Mexico City Travel Guide
Everything you need to know about planning a trip to Mexico City
MEXICO CITY TRAVEL GUIDE CONTENTS
Mexico City is not the first destination in mind when you think about a vacation in Mexico. It does have a notorious reputation when it comes to safety but this is still the cultural capital of the country. The Roma and Condesa neighborhoods depict a strong European lifestyle in the capital, with quirky cafes and speakeasy bars.
The recent rebranding to CDMX means Ciudad de Mexico, a stronger identification of the capital with the hopes of changing the city’s bad rep to tourists. These days, this revolutionary campaign is coming up with good results. The future is looking good for Mexico City.
✈️ Quick Info
🇲🇽 State: Mexico City
⏰ Timezone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5)
✈️ Airport: Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX)
💲 Currency: The currency in Mexico is called Mexican pesos (MXN). Mexico also uses the $ sign so don’t be confused if you see this all over town – it’s not in USD so don’t be fooled!
🔌 Power plug: Mexico uses a type A socket (US, Canada). For more information about power plugs in Mexico, see this link (with photos)
📱 Mexico sim card: The best provider that works in Oaxaca is Telcel. See our complete Mexico sim card guide for more information.
🛃 Visa: In November 2021, Mexico stopped granting visitors a 180-day visa. It really depends on the immigration officer how many days he/she will give you but just show proof of accommodations (with dates) and it should be fine.
🤟 Language: Many young people in Mexico City speak English very well, however, this is not the norm and learning a bit of Spanish goes a long way in Mexico City.
🪅 Culture: Mexico City is bustling with culture. Getting bored in this city is a pretty hard thing to do, especially if you’re into partying, arts, cafés, and history.
📶 Wifi: Mexico City has great wifi connectivity, which has made it a favorite for digital nomads in recent years. Mexico City has fiber-optic Internet and there’s a huge up-and-coming remote worker scene in the city.
🧳 Mexico City travel planning tools
⛪ Things to do in Mexico City
Mexico City has a plethora of things to do so we only included the highlights here. Please check out our Mexico City article section for more ideas!
🛏️ Mexico City Hotels: where to stay
There are plenty of hotels in Mexico City for every budget, but first, let’s talk about the areas you should look into. Mexico City is huge, so the neighborhood you stay in can make or break your trip.
Two favorite neighborhoods for digital nomads and young travelers are Roma Norte and Condesa. They are both known for their beautiful architecture, parks, coffee shops, and bustling bars and nightlife. Polanco is another great option that is also very centric that has a posher vibe. For a quieter atmosphere, look into the Cuahutemoc neighborhood.
Coyoacan is a beautiful colonial neighborhood where attractions like the Frida Kahlo Museum are housed. While we love this neighborhood, we don’t recommend looking for accommodation there because it’s located south of the city and you’ll be far away from everything else. The same goes for Santa Fe unless you’re visiting Mexico City for business purposes.
🌮 Mexico City Restaurants
Mexico City is home to the best restaurants in the world with world-class Chef Enrique Olvera’s restaurants on the front line. This Mexican chef has revolutionized the true flavors, styles, and presentation of Mexican cuisine to the world. CDMX is home to great fine dining experiences and a rich street food culture.
🍸 Mexico City Bars and Nightlife
Mexico City has a vibrant nightlife that both locals and visitors love. There’s a bar/nightclub for everyone regardless of their interests and party style! Nightlife in Mexico City usually starts Wednesdays, with Thursdays and Fridays being the best days of the week to go out.
Most of the best places for foreigners to go out are located in Roma Norte, Polanco, and Zona Rosa. Nightclubs don’t really open until 11 PM or even midnight, so the usual way to go here is to get together with your friends to do pre-drinking at either bars, restaurants, or even at home.
💲 Money and Costs
Travel Budget (est)
💵 US dollars: Mexico City doesn’t really use US dollars and paying with Mexican Peso is the norm. Some people may accept US dollars if you’re really desperate, but it’s not very common.
🏧 ATMs: There are ATMs in pretty much every corner of Mexico City.
We recommend using the big Mexican banks for cash withdrawals: Santander, BBVA, Scotiabank, Banorte, or HSBC. Check to see if your bank at home is affiliated with any of these banks so you don’t get charged international withdrawal fees.
💳 Credit/debit cards: Mexico City is huge on cards and you will rarely need cash here unless it’s to buy street food or shop at family-owned kiosks (and even some of them do accept cards!)
💸 Tipping: If the service wasn’t great, 10% will do but if you liked the service, you can tip up to 20%. Usually, most people tip 15% in Mexico City at regular restaurants and 20% at higher-end ones.
The tipping culture in Mexico and the US is the same so you can also tip as you would do it back home in the US.