If you’ve been to Mexico City’s Plaza de Garibaldi, you may think you know what mariachi music is all about—dozens of different bands dressed in matching uniforms, hustling you for tips. In Guadalajara, however, there are plenty of calmer, more enjoyable ways to experience the tradition. In the heart of downtown, the Plaza de los Mariachis is a great—if slightly seedy—place to sit for a tequila, a bite to eat, and a late-night serenade. If you’re really into mariachi music, visit Guadalajara in August for the annual International Mariachi Festival.

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