Summer is here and that means it’s time to go on an adventure. And while I am dreaming of going somewhere I’ve never been before, June is the month that once brought me, a 20-year-old girl, who (at that time) has just graduated from the university to Mexico City — one of the most populated cities in the world. Everything was new to me and I was excited to explore every corner of it. And while I have already shared my experience of living in Mexico City here, today I try to help travelers avoid the mistakes that I made and see the best of Mexico. So if you are planning to visit it, here are some unique travel tips for Mexico City:
1) Exchange your currency at the airport: it might be the first thing to do upon arrival. I know that it is not something you want to do after hours spent on the plane and a long customs/immigration lines, but the effort is worth it: you will get the best possible rate and avoid the lines on the day.
2) Learn common Spanish phrases: I am sure this rule can be used in every country you visit, but it makes a tremendous difference if you know the basics of Spanish in Mexico City. It feels really good to understand people and to be able to explain that you are here not to be screwed, but to have a good experience (just kidding). Besides, it will give you a little more freedom, you know that you will never get lost. 😉
3) Eat like a local: we are all different and have our preferences, but I think that only by trying Mexican food in Mexico you can say that you know what is it like. You can also visit traditional American chains if you are not in the mood of experiments (read about them here). Small restaurant and farmers’ markets allow you to have an exceptional experience and to actually “taste” Mexico City the way it is.
4) Avoid rush hours: I swear nothing in Mexico City terrifies me more than rush hours. I try to avoid it at any cost because: at least 2 hours in traffic is a real thing and it’s hard to find enough space on the streets to concentrate and figure out what is your next move.
5) Use Uber as the best option for transportation: confident, cheap and fast.
When I went to Mexico City, I used metro, buses, and taxis. Since my last trip I only use Uber — it let me have comfort, avoid the crowds and be safe.
6) Be safe: I am not the first person to talk about safety in Mexico City. No matter where you are, it doesn’t hurt to leave the jewelry in the hotel, keep your phone in the pocket and not to carry a lot of cash with you. I always stay in the center of the city and have credit card along with cash.
It is not essential, but it helps a lot to see the best of the city. Just think about it: who knows Mexico better than locals? And who can tell you more than locals? People help people.
8) Bring some “just in case” medicine.
Mexico City is a wonderful place to visit and if you are an ambitious traveler, you try a lot of new things and you are not afraid of challenges. But it’s always nice to be prepared if the pressure of the big city gives you headaches or salsa for your tacos was too spicy.
I want to be honest with you: read as many reviews, feedback, pieces of advice as you can. Good or bad. All of them will help you learn about all the pros and cons. Your experience will be different, but you want it to be good different, right? You always have options in Mexico City and in order to make the best out of your upcoming trip, you have to be aware of everything.
I hope this post will be useful to you and you will be able to have nothing but a great adventure in Mexico City!