Any travel tips for Mexico City?

Two friends of mine were planning on going for a long weekend trip to Mexico City and I decided to tag along. Does anyone live there or have been there recently and have tips on what to do/not do? We’d be going for a long weekend in March, just going to and from Mexico City, farthest out we are planning to go is maybe a bus trip to the pyramids close by.

Also, any tips on safety? We are three white women around age 30 who don’t speak much Spanish, but we are also smart and have some travel experience and know to avoid iffy areas and situations, but any specific tips for the city would be helpful. I know that there are certain states in Mexico that the US State Department warns against traveling to but Mexico City doesn’t seem to be included.

Use Uber. Note, I’ve never used Uber there, but on the Mexican forums I frequent, they all say that Uber is the best way to get around. When I lived there, taxis were always available, and if you choose to use taxis, only use them from a taxi stand, or have the restaurant call one for you. Good restaurants will write down the taxi license plate number and placard ID before you get in.

You will pre-pay for a taxi in the airport. Tell them where you’re going, and you’ll pay, and they’ll give you a voucher and tell you which taxi is yours.

To me, must-sees are the Zocalo, the Museum of Anthropology, Chapultepec Castle and Chapultepec in general. It’ll be a lot of fun if you go to Xochimilco and take a floating garden ride. Do be sure to eat the stuff the other boats are selling.

Don’t let street people shine your shoes.

Street food is safe if you see lots and lots of native-looking people eating there, too.

Mexicans call Mexico City “Mexico” or “D.F.” (day-effay). In the D.F., tacos are called quesadillas, and because they’re really tacos, they don’t necessarily have cheese. If you know what a taco dorado is, that’s what delfeños (people from D.F.) call tacos.

Tequila isn’t gross. You’re just used to El Cuervo. Try a nice sipping tequila while you’re there. Don Julio reposado or añejo, Corralejo, Tres Generacciones are all great.

I miss Mexico City very much. I envy you, so have fun!

Awesome, thanks for the tips Balthisar. I’ve used Uber in a lot of places, I can definitely use it there. Makes sense to look for locals eating what street food to eat. I’ve put your must-sees on my list, and I’m definitely going to have more things to see than I have time for but I’m excited!

Frieda Kalho’s house is nice. The subway isn’t bad if you stay street-smart. Diego Rivera murals in one of those big buildings on the Zocalo. Go to a good panadería–I remember the desserts in D.F. fondly.

I second the suggestions made by Balthisar and susan. Uber works very well and is very affordable.

Keep in mind that it takes a while to get from one point to another, even if the distances do not appear that great on a map.

If you plan to go to Teotihuacan to see the pyramids, plan for a whole day. Xochimilco can also take a while to get to from downtown, but the *trajineras * are well worth it.

Just the area around el Zócalo/ Palacio de Bellas Artes can easily keep you busy for the weekend. If you go to el Zócalo, take a look at the Templo Mayor Museum, next to the Cathedral.

In the Alameda, next to the Palacio the Bellas Artes, is Museo de la Estampa (contemporary printmaking museum, https://museonacionaldelaestampa.inba.gob.mx) and Franz Mayer Museum (decorative arts from renaissance to the present day; http://www.franzmayer.org.mx.)

The National Museum of Art is across the street from Bellas Artes. In the corner of the museum is a restaurant called Los Girasoles (http://restaurantelosgirasoles.com.mx/contacto1.html).
The food is good, it is a good place to try some exotic dishes like escamoles or tacos de chapulin.The opening of the most recent James Bond movie was filmed in that area.
Museo del Estanquillo. (http://www.museodelestanquillo.cdmx.gob.mx). is within walking distance from el Zócalo, and generally has good exhibits.

Coyoacán, where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera´s house (La Casa Azul) is, is also very nice. Café el Jarocho is a nice coffee shop chain there.

Colonia Roma and Colonia Condesa are nice if you want to see contemporary art galleries, both areas have good restaurants, coffee shops and night life, especially la Condesa.
The Museum of Anthropology is definitely a must see. I particularly recommend the Aztec room, where the Aztec Calendar and the Coatlicue are. Across the street is the Modern Art Museum, and next to it is Rufino Tamayo Museum, which caters toward young contemporary artists.

Food wise, Rosetta (http://www.rosetta.com.mx), both the restaurant and the panaderia, are quite yummy. Just be sure to make a reservation, because they get very crowded. Both are in Colonia Roma.

If you like sushi, Kyo Sushi (http://www.edokobayashi.com/sushikyo.html) is awesome.

If you happen to be in Colonia Roma by night and you are looking for street food, you might want to check out a taco stand right in the corner of Álvaro Obregón and Insurgentes, called “El Gato Volador” (The Flying Cat). It is just a tiny stand in the sidewalk, but the tacos are to die for.
La Opera (http://www.barlaopera.com) is a traditional cantina/restaurant near El Zocalo, where you can see a hole in the roof that local legend says was made by Pancho Villa.
Café de Tacuba (http://www.cafedetacuba.com.mx/en/) is a nice café/restaurant also within walking distance from El Zocalo. The café lechero and the tamales oaxaqueños are very good.
Mexico City is a great place, I hope you and your friends have a great time!!

is the air quality and traffic as bad in the city as I’ve been told in the past?

Casa de los Azulejos, house of tiles, is a beautiful and unique building and courtyard with a restaurant
http://www.mexicocity-guide.com/attractions/azulejos.htm
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sanborns-de-los-azulejos-méxico

Mexico City has wonderful bakeries; this one has several branches including in malls
https://www.elglobo.com.mx/

This is a gorgeous restaurant with lovely grounds, fine dining, live classical music, but a little off the beaten track if you’re just there for a long weekend

Finally, unless you’re coming from Colorado you may want to read up on ways to minimize altitude sickness. The last time I was there it didn’t bother me too much but my travel companion felt really woozy for several hours.

Thanks for the tips everyone! I can’t wait to go.

Been a little while since I’ve gone to DF.

The city has a reputation for being fairly safe. Exercise precautions like wearing a money belt and not following people offering directions. Cabs used to be a problem, look for official licenses and colours. No experience with Uber but the metro is not too bad — can be very hot.

The Art Museums are nice and especially the Museum of Anthropology (which is extremely big and could take six plus hours to see it all). The area around the Palace and main square has lots to do, as does Chatulepec. Xochomilco is nice, and it’s not hard to get to Teotihuacan, the main Aztec pyramid. This is worth the 45 minute bus trip.

Mexican street food is good - as always look for fresh preparation and popularity. I don’t know the trendy restaurants now, but easy to find this out. Even eating carnitas and Cochinita pibil at a mercado is rewarding. Mexican street corn with chilli, mild cheese and huitlacoche (fungus) is tasty. I haven’t seen Coco yet but it is perhaps the most popular movie there.