Any travel tips for Mexico City?
May 25, 2017 5:14 AM   Subscribe

I'll be traveling by myself to Mexico City in June, staying there 4 nights and 3 days. I've never been there before but have traveled alone for a similar length of time in Spain and Italy. I'm working on learning Spanish and looking for some advice on what to do/see and how to get there.

I plan to go to:
- The Frida Kahlo Museum
- Museo Nacional de Antropologia

And a day trip to:
- The Teotihuacan pyramids
- The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

I also love people-watching, browsing local shops and drinking coffee.

I have a few specific questions, but also welcome general travel tips for my itinerary:-)

- Have you taken a trip to the Teotihuacan on the bus without booking a tour? Was it relatively easy?
- Do you know of any good bars, cafes and/or restaurants for solo female travelers to sit and have a drink or a meal?

Thank you!
posted by Shadow Boxer to Travel & Transportation around Mexico City, Mexico (14 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I loved Mexico City! It was pretty easy to get to Teotihuacan if you're at all familiar with taking buses in Latin America, and probably even if you aren't. I believe I used this blog post to research how to get the bus-- it has pictures literally guiding you through the terminal and was pretty accurate as of my trip in Feb 2016.

Getting the bus home was slightly trickier, but not bad. You catch it from the market area just outside the main entrance parking lot iirc. It stopped a little further down the road from the official 'stop' where we were waiting, but people helpfully pointed it out to us so we didn't miss it.
posted by geegollygosh at 5:47 AM on May 25, 2017

Best answer: Baltra, a Charles Darwin-themed bar in La Condesa, is a pleasant place for a bite and a cocktail in between walking around a cool neighborhood.
posted by *s at 6:26 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Maison Artemisia - there's a very nice restaurant on the main floor of an old house but the main attraction is the cocktail bar upstairs, great cocktails, friendly bartenders, quiet atmosphere, possibly my favourite cocktail spot on Earth.
posted by Cosine at 6:59 AM on May 25, 2017

Best answer: Seconding that it's super easy to get to Teotihuacan by bus on your own, even if you're not familiar with taking buses in Latin America. The only trouble we had was on the way back where there was no obvious spot (to us) to wait for the bus outside of Teotihuacan that we could see, but we just milled around waiting and it came.

We really enjoyed the cocktail bar Licorera Limantour in Roma Norte and found that area safe to walk around in at night, as it is just a regular neighbourhood.

For a quick and delicious meal, we went to La Casa de Toño twice because we liked it so much (the second time was also because it was actually open on a Sunday night, while most places around where we were staying were not). There's often a wait but they're very efficient at organising people while they're waiting.

Not sure if you have a place to stay or what your budget is, but we loved Suites Amberes in Zona Rosa.
posted by urbanlenny at 7:58 AM on May 25, 2017

Best answer: Go on a food tour! There are lots of great companies, but I am partial to . Full disclosure, I know people that work for Eat Mexico.
posted by cnanderson at 8:29 AM on May 25, 2017

Best answer: Teotihuacan is easy. I recommend having lots of street food. Quesadillas and tamales for breakfast, tacos for lunch. Café de Tacuba has awesome coffee and pastries (I didn't try their meals). Go to a mezcaleria for sure - I went to Bósforo and it was great but there are plenty. The markets downtown are great, La Merced, San Juan. And it was great to go to Sonora market and walk around drinking micheladas, but I was with locals who showed me things I would miss if I was by myself. I would also try pulque (either in some market or in a pulqueria). Except for cantinas (which I didn't even dare to go) I felt safe and fine in any type of establishment (I read queer, and I was sirred a few times but didn't face any hostility).
posted by TheGoodBlood at 8:32 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This is perhaps a minority opinion, but I don't love Teotihuacan. It's ok. Some big pyramids.

I know you're solo, but maybe make some friends and head out to Xochimilco (assuming you like drinking). I fully intend to do it again next time I'm in DF.
posted by booooooze at 10:36 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Xochimilco was awesome. We went on a 2 hour trip through the canals and it was definitely worth it. But I don't think I would want to go on a boat entirely by myself.

We stayed a Casa Jacinta a couple blocks from the Frida Kahlo museum (which we didn't end up visiting) and it was very nice, although somewhat spendy. I highly recommend Coyoacán as a nice place to wander around.

Uber was far superior to taxis for getting around in Mexico City.
posted by leahwrenn at 3:31 PM on May 25, 2017

Best answer: You can hire a guide if you want to visit a lot of places but aren't sure how to get there, it was well worth the money to have someone drive us around to a lot of the places we wanted to see (we used Netouring, you can read the reviews on Tripadvisor), that weren't directly reached by the metro or one of the Metrobus routes. There's so much good art, architecture and food that it's overwhelming! I'd also recommend the Turibus, which is one of those hop on/hop off double decker tourist bus routes that will take you around to a lot of the sites, like the Museo de Archeologico. By the end of the trip we were so tired we were happy to just sit on the top deck and watch the traffic (and the traffic there is a wonder of the modern world).

We stayed at the Red Tree House in Condesa. I would go back in a heartbeat!
posted by plasticpalacealice at 4:08 PM on May 25, 2017

Best answer: Have you taken a trip to the Teotihuacan on the bus without booking a tour? Was it relatively easy?

It was super easy. Our hotel had a private taxi which we caught to Terminal Centrale del Norte and then we just got on the bus. It was fine. We checked in at Club Med, walked up the road, had an amusing chat with some dudes selling pulque, visited the pyramids, and just walked around. The next day we did some more walking around, hopped on the bus and came home.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:22 PM on May 25, 2017

(Forgot to add we had to pay admission for our video camera. Not sure if that's still a thing.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:22 PM on May 25, 2017

Response by poster: Gracias everyone! This was super helpful -- especially the info on getting the bus back from the pyramids. If I end up taking the bus by myself, I will be sure to keep an eye out for where to take t back. Thanks geegollygosh and urbanlenny for the head's up!

I got a good deal on a hotel in Zona Rosa but I really love all the hotels you all mentioned - maybe next time :-)
posted by Shadow Boxer at 8:01 AM on May 27, 2017

If you like art, I highly recommend gallery Amor in Tlalpan. Andrew Birk is one of the most interesting artists working today (maybe the most interesting, imo), and a very nice person.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:40 PM on May 27, 2017

Response by poster: I just got back from my trip a few days ago and wanted to give an update!

I liked Zona Rosa because there were a lot of people around and my hotel was near some restaurants and a nice souvenir market.

I ended up taking a tour bus to Teotihuacan through Amigo tours instead of braving the public bus. Our guide was great and I got to meet some people which was nice because I was traveling alone. The tour also included the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe, so I felt like I got a lot for the price of the tour (which was $39). It also had a pick-up/drop off point right near my hotel.

One day I ended up hiring a guide (who worked through my hotel) to take me to some sites, including the Frida Kahlo house and Xochimilco.

I was only in the city for 3 days - one of which was a Monday so a lot of museums were closed - which wasn't NEARLY enough time to see and do everything...I'll have to try some of your restaurant recommendations next time I go.

Thanks so much! :-)
posted by Shadow Boxer at 7:52 PM on June 25, 2017

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