Theater and ConcertsProbably the grandest spectacle in town is the presentation of the University of Guadalajara's Ballet Folklórico in the Degollado Theater. Regional dances are complemented by estudiantinas or rondallas string ensembles, the Mexican counterpart of American high school marching bands or drum-and-bugle corps. Performances take place Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. in July and August; phone the box office at (33) 3614-4773 for more information.
The Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra (Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco) performs on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. (and seasonally at other times) at the Degollado Theater. National and international artists appear at the theater as well. The Cabañas Cultural Institute presents various theater, dance and musical performances throughout the year. Chamber music recitals take place in the institute's Tolsá Chapel. The English-language Guadalajara Reporter publishes schedules of current events.
If you’re interested in out-of-the-ordinary fun things to do with friends, take in a performance at the Experimental Theater of Jalisco (Teatro Experimental de Jalisco), on Calzada Independencia Sur next to the entrance to Agua Azul Park. The University of Guadalajara's theater company is headquartered here. Performances are in Spanish; phone (33) 3619-1176.
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Dial 911 (emergency services) and ask to be connected to an English-speaking operator if you need immediate assistance.
Hospital México-Americano, Calle Colomos #2110, (33) 3648-3333 or 01 (800) 462-2238 (toll-free long distance within Mexico), and the Red Cross (Cruz Roja), (33) 3614-1269, 911 (ambulance assistance) or 01 (800) 667-4767 (toll-free long distance within Mexico), both provide 24-hour emergency service. Major hotels and the U.S. Consulate should have information regarding doctors who are on 24-hour call.
English-language newspapers, including the weekly Guadalajara Reporter, are available at newsstands and the Hotel Fenix, downtown at avenidas Corona and López Cotilla. The monthly Lake Chapala Reporter has information about the communities around Lake Chapala.
Sandi Bookstore, Av. Tepeyac #718 in the Chapalita neighborhood west of downtown, has English-language newspapers and books. The Sanborns restaurant chain has several area locations and also offers books, newspapers and magazines in English; the downtown branch is at avenidas Juárez and 16 de Septiembre, a block south of Plaza de Armas.
A tourist information booth is inside the southern doorway of the Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno), facing Plaza de Armas; it is open Mon.-Fri. 9-3 and 6-8 p.m., Sat. 9-1.
A number of casas de cambio (currency exchange houses) are located downtown along Avenida López Cotilla between calles Corona and Degollado, about 3 blocks south of the cathedral. Most of them post their rates, and they normally don't have the lines that banks often have. Dollars can be exchanged at branches of Banamex banks Mon.-Sat. 9-1. A centrally located downtown Banamex branch is on Paseo Degollado, 3 blocks east of the Degollado Theater. ATMs are the quickest and most convenient way to get cash; withdrawals are in pesos.
The rules in Guadalajara are the same as those in any big city. At night, avoid urban neighborhoods that are away from the downtown core or other tourist areas; dark side streets in particular can be dangerous. If going out for the evening or taking a side trip during the day, it's a good idea to hire a taxi driver affiliated with your hotel. Keep an eye on personal items at all times, especially in the crowded shopping districts, and avoid wearing jewelry or carrying large sums of money. Women are not welcome in cantina bars and other bastions of heavy drinking and machismo attitudes.