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Moving around this HUGE town
The best way to move around Mexico City is the METRO. It's fast, it's cheap (each ticket is only MXN $5 = 40 cents of USD and is good for 1 trip including multiple transfers as long as you don't exit the system - new fee valid since 2014), and it takes you almost everywhere (there are 12 lines, the newest one was opened in 2012).
You may also try to use the buses, but then you'd have to deal with the traffic jams we get in here all the time, and there are so many different routes that it's hard to know which one will take you where you want to go, especially if you're not familiar with the bus system and the town and if you don't speak Spanish (you won't find a bus driver that can speak English to help you and our buses don't have numbers that you can easily identify them with or maps picturing the routes that the buses follow).....
So I strongly recommend that you use the metro, or the metrobus (check my other tips for more info about that one). If you want to get somewhere quickly you can always take a taxi, but please read what I recommend about taking taxis on my WARNINGS section. And check the next tip for a map of the metro lines.
Oh, one more warning: try not to use the metro during rush hours (between 7-9 AM and 6-8 PM) because it can get REALLY crowded! During these times there are even special cars reserved for women & children (usually the first 2 cars at the front part of the train) -- and if you're a girl I strongly suggest that you use those. Keep in mind that our metro system transports around 8 million people everyday!!!
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Make the Metro your friend.
For a city where the cost of most things are by most measures already inexpensive, the Metro has got to be Mexico City's deal of deals.
Modern, fast, clean and safe (well, more on that later). The metro network is ready to transport you from one side of this expansive capital to the other, all for the US equivalent of $0.20. And that's not a typo.
As with any mass transit system- some common sense is in order. Study the system map. Don't store valuables in exterior pockets (I know, duh). Do keep an eye on your bags/belongings at all times (duh again). Dress conservatively- no expensive jewelry/electronics. Learn the names/geographic location of the terminus stations of the lines you travel most. Avoid rush hour at all costs- the hours of 7-10am and 5-8pm will redefine your concept of "crushing humanity". Hawkers will ply their wares (CDs, candy) in the carriages- accept them as part of your Mexico City experience.
The only time I took a taxi in the capital was to and from the airport, all other times- it was me and Senor Metro. And if you are flying super-light (hand luggage/no luggage at all) -you can take Metro to/from aeropuerto (beware, I've been told the immediate area is a bit sketchy- especially at night).
Bear in mind- the network shuts down around midnight, so if you plan to be out and about until the wee hours- arrange for either a radio taxi ($$$, but the safest by far) or sitio taxi. Again, I have no experience with taxis after-hours...but the advice concerning radio/sitio taxis has been stressed many times by other posters.
The cheapest subway system
The subway system in Mexico city is the cheapest I have ever seen!
The ticket price is only 2peso!!! As the exchange rate at end of 2008, the ticket price is about half of the price in Beijing (RMB 2), and 1/13 of the price in New York(USD 2, which is still planning to raise again).
Thought the price is cheap, but the train and station are clean. The train service frequency is also unbelievable, as soon as a train left station, the next train is coming. There is almost no waiting time.
However, same as any other populate cities, the train could still be crowded and you have to look out for pocket picker especially when the train is crowded.
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Not as bad as you'd think
The metro system is not bad, it is crowded during rush-hour and could use air conditioning but its comfortable enough. Often there are people trying to perform crazy things and sell CDs on the trains. As of summer 2008, it costs 2 pesos for a metro ticket (the equivilent of about 20 cents USD) so its very cheap compared to other cities.
Check this link for a photo of the Mexico City subway map:
Best Transportation Value
What a deal. The subway only costs 2 pesos (in 2008) (US$0.20) to travel any where in the city with unlimited transfers. I’d read that rush hours should be avoided because of the crowds so I never did see trains where I felt crowded.
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the metro system is good and cheap.
if i am right is there in the rush hour and late in the evening the front part for women and childern.
less points the terrible noise from people who try to sell music and other things in the metro as far as i know this is not aloud but you get an headache from them.
other things i heard younger female tourist had sometimes problem with men who couldnot keep there hands away. also very crowded so be near the door when you need next stop.
buy several cards 2 pesos a card as long you not use the exit your ticket is valid (although the machine takes it when you enter)
they work with numbers and colours so it is easy just follow right colour.
another strange thing when i did get back to mexico df i wanted to take the metro to my hostel but it was not aloud to go with my big luggagebag inside so i had to take a taxi.
- Budget Travel
The best way to travel into the city, avoiding the traffic is using the subway (METRO).
This transportation system is one of the cheapest in the world $2 Pesos per trip (2 cents of dollar)
The stations of Metro are diverse all over the city - the system count with more than 10 different lines to take you in - definitly you will need a map of the stations.
Check the website - it's a map
Ticket or card to ride the metro
It looks like the Mexico City metro is undergoing some modernization. Formerly we used to have a monthly pass which saved you some $ if you used the metro everyday (it was cheaper than buying single tickets) but it was discontinued. However, starting June 7th, 2006 they are introducing the rechargeable card (looks pretty much like a phone card) that you can use & recharge so you don't have to buy single tickets every time you ride the metro. This is recommendable for someone who will stay in town for a long time & will use the metro a lot, because the card costs MX$300 (a little less than USD$30) so it's good for a whole lot of trips. When you're running out of $$ you can add whatever amount you want, there's no minimum and you don't have to wait until your balance is $0.00 either.
The only bad thing is that, at least for now, it's on sale on very specific stations only:
Line 1: Zaragoza and Chapultepec Stations
Line 2: Zocalo and Hidalgo Stations (in downtown)
Line 3: Universidad Station
You can buy and recharge cards at the listed locations during the following hours (@ the ticket office):
Mon-Fri: 5 AM to midnight
Sat: 6 AM to midnight
Sun and Holidays: 7 AM to midnight
There are gradually modernizing all of the turnstiles at every metro station with a device that reads the cards and substracts the amount of 1 trip (and will also show the remaining $$ in the card). The balance in the card does not expire, so you don't have a specific timeframe to use it. If you travel to Mexico City often, you can buy one and keep it for the next trips till it runs out, and keep adding $$ to it if necessary.
Treat this card as you would a credit card, so the electronic band does not get damaged and you can continue to use it for a long time! This will save you quite some time as you won't have to wait in line to buy your tickets every time you ride the metro - and you will contribute in decreasing the waste of paper by not using printed tickets ;-)
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There's no doubt the best way to know a city is walking on its streets, but since Mexico City is a HUGE city and you can get easily stuck in the traffic jams, the metro (or subway) is a perfect chioce to visit it. It is very cheap; for 2.00 pesos you can go from south to north. It has several lines which will take you almost all around the city. Make sure to get a map because it's easy to get lost, but after visiting Tokyo's metro, I realised this one is much more easy to use!!! so, if you are Japanese, our metro will be a piece of cake for you!! =)
Clean, Affordable and Fast
i was really impressed by the underground system in this huge city. the Metro covers almost the whole of Mexico City, with a line that goes to and from the airport, just 20 minutes away from Zocalo, the city centre.
the metro is one of cheapest transportation system in the world, only 2 pesos ($0.20) per journey as long as you remain within the system. it's very clean, very advanced, with rare interruption, if i compare it to the London underground, which usually has got lots of delays and getting stuck underground! it's also safe as long as you follow your common sense.
the only minor thing i didn't like about it was the crowd. in peak hours, it can get very crowded like hell. i read the VT tips on the metro before i took off to Mexico and found them very real - so always stick to the doors if you want to leave as early as possible. otherwise, you might get really really stuck in the crowd unable to get off the train! also if you've got lots of luggage, it's highly NOT recommended to use the metro; not many lifts that serve stations, though some escalators might be available
other than that, i really liked it; fast, effecient, affordable and clean
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metro is easy!
i really encourage use of the metro. it is very easy to navigate, especially if you can get a map from your hotel or something. i felt safer on the metro than on the streets or on cabs. all the most popular attractions are right on the line. make sure you know what direction you're going in before you exit the station
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Visiting Mexico City
The best way to get around Mexico City is using the metro. The city has one of the most convenient metro system in the world. the metro has 171 stations distribuited in 11 lines conected to the whole city and its Metropolitan area. It runs everyday from 5 am to 12 pm and it cost only $2 pesos per trip, which igual to less than a quarter of US dollar. Don't worry if you bought more than you need. The metro ticket has no expiration date and you can bring it home till your next trip to Mexico City. If you travel from Mexico City airport (Aeropuerto Benito Juarez) exit the airport and walk to your left until the end of the airport federal area until the metro station "Aeropuerto". The main bus stations that conect to the all country are: Autobuses del Norte (line yellow), where buses go to the north of the republic; "El Tapo" Lazaro Cardenas station (rose and B line), buses go to the south of the republic, like Chiapas, Oaxaca, Cancun, etc; and others like Observatorio (rose line), Tasqueña (blue line). there are local buses in every metro station. Tren and buses run every minute.
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A map of the metro
Here you can see a map of the metro lines. They're separated in numbers AND colors, and each metro station has a different symbol. Some of the lines that seem to be longer aren't metro lines only, they end at a certain point and from there you ride another train to go farther, but the correspondance is easy.
All (or most) of the metro lines have bus stops at the exit so you can ride a bus if you need to go somewhere else nearby and you don't want to walk. Again, be careful when riding one so you know exactly where it goes and where it passes by, cause you can get lost easily. Unfortunately there's no map and/or timetable or any other way to know where the buses run, where they go, etc. So you'd better stick to the metro!
Please read my next tip where you will find the latest innovation of the metro system.....
- Budget Travel
Mexico City's subway is a safe, fast and unexpensive (ticket = 2 pesos = 18 cents of U.S. dollar) way to move around the city, when it is not rush hour (7-10 a.m., 6-9 p.m. monday to friday); during rush hour it is very crowded.
From an architecture point of view there are some oddities:
The transfer tunnel in Pino Suarez station (Line1-pink to Line 2-blue), displays one complete aztec structure, discovered with the subway's construction excavations. If you are traveling between Zona Rosa and Zocalo you will use this transfer.
Zocalo station access-hall has three models representing Zocalo and its surroundings during aztec times, colonial times and the late XIX century.
Bellas Artes station access next to the palace is an exact replica of Guimard's Parc Monceau station in Paris; it was a gift of France.
Many stations have murals: examples include Insurgentes, Tacubaya and Centro Medico. Copilco station is an extreme as its huge murals cover the whole extension of the two 100 meter-long platforms.
The stations generally look modern and a few of them were some time ago considered even futuristic: for example Chabacano station was a location for Hollywood's "Total Recall" movie (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger) where it was suposed to be a subway in Mars...
if you dont have a lot of patience (like me), you better don't drive there.... there's a lot of traffic, and you need to think in the parking place, too.... so, i recommend you to take the metro, it's the cheapest way to travel in mexico, and also you save time, because you don't have a chance to get lost.... the bus is ok, too.... in downtown... just walk if you can... you'll find Bellas Artes, Latinoamerican tower, the Zocalo, ....
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Mexico City Travel Guide
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