Getting around in Mexico City

“>Mexico City is a vibrantly energetic place to visit. The mixture of colonial and modern makes for an eclectic atmosphere. Mexico City is a massively extensive city to visit there is so much to see and do. So I thought I would touch on the many ways of transportation available here.

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Tour buses

I took the Turibus its a double-decker style bus with open seating on the top level. Turibus’ routes go past pretty much all the highlights of Mexico city. One thing I really liked is it is a hop on and off set up so for just 160 pesos a day or 230 pesos for a two day pass you can get to most major attractions. When you are finished checking out that must-see museum, zoo, park etc… you return to the pickup point which is clearly marked and hop back on. Very cool and a fantastic way to see the city. Having the open top level was nice also allowing you to see everything easily. Beware though in some of the colonials there are low hanging wires and or tree lines so you may have to duck your head a few times.
As you are chauffeured around in this clean modern bus there is commentary describing what all the points of interest are. I was very happy that when I bought my ticket the attendant gave me a pair of earbuds to plug into the bus which allows the customer to hear information in several different languages, so I didn’t miss a thing. Some other cool features on the bus were the USB plugins and the WIFI. I never once had any issues keeping my all-important smartphone charged!
In hindsight, I would have gotten a two-day pass since the convenience of taking this bus was so awesome. However, I was on my last day in Mexico City at this point. Being the adventurous I’ll do it my self-type and not much for the guided tour deal, I really didn’t even consider taking a tour bus. Which I realized was silly, after learning how great these hop on and off buses were. They’re not really a guided tour even though they have commentary set up. The commentary is more of a guide of the points of interest and also lets you know where exactly you are. It tells you hey the museum is here or the zoo is coming up. There’s no one telling you what to do or when to do it. With a little planning, you could easily see a considerable amount of places in a couple of days. Honestly the convenience of the set up is well worth the extra expense after all time is money right?

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Taxis

Taxis are also an easy and convenient way to get around Mexico City. Especially if you know exactly where you want to go and don’t want to deal with the all the stops of a bus or metro. They’re fairly inexpensive and very easy to find. Although I would stick with the sitto taxis these are typically unmarked taxis assigned to individual hotels or sites. These usually have a radio set up and can be called by the front desk of your hotel. They can also be set up to do a guided tour but they run around 250-300 pesos an hour. These taxis are a safe and well-monitored plus because they’re mostly not marked it helps to not stand out to unsavory types that may be looking for an easy target to rob. The same goes for Ubers although in my experience Uber is a little cheaper but they don’t do tours. There are the regular taxis also, some are metered and some are pre-priced be sure to check if you decide to take this route. These are not as safe as the sitto taxis and some drivers will take a long way around to jack up the cost. I used a sitto to get from the bus station to my hostel and I was comfortable and felt safe. I used an Uber to get to my flight since it was at 4 am and I was able to schedule the pickup time. Again I felt safe.

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Buses

The city bus is fairly easy to get around on and cheap I think it was 6-8 pesos a trip but as I’ve already pointed out if you don’t know where your going and don’t speak a lot of Spanish they can be a challenge. If you decide to use one there are usually some English speaking locals around that can help you. But keep in mind it’s easy to become a target this way. So if you take the buses great just don’t carry anything important with you and only take the money you think you’ll need. During rush hour so to speak these buses become extremely crowded.

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Metros

The metros are a large subway system that runs throughout Mexico City. These are a fairly rapid way to get around the city and there cheap running around 5 pesos a trip. But be fair warned they are well known for bump and grab crimes. They even set up specific subways with clearly marked pink on them for women only because of groping and such. While they’re quick to get around on they are portions that run under the city making any sightseeing difficult. These also have a tendency to be so crowded and hot during the peak hours that they feel like a sardine can. Keep in mind that you can not take anything larger than a small carry on item to the metro. Again don’t take anything important with you and for sure I wouldn’t even take my phone out as it can make you a target.

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Pedicabs

These are actually kind of cool there open little bubbles of sorts that a drive peddles a bicycle around the city. These are good for quick jaunts to maybe a restaurant a few blocks away or just to check a few places out. A pedicab is basically like a rickshaw or tuk-tuk they are inexpensive but beware if you don’t blend in so to speak you can get “gringo prices”.

Collectivos

Typically a minibus of sorts that goes to very specific main streets they are quick to get around on and have set prices. Look for the routes in the window of the collectivos to figure out where they go the card will show the streets they run and you can jump on and off as needed. They’re a little more comfortable than the buses but again get very crowded. But not like the buses the driver of the collectivos does crowd control so if you see him put up one or two fingers as he approaches he’s signally how many he’ll allow on.

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Bicycles

There are quite a few places you can rent a bike here in Mexico City and they can be a good way to get around. Ecobici is city run and you’ll need to sign up for use of them. There are 84 bicycle depots to pick up and drop off your bicycle throughout the city making it pretty convenient. You’ll need to provide ID, credit card or debit card, and take a quick knowledge test. After which you’ll sign a letter stating you can ride the bike safely. There are several plans you can sign up for ranging from yearly for 439 pesos to a week at 329 pesos or even just the day at 99 pesos. You can use the bikes in 45-minute increments for an unlimited amount of times a day. You will be charged extra fees for overtime limits.

So as you can see there are a great many ways to get around in Mexico City. I myself mostly walked everywhere. But only when I was staying within the Centro district.

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