Traveling solo in Mexico City: tips, tricks, and pitfalls to avoid based on personal experiences

I lived in this city for 6 months, I will give you a rundown on how to easily navigate your Mexico City solo travel. Mexico City travel is one of the best things I’ve seen and done in my life!

📮 Hello Trisha! I am a female digital nomad from the USA. I am thinking to travel Mexico solo and seeing your stories there all the time encourages me. I do not know you but you are the closest thing I know about Mexico City solo travel. My family and friends always warned me about the city but I feel like it’s an enjoyable city! What are your tips for a female who wants to do a solo trip to Mexico City? Is it for everyone? Will I make it? Thank you for all the efforts you put into this blog and for sharing your life!

Jane Rodgers, United States
mexico city solo travel

Hi Jane,

Thank you for reaching out and for following the blog! Mexico City is one of my favorite cities in the world but good question – is it for everyone?

Between you and me, I will tell you that the Mexican capital takes some getting used to but you will be fine! I know a lot of people who traveled Mexico city solo so don’t doubt that you can also do it.

In this post, I will share with you some Mexico City solo travel tips including what areas to avoid, how to meet people, and best things to do for solo travelers.

Good luck and if you make it, I’d love to connect you with my good friends there!

Xx,
Trisha

P.S. You will read the term ‘CDMX’ in this post a lot. That’s the shortcut for Mexico City and it means ‘Ciudad de Mexico.”

We also use the term ‘DF’ for Mexico City which means Distrito Federal.

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💃  Mexico City solo travel: personal experience

The very first time I arrived in Mexico City, I stayed in Casa Alameda MX, a great hostel in Guerrero. I honestly just stayed here because there was an offer for a private room and after a long trip from Japan, I wanted to have a place for myself without paying so much money.

The week I arrived, my friends from Mexico City wanted to meet right away. Since they live in CDMX, they all have cars and offered to pick me up at my hostel.

When I sent them the pin of my hostel, they all said the same thing: “why are you staying in Guererro? It’s so unsafe there!!”

I honestly did not feel this way when I arrived. I just became extra vigilant when I was already told that the area I was staying in was unsafe.

mexico city travel

I couldn’t cancel the booking anymore because I already paid for a week. After meeting my friends for dinner, I was hyper-vigilant the next few days, even during the daytime!

I felt extreme paranoia in Guerrero and after a while, I asked myself: “how do you feel?”

When I assessed my feelings, I realized I did not feel unsafe in the hostel or the neighborhood I was staying in. I was just extra paranoid because of the thing that my friends said but I did not feel threatened.

It’s so easy for us to listen to what other people say about a certain place that we forget that we have our own opinions and feelings, especially when we are experiencing it ourselves.

mexico city solo travel
Staying in hostels in Mexico City will give you the chance to meet a lot of cool people!

For a time, I did rely on that fear and then I decided that I will make my own story about Mexico City. I also forgot how I was already traveling solo for most of my life – why is Mexico City any different?

Look, you might think I am being stupid for not listening to my local friends who told me that Mexico City is dangerous. It’s not that.

Through my world travels, I just know that tourists and locals have different views on their cities and that foreigners and nationals have different experiences. The locals don’t travel their cities like us though their insider insights help a lot.

After that first trip, I went to Mexico City often. Like a lot. Most of my layovers stop there and I’m not going to spend them inside the airports. CDMX is too good of a city for that.

During these small visits, I have stayed for a month, 2 weeks, 3 days, even 24 hours. I visited Mexico City so often that it grew on me.

I knew how to move around and know how to blend in. There are many layers in my relationship with Mexico City but when I got to know the place, it became one of my favorite cities in the world.

That hostel in Guerrero that my friends said was unsafe? I stayed there 6 times after that first trip.

❤️ Why I love to travel to Mexico City

Food in Mexico City is the best!

From bustling street vendors selling quintessential snacks like “tacos al pastor” and “tamales” to high-end restaurants offering sophisticated Mexican cuisine, Mexico City provides a gastronomic experience like no other.

mexico city travel

One of the city’s crowning jewels is its wide array of street food, which is not just affordable but incredibly authentic.

Whether it’s fresh “elotes” (grilled corn) or “churros” filled with caramel, every corner seems to offer something delicious.

Vibrant nightlife in Mexico City

The nightlife in Mexico City is as diverse and electrifying as the city itself, offering something for every kind of night owl.

mexico city solo travel

From swanky rooftop bars in Polanco with panoramic city views to underground indie clubs in Roma and Condesa, the range is immense.

One of the iconic experiences is to visit a “cantina,” a traditional Mexican bar, where you can enjoy local liquors like mezcal and tequila along with typical bar snacks (“botanas”).

Great culture for all ages

Mexico City’s culture is a dynamic tapestry woven from its rich history, blending indigenous roots with Spanish colonial influences and modern global currents.

mexico city travel

The city is a thriving hub for art, music, and literature. Murals by Diego Rivera adorn public buildings, underscoring the city’s long-standing commitment to making art accessible.

The Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not just a nod to the past but a living, breathing space where history and contemporary life coalesce.

Everyone is in Mexico City!

I have met many people in different sizes, shapes, and colors in Mexico City, especially when I lived there.

mexico city roma accommodations
The Mexico City gang: as a blogger, it’s so easy for me to connect with digital nomads an remote workers in CDMX!

It was such a great joy to see that many travelers are visiting Mexico City and that its reputation for being unsafe is slowly diminishing (to a smaller community who knows it).

From Europeans to Americans, many foreigners just don’t travel here but they also opt to live in Mexico City for the low cost of living. It was not hard for me to make friends here while I was traveling alone!

Access to many other Mexico destinations

Mexico City serves as an excellent hub for exploring a variety of local destinations due to its well-connected transportation options.

Only a couple of hours away by car or bus, you can visit the stunning pyramids of Teotihuacan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a deep dive into ancient Mesoamerican culture.

Another popular day trip is to the “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Towns) like Taxco, famous for its silver crafts, and Tepoztlán, known for its mythical mountain and vibrant local market.

Mexico City’s bus terminals and nearby airports make these trips quite convenient, offering regular services to many destinations.

🇲🇽 Need help in planning your trip to Mexico City? Get on a 1-1 call with me and I’ll help you plan your itinerary, recommend affordable accommodations, and book cool things to do! [Book a call with Trisha]

✈️ Mexico City Travel Guide

Best time to visit Mexico City

The best time to visit Mexico City is from November to April which is the dry season. During these months, temperatures are at 11-24°C (52-75°F).

These months are part of Mexico City’s dry season, and they are characterized by clear skies and mild temperatures. It can get chilly in the mornings and evenings, so layers are advisable.

Rainy season in Mexico City is from May to October, with temperatures around 12-26°C (54-79°F). The rainy season usually brings afternoon showers, but mornings are often clear.

The city is less crowded, and the landscape is lush and green, but you’ll need to carry an umbrella and be prepared for sudden downpours.

Flights to Mexico City

The airport that serves Mexico City is Mexico City International Airport (MEX) also known as Benito Juarez International Airport.

USA, Canada, and even some cities in Europe have direct flights to Mexico City. FYI, even if you are traveling other destinations in Mexico, you are going to stop in Mexico City no matter what.

Renting a car in Mexico City

Like I said, I have my own car and I live in Mexico for 5 years now so I am pretty confident in driving in Mexico City. If you are just staying for a few days, you don’t need a car.

However, if you are visiting nearby destinations like Grutas Tolantongo, Queretaro, and San Miguel de Allende, I highly encourage you to drive – it’s really a nice way to see Central Mexico!

A rental car in Mexico City starts at $35 USD per day (Sedan). You can easily find a rental car at the airport and they also offer discounted prices.

Mexico City Airport transportation

Ubers are not allowed inside Mexico City International Airport. The best way to get to your hotel is to book an airport pick-up in advance – get in touch with me for trusted drivers or simply use this link to pre-book.

Mexico City Travel insurance

DO NOT travel to Mexico City solo without travel insurance. If you can’t afford insurance, it absolutely means you can’t afford to travel as well.

My favorite travel insurance is SafetyWing (for digital nomad and long-term travel) and Ekta Travel for comprehensive medical insurance starting at $0.99 USD!

🚌 Transportation options for Mexico City travel

Take the Uber. Period.

Uber is widely used in Mexico City and it is very affordable. I know that some of you are really adventurous solo travelers and you may want to take transportation options like the bus and the metro.

is mexico city safe

However, I don’t advise you to do this unless you are quite confident in speaking Spanish or know the route very well.

I live in Mexico and I have my own car so I am confident in driving around Mexico City. Again, transportation safety in Mexico City is on a case-to-case basis. Do what works for you.

👍 Where to stay in Mexico City: safe areas

If you are staying in neighborhoods like Roma, Polanco, and Condesa, you don’t really need to take public transportation and Uber will work well.

mexico city roma accommodations

If you are worried about transportation safety in Mexico City, stick to these safest neighborhoods. Also opt for a stay in a hostel so that you will feel more confident by having other foreign solo travelers around.

Coyoacan and Juarez, though not very popular neighborhoods are safe to stay in, too. The downtown historic center is also a safe area and this is where all the landmarks and sights are.

🛏️ Mexico City Hotels

I know some of you are not very comfortable with sharing bed dorms (I graduated from that, too!) but hostels also have private rooms for $75 USD per night.

mexico city solo travel
One of the family dinners we had at Metro Boutique Hostal. Allan, the ‘party manager’ at the hostel cooked dinner for all of us!

Below are some helpful links to accommodations in Mexico City in the safest areas:

🧭 Best things to do in Mexico City

As for your Mexico City travel activities, you want. tobe surrounded by other travelers or locals as much as possible. Why?

This will change your perception about safety in Mexico City and you will learn a lot from other people.

Sure, you can walk around neighborhoods near your hotel by yourself but make it a goal to be always learning from others.

mexico city travel solo

Below are some of the extremely amazing things to do in Mexico City that will enable you to meet other people and make long-time friends!

FYI, the activities below are guided by locals and I also put their names. I met them and have vetted them for recommendations in my blog!

🎟️ Use the code PSIMONMYWAY10 upon checkout when you decide to book these local tours above!

🫱🏽‍🫲🏼 How to easily meet people in Mexico City

Stay in hostels

Hostels in Mexico City are super upbeat – everyone goes out together all the time, cooks dinner at the hostel, drinks together, works together, etc.

Some hostels are not sociable as others but still, if you are staying in a hostel, you still have the chance to talk to other people and not spend time alone on your whole trip.

mexico city travel solo

If you don’t want to share dorms because of COVID, hostels have private rooms, too! That’s what I do whenever I am in CDMX – the private rooms are super cheap!

Best way to immerse: greet everyone like a Latin person

Notice how the Latin people always greet each other even if they don’t know each other? Whether you are passing by a street full of people, you will hear everyone say “hola” (hello) or “con permiso” (a phrase you say when you’re passing in between so many people).

mexico city solo travel

Say “buen provecho” (bon appetit) while passing by street food carts. Always use the greetings buenos dias, buenas tardes, and buenas noches.

When you do this, you don’t look like the odd one out and you’ll definitely blend in. When my cousin visited me in Mexico, she was so ashamed that I am saying hola to people I don’t know but that’s just the Latin greeting!

Join my group trip to Mexico City!

Group tours not only enable you to meet people but also encourage and test your social skills. I realized that you can join a group tour all the time but if you are not social enough, then it does not work.

When you join group tours, you will also get a lot of tips and ideas from travelers about the destination you are visiting. Aside from the Internet, getting first-hand information from other travelers is one of the best ways to discover a place.

I have group tours in Mexico City for solo travelers every year – just get in touch and I will send you information! Each of my group tour is limited to 12 participants only so you’ll have an intimate trip with me!

Anxious about Mexico City solo travel? Join my trip!

I organize yearly trips to Mexico City so if my answers to your questions about “Is Mexico City safe?!” are still not enough, come join my trips and I’ll show you CDMX!

Mexico City expat and traveler groups

The best expat and travelers group to join in Mexico City are Mexico City digital nomads, Foreigners in Mexico City, and Foreigners and Expats in Mexico City (CDMX).

When you have questions or want to meet up, you can simply post in the group and there will be over 50 people who will give you tips and advice.

mexico city travel solo

When I first moved to Mexico City, this is also where I met my first friends! It’s so easy to meet up with people in this group. Everyone’s super friendly and accommodating!

Couchsurfing hangouts app

I always use Couchsurfing hangouts and Mexico City has more activities in this app more than any city in Mexico! I understand that not all of you use Couchsurfing but it’s not only for finding couches to crash – it’s also a great tool to meet people anywhere in the world!

mexico city solo travel

Tinder or Bumble in Mexico City

Coming from Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita where Bumble and Tinder is so white (mostly Americans and Canadians), I really had fun using Tinder and Bumble in Mexico City because it’s so diverse!

Greeks, Argentines, even Turkish people live permanently in Mexico City. Although we all have the general impression that meeting up using Tinder and Bumble is for romantic reasons, you can always go for a friendly date.

Just make sure you tell someone the who, what, when, where. Don’t go with strangers you just met and always meet in public places.

Well, if it takes off between you two and you decide to rendezvous somewhere, make sure someone knows the correct address.

Get in touch with me and I’ll introduce you to cool people!

I have so many friends in Mexico City and they’re super cool! Whenever you feel alone and you want an arranged meet-up, get in touch with me and I will connect you to some good people!

⁉️ FAQ: Mexico City Travel Solo

ABSOLUTELY! Traveling to Mexico City is safe as long as you know the areas to avoid and activities to do. The only thing you have to consider when it comes to safety in Mexico City ‘right now’ are earthquakes. Mexico City is prone to earthquakes (mostly in September) and unfortunately, we really can’t predict when it will come.

ABSOLUTELY! You’re actually missing out if you are skipping Mexico City. Like most capitals in the world, this ain’t one that you should just pass through. It is one of the most vibrant cities in Latin America with lots of things to do! You’ll never get bored here!

You’ll need a valid passport, and depending on your nationality, a visa or tourist card (FMM). Ensure you have travel insurance that covers health. Also, keep local currency (Mexican Peso) for places that don’t accept cards. Basic Spanish phrases can enhance your experience.

A minimum of 3-4 days is recommended to cover the major sights like the Zócalo, Chapultepec Park, and the Teotihuacan pyramids. However, a week allows you to fully explore neighborhoods like Condesa and Roma, visit more museums, and take day trips to nearby locations.

Pack layers to accommodate varying temperatures and carry a light raincoat if visiting during the rainy season. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. Have a list of key attractions you want to visit, but leave room for spontaneity. Learn some basic Spanish phrases and download a map for offline use.

YES and NO. Personally, I think a tour guide can enhance an experience, especially if you are scared to nevigate Mexico City alone. There are many activities that require a tour guide, especially for historical sites like Teotihuacan or specific interests like food tours. I guide Mexico City tours myself so make sure to read through this article and see if you need a guide or not.

Yes, many of Mexico City’s neighborhoods like Condesa, Roma, and the Historic Center are very walkable with pedestrian-friendly streets. However, the city is expansive, so you’ll likely need to use public transportation or taxis to move between different areas. Always be cautious of traffic and cross at designated areas.

A week in Mexico City should cost around $1,950 USD including 2 tours a day, food, transportation, and a 4-star accommodation. You can join my group trip every April and May of the year and this is an all-in package for a week!

The best time of the year to visit Mexico City is during the months of March, April and May. This time, it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold. Personally, I also love October in Mexico City which has very minimal rain.

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13 Comments

  1. I have been watching flight prices to Mexico lately so I found this post at a good time. I have avoided Mexico City because of the travel advisories. I love your golden rule: do not walk by yourself at night. Always take the Uber. Vital information to know Uber runs in Mexico City and is cheap!

  2. I heard a lot about Mexico City as not a safe city, but just like other cities, there are always the safe areas. Normally the area that have lots of expats and you found them there. And I like it that Mexico City is a pedestrian city.

  3. Very valuable tips for solo travelers. And thanks for the introduction to the Casai apartments – it really seems a good option for a longer staycation with work. I would like to go back to Mexico City very much. I spent 10 days there 15 years ago – but still have friendly contacts from this time. It would be nice to meet them again.

  4. That was a very informative post on Solo traveling to Mexico city.
    Very helpful for first time as well as repeat travelers! Couch surfing is a great idea for budget travel.

  5. I must admit that Mexico City is not a place high on my list for travelling alone. I have heard far too many bad stories. But good to know that the bad areas are mostly an issue at night. And when walking by yourself. But that is true for most large cities. A great guide with proven tips for people planning a visit.

  6. Wow I never thought that Mexico city will be good for solo travels. I am a solo traveler and I have been a bit hesitant with Mexico city but reading your post gives me confidence. I will remember the tips that you have mentioned and I will make sure that I do not display the gadgets that I have. Thanks for this, hopefully I can visit it soon.

  7. Very very practical advice. It isn’t just Mexico where one needs to heed to it. I think no matter where you go as a solo traveler, you need to use these. Definitely staying away from the attention. Among the attractions you mentioned, am making a note of Teotihuacan

  8. This is a very thorough article — so much to do and see in Mexico City! I’m glad to know it can be safe to travel alone in this part of Mexico, although I personally prefer to travel with someone. I like having someone to share my experiences with! So far I’ve only traveled through Baja Mexico. I’d love to explore more.

  9. Great insight into Mexico. This is always a thought in most minds whether traveling there solo or as a couple is advisable. This post of yours helps to understand it well. I guess as advised it’s better to be careful at night and avoid possibly certain areas. I love these pedestrian cities and Mexico looks nice.

  10. Hi! As someone planning to move to CDMX for a few months at the end of the year, your blog is SO SO HELPFUL! I’ll keep digging through the archives but just a quick one – I think the HTML is broken on some pages, like your About page (ICYMI :)) Love all your advice/ tips/ guides to a bunch of fabulous destinations!

  11. Mexico City is somewhere I have been longing to go. I agree – there are unsafe parts of any city, so being smart about not walking alone at night and just being aware of surroundings is great advice. I can’t wait to visit!

  12. To be honest, I think you are brave to confidently fly around the world and visit places as a solo traveler. Kudos to you!

  13. Loved reading about your experience in Mexico City. It’s great that you followed your instincts regarding the hostel and it turned out to be safe. I’d love to sample the delicious street food and immerse myself in the culture. So happy you made friends too!

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