With its overwhelming size and sprawl, Mexico City is daunting for a traveler to say the least. Mexico’s capital city buzzes with people, all looking to navigate this massive metropolis. If you are headed to Mexico City, you do need to study up a bit on how to get around. Safety can be a concern if you don’t know what you are doing. Before you take off, figure out which mode of transportation makes the most sense for how you will get around Mexico City.
The Metro: One of the fastest, cheapest and cleanest ways to navigate Mexico City is by Metro. With twelve lines zigzagging throughout the city, the Metro takes you virtually anywhere you want to go while in Mexico City. The fare, roughly $0.25USD, is considered one of the lowest in the world. The Metro does however come without its own set of rules and warnings. Bags should be monitored at all times as pickpockets are prevalent, especially during crowded times of the day. In addition, suitcases are not allowed and the first two cars of the Metro are for women and children only.
The Bus: If you would rather travel by bus in Mexico City, there are many bus stops along major tourist areas. These stops will have a map outlining their routes so you can figure out which one to take. Metrobuses are a type of bus in Mexico City in their own designated lanes. You can generally travel faster than traffic by taking these buses. Cleaner and faster than general buses, they are a bit more costly. Mexico City also boasts women-only buses. You can spot these by looking out for pink placards.
Colectivo: Often referred to as microbuses, these forms of transport function similar to that of a bus but on a smaller scale. These sedans or minibuses are generally gray or green in color and run along the major streets in the city. More comfortable and faster than regular buses, collectivos travel along major tourist areas like Avenida Juárez, Paseo de la Reforma and Chapultepec Forest. As you approach a stop, the driver will hold up fingers as to how many seats are available. If you are unsure where the bus is headed, you can look out for the cards on the windshield displaying the route.
Taxi: One of the safest ways to get around Mexico City is easily by taxi. However, not all of the taxis in Mexico City are equally safe. If you want to avoid any sort of incident, it is best to travel on sitio taxis. In order to travel by sitio taxis, you will need to call ahead to be sure you get an official one. Hotels and restaurants will also set up the call for you. In general, a fare is established before taking off. In addition to calling in advance for sitio taxis, you can also look out for sitio signs around town where you can wait for one to show up.
Turibuses: These red double decker buses lend both a mode of transport while in Mexico City but also commentary on the city. Usually around three hours, these tours provide a fine means to sightsee with audio information in five languages. Turibuses can also be beneficial if you want to hop on and off to see different attractions. There are a number of routes that cover the major monuments, museums and neighborhoods tourists want to see while in town.