Mexico City is an enchanting metropolis that will likely have you planning a return trip before you have even left. While Mexico’s capital is steeped in history, its feet are placed firmly in the present. And with such a variety of cultural experiences across its varied neighborhoods, you will never run out of things to do.
The best time to visit Mexico City
The city has a temperate climate — maximum temperatures range from 70 to just over 80 degrees Fahrenheit — that makes it an appealing spot to visit any time of year.
Heavy rains (usually in the afternoons) between June and October can be off-putting to some, but it also clears the air, which many locals appreciate.
During late February and March, Mexico City turns purple with the blossoming of jacaranda trees across the area, making for the most impressive sights and photo opportunities.
If you’re looking for sunshine and warm weather, come between March and May.
Public transportation in Mexico City
There are multiple ways to get around the capital, including the new double-decker buses, the underground metro and over-ground Metrobus system (a multi-carriage bus with its own lane to avoid traffic).
Most trips cost 5 pesos (around 25 cents), making public transportation an extremely affordable option. For the best value, buy a rechargeable card that can be used across all forms of mass transit from the machines or ticket booths at metro or Metrobus stations. Simply top it off when necessary.
Given Mexico City’s huge population, public transportation can become saturated during peak times, such as morning (6 to 9 a.m.) and evening (5 to 9 p.m.) rush hours. As with any major city, be mindful of your possessions when using mass transit — crowded bus and metro stations can be stomping grounds for pickpockets.
Uber works well in Mexico City and is a great way to get across the vast megalopolis quickly. The pink city taxis are often cheaper, but it is advised to always hail one from a designated sitio (taxi stand) or to call directly. Cabs can be challenging if you don’t speak Spanish, and they often don’t have seatbelts.
What to pack for a trip to Mexico City
Locals often joke that in Mexico’s capital there are four seasons in one day, therefore, layers are the way to go.
Rainy-season (June through October) essentials include an umbrella and a light waterproof jacket, while winter must-haves are a warm coat and hat.
Mexico City begs to be explored by foot, so bring hearty walking shoes, a sunhat and sunglasses. Be sure to leave a little space in your suitcase for good lip balm and moisturizer, as some people find that the capital’s high altitude leaves them needing extra hydration.
Other helpful tips on Mexico City
Speaking of which, don’t forget that Mexico City is 7,382 feet above sea level. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself huffing and puffing for the first few days. Take it easy and keep hydrated.
Museums are free for locals on Sundays, so they can get very busy. If you can, try to visit during the week — check opening times as many are closed on Mondays — to avoid the bustle. This also applies to the pyramids of Teotihuacan, which are at their most crowded on weekends.