If you have access to a car, La Rodadora is a terrific, interactive children’s museum Click HERE to visit their website.
Want to explore more of Juarez? The El Paso/Juarez Trolley Company takes visitors to different stops in Juarez, (915) 544-0061.
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