With a reputation for being unsafe and frequently making it to the headlines for negative reasons, one may wonder not what the best time to visit Tijuana is but whether visiting it is worth it at all.
While the concerns are absolutely relevant, we’re here to tell you that the reasons for visiting this Mexican gem are valid, too.
Although a year-round destination, some periods in Tijuana are better than others — it all depends on what you hope to get out of your journey, and our detailed Tijuana guide is here to help you precisely with that.
Overall Best Time to Visit Tijuana
The overall best time to visit Tijuana is in spring (March–May). The weather starts warming up, making taking a stroll on some of the beaches more than enjoyable, and it’s the absolute highlight for the majority of visitors.
The temperatures during these three months vary between 51°F and 70°F. Visiting a market in Tijuana is highly recommended — these months aren’t crowded and are ideal to wander without dealing with more extreme temperatures.
Not only do you get the chance to buy authentic Mexican crafts, but you’ll also interact with locals. For an authentic foodie experience, search for food trucks and devour a taco (or two).
You can find them in Telefonica Gastro Park and enjoy some fresh food. While the spring season sees moderate crowds, expect a large influx of travelers around Easter and Holy Week.
There are interesting events worth considering, too. One such event is the Valle de Guadalupe Festival, where you can enjoy finger-licking food, fine wine, and live performances.
In May, there’s the Craft Expo as well. A famous art festival, Craft Expo is the ideal place to purchase some nice handcrafts.
Finally, although water sports aren’t quite possible yet, you can always visit hot springs. Just an hour away from the city, the Guadalupe Canyon is a great destination for travelers looking to experience the most genuine camping of their lives.
Cheapest Time to Visit Tijuana
Trying to go easy on your wallet? Consider heading to Tijuana in November. It’s said to be the least expensive month in the city. This translates into cheaper accommodation, reasonable prices, and attractive flight ticket prices.
While November doesn’t have any major festivals or celebrations, you can always check out some random events to your liking, such as the Tijuana Salsa Bachata Festival. November visitors should get ready for lows of 56°F and highs of 70°F.
Least Busy Time to Visit Tijuana
The least busy time to visit Tijuana is in the fall (September–November). The weather at this time is dry and clear, with temperatures fluctuating between 56°F and 80°F.
These months are perfect for exploring the city center without breaking a sweat, doing some shopping, and sipping cocktails in some of Tijuana’s lively bars.
While this is the least busy time to visit Tijuana, crowds may appear every now and then, especially around a special event such as Entijuanarte. If paella and wine sound good, check out the Festival de la Paella y el Vino (September).
A festival of the arts, Entijuanarte is an October festival held at various venues across the city. Featuring a plethora of performances, dancing, theater, poetry, films, and urban art, this festival is for those who prefer cultural attractions and interacting with locals.
Then there’s Tijuana Culinary Fest, every foodie’s paradise. Gathering the best chefs from both the country and the world, the festival sees competitions, cooking workshops, lectures, and a majestic dining setup.
Yet another festival with tasty food on the agenda, Festival Tardes En El Puerto vol. III is a nice mixture of good food and even better music. The September/October period sees Oktoberfest celebrations too.
If you wish to celebrate Oktoberfest in Mexican style, Tijuana Oktoberfest has your back. Tequila fans will be thrilled to hear the existence of the so-called Expo Tequila (October).
Visitors also get to enjoy tasty Mexican food, mariachi music, folklore dancing, and other live performances. Yet another festival with nice food and drinks, the Valle Food & Wine Festival (October) is a festival displaying food and wine from the Baja California region.
Worst Time to Visit Tijuana
Although a year-round destination, we suggest that you avoid visiting Tijuana in summer (June–August) and winter (December–February).
The former is characterized by hot and dry temperatures accompanied by peak season crowds, while the latter comes with heavy rainfall and wind. Summers see average lows of 60°F and highs of 81°F, whereas winter temperatures in Tijuana fluctuate between 50°F and 65°F.
That said, just because the weather conditions may be somewhat challenging in summer and winter doesn’t mean you can’t have an enjoyable stay in Tijuana — you just need to be more creative at times.
Checking out some of the casinos in the city center is also a fun way to spend some time avoiding unpleasant weather conditions. You can also enjoy local breweries and craft tequila venues across the city.
For a more encompassing cultural experience, head to some of the museums. Those looking for a bit of summer fun or trying to entertain their kids should go to some of the water parks — we recommend Parque Acuatico El Vergel.
Summers see fun festivals such as the well-known Tijuana Jazz and Blues Festival (June), featuring concerts on the Avenida Revolución and the Bufadora Music Festival (June).
In July, there’s the Tijuana en la Playa festival. With booths, surfing competitions, car exhibitions, and live performances, the Tijuana en la Playa festival is the place to be during the last weekend of July.
August visitors can enjoy Baja Beach Fest, a Reggaeton & Latin Music Festival near Rosarito. You can also just engage in water sports, play some golf, and cool in some of the city parks, such as Parque de la Amistad Tijuana or Parque Morelos.
If you come to Tijuana in winter, check out the Christmas-themed park Villa Navideña.
With a fun ice skating rink, a nativity scene, and other rides, the park is an awesome place to spend your winter days in Tijuana. There’s also the Noches de Paz Christmas fair, where visitors can get nice food and crafts and listen to live music.
Keep in mind that winters also see a phenomenon referred to as “the Santa Ana Winds,” also known as “devil winds,” as they can be quite unsettling. Be on the lookout, as this translates to the wind coming from the east and being quite hot and dry.
Things to Consider
Looking for some extra travel tips that won’t just help you plan your trip better but also provide you with the necessary peace of mind during your stay in Tijuana? Here are some things to consider:
- The US has a “Reconsider Travel” advisory for the whole state of Baja California, which also includes Tijuana. Tijuana is generally not considered the safest destination due to its high crime rate. That said, sticking to tourist areas and not going off the beaten path should be fine, but we leave this to your discretion. In any case, use common sense, keep your valuables in a safe location, don’t wander alone at night, and stick to patrolled areas.
- If you’re a solo female traveler, avoid wandering alone at night — sexual assaults in Tijuana aren’t unheard of. Stick to groups or be with a travel buddy, and you should be fine.
- Many tourists are tempted to engage in drugs or interact with prostitutes — steer away from both to avoid unpleasant situations such as getting yourself into serious trouble with the local authorities.
- American citizens need a passport to enter Tijuana — a visa isn’t required. That said, all travelers need to fill out the free Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) even if you visit just for a day. You can get it from the officials at the Mexican border. In case you stay in Mexico for longer than seven days, you’ll be asked to get a 180-day FMM permit.
- Exploring Tijuana on foot is fairly easy, especially if you stick with the central area. To go further, opt for buses and taxis. While buses are cheaper, taxis are much safer and more practical, especially at night.
- We don’t recommend renting a car in Tijuana, as rented vehicles are often targeted by thieves. Also, getting into any minor road accident means having to communicate with a largely non-English speaking police.
- Avoid hailing taxis on the street, as it puts you at a greater risk for scams and robbery. Try opting for Uber or arranged taxi rides instead.
- The Mexican peso is the currency of Tijuana. That said, most businesses accept US dollars, but stick to paying in pesos, as you’ll get much better deals. While most stores accept credit cards, always carry some cash with you, especially for things such as water or snacks.
- Drink bottled water.
- Get travel insurance just to be on the safe side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Tijuana an expensive city?
In general, Tijuana is said to be less expensive than the US. If you go on a three-day trip to Tijuana, you’ll need $700 if you’re solo, $1190 if you’re with a travel buddy, and $1540 if you’re going as a family of four.
Hotel prices in the city center vary between $320 and $800 (on average, $400 per night). We advise you to set aside $65 per day per person for transportation and eating out.
Do keep in mind that the above-mentioned figures are retrieved from previous visitors’ budget data, which means they’ll likely change at some point in the future, so make sure to always search for the most recent pieces of information before you visit Tijuana.
What is the luxury area of Tijuana?
Tijuana has several affluent areas, such as Agua Caliente, Playas de Tijuana, Zona Rio, and Puerta de Hierro, to name a few.
What to do in Tijuana for 24 hours?
If you have 24 hours in Tijuana, do some of the following:
1. Wander Mercado El Popo
2. Explore Avenida Revolución
3. Have a look at the street murals in Pasaje Rodriguez
4. Have some street food (street tacos are the best)
5. Buy some souvenirs
6. Head to a cocktail bar to unwind
7. Go to a craft brewery
8. Talk to a local
What is the fastest way to cross the Tijuana border?
It’s suggested that San Ysidro Land Port of Entry is the fastest way to enter Tijuana. It’s also the one most people stick with if they visit Tijuana for a day.
Is Tijuana safe to visit at night?
While navigating Tijuana at night is more challenging than exploring it by day, limiting your night-time strolls to areas like Avenida Revolución and Calle Coahuila should do the trick.
Over to You — Book Your Trip to Tijuana Today!
|👍 Best Time to Visit||March to May|
|💲 Cheapest Time to Visit||November|
|🗓️ Least Busy Time to Visit||September to November|
|👎 Worst Time to Visit||June to August or December to February|
All in all, irrespective of when you end up visiting Tijuana, you’ll be welcomed by a good climate and a destination ready to keep you on your feet and provide you with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.