Latin America

Mexico City: An Overview

Mexico City is bursting at the seams. There is an energy in the city, a groundswell of change happening, re-shaping the city through restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and art. These shifts are placing Mexico in the spotlight on the world stage, showcasing a heightened degree of pride and ownership in its culture as it is reimagined in a contemporary setting.

Balloon seller in Polanco

The coffee culture has exploded looking inward to the rich and diverse range of varietals harvested, roasted, and served within a growing range of contemporary cafes. Although the food scene in the city is extensive and well-developed, it is being refined and refreshed for a new generation of chefs and restaurants. It’s important to know that you can eat a 20 peso taco at a street stall or a 200 peso taco, and so many other fantastic food offerings in the city.

Tacos at El Pescaditos in Centro

Practical Matters

Phones

I recommend purchasing a sim card upon arrival at the airport. There are cell phone shops in the airport (second floor) that you can get a sim card for ~250 pesos, the attendant will be able to set up everything for you but note that they may not speak English. Or, your service provider should offer a travel bundle while out of the country.

Transportation

Ride Share is widely available in the city; you can take: Uber, Lyft, or Didi. I used Uber the entire time I was there; it is very reasonably priced and an excellent way to get around. Language abilities ranges, I had full conversations in English and mixed conversations in Spanglish, while others do not speak English, so you have to feel confident in your Spanish to engage past pleasantries.

CDMX Taxis are widely available throughout the city, they are pink and white and have certifications in the windows. If you take one, which is safe, confirm the price before you get in and ensure that there is proper certification. An overhaul on the city’s taxis has meant that the verified taxis should not try and over-charge.

Metro if you want to take cheap transport this is a great way to get around with stops in most of the major areas of the city. If you take the Metro to keep your wits about you, it’s a new place and new system so it may take a few rides to get the lay of the land, but it’s quick, convenient, and clean.

Walking is possible to most places within the city, be prepared to walk 20-30min roughly but it’s a great way to see the city and get into the side streets. Often if I want to maximize time, I will take an Uber to a specific location and then walk home from there. 

Money Matters

Pesosgo a long way, especially if you intend to stop at smaller cantinas, restaurants, or markets where some only take cash. It is also good if you take taxis. USD is accepted, but always use pesos if you are in Mexico. Credit cards are accepted in most places; it will be indicated in the shop windows.

Accommodation

Air BnB is the most ubiquitous option, it is what I used and loved it. My favourite neighbourhoods are Colonial Roma, La Condesa, or Colonial Juarez. The options range, from high end to cheap and cheerful. It really depends on what you want out of your stay.

Hotels are available as well, there is a range of lower-end to high-end options. Some of the mid-to-high ends are great if you’re staying a couple of days and want to treat yourself. 

Resources

Here are some links to guidebooks and websites that I used while planning my trip.

Itineraries by Neighbourhood & Theme

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