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This renowned square in historic downtown Mexico City is fun, interesting and even a bit challenging. Actors, songwriters, composers, painters, writers, intellectuals and passersby, looking for live Mexican music to take elsewhere, go to this site every day. This square has been featured in movies and telenovela (soap-operas) episodes, and has a rich nightlife: if it could speak, it would have endless anecdotes to tell.
It is located in Colonia Guerrero, awaiting local and foreign tourists, in Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas, between the following streets: Allende, República de Perú and República de Honduras.
Bars, cantinas, table dancers and traditional mariachis! In this square you’ll find a representative picture of a Mexican barrio, a place full of music and theater. This square surrounded by theaters and full of musicians such as mariachis and guitar trios who are waiting to be hired: it is a well-known Mexican tradition to visit this square and find mariachis to bring to your mother, to serenade your girlfriend, to celebrate birthdays or any other festivities.
Take your car, get to the plaza and approach the musicians that attract you the most, the ones someone else recommended to you, or just the ones you feel like and ask “¿de a cómo la pieza o la hora? (How much for the piece or the hour?)”, and once you come to an agreement, you can take them to your party, dance, or whatever bash you have planned.
Few places in Mexico offer this closeness to musicians, and few places and traditions brought to live by musicians. Plaza Garibaldi is a place where this happens, and it’s a must see if you visit Mexico City.
In “Solo con tu pareja (Love in the Time of Hysteria)”, the début film by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, shows one of these square’s traditional bars, known as “El Tenampa”, in a scene in which Japanese tourists visit the venue.
Plaza Garibaldi adjoins the Tepito neighborhood and is a few blocks away from the Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Around this square you can see all the life of a renowned Mexico City barrio that is why, during your visit, precautions should be taken:
- Dress casually, do not wear ostentatious clothing or accessories, try to lay low and not to look as a tourist
- Do not bring cameras or video recorders
- Bring only the money you’ll need and keep your credit cards safe
- Don’t be overly confident and watch out. If you are offered a service, be polite but firm; do not let anyone change your plans. If you allow to be leaded by an unknown person, you might end up in an unknown place or somewhere where you might not want to be
- Take a look around and study the place before you go so you won’t have to ask many questions or seem disoriented
Because of its place and natural tradition, Plaza Garibaldi is not particularly kind with ostentatious, inattentive, arrogant, or disoriented tourists.
Yes, visiting Plaza Garibaldi comes with its own set of rules, but if you follow them you’ll have a delightful visit and get to know with some euphoria one of the most traditional sites in Mexico City to grab a few drinks while you enjoy mariachi music.
Next time you go to Mexico City, take a few notes and visit Plaza Garibaldi: let this barrio traditional site speak for itself and show you what goes on around its streets. Enjoy the mariachi music and drink tequila in moderation; Plaza Garibaldi is the best place to do so. See you around!