Getting Around Mexico City
The best way to get around Mexico City is the metro. Not only is it fairly clean and quick, but you can ride for approximately $0.25. Plus, most popular tourist attractions are easily accessible by train. Several different types of buses motor through the main square (el Zócalo) and its busiest streets – they are also an affordable option.
Taxis are slightly more expensive, but they are a hassle-free means of getting to the city center from the Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX), which is about 6 miles east of the Centro Histórico. Driving yourself is a terrible idea – either to and from the airport or around town.
Like the subway, Mexico City's Metrobús is a cheap, efficient and super-crowded way to move around town. These red and white buses move (quickly) in dedicated lanes along the Avenida de los Insurgentes. To ride you'll need to purchase a smartcard (available at vending machines in the Metro stations); the card will cost 16 pesos (or about $0.89) and rides will cost about 6 pesos one way (about $0.33). There have been some reports of inappropriate behavior and groping toward females on the metrobús; now there are also women-only buses – to ride one of those, wait at the platforms with pink placards.
The red double-decker Turibus provides commentary (available in eight languages) on various popular sites and routes throughout the city. Tours usually last around three hours with approximately 20 stops along the way. For those looking to pack in lots of sightseeing in one day, it's an affordable option (ranging from about $7.50 to $9.15 for adults).
|Colectivos||Also known as microbuses or peseros, colectivos are privately run green and grayish-white buses that also run along major arteries like Avenida Juárez, Paseo de la Reforma and the Chapultepec Forest. Riding the Colectivo is marginally cheaper than the Metrobús, plus it will make many of the same stops. Cards in the windshield will alert you to the route, and drivers will normally hold up fingers when coming to a stop, to indicate how many empty seats there are inside.|
|Taxi||Phone ahead for a taxi de sitio to ensure that you get official and safe transportation around the city. Flagging one down on the street could leave you in the potentially precarious situation of hopping in the back of an unofficial green VW taxi and a driver with maybe questionable intentions. Most hotels and restaurants are happy to call one of the official cars for you, or you could wait at the "Sitio" signs and stands located around town.|
The metro is cheap, clean and efficient, but you should keep in mind a few tips before your first ride. One, the first two cars of each train are for women and children only. Two, you should only carry small bags on your person – large bags mark you as a tourist, and suitcases are not permitted at all. Three, the metro is very crowded during the morning and evening rush hours, and that's also when it's more prone to pickpockets. Tickets cost 5 pesos, or a little more than $0.25.
Driving yourself is ill-advised. The streets are congested and the routes are baffling, parking is scarce and expensive, plus the rules of the road are hard to understand (particularly since drivers rarely follow them). In some areas, there's also a danger of auto theft. If you do decide to drive, you do not need to obtain an international driving permit; your U.S. driver's license is valid. Several car rental companies operate out of the Mexico City airport.
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