Mexico City Travel Blog: Table of Contents
Mexico City on C&C
Best Time To Visit Mexico City
Where to Stay in Mexico City
Let’s Go For a Drink
What to See and Do
Tipping in Mexico City
Common Scams & What to Avoid
C&C’s Google Map of the City
Mexico City Travel Blog: Where, How?
Mexico City, Central Mexico, Mexico, North America
Population: 21 million (2016)
Currency: Mexican Peso ($) or (MX$)
Mexico City International Airport (MEX)
Airport Notes: Mexico City’s airport is a very busy one, in fact it’s Latin America’s busiest. It’s a hub for many major airlines, including Aeromexico. Others include Aeromar, Interjet, Volaris, VivaAerobus. It’s modern, large, has many terminals, and it has a tendency to have an issue with punctuality.
Transportation to-and-from the airport: Line 4 of the city metro links the airport to the city. You’ll end up travelling through different parts of town and dive right into the city. I’d suggest taking a taxi if you’re going to be travelling late at night or have a lot of luggage, however.
You can move around Mexico City using, metro, bus, metro bus, trolley bus, taxi, turibus, car, bike or walking.
A Note on Taxis:
Regular warnings apply: take a picture of the license plate before getting in, always use your GPS, and always take official taxis only.
Just like anywhere, Uber is cheaper and safer. If you don’t already have an account, use this link and get 15 dollars off your first ride!
- Centro Historico – the Zocalo or Plaza de la Constitucion is the focal point of the city and is the world’s third largest square. Many historic sites are located around this area; the famous Aztec Templo Mayor, Palacio Nacional, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Torre Latinoamericana, the Palace de Bellas Artes and Plaza de las Tres Culturas calls it home. Also, it features great hotels where to stay in Mexico City.
- Condesa and Roma – this rebirthed district is filled with the city’s trendiest restaurants, bistros, clubs, pubs, shops and hotels where to stay in Mexico City.
- Chapultepec – Lomas – one of the world’s largest metropolitan parks can be found in this area along with lakes, an amusement park and many museums.
- Polanco – upscale restaurants, nightclubs and hotels.
- Zona Rosa – an important business and entertainment district
- San Angel – known for its arts market.
- Santa Fe – business district
- Del Juárez
Navigation tips: There’s no easy way to know where you are in Mexico City unless you know your way around, and so it’s critical for first-timers to keep a GPS handy to know in which district you are. There are laid-back, beautiful neighborhoods right next to dangerous ones with no easy “tell” to distinguish between the two. Be careful when looking where to stay in Mexico City
More About Mexico City and Mexico on C&C
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- THE 8 REASONS WHY OAXACA, MEXICO IS AWESOME
- OAXACA’S ALL-YOU-CAN-DRINK MEZCAL FESTIVAL IS AS CRAZY AS YOU’D EXPECT
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Best Time To Visit Mexico City
Average Monthly Minimum And Maximum Temperatures
Average Monthly Hours Of Sunshine
Average Monthly Rainfall Or Snowfall
Mexico City Travel Blog: Personal Notes
What’s This Place About?
Mexico City is the largest city in the Americas, and is an important city for Latin America. The food, which is unique, wonderful, and celebrated, is in and of itself is a reason to visit.
There are many beautiful museums in the city. There are certain neighborhoods that are quite distinctive and just walking through them is an experience. The people are absolutely warm and welcoming.
Unfortunately, it is a city of great poverty and everything that goes along with that is present there.
Mexico City Travel Blog – What’s Great and Fun?
The food, the food, the food! Try everything everywhere. It is an incredible city in which to discover eating. The markets are spectacular. It is a gigantic metropolis that has everything you can imagine.
The historic center of the city is where you find most tourists and places where to stay in Mexico City and where a lot of business is being conducted. There is the hip neighborhood of Roma, the rich area of Coyoacan, and the canals of Xochimilco. It is a city that can be explored pretty much forever.
Lucha, the most popular type of wrestling in the world, originated in Mexico City before coming to the US.
Mexico City Travel Blog: Mexico City Travel Blog
Mexico is a gigantic sprawl. Rush-hour traffic is intense. Pick your neighborhood where to stay in Mexico City wisely. I prefer Roma-Condesa or Centro Historico.
There are a few very good hostels where to stay in Mexico City, but most are quite expensive if you compare with the rest of the country.
Condesa’s days begin with beautiful people streaming through parks and designer boutiques, chic hotels where to stay in Mexico City are also found in this area, options include: Hotel Villa Condensa, Casa Malí by Dominion Boutique Hotel and Maria Condesa.
In Centro Historico you can find really amazing hotels where to stay in Mexico City, Chaya B&B Boutique, Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico and Hotel Zocalo Central are great places to have an luxurious accommodation.
Anys Hostal is the best-rated hostel where to stay in Mexico. But for the price of a dorm bed at this hostel, you can get a single room in a hotel.
Massiosare El Hostal is my pick. Cheap, good, clean and a good location where to stay in Mexico City.
Hostel Suites DF is also very comfortable.
Of course, all major hotel chains have hotels where to stay in Mexico City. It’s the case for Mexico City Marriott Reforma Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, Hyatt Regency Mexico City and many more.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Mexico City, for me at least, is the mid-range selection of hotels where to stay in Mexico City. It’s very wide and varied. Take for example Hotel Histórico Central and Casa Decu, both four-star hotels with exceptional amenities and a more reasonable price range than the giants.
And my favourite of the mid-range where to stay in Mexico City is probably Casa Comtesse, a tiny, charming bed & breakfast with the best location in town.
Just like everywhere, Airbnb is a very interesting option. If you’re not already a member, you can use this Airbnb link to get $40 off your first reservation.
Mexico City Travel Blog: Let’s Eat!
Famous Foods and Specialties
- Chilaquiles – this is a breakfast dish made with lightly fried corn tortillas cut into quarters and topped with green or red salsa, scrambled or fried eggs and pulled chicken are usually added on top, as well as cheese and cream. (It uses all of the leftovers from the dinner of the previous day. Smart.)
- Elote – Mexican corn on the cob; the corn is traditionally boiled and served either on a stick or in cups, the kernels having been cut off the cob. Salt, chili powder, lime, butter, cheese mayonnaise and sour cream are then added.
- Guacamole – this dish is probably the most popular dish to come from Mexico, yet the local version is much more watery than what you’ll find in the US or in Europe. It is made from mashed avocados, onions, lime juice, (sometimes tomatoes) and chili peppers. You’ll be able to identify it in the array of salsas by the presence of an avocado stone in the bowl.
- Chiles en nogada – this patriotic dish (because it contains all three colors of the Mexican flag) is a combination of meat, fruits and spices.
- Don’t forget about the chapulines! These are small grasshoppers, fried and tossed in salt, lime and chile (or sometimes straight up tajine, that awesome spice mix ubiquitous in Mexico.)
The Best Drunk Food
- Tacos! Street taco stands are everywhere, mostly aggregated around metro station exits, and they’re absolutely addictive.
- Tamales – this dish is filling and is sure to knock any alcohol right out the park!
- Enchiladas – good after a night of heavy drinking too drunk to eat!
- Flautas – Rolled-up, stuffed, deep-fried tacos
Our Suggestions – Dishes And Restaurants
Listen, Mexico City is a food heaven. There are so many spectacular dishes to be had that it’s impossible to list them all here.
Remember that there are tons and tons of street food stands and what they serve is, 99% of the time, some of the most delicious food you’ve ever had in your life.
One thing is sure: one of my first stops every time I go to Mexico City is Taquería Tlaquepaque. It’s a mini-chain – AFAIK they have 4 of them – and everything they serve is delicious. Try the tacos de seso – brain tacos! Spectacular! Oh and their fruit juices too…
Taqueria “Los Primos” – Another must-stop. And so is El Tizoncito Tamaulipas. And Tacos Álvaro Obregón. And…
But there aren’t only tacos. There are modern cuisine restaurants that push Mexican cuisine to another level. Máximo Bistrot is one of the most famous restaurants in the world in that regard.
And the place that is widely regarded as the best restaurant in the country is called Pujol.
I could go on and on… but the most important thing, in my opinion, is that you should eat everything you see. Mexico City is one of the best and cheapest places on Earth for food.
Mexico City Travel Blog: Let’s Go For a Drink
Mexico City Travel Blog – What Do the Locals Drink?
Tequila, beer or micheladas (con clamato or not).
Drinking in Public
The legal drinking age is 18. It is illegal to consume alcohol in public. This is strictly enforced and the penalty is at least 24 hours in jail. Please take along some form of identification if you are out and about, especially if you will be engaging in the consumption of alcohol. (Or don’t, and get harrassed and maybe kidnapped by the corrupt police force.)
Our Suggestions – Bars and Pubs
As I said before, this is a gigantic city. There are thousands of awesome watering holes. Also, remember that cantinas, which theoretically are bars, are usually listed as restaurants. The whole idea of cantinas is that they’ll serve you alcohol as you order, but send you free food after a few drinks to keep you around. In my personal experience, you’ll get wasted before you can have a whole meal, and it’ll leave you exposed to the #badhombres in the hood. Keep your wits about yourself. If you want to make the best choice, you need to know the location of the best bar in the city. It is always better to keep both near as much as possible.
Still, here are a few pretty sweet bars:
- Artemisia – Tonala, 23, Mexico City, Mexico – the award-winning bartenders will be sure to surprise with their mixology skills by creating seasonal drinks using gin, bourbon, and other liquors.
- Jules Basement – Julio Verne 93, Polanquito, – to get to this location you literally have to go through a refrigerator door! Unfortunately, this restaurant has since closed its doors.
- Living Room Bar – W Mexico City, Calle Campos Elíseos 252, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco.
- Limantour, Oscar Wilde # 9 Polanco CP 11560
- Romita Comedor, Avenida Álvaro Obregón 49, Cuahutemoc, Roma Norte Unfortunately, this restaurant has since closed its doors.
As regular readers of this column know, I don’t know anything about clubs. Sorry!
Mexico City Travel Blog: What to See and Do
Sorry, this a pretty thin selection! It’s just the must-sees, really…
- Plaza de la Constitución – the Zocalo or Plaza de la Constitucion is the focal point of the city and is the world’s third largest square. Many historic sites are located around this area; the famous Aztec Templo, Palacio Nacional, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Latinoamericana Tower, the Palace of Fine Arts and Plaza de las Tres Culturas call it home.
- Basílica de Guadalupe – “holiest place in the Americas” for Catholics, and the destination of pilgrims from all over the world, especially during the yearly celebration on the 12th of December.
- Teotihuacan Pyramids and Shrine of Guadalupe, also known as Pyramid of the sun
- Festival de México – celebrated from March 31 through April 16, this festival is the city’s biggest cultural celebration – filled with music, dance, theatre and culinary events.
- Alameda Central is a popular space for families to stroll its pathways and lovers snuggle on benches. The park was recently enhanced with dancing fountains and well-manicured gardens rife with fragrant lavender plants.
- Chapultepec park.
- The anthropology museum is pretty dope, but if you wanna see the whole thing thoroughly, expect it to take a while day – morning and afternoon. It is always better to decide after checking the connectivity to the places that you want to visit in the city.
Tipping in Mexico City
Just like in most of Mexico, it is expected to tip. If the service is good, a 15-20% tip is normal. Otherwise, 10-15% should be the minimum even if the service is bad. If there is already a service charge included in the bill then tipping is not necessary.
Mexico City Travel Blog: Common Scams & What to Avoid
There is a fair amount of crime, including gun violence and violent theft, so you need to know where you are at all times. Avoid the police, as they are very corrupt.
There are some pickpockets, but not as many as in some other cities.
Taxis are mostly safe, but stay on your guard at all times.
Tepito is a problematic neighborhood that is located right next to the historic center, and so is the sliver of streets between the historic center and Condesa-Roma, where the old lucha arena is located. There are plenty more problematic neighborhoods, but these are the 2 tourists should mostly be aware of. Avoid looking hotels where to stay in Mexico City in these places.
One of my most favourite things to do in a city is to wander around and get lost. This is not something that I recommend you do in Mexico City. It is vitally important in this place, more than in other parts of the world, to know where you are at all times.
How to Stay Safe: Tips and Tricks – Mexico City Travel Blog
READ MORE: Travel Canada Advisory for Mexico