Frequently asked Questions (FAQ) About Mexico City

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Mexico City is an underrated travel destination, at least for Americans. As such, I get a lot of questions about my trip. So to answer these, I’ve set up a quick Frequently Asked Questions/FAQ about Mexico City.

Did we feel safe?

Formerly the DF, now CDMX in Mexico City

Yes. It felt no less safe than, say, Istanbul. The downtown area was very nice, though that’s probably partially because of tourists. You’ll know if you’re in a rough area because they’re bad, especially in contrast with the other cleaner parts of the city. For example, the area around Plaza Garibaldi wasn’t some place that we needed to walk through. It has a bunch of run-down bars, drunks, and people who live on the street, but we knew as soon as we walked in that it was bad. 

Was it cheap?

Incredibly. One Peso ($MX) was about $.05 USD when we went, and a torta on the street costs about $35 MX (about $1.35 USD). When we went to a nice sit-down restaurant, we paid about $20 USD for two people, otherwise we ate for about $2 USD while walking around. Our hotel was $22 USD a night (AirBnB) and I bought a sweater at a market for $8USD. 

Was the air quality bad?

On the Pyramid of the Moon - Teotihuacan
Pictured: air quality

It was visible, yes. It was more apparent when we went to Teotihuacan. You could see the smog cloud permeating from the direction of the city and as you can see in the picture above, the mountains were a little obscured. Neither of us had any issues breathing the air, but if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, I can see how it’d cause issues.

What was the food like?

It was very carb-y and slathered in sauces, but it was all delicious. The tamales were top-notch, I tell you.

Favorite Part?

The people were all very nice. Sure, we paid a tourist tax a few times, and our Spanish combined was only passable, but people were really welcoming and patient of our making an effort to speak Spanish. More than a few times, people gave us directions without asking because we just looked like lost gringos.

Would I go again?

In a heartbeat. 

Want to read more? There’s a whole series about my trip to Mexico City: 


  1. Mexico City hasn’t really been on my radar, but I’d love to visit the ancient temples in Mexico (and eat all the food). Is there a lot to do in the city itself? #FarawayFiles

    1. Author

      There’s actually quite a bit to do in the city. Bwtween the pre-Colombian period, the Spanish rule, and the ruins, it has a very deep history. And because it’s so large, there’s also great restaurants and nightlife.

  2. Sigh. I need to visit central America. Dare I say it, it’s on the list! Mexico City sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    1. Author

      Thanks for stopping by! I don’t know where you’re at, but from Chicago-O’Hare, flights were ~$275 RT. Mexico City is definitely a place that can be done in under a week.

  3. Great to meet you via #FarawayFiles. I’ve often wondered about Mexico City. I’m interested in all the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo sites in the city but would love to eat lots of that delicious food as well. Thanks for answering so many of the questions I’ve been wondering about.

    1. Author

      Hi Claire!

      It’s a surprisingly underrated destination that I wholly recommend. There was a Diego Rivera piece in the Chapultepec Castle, but like I said, we didn’t make it to Frida Kahlo. I will next time!

  4. My parents took me to Mexico City when I was 18 at the end of a beachy holiday on Cozumel. It was so eye-opening to see the contrast and I was mesmerized by places like the Zocolo. We did not see Teotihuacan that trip (but did visit Chichen Itza a few years later.) The Diego Rivera murals at the National Palace were stunning! I loved it. Thanks so much for sharing with #FarawayFiles – we’re happy to have you contributing to this travel community! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    1. Author

      Hi Erin

      Thanks for having me! Glad you enjoyed Mexico City as much as I did.


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