How to get around Mexico City: information, costs and advice

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Mexico City is the most populated city in the country as well one of the largest in the world. It is an important political, economic and cultural center. Divided into 16 delegations and 300 districts, the city perfectly blends tradition and modernity, Hispanic and indigenous culture. The main attractions are concentrated in the historic center.

Here is a guide on getting around Mexico City: useful info, costs and tips!


Index

  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Mexico City
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

Because of its size, Mexico City is quite difficult to get around on foot. The effect can be rather dispersive, so for a first approach the advice is to take a tour of the historic center with a local guide, to identify the landmarks and ask the guide for useful advice. The alternative, there is the evergreen hop-on hop-off tourist bus, which will allow you to easily reach all attractions while enjoying a panoramic tour of the city!

In general, we recommend that you rely on public transport to move around the city, between metro and metrobus you will have no problem reaching your destination. They are operational from early morning until midnight and the cost of the ticket is really cheap. At the stations, but also on the means, watch out for pickpockets, it is easy for them to sneak into the crowd. Taxis are more expensive, but not too much (€ 5,00 on average for a short ride), just be careful about getting into official taxis complete with a license applied on the glass and a taximeter, and not on the abusers!
For getting around the surroundings, rely on guided tours: they are very cheap and safe, book them online in time. From Mexico City you can't miss the day trip to Teotihuacan, Guadalupe and Tlatelolco, the most interesting archaeological areas.

For the rest, we recommend always be careful when you go around the city, as it is a big metropolis !. For more info visit the official website of the Farnesina.




  • Recommended solutions and means: underground, metrobus, hop-on hop-off tourist bus, guided tours
  • Solutions and means not recommended: on foot, by car

How to get from the airport to the center of Mexico City

Mexico City is served by an international airport which is the main transit center in Latin America. It is located quite close to the city, about 10 km away.

To reach the center of Mexico City from the airport, and vice versa, you can use the subway, the metrobus or the taxi. The fastest and cheapest option is the metro, with line 5 from Terminal 1 to the center (15 min, active 5: 00-00: 00). A good alternative is the metrobus, it is quite fast because it travels on a preferential lane, runs every 2 minutes and is cheap. The stops of line 4 are located at gate 7 of Terminal 1 and gate 2 of Terminal 2. The most convenient solution, but not very fast because it is subject to traffic, is the taxi, provides a fixed rate that at the moment is around € 9,00, and the private airport transfer.

Mexico City International Airport

  • Distance from the center: 10 km / travel time: 20 min;
  • By metro: yellow line 5 / ticket cost: 5,00 Mex $ (€ 0,20)
  • By taxi: average cost 230,00 Mex $ (€ 9,00) / travel time: 20 min
  • By metrobus: average cost 6,00 Mex $ (€ 0,25) / line 4
  • Private transfer: private airport transfer service

How to get around on foot

The city is very large, however the main attractions to visit are concentrated in the historic center, from which four avenues branch off along the perpendicular lines that make up its main arteries: Tepeyac to the north, Tacuba to the west, Iztapalapa to the east and Coyoacan to the south.

In Plaza de la Constitution visit "El Zocalo", the imposing Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace and the Templo Mayor archaeological site. For an immersion in the most authentic Mexico, between tequila and mariachi, a few blocks away is Piazza Garibaldi. And finally, don't miss a tour in the quiet Coyoacán neighborhood, one of the oldest and most beautiful where Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul stands.

The first impact with the city can confuse tourists, so for settle in on the first day we advise you to opt for a tour of the historic center with a local guide, to identify the landmarks and ask the guide for useful advice. The alternative is the evergreen hop-on hop-off tourist bus.

For others itineraries on foot or by public transport, download our Smart Guide for visiting Mexico City for free.



Con i mezzi pubblici

To move within the city, outside the historic center, is better use the means, and in this Mexico City offers a wide and efficient choice. Metro and metrobus are undoubtedly the best options because they are quick and cheap. There are also i minibus, they will come in handy in secondary areas, as they constitute a sort of integration to the subway and metrobus.

To move quickly around the city and, at the same time, enjoy a wonderful panoramic view, we recommend the hop-on hop-off tourist bus, they are perfect for a general view of the city especially if you have little time available. For the duration of your ticket you can get off and on at the various stops without any limit and thus easily reach the attractions of your itinerary!

Metropolitan

It's composed by 12 lines which arrive practically everywhere in the city. Besides being cheap, it is also the faster means as, by running underground, it avoids the intense traffic at rush hour. Just beware of pickpockets, being always very busy.

Tickets for single journeys can be purchased at any station. A very convenient alternative is that of buy the rechargeable card (initial cost € 0,50). With a ticket (paper or card) you can travel throughout the metro system, and change lines as many times as you want at no additional cost.


  • Downloadable map: metro-map
  • from Monday to Friday 5: 00-00: 00, Saturday 6: 00-00: 00, Sunday and holidays 7: 00-00: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 5,00 Mex $ (€ 0,20)

Metrobus

The metrobuses they travel on a preferential lane, it is therefore an excellent solution to reach your destination in a short time. It also runs every 2 minutes.

A metrobus ticket there allows you to take all 5 lines, and to change between them without having to pay any supplement. The fare is the same as on the metro


  • Downloadable map: map-metrobus
  • Monday to Saturday 4: 30-00: 00, Sunday and holidays 5: 00-00: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 6,00 Mex $ (€ 0,25)

Microbus

It is also called "Pesero", it is a form of transport characteristic of the city and operates through a network of small buses with a capacity of around 24 people. They are a sort of integration to the subway, many of the terminals are in fact located at the exit of the main subway stations.
They circulate on all secondary and main roads, and have the advantage of stop on request.

The cost varies according to the mileage, when boarding, the destination must be communicated to the driver. The only flaw is that, being small, they are almost always full.

  • 6:00AM - 24:00PM
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 5,00 Mex $ (€ 0,20) for shorter journeys

By car

Driving in Mexico City is not recommended. Don't be tempted to rent a car, as it is simple and cheap, traffic laws are rarely observed here and direction indicators are rarely used.

Furthermore the streets are always clogged on weekdays, while Sunday is "bicycle day" and many areas are banned from motor vehicles. Driving in this city means risking getting stuck in traffic and wasting a lot of time looking for a parking space. If you have a car as you are engaged in an on the road in Mexico, your best bet is leave it in the parking lot of your hotel.

Stops and parking

In general in all Mexican cities i parking spaces are scarce, other times there are but are not marked, like any other sign in Mexico! This is in fact a bit lacking, very often you will not find signs for parking or for the streets.

Usually, when there are, the areas where you can park your car are marked with a round white sign with the letter E, and at the end of this area you will find a round white sign with the letter E crossed out. As for the rates, these are on average around 5,00 Mex $ (€ 0,20) for a few hours. Always be careful if you are in a free or paid parking.


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