Guide To Mexico City
The ultimate guide to visiting and living in Mexico City. Where to stay. Best places to eat, drink and have fun. Staying safe in Mexico City
Mexico City is the largest city in North America and the capital of Mexico.
It has more land than Los Angeles and more people than New York City.
The amount of things to do in this city is unmatched.
Although people from other parts of Mexico may think that Mexico City residents, known as Chilangos, are fast-paced and rude, compared to America, the pace is slow and people are friendly.
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How much does it cost to live in CDMX?
The great thing about CDMX is that it caters to all budgets. You can find very expensive places and very cheap ones as well. Additionally, the city is highly walkable and public transport is widely used by everyone (although I do not recommend the metro if you're not used to using public transport).
If you're looking to live on a tight budget, you could easily get by on $700 per month. On the other hand, if you want to live a luxurious lifestyle, then a budget of $2500 per month is probably more appropriate
When I say luxury, you can pretty much live in a skyscraper, with gyms, pulls and maybe a BMW dealership as your lobby
*I pay about 1650 for a 3 bedroom apartment with a large balcony. I have 2 security guards and a rooftop.
How much is a good budget to rent a month?
CDMX is an expensive city, especially with the recent influx of nomads from the United States and Europe. I estimate that you would need a budget of at least $1100 USD for a decent place, whether it be for Airbnb or a long-term rental in the central areas of "The Bubble" (Roma/Condesa/Polanco). This is because Airbnb taxes alone add an extra 30% to the cost, and landlords know that Gringos have money to spend. If you're looking for a 2-bedroom or luxury place, don't be surprised if Airbnb comes out to $1700-1800 a month.
One option is to book an Airbnb for a couple of weeks and negotiate with the owner for a cheaper long-term price that doesn't include Airbnb taxes. Alternatively, you can easily find long-term rental options online through Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
Where to Stay:
CDMX is a megacity, huge in all aspects and honestly, you’ll never see all of it.
Polanco, Condesa, Roma Sur, Roma Norte, and Hipodromo are the most central areas of the city. They vary in price and can either be mostly Mexican or full of foreigners. It's common to hear English on the streets in some of these areas, but they are typically where all the trendy spots are, including restaurants, bars, and clubs. I refer to this area as "The Bubble" because many gringos can live here and get away without knowing Spanish. Some expats form their own communities and never make local friends.
This area is a popular tourist destination with numerous cafes and local restaurants to choose from, making it easy to navigate on foot. However, it is also known for its high cost of living, which has increased not only due to expats but also because wealthy Mexican youth want to experience the area's trendy atmosphere with their parents' financial support. It is not uncommon to see short-term tourists exploring the area.
The Hipodromo neighborhood has a bohemian vibe with plenty of greenery and hipster cafes. Parque Mexico, one of the biggest parks in the city, is surrounded by one part of Hipodromo. The northeast corner of the neighborhood surprisingly has fewer expats and feels like a middle to upper-middle-class downtown neighborhood.
This area offers higher quality restaurants and bars.
It attracts classy tourists and people with good jobs who work remotely. There are quite a few rooftop bars, but some may find it too crowded and noisy. Nevertheless, it's a great place to be if you enjoy being close to the action and going out almost every night.
This neighborhood is known for its relaxed atmosphere and has plenty of outdoor restaurants to enjoy.
It's a great location if you enjoy walking to the park and Condesa, but it's a bit further from Reforma. This area is generally quieter and is ideal for those who want to be close to the action without being right in the middle of it.
This hip Mexican neighborhood is very modern and includes the Zona Rosa area, which is known as a self-designed gay/trans area. There are lots of small, local hole-in-the-wall restaurants in this area, although the food quality may not be exceptional. It's a great place to experience local culture and nightlife without overspending.
This neighborhood is becoming more upscale and quieter, with a growing reputation as Little Tokyo due to the numerous Ramen spots in the area. Cuatemoc is the residential side of the neighborhood, while the Reforma Ave is the business district. At night, the area can be very quiet, but there are several upscale places to visit, such as Ling Ling and Cityzen, which are both skyscraper restaurants and bars. While it may not be the best area for short-term tourists, it is an excellent area to live and walk to everything if you have the financial means, as Reforma has become increasingly expensive..
Polanco is a posh area where you'll see a lot of people with money. There are many high-end restaurants and European-influenced fashion stores. It doesn't offer a true Mexico experience unless you're an Instagram influencer. The area is not very walkable, and you'll need to Uber everywhere. Since most of the down-to-earth places are in the Roma area, you'll either spend a lot of money doing average things in Polanco or spend more time in traffic if you go elsewhere.
Outside of bubble
For the most part, if you live outside of the central areas, or the "bubble," things are too far away to comfortably walk to. It may be cheaper, but you'll have to use Uber to get around and see anything. I feel like most people live in the bubble for the first couple of years and then venture out as they don't want to go out as often, or once their Spanish gets good enough to live in predominantly Mexican neighborhoods. Personally, I live inside the bubble. While you might cut your rent by upwards of 50 percent, you're pretty much living a regular life. Most young expats are moving to different countries to live in the suburbs: Nápoles, Narvarte, and further
Don’t go there- Even Ubers dont like going there. Its a hood. The tacos are lit, but unless you have a high Spanish competency and don’t mind violence. Its not worth going to outside of hitting up a lucha libre match
Honorable mentions - These areas are considered suburbs. Coyoacan use to be its own city before Mexico City grew to the size it is. Santa Fe is a purely manufactured area built in recent time, and Pedregal sprang up around the university.
Located in the southern part of Mexico City. Coyoacán is known for its bohemian and artistic atmosphere, and has been home to many Mexican artists and writers throughout history, including Frida Kahlo and Octavio Paz.
If you’re moving here with a partner and don’t need to be on top of the action, this is a place to be with a couple vibrant markets
Located on the western edge of Mexico City, a little further from the central part of the city. Its completely manufactured with modern architecture and upscale shopping centers, such as Centro Santa Fe, which is one of the largest malls in Latin America.
Located in the southern part of Mexico City and is home to the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the country.
This neighborhood is known for their large houses and mansions, which are often owned by wealthy families and members of Mexico's elite. However, there are also poor areas of Pedredal
It;s home to several high-end shopping areas, such as the Perisur mall, which features luxury brands from around the world.
Best bars and clubs in CDMX
The simple answer is yes, Mexico City is generally considered to be safer than many American cities. Of course, it's always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially when in unfamiliar neighborhoods or areas.
In Mexico City, it's advisable to avoid walking alone late at night or in poorly lit areas, and it's also a good idea to be cautious when using public transportation. It's also important to be respectful and mindful of local customs and manners, as behaving inappropriately or arrogantly can attract unwanted attention.
Despite these precautions, Mexico City operates with a strong police presence, and various law enforcement officers can be seen on street corners and other public areas. In some cases, even the national guard may be present in certain locations.
Overall, the majority of incidents that occur in Mexico City tend to involve people who are involved in drug-related activities or who make themselves vulnerable by walking around drunk or making a scene. As long as you use common sense and take appropriate precautions, you should be able to enjoy your time in Mexico City without any major safety concerns.
Recommended tourist tracks
Walking through Polanco
Palace of Fine Arts
Go to Coyoacan
Soumaya and Anthropological Museum
Basilica of Guadalupe
Latin American Tower
This name a few, But again, I drop my maps
Is CDMX safe?
Yes. Simple answer.
Mexico city is safer than many American cities. Of course you should always take precautions, mind your manners and not go into bad neighborhood looking flashy. But Mexico City operates like a police state. You’ll see various types of law enforcement officers and in some instances the national guard handing out on corner. The only time I heard of anything bad happen is to people trying to buy drugs, making a scene or walking around drunk.
CDMX is truly a food lover's paradise, and it's no secret that this city is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. Despite this fact, some Euro-centric blogs may overlook or underestimate the culinary scene in CDMX. However, those who know the city well understand that it is a hub for gastronomic delights.
My maps include a carefully curated list of some of the best restaurants in the city, ranging from cheap eats to high-end dining experiences. But honestly, in CDMX, you can find excellent food at any place, whether it be a hole in the wall or a skyscraper bar. From street tacos that cost just a few pesos to lavish meals that cost $50 or more, it's hard to have a bad time when it comes to dining in this city.
So whether you're a foodie on a budget or looking for an extravagant dining experience, CDMX has something for everyone. Make sure to check out my maps for some of the best food spots in the city, and don't be afraid to explore and discover new places on your own.
Things to Do & My Personal Bookmarks
First, I’ll give a somewhat detailed breakdown by area of different things you can do in the city. This should be more an enough for any tourist staying for a week all the way to the person living here that wants to explore more deeply.
Then I’ll drop my list of bookmarks. Because CDMX has so much to offer and changes everyday. I’ll do my best to update this often.
Museo del Templo Mayor
Museo Nacional de Arte
Museo Mural de Diego Rivera
Museo de Arte Popular
Miguel Lerdo de Tejada Library
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Mercado de Artesanías de Ciudadela
Buenavista (northwest of the Centro Historico)
UNAM Museum of Geology
Castillo de Chapultepec
Museo de Arte Moderno
Museo Nacional de Antropología
There a area outside of the park across from the BBVA building where you can buy weed
Angel of Independence
La Casa Azul (Museo Frida Kahlo)
Outside of the city:
Over the past few years, I have spent a considerable amount of time comparing and organizing over 250 Google Maps Pins. These Pins are carefully curated to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about different locations within the city. As a result of my efforts, I have released a comprehensive list that can serve as a valuable resource for anyone looking to explore the city.
Since I am a resident of this city, I am committed to keeping this list updated with the latest information. I am constantly exploring new areas and adding new Pins to the list. This way, visitors and locals alike can rely on this resource to discover new and exciting places within the city.
Whether you're looking for the best restaurants, the most interesting museums, or the most beautiful parks, my list has got you covered. So if you're planning a trip to the city or just want to explore more of what it has to offer, be sure to check out my list of Google Maps Pins.
CDMX, also known as Mexico City, is a city that has polarizing opinions among people. While it is loved by many foreigners, it is also hated by many Mexicans. Nevertheless, it remains a true metropolis where you can feel the vibrant and bustling energy of capitalism. The city has an atmosphere where anything seems possible, and achieving your goals is within reach.
One of the main attractions of CDMX is its spectacular weather, which is mild and pleasant throughout the year. The city also boasts great architecture, from ancient ruins to modern skyscrapers. However, one downside to this city is that it can be expensive by Latin American standards. In fact, the cost of living can be compared to that of Madrid or even more.
If you're just starting to make money online or are on a very low budget, CDMX may not be the best choice for you. However, for the average foreigner making an average American salary, this city is a playground filled with endless opportunities and adventures.
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If you have any recommendations for a place that you think should be added to one of your maps, feel free to leave a comment.
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