Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis with a population of over 21 million people. With its rich history, diverse culture, and endless sights and activities, it’s no wonder that Mexico City is a popular destination for tourists. However, navigating this sprawling city can be a daunting task, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the area.
In this article, you’ll receive tips and advice on how to get around Mexico City, including information on the various transportation options available and how to use them effectively. Whether planning a day trip or an extended stay, the goal is to help you make the most of your time in Mexico City.
One of the most popular ways to get around Mexico City is by using the metro subway system, which is efficient and among the least expensive in the world. The metro system comprises 12 lines and has a total of 195 stations, making it also one of the most extensive metro systems in the world. You can purchase a single-ride ticket, or a reusable smart card known as the “Tarjeta de Transporte,” which can be loaded with credit and used on the metro, metrobús, and the light rail system.
Another popular transportation option is the Metrobus, a dedicated bus rapid transit system that runs along 14 routes. The Metrobus is also efficient, affordable, has dedicated lanes, and accepts the “Tarjeta de Transporte.” This is an excellent option for getting around Mexico City, especially if you need to travel long distances or to areas not serviced by the metro subway. They also have electric trolley buses that are available daily.
If you’re in a hurry or just want to experience something different, you can also use one of the many taxi services available in Mexico City. Taxis can be found everywhere, from the airport to hotels, and they are relatively affordable. Remeber that it is important only to use authorized taxis, which are identified by their yellow and black paint job and should have a meter. It is also a good idea to have the hotel or restaurant call a taxi for you, as this will ensure that you get a legitimate and safe ride.
Another great way to get around Mexico City is by bike. Mexico City has a number of bike-sharing programs, like Ecobici and Bici-Taxi, that you can use to rent a bike for a few hours or an entire day. This is a great option for those who want to explore the city at their own pace and get some exercise in the process. If you can watch for careless drivers, pedestrians, and potholes, commuting in Mexico City by bike is truly an unforgettable experience!
For those who prefer the convenience of a car, Mexico City has several car rental agencies that you can use to rent a car for the day or for an extended time. A few even offer a chauffeur to drive your rental! However, keep in mind that traffic can be heavy in Mexico City, stoplights are mere suggestions, no-turn signs are ignored, and turn signals are just for decoration! Parking can be challenging to find, so many opt for other ways of getting around.
A popular method tourists use to explore the sights and sounds is the red double-decker buses, known as Turibuses, which offer separate routes in various parts of the city. They seat 75 and give audio announcements in five other languages. They operate 12 hours a day and allow unlimited hop-on-hop-off access after paying a daily fee. They also stop at many major attractions along the way.
In Mexico City, ride-sharing apps like Uber have become a popular alternative to traditional taxi services. Unlike traditional taxis, which can be difficult to hail on the street and may not have functioning meters, ride-sharing cars are easily summoned through the app, and the fare is calculated and charged automatically. This not only makes it more convenient for the riders but also increases security, as you will have the information of the driver and the vehicle you are going to ride.
Safety is one of the main benefits of using a ride-sharing app in Mexico City. The apps have safety features such as driver and vehicle information, real-time tracking, and sharing your trip with a contact or a friend.
Commuter Safety Tips
Always use authorized transportation options. When using public transportation, only use authorized taxis, which are identified by their yellow and black paint job and should have a meter. It is also a good idea to have the hotel or restaurant call a taxi for you, as this will ensure that you get a legitimate and safe ride.
Be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on your personal belongings and be mindful of your surroundings when on public transportation or in busy areas.
Avoid traveling alone at night. If possible, avoid traveling alone at night and opt for group transportation options like the metro or bus.
Learn some basic Spanish. Knowing some basic Spanish can help you communicate with locals, understand transportation options, and make yourself understood in an emergency.
Familiarize yourself with the area. Before you set out, familiarize yourself with the area you plan to travel in and understand where you are going.
Use the “SOS” emergency button in the metro. In the metro, many cars have an emergency button to call for help if you feel unsafe or in danger. Press the button.
Use cash instead of credit card. It is advisable to carry cash instead of credit cards, as credit card skimming is a common problem in some areas.
Use the “Emergency” button on your phone. Many phones now have a feature where you can quickly tap a button and automatically call emergency services.
Be aware of pickpocketing. Keep an eye on your belongings, as pickpocketing is a common problem in crowded areas.
Trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy or unsafe, trust your instincts and leave the area. Remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
It’s important to remember that even in tourist areas, it is good to stay alert and keep personal safety in mind. Following these tips can make your experience in Mexico City safe and enjoyable.
Mexico City is a fascinating place to visit, with a wealth of sights, sounds, and experiences to discover. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, the city’s transportation options offer something for everyone.
The metro subway and Metrobus are efficient and affordable and provide easy access to many of the city’s attractions. Taxis and bike-sharing are also popular options, while car rental is a good choice for those who prefer the convenience of a personal vehicle.
With a bit of planning and knowledge of the city’s transportation options, you can make the most of your time in Mexico City and truly experience all this incredible metropolis has to offer.