June 26th, 2017
Experiencing the Magic of Mexico City
Planning a trip to Mexico City? Before you board the plane, prepare yourself with these key tips for a safe and successful adventure.
In recent years, Mexico City has become an international hotspot, boasting historic sites and emerging attractions to see, and plenty of activities to. While some travelers in the past may have avoided this destination because of safety concerns, the scene is changing. It’s now possible to head to Mexico’s capital city to enjoy a memorable and safe vacation. That said it’s worth it to brush up on some key safety and travel information before you board the plane. Read on for seven tips to help ensure a successful trip.
1. Avoid crowds and save money.
You'll typically find the lowest Mexico City hotel prices in December and January, when the weather is a bit cooler than the rest of the year. But, December is also one of the busiest tourist months of the year—perhaps because of the holidays—so you're bound to experience some crowds if you go at that time. If you want to avoid those crowds, consider visiting in July or August. It's rainy season, but if you don't mind some showers, you can see and do plenty—and the hotel rates are usually more reasonable than during the drier, warm months before and after that time frame. If your goal is to travel when the weather will be best, plan your trip between March and May, when temperatures are most likely to be warm and rain will be minimal.
2. Pack for all weather possibilities.
Mexico City’s average temperatures range from about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius), and many locals say you can experience all four seasons in one day. So, regardless of what month you choose for your trip, plan to bring layers that you can easily add or remove when the temperatures change. Worried about space? Use Pack-It Specter™ Compression Cubes to keep your sweaters and raincoat from filling your entire bag.
3. See the city’s famous landmarks.
Mexico City’s main square, the Plaza de la Constitución (also known as the Zócalo), should top your must-see list. There, you can visit the Palacio Nacional (National Palace). The historic building houses the offices of Mexico’s president and federal treasury, but the real draws are the series of murals inside painted by Diego Rivera and depicting Mexico’s history. Stop by the adjacent ruins of Templo Mayor to get a glimpse into the Aztecs’ main worshipping center before the Spanish arrived.
4. Go beyond the big names.
And then there are the lesser-known things to see and do in Mexico City. Indulge your senses of taste and smell at the Mucho Mundo Chocolate Museum, where you can learn about the history of Mexican chocolate, check out chocolate-based art, and purchase a few bites for the road. Mexico City’s market scene offers more savory delights. One favorite: Mercado de Medellín, which features food from all over Latin America. Once you’ve done all your walking, head to the borough of Xochimilco. There, you can take a ride along its ancient canals and buy food and drinks from passing boats.
5. Carefully conceal your valuables.
Mexico City isn’t as dangerous as it’s often portrayed. In fact, the busiest and most-traveled parts are filled with security guards and cameras intended to promote a safe atmosphere. However, it’s still good to stay one step ahead. Protect your valuables (and give yourself peace of mind) by putting a Travel Safe TSA Lock® on your bag and carrying your cash and cards in an Undercover™ Money Belt DLX. Keep your passport and credit cards in RFID Blocker Sleeves, and bring extra copies to keep in a separate (well-concealed) place than the originals. As with travel anywhere, be mindful of your surroundings, particularly if you’re alone in a low-traffic area.
6. Opt for official taxis and ride-sharing apps.
If you need to travel to another part of the city and don’t feel like walking or riding the Metro, refrain from hailing a taxi on the street. Instead, grab one from an official taxi station or use a ride-sharing app like Uber or Easy Taxi, the latter being cheaper for short distances. If you’re worried about your wallet getting taken for a ride, ask the driver to follow your Waze-designated route.
7. Share your itinerary.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group, it’s always a good idea to share your itinerary and accommodations information with someone at home for an added layer of safety. Include contact information for your accommodations, and—for added protection—consider having designated days throughout the trip when a close friend or family member can expect an email or phone call to check in.
Mexico City is the epitome of a fun, urban getaway, and as long as you take the necessary safety precautions and prepare in advance, you’re bound to have a trip you won’t soon forget. Do you have any other travel safety tips? Share in the comments below!
While Eagle Creek is here to provide tips and insights on travel, we cannot accept any responsibility for any potential consequences arising from the use of this information. Always conduct your own research and use your best judgment.
Related links (from Eagle Creek blog):
Fascinating Facts About Mexico’s Day of the Dead
My Day With a Mayan Chocolate Master in Belize