The industrial city of Ciudad Juarez lies across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, and 225 mi/360 km north of Chihuahua. The historic center is relatively safe, but the city has earned the unenviable reputation as the most dangerous city in North America, so if you go, make sure you stick to well-policed routes.
If you can push past the initial border-hopper zone, you'll find museums and markets that yield a less-distorted view of Mexico. Juarez has two centers of interest: the area around the markets and the one around Plaza de las Americas.
The market area goes on for blocks in every direction, with both stalls and stores specializing in everything from produce and meat to bulk candy and potions for magical cures. There are also two adjacent cathedrals in the area, one very old and one new—both should be visited. A few blocks away is a history museum.
The area around Plaza de las Americas has an art museum (Museo de Arte) and, across the street, an excellent arts-and-crafts center (Centro Artesanal), where high-quality crafts from throughout Mexico can be purchased at reasonable prices.
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