Our two-month trip started in Mexico City. It is a huge city, with nice areas but a lot of traffic. We worked quite a lot in Mexico City, drove a lot with Uber’s and enjoyed good coffee, great food and more food. The following Mexico City travel guide will help you while preparing your trip and will give you some recommendations while you are staying in the metropolis. The travel guide will quickly discuss security, flights to Mexico City, some good restaurants and places to stay. By the way: We really liked Mexico City!
Mexico City Travel Guide – Security in Mexico City
As many people are worried about their security, we will make this our starting paragraph. First off, the most important: We didn’t have any negative experience nor felt unsafe at any time. Looking at crime reports and other statistics, what we did prior leaving Germany, you can get really worried. In the end the risk is higher to get robbed as in rural Bavaria, true, but as long as you play with the rules, you will be fine while traveling through México.
Security, as in every other big (big big) city depends on the area where you go. There are no-go areas, which you have in Berlin or in New York, too. As a tourist you will not be in these areas as there is nothing to see, as we got told. This part goes hand in hand with “Where to stay” later in the post. We got the recommendation to stay in La Colonia Roma or in Condesa, which turned out as a great area with many good restaurants and cafés with good Wifi (Our favorite: Café Dosis). But more later in our Mexico City travel guide!
We stayed in an AirBnB in Roma and organized an airport pickup. Our nice host waited outside of the airport and drove us to our accommodation for the next two weeks. This leads well into the second important thing while talking about security. We have been told not to take taxis (especially not stopping one at the street). That’s why we asked our host to pick us up and drove with Uber throughout our stay. Uber rides in Mexico City are ridiculously cheap and safe as the drivers are tracked with GPS and have star reviews.
Additionally, a friend who lives in Mexico told us that Mexican police corruption is a huge problem. Policemen can just stop you and ask you for your passport and immigration papers. As nobody wants to carry around their passport through the city, we put copies of both in a hidden bag, which we wore under our t-shirt. This might have been over-cautious but yeah.
During the day we walked around a lot and worked in cafés on the street. At night we haven’t been out a lot as we worked in our AirBnB and were really tired caused by the height. Side note here: Drinking beer on the street is illegal! So don’t do it. If you buy beer in a shop, put it in your backpack and have it at home. Other than that we took Uber when we have been out eating some of the great Tacos or zipping some Mescal.
Mexico City Travel Guide – How to come to Mexico City?
From many cities in Europe it is cheaper to fly to Cancun, the tourist hotspot in Mexico. Our trip needed to start in Mexico City as I had a couple of meetings with clients and partners, we looked for cheap flights to Mexico City. After checking Skycanner and Google Flights for a couple of weeks we found the cheapest option from Düsseldorf via Amsterdam to “Ciudad de México”. As our flight in Düsseldorf was delayed some passengers, including us got a bit worried about the connection flight. As the captain was aware of our layovers, he told us to take some shortcuts and that he will hurry up. In the end we were in less than 30 minutes’ flight in Amsterdam and easily made it. Here our tip as always: Watch error fares, we haven’t been lucky this time as on our backpacking trip through Sri Lanka and paid around 815 USD for the multi-city flights Düsseldorf – Amsterdam – Mexico City – Managua – Atlanta – Düsseldorf with Delta, operated partly from KLM.
Mexico City Travel Guide – What to bring to Mexico City (Climate)?
We have been in Mexico City in the end of January and February and the temperature varies greatly throughout the day. The mornings and evenings are pretty cold, so that you definitely need a light jacket or a cardigan. After noon it got really warm, and we walked around with long trousers and T-shirt. The pyramids of Teotihuacan were really hot and long trousers were definitely not needed but we should have used sunscreen – first sunburn, check!
Mexico City Travel Guide – Where to stay in Mexico City?
In research prior our trip we decided to take an AirBnB. This was a great way to meet some more people (as six more people stayed in the same house) and it was a cheap alternative to a hotel. Here we paid roughly 55 USD per night, split by two pretty fine.
As mentioned above the best two districts are Colonia Roma and Condesa. Luckily we stayed just on the border of both (Avenida Yucatan 14). After almost 14 days meeting clients and new partners I would say, I saw a lot of the huge metropolis and can say with confidence, that these two districts are by far the nicest ones. Uber drivers, which I annoyed with my first Spanish skills, confirmed that. So quick takeaway: Colonia Roma and Condesa are hip and upper-class districts, which are not only nice to live in but also considered as the safest ones.
Mexico City Travel Guide – Best restaurants in Mexico City
Food in Mexico, yeah that’s a topic you definitely can fill a book with. In Colonia Roma and Condesa you will not only find places that have great Mexican food such as “El Parnita” but also places with great organic food such as “Origenes Orgánicos”. A place we really liked as well was “El Pan Comido”. For having Pizza we have heard “El Perro Negro” should be good but we didn’t make it to it, due to the huge variety of good food. For getting a coffee our favorites were “Un Café”, “Milos” and most of all “Café Dosis”. Especially Café Dosis had great coffee and even better Wifi. I personally fell in love with their Macchiato con Leché – super rico!
El Pan Comido – Vegetarian food well-made
At this cute little restaurant, you get vegetarian dishes and all the one we tried have been really good. The burger was our favorite here and I did not believe that it’s meat-less. Anika had the Falafel twice, which was really good too! The owner does not serve any bottled drinks such as Coke, but the home made agua or té del dia is way better anyways. The Wifi is not as stable as in Café Dosis or other places in town but we came here for writing tasks. Other than that I used my 4G data on my mobile as a hotspot.
Note: There are two Pan Comido’s in town but we are talking about the one in Tonalá 91 in Roma. The other one should be equally good though.
El Parnita – Best Tacos we’ve had
Great restaurant with great Tacos. We liked the vegetarian ones actually better than Tacos con Pollo o Cerdo. In our case they came with Frijol (Beans) and the Mozzarella-like Oaxaca cheese and avocado. Every table has different (spicy) sauces and limes on their table to give the Tacos your last personal note. If you are in Mexico City you definitely need to go here.
Note: Among locals El Parnita is famous for its Tacos, too. So, if you go later than 3pm you better reserve a table or bring some time to wait. The kitchen is opens from 3pm until 6pm, on weekends until 7pm. The address is: Yucatán 84 Roma.
Café Dosis – Great place, great Wifi, perfect coffee
The baristas at Café Dosis already laughed when stepped into the store as we have been there quite often in during our stay in Mexico City. I worked here quite a lot and had several meetings here. The place has a great atmosphere to chill, work or just chat while having a great cup of coffee. All in all, a good place for many occasions. Café Dosis, we miss you!
Note: We were stunned by the Macchiato and the Mocha they make. You will get your daily caffeine at: Av Álvaro Obregón 24 Roma
Mexico City Travel Guide – Things to do in Mexico City
Park Chapultepec is a huge park in the north-east of Mexico City. Here you can stroll through markets, visit museums, chill out and watch traditional dancers. If you stay in Roma or Condesa you can just walk there and spend a relaxed day or discover the past of Mexico in museums. We spent a day here, had some fresh fruits and went to the National Museum of Anthropology.
National Museum of Anthropology
The entrance fee is 70 pesos per person and you will find guides in English and Spanish. If you are interested in discovering the past of Mexico and how tribes were formed and started to develop first villages, tools for hunting impressive cities in the end, you should go here.
The signs are mainly in Spanish, which is a bit annoying if you are just learning Spanish, such as I do. In the museum you can easily spend a couple of hours.
Influence of the Spanish gets really noticeable here. The old buildings from colonial times are a nice contrast to the rest of the city and worth visiting for a couple of hours. Beside some nice little cafés, you are able to do some shopping. The center is pretty busy that’s why we took it easy and relaxed an hour in a café and watched all kinds of different people passing by.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
The Palace of Fine Arts is a prominent cultural center in Mexico City’s Centro Histroico next to the Alameda Central Park. The buildings initial design and construction was done by an Italian architect in 1904. After complaints stopped the work it was resumed in 1932 by another Mexican architect.
The largest cathedral in “the Americans” is located just on top of the former Aztec sacred precinct. The cathedral was build from 1573 to 1813 (in sections). If you are in the historical center of Mexico City you will walk by the impressive building and if not in a rush it might be worth having a look inside, too.
Pyramids in Teotihuacán
The ancient ruins of Teotihuacán are located one-hour bus ride north-east of Mexico City and are one of the architecturally most significant Mesoamerican pyramids. During the first half of the first millennium, it is estimated that more than 125,000 people lived in Teotihuacán, which made it the sixth biggest city in the world, back then. When you are in Mexico City, you should definitely go to the Pyramids in Teothihuacán, we found it pretty impressive!
How to get there: Take an Uber to “Central de Autobuses del Norte”, then go to the counter at the very left and look for the sign “Teotihuacan”, buy a ticket and jump on the bus (return ticket: MX$ 60). 60 min later you will arrive at the pyramids. The way back will take, due to traffic, a couple of minutes longer.
Bookstore “El Péndulo”
You are still looking for the right book for your trip, or you bought a shitty one at the airport as I did? “El Péndulo” has a great selection of English and Spanish books. The bookstore has a nice concept where you can also buy a coffee and relax upstairs and read the first pages of a book.
Other than that there are many other things to do such as Mexico’s famous wrestling and many more sights. This post just focused on some things that might be worth doing when in this huge metropolis. Enjoy the time in “La Ciudad de México” and follow us to Puerto Escondido!
You’re planning to start your Mexico trip in the capital and you still have some questions, let us know. Also if we missed another great restaurant or bar, feel free to share it with us! We’re happy to add it to our list. Happy travels!