The large and sprawling Mexico City is filled with old Spanish colonial architecture, ancient ruins, great food, and a bustling nightlife. There’s a lot to do and see in and around Mexico City. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not as bad as you may have heard.
It’s takes some time to get used to, especially if you’re not from a big city and you don’t speak Spanish. But hopefully you know at little bit of both. The parks are clean but the water is still not. It’s got somewhat of a European feel around the historic district most likely because of the Spanish influence, but other than that it’s got a vibe you may or may not get used to.
There’s reliable public transportation around the city that will more or less take you exactly where you want to go. Whether it’s by bus or subway (known as the metro), it’s only 5 pesos. Your hotel or hostel should have a map of the bus and metro route. As of right now the dollar to peso ratio is about 17.50:1 while the euro to peso ratio is about 21:1 so if you’re coming from the U.S. or Europe you’re getting pretty good value for your money.
There’s many things to do around Mexico City such as museums, bus tours around the city, day trips to Teotihuacan and Puebla, bull fighting, and even lucha libre (Mexican wrestling). If you’re into museums, Mexico City will give you your fill as there are over 150! Just a few of the more popular ones are the Museum of Modern Art, Frida Kahlo Museum, and Museum of Anthropology which is a must see for anyone. The food around Mexico city varies from your average street stall to higher class restaurants. If you’re into Mexican food this will be a paradise.
Here’s what you can expect to pay when visiting:
Price of food around the city:
- Street stalls $25 – 100 pesos
- Middle of the road establishments $75 – 200 pesos
- Higher end restaurants $250 – 450+ pesos
Entrance fees for a few of the popular attractions:
- Frida Kahlo Museum $200 Pesos
- Museum of anthropology $70 Pesos, $45 p extra to bring a camera inside
- Teotihuacan $70 Pesos
- Museum of Modern Art $60 Pesos
- CDMX bus tour of Mexico City $140
Prices for hostel dorms range from $143 – 360 pesos per night.
If you are on a tight budget you can survive on $30 a day here. I ended up losing my debit card and I was on a very tight budget for a week while I was in Mexico City. If you get into the right Hostel, stick to the street stalls, and don’t indulge in too much alcohol, you can survive on around $30 a day. That’s impressive considering Mexico City is the 5th largest city in the world.
Getting To Teotihucan By Bus
The pyramids of Teotihuacan are the largest in all of north, central, and south America. They’re about an hour away from the city so it makes for a perfect day trip. Getting to Teotihuacan by bus is easy. You just have to know what stops to get off at and I’ll tell you that here! The cost to get into Teotihuacan is $70 pesos
First I should say that I waited to ride the metro or the bus until I had someone to go with. I’ve rode the subways in New York and Europe but I felt I needed to see how these ones operate first. Once I realized how easy it was to navigate, I felt comfortable to go anywhere.
Lets start with an example of getting to Teotihuacan. when you’re looking at the map your final stop on the metro is Autobuses del Norte. So lets say you are starting from Zocalo, which is next to the large Catedral Metropolitana. You would then want to go to the sign that says Taquilla (ticket booth) to get your ticket for $5 pesos. Find out what direction you want to go on the metro. for this time, you want to go in the direction of Cuatro Caminos and get off at Hidalgo. There you will switch metros and go in the direction of Indios Verdes and get off at La Raza. Switch metros and go in the direction of Politécnico and get off at Autobuses del Norte. you are now done with the metro until you come back. Once out of the metro go towards the bus station. Once inside go to your left down to #8. Next to the #8 is where you will buy your bus ticket to the pyramids of Teotihuacan. The cost of the bus ticket there is $50 Pesos and it’s $50 Pesos for the return ticket. so $100 Pesos altogether. You should buy both when you are there at the ticket counter. The bus ride takes about an hour and when you arrive you can either buy a guide or go explore on your own. This is the cheapest way to do it and not as complicated as it sounds. Give it a try!
Map of the Metro for Mexico City
Some popular metro destinations are below:
- Museum of anthropology, the Zoo, Museum of Modern Art – Destination: Chapultepec
- Teotihuacan – Destination: Autobuses del Norte
- Supermarket – Destination: Chabacano
- Frida Kahlo Museum – Destination: Coyoacan
- Mexico City Airport – Destination: Terminal Aérea
- Hostels, Catedral Metropolitana, CDMX Bus Tours, *Money Exchange – Desination: Zocalo
*Note: I used the money exchange twice in the Zocalo district across the street from the cathedral and they actually gave me more than what an app on my phone said, which was a nice surprise. So it is okay to exchange money here safely. Just make sure you go directly back to your hostel when you leave to put your money away because you never know if someone’s watching you when you come out.
Mexico City is a great place to start your journey further into Mexico considering there’s cheap flights going in daily. And you can take a bus from the Autobuses del Norte station pretty much anywhere you want in Mexico. I never experienced anything bad or sketchy when I spent my time here. It’s been said a thousand times before but you just have to be smart and be aware of your surroundings and don’t put yourself in a situation you may regret.
Have fun and be safe out there!