Essential Tips for Mexico City

My traveler profile is I travel light, I prefer credit cards. I don’t mind spending in restaurants and enjoy the ambiance. I do carry cash mostly for street food. I like walking and taking the subway, when I’m tired I’ll take an Uber back the hotel. I do not speak Spanish and do not really drink much alcohol.

How prevalent are credit cards?

Mexico City, a bustling metropolis, is increasingly card-friendly, especially in tourist areas and upscale establishments. Unless you are getting street tacos, it’s really rare you’ll need cash. American Express is pretty prevalent in Mexico City. There are a couple of shops that only accept American Express or cash.

How much cash to bring in Mexico City?

We only brought 5000 pesos (USD300) when we travel for 7 days. We ended up with leftovers.

How much does a meal cost in Mexico City?

Restaurants costs about 200 pesos (USD12) to 700 pesos (USD40). We haven’t found a restaurant that didn’t accept credit cards. Street food is typically is 80 pesos (USD5), sometimes lesser.

Where do I withdraw money in Mexico City?

BBVA, a prominent bank in Mexico, is your reliable choice for withdrawing pesos. You’ll find their ATMs across the city, offering secure transactions. Be mindful of the fees and inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any card freezes due to unusual activity. I use Chase bank and there are fees of about $10 for converting 5000 pesos from my USD-based bank checking account.

Where should I stay in Mexico City?

For a vibrant cultural experience, consider staying in:

  • Condesa/Roma: Trendy, with a plethora of cafes, bars, and art galleries. (We stayed here!)
  • Polanco: Upscale, offering luxury shopping and fine dining.
  • Centro Histórico: The heart of the city, steeped in history and architectural marvels. We probably spend the most time here.
  • Coyoacán: Quaint and charming, perfect for a more laid-back vibe. Frida Kahlo museum is here. (It’s cheaper to stay here.)

Each neighborhood offers a unique glimpse into the city’s soul, catering to different preferences and styles. It’s nice to stay near a subway station.

How do I move around in Mexico City?

The subway is your best option. It’s affordable, it’s about 5 pesos (USD0.30) for a ride. You can buy a rechargeable card for multiple trips. Familiarize yourself with the map and lines – Line 1 (Pink) and Line 3 (Olive) cover many tourist spots. Remember, peak hours can be crowded, so plan accordingly.

Is there Uber in Mexico City?

Yes! Uber is another great option if subway is not convenient enough. We took Uber almost daily. There were just times when it’s hard to get between subway lines.

Do I have to tip in Mexico City?

Typically about 5% to 10% is encouraged. We are almost asked to tip all the time, even when we get a to-go coffee. I don’t tip to-go coffees but it’s up to you.

Is Mexico City safe?

It’s incredibly safe! There’s probably pickpockets, you should always be careful. We never got scammed at any point. We are pretty careful travelers though.