Plaza Garibaldi Mariachi

The Plaza Garibaldi Mariachi is a square in Mexico City that’s known for its music. Located a few blocks north of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City is famous for being the home of mariachi music. Whether you take a stroll through the plaza day or night, mariachi bands will be found playing music and engaging with visitors. Mexico City mariachi is lively and entertaining, and no trip to the city would be complete without experiencing these performances, which make a great combination with other cultural attractions in the city including museums and neighborhoods outside of the Centro Historico.

Plaza Garibaldi Mariachi is named after Lt. Col. José Garibaldi in recognition of his participation during the Mexican Revolution. In 1910, the square that was then called the Plaza Santa Cecilia was renamed Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City, in honor of the revolutionary. The nearby Garibaldi metro station is also named after him. If you’re exploring the sites of the Centro Historico, you are bound to come across this plaza, as it’s located between historic Calle Republica de Honduras and Calle Republica de Peru. If you aren’t in the area, going a few blocks out of your way to experience Mexico City mariachi is worth the detour.

Plan to visit the landmark on a Friday or Saturday night from 11 pm onwards in order to experience Plaza Garibaldi Mariachi at its best. During this time period, the musicians put on their best shows for patrons of the bars and nightclubs that surround the plaza. They also solicit business from passers-by, so if you are traveling with a significant other or friend and would like them to buy them a serenade, you know where to go! Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City has been the center of these types of performances since the 1930s, and each weekend, locals and visitors alike arrive to listen to the music.

The popularity of Mexico City mariachi began with the movies of the 1930s through the 1950s. In the films of this time period, called “Charro,” the stars would often sing mariachi songs to their love interests. Charro is considered the golden age of Mexican film and derives its name from from the word for Mexican horseman; the name stuck because these films were the Mexican equivalent of westerns. The habit has stuck over time and at one club in particular: Salón Tenampa became a hot nightspot in the 1920s and still occupies the same location on Plaza Garibaldi today. Each weekend, the party rages on until 3 or 4 am at this club. Expect live music, a convivial atmosphere, and lots to drink.

Unfortunately over the decades, Plaza Garibaldi deteriorated significantly. In 2007 a plan was undertaken to revive this Mexico City landmark and bring even more tourists to the plaza and the surrounding neighborhoods. Remodeling the plaza and increased security will help tourists to feel safe to arrive at night and enjoy the mariachi music. A Museum of Tequila and School of Mariachi are also part of the plans, to bring a new level of entertainment and culture to the plaza. If you need a break from some of the quieter cultural attractions in the city, head over to the Plaza Garibaldi and get ready for some lively entertainment.

Image: Cromo (Flickr)
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