Safest Places To Stay In Mexico City (& The Most Dangerous) 2024

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Ashlea J. Russell

Concerned about the safest places to stay in Mexico City?

Mexico City is an amazing, gorgeous, historical, cultural wonderland and the world is starting to notice. With a reputation of fear waning and one of curiosity growing, more and more travellers are starting to flock here to see what the fuss is about. But the number one concern I find amongst travellers is finding the safest places to stay in Mexico City.

When it comes to a sprawling city this size [around 21 million people and almost twice the size of NYC] it’s important to know the safest places to stay and where to avoid to the make the most of your time.

Luckily, I’ve been to Mexico City multiple times and as an expert on Mexico I’m a good person to take advice from on the topic of safety!

This guide will cover the safest places to stay in Mexico City and what makes them different, help you decide which one suits you best. I’ll also cover the more dangerous areas to avoid so you feel fully informed as you plan your trip.

Is Mexico City Safe?

You’re here because you have at least some concern about your safety in Mexico City. Whether you’re travelling with someone, travelling solo, or just have the typical female safety concerns we have anywhere, I’m here to allay your fears.

Mexico City can seem like a daunting place to visit. It’s huge, it’s foreign, and we’re kind of programmed to fear it. Most of what we hear about Mexico City has to do with crime, gangs or political unrest and to be honest, those issues exist everywhere.

Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world and like in any major city, bad things can happen but that doesn’t make it unsafe.

I have personally been to Mexico City multiple times as a solo female traveller and I have never experienced fear, crime or safety issues. That’s because Mexico City is safe! In fact, less than 1% of all the crime in Mexico involves tourists.

Mexico City has also taken steps to ensure the safety of locals and visitors including safe ways to hail taxis, female-only transit, and panic buttons. You can find more information about the safety measures of the city and how I got over my fear during my first visit to Mexico City here.

Any Mexico City visitors should use a standard amount of awareness and precautions when exploring. Typical travel practices like don’t overindulge, don’t flash expensive items and wads of cash, and don’t seek out illegal activities, should help keep you safe.

Safest Places To Stay In Mexico City

Mexico City is truly one of my favourite cities on earth but believe me when I say it is enormous.

When visiting a city like Mexico City you want to make sure you’re staying in the safest places that put you closest to what you want to see and do.

Although Mexico City is huge, when you get into the different areas and neighbourhoods, known as barrios it doesn’t feel so large. The locals even view it as a collection of villages rather than a metropolis.

So let’s get into the safest places to stay in Mexico City and how they vary.

Roma: Safe & Comfortable for First Timers

If you’ve been researching safe areas to stay in Mexico City, you’ve probably come across Roma, and for good reason.

Roma is the first place I stayed when I visited Mexico City and it quickly became one of my favourite go-to areas to stay when I visit. So why do people love Roma so much?

Roma strikes the balance of the Mexico we love with a modern European flare. It’s almost like a Latin Paris.

Roma is one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City with a cafe culture that could rival Paris.

The streets are spotlessly clean, excellent taco stands pop up on the corners in between comfy cafes and street patios where buskers and mariachis entertain diners with a song or two. Locals walk their dogs and practice ballroom dancing in the park before lining up for churros and hot chocolate.

This area, along with neighbouring Condesa are the safest places to stay in Mexico City. Roma is more gentrified than other parts of Mexico City and this makes it popular with locals and foreigners alike.

It is well connected by public transport and is only a short Uber ride to Reforma and Centro Histórico. The neighbourhood itself is extremely walkable and very safe for solo and female travellers.

  • I comfortably work from coffee shops and patios with my laptop and phone in full view and have never had an issue. The city has public WiFi and most restaurants and cafes also have free WiFi making it amazing for digital nomads.

Even at night it is well lit and is always buzzing with people sipping beers on the patios and occupying restaurants until after midnight.

If you’re visiting Mexico City for the first time I think Roma is a perfect introduction to the city. You’ll feel at home right away and a free walking tour of Roma and Condesa will have you finding your feet in no time.

Roma has lots of stylish accommodation options to choose from with a wide variety of boutique hotels and AirBnbs. The only downside to staying in Roma is that it costs a little more than other parts of the city.

I personally think it’s worth the extra to feel totally safe and comfortable during the day and at night, in a prime location but if you’d like to save a few bucks keep reading.

Where To Stay In Roma

There are a lot of great places to stay in Roma but prices can be on the higher side. Here are my top picks for the best bang for your buck:

📍Best Budget Spot in Roma: Casa Romita offers 25 spacious private apartments at some of the lowest prices in Roma. The location is walkable to Condesa and Reforma, plus all the incredible cafes and bakeries of Roma. Apartments start around $75USD/$100CAD per night and includes breakfast, WiFi and rooftop terrace.

📍Best Mid-Range Spot in Roma: The Dib is a gorgeous boutique aparthotel with modern units in a historic building. The Dib is in the heart of all that Roma has to offer, from the best cafes and restaurants to galleries and shopping. Suites start at $200USD/$265CAD per night for strong WiFi, gym and many with private terraces.

📍Best Luxury Spot in Roma: Nima Local House Hotel oozes Roma luxury. This is the sort of place that thinks of everything, from complimentary wine to live music in the courtyard and on-site spa treatments. Starting at $540USD/$730CAD a night enjoy top notch service, 5* breakfast and premium location.

Condesa: Trendy, Lively & Safe

Condesa is the centre of the city’s up and coming culinary scene. Named for the countess who used to own the land, Condesa is one of the safest neighbourhoods in Mexico City and one of the trendiest.

With amazing restaurants, top cocktail bars, galleries, shops, and parks, Condesa is an amazing place to discover on foot. The European-style avenues are lined with trees cropped into lollipops and squares and make walking this neighbourhood a treat.

Condesa and Roma are two of the safest places to stay in Mexico City. They are highly walkable with beautiful parks, avenues and patios to choose from.

Condesa is also home to Parque Mexico, an incredible large park popular with locals. Grab an ice cream, chill out in the egg chair garden with a book, take a roller skating lesson, or just stroll amongst the palm trees.

Like its next door neighbour Roma, Condesa is very safe to walk and is popular with locals and foreigners. This is somewhere you’re going to see people walking around with iPhones and Apple Watches so you don’t have to worry about hiding your phone.

Condesa is a little more lively than Roma with more food and drink hotspots to choose from and it happens to also be a bit more affordable. This is a great alternative if you want the safety of Roma with some savings on the side.

There are plenty of boutique hotels, apartments and Airbnbs to choose from that come with a lower price tag than Roma.

Where To Stay In Condesa

Condesa is like Roma’s outgoing little sister, and by crossing over here prices take a significant dip. Here are my favourite spots in Condesa:

📍Best Budget Spot in Condesa: Casa Pancha is super chic and comfy new school hostelling at its finest. But it’s not all style, it also offers great service, concierge, private rooms, dorms, female-only dorms, terrace, and amazing location. For breakfast, WiFi and a bunk, prices start at $30USD/$40CAD per night.

📍Best Mid-Range Spot in Condesa: Condesa Cibel is one of my favourite spots in Condesa because it’s just so cozy! The beautiful rooms are comfy with gorgeous balconies and kitchenettes. Not mention the rooftop terrace with city views and a prime location. Rooms start at $75USD/$100CAD per night including WiFi.

📍Best Luxury Spot in Condesa: Casa Luciana is a stunning new 8 room boutique with urban spa, terrace, and jacuzzi. The crew behind Casa Luciana are already popular in CDMX their sister property, so they know what they’re doing! Rooms start at $375USD/$500CAD a night including amazing breakfast and WiFi.

Centro Histórico: Safety on a Budget

Location, Location, Location! Any visit to Mexico City will include at least one visit to the Centro Histórico (historic centre) area. This is the safest place to stay in Mexico City when you’re on a budget.

The Centro Histórico has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 and that’s because it is packed full of historical sites.

The Zócalo, National Palace, Diego Rivera murals, Aztec ruins of the Templo Mayor, the gorgeous Post Office building (yes really, it’s beautiful) and the iconic Teatro de Bellas Artes are all within a few minutes walk of each other.

Because everything is so close together, the Centro Histórico is a super walkable area of Mexico City. You can also find the original churreria (churros shop), rooftop patios, and plenty of shopping and restaurants.

Mexico City is worth visiting just for the hundreds of museums to suit any interest.

Compared to Roma and Condesa, Centro Histórico is not as safe, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe! The Centro Histórico is essentially “Downtown” and that means it’s busy and draws an eclectic crowd.

This is one of the few areas of Mexico City where you may be stopped while walking to be sold things, convinced to choose a certain bar or restaurant, or targeted for the occasional (harmless) hustle.

  • I wouldn’t wander around here at night but it’s safe to take Ubers if you decide to have a late one.

Many of the political demonstrations tend to happen in this area of Mexico City so it is not uncommon to see temporary walls and an active police presence.

While the words political, police and demonstrations can be a concern for some people, I want to mention that I have spent years travelling Mexico and have never had any issues with the Mexican police.

This is not to say there is a safety concern. Centro Histórico is the safest place in Mexico City for budget travellers, you just need to take the typical precautions you would in the tourist centre of any major city.

There is a wide variety of affordable accommodation options in Centro Histórico. From hostels to Airbnbs to historic hotels, there’s a lot to choose from.

The Airbnb and serviced apartment market in this area has started to explode so there are some fantastic, modern, and even brand new options for a fraction of the price of Roma or Condesa.

Make sure to research the specific area in detail and take a look at the Google Street View before booking. Avoid off-the-beaten-path areas and dark laneways when looking at locations.

With a little research Centro Histórico is the savvy traveller’s dream. It is a safe and affordable place to stay in Mexico City with easy access to all the main attractions and you’re not far from Roma and Condesa by public transport and Uber if you wanted to stop by.

Where To Stay In Centro Histórico

📍Best Budget Spot in Centro Histórico: Viajero CDMX Centro is the perfect place to stay to meet fellow travellers. Five minutes walking from the Zócalo, the location is prime for exploration. Enjoy social spaces, a restaurant, bar and concierge services. Bunks start at $17USD/$23CAD per night including breakfast and WiFi.

📍Best Mid-Range Spot in Centro Histórico: Hotel Flamencos is situated in the heart of the action, steps from the House of Tiles, shopping, and gorgeous rooftops. The rooms are spacious, comfy, and soundproofed, and there’s a gym and bar. Rooms start at $82USD/$105CAD including breakfast and WiFi.

📍Best Luxury Spot in Centro Histórico: City Centro by Marriott was recently purchased by Marriott, and is bang in the middle of Centro. It has a rooftop plunge pool and restaurant/bar and the most dramatic décor! Spacious rooms start at $175USD/$233CAD per night including WiFi, gym and bicycle service.

Reforma: Safest for a Short Stay

If you’re visiting for a short period of time you will be best placed in Reforma. This is the safest area of Mexico City with the easiest access to most of the important spots in the city without spending hours in traffic or on transportation. Plus, it’s beautiful.

Take in the incredible cityscape from Cityzen Rooftop Kitchen.

Reforma is named for the Paseo de la Reforma, a grand avenue that stretches diagonally across the centre of the city. It was designed to look like the Champs-Élysées and the other majestic avenues of Paris and I think it hits the mark.

  • Reforma works as a great introductory area to Mexico City, as the Paseo de la Reforma connects Chapultepec Park to the city centre.

With a weekend in Reforma it’s possible to explore the Centro Histórico, Chapultepec Park and maybe even a museum or two like the Museo Nacional de Antropología, home to the Aztec Sun Stone, and the Natural History Museum.

Chapultepec Park which is nearly twice the size of New York’s Central Park and has so much to do and see within its boundaries. It has a botanical garden, trails for walking, a lake where you can rent boats, museums, and even a castle! You could spend a whole day just inside the park.

Reforma also offers lots of shopping, great restaurants and cocktails with the best view in the city, This is the safest area of Mexico City with everything you need for a weekend away.

Mexico City is worth visiting just for the hundreds of museums to suit any interest.
Aztec Sun Stone

Reforma is a popular area with tourists and it’s common to see people walk around well into the night. The Paseo de la Reforma features wide sidewalks and closes to vehicles on Sundays to allow walkers, runners and cyclists to take up even more space!

Hotels are the name of the game in this area of Mexico City and you’re sure to recognize many of the names but if boutique properties are more your speed, they have that too. The higher end and safer accommodations tend be situated closer to the Paseo de Reforma.

Where To Stay In Reforma

Reforma is such a good location when you’re looking for a short stay in the middle of the hubbub. Here are my favourite places to stay in Reforma:

📍Best Budget Spot in Reforma: Casa Kanabri is like a luxury hostel steps to Paseo de la Reforma. It is trendy and vibrant, just like Mexico City, and features concierge service, gorgeous places to hang out and free toiletries. Choose from dorms or private rooms starting at $33USD/$44CAD per night for a bunk.

📍Best Mid-Range Spot in Reforma: Casa Lomah is a tucked away boutique a short walk from the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Relax on the rooftop terrace, browse the shops below, or have a lazy morning in the beautiful minimalist rooms. Rooms start at $110USD/$150CAD per night including strong WiFi.

📍Best Luxury Spot in Reforma: Casa Emilia is the sister property of Casa Luciana and my favourite hotel in the whole city. This is the ultimate adults-only luxury Mexican experience with VIP service, premium products, Mexican wines, and prime location. Rooms start at just $200USD/$267CAD per night including breakfast.

Coyoacán: Safest for a Long Stay & Families

Coyoacán is one of the oldest areas of Mexico City and was independent until the 1920’s. These days it is a popular spot where locals flock on the weekends receiving a huge influx of up to 70,000 visitors!

This is the safest place in Mexico City for families or anyone looking for a relaxed, easy paced city experience.

Coyoacán was ranked one of the best places in the country to live making it an excellent option for longer stays but it can come with a higher price tag than other areas of Mexico City.

Coyoacán is one of the safest places to stay in Mexico City and it also one of the oldest with beautiful colonial streets.

It is located quite a bit south of the city centre, and can take up to an hour to reach by car or transit depending on traffic.

It’s this distance from the rest of the city that makes Coyoacán a great contender for somewhere safe to stay for long-term visitors, but not ideal if you only have a few days.

For many years Coyoacán has been the artistic heart of Mexico City and was where artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera shared their home, now the Frida Kahlo Museum. Today it remains popular with bohemians and artists who can often be found selling art in the square.

Coyoacán has some of the prettiest colonial streets in Mexico City and is a very safe place to explore on foot.

The central garden is the beating heart of the barrio busy with young couples on their first dates, excellent street and children’s performances and my favourite market, Mexico Diseña Bazar.

If street food is your thing you’re in luck because Coyoacán has it in spades! This is the best place in the city to explore street food especially the elotes. Vendors serve up fire grilled and boiled street corn on what feels like every corner but the traditional version is boiled.

Coyoacán is one of the safest places in mexico City and the best place to try local street food like elotes.

Because Coyoacán is so old, much of the accommodation can be very traditional. Accommodation options near the university are much more modern but it’s possible to find beautiful, updated and safe places to stay closer to the centre of town they just might cost a little more.

Where To Stay In Coyoacán

Coyoacán doesn’t offer as many accommodation options as other parts of the Mexico City but I’ve picked out my favourite spots for you to consider:

📍Best Budget Spot in Coyoacán: Casa Real Coyoacán is a traditional Mexican guest house that’s been updated with a modern feel. Located a short walk from the heart of Coyoacán, this is a great place to stay on a budget. Rooms start at $65USD/$85CAD per night including WiFi.

📍Best Mid-Range Spot in Coyoacán: Casa Tuna is my favourite place in Coyoacán. Named for the prickly pear cactus (tuna in Mexico), this is peak Mexican hospitality, comprised of 12 rooms in a 20th century mansion steps from the central gardens and designed to perfection. Rooms start at $160USD/$210CAD per night with WiFi.

📍Best Luxury Spot in Coyoacán: Agata Hotel Boutique may not look like much from the outside, but inside this hidden gem oozes luxury. Steps to the Frida Kahlo Museum, the location is perfect, and this hotel offers spa treatments, bar, fantastic restaurant, and hot tub. Rooms start at $275USD/$366CAD per night.

Polanco: Safest for a High-End Experience

Polanco is a bit like plucking Beverly Hills out of California and dropping it in the middle of Mexico City. This part of Mexico City is known for being very international and very luxurious.

This is the safest place in Mexico City for people who like the high-end luxury life and enjoying very long lunches.

Running through the middle of Polanco is Avenida Presidente Masaryk which is home to the top design boutiques such as Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Polanco is a very safe area of Mexico City but it lacks some of the personality of other areas. It feels very residential and is geared toward a very specific international business type of person.

Polanco is a safe place to stay in Mexico City that is geared toward the international luxury community.

Other than the luxury community, most travellers venture to Polanco to see the out-of-this-world architecture of Museo Soumaya, a private collection art museum.

While Polanco is beautiful and popular with the well-to-do, it doesn’t offer much for the average traveller. There are other areas of Mexico City that offer a more authentic Mexican vibe and better accessibility to sights and things to do.

Accommodation options in Polanco are mostly high-end boutique hotels.

It is possible to stay in Polanco on a budget with some of the affordable serviced apartments but they tend to be quite dated. For better bang for your buck I recommend staying in one of the other safe neighbourhoods.

Where To Stay In Polanco

Polanco is known for being popular with the well-to-do, but many accommodation options in this neighbourhood are in need of a face lift. I’ve picked out the best, updated properties for you to check out:

📍Best Budget Spot in Polanco: Horacio 1525 is one of the beautiful serviced apartments that make Polanco more affordable. These apartments are huge, have everything you need, and is super walkable to shops and restaurants. Apartments start a $88USD/$116CAD including WiFi and parking.

📍Best Mid-Range Spot in Polanco: UTOPIC Campos Elíseos is feminine, bougie goodness. It’s how I imagine a young Audrey Hepburn would live in 2024. Gorgeous rooms, games room, bar, patios, amazing location, all in a mansion setting. Rooms start at $226USD/$300CAD including WiFi.

📍Best Luxury Spot in Polanco: Casa Polanco Hotel Boutique is the celebrity experience. In true luxury, everything has been considered and thought of Eat at the gourmet restaurant, relax on the beautiful terraces, lounge in your immaculate suite, enjoy it. Room start at $720USD/$960CAD per night including WiFi.

Colonia Juárez & Zona Rosa: Safest for Late Nights & LGBT+ Travellers

Colonia Juárez can be found sandwiched between Paseo de la Reforma to the north and Roma Norte to the south and is a great area for anyone seeking high energy and late nights.

Juárez seems to always be bustling. During the day expect to see trendy shops, vintage stores and specialty adult shops. By night, you’ll find music pumping out of every doorway, street vendors selling kitschy tat and crowds of people sloping their way down the promenades.

Within Juárez is the smaller area of Zona Rosa. While the LGBT+ community is largely accepted across Mexico City, Zona Rosa is the best area in Mexico City for the LGBT+ crowd as this is the gay neighbourhood. Here you’ll find drag shows, gay clubs and karaoke bars bumping along into the wee hours of the morning.

While this area of Mexico City is great for the party crowd this is not suitable for families as there is a strong emphasis on adult-focused shopping and establishments. But, it is a safe place to let your hair down and dance the night away!

Where To Stay In Colonia Juárez

📍Best Budget Spot in Colonia Juárez: Hostal Juarez is a beautiful boutique hostel walking distance to museums, restaurants, taco stands, coffee shops, you name it. Perfect for digital nomads, enjoy communal spaces (indoor/outdoor), bike rentals, and super comfy beds. Bunks start at $27USD/$36CAD including breakfast and WiFi.

📍Best Mid-Range Spot in Colonia Juárez: Casa Prim embodies what Juárez is all about. Trendy, cool, and oh so Chilango. Enjoy super stylish rooms, one of the best restaurants in the area on the roof, and a prime location. Rooms start at $150USD/$200CAD including WiFi.

📍Best Luxury Spot in Colonia Juárez: Casa Magenta Kukun offers gorgeous, spacious apartments in a fantastic and central location. Make use of the pool, relax in the garden, or cook in your private kitchen. Apartments start at $200USD/$266CAD including WiFi.

Bonus: Safest Near the Airport

People are always asking about where the safest place is to stay near the airport and spoiler alert: there isn’t one.

Airports tend to be located on the outskirts of the city and in Mexico City that usually means poorer neighbourhoods with higher crime rates.

As I’ve mentioned (several times) Mexico City is a huge city so if your plan is to fly in for 12 hours to check it out you’re going to miss out on a lot. If you plan to explore the city I recommend staying somewhere like Reforma or Centro Histórico (if you’re on a budget) so you can at least see a few things before flying out.

If you’re looking for somewhere near the airport because you have a layover then the safest place to stay is inside the airport.

There are a few excellent, comfortable hotel options to choose from where you’ll be safe and sound with everything you need for a few hours or a night.

📍Best Spot In Terminal 1: Izzzleep Aeropuerto Terminal 1 is a capsule hotel, perfect for grabbing a few hours sleep between flights. This is located right inside Terminal 1 and includes a comfy bed, TV in your capsule, WiFi, lockers for luggage, and access to private showers and bathroom for $58USD/$77CAD per night.

📍Best Spot In Terminal 2: Izzzleep Aeropuerto Terminal 2 is an identical capsule hotel inside Terminal 2. Expect a comfy bed, TV, WiFi, lockers, private showers, and bathroom all for as low as $58USD/$77CAD per night.

📍Best Spot Next To The Airport: Courtyard by Marriott Mexico City Airport is beautiful 4* hotel located steps from Terminal 1 (free shuttle from Terminal 2) with an on-site restaurant and shop if you get peckish. Rooms start at $170USD/$200CAD per night including air conditioning and seating area..

The Most Dangerous Areas To Avoid In Mexico City

As with many other major cities, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself in a bad neighbourhood accidentally, because you really have no reason to be there. The dangerous areas to avoid of Mexico City don’t offer any appeal to travellers so unless you’re seeking them out you will likely never go near them.

The main areas to avoid in Mexico City, which fall into the “you have no reason to be there anyways” category are Doctores, Tepito, Iztapalapa, Ciudad Neza and La Merced Market.

  • It’s also best to avoid areas in the outskirts of Mexico City at night, particularly in the far north and far south

One exception to this rule is the barrio of Doctores. Doctores sits on the east side of Roma, which is one of the safest areas in Mexico City.

Lucha Libre is a truly Mexican experience that is worth visiting.

The northwest corner of the barrio, where Av. Cuauhtémoc meets Dr. Lavista is where you’ll find the Arena Mexico, the home of  Lucha Libre wrestling, an activity that belong on every Mexico City itinerary.

Although Doctores is regarded as being one of the dangerous Mexico City neighbourhoods, don’t let that deter you from experiencing a Lucha Libre performance.

When there is a match or tournament at the Arena Mexico the whole area comes alive and this experience is truly Mexican and is not one to be missed. When the event lets out, instead of heading east into Doctores just follow the crowd and make your way over Av. Cuauhtémoc and you’ll find yourself back in Roma.

Airbnb vs Hotels In Mexico City

Airbnbs have been on the scene for a long time now and they are a great option for specific travellers.

There are certain areas of Mexico City such as Roma and Coyoacán where Airbnbs can be a great, affordable alternative to a hotel but I do have a few things for you to consider before booking one.

Airbnbs are most often located in a private home or in a residential building. Some people love this because it makes them feel like a local! The drawback here is that Airbnb doesn’t reveal the actual location until after the property has been booked.

Serviced apartments and hotels tend to be safer places to stay in Mexico City rather than Airbnbs.

During my first trip to Mexico City my flight was delayed and I ended up landing in the very early hours of the morning. I had rented an apartment and unfortunately my taxi driver and I had a very hard time finding it, even with detailed instructions.

It ended up being down a very dark laneway which was used as a bathroom by people stumbling home from parties and bars.

Although it was located in Roma, one of the safest areas of Mexico City, I didn’t realize it was located very close to Doctores, one of the most dangerous areas of Mexico City.

Taxi drivers and uber drivers struggled to find the property and it wasn’t somewhere I wasn’t comfortable coming and going from in the dark.

Hotels (and hostels) are often safer options for travellers especially solo and solo females. There is a staff on hand 24 hours per day to help you, staff and cameras see you come and go, taxi and Uber drivers find them with ease and they are most often in convenient and safe locations.

Serviced apartments in Mexico City are often more safe than Airbnb and come with services and amenities.
My Casai apartment in Roma.

If hotels aren’t your thing and you’re more team Airbnb you may want to look at some of the serviced apartments in Mexico City.

Many apartment companies own several units in the same building and sometimes own the building itself. Many of them come with 24 hour security, concierge service and housekeeping. Plus you can see exactly what and where you’re booking before you commit.

Getting Around Mexico City Safely

As I’ve mentioned before, Mexico City is enormous so understanding the best way to get from A to B is important to make the most of your time. Luckily, Mexico City has several transportation options to choose from to help you explore.

Walking Around Mexico City

Mexico City is a safe city to walk around and walking is a fantastic way to take in the vibes and discover new places. The issue with walking in Mexico City is that it is sprawling and distances between areas can be long.

I always recommend taking a walking tour when you first arrive so you can get a feel for where things are relative to one another.

Many walking tours in Mexico City are free and focus on specific areas so you’re likely to find one that covers your neighbourhood. This is also a great way to get local recommendations from your guide on what to do, where to eat and any other questions you might have.

When travelling between areas in Mexico City, it’s usually better to take some form of transportation and then walk around when you get there.

If you’re venturing out of the typical neighbourhoods like Roma, Condesa, Centro, Coyoacán, etc you may want to ask a local if it’s a good idea to walk around there before venturing out.

Take a walking tour to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

Ubers and Taxis In Mexico City

Uber is by far the easiest way to get around Mexico City. Most rides cost only a few dollars, Ubers are readily available and it’s safe.

A popular alternative to Uber is Didi. Didi is a lot like Uber and it gives the rider the option to pay in cash. It’s worth having both apps on your phone just in case. This is also a great way to get around the dreaded “surge-pricing”.

Taxis in Mexico City however, need a little more caution. Taxis in Mexico City are pink and white and are cash only.

How Not To Get Taxi Scammed In Mexico City

  • Only take taxis using the CDMX app or from a taxi stand/sitio
  • Make sure the taxi is pink and white
  • Make sure the taxi license is visible
  • Make sure the driver starts the meter
  • Map where you’re going and follow along

Taxi scams in Mexico City are prevalent and everyone is aware of this. Even for locals, it is very common practice to take the measures outlined above. As such, it is not uncommon for the driver to explain detours and to be vocal about producing their license and starting the metre to prove authenticity.

My typical mode of transportation in Mexico City is Uber or Didi. I will take taxis if it would be difficult for an Uber to get to me, for example from a mall or event venue with a taxi stand.

I have personally not had any issues with taxi scams in this city but I always follow the tips above.

Taking Public Transportation In Mexico City

Mexico City has an extensive public transportation system. For newbies I wouldn’t recommend attempting the buses or colectivos. If you really want to avoid Uber and taxis then it’s best to stick to the metro.

To use the metro, you will need to purchase a rechargeable metro card for $10MXN [$0.60CAD/$0.50USD] and each ride costs $5MXN.

All metro lines are given a number or letter and a corresponding colour. Pay attention when boarding the train as certain train cars are women-only for safety purposes.

If you think you might be lost the best thing to do is ask a local. Many students have some working English, otherwise you can communicate with a translation app.

Bike Share In Mexico City

Ecobici is a government run bike share program in Mexico. Much like bike share programs in other cities, riders become a member, pick up a bike at one of the stations and drop it off at a station near their destination.

Plans range from one day to one year and require valid ID and a credit card. Note: the one year plan is only available to people who can prove residency in Mexico.

All rentals include 45 minute trips and additional time adds fees to the plan price. The plan and fee breakdown can be found here.

Rental Cars In Mexico City

Although it is possible to rent a car in Mexico City it is unnecessary. Mexico City is known for having traffic issues so adding a car to that problem isn’t a good idea.

Mexico City drivers are aggressive and creative. In the United States and Canada we have a “don’t hit anyone” approach to driving but in Mexico City the approach is “don’t get hit”.

In addition to the intimidating driving scene, finding parking can be a challenge. A lot of things in Mexico work on a looser structure than in other parts of the world and parking is one of them.

Parking lots can close unexpectedly, you could receive surprise tickets or even have your vehicle towed or stolen. All of these problems are hard to resolve when you’re not a local who speaks fluent Spanish so my recommendation is to skip the headache.

Mexico City is full of history and beautiful architecture.

Mexico City FAQs

How Many Days Should I Spend In Mexico City?

There is so much to do and see in Mexico City that I would recommend visiting for at least three full days but I would give it more time if you have it. The city is large and sprawling so consider navigation time when you plan your days.

Many people will add a trip to Mexico City on as a stopover to somewhere else. If this is your plan, keep in mind that you will likely only have time to explore one part of the city so choose wisely!

Mexico City also makes a fantastic digital nomad destination and there is easily enough here to keep you entertained for at least a couple of weeks.

Do They Speak English In Mexico City?

As a rule, no, people don’t speak English in Mexico City. Other than tour guides and some customer service positions at popular hotels and restaurants it is not common to find English speakers in Mexico City.

Mexicans speak Spanish, so if you find yourself off the tourist path and in local establishment you are sure to encounter a language barrier.

It is helpful to download Spanish Offline using the Google Translate app to have access to translations without internet. You can also download my Useful Mexican Words and Phrases Cheatsheet at the bottom of this page.

Can I Use US Dollars In Mexico City?

It is a common misconception that you should bring US Dollars to Mexico. It is possible to use US Dollars in some highly touristic areas of Cancún, particularly the hotel zone, however this is never advisable as US Dollars are subject to harsh exchange rates and price gouging.

It is always ideal to use the local currency. For the best exchange rates, withdraw directly from a local bank using an ATM inside. Avoid stand alone ATMs inside or outside of stores as they tend to have high fees.

Should I Buy Travel Insurance For Mexico City?

Yes, everyone traveling internationally should purchase travel insurance. Travel can be unpredictable so it is a good idea to purchase a comprehensive plan.

When shopping for a plan make sure it covers emergency medical, emergency transportation and trip cancellation and interruption, at a minimum.

Can I Drink The Tap Water In Mexico City?

For the rest of Mexico the answer is no, but for Mexico City, it depends. Mexico does not have a universal clean water program across the country. Drinking from the water supply can cause what Mexicans call “Montezuma’s Revenge” which consists of severe diarrhoea, vomiting and flu-like symptoms.

Although Mexico City is not a typically hot destination, temperatures can soar during the day and the sun can be hot. Staying hydrated is extremely important but the good news is, finding drinking water in Mexico City is very easy.

Mexico City has a fantastic restaurant scene and many of these restaurants have water purification systems. This means that instead of needing to purchase bottled water, restaurants often have pitchers of clean drinking water to fill your glass for free, so don’t be alarmed if you’re not served a bottle.

Bottled water is widely available in the vast majority of restaurants, hotels, bars, shops, supermarkets and is also often available for purchase from street vendors.

There are products like water purification powders and straws that can purify tap water in Mexico but finding drinking water in Mexico City is easy to do.

Can I Brush Your Teeth With The Tap Water In Mexico City?

The rule for testing brushing your teeth in Mexico is the same rule you should use for testing street food: Try once and see how it goes.

How your body reacts to the bacteria in Mexico is unpredictable. It is best practice to brush with bottled water but with that being said, I have spent months in Mexico using tap water to brush my teeth and didn’t experience any adverse affects.

Summary: Safest Places To Stay In Mexico City

Wherever you choose to be in Mexico City, you’re in for a treat. While there are many great areas to stay in Mexico City, this article should help you decide which part of the city has the most of what you like to offer.

Mexico City has something for everyone, from historic sites and hot air balloons to luxury shopping to some of the best restaurants you’ll find anywhere. It is sure to become a favourite travel destination and somewhere you’ll want to return to time and time again.