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Vámonos! Everything You Need to Know About Traveling to Mexico City!

Written by Tasmiah Rashid

This blog post was updated on June 3, 2022.

So you want to travel to Mexico City — land of endless parks, galleries, historical sites, museums, and cantinas? Yep, we totally understand the appeal. But did your friends and family respond with words of worry and concern when you told them about your travel plans? Unfortunately, the misnomer that Mexico City is a dangerous place to visit is pretty prevalent among Americans. So, if you’re going into panic mode regarding your upcoming trip, we’re here to advise you on one simple thing: don’t! We’ve put together a list of tips that will make your trip easier and safer. Read on to find out everything you need to know about traveling to Mexico City!

Research Your Destination

If you’re concerned about the safety in a particular part of this city or about current events in the area, the U.S. State Department offers information about Mexico as well as up-to-date warnings and public announcements regarding safety issues for American travelers.

Look Up Which Areas You May Have to Avoid

Mexico City is pretty low down on the Travel Advisory list, but like any major city, there are areas within it that are less safe than others, and which as a tourist you should probably avoid. If you’re thinking about adventuring through the city, do your research and map out the areas you should be a bit wary of so you can plan your route around them on your trek!

Remember: Mexico City isn’t Cancun or Cabo!

Panoramic view of Zocalo and Cathedral - Mexico City, Mexico

We know this one sounds obvious, but before you go rolling your eyes, check your suitcase to see how many sandals and shorts you’ve packed. Many travelers forget that distance is not the only thing that separates Mexico City from Mexico’s popular tropical destinations — there’s also weather patterns. Starting from June onwards, the weather in Mexico City gets rainy and the temperature drops significantly. Similarly, if the weather is warm, it’s important to keep in mind that this city isn’t a beach town — it’s a bustling metropolis. So, bikini tops and surf shorts may not be the outfit you want to go for.

Pre-book Your Accommodation and Stay in Touristy Areas

For adventure travelers looking for the real deal, we know this may be against your off-the-beaten-track ways. But, hey, the touristy areas are usually more populated and contain more foreigners like you, so consider the tourist traps as a safety net from high-risk areas.

Learn Basic Spanish

Couple traveling in latin america, buying street food in a truck

Again, although Mexico City is a major metropolis with a massive population, remember that it’s not Cancún nor Cabo. So, the number of people who speak fluent English is likely to be lower here than in either of those tropical destinations. Learning some basic phrases, like perdón, ¿hay una estación de tren por aquí? (Excuse me, is there a train station around here?”) will help you navigate your way around.

You may also like: 8 Basics to Know When Using Spanish in Mexico

Don’t Drink the Tap Water!

Unless you have something vehemently against it, drinking bottled water is an easy solution to this paltry inconvenience. Mexican tap water contains different chemicals, minerals, and organisms that your American digestive system might not be suited for, so opting for filtered or bottled H2O is simple way to be careful. That’s not to say that the water here is contaminated or even unsafe for consumption; it’s just different from the water your tummy may be accustomed to.

Avoid Raw, Uncooked, or Undercooked Meats and Seafood

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises eating food that is cooked and served hot. So you may want to avoid salads and uncooked fish. Also, try to avoid any foods that could have been rinsed in contaminated water or prepared by someone who didn’t properly wash their hands.

Be Respectful of the Local Culture

boats in Xochimilco, Mexico City

This one goes for any country in the world, but in Mexico City, be sure to exercise extra caution and do your best to blend in and keep a low-profile. It’s important to know the laws and customs of the area you’re in and know them well, even before you start looking for cheap flights to Mexico! Be careful and mindful of the people, religious beliefs, and social norms of the setting.

 Do you have any tips to add to the list? Let us know in our comments section below!

About the author

Tasmiah Rashid

In a past life, Tasmiah was either a Bollywood actress, renowned ethnographer or master chef; no questions asked. In this one, she is a shower-singing, croissant enthusiast, who also writes content for Fareportal, in that order.

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