A Guide to Mexico City: Where to Go, What to Do and How to Get Around (Expat Guides)

Everyone knows that Mexico City is big. It’s the largest city in North America and the fifth-largest urban area in the world, with a population of more than 22 million people. But all that size means it can be hard to know where to start when you first arrive in Mexico City. That’s why we wrote this article. By reading it, you’ll get all the insider information about living in and exploring this vibrant city. You’ll learn what neighborhoods are best for expats, how to buy groceries if you don’t have a kitchen, and even discover local secrets like hidden gardens or underpasses perfect for Instagram. All that plus insider tips on where to eat, drink and party as well as general advice about transportation, safety and everything in between!

A Brief History of Mexico City

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of expat life in CDMX, let’s take a brief look at Mexico City’s history. The city was founded in 1325 by the Aztecs, who called it Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs built the city on islands in Lake Texcoco and remained there for almost 350 years until the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1519. When the Spanish first arrived, the Aztec ruler, Moctezuma, mistook them for gods and paid tribute to them. However, this friendship was short-lived, and the Spaniards and Aztecs soon engaged in a fierce war that ended with the Spaniards taking control of Tenochtitlan. As the years passed, the city was destroyed several times and almost completely flooded once by a massive flood in 1785. After the Mexican Revolution in 1920, the city was finally rebuilt and began to flourish once again.

Where to Live in Mexico City

Like many other major cities around the world, Mexico City has both very nice areas and very sketchy ones. Expats tend to cluster in select neighborhoods and avoid others for safety reasons. Here are some neighborhoods that get good reviews from expats: Avenida Reforma: This area is home to many government buildings and embassies, so there are many expat residents among the businesspeople who work in the area. Condesa: This neighborhood is a trendy area close to the Zona Rosa where there’s a lot of nightlife. You’ll find nice restaurants, cafes and shops here in addition to the nightlife. Polanco: This is another upscale area with plenty of shops and restaurants. It’s also close to Chapultepec Park, which has museums, a zoo and other attractions. Paseo de Reforma: This is a central neighborhood that many expats live in. It’s near Reforma Avenue, a landmark street with lots of shops.

What to Eat in Mexico City

If you know anything about Mexican cuisine, you know that it’s both delicious and hearty. If you’re new to Mexican food, you’ll discover that it’s very different from Tex-Mex, which is American Mexican food. Many expats find that Mexican foods are actually healthier than the American versions of dishes. Traditional Mexican foods include tacos, tortillas, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, quesadillas, to name a few. You’ll find these dishes are usually served with rice and beans and usually accompanied by a side of pico de gallo, a spicy salsa.

Activities in Mexico City

Whether you’ve been in Mexico City for just a few months or a few years, you’ll want to explore the city. Here are a few activities you might want to try. Shopping: Mexican crafts and goods are popular souvenirs among visitors, and many of these items can be found close to the city’s historic downtown. Parks: Mexico City has many parks, including the world-famous Chapultepec Park. Museums: Mexico City’s museums showcase the history and culture of the country. Zoos: Two zoos in Mexico City offer a chance to see animals, many of which you’ve probably never seen before, up close.

Transportation in Mexico City

Transportation in Mexico City is a nightmare for the uninitiated, but once you know what you’re doing, it’s not too bad. Buses: Buses are one of the cheapest ways to get around the city, but they can be very unpleasant. Subways: The Mexico City subway system is extensive, but it can be challenging to navigate. Taxis: Taxis are convenient but pricey and not recommended for people who don’t speak Spanish.

Safety in Mexico City

As with any city, you should use common sense when travelling in Mexico City, but overall, expats feel safe in the city. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind. Be aware anytime you’re in a crowded area, especially with your belongings. Wear shoes and don’t wear jewelry that could get caught in escalators or moving sidewalks. Keep an eye out for pickpockets, and make sure that your credit and debit cards are in a safe place when you’re travelling. Keep an eye out for taxis that don’t have meters and for cabs that don’t have functioning seat belts. Use a travel security app to stay on top of things like the latest travel warnings and weather alerts. Avoid walking at night and in deserted areas.

Bottom line

Mexico City is a big, bustling and exciting city. As with any big city, there are pros and cons, but overall, expats who live here love it. If you’re ready to take the plunge and move to Mexico City, you’ll find that it’s a great place to live.



  1. There is a lot to do: With such a large population, there are bound to be an endless number of things to see and do in Mexico City.
  2. The city has a rich history: Mexico City was founded over 700 years ago and has been through many different changes since then.
  3. The food is great: Mexican food is some of the best in the world, and you can find it all over Mexico City.
  4. It’s a very diverse city: With such a large population, you’ll find people from all walks of life in Mexico City.
  5. The weather is perfect:Mexico City has great weather year-round, with temperatures rarely dipping below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).’


  1. High crime rate: One of the biggest problems in Mexico City is the high crime rate. There have been reports of muggings, robberies, and even murders. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to be aware of your surroundings and not to flash your valuables in public.
  2. Traffic congestion: Another problem with Mexico City is the traffic congestion. The streets are often packed with cars and it can be very difficult to get around, especially during rush hour.
  3. Air pollution: Mexico City has a serious air pollution problem due to all the vehicles on the road and factories in the area. This can cause health problems for residents, especially those with respiratory issues such as asthma or allergies.”
  4. Lack of green spaces: Due another big issue in Mexico City is the lack of green spaces.” With such a large population, there are simply not enough parks or other open areas for people to enjoy some fresh air and relaxation time.”
  5. Poor infrastructure: Unfortunately, many parts ofMexico City suffer from poor infrastructure.. This includes things like potholed roads, collapsing buildings ,and insufficient public transportation options.”


What is the population of Mexico City?

The population of Mexico City is over 21 million people.

When was Mexico City founded?

Mexico City was founded in 1325 by the Aztecs.

Who founded Mexico City?

The Aztecs founded Mexico City as their capital, and it soon became one of the largest cities in the world.

What is the history of Mexico City?

Mexico City has a long and rich history, having been the capital of the Aztec Empire, the Spanish Empire, and independent Mexico. It has also been home to some of the world’s most famous artists, writers, and musicians.

What are some of the areas in Mexico City?

Some of the areas in Mexico City include the Historic Center (where the Aztec ruins of Tenochtitlan are located), Chapultepec Park (one of the largest parks in the city), and the Zocalo (the main square).

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