Mexico city has a lot to offer. With the largest number of museums of any city in north america, nearby archaeological sites, a variety of great food, and art for every taste. its hard to decide what to focus on, but here are a few of our highlights:
an ancient Mesoamerican city with stone pyramids over 2 thousand years old. noone knows who built it, or why. Expect to spend a whole day here. the site is located about an hour outside the city, and theres a lot to explore.
Time: full day
cost: per person
The national anthropology museum –
contains incredible Mesoamerican artifacts and has an exibit dedicated to teotihuacan. The architecture also happens to be beautiful. Following the exhibits in order takes you through thousands of years of history.
time: a half day if you pick just a few sections, more than one day if you want to see it all.
cost: per person
Templo Mayor – right in the middle of the city, you can find this Mayan temple. there is an attatched museum
time: half day
cost: per person
Public Art – one could spend lots of time wandering around finding public art like Murals and monuments. there are also science and art exhibits lining the walls of many transportation hubs. we saw an art exhibit as we walked through the airport, and were educated about astronomy and evolution in the metro.
Food – The best tacos weve ever had, and some melon horchata like none ive tried in the states, and more sweet tamales than any person should eat. Long story short, theres lots of good food and none of it is too pricy to try.
Mexico city, like most of mexico, relies on cash. So you will definitely need some Pesos. Since ATMs and banks are relatively common around the city, its not difficult to pick up extra pesos if you run out, so don’t forget to inform your bank you will be traveling. There are plenty of exchange stations in the airport if you find yourself on the ground without any money. But as with any country, Its almost always cheapest to order currency from your bank ahead of time.
Our guide about foreign currency and exchanging money fully applies here, so check it out here: [link to paying for things in foreign countries]
We highly recommend using the metro (subway). Trains run about every two minutes so you dont have to plan for when to be at the station, just show up and hop on. Its probably the fastest way around, and you can go basically anywhere in the city for 25 cents (5 Peso). Fair warning: it can get crowded during “rush hour”. We also made a cheat sheet showing how to get to the metro from the airport, where to get tickets, and how to figure out which train to get on.
[link to mexico City Metro cheat sheet]
Buses are a cheap and relatively fast way to get out of the city. The bus ride to Teotihuacan for example was about an hour long, and cost $5 (100 Peso) round trip. about the same time as by car but much cheaper. Uber quoted $40 round trip and about an hour of drive time.
Cabs and Uber are available, but both are more expensive than the other options and are not always more convenient. the only times we would consider calling a car would be if were going somewhere outside the city where a bus cannot take us, if our legs were just too tired to walk and we needed to cross a few blocks, or if we felt like avoiding a rush hour crowd on the metro.
if you have verizon, nicole discovered you can pay $5 to have your phone service extended to mexico (and some other places) for 24 hours at a time (its pay as you go) but you have to activate the option online before your trip. the connection isnt always great so having some downloaded resources is a good idea. here are a few apps that I like:
Triposo: free app that will download a huge amount of travel information for any city you select and create a guide for you.
Wikipedia app: allows you to download articles and formats them more like a book than the website. (more comfortable to read on a phone)
mexico city metro app: I dont remember the specific name, but it was really useful. Nicole can probably chime in with the name. she put it on her phone since she was the one that paid the $5 for data.
you dont need many, and its mostly just the standard suite that most Americans have. the exception being typhoid. and that one isn’t offered everywhere so take a look at vaccinations sooner rather than later. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/…/destinations/traveler/none/mexico