We’ve visited Mexico City numerous times – but this time we’re here for two weeks and have put together a list of tips for Mexico City, we hope you find them helpful.
1. Comfortable shoes. Avoid blisters like the plague. If you’re like us you’ll walk 120+ blocks a day and one little blister can wreck the whole plan.
2. A smart phone helps. We are always forgetting our map or changing our plans and need to consult a map or the web. Using the GPS mapping feature the phone will locate where you are on a map and you can go from there. We also used some static maps printed as pdfs and put in our iPads, but we don’t carry them usually.
3. How to choose a restaurant.. If you aren’t heading out to eat with a certain restaurant in mind we tend to walk (and walk, and walk) until we are weak with hunger. That can lead to some bad choices! Our new rule is to NEVER sit down in a restaurant with no other customers. We just keep hoofing it until we find a popular spot and only then do we take a load off! This always works!
4. Wear layers. DF has very changeable weather no matter what time of year you visit. If you dress in layers you can add or subtract as needed.
5. Think ahead when you need money. As with any city in Mexico, make sure you don’t HAVE to visit the cash machine on paydays, which are the 15th and the end of the month. Lines will be out the door and around the corner and you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t go the day before.
6. Traveling by Taxi. If you have a friend in the neighborhood, ask them for their taxi number. We got good taxis (that came quickly and knew where they were going) that way but when we relied on street taxis or ones called by our concierge it was hit or miss. One lame taxi driver almost totally wrecked our Lucha Libre night!
7. When to eat. People pretty much snack anytime here – tacos on the corner or a coffee and pastry but for the most part the hours here are: 10 am – breakfast or coffee and pastries 2 to 4 or 5 for lunch and Dinner starting at 8:30 or 9. If you try to find a restaurant ready to serve dinner at 6 pm you’ll be looking for a while! Of course since lunches go late you may find yourself at the end of the lunch service.
8. Listen. There are lots of sounds in the city that are probably different than at home. For example, the garbage collectors park the garbage truck in a central location and one guy runs around ringing a big school bell for several blocks. You gather the trash and take it out to them. You’ll also hear the fellow calling “Pan” as he pedals his tricycle with a huge basket of bread and pastries. The shrill steam whistle means steamed camotes, or sweet potatoes.
9. Give yourself time to acclimatize. It takes me at least two days to feel like myself again since DF is over a mile high. I recommend drinking lots of water, resting if you get out of breath and to take tylenol (not aspirin) if you get a headache. Be careful when you drink, too. Alcohol will affect you way quicker and stronger than it will at sea level.
Hope these tips help you! Buen viaje!