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9 Best Tijuana Day Trips from San Diego in 2024


Nestled just across the border from San Diego, Tijuana offers a delightful escape full of vibrant culture, tantalizing cuisine, and unique shopping experiences.

In this post, I’ll guide you through the top day trips to this dynamic city, ensuring you make the most of your adventure.

I’ve been wanting to take a longer trip to San Diego for some time now. If you happen to be visiting San Diego for an extended period, I’d highly recommend a day trip to Tijuana! I’ve done some research for my upcoming trip, and I’ve compiled a list of the best day trips to Tijuana that can save you some time.

people walking on street near white building during daytime

Don’t have time to read the full article? Book this Tijuana Local Walking Tour — with a near-perfect 5-star rating.

In this article, I’m going to highlight all the best San Diego to Tijuana tours, so you can pick the one that works best for you. Ready to discover the 9 best Tijuana day trips from San Diego? Let’s get to it!

After the tours, don’t miss the FAQ section, for tips on visiting Tijuana.

Quick Guide: Tijuana Day Trips from San Diego

people walking on street near white building during daytime

Tijuana Local Walking Tour from San Diego

✔️ Great price
✔️ Best reviews
✔️ Stops for shopping and drinks along the way

red and brown concrete building

Tijuana Walking Tour: Intro to Mexico

✔️ Lunch included
✔️ Learning about the culture of Baja Mexico
✔️ Maximum of 12 travelers

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Crossing Borders: Tijuana Day Trip from San Diego

✔️ Small group size
✔️ Lunch included
✔️ Ideal for first-time visitors

Best Tijuana Day Trips from San Diego

1. Tijuana Local Walking Tour from San Diego

people walking on street near white building during daytime
Tijuana is located in the Baja California state of Mexico, right on the border with the United States, adjacent to San Diego, California.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4.5 hours | ✅ Book it!

If you’re looking for an exciting day trip from San Diego, this Tijuana Walking Tour is a fantastic option. This tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the vibrant culture and history of Tijuana, all within a short distance from San Diego.

Starting at the San Ysidro Transit Center, you’ll meet your guide and embark on a journey that blends walking with public transportation, giving you a real feel for the city.

I went by myself but I was so grateful for the people I met! We had a good time together and our guide Tadeo was so nice! 

Carmen_B (see more reviews)

Tijuana is a city that’s alive with energy and a melting pot of Mexican and international cultures. As you wander through its streets, you’ll be captivated by the colorful street art, bustling markets, and the lively atmosphere that defines this city. It’s an immersive experience that goes beyond the typical tourist paths.

One of the highlights of the tour is the chance to indulge in Tijuana’s famous culinary scene. From street food vendors to local eateries, you’ll get to taste a variety of authentic Mexican dishes that are sure to delight your palate.

2. Tijuana Walking Tour: Intro to Mexico

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4-5 hours | ✅ Book it!

The Tijuana Walking Tour: Intro to Mexico is a perfect choice if you are looking for an easy day trip to Tijuana. Ideal for first-time visitors, this small-group tour offers a vibrant blend of culture, food, and shopping in the lively city of Tijuana, Mexico.

The journey to Tijuana is simplified with the inclusion of round-trip transfers from San Diego. Accompanied by a guide, you’ll navigate the city with ease, making the experience hassle-free, especially for those new to international border crossings.

A major highlight of the trip is the authentic Mexican cuisine. With free tacos, beer, and water included, you can indulge in local flavors worry-free. The small group size of the tour ensures a more intimate and personalized experience.

Great experience. We learned a lot of interesting facts about the city and its history.Our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. The food and shopping was awesome.

Don_F (See more reviews)

Some additional tips for your trip: comfortable shoes are a must as the tour involves walking. Be prepared for the border crossing process, which can vary in duration. Also, bringing some extra cash for souvenirs or additional treats is a good idea.

This day trip is an excellent way to experience the vibrancy of Tijuana while enjoying the convenience and safety of a guided tour.

3. Crossing Borders: Tijuana Day Trip from San Diego

assorted colored plastic bags on street during daytime
Tijuana is a major economic hub in the region, known for its manufacturing and industrial sectors, particularly in electronics and automobile manufacturing.

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | ✅ Book it!

Border Tours offers a unique and personalized experience of Tijuana, Mexico, catering to small group sizes. The tours are available all year round, ensuring no missed opportunities due to seasonal restrictions.

What Sets It Apart? The Border Tours stand out for their flexibility and personalization. Each tour is tailored to the preferences of the group, with guides ready to improvise as needed. This means your experience can be as unique as your interests, whether it’s delving into local history, savoring street food, or exploring the nightlife.

This was a great tour if you just want a taste of Tijuana and you’re not ready to explore on your own. 

Kimberly_D (see more reviews)

With an overall rating of 4.5, guests have praised the knowledgeable guides like Marisol and Tadeo, who not only show the best spots for local cuisine but also share insights into the Mexican food culture and history.

From tasting the best Mexican food to understanding the local way of life, these tours offer a comprehensive view of Tijuana that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, the convenience of being able to book any day of the year makes it a hassle-free option for an unforgettable day trip from San Diego.

4. Mexican Street Food Tijuana Day Trip

green vegetable on brown soil
Tijuana is a melting pot of cultures, influenced by both its Mexican heritage and its proximity to the United States.

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 7 hours | ✅ Book it!

For a taste of authentic Mexican culture, just a short trip from San Diego, the Mexican Street Food Tijuana Day Trip is an absolute must-do. This tour is a food lover’s dream, offering a delightful exploration of Tijuana’s famous street food scene.

Imagine wandering through the vibrant streets of Tijuana, guided by an expert who knows just where to find the best eats. You’ll get to sample a variety of local-approved delicacies, from classic tacos to unique regional snacks. Each bite is a discovery of new flavors and a deeper understanding of Mexican culinary traditions.

It was really nice experience. I want to come back [to the] same Tour. Humberto Is nice and kind. 

Kyoko_A (see more reviews)

But this tour is more than just about food. It’s an immersive experience into the heart of Tijuana’s bustling life. You’ll be surrounded by the city’s dynamic atmosphere, absorbing the local culture and lifestyle. It’s the perfect blend of culinary adventure and cultural exploration.

The tour’s convenience and accessibility make it a great choice for anyone staying in San Diego. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or just curious about Mexican culture, this day trip promises an unforgettable experience. So, grab your appetite and get ready for a day filled with delicious food and rich cultural insights in Tijuana!

5. Taco Tuesday Hop to Tijuana

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Tijuana is famous for its street food, especially tacos, and has a burgeoning culinary scene that includes a mix of traditional Mexican cuisine and innovative fusion restaurants.

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | ✅ Book it!

If you’re in San Diego and craving an authentic Mexican culinary experience, the Taco Tuesday Hop in Tijuana is the perfect day trip for you. This tour is a foodie’s paradise, offering a deep dive into the world of Tijuana’s famous tacos.

The tour kicks off with a classic choice: asada tacos with guacamole and a squeeze of lime. But that’s just the beginning. As you hop from one spot to another, you’ll discover a variety of tacos, each with its unique twist and flavor. It’s not just about eating; it’s about experiencing the rich culinary heritage of Tijuana.

Marisol was very friendly informative and fun to be around. I’m expecting to be Mexico in theee weeks and I will definitely book again.

Anell_W (see more reviews)

What sets this tour apart is the blend of street food and restaurant dining. You’ll get to explore both sides of Tijuana’s taco scene, from bustling street vendors to local eateries that are hidden gems. It’s a chance to see the city through the lens of its most beloved food.

The tour is suitable for all ages and lasts about 6 hours, making it a convenient and comprehensive way to explore Tijuana’s food culture. Whether you’re a taco enthusiast or just looking to try something new, this tour promises a day filled with delicious food, vibrant culture, and unforgettable memories.

6. Tijuana Taco and Craft Beer Tour

a plate of food and a glass of beer
Tijuana’s unique location makes it a key player in cross-border relations and issues between Mexico and the United States, impacting everything from commerce to immigration.

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | ✅ Book it!

Looking for a fun day trip from San Diego? The Tijuana Taco and Craft Beer Tour is an exciting half-day adventure that combines the best of Tijuana’s food and craft beer scenes.

Your journey begins with a visit to some of Tijuana’s most renowned taco spots. Here, you’ll get to savor a variety of tacos, each bursting with authentic Mexican flavors. It’s a chance to taste the real Tijuana, far from the typical tourist traps.

Tadeo was a great host! He personalized the experience based on my preferences.

Lisa_V (see more reviews)

But there’s more to this tour than just tacos. Tijuana’s craft beer scene is rapidly gaining fame, and you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the best local brews. Each stop offers a unique selection, showcasing the diversity and creativity of Tijuana’s breweries.

This tour is perfect for anyone looking to explore the less-traveled paths of Tijuana. Whether you’re a foodie, a beer enthusiast, or just curious about Mexican culture, this tour offers a comprehensive and enjoyable experience.

7. Tijuana Toe Dip Tour

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Avenida Revolución is an iconic street known for its shopping, dining, and nightlife, and is a popular destination for tourists visiting Tijuana.

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 5 hours | ✅ Book it!

The Tijuana Toe Dip Tour from San Diego is an ideal choice for those looking to get a quick yet comprehensive taste of Tijuana.

You’ll dive into the heart of Tijuana, experiencing the city as a local. This bustling city, just 30 minutes from Downtown San Diego, is home to over 2.3 million people and a melting pot of culture and history. The tour provides a safe and engaging way to navigate this dynamic city.

Definitely recommend if you’re in San Diego and you have time. You get to try some new foods, drink tequila, and shop at the stores.

AzizaH (see more reviews)

What makes this tour special is its focus on giving participants a genuine Tijuana experience. You’ll get to see the city’s major highlights, soak in its vibrant atmosphere, and perhaps even discover some hidden gems.

It’s a quick dip into the local lifestyle, perfect for those with limited time but unlimited curiosity.

8. Tijuana Cultural Private Day Tour

red and brown concrete building
Tijuana is a popular destination for medical tourism, attracting thousands of visitors seeking affordable medical and dental care.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | ✅ Book it!

The Tijuana Cultural Day Tour is an exceptional way to experience the rich culture and history of Tijuana, making it a top pick for day trips from San Diego. This tour offers a deep dive into the city’s charm and character, beyond the usual tourist spots.

During this six-hour journey, you’ll explore Tijuana like a local, walking through its vibrant streets and discovering its hidden gems.

This was One of the BEST tours ever. Mario was very knowledgeable and accommodating. He was more like a friend rather than a tour guide.

sjard (see more reviews)

The tour is designed to give you a real feel of Tijuana’s lifestyle and its people. You’ll get to see the city’s major landmarks, learn about its history, and perhaps even uncover some of its best-kept secrets.

This tour is ideal for anyone looking to go beyond the surface and truly connect with the heart of Tijuana.

9. Tijuana City and Shopping Trip

blue and yellow wooden door
Tijuana has a vibrant art scene, with numerous galleries, street art, and cultural festivals throughout the year.

⭐️ RATING: 3.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 5 hours | ✅ Book it!

The Tijuana City and Shopping Trip from San Diego is a fantastic way to combine sightseeing with some of the best shopping experiences just across the border.

This tour takes you through the bustling streets of Tijuana, where you’ll get to see key landmarks and soak in the local atmosphere. It’s a perfect blend of cultural exploration and leisure, allowing you to experience the city’s dynamic vibe.

Marcos was very knowledgeable. We had a great time. Even had greats tacos.

Nancy_C (see more reviews)

But the highlight of the trip is undoubtedly the shopping experience. Tijuana is known for its diverse markets and shops, offering everything from local handicrafts to modern goods at bargain prices. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or clothes, or just want to browse, there’s something for everyone.

This tour is ideal for those who love to combine travel with shopping. It’s a chance to discover Tijuana’s hidden gems and bring back a piece of your journey.

Tijuana Day Trips from San Diego: Frequently Asked Questions

brown rock formation on brown sand under blue sky during daytime
The city boasts beautiful beaches, such as Playas de Tijuana, which offer stunning views and recreational activities.

Is Tijuana worth a day trip from San Diego?

Definitely, a day trip to Tijuana from San Diego is a must! It’s a vibrant city where you can dive into a rich cultural experience just a stone’s throw away.

Tijuana’s culinary scene is a highlight, with its legendary tacos and authentic Mexican cuisine. Don’t miss out on the bustling markets for some unique shopping finds.

The city’s art and music are vibrant and full of life, adding to the dynamic atmosphere.

Plus, it’s super convenient – Tijuana is just across the border, making it an easy and affordable getaway. It’s a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and fun, all in one day!

Can you walk to Tijuana from San Diego without a passport?

So, about walking to Tijuana from San Diego: you definitely need a passport.

Crossing the border into Mexico isn’t like just strolling into a new neighborhood. When you reach the border, you’ll go through customs, and they’ll ask for your passport.

It’s super important for re-entry into the U.S. too. Without it, you could face some serious delays or issues getting back.

Is it safe to go to Tijuana Mexico right now?

Tijuana has its fun spots, but like any big city, it has areas that are safer than others. The key is to stay informed and be cautious.

Before you go, check out the latest travel advisories and maybe chat with locals or recent visitors for the current vibe.

Stick to well-known tourist areas, keep an eye on your belongings, and don’t flash valuables.

Being street-smart goes a long way.

Why do people go to Tijuana?

People head to Tijuana for loads of reasons! It’s a vibrant city with a unique blend of cultures. The food scene is a huge draw – think amazing tacos, fresh seafood, and tasty street eats. Plus, the shopping is fantastic, from cool markets to unique boutiques.

There’s also the art and nightlife – Tijuana’s got a lively vibe with colorful street art and bustling bars.

And don’t forget, it’s super close to San Diego, making it an easy getaway for a different cultural experience.

What do I need to know before going to Tijuana?

Heading to Tijuana? Awesome! Here are some quick tips:

  1. Bring Your Passport: Absolutely necessary for crossing the border.
  2. Cash is King: Have some Mexican pesos on hand, as many places don’t take cards.
  3. Stay Street Smart: Stick to tourist-friendly areas and be aware of your surroundings.
  4. Try the Local Eats: Tijuana’s food is amazing – don’t miss out on the tacos!
  5. Check Travel Advisories: It’s always good to be up-to-date on the latest info.
cars on road near city buildings during daytime
Tijuana is one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in Mexico, with a diverse population that includes many people who have relocated from other parts of Mexico and the world.

Final Thoughts: Tijuana Day Trips from San Diego

If you are staying in San Diego for multiple days, a day trip to Tijuana should be on your itinerary. It’s super close to San Diego, but in a completely different country – Mexico.

Tijuana day trips offer a wide range of options to cater to different preferences.

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Still unsure about the best tour to Tijuana? I suggest this tour by a Tijuana local — with a perfect 5 Star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

While all tours cover the main attractions of Tijuana, you can choose a specific day tour based on your interests.

Whether you prefer a small group tour, a tasting of tequila or craft beer, visits to hidden gems, or an intensive shopping experience, you can find a tour that suits your needs.

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