Eternal expat Laura Bronner has been a Mexico City digital nomad for 4 years. Here’s her advice
Thank you for reaching out – I really appreciate it! I lived there for a few months in 2018 and Mexico City is one of my favorite places to visit in Mexico. I still come a lot for short layovers but you’re right, since everything is closed, it’s a little hard to move around the city right now.
Currently, I am not updated about being a digital nomad in Mexico. It’s been years since I lived there. With this, I invited a good friend of mine, Laura Bronner from Eternal Expat who’s currently living in Mexico City and has been a digital nomad for over 6 years. In this guide, she will give you some insider tips about DN living in the capital.
Of course, if you plan to relocate to the Pacific coast of Mexico, you know that I live in Vallarta so come over and connect! I would love to show you around. Good luck on your move!
In the last few years, Mexico City has firmly planted itself on the list of the best places for digital nomads to live. While Mexico City doesn’t offer the beaches of other popular Mexico digital nomad spots like Playa del Carmen or Tulum, what it lacks in sea and sand, it makes up for in so many ways.
Mexico City is home to not only some of the top restaurants in Mexico but some of the top restaurants in the world. It’s a foodie paradise and all at a price most digital nomads would find incredibly affordable.
Mexico City digital nomad: personal experience
I have been living in Mexico City for over four years now and have seen the digital nomad scene explode in that time. I came here because I knew it would be more affordable than where I was living before (Seoul, Sydney, and New York), but I still wanted a big city living.
I run a travel blog and YouTube channel all about life as an ex-pat with a heavy focus on life and travels around Mexico. I spend most of my days working from home because the traffic in Mexico City can be unbearable, so be sure to keep that in mind when you choose what neighborhood you want to be in because that’s likely where you’ll spend most of your week.
However, I also love heading to a nearby cafe to work or meeting friends at a coworking space. There are tons of both in Mexico City with new ones popping up every month to satisfy the demand. I’ve made digital nomad friends here who work in so many different sectors. Some run their own businesses as I do and others have full-time jobs back in the US or Canada, but they are able to do them remotely, so why not in the warmth of Mexico City where you can still manage the time zones well?
The Digital Nomad scene in Mexico City
Mexico City is a huge mix of people, just like any big city. There are people of varying ages as young as 18 or 19 who are studying online and living here as well as people in their 40s and 50s who have established online businesses that allow them to work from anywhere.
The majority of digital nomads that I’ve met in Mexico City are in their 20s and 30s. If you head to a cafe to work or sign up for a membership at a local coworking space, you’re likely to be surrounded mostly by people in that age bracket.
I’ve found the best way to network and meet fellow digital nomads to be through Facebook groups. Whether you’re looking for coworking pals, hiking buddies, or just some friends to go out for Friday night drinks with, there’s a group for you. That’s the beauty of a city with over 20 million residents.
I recommend starting with these Facebook groups to see when people are having meetups or coworking sessions:
Mexico City Internet Speed
Mexico City has the best internet that I’ve experienced in all of Mexico. There are several different options available if you plan to rent long term and want to set up your own internet.
The two companies in Mexico City that currently offer high-speed fiber-optic internet are Izzi and Infinitum. Both cost roughly 500 Pesos per month (about $25 USD) and usually include a phone line and sometimes cable TV as well, depending on what offer they’re running at the time of signup.
If you go to a coworking space or a cafe that is well known for coworking then you can be sure that you’ll be using pretty high-speed internet.
SIM cards are relatively easy to get in Mexico. Simply head to an Oxxo or 7-11, both are very popular convenience stores, where you can buy SIM cards and have them activated while you’re there.
My personal favorite service provider for Mexico City is Telcel. They have the best coverage and for about 200 Pesos ($10 USD) per month, you can get unlimited calls and unlimited use of apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You only use your data when you go on a web browser or an app different from these other two. You can top up your phone at any local corner store that has a Telcel sign outside.
Mexico City Cost of Living
If you want to live in the popular ex-pat neighborhoods of Roma Norte or Condesa and you plan to rent for at least a year and furnish your own apartment, you can find studios and one-bedrooms places for as little as 10,000 Pesos (about $500 USD). With the same budget, you can get an even nicer or bigger place in neighborhoods like Escandon, Navarte, Del Valle, or Roma Sur.
If you are only planning to be in Mexico City for a few months and you want to be in neighborhoods like Roma or Condesa, you’ll need to up your budget to at least $600 USD per month and with that, you may even be sharing an apartment with a roommate. However, this price usually includes your bills.
The best place to look for short-term rentals is through Airbnb. You can contact the owner directly before booking and see if they will offer you a discounted monthly rate if they aren’t already and if you plan to stay for three or four months, they may lower the price even more.
You can also put out messages that you are looking for a furnished apartment in the Facebook groups that were listed above.
Besides rent, living in Mexico City is incredibly affordable. You can buy all of your weekly groceries from local markets like Mercado Medellin or the Condesa farmer’s market on Tuesday mornings and you’ll have plenty of change left over for a plate of tacos, which usually cost less than a dollar each.
Visas, entry/exit requirements, etc
Mexico offers a visa waiver of 180 days to most passport holders. The full list of countries that do not require a visa before entering Mexico can be found here. This means that if you are on that list, you can enter Mexico and stay for up to six months as a digital nomad without paying for anything other than your flights in and out of the country.
If you are flying from the US, you usually need to show proof of onward travel from Mexico in order to check into your flight.
Mexico City Cafes with strong Wifi
There are so many great cafes in Mexico City with strong WiFi and strong coffee, you’ll have trouble choosing which to work from on a day-to-day basis.
Boicot Cafe (Roma and Condesa)
Cold-brew lovers won’t want to miss grabbing their morning coffee here while they work. There are two locations in the city, but I find the Roma location a little bit more spacious and better for work. It’s packed with outlets around every table and the service is great.
Their ciabatta sandwiches are affordable and filling at only 69 Pesos or roughly $3.50 USD. However, it’s their desserts that really bring me back for an afternoon work session. The date pie, the rich chocolate brownie topped with melted marshmallow, and any of their muffins go really well with a cup of coffee.
Related: Mexico City Vegan Food Guide
Blend Station (Roma and Condesa)
Blend Station is my favorite place to work and it’s my favorite cup of coffee in the entire city. No one does a better flat white than the baristas at blend station. A cup of coffee will set you back about $3, but you can sit and type away on your computer with that empty cup at your side all day if you want and no one will kick you out. The food here is fantastic, especially the salads and toasted sandwiches. They also have a few nice sweet desserts on offer as well as a huge selection of tea and perfectly made macha lattes.
You’ll have to wait for the morning breakfast rush to subside at this cafe, but by 10am, you’ll be able to grab a table here and work with a coffee and a salad for a fair few hours before the afternoon rush arrives again.
This is a nice cafe for working in Condesa if you live around the tree-lined street in Amsterdam and don’t want to travel too far for a good cafe and good WiFi.
Co-working spaces in Mexico City
There is an insane number of coworking spaces in Mexico City, especially in Roma Norte, Condesa, and Polanco. Some, like WeWork, require you to have a monthly membership, but if you are looking for a place to make phone calls, you have things you need to print, or you love having a cold beer as you finish up the workday, it’s pretty well worth the price of just over $200 a month for a desk.
Coffice (Roma Norte)
This is one of the easiest places to head if you are only here for a short time and you don’t want to invest in a monthly membership. Coffice is basically a cafe, but you don’t pay for your coffee, you pay for your time. You can pay by the hour or you can pay for a full day, which costs 200 Pesos or about $10 USD.
No matter what amount of time you spend here, a cup of coffee or tea is included. However, if you want to have a latte or something to eat, you’ll have to pay extra.
There are a lot of WeWork locations in Mexico City, but none have a view quite like the WeWork on Paseo de La Reforma overlooking the Angel of Independence monument. The offices are located on the 40th floor, so you get a pretty spectacular view of the whole downtown area of Mexico City as well as access to free water, soda, coffee, beer, and a fridge to put your food. There is also a cafe where you can buy lattes, sandwiches, cakes, and cookies.
Impact Hub (Roma Norte)
This is my personal favorite coworking space in Mexico City. It’s on the main street of Roma Norte, Alvaro Obregon, so it’s close to great restaurants, cafes, taco stands, and the Metrobus. But as soon as you come inside you feel like you’ve walked into a quiet haven perfect for working.
The internet speed here is one of the best on the list and the staff are incredibly friendly. You can either pay for a daily, weekly, or monthly membership with a daily rate starting at 200 Pesos (about $10 USD).