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Mexico City / CDMX Stay, Eat, Drink, See & Get Around (annotated)

Mexico City / CDMX Stay, Eat, Drink, See & Get Around (annotated)

Old Jul 29, 18, 12:00 pm
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Arrow Mexico City / CDMX Stay, Eat, Drink, See & Get Around (annotated)

Why Mexico City Is the Dream Destination for Foodies and Design Lovers
Lesley Chen · Jul 29, 2018, Brit + Co
(link)

Please add your comments, experiences and suggestions for visitors to CDMX below.

Mexico City (CDMX) is having a moment. Mexico‘s sprawling capital city has quickly become an “it” destination as travelers have wised up to its irresistible charm, burgeoning food and design scene, abundance of museums (second in number only to Paris), rich culture, and relative affordability.

Mexico City was named 2018’s World Design Capital, the first city in the Americas to receive the honor, a designation to showcase how design and creativity are used as tools for economic and social development. There are numerous events and exhibitions at universities, galleries, and public spaces leading into Design Week this October. Design lover or not, here are just a few of the reasons why there’s no better time to experience this gem of a city.
A very informed guide on splendid places to stay, eat and sightsee in CDMX. Links to all of these place descriptions in the article. My family agrees with these choices, and we’ve recommended some of these to visitors to CDMX.

Distinctive lodging descriptions include the following:

Camino Real: Housed in an impressive pyramidal structure designed for the 1968 Olympics by renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta, this is a favorite CDMX Classic.

Condesa DF “modern hotel housed in a 1928 French Neoclassical-style mansion... minimalist rooms have handwoven Mexican blankets. Lounge in the restaurant’s open courtyard for a nosh, or enjoy sunset sushi on the terrace overlooking Chapultepec Park.”

Las Alcobas: Condesa DF. “...located in the ritzy neighborhood of Polanco on Avenida Presidente Masaryk, a tree-lined street filled with high-end shopping and Mexico’s answer to the Champs-Élysées. ... herbal baths, mini-fridge stocked with beverages and local snacks... exceptionally warm service ... on-site spa ... or refuel at one of the two fine dining restaurants, Anatol (the margaritas are a must) and Dulce Patria.

El Patio 77: “...eco-friendly B&B in a renovated 1890 mansion... eight rooms... with recycled vintage furniture and crafts from fair-trade Mexican artisans. Mexican breakfast is served daily in the courtyard, and an art gallery displays local art.”

Ryo Kan: A minimalist bit of Japan in CDMX complete with rooftop onsen with Mexican spa treatments.


Dining and drinking: (I’ve added a few with suggestions from friends and family.)

Asai Kaiseki Cuisine Top notch Japanese restaurant (Chef Yasuo Asai) offering kaiseki meals in Polanco. Link

Chapulín: “...contemporary Mexican cuisine and is located inside the Intercontinental Hotel in Polanco.”

Comedor de los Milagros: Latin America, including “bites from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico,Peru, Uruguay... inventive cocktails”. Medellín 221, Roma Sur. No website.

Contramar: “...a seafood lover’s dream...” Very top seafood by Gabriela Cámara.

Dulce Patria: “modern Mexican dishes by Chef Martha Ortiz... sweets are served on wooden toys made by Mexican artisans.”

El Moro (churreria, several locations)

Eloise French-Mexican cuisine at 1529 Avenida Revolución in San Ángel. Link

Licorería Limantour: “...Roma and Polanco districts)... extremely skilled mixologists... forefront of craft cocktail culture in CDMX.”

Mercado Roma: “...three-story gourmet food hall in the Roma district is a culinary delight, with numerous stalls serving a wide variety of treats such as tapas, tacos, Mexican-made macarons, coffee, and wine... Mexican craft beer.”

Pujol: “Arguably Mexico City’s best restaurant, Pujol is worth the splurge and possibly the trip to CDMX alone. Chef Enrique Olvera...”

Quintonil: Chef Jorge Vallejo, a Pujol alum, serves super modern Mexican food in this Polanco restaurant.”

Rosetta: “...one of the city’s most romantic restaurants... Mexican/Italian dishes... standalone sister bakeries (panaderias) with mouthwatering handmade breads and pastries.”

Salón Ríos: “...big cantina — a large wooden bar... Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is live music and salsa dancing on the second floor.”

Tetetlán: “...Jardines del Pedregal in southern Mexico City... the building also has a shop, cafe, artist residence, yoga studio, and library. ational origin.

Zeru Basque, tiny in size, Avenida de La Paz. Reservations necessary.

Street Food: “While there is no shortage of fine dining options in CDMX, sometimes a good dose of street food can really hit the spot. Stop by one of the numerous food carts located throughout the city, where you can find fruit seasoned with lime, chili, and salt; tacos; tortas; fried chapulínes (grasshoppers); or escalote (corn on the cob covered in mayonnaise, cheese, and chili - sic).”

To do

Bosque de Chapultepéc: “This 1,700-acre city park is the second largest in Latin America and once was an important site for the Aztecs. ...a variety of museums, a zoo, aqueducts, a castle, and man-made lakes. (Chapultepec is fascinating, and a great place to wander on Sunday to get in touch with how local Chilango - CDMX denizens - families enjoy their Domingo.)

Museo Nacional de Antropología is across the street and “has the world’s largest collection of Mexican artifacts spread across 23 rooms; the minimalist architecture of the building is just as impressive as the rich cultural education inside.”

Museo Soumaya: Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, CDMX, fabulous art collection spanning 30 centuries. Link

Zócalo: Formally, Plaza de la Constitución, is the huge square in the heart of the historic center of the city... bordered by the presidential palace and Catedral Metropolitana... with many events held here. Beware of pickpockets, avoid large demonstrations.

Templo Mayor, nearby, the Aztecs’ principal temple .

“For a bird’s eye view, grab lunch at Balcón del Zócalo, a restaurant on top of the Zócalo Central Hotel overlooking the plaza, and watch the bustle below while a waiter prepares guacamole tableside.“

Just off the main square is San Ildefonso, a former Jesuit boarding school turned museum and considered to be the birthplace of muralism. The halls are decorated with murals from some of Mexico’s notable artists. Rivera’s first mural, Creation, (1922-1923) in the Bolivar Amphitheater.”

Casa Luis Barragán: “...the country’s only Pritzker Prize winner (architecture’s highest honor), has design influences all throughout CDMX. His former home and studio in the Miguel Hidalgo district, Casa Luis Barragán, was built in 1948 and has since been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is frequented by architects and students as a study of contemporary forms, light, and color.”

Pedregal neighborhood “covered largely by lava fields and developed by Barragán in the mid-’40s, visitors can also visit Casa Pedregal, a private home designed by the architect.”

There’s also a small section on shopping mentioning several stores and the La Lagunilla Flea Market. It’s okay, but don’t expect anything special. If you find a bargain, be aware of cleverly made knock-offs. . (And as to the often-discussed “thieves market” at Tepito, though Tepito has allegedly been cleaned up a bit, I’d recommend it only for the adventurous and aware. Petty thieves abound, and more than some of the goods are fakes or poorly made knockoffs.)
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Last edited by JDiver; May 12, 19 at 8:08 pm Reason: Add a few locations not mention and notes
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Old Jul 29, 18, 2:20 pm
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Other places to eat not mentioned in the article

Food (more coming - feel free to add your faves below)

Mexican food - authentic Mexican food with feet firmly planted in precolumbian native traditions and innovations from the old world - have been declared an Immaterial Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO.

DESAYUNO / BREAK-FAST

Particularly on weekends, Chilangos (denizens of CDMX) lunch late. Since you don’t want to go out for touring or shopping on fumes, try something different:

El Cardenal (link to English pages); several of these are around, they have good “típico” Mexican breakfast. In particular, the hot chocolate is delish, and ceremonially prepared at tableside. Xocólatl was born in the Americas, after all. (Historic center, Lomas, San Ángel, Hilton.)

El Moro has several locations. Churros and chocolate are the attractions here.

Lalo or Maque: Chilaquiles are perhaps the quintessential Mexican breakfast, and at Lalos you’ll get the best. (El Cardenal’s are pretty good, too.)

For piping fresh breads or pastries (pan dulce) visit a Panadería. Chilango get their bread freshly baked once or twice daily; you should too. There is one in your neighborhood. (There are several branches of Panadería Rosetta, well known and beloved. Try the ról de guayaba.)

Lardo offers a truly sinful coconut milk and mango rice pudding.


ALMUERZO / LUNCH / “EL LONCHE” and dinner

In Mexico, el almuerzo is the main meal, the big deal. Dinner can be, but most Chilango have a later and light supper at home. Chilangos eat lunch late - the more formal, the later, and family lunches on weekends too. 2:30, 3:00 or later isn’t unusual. And reservations in popular places are mandatory. Chilangos take their time for lunch - two hours for a formal lunch is usual, but an event with fam and amigos could take twice that. Unlike the US, don’t expect to find a shortened, cheaper menu. And if you want to be served, reserve first. (The exceptions are the comedores and businessman's Lunch places offering an economical prixe fixe / table d'hôte lunch menu.)

El Cardenal (link to English pages) is the palace of típico “antojitos” (Little cravings) Mexican food at lunch as well as breakfast. More than one location (Historic center, Lomas, San Ángle, Hilton).

Biko (link) (Presidente Masaryk 407, Polanco) Molecular gastronomy with a Mexican twist as well as traditional. Menu link. But... rumors of closure.

Hacienda de los Morales (link) in Polanco was, in the days of yore, a 16th century hacienda growing mulberries and involved in the silk industry, situated at the outskirts of the city. They’re open for all three meals, closing at midnight. Gorgeous restaurant and grounds, really good Mexican specialties and Continental food.

San Ángel Inn (link) restaurant in San Ángel is romantic and atmospheric for a nice lunch in beautiful surroundings (old colonial Carmelite monastery and Hacienda Goicoechea, gardens) in this cobblestone street neighborhood with upscale homes. Mexican and International food. Great for a special reunion or event.

Puerto Getaria (link) in front of the World Trade Center in Colonia Nápoles specializes in well prepared Basque food and wines, even Getariako Txakolina wine (say CHALK-oh-lee) can be found here. Seafood is amazingly fresh. Popular.

Zéfiro (link) (San Jerónimo 24, Centro Histórico,) School restaurant in the historic center is unique, as it’s operated by the Universidad del Claustro Sor Juana, by students of cuisine and hospitality. Delicious Mexican food, attentive service, prize winning. Tips, always welcome in Mexico, must be given separately, as the uni can’t include it on the bill. Ranked one of the best in CDMX.

Link to CDMX restaurants listed by ranking in Trip Advisor (remember TA rankings don’t tell you if it’s a gourmet venue, a bar and grill, etc. without looking over the specific listing).

INFORMAL ANTOJITOS in the Centro Histórico / historic center, mostly. And please note, unless you’ve been eating at authentic Mexican restaurants at home, don’t expect anything remotely resembling Taco Bell and other fast food outlets in the US.

Fondas, street outlets and the occasional ferias. are the repository of savory Mexican snacks and street foods. You’ll find them in the following, as well as

the taquerías and cantinas in Narvarte;
the puestos (street stalls) in Cuauhtémoc, with tamales, burritos and carnitas;
in the Mercado de la Merced market, in the Centro Histórico, with their traditional foods, tacos and antojitos tradicionales, tacos;
in the puestos selling fresh products, moles, chiles from the San Juan market;
in the excellent taquerías in Condesa and Colonia Roma.

Are they safe? They rely on return traffic, they’re generally safe. If it’s freshly cooked and hot, it’s generally safe. Stuff in street stalls and carts that’s cut, open to flies and uncooked or not recently cooked, move on. Made with water or ice from a possibly unsafe source? Move on. I’ve been eating Mexican Market and street food for seven decades, I’ve not experienced a problem.

Café Paris 16 (Paseo de la Reforma # 368, Local 2-3, Col Juárez). Breakfast and lunch, work days only. Everything from genuine deli sandwiches to artisanal ice creams and, according to my niece (who has dined here at Alejandro Hernandez’ somewahat hidden office workers’ café for 27 years) the best chiles en nogada “on the planet”.

Taquería Los Cocuyos (Simón Bolivar 53, historic center) is an everyman’s informal place for “tacos callejeros” (street tacos). Nothing fancy, but dozens of authentic tacos.

Doraditas de maíz street stops. Tlayudas, originally from Oaxaca, made from fresh corn masa, base of refrained beans, nopalitos (chopped cactus), cheese and salsa, on a 16” flat tortilla, it’s the Mexican pizza. By the side of the Cathedral, near the Templo Mayor and the National Museum of History and Anthropology.

Pulquería Los Duelistas. (Calle Aranda) Pulque is the fermented juice of the maguey plant (tequila is the distilled alcoholic product). Over 45 types of Curados made with pulque and fresh ingredients such as lime. Pulque has been around since pre-Hispanic times.

El Flaco, 5 de Febrero between V. Carranza and Uruguay. Tacos “de canasta” (in a basket) , sudados, delicious hearty stews. Mexican country food.

Las Rancheras Mantecadas Callejón 57 between Doncellas and Cuba. Gorditas (fat tortillas with dressings), and the ones made with chicharrón (pig cracklings) are possibly the best in the city. Quesadillas too. Delicious red sauce.

More tacos, tortas,

El Califa (Altata 22, Col. Condesa)

El Borrego Viudo (Calle cerrada de Revolución, Tacubaya)

Salón Corona (16 de Septiembre y Motolinia, Centro histórico)

Link to skyscanner Illustrated list of truly Mexican common “antojitos” typical snacks.

In the morning, look for “guajolota”, tortas of tamal, a great street grunt breakfast.

I try to get at least a breakfast in at El Cardenal and a Basque lunch at Puerto Getaria with friends and family when I’m visiting.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 3, 19 at 11:13 am Reason: More coming
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Old Jul 29, 18, 7:04 pm
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Other places to see not mentioned in the article, out of town

Xochimilco (so-chee-MEEL-coe) is the remnant of when CDMX, then known as Tenochtitlán, was the Aztec capital of a city built on fill and connected by canals, much like Venice. Here you can be poled through the canals and see vignettes of Mexican culture as you eat food bought boat side, enjoy mariachis and marimbas floating by on other trajineras among the floating garden island chinampas.: it’s crowded and lively on the weekends, so book a tour or arrive early. Link to Wikipedia article. Xochimilco is endangered, IMO, with notable environmental degradation since I was a kid visiting; see it now.

Those with natural history interests can ask if the Axolotl (essentially neotenic tiger salamanders) criadero (nursery) can be visited. (El Cree-uh-DAY-roe deh ash-oh-LOW-tays.)

A visit to Xochimilco is like stumbling across an oasis in the desert. This eclectic place is set in the middle of a colossal city where you can discover colors your eyes have never seen before. Declared a World Heritage Site since 1987, rediscover its colors as you walk down the aisles of its markets full of iris flowers. Float along the walled canals lined with gardens and curtains of trees on brightly painted and decorated trajineras (a traditional flat-bottomed boat) and evoke a time when this watery surrounding dominated the landscape of the Anahuac. Discover the small artificial islands, called chinampas, which are used to grow flowers, vegetables and ornamental plants. Visit the Axolotl museum, aquarium and nursery at Casa Xólotl - link. (Pronounce SHOH-lowtle)

Take this magnificent tour as you eat and drink your fill of the different Mexican delicacies accompanied by the music of the Mariachi or Marimba from Veracruz. visitmexico.com
Frida Kahlo Museum (La Casa Azul) (link - English) is nearby.in the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Coyoacán. She was born here, lived here (for a time with Diego Rivera) and the Museum is imbued with her spirit and art, as well as Rivera's. Lengthy ticket queues may be encountered - but in advance or on tour if you’ll be visiting on a busy day. Link to Wikipedia article.

Teotihuacán (tay-oh-tea-wa-CON) The ever-popular and massive archaeological site is 25 Miles out of town, done easily on a day trip, Teotihuacan. We don’t know much about the people who built this enormous city of massive temples, houses with running water and murals, supported by a vast agricultural complex supplied by an intricate system of aqueducts, but it’s amazing. The Pyramid of the Sun is third largest in the world after the Great Pyramid of Cholula and the Great Pyramid of Giza. - Wikipedia. Link.

I’d recommend a visit to Bazar del Sábado, Saturdays only, off San Ángel on Plaza San Jacinto. This 18th century home features a variety of high quality locally manufactured crafts and articles you can be proud to take home. Add a lunch in San Ángel Inn restaurant (must reserve) for a nice lunch in beautiful surroundings (old colonial convent and hacienda, gardens). Some of Mexico’s elegant homes are here (mostly behind walls), and even a fountain in memory of the “San Patricios”, the St. Patrick Batallion / Batallón de San Patricio that fought the US Army in 1846-1848, including US army Irish soldiers who sederted, joined the San Patricios. Eighteen were caught by American troops, summarily tried and were hanged here. (Mexico has a significant population of Irish descendants.)
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Last edited by JDiver; May 12, 19 at 9:44 pm
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Old Jul 29, 18, 7:39 pm
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CLIMATE and ENVIRONMENT in CDMX

CLIMATE

CDMX is at high altitude (7,350 ft / 2,240 meters above sea level), in a valley surrounded by mountains. The highway pass southwest to Cuernavaca, Taxco and Acapulco is at ~10,000 feet, and the nearest large (and recently active) volcano is Popocatépetl (17,802 ft / 5,426 m, snow capped though its glaciers melted in 2001)

Winters very rarely see snow, but occasional freezing nights (I’ve experienced both, regardless of the yearly average climate charts). May is the hottest month with temperatures up to highs in the 80s F / mid-20s C. The rains begin ~May, ending in October. Entire days are rarely rainy, but rain or showers are common overnight and late afternoons. July and August are cooler than May due to these rains.

Atmospheric pollution can be a problem for those with challenged respiratory systems, particularly during the dry season. As well, volcano Popocatépetl is erupting with greater frequency, and though it’s 73 miles / 117 km from CDMX, ash can be present downwind, including sectors of CDMX.

Water is often in short supply, as it was in the days of the Aztecs - who had great aqueducts bringing in pure water supplies. Top hotels provide bottled water in the room, and some have installed filtration systems. The latter may or may not be properly maintained.

Do not drink untreated water or consume impure ice. The city water supply experiences cross contamination due to the ever-settling lacustrine bed environment, and its not impossible to get traveler’s diarrhea or even E, histolytica or Giardia lamblia from tap water. Stick to “electropura” or bottled water (served in most tourist grade restaurants and hotels, even for brushing your teeth. Homes in Mexico tend to offer purified bottled or boiled water or use filtration systems that may not have scientific basis or are not properly maintained or just plain dodgy. Unfortunately, my family use dodgy unproven filtration, so I drink water they’ve boiled when I visit.

Earthquakes rarely happen, but they do occur. Read the earthquake instructions in your room. Though building regulations have improved over the years, earthquakes and aftershocks can be scary, and they can disrupt electrical, communication, transportation and water systems.

Recent major earthquakes (seismic movements in other states are often felt in CDMX, but these are the really significant earthquakes affecting CDMX):

1957 - Richter 7.9 (my first significant quake)
1985 - Richter 8.0
2017 - Richter 7.0

Layers are good, as temperatures can vary significantly between mid-day and evening. You won’t see too many sandals or shorts in the city, and good walking shoes will probably be useful.

Climate chart from www.climate-charts.com.
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Last edited by JDiver; Apr 3, 19 at 11:16 am
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Old Jul 29, 18, 7:40 pm
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Cdmx geographic situation

CDMX is at high altitude (7,350 ft / 2,240 meters above sea level), in a valley surrounded by mountains. The highway pass southwest to Cuernavaca, Taxco and Acapulco is at ~10,000 feet, and the nearest large (and recently active) volcano is Popocatépetl (17,802 ft / 5,426 m, snow capped though its glaciers melted in 2001).


The city occupies and overflows the ancient Aztec empire, Tenochtitlán. The historic center sits squarely on the center of Tenochtitlán; you can visit the remains of the Aztec Templo Mayór today. In the precolumbian times , Tenochtitlán, founded by the Mexica or Tenochca, was build on chinampas, man made islands, linked by bridges and a network of canals, in the center of Lake Texcoco, amongst several connected lakes. Wide causeways and acqueducts connected Tenochtitlán to the mainland.

When the Spanish finally conquered Tenochtitlán, they razed the structures and used the rubble to fill the lakebed. Much of Mexico City is situated on fill which continues to settle and worsens the effects of earthquakes.


March 13, 1325: founded by the Méxica as Mexico-Tenochtitlan
August 13, 1521: established by Hernán Cortez as Ciudad de México
November 18, 1824: established after Independence as the Federal District / Distrito Federal
January 29, 2016: formally established as Ciudad de México (“CDMX”)

The center of the city is the hub, and the city is divided into 16 boroughs, though the area’s most visitors will see are named by their commonly used namesbelow. The geographic center is not the population center.


Map of CDMX with major bus terminals, airport, expressways, etc.

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 29, 18 at 10:51 pm
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Old Jul 29, 18, 8:08 pm
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Transportation

TRANSPORTATION IN CDMX

Transportation is multifaceted. There are airports, expressways, metro (subway), trolleybus, express Metrobús bus with dedicated lanes, bus, collective “pesero” shared vans with fixed routes, shuttles (such as the airport shuttle busses), rank-attached and “gypsy” taxis, Uber, etc.

The main airport is MEX, Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez / Aeropuerto International de la Ciudad de México (AICM). Most international flights and many domestic flights arrive and depart here. It is well connected to the city center by Metrobús, shared vans, taxis, intercity bus, metro.

For more information, see MEX - Mexico City International Airport / AICM master thread

TLC / Aeropuerto Internacional Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos is West of CDMX and much farther, near Toluca; is served mostly by low cost carrier Interjet. Connections to the city are bus and Taxi. However, “in 2019” there will be a shuttlebus connecting TLC to the Interurban Train Mexico City–Toluca, the commuter rail line that will connect the cities of Toluca and Mexico City (connecting to CDMX public transport at Observatorio station, and connection to public transport.

An excellent intercity bus system serves CDMX and the major cities throughout the nation. Some intercity buses leave AICM - see Bus travel in Mexico, the definitive thread.

NOTE: Rush hour / hora pico (7am-10am and 6pm-9pm, and when it rains) can be brutal for both metro and traffic congestion - there are times walking down PaseoRefirma might be faster than being driven. And major motor routes out of town are a disaster Friday afternoons and return Sunday afternoons, particularly to Cuernavaca and Valle de Bravo.


TAXI and APP CABS

Taxi dangers have abated somewhat since the 2010s, but NEVER use unlicensed taxis (some cruise the streets, others near the airport). There are still reports of “Express kidnapping” and other dangers, particularly at night. One early sign of such an event is being picked up and having the driver pick up a “friend” a block of two from where you were picked up, and proceeding toward less trafficked streets.

Street taxis: If you know the City and speak reasonable Spanish, the Taxi displays white plates beginning in a Capital letter and five numbers and the driver has a visible laminated, holographic photo taxi license card on display. Assure the meter is turned on when the Trip starts, or if unmetered you agree on the price before you get in. I’d probably use a sitio Taxi if I had valuables / a laptop etc. with me. No tips expected.

“Sitio” taxis: Taxi ranks (sitios) are often near major hotels, some attractions or neighborhood centers. If you’re visiting a home, restaurant, etc. ask them to call you a sitio (or radio) taxi they’re familiar with. No tips expected, rounding up to the nearest ten pesos is fine.

App Cabs: After years of being opposed, Uber and Cabify are legal in CDMX. My family and friends in CDMX use them quite a bit. No tips expected, as above, but if you’re foreign they might give you that expectant look.


METRO - METROBÚS - LIGHT RAIL - TROLLEY BUS SHARED FARES

Fares for these systems are paid via a prepaid fare card, or stored-value card, called Tarjeta Ciudad de México (literally Mexico City Card) as a payment method for STC Metro, Metrobús and the city's trolleybus and light rail systems, though they are all managed by different organizations. These can be purchased and topped up from machines at stations.


METRO de la CDMX / Sistema de Transporte Colectivo / STC / SUBWAY

The metro is efficient, but it can get very crowded at certain times such as rush hour. On some lines there may be cars set aside for women, due to harassment and petty thievery. “The Mexico City Metro offers in and out-street transfers to three major rapid transit systems: the Mexico City Metrobús bus rapid transit system, the Mexico City light rail system and the Ferrocarril Suburbano (FSZMVM) commuter rail. None of these is part of the Sistema de Transporte Colectivo network and an extra fare must be paid for access.” - Wikipedia Paperbtivkets are also sold at metro stations.

Link to best resource guide, Lauren’s Beginners Guide to the CDMX Metro (updated 29th April 2018)

Link to Metro website (Castilian Spanish, lame and useless site concentrating in PR rather than useful information)

Link to Wikipedia STC article



METROBÚS

The next map shows the Metrobús Lines, including the orange #4 Airport Metrobús line.

The Metrobús lines are numbered and colored, the red line between Indios Verdes abpnd La Caminera is operated by suburban / light rail.

Metrobús fares are payable by the Tarjeta de Ciudad, or by the rechargeable MB / Metrobús Card, which you can buy from fare machines at each Metrobús station.

A fare on Sistema Metrobús is $6.00 pesos m.n., and the fare on the orange #4 line to or from the airport terminals 1 and 2 is $30.00 pesos m.n.

Transfers between Linea 1, Línea 2, Línea 3, Línea 4, Línea 5 y Línea 6 are free as long as they occur within two hours from the start of your trip.

Link


Last edited by JDiver; Jul 30, 18 at 9:07 pm Reason: Update
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Old Jul 30, 18, 11:15 am
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Nice roundup. A few random thoughts and questions.

(1) Xochimilco - I finally made it a few years ago, only to find that the floating gardens were made of plastic flowers. I was really surprised (of course, it didn't ruin the day).
(2) The Metrobus - how do you buy your fares? They don't take cash onboard, correct? Where can you buy a fare card?
(3) Street food - be careful. It can be delicious. When you walk through Chapultepec Park and see all these beautiful cut fruits, and see the knives they use to cut them, either sitting in or being rinsed from, buckets of stale water, you really want to avoid any of these items, and in fact, pretty much anything that isn't cooked.
(4) The availability of UBER has really improved the quality of visits for the traveler taking safety precautions. I used to stay in a neighborhood where I'd either want to be going out for the night, or make sure there were quality hotels nearby so there would be a Sitio available (as to avoid street Taxis).
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Old Jul 30, 18, 6:47 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Nice roundup. A few random thoughts and questions.
(1) Xochimilco - I finally made it a few years ago, only to find that the floating gardens were made of plastic flowers. I was really surprised (of course, it didn't ruin the day).

Iirc, long time ago, some flowers were used for decoration and the trajineras were much less intensely decorated, but most flowers sell to the flower markets (like the floating garden veggies were sold in the market) and that was that. The trajineras were then decorated with paper flowers and decorations, which necessitated a lot of overnight replacements. Now they’re using vividly colored paint and plastic. Sad, but practical and less maintenance. The actual flowers and vegetables are in the chinampa parcels of floating truck gardens in Xochimilco.

In my childhood, I remember the old Xochimilco - and views of Mexico City’s two sentinel volcanoes, Popocatépetl and Ixtaccihuatl. Then, the paper factories and petrol refineries fouled the air. Even the streetcar rides out were fun. And then, Xochimilco began shrinking and having challenges.


(2) The Metrobus - how do you buy your fares? They don't take cash onboard, correct? Where can you buy a fare card?

Fares are paid via fare cards available for purchase at all Metrobús stations. Ciudad de México cards can be used, purchased at any station and usable on several transit systems. See the transportation post.Cards can be added to or topped up, as well. I’ve added that to the transport post. (This is a work in progress. I had a bit of time to add this over the weekend, but I’m a bit slow. I’ve got cataracts, and at least one was diagnosed “ripe” enough for surgery, and we had a four day long DDoS attack handled by Cloudflare where saving work was challenging at times.)

(3) Street food - be careful. It can be delicious. When you walk through Chapultepec Park and see all these beautiful cut fruits, and see the knives they use to cut them, either sitting in or being rinsed from, buckets of stale water, you really want to avoid any of these items, and in fact, pretty much anything that isn't cooked.

Yep. That’s like the glass carts with cut pieces of fruit on display, covered with flies. If it’s raw, make sure it’s just peeled (and that there’s a level of sanitary concern with utensils, etc.) Sitting around for a while, flies, etc. don’t buy it.

(4) The availability of UBER has really improved the quality of visits for the traveler taking safety precautions. I used to stay in a neighborhood where I'd either want to be going out for the night, or make sure there were quality hotels nearby so there would be a Sitio available (as to avoid street Taxis).

Most business owners and homeowners have the numbers of local sitios available. Like the hotels, they often have a relationship with the operators and some of the drivers. It was that way in my home - we had a preferred sitio and a backup sitio we called when we needed a taci for ourselves if guests.

Last edited by JDiver; May 12, 19 at 8:10 pm
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Old Nov 15, 18, 7:26 pm
  #9  
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Nice summary.

A couple of comments from a visit two weeks ago—

- indeed, the street food is varied and tasty. As for hygiene, from what I’ve noticed at both street carts and restaurants, there’s still much to be desired (e.g. chefs eating a pambazo, dipping their fingers into a vat of guisado, etc)

- stayed at the jw marriott in polanco. Nice heated pool, crowded executive lounge but with decent breakfast spread, short walk to a number of restaurants, and the metro station Auditorio. service was ok (got free exec lounge for one night because of a dirty room.

- metrobus, screw it. Tried taking it, but everyone (passengers/cops) said i needed a card from the metro (train) to use it. I’m no of BRT systems, as it turns out. However, taxis and uber were really cheap, as was the metro, so NBD.

- had a taco night in narvarte; tacos manolo, el vilsito, and los parados. The first two had quality tacos al pastor, and the latter, mixed bag, but i dug the chicharron de queso (basically, why not make a taco shell out of this?)

- terminal 1, what a mess, but there are plenty of food options pre-security.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
(2) The Metrobus - how do you buy your fares? They don't take cash onboard, correct? Where can you buy a fare card?
At the airport in T1 there is a vending machine next to a column inside the door the metrobus departs from (door... 7?).
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Old Jan 7, 19, 11:28 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by flugvergnugen View Post
At the airport in T1 there is a vending machine next to a column inside the door the metrobus departs from (door... 7?).
FWIW, the other day, I tried to buy a card from both my originating Metro station and destination Metro station. Both were out. Then when I transferred to the Metrobus, I tried to buy a Metrobus card, but both vending machines were out (the attendant told me to wait 10 minutes and reloads were on their way, but that didn't happen). I ended up taking Uber for the remaining 3km down Insurgentes Sur to my hotel.

(I did successfully buy a Metrobus card last time I was here about four or five years ago, so it is possible...but it may not be 100% reliable.)

Great info posted upthread by @JDiver! I'm here a few more days and will definitely be checking some of the recommendations out.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 10:46 am
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Hacienda de los Morales in Polanco is a beautiful restaurant with excellent food. I really liked the mole. They are knowledgeable in food pairings. Be sure to walk around the grounds.
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Old Nov 2, 19, 1:33 pm
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This is a great thread.

That said, if I were to lodge at a VRBO or like property for 4 full days, what neighborhood(s) should I consider. Not concerned about using public transportation. I want to make the most of my first time visit (well travelled - so I am not needy). Would like to be able to walk at night with a cigar. And likely I'd want a neighborhood where I can get a quick cup of coffee before I start my day.

When considering hotels, the Polanco neighborhood was mentioned, but it seems to be a bit too high-end for me.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old Nov 4, 19, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by lamphs View Post
That said, if I were to lodge at a VRBO or like property for 4 full days, what neighborhood(s) should I consider. Not concerned about using public transportation. I want to make the most of my first time visit (well travelled - so I am not needy). Would like to be able to walk at night with a cigar. And likely I'd want a neighborhood where I can get a quick cup of coffee before I start my day.
We stayed in Roma Norte in August and really loved it. A nice mix of some creature comforts, eg fancy cafes and restaurants, but also "normal" life like the taco stand we had breakfast from every morning along with some nice parks. We never once worried about safety but we were with our seven year old so we weren't exactly walking around at one in the morning. We spent part of an afternoon in the Polanco and while it was nice, it was a bit too nice and sanitised, especially Avenida Presidente Masaryk.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 3:37 pm
  #15  
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It’s in Spanish, but here’s a great article about CDMX’ best fourteen restaurants for dining outdoors.

https://foodandpleasure.com/los-10-m...re-de-la-cmdx/
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