Have you been to Mexico City? Is it SAFE? Share your comments.

Hi, dear readers: I’m planning to write a feature article about Mexico City safety, and would like to hear your opinions about visiting there.  Here are some  ideas:

Where do you live?

Why did you go to Mexico City?

How was your experience arriving at the Mexico City airport?

What about getting a taxi to take you to where you were staying?

What neighborhood did you stay in?

Did you walk around? What time of day?

Did you feel secure? Why? If not, then why not?

Is Mexico City more or less secure than any other city you have been to? Why?

What was your most memorable experience?

Are you a man or woman? Did you travel alone? If not alone, who did you travel with?

What would you recommend for safe travel in Mexico City?

Anything else you want to add?

Would you give me permission to use your name and comments?

Thanks,

Norma

P.S. If you prefer, you can email me your comments directly. norma.schafer@icloud.com

Mexican Flag, La Bandera de Mexico, Zocalo, Mexico City

On the walking street, Francisco I. Madero, Mexico City

Organ grinders on Mexico City streets, a dying breed

Museo Palacio Bellas Artes, Mexico City

Archeological discovery continues in Mexico City under the Cathedral

13 Responses to Have you been to Mexico City? Is it SAFE? Share your comments.

  1. Like all the commenters, I, too, love Mexico City. My first time, around 1992, I was terrified, knowing nothing, traveling alone, and with poor Spanish. However, I was quickly reassured. I felt safe, visited the Zocalo and other places, loved the street life and colour. That first time, I stayed near the Zona Rosa, which I now feel is somewhat tired, but it was safe.

    My only real problem now is that I react quite badly to the high altitude; it brings up my blood pressure and I have trouble breathing. However, I have such good friends there and so love the museums: Dolores Almedo, Casa Azul, ruins and museum next to the Cathedral, the Cathedral itself, then the Archeological Museum, the various art museums in Chapultepec, plus the Xochimilco floating gardens…and just walking, walking, even if somewhat breathlessly.

    Have never had a problem with taxis, because I use registered taxi cab stands or go to a hotel. The airport is easy and they have designated cab companies. I live in Toronto, and the airport experience here at Pearson is much worse than in Mexico City.

    I now speak quite adequate Spanish and feel comfortable everywhere, as far as asking directions, talking to cab drivers, etc. In the past, I have stayed at the Maria Christina Hotel (okay, but now a little tired), but now stay with friends in Polanco, a great area to explore.

    I have travelled alone and with my husband and now alone again. It’s all been pretty great.

  2. I love Mexico City and have visited many times. I lived there from 1968-70 when it was much smaller, and the Metro was just under construction. My most recent visits were last year in March and April. I stayed at an AirBnB the first time, in Cuauhtemoc/Roma area. It was safe and clean, just a bit far from anything. (I looked but I don’t think it is listed on Airbnb anymore). I took an airport taxi and had no problems. During my stay I found a taxi driver who I liked, so I got his phone number and then had him pick me up when I had plans. He also came and took me to the airport. That was very convenient. His name is Fernando, +52 1 55 3252 3374. He uses WhatsApp so if you have wifi you can just text him and make an schedule. Very reliable. I speak Spanish with him, so I am not sure how good he is with English, though I am sure hotel names and times or addresses would work. I

    In April I stayed in a hotel in Roma, Hotel Milan. The location was great, clean and friendly, but the weather was hot and it did not have a/c which made it difficult to sleep. I would stay there again, but April is pretty warm.

    I spent a bit of time in the Centro district, usually by cab. The MAP had the Volchol (VW covered in beadwork by the Huichol ) which was very special.

    I took a day trip to Coyoacan, which is always fun. I have stayed there in the past and found it a fun, colorful and interesting area. Lots of good food and art for sale. Of course Casa Azul is a must and so is the Museo Nacional de las Culturas Populares. I have been there twice. The first time it had an exhibit from the state of Guerrero (Taxco silver and Acapulco chairs and everything in between) and this time it was Oaxaca and there were some wonderful examples of the the textiles and carved figures (alebrijes). First class exhibits. There is a small mercado there that has some delicious tacos. (Norma, it is mentioned in that book – Opinionated Guide to Mexico City that I gave to you.) Tacos Coyacan I think. BIG YELLOW sign.

    In the past I have gone to Anahuacalli, Diego Rivera’s museum and studio. A bit off the beaten path, but such a unique building and great views from the rooftop.
    Another interesting thing to do is the Dolores Olmedo museum, in Xochimilco. Lovely grounds and fabulous collection of Diego and Frida artwork.

    But I must say my favorite museum in the world, is the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. Usually 1-2 hours is my maximum for a museum visit, but I can spend most of the day here. This is where you will see the Aztec Calendar, Jade masks, the Obsidian monkey and many of the most famous pieces of archeological finds from all over Mexico. That is just the main floor. Then upstairs is the modern inhabitants of Mexico. Textiles, toys, food, art and all sorts of wonderful photos and even house styles that are found today.

    As you can tell there is so much to do in CDMX, you have to go more than once.
    I feel safe there, though like any big city I pay attention and don’t go places that make me feel uncomfortable. I usually eat my main meal in the afternoon, and then have something light near my hotel before calling it quits. I am usually worn out from all the walking.

    I forgot to mention that I went to the Monument to the Revolution and took the elevator to the top. I had never done that before. It is massive, and there is a great view from the top.

    The city is so large and traffic can be very slow, so if you are planning to stay more than 3 days, I would suggest staying in Centro Historico for 3 days and then move to Coyoacan or Polanco, or Anzures, etc. Depends on what you want to do, but it will allow you to concentrate on a couple of areas rather than spending time in a cab.
    I have also used Uber in CDMX and have had no problems.

    • Mary Anne, thank you. Such a complete reply that I might just copy and paste and use your recommendations for what to do in Mexico City in a blog post!

      • I just reread my post, please feel free to fix my typos and edit as needed. I forgot to answer some of the questions. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area, a “City Girl”. My favorite thing to do when I am in CDMX is to walk and look and eat some great food; there are so many choices! I agree with all of the other posts and tried to mention things they did not. But remember that Mexico City has more museums than another other city in the world. So do your homework and plan ahead to do the things that are of interest. Next trip I want to go to the Tamayo Museum in Chapultepec Park.

  3. Hi Norma: Here is my long overdue response to your questions and a very belated thank you for recommending the Hotel Catedral. We loved it and will stay there again when we return. Hope to see you soon.

    Where do you live? Santa Fe, NM
    Why did you go to Mexico City? My husband and I had been to Mexico City about 6 years ago and have wanted to return for some time. Recently we flew into the Mexico City airport on our way to Puebla and decided to add a few days in Mexico City on our return.
    How was your experience arriving at the Mexico City airport? We flew into Mexico City from Houston, TX, on Southwest Airlines. Our plane was a few minutes early. Getting through passport control and customs was very easy, and it took only about 30 minutes from the time we got off the airplane until we were through customs. If you are planning on exchanging dollars for pesos, wait until you get through customs. There are many place to exchange money at a much better rate than before you exit customs.
    What about getting a taxi to take you to where you were staying? We did not go directly into Mexico City, so I cannot answer that.
    What neighborhood did you stay in? We stayed right off the Zocalo in the historic center in a wonderful small hotel called Hotel Catedral.
    Did you walk around? What time of day? Yes, we walked all over the place…from early morning until about 9:30 or so at night. We walked from our hotel to the Zocalo and then to Palacio Bellas Artes and back, taking leisurely strolls into courtyards, churches, art exhibitions, and of course, restaurants. Another day we went to the Templo Mayor and again walked all around the Zocalo.
    Did you feel secure? Why? If not, then why not? Yes, we both felt very secure. We have traveled in many different countries, and we try to stay aware of our surroundings. We felt very safe in Mexico City.
    Is Mexico City more or less secure than any other city you have been to? Why? I think Mexico City is very secure. Where we were near the Zocalo, there are federal police, municipal police, and tourist police. In addition, almost every store has some kind of security guard at the door or nearby.
    What was your most memorable experience? Wow, it is difficult to pick just one. We loved the Palacio Bellas Artes. The last time we were there, it was closed for renovation. We also love the old historic post office…and the blues band playing Memphis blues on the street right outside.
    Are you a man or woman? Did you travel alone? If not alone, who did you travel with? My husband and I traveled together.
    What would you recommend for safe travel in Mexico City? I think the most important thing is to do your homework ahead of time about where you want to stay and what you want to see. And always pay attention to your surroundings.
    Anything else you want to add? Mexico City is one of the great cities of the world and should not be missed if anyone is traveling to Mexico.

  4. Norma,
    What’s not to love about Mexico City? I usually stay in the condessa neighborhood. I walk the streets even at night and enjoy all that the foodie area has to offer.
    We love the very clean subway system ( NYC could learn a thing or two).
    The San Angel art market on Saturdays is amazing.
    San Angel, Coyoacan, La Rosa are other beautiful lively neighborhoods.
    If you feel uneasy, most hotels and guest houses will pick you up at the airport but taking an official taxi has never been a problem. The only negative we have ever encountered is a lot of traffic.
    The Zocalo is incredible. The murals at the education building, the folk art museum, the archeological museum, the modern art museum all in the Chapultepec park are all exquisite and world class.
    To miss DF is to miss a lot. The art, the music, the history, the wonderful people of Mexico are all treasures.
    I would only add that Mexico City is huge. Just like any major city one must be aware and use intelligence.
    I feel safer in Mexico than the US.
    Cheers,
    Jenny Brinitzer

    • Jenny, thank you! What an amazing testimonial for visiting Mexico City. Great recommendations for visiting sights and some of my favorite art destinations, too. When I return to Mexico in May, I am doing a three-day layover in Mexico City with my sister, staying at an Airbnb in Condesa so we can explore another part of the city. I would love to include some of your comments in what I write. May I have your permission to quote you? Thanks so much, once again. Norma

  5. I stayed at an Air B&B there not far from the Museum of Anthropology. Nice access to shopping, Lincoln Park, and restaurants.

  6. Good Morning Norma,
    In Centro I primarily walked to the sites I wanted to visit thanks to your recommendatiin of Chillout Flat as a place to stay. I had no concerns coming through Mexico City airport. I did notice a police presence on the streets. I confirmed directions with a police officer who was more than happy to assist. While visiting Polanco I had a conversation with a woman who explained that she dresses down when going to work as her job is in an area where there has been criminal activity. She lives in Polanco but commutes to work. I felt very safe in Polanco. I was out in the early evening in both Centro and Polanco but always went back to where I was staying before dark. I am a woman and travelling alone.

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