Mexico City is easily accessed by most major cities worldwide, and it’s especially easy to get to from the U.S. So it’s perfect for a long weekend or week-long budget-minded trip without sticker shock. Non-stop flights from both coasts and southern cities take only around five hours and can be less than $300. Try cheap travel websites like Kayak, Orbitz or Cheap Tickets to find the best price.
Once you get into the city (click here to see how to get to and from the airport using the Metro), transportation options are extremely cheap:
The subway or el Metro is cheap, fast, safe and convenient. Mexico City is infamous for it’s crazy traffic and the hours it takes to drive anywhere. But el Metro only costs 3 pesos per ride (about 25 cents at the current exchange rate of 12.75 pesos per $1 U.S.) with free transfers to other lines and will get you to your destination quicker than any other option. You may find online reports on the questionable safety of the Metro, but it is no less safe than other worldwide subways like in New York or Paris. In fact the subway trains even use the same quiet rubber tires as the Paris Metro and the stations are much cleaner than in New York. You do need to use your city smarts when riding though; pay attention to your surroundings, don’t flash your money or expensive trinkets around. It can get crowded, but most everyone using it just wants to get to their destination so won’t bother you. The only annoying thing is the music-hawkers who wear backpacks with super-loud speakers blasting the music they want to sell.
Bicycle-sharing programs are abundant in the city and are very economical. The largest called EcoBici (ecological bike) has many bikes at electronic docking stations around the city. A one-time registration fee of 300 pesos ($24) gives you unlimited free rides for 30 minutes. There are also free bikes available in the kiosks around the Paseo de la Reforma avenue on Sundays when many roads in downtown are shutdown to vehicle traffic.
If you are staying in one of the downtown areas like el Centro Historico or Zocalo, you can just walk to many of the wonderful sights like Zocalo Square, Palacio Nacional, Palacio de Belles Artes or Diego Rivera mural museum.
More city guides:
Click here to read about visiting Paris sights for free
Click here to read about getting to and from New York City airports
Click here for a guide to New York City subway MetroCards