Sunday, July 20, 2008

Security guidelines for tourists visiting Mexico City

If you are planning to visit Mexico City maybe you have heard rumors or stories about Mexico being a dangerous travel destination. First of all Mexico City is one of the largest and most populated cities in the world so you may expect the inherent problems of a big city like New York for example. I have been a Mexico's City resident all my life so I believe I know one thing or another about keeping myself safe in the city, hence I will like to share some advice or safety guidelines to keep you safe during your visit to this great country:

- Arriving at the airport use only authorized taxis.

- Try not to look like a typical tourist: no matter the climate you would rarely see residents using shorts in the city, jeans and trousers are more common.

- watch your belongings at all times and try no to be too flashy about them, expensive equipment will be a big temptation for thieves. Place any camera or electronic equipment in a bag while not in use.

- walk on busy streets (not to busy though) in daylight and avoid walking in streets at night, if you have to, look for well-lit streets.

- Before exploring unknown zones of the city ask hotel personnel if those places are safe to visit.

- In daytime you may use hotel transportation or taxis parked outside the hotel, at night use private taxis called "de sitio", using regular taxis is not advisable for tourist. Public transportation like "MetroBus" and the subway ("Metro") are relatively safe during the day.

- On the streets never accept or pay for unrequested services. I sometimes call Mexico City the "gratuity land" because there are infinite unrequested services, like people in the street that will help you park and watch your car (suposedly), people thay will offer help carrying your shopping bags or luggage (very dangerous) or any type of service in exchange of money.

- when traveling by car, lock your doors and keep your windows closed.

- If you need to use a ATM machine or bank services try to use the ones inside shopping centers or Malls.

- If you want to party at night try to visit well known zones like "la Condesa", "Coyoacán", "San Angel", "Altavista", "San Jerónimo", "Insurgentes Sur", "Polanco" or "La Roma" and try not to drink to much.

- Never count money in the street, if you notice any strange situation or if someone is bothering you, just enter any store or shopping center and ask the shopkeeper for help.

- The best money exchange rate is at the airport or at international banks like HSBC.

- The best first approach for visiting important tourist sites is to use the "Turibus" (Touristic Bus) service.

I'll try to keep this post updated with new security advice. Soon I'll be posting about places to visit in Mexico City.


Anonymous said...

Your article was quite helpful and very informative. I have been to Mexico several times over the years and fall in love each and everytime i go. There is a sense of culture and pride that i feel amongst the people. I will be returning this year and will be visiting Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende. I am an artist and wanted to use this opportunity to document the culture and women of Mexico, via photos and film. I would like to speak with a family, document the elders and photograph the innocence of the children. I am hoping to meet a trusted individual that will be able to show me around the old towns of Mexico City for a few hours during the day. If you know of anyone that is trust worthy please let me know. my e-mail is

Kimberly nut said...

Just discovered your blog. It’s really good. This is a great and interesting informative. My friend went Mexico city. He was telling the Mexico is a great city. I know Mexico is a very popular city in the world and security guidelines very good. I’ve always wanted to go out of the country and have my vacation there. Unfortunately, time and money is my problem. But your information really inspiration me. But right now since I’ve decided money is not a problem anymore. Of course I will visit next year Mexico country. I am very happy to visit your site. thank you for posting and sharing it.