Mexico City Travel Guide

Mexico City Travel Guide

I am ashamed. Mexico City has been a
constant neighbor for centuries. It is responsible for much of the food that I
cannot conceive of my life without. My home state of California was part of
Mexico until 1850 and is still home to more Hispanics than any other ethnic
group in the state. Mexico’s influence on modern California and America is
incalculable and invaluable. But I know embarrassingly little about this city
about this country other than what has been prepackaged, distilled, and is
resilient enough to make the treacherous border crossing from Mexico into
American popular culture. I am going to fix that right now. When you stop for a second, take a breath
and look around you you realize something pretty quickly – Mexico City is
gargantuan. The largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere and the
biggest Spanish-speaking city on earth, this is a human hive of staggering
proportions. 1700 neighbourhoods are home to the nearly 20 million people that
make Mexico City hum. That makes it the biggest city in North America by
population. This is a densely packed highly populous place no matter how you
measure it or how you experience it. And the airport is a great example of
this Benito Juarez international located just a few miles east of the city.
This airport is bursting at the seams. It was due to be replaced by a brand
new airport designed by Norman Foster but after public outcry over spiraling
costs and the expropriation of thousands of acres of public land the project was
put on indefinite hold late last year so for now this is your gateway to Mexico
City. As with pretty much every country in the
world there is a little bit of paperwork to fill out before you arrive in Mexico
and before is the important word here. Fill out this paperwork on the plane
otherwise it’s going to delay your entry into the country.
Now you can pre-fill it online before you even leave your home country but
when you print it out you must do it on a color printer otherwise you’ll get be
sent back to the back of the queue to fill out one of these. The second really
important thing to remember is when you go through immigration they’re going
keep one piece of this and they’re going give you back another piece –
you must keep hold of this until you leave Mexico otherwise they won’t let
you leave until you pay a little bit of a fine and spend a long time refilling
out all the paperwork, so take 30 seconds to get it right on the airplane,
invest that time. To get from the airport you can jump in a taxi for which
you can buy a ticket at one of the marked stands or kiosks inside the airport
terminal. The journey will cost between 100 and 300 pesos depending on the type
of vehicle you choose and of course how far you’re going and the journey will
take between 30 and 90 minutes really depending on the traffic now avoid taxi
towns and unlicensed taxis like the plague not only will you invariably pay
more than you need to in rare cases they can actually be quite
dangerous so make the right choice alternatively you can use uber from the
airport just be sure to select which door to meet your driver at and you’ll
be good to go the journey will cost around 180 pesos how do you move 20 million people around
a city all day every day by the second half of the 20th century Mexico City’s
public transport infrastructure was grinding to a halt the city was entirely
dependent on its overly congested roads and highways so in 1967 ground was
broken on the Mexico City metro Mexico City has one of the most extensive and
busiest metro systems in the world it’s a great way to get around to because the
12 lines cover most of the city it’s very easy to use despite the lack of
English language signs because the system was designed with illiteracy in
mind so through the use of color and iconography the whole network is
accessible to really everybody our system to be a truly effective
decongestant the Metro needed to be accessible by all not just the wealthy
or educated in addition to the easy-to-understand signage a discount on
the standard 5 peso fare has always been available to the unemployed female heads
of household and low-income students and it’s free for the elderly and the
disabled democratization of public transport is how you keep 20 million
people Mexico City’s stored-value transit card is that they’ll head to DF
not only does it work on the Metro but on Metro buses and the city’s trolley
bus and light rail systems too it can be purchased and recharged at ticket booths
or ticket machines in most metro stations where you can also purchase
your single journey Metro ticket – as you go through the turnstile just tap
your tarjeta or insert your ticket to begin your journey
see the speed interference assume they mean diseases a variety of bus services
swarm the city taking passengers to the nooks and crannies of Mexico City that
the Metro just can’t reach the government and municipal e run metro and
RTP buses cost between two and six spaces depending on the type of service
and how far you’re going but they will take you to any destination along their
route the privately owned slightly less formal for several buses well they will
take you anywhere but the routes are a little more fluid and the driving style
a little more avant-garde shall we say so choose wisely Metro bus and trolley
bus services complete this varied and extensive suite of bus services in
Mexico City all of them start at less than 35 American cents and will with a
little luck get you where you need to go taxis are a great way to get around the
city but you will need to take a few precautions local producer and friend of
attache and weekly Rizzo explains in I think in general taxis are a very good
way to move around the city there’s a lot of working class people and Mexican
people that they don’t use public transport they they can afford taxis and
Mexico City as there are so many cars sometimes it’s even more affordable to
only use uber and taxis rather than owning a car so what if you don’t have
enough signal to Halon uber and Rica explains the safer option if you need to
grab a taxi the old-fashioned way so the safer option was to take taxis
from stands so these official stands you have the taxis park and they are a lot
safer and they would be a bit more expensive but that that way you weren’t
risking it so if you find yourself as the old saying goes up shit creek
without an uber find a taxi stand it’s always suggestible to take to use this
this app’s I would say and never street taxis mas morning in Mexico City and 20 million
people are on the move their hard work in many cases for very low pay
contributes to Mexico City being one of the most productive urban areas on earth
and as you take your place in this river of humanity flowing across the city
you’ll discover what fuels this ultra productive people Paola Cristina Flores
and her family have been feeding Mexico City from this same spot for over 65
years but it was Perlas mother Rosario who created a dish 20 years ago that
turned this humble Street food stall into a Mexico City legend tortoise that
Sheila Kuehl a derided as a culinary abomination when first introduced
tortillas in a roll who would do such a thing
Torche esta chilaquiles are now a beloved staple across the city red or
green chilaquiles stuffed into a French roll topped with chicken milanesa
cochinita pibil or shredded chicken that is already sold out so we are stuck with
the Roja which is just as good different flavor but just as good always in line
much longer around breakfast time but this is my new favorite Mexican
breakfast or just street food it’s so good in the ten years it’s been since I left
California I’ve learned to my eternal heartbreak the Mexican food just doesn’t
travel well further you move away from Mexico the less authentic the less
satisfying and frankly the less good it becomes to the point of being
unrecognizable and dare I say insulting I’ve given up trying to find good
Mexican food outside of North America I’ve been kicked out of enough Mexican
and burrito restaurants and London Hong Kong in Paris to have learned my lesson
I just cannot take the disappointment anymore so this brings me cure unbridled
joy I’m gonna start crying yeah and if the food doesn’t travel well you
better believe I’m going to eat my fill whilst I’m local local food expert and
cook Nico Garcia is a passionate advocate for Mexico City’s street food
purveyors like la Castilla a mainstay of the city since 1970 there garlic
tostadas are a great start to the conversation really good right and what doesn’t taste
better without a splash of salsa Nico explains the surprising complexity of
this classic Mexican accoutrement the salsas don’t really have a recipe that
you can follow it’s just like a general style so every cell said you try on any
place any restaurant any streets then it’s gonna be different and what I like
to do is what we what I did just now to have everything but not in the same bite
you know like some drops of wine some drop of theater so each bite is slightly
different by costea’s signature dish is the imposing of all kind so it’s a
poblano the rib eye and they’re using a type of cheese called Casa era but fear
not the Vulcan gets its name not from its heat but from the Cascade of melting
cheese that tops it we wouldn’t consider this spicy food and people actually
would that spice yeah generally most many people like spice and Mexican
people usually start eating spicy food when we’re like 2 or 3 years old that’s
when you’re considered old enough to start with the lowest kind of spice but
your parents will give you candy with a little bit of chilli if you’re jonesing
for some spice this place will almost certainly be ok
so this place is called Pakistani Tony has the craziest hours it’s easier for
me to tell you when these guys are close that when they’re open so Tony’s closest
from 5 a.m. till 8 a.m. and that’s it the other 21 hours of a these places in
business and like this having such long opening hours gives Tony’s a certain
advantage over the competition so in every second yeah do you know the hours
and you know that you want to be there like 6 hours after they bit after they
open you don’t wanna be there at night because this weather is gonna be dry and
overcooked and if you’re too early it’s gonna be chewy still and the great thing
about this place is because they work all day long every few minutes they put
a new piece of meat so anytime you come you’re going to have a piece that is
Swatara a cut of beef similar to brisket is placed in a bath of water and fat
for several hours until the beef is essentially called feed and it’s served
with rocket fuel this space we have to be very very careful with the cells
they’re really spicy even for Mexican standards so if it’s spicy for Mexicans
for non Mexican people it’s gonna be really spicy so be very careful okay
and Nico was not kidding SWAT arrow might be my new favorite
style of tacos but I cannot come to Mexico and not pay my respects to the
greatest of all taco styles our past or the place is really really unique
because actually by day this is a car mechanic an auto repair shop so the
place has been open for one hour exactly and you can see how it’s already full
their biggest hours are actually after people go drinking so from 10:30 11:00
till 4:00 a.m. this is absolutely crazy you have three or four times as much
people as you have right now I adore tacos al pastor the crispy but
moist grilled pork the Fleck of tangy pineapple topped with cilantro and
chopped onion pure Mexican goodness beautiful and now for something very
special a Mexican cantina is a really unique place so let’s go inside and we
can see Mexican canteen is are the exception to the old drinking rule
eating is cheating 100 dishes completely free even if you don’t believe it and we
convinced and then over here it says consumer or consumption for and you have
four little drinks this means that in order to in eat in this place you need
to order for drinks and it’s not for table its purpose but once you do once
you are therefore you get free access to the menu and it becomes an old you can
eat place everything is cooked fresh and really there is no limited nobody is
quite sure where cantinas came from but they sure have their fans it’s a little
plate that clients get after being here 1,500 times that’s 1500 times and
actually it tells you how long it took them so these two guys what happens here
I will convey were here 1500 times from the 9th of October 92 to the 9th of
October 2012 so if you do the math this means that these people have been
drinking at the same place like three times a week for almost 30 years that’s
a lot of drink and a lot of food I was happy just to have tallied my first
visit just 1499 to go after a night of tradition it feels only
appropriate to end the night in the traditional way with a mezcal nightcap a
common misconception is that muscala is a form of tequila on the contrary as
chef when Vera explains if you want to name it tequila you have to produce it
in a certain area which is tequila Jalisco it’s just a town in Jalisco and
surroundings and using one single type of agave which is blue agon and so miss
Cal is a highly varied artisanal creation with an incredible spectrum of
flavor stemming from the agave plant Moscow recipes have been mastered and
refined from generation to generation muscala is taken a backseat to its more
famous cousin for decades but with such variety and taste and provenance it’s
easy to see why mezcal is reclaiming shelf space in bars across Mexico Mexico’s currency is the Pacer now
here’s the weird thing the peso is represented by the dollar sign
but since the dollar sign was first used to represent the spanish-american peso
it is safe to say that Mexico got there first so there you have it this is a
very easy City in which to transact debit cards and credit cards are widely
accepted and there are ATMs everywhere which is a great thing because as with
so many other cities in the world Street food vendors and smaller market stall
holders will really only accept cash so with that combination you really can’t
go wrong here and you could enjoy what is generally agreed upon as a very low
cost of living and on that note let’s do the rundown a beautiful can coffee will
cost you your 20 business that’s a beautiful Mexican beer cost you around
40 pesos and for the most reliable indicator of a nation’s cost the good ol
Big Mac you’re gonna pay around 52 pesos or two dollars and seventy two cents as
a January 2019 at about half-past two so the cost of living is very low and the
quality is very high so it’s only appropriate to show some appreciation all right let’s get it over and done
with tipping it is absolutely a thing here in Mexico especially in Mexico City
so do it 10% in a restaurant if you’ve had a good
meal and good services though the bare minimum but feel free to do more and the
way it works is simply when they bring your car you have the option on the card
reader machine to select how much you want it tips before you punch in your
PIN or sign on the dotted line in any service environment Hotel coffee
shop and everything in between it’s also the done thing a few pesos here and
there added to your bill or just in coins while not going this so do it this
city comes with a reputation a reputation magnified by the lens of the
outsider Mexico City is quantifiably a safe city compared with many other
capital cities but as friend of attache cath Cuevas explains there are pockets
of the city which require a little extra precaution just in Mexico City for the
past couple of months there’s bit there’s been a situation where there’s
been kidnapping so as soon as they spot a lady getting out of the subway and
walk into it someplace a guy would appear and try to mock her and like like
grab her and people if people would see them fighting the guy would go like oh
just she’s just having an episode she’s fine she’s my girlfriend so it’s like an
actual thing this morning yeah so what’s happening right now and has been
happening for the past couple of years is that as soon as we know we’re getting
out of the house we report to someone as soon as we know we’re getting out of the
coffee shop we report to someone as soon as we get into the louver we share why
we’re where we are saying that you’re okay it’s part of the survival thing
that you have to do I have never fallen in love with a city
as quickly as I fell from Mexico City it was I can safely say a revelation sure I
arrived with preconceptions and hopes of what this city might be what it might
offer but with each new sight sound smell and taste my expectations were
humbled how could anything anywhere possibly be this good Mexico City is
everything I want in a city hectic sprawling loud creative friendly and
absolutely friggin delicious I will look for every possible excuse or
justification to get back here as soon as humanly possible but until then I
urge you experience Mexico City eat its food meet its impossibly warm and
friendly people you will not be disappointed

100 thoughts on “Mexico City Travel Guide

  1. Where is the dance hall where the older folks were dancing salsa? Thank you. Great video. You remind me of Anthony Bordain.

  2. Mexico City is one the most impressiv city in the world. everyone should have this city on their bucket list. Amazing people, Amazing food, amazing colours.

  3. I love to see when there's no expression in his face when he eats the food ^^ Really good video man

  4. When Donald Trump came to Mexico City, I couldn't be more happy! Trump has a great relationship with Mexico! Trump loves the food, the people, and the culture. What about build the wall? Well, people have to come in legally. But Trump loves Mexico!

  5. I was in CDMX // Mexico City few months ago and I can say that I had good times ?. CDMX is a huge city, but Uber is cheap. I won't recommend Taxis as they charge 2X-3X ? more than Uber. I love to take pictures and make videos and upload them on my YT channel ? – be safe & happy travels.

  6. The only problem with mexican food is it is probably the least healthy food you can find. I quit vegetable oils completely. Every once in a while is fine, but eating that every day it is no wonder there are so many obese people in Mexico.

  7. Hey Attaché Team! These are some amazing captions – like for real! We are a travel agency from London and we would love to use your captions. Would you please give us the permission to do so?
    Please hit us up for any questions!
    Sincerely ASB Travel Solutions ltd 🙂

  8. I’m happy to hear who he introduced Mexico ?? and how he “acknowledged that California was once a part of Mexico”. Many Americans forget that, and that technically speaking Mexicans and the Natives were here way before (meaning pretty much all of the west coast of America. Let’s not forget all the other states “America stole”.)all of you white folks showed up

  9. Quite informative, but as a Mexico City native, I MUST tell you that the choice of music at the start of the video was HORRIBLE and totally INAPPROPRIATE… It is a song talking about murders, narcos, not coming back home alive, etc etc… Maybe your audience doesn't understand Spanish…but really, SHAME !!!!

  10. My friend has traveled the world and now that Istanbul is under the power of Erdogan and Syria has suffered so much her favorite place on earth is Mexico City. My children and I went last summer in 2018 and had an amazing time. The people are amazing as mentioned. We did a tour with Urban Adventures touring the markets and it was gorgeous; tasty and amazing. Louis Barragan architecture is a must and I would recommend getting a book called this is Mexico City by Abby Clawson Low. We were so impressed to come back home. Mexico City was amazing and we met so many fabulous people and ate so many delicious things and saw amazing works of art and it’s absolutely unbelievable the Aztecs build the city floating so long ago

  11. Welcome to one of the most beautiful countries in the world…
    Here everyone becomes a part of it's history and cosmopolitan culture…
    Once you travel around Mexico, you become bewitched by the music, the folklore, and exquisite cuisine… all of this founded when the ancient civilizations thrived to become the modern Mexico we know.
    Take a trip off the beaten path…
    Every little corner hides the flavor of history and mystery…
    Thank you for becoming a part of us…

    Truly yours
    The mexican people

  12. It is extremely easy to fall in love with Mexico City as a foreigner or a tourist, as a ephemeral habitant who only covers the central area of the city for a very short period of time; but it really is a pain in the ass to live here.

    Literally anyone, including partially blind people, can get a driver’s license without any practical test or theoretical knowledge of the road; add that to the fact that most of the population lacks any form of civic and driving education, people taking possession of the streets believing the public space belongs to them, the rising insecurity, racism, classism and the fact that people take everything for granted like the unbelievably delicious food; are just some of the reasons why CDMX isn’t as beautiful as it is portrayed.

    And while there are truly grateful, hardworking, good people (mainly the lower class); the place is a primitive jungle where the strongest and richest take over the weakest and poorest.

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but it is a reality that some of us chose not to ignore.

  13. So starting October the taxis are getting an up lift with new technology and you will be able to order a taxi like Uber and will have cameras to monitor not only the drivers but passengers so everyone makes it ok to their destination. So overall they are going to start to gain back the trust of the public.

  14. ??? Here they show Trump getting to his super secret meeting in Mexico in a helicopter… and going around the US in a douce and half weight SUV to get to the Air Force 1, shutting down enetire roads… Meanwhile Mexico's new president AMLO having a presidential plane and everything, prefers walking from his office to the nearby Subway station to take the subway to catch a commercial flight, and is hugging, kissing, taking selfies and receiving gifts from people along the way… And not everyone in Mexico like AMLO and that's a fact…

  15. Hello there, thank you for the video, I am from Kuwait and I can’t agree enough with the beauty of mexico.i love Mexico and most importantly the Mexican people, they’re full of life, loving, hospitable, respectful, kind, they’re awesome.

  16. Where are these parts of the city where you are at risk of kidnappings? Was hoping you were going to follow up on that a bit more. I was tentatively waiting but then nothing. Is this women mostly at risk or men too? What other precautions should one take? Thanks!

  17. It's sad that the U.S. only stopped at Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California…….the U.S. should've kept going down to near Guatemala.

  18. I love how Mexico City is always portrayed through the poor and ethnic of the city. However, very incomplete. You’re not including the true Mexico City. If you want ethnic Mexico, go to the small towns.


  20. I have been to different cities in the world but there is something that made me fall in love with Mexico City. I love this place
    Greetings from Germany

  21. I am speechless with this video – so nice and well-produced . Soy Mexicano por lo que mi comentarios podria parecer sesgado. Mis mejores deseos de todas maneras.

  22. In my opinion Mexico city isn't the best place of Mexico, there are better places despite it's the most representative and I've lived there for 12 years. I'm from Chiapas, México, specifically from San Cristobal de las Casas, a completely stunning place to have an spectacular journey even to stay and live

  23. Mexico is America gringo way before it was stolen from its rightful native people by europeans don't they teach you gringos that in MIT. What ever happened to let's make America great again ???? viva mexico raza no se arrodillen a los gringos por unos pinches pesos ?

  24. I just discovered that the lyrics of the song in 3:52 talks about violence, drug dealers and political issues. A bit paradoxical.

  25. Que canciones se intepretan en este video episodio en el background se que IMS Mexico y el otro que va Puishi ca ca empezando al Minuto 15:30

  26. WOW! I'm headed there to Mexico City tomorrow for a few days before I head to Italy. I can't wait to try the street food in Mexico City! That food looks amazing!

  27. What a great cover of my city! I’ve always love it so I feel that when an outsider takes it seriously is really loving us as Mexicans too!
    Thank you!!

  28. Thank you for visiting "El D.F.", and great story in detail is another gentle deed to share with those who would love to visit Mexico City. Gracias and being a native Washingtonian but a Mexican descent of Morelos. I will share this story with friends indeed. Gracias and Thank you.

  29. Looking forward to be back in my country again… Happy and thankful to hear you saying just nice things about my country… Nice video.. great job!

  30. I am going to Mexico City for the very first time in 2 weeks. I am even more excited to visit! Thanks for the great video and good tips!

  31. This video doesn’t really cover the city itself. Like there’s no major breakdown of these “pockets” of the city he likes to mention. Theres nothing related to cultural locations like a museum, a city square, historical buildings or neighborhoods. It’s basically a white guy going around eating food and feeling guilty.

  32. Not too long ago I was visiting Mexico and my aunt made me a simple ham sandwich and it was delicious. Even just ham and bread tastes way better in Mexico.

  33. Mexico City is one favorite cities in the world! Thank you for your video! I agree, use Uber it's super cheap to get around in. Be careful with the subway, I got my cell phone pick pocketed once. Also small correction, California was part of Mexico for 27 years, from 1821 to 1848.

  34. Im amazed for the way you explained Mexico's city lifestyle.
    Im mexican and i'd never seen someone do it as you do.
    Great video, congratulations!
    I own a bar in mexico city, if you come back i'll love to share with you the best mexican prepared beers.
    Thank you!

  35. Those pork tacos al pastor are nasty, yeah they taste delicious but pigs in Mexico are like garbage compactors, people feed them garbage, left overs, they eat their own shit, etc so you are eating the meat of a very sick animal, that's why they taste so good, all that crap the pigs eat and they have no sweat glands and are bottom dwellers.

  36. What a great pitch for Ciudad de Mexico! Everything you shared was spot on. But it is literally the tip of the iceberg. This city and the Mexican culture, in general, is one of the most complex civilizations in the world. And, in my humble estimation, they have the most extraordinary cuisine I have ever experienced. But, don't forget about the many amazing museums and politically significant sites throughout this city, as well as archeological sites nearby. The Museo Nacional de Antropologia is the most amazing museum I have ever been to. And that includes the Smithsonian complex. You can easily spend a day there and feel short-changed for time! I am a gringo who has worked and lived in Puebla Mx for the past two and a half years, which is a little over a 2-1/2 hour bus ride southeast of CDMX. The Mexican culture far outdates the green United States. Come visit. Come see how empires rise and have fallen. It is a good lesson for us gringos in these strange days of Democracy-challenged. Perhaps we can learn from Mexican humility and simplicity? But, do be aware of the kidnappings. Since the government cracked down on the stealing of gasoline from the pipelines, the criminal element has resorted to kidnapping throughout many areas of the country.

  37. As a kid, I hitchhiked down to DF and I and my friend lived on the Zocalo for many months. Tortas are not so new, for this was in the early 'sixties and we subsisted on them! I've returned many times since then, and always con amore!

  38. I'm worried, my parents who are originally from Mexico, have been thinking of moving back there, I have never been there since I lived in California since I was a baby, now at 13 yrs old, I think it's too fast to think about moving, I will have to leave my friends, family, and other family behind, is there any way I can cope with this and feel less negatively of this choice?

  39. Dude you nailed it! I’m from Mexico City and I’ve been living abroad for nearly 5 years. People often ask me what to I miss the most? I always start with the food but in reality is the people, their carisma, their creativity and their untiring love for life despite the obvious adversities of a megalopolis. Do your homework and do not miss the opportunity to experience the oldest and largest city in the American Continent!

  40. This is a really good introductory video displaying the many qualities of Mexico City life and Mexican culture. I must correct though in stating that your home State of California was seized from Mexico in 1846 and was formally ceded to the United States in 1948 in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Great job otherwise!

  41. I enjoyed your video, just one little clarification. If you are rich and have lots of money, Mexico city may seem cheap, but for average Joe it´s not that cheap. To come as a tourist for a week, it´s fine, but to live there is not that cheap. Rent is very expensive. The only cheap stuff is street food and transportation.

  42. Just a couple of things – first, thanks for the video! You didn't mention that you can grab the metro from the airport. The 5 peso fare is good 'per trip', so it'll get you anywhere the system goes. No need for an uber or taxi unless you have too many bags! Getting to the metro stop at the airport can be difficult the first time – just keep asking airport workers for directions until you find it! There are apps you can get for your smartphone that will help you figure out which stops to get on and off at too.
    Also, if you're over 60 and either a citizen or a temp/permanent resident of México, you can get a senior card from INAPAM. This is what allows you to ride the subway free – you just show it to the guard at the turnstyles and they'll let you in. I believe that students ride free too – they're always entering the same way and not paying. Metro Buses have the same system, but you need to be older (either 65 or 70, I can't remember).

    The FMM (visitors permit) – you don't need to print it in color. What they're looking for is the bar code that prints on it. If you print it, fold it several times between the top and bottom sections so they can tear it easily.

    Last – don't forget to eat comida corrida in the mercados. Cheap and filling, and a great way to just stop, relax, and people watch for a half hour.

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