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TheCity.mx | The Essential Guide to Everything Mexico City

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Basics for Mexico City Travel

 

Mexico City Airport
Arriving at the Mexico City has never been more full of promise. Image of Terminal 2 of the Mexico City International Airport is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Your trip to Mexico City is going to be great. These are the basic considerations you should take into account before arriving. 

Visas

You do not need to apply for a visa prior to a visit to Mexico if you live in the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Island, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay or Venezuela.

Tourist Visas are issued at the airport or border entry upon the presentation of a passport and are good for 90 days. A fine is charged if the visa card is not returned upon leaving the country.  Citizens from other countries should visit a Mexican consulate to ask about the requirements. Visa requirements vary depending on the country of origin.

Language

Spanish is the most widely spoken language of Mexico, but it is not legally the official language. The government recognizes 68 other languages spoken in the country. Most hotels and tourism related services offer at least some English.

Electricity

Voltage in Mexico is 110V at 60Hz. Plugs are Type B, with flat pins, identical to those used in the USA, Canada and the Americas. We recommend you bring your own adapter, as they are not widely available outside of some large airports.

Climate

Mexico City weather is mild in the winter, hot and dry in April and May. The rainy season starts in May and lasts until October, with sunny mornings and often cloudy, rainy afternoons. It can be cold in the mornings and in the evenings, especially during the winter. Average temperature is 16ºC (61ºF).  Weather forecasts and pollution indexes are regularly updated here. 

Business Hours / Rush Hours

Normal business hours are Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Lunchtimes usually take place between roughly 1 PM and 3 PM. The Mexico City Metro sees peak service between 7:30 and 9:30 AM and in the evening, from 5:30 – 8 PM. This coincides with the peak hours of street traffic which can be very heavy and may last several more hours.  

Tipping

The Mexico City custom is to leave tips of about 10%. This can rise to 15% if the service was exceptional. In general, tips are presented in restaurants, bars, and cafes and to street vendors selling prepared foods. Some restaurants include gratuities in the check. It’s also customary to leave service tips for waiters, valets, gas station attendants, bellboys and similar service providers. Not tipping is often considered rude.

Phone calls

Check roaming charges with your service provider prior to arrival for calls made from your cell phone.

We recommend you purchase a phone card, available at convenience stores, magazine stands, hotels, travel agencies and the airport. To make a call follow these steps:

Long-distance calls:

  • To Call from Mexico to USA
    00 + 1 + area code + phone number

  • To Call Other Countries from Mexico,
    first dial 00, country code, area code, number 

  • To Call within Mexico 
    dial 3 digit area code + 7 digit phone number (landlines or cell phones)

  • Emergency Numbers
    From any landline or cellphone, simply dial 911.

Recommendations for your security

You shouldn’t run into any problems in Mexico City if you follow these recommendations:

  • Avoid ostentation: don’t carry jewelry or expensive accessories in the streets.
  • Keep an eye on your wallet and cell phone at all times, especially at very crowded, touristy places.
  • Keep important documents and valuables in the hotel room strong box.
  • Carry only the money you need for a day’s expenses and a credit card. Money can be withdrawn from an ATM anytime.
  • Carry an official ID with you, the original or a copy.
  • Avoid solitary streets and less crowded places.
  • Click here for tips on taxis and taxi apps.
  • Ask for a receipt of every purchase. Should you have any problems, the Consumer Protection Office Profeco (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor) may be able to help with issues related to shopping and services. Call 01 800 468 8722 or send an email to: asesoria@profeco.gob.mx.
  • To file a complaint from your place of residence you may send an email to the traveler unit: extranjeros@profeco.gob.mx or call this Mexico City number: +52 (55) 5211 1723 / 01 800 468 8722.

 

 

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