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One and and a half days in Tijuana

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NJ
posts: 8,475
reviews: 25
One and and a half days in Tijuana

HI Everyone....I'm flying into San Diego end of this month for one night and day to see a client. I'll be going home 2 days later and figured being that I just visited San Diego a few months ago, I'd cross the border into Tijuana and visit an old friend I have not seen. This will be my first trip into Tijuana. I have few questions.

1. Is there any must NOT miss attractions or restaurants, anything from street food to upscale dining. I won't leave without a good plate of Al Pastor.

2. I'm pretty sure I can't rent a car in SD and drive across the border so what would you recommend for me to get from SD downtown area to the border?

3.Would you consider the Camino Real the best hotel in the area?

4. My flight home is 1pm from San Diego. What time should I leave TJ and what's the BEST form of transportation to get me accurately to the airport on time?

Thanks in advance for your time.

Whittier, California
posts: 1,360
reviews: 11
1. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

The Hotel Camino Real is a good election and its restaurants are worth to try (in particular I love the "María Bonita"). Across the Camino Real is Plaza Río where you can find more places to eat, shop, or VIP movie theaters to relax. About your returning time, I'd say 8:00am. Take a cab to the border, then the trolley from San Ysidro to America Plaza; from here you have two options: bus (992) or a taxi to the airport (it takes about 1.5 hrs from the border to SAN but you need to consider the time you are going to take to cross back to the US) DON'T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT OR PASSPORT CARD!!!

NJ
posts: 8,475
reviews: 25
2. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

I'm reading anywhere from 1-5 hours to cross back into the USA. Can you elaborate on that and what's the fastest way across the border into the US?

Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
posts: 4,193
reviews: 47
3. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

You definitely can rent a car and drive across the border if you want to. Many rental companies (including AVIS) allow their cars across the border; you just have to purchase the extra 3rd party liability insurance to take the car across. However, you plan to stay only in Tijuana, it probably makes no sense to rent a car.

The time required to cross the border varies throughout the day; it varies according to the vehicle lines and according to the pedistrian lines. There is really no way to predict when the lines will be longest (except Sunday for the vehicle lines). Local radio stations broadcast current wait times. If you cross in a bus, the bus will go through the Sentri line, which is much faster, and many people feel that is the fastest way across--but really, it isn't possible to predict accurately what your wait time will be, no matter how you cross.

Whittier, California
posts: 1,360
reviews: 11
4. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

I agree with Pstreet1 in crossing times. I was making my suggestion assuming you were walking. Most of the time the pedestrian and bus lines are faster than the regular car lines. My longest waiting times have exceeded two hours; my shortest time: three minutes! The only time I crossed by bus it took 15 minutes. I'm guessing the pedestrian lines are not going to be as busy as normal since is a vacation period for schools and some business.

Another option is sleeping in San Diego to avoid the return stress.

NJ
posts: 8,475
reviews: 25
5. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

Hi Miguel...I thought about sleeping in San Diego, but I'm visiting a friend in TJ and hoping to have a "fun" night out the 28th, crash in the hotel and cross over early....Many decisions........Rent a car in USA, keep it at the Tijuana hotel for the couple of days or don't rent a car at all, just take the Trolly.......It's only a few days...I'm assuming a car is not necessary.

Whittier, California
posts: 1,360
reviews: 11
6. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

Let us us know your experience. I hope it had came out as you planned!

NJ
posts: 8,475
reviews: 25
7. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

I arrived around 8pm via the trolley to the border on Tuesday night...walked across, got into a taxi and to the Camino Real. The hotel is just okay...clean,spacious, but nothing special. I have a friend in TJ and she was cool enough to show me places other than the Revolution Ave.

My first night we went to Mission 19 and this restaurant is first class..Excellent and could rival any fine NYC restaurant. I'll give it a review later.

After we went to some crazy mariachi bar...Something Medio..I forget the name, but it was a big yellow building....AFter that we went to an Irish Pub.......Wednesday I woke up with a little hangover, but we went to breakfast at La Espadana and I drank a lot of Mexican coffee and a plate of Huevos Rancheros......Later on my friend had to attend to some business (shady) and I walked around Revolution Ave, bought a few mugs and it was pretty much what I expected. I went to Ceasars for the salad....Such a cool place...I'll review it later....It's like walking into a time wharp of the 30's...Very classy.

Later that evening, my friend picked me up with her girlfriend and I took them to a restaurant, but I forget the name. It was a small place across from Queen (club) and there's a golf course there I believe. The food was interesting and pretty good, not great but good and they also had sushi.

The next morning, I was so paranoid about missing my flight from SD so I went to the border at 7am expecting to stand for an hour or so, but literally it took me 3 minutes to cross. Ironically, the Mexicans are not asked any questions by Customs officials, but I was asked at least 3 questions which I find offensive since I'm a natural born US Citizen, but I guess they wanted to know why this gringo was dragging a suitcase back into the US. :-)

NJ
posts: 8,475
reviews: 25
8. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

All in all, I recommend anyone spending time in San Diego definitely shoot down to Tijuana....It's worth it I think plus the dining is very good and the taco joints looked great, but I never got around to eating tacos which I really enjoy doing. Next time I'll go to Rosarito or Ensenada area and also eat TAcos.

Oceanside...
posts: 504
reviews: 109
9. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

Thanks for the follow up. Where did you eat at? Did anyone place stand out? Thanks for the positive post about tj. Most people don't know the true tj yes their is some violence but there is also many nice places to eat at and spend time in.

NJ
posts: 8,475
reviews: 25
10. Re: One and and a half days in Tijuana

Mission 19

La Espadana

Tabule

Caesars

All of them were very good.