Mexico City (CDMX) is the capital of the Mexican Republic, seat of the federal powers, and the most populous city in the country.
With an extension of 1,485 km² and a maximum height of 3,930 mamsl, Mexico City has established itself as one of the most important financial and cultural centers of the American continent and of the entire globe by receiving distinguished recognitions as the #1 Place to go in 2016, granted by The New York Times; and World Design Capital in 2018, awarded by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID).
Mexico is the Latin American country with the most recognitions from the UNESCO World Heritage list and the sixth in the world. It has 51 locations registered as cultural heritage sites, of which 12 are natural goods, 37 are cultural, and 2 are mixed ones. You can visit some of them during your stay.
Spanish is Mexico’s official language, but at the majority of hotels and tour services the personal also speak English.
The voltage in Mexico is 110 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz. The plugs are flat pinned, type B, like those used in the United States. We recommend carrying adapters, because they are not available in all hotels.
The rainy season begins in May and ends around October. Generally it consists of sunny mornings followed by cloudy afternoons with some rain. Mornings and nights may be cold. The average temperature is 16 ° C. Check the weather forecast.
In Mexico it is a custom to leave a tip of 10% of the total bill in restaurants, bars and cafes, or 15% when the service was exceptional. In some establishments the tip is included in the final bill, so it is recommended to review every ticket carefully. It is also customary to tip the waiters, valets, gas dispensers, bellboys and other service providers. Leaving no tip at all is frowned upon.
Check the roaming rates with the local operator for calling from your cell phone. It is recommended to buy a phone card available at self-service stores, magazine stands, hotels, travel agencies and at the airport. To make a long distance call follow these steps:
- To dial to a phone inside Mexico: 01 + area code + number
- To dial to a local cell phone: 044 + area code + number
- To dial to a cell phone from another state of the Mexican Republic: 045 + area code + number
- To dial to the United States and Canada: 001 + area code + number
- To dial to any other country: 00 + country code + city code + number
Long distance calls can receive the assistance of an operator by dialing 020 from a local phone or 090 from an international one.
To obtain more information from a bilingual operator dial 090.
You may not have problems in Mexico City if you keep in mind the following recommendations:
- Avoid ostentation: do not wear jewelry or eye-catching accessories when going out.
- Watch your wallet, cell phone or any electronic equipment all the time, especially in public and crowded places.
Carry just the amount of money you need for the daily expenses and a credit card. At any ATM you can get some cash.
- Take an official identification with you or a copy of it.
- Avoid the lonely and dark places.
- Use preferably the service of a taxi base. You may also use a mobility app like Uber or Cabify, both available in Mexico City. We recommend you not to catch taxis on the street.
- Request a ticket or commercial invoice as proof of your purchases. If you have any problem related to purchases, services or bills, you may call the Federal Consumer Attorney (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor, PROFECO) at +52(55)52111723 (in Mexico City) and at 01 800 468 8722, or send an email at email@example.com. In order to make a complaint from your residence country, you may also send an email to the unit of foreign travelers: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mexico City Tour Guides
Public transportation in Mexico City
There are several public transportation systems in Mexico City: subway (Metro), light rail, trolleybus, and a huge variety of bus services (Metrobus, RTP, Pesero, Mexibus, Pumabus).
The subway stations closest to DH2018 places are Insurgentes and Sevilla.
The closest Metrobus stations are Hamburgo and Insurgentes.
In the ViaDF website you may find the best way to move around Mexico City using the public transportation. CityMapper website may also be helpful.
The only airport in Mexico City is the International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México, AICM). Check at your hotel what time you should leave to avoid losing your flight, due to the traffic on the streets. As an alternative airport you may use the International Airport of Toluca (Aeropuerto Internacional de Toluca, AIT), in the State of Mexico (Estado de México), located 1 hour from Mexico city downtown.
Mexico City has excellent bus connections with the entire Republic. Here you may find the main four bus stations:
- Terminal Bus Station of the North (Terminal de Autobuses del Norte)
- Terminal Bus Station of the South (Terminal de Autobuses del Sur)
- Terminal Bus Station of the Passengers of the East (Terminal de Autobuses de Pasajeros de Oriente, TAPO)
- Central Bus Station of the West (Central de Autobuses del Poniente)
Taxis circulate in all the main avenues and streets of the city; however, as it was said before, it is recommended to use only those taxis from an identifiable base or the ones using a card with the letter B in the right rear window with the driver´s information. In the airport, at the hotels and at visited places safe taxis bases can be found. To ask for a taxi using your cell phone, you may download these apps: Easy Taxi | Yaxi | Cabify | Taxibeat | Uber
Exchange rate and currency
The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso ($). You may find 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 or 1,000 pesos bills in circulation, as well as 10, 20 and 50 cents coins and 1, 2, 5 and 10 pesos coins. It is recommended to visit the official page of the Bank of Mexico (Banco de México) to clarify any question about the bills and coins.
For any small purchase it is advisable to use only low denomination banknotes. Here you can learn more about the currency and the exchange rates.
The most accepted credit cards are: Visa, American Express and Master Card.
ATMs or cash dispensers
All the important bank branches have ATMs compatible with credit or debit cards. The cash available in all these ATMs is in Mexican pesos.
It is recommended to bring traveler checks with you, expended by international entities. Traveler checks may be changed without any inconvenience in any bank office and are often accepted at hotels and traveler agencies. Just consider these traveler checks will be valued in a lower exchange rate rather than the nominal one.
Tax refunds for tourists
Some commerces affiliated to the Taxback program may refund 65% of the value-added tax of the total purchase, if the customer is not a Mexican. It only applies in purchases with a minimal value of 1,200 pesos.
Classification of taxes
Value-added tax (Impuesto sobre el Valor Agregado, IVA): 16% of the total value in any product and/or service.
Hotel room tax (Impuesto sobre el Hospedaje, ISH): 3% over the hotel value.
Special tax over Products and Services (Impuesto Especial sobre Producción y Servicios, IEPS): it may go from 25% to 160% over the value of some luxury goods, fuels and plaguicides.