8 Tips Tourist Should Know Before Visiting CDMX
Hi! My name is Daniel Narred. I am a loyal local from Mexico City. I had the opportunity to chat with the Locals Insight founders to pinpoint 8 tips that will help you make the most out of your visit to Mexico City. Mexico City, or Ciudad de México (CDMX) as it is known in Spanish, is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers a wealth of cultural, historical, and gastronomic attractions to visitors. However, like any city, there are some things to keep in mind before you arrive.
1. Learn a few phrases in Spanish
Since only a few people in Mexico City speak English, it's always a good idea to know a few basic Spanish phrases before visiting. This will not only help you get around, but it will also show the locals that you respect the local culture. Some useful phrases to learn include "hola" (hello), "por favor" (please), and "gracias" (thank you). If you want to learn more, here are 7 helpful phrases in Spanish you can learn before visiting.
2. Plan Your Trip Ahead
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of all things good in CDMX, I highly recommend using travel planning platforms like Locals Insight *wink* and other resources to help you figure out what you want to do, see, eat, experience, and nightlife in CDMX. Mexico City is a city with a rich history, and a walking tour is a great way to learn more about it. As a former walking tour guide, I highly recommend you to check out the many tours available, both free and paid, that cover different areas and themes of the city. A walking tour is also a great way to see the city's architecture up close.
3. Make a reservation for the Frida Kahlo Museum
I’ve met countless visitors who faced disappointment once they realized they weren’t able to walk into the Frida Kahlo Museum. If you are visiting CDMX and have a fascination with Frida Kahlo’s history and artwork, you must book your tickets ahead of time!
4. Bring around $1000 Mexican pesos (around $55 USD) with you
It is always smart to bring cash with you when you roam around the city. Most places usually accept cards, but you don’t want to end up in a situation where you need it! You can exchange cash in the casa de cambio (exchange bureau) for the best rates.
If you’re aware of traffic in L.A. or New Delhi, welcome to a whole new level in CDMX!
The best mode of transportation is our trusted metro and metro buses. They are able to connect you anywhere in the city for 5 pesos. Beware that metro buses will still be affected by bumper-to-bumper traffic, but if you are willing to wait, it is much cheaper than an Uber!
If you prefer taking a car for a longer destination, we do have Uber. Locals do use it, but again, just keep in mind that the traffic is usually terrible.
We also have Ecobic which are the public bikes around the city. They are located in all the tourist spots which is convenient if you want to hop around without getting stuck in traffic!
6. Consider Weekend Trips Outside of CDMX
If you’re able to spend a good amount of time in CDMX, I suggest you take a weekend trip to a town outside of CDMX. There are numerous places that have a unique charm and beauty that are worth the adventure! My favorites are Peña de Bernal, Tepoztlán, and Taxco. They are filled with nature, culture, and history! Buses are a cheap and safe way to travel, I´d suggest ADO buses.
I’ve had many visitors come to my walking tours that are concerned about the safety within CMDX. I would say from my experience that it’s safe. It is like any other place in the world where you must use common sense to be aware of your surroundings. Pickpocketing can be a problem in crowded areas like markets and in public transport at rush hour, like in any other city. Keep your valuables close and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and leave your passport in a secure location, like a hotel safe. Essentially, be as careful as you would be if you were in any other city.
8. What do I do there?
Finally, there is much to do, see, eat, experience, and nightlife in CDMX. Mexico City is a city full of history, culture, and delicious food. By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit and have a safe and enjoyable time. Remember to be respectful of the local culture and enjoy everything this vibrant city has to offer.
The most popular neighborhoods are Roma, Condesa, the Historic Center, and Coyoacan. It’s smart to stay in one of these neighborhoods and then explore from there. Most of the popular nightlife, restaurants, and museums are around these spots.
If you’re looking for specific recommendations, check out my profile under the Locals Insight App to discover my local perspective in CDMX. If you want to explore more, check out my other resources on the Mexico City page to learn more!
I hope you enjoyed my local tips on how to have the best experience in CDMX. Enjoy!