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Mexico City – A Guide to Transport in The Capital

Mexico City is the largest city in North America and because of that, it’s essential to know about transport here. The public transport on offer in DF is surprisingly good and I recommend making use of it. Knowing how to get around this sprawling metropolis is essential if you plan to visit or spend a bit of time here. I made this post as a complete guide of everything you need to about transport in Mexico City.

Getting out of the Airport

When I first arrived, I didn’t think through how from the airport to where I was staying. It’s actually rather straightforward. First of all, if you’re feeling tired and just simply need a ride. You can simply go to the taxi desk which is at the arrival hall. Just tell them where you want to go and they’ll sort you out. However, if you have Uber at the ready, you can get that ride for half of the price.

Furthermore, right next to the arrival terminal is the airport’s metro station. If you’re not in a rush and want to save some money, I recommend using it.

Buying a Metrocard

If you want to make use of the metro, I recommend going to the ticket desk and buying a card. I’m unsure if you can buy single tickets in every station and it costs 15 pesos. The metrocard is used by pretty much everyone to pay for using the metro and every use costs 5 pesos. You can recharge your card by using the machines found in every station and it can have up to 50 pesos on it. This card isn’t just used for the metro, you can also use it for other public transport systems such as the metro-busses.

Using the Metro

The metro in CDMX is one of the biggest in the Americas. In other words, it is absolutely massive and can be confusing for first-time users. Google Maps can help you make sense of the metro and there are maps in every station. Because of how big DF is, the metro is far from a perfect system. While Guadalajara has an elegant and modern metro, the one in CDMX looks like it hasn’t been renovated since the 90s.

Moreover, at the best of times, the metro can be absolutely chaotic. It is super crowded and rush hour can be a nightmare. I would also suggest against using the metro after 8PM as it is said to be less safe. You should be wary of pickpockets on the metro, although I never found using the metro to be too dangerous. Furthermore, you should also keep in mind that the machines to recharge your card only take cash in most cases.

Taking the Metrobus

For areas that the metro doesn’t cover, it’s possible to take the metrobus. These are buses which have their own lanes within the city. Taking the metrobus is much more comfortable than the metro and is not as crowded. However, it’s also important to understand that this is not exactly a fast way of getting around.

The Xochimilco Light Rail

This system is mostly used for getting to the Estadio Azteca and you can also use the metrocard for using it. It’s a good way of getting to the stadium, but it’s important to keep in mind that it will be insanely packed. I would say that it’s better than taking a taxi, as the traffic will be very congested.

Rent a Bike with Ecobici

Another way you can use your metrocard is by renting a bike at an Ecobici station. If you want to make use of this service, you need to sign up online. Unfortunately, it did not work for me as it could not scan my driving licence.

The Suburban Railway

If you thought that trains had gone extinct in Mexico then you would be wrong. Mexico City has some railway routes which can take you to some areas outside of the city. Using this service is very useful if you want to go somewhere like Tepotzotlán. Much like the metro, you have to buy a separate card for it and it is also cash only.

Uber is Essential

If there’s one thing you should do before going to DF, it’s that you download Uber. It’s a guarantee that using Uber is the safest, easiest and most comfortable way of getting around the city. It’s what most people use to get around and it is not too expensive. The average 10 minute ride will only cost around £6.

Should You Rent a Car?

Renting a car in Mexico is rather straightforward, although they may ask for a hefty deposit. If you know how to drive, which I don’t yet, it might seem like a good idea to rent a car. However, I don’t recommend it 100%. The reason why is that Mexico City’s roads can be absolute chaos at the best of times. Furthermore, Mexican drivers can be largely unpredictable and an accident could land you in a world of trouble. I would only recommend renting a car to the most confident of drivers.

If you enjoyed reading this, be sure to check out the posts about my travels in Mexico:

My Last Remaining Days in Mexico City

Backpacking in Guadalajara and Tequila

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