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How Much Mexico City Safe For Travelers And Precautions And Safety Tips

It’s impossible not to love the sheer size of Mexico City. The Mexican capital is one of the largest cities in the world. It is a place with dense population, street food, architecture and fascinating community dynamics. If you want to experience Mexico as a tourist, go to Cancun. If you want to experience Mexico as a company, travel to Mexico City. The history is amazing, with day trips to the pyramids of Teotihuacan and countless museums like Chapultepec Castle in the city center. There’s no doubt: Mexico City is an incredible destination for passionate travelers.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit?

However, many people ask, “Is Mexico City safe?” How do you stay safe in Mexico City? As the largest city in Mexico, it’s no wonder that people are concerned about security levels. Mexico City is a big city and like all big cities, you need to take the usual precautions to avoid petty theft and crime. But there are also some specific crime rates to be aware of, so it’s worth doing some research before visiting Mexico City.

Security in Mexico City need not be a cause for concern. In this guide, we’ll give you an overview of the question “Is Mexico City safe?”, as well as instructions on how to make the experience safer. Statistics speak for themselves, but a lot is in your hands. Get ready to take a more proactive approach to staying safe while visiting Mexico City.

Short Overview Of Mexico

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit

Mexico City is generally safe, but it is important to note that crime occurs throughout the city. We will first give you an overview of safety in the city.

Typically, non-violent and petty crime occurs in tourist areas such as Centro Historic, ranging from pickpocketing on public transport to more serious robberies. The city center has some of the safest neighborhoods. Sticking to these “safe” areas will help you stay safe in Mexico City. For example, avoid carrying too much cash, walking around alone at night, and not leaving drinks unattended.

The tourist areas have a good police presence that prevents violent crime. Mexico City is reasonably safe if you stick to daylight hours and certain neighborhoods. You can have a wonderful time as long as you exercise common sense.

On the other hand, the non-tourist areas and cartel-affiliated neighborhoods can be dangerous. Examples of this include Tepito, where La Union Tepito is based, a cartel organization that engages in human trafficking and extortion. Even the police presence in Tepito is not helpful, with some officers accepting bribes to turn a blind eye to crime.

Mexico Travel Warnings

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Travel Advisory Aerial

Most visitors have a safe trip to Mexico City. It is advisable to keep up to date with general travel advice, which can be found on government websites such as Gov.UK, Travel.State.Gov for the USA and Travel.gc.ca for Canada. If you are traveling alone, you should be especially careful about loved ones at home losing contact with you or not being aware of your movements.

In this section, we take a look at some of the travel advisories for Mexico in 2024 as a whole. Remember to check your government’s guidance for the most up-to-date advice. These advisories may change daily, such as encouraging you to exercise increased caution at political rallies or gang-related tensions.

Here are a few to keep in mind from 2024:

  • Avoid the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas as there is an increased risk of crime and kidnapping.
  • Consider the ongoing impacts of Hurricane Otis in 2023 around Acapulco.
  • Avoid Tijuana and parts of the Baja California Sur peninsula due to rising tensions.
  • Avoid Chihuahua due to current high crime rates.
  • Avoid traveling at night.
  • Also be vigilant in tourist areas of the Riviera Maya such as Tulum, Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
  • And now that the general Mexico advice is out there, what about Mexico City specifically?

Current Mexico City’s Safety Conditions

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Current Safety Situation Coyoacan

As mentioned, security can change from day to day. It depends on things like political movements and social events. Elections can trigger chaos, even in a “safe place.” And riots or incidents can trigger cartel violence. So what is the current security situation in Mexico City? To stay safe in Mexico City, knowledge of current events is crucial.

There are currently no elections, controversial political scandals, or feuding cartels in tourist areas in Mexico City. There are no inflammatory events, so this is a safe time to visit Mexico City.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Current Situation Mexico General Elections

However, anyone visiting the city in June 2024 should keep in mind that this is the time of the Mexican general elections. This is a time when tensions may rise through protests and unrest. If you are visiting during this time, it is advisable to keep an eye on the news and be aware that you may need to adjust your trip and avoid protesting crowds along the way.

You should also keep an eye on the news for any outbreaks of rival cartel violence and take normal precautions at all times. Several cities in Mexico require special care for tourists. Nevertheless, Mexico City is the largest city in the country and therefore naturally poses more risks and petty crime.

Guideline For Staying Safe in Mexico City

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Best Practices For Staying Safe

When you visit Mexico City, many ways to stay safe will be determined by you and your behavior. Of course, random incidents may occur that are completely beyond your control. But in general, you can avoid incidents by being proactive about safety in Mexico City – why wouldn’t you?

In this section, we present the seven best practices for staying safe in Mexico City. We cover everything from tap water to money belts and everything in between. These are the top tips you need before visiting Mexico City.

1. Avoid Drinking Tap Water

First, remember not to drink tap water. Tap water in Mexico City is not suitable for drinking. This applies to brushing your teeth and cooking; Just buy bottled water and look for recycling points to ensure plastics are reused. The last thing you want is an upset stomach or a serious waterborne illness.

In general, when traveling through Mexico, tap water is not considered safe for consumption. Often it doesn’t make it through filter or purification systems, which means there are bacteria in the tap water system. Tourists should not drink tap water, and even locals adhere to this practice – drinking bottled water instead.

The downside to this is that you will want to drink a lot. It is very important to drink enough fluids, especially in the Mexican summer. Do not drink tap water, but make sure to drink enough bottled water and recycle plastics accordingly.

2. Wear a Money Belt

Money belts are fantastic. A popular way to reduce the risk of petty crime and pickpocketing is to wear a money belt. These lie flat around your stomach under your clothing. Then, if you fall victim to a pickpocketing or mugging, you can keep your valuables undetected.

Things like money belts are just common sense. You can also store valuables in your hotel safe and avoid carrying a lot of money while sightseeing. Some people also carry fake wallets or cards – which is a great idea if you are targeted.

3. Learn Basic Spanish

Learning a little Spanish is a great way to stay safe in Mexico City. Mexico City is action-packed and a fast-paced tourist destination. Learning a little Spanish, be it “por favor” or a few simple instructions or phrases, can make a big difference.

When it comes to communication, you can avoid risk areas and seek advice from helpful people you meet in the city. It also prevents you from slouching on the phone and appearing vulnerable or just having trouble communicating. The more productive you are and the less distracted or confused you appear, the less likely you are to draw attention to yourself. And that means you’re less likely to be targeted by criminals.

4. Learn the Safe Neighborhoods

Learning about safe neighborhoods should be an important exercise every time you visit the city. However, this is particularly important in Mexico City, as some neighborhoods have many drug cartels. Even locals don’t venture into certain areas. So when you add higher risks like traveling alone and carrying valuables and obvious luggage, you can see why knowing your neighborhood makes a safety difference.

Some examples of neighborhoods to avoid in Mexico City include Tepito, Ciudad Neza, and La Merced Market. The neighborhoods that are really safe and popular among travelers are Roma, Centro Historico and Condesa.

5. Consider Group Tours

Another top tip relates to experiences as a solo traveler. If you’re traveling alone and need help navigating Mexico City, join a group tour. There are so many ways to do this – whether you book a one-day tour, a fully guided multi-day trip, or a downtown walking tour. You could spend the entire time or your first day in a group to get a feel for the city. Think of this option as a security blanket.

One thing to remember as a woman traveling alone is that it is wisest to set out in a group at night. So if you want to do some exploring after work, you can take part in a guided pub crawl.

6. Have Great Travel Insurance

This is a big deal. In the worst case scenario, travel insurance can make the difference between the success or failure of your trip. It covers everything from hospital treatment to equipment protection to flight cancellations. Brilliant, right? Travel insurance is one of the best things to think about when preparing for a visit to Mexico City.

Insurance only costs about $5 for a few days and can cover millions of dollars in damages. Shop around and find out which policy suits you best.

7. Pick a Different ‘Party Destination’

Although Mexico City has an excellent nightlife, you can also choose another party destination. You could visit a place like Cancun. Or you could go elsewhere outside of Mexico – to US cities. If you’re looking for a place to party late into the night in a safer environment, you might want to think again.

When traveling in general, it’s good practice to tailor your activities to a specific destination. If you want to take less security precautions when it comes to nightlife, visit Mexico City for its daytime activities and choose another location for its nightlife.

Transportation Safety

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Transportation

Since it is one of the largest cities in Mexico, you will need public transportation at some point. There is a subway system and buses. But is public transportation safe in Mexico City? We’d say it’s generally safe as long as you watch out for pickpockets. Exploring Mexico City by public transportation is easy on your budget, but you should be mindful of safety and the time you spend doing it.

Petty theft is common on public transport in Mexico City. Tourists are targeted primarily because they are less familiar with theft tactics and often carry so much luggage that they are vulnerable to pickpockets or pickpockets. Reduce the amount of luggage you take on public transport and always ensure valuables are kept safe – ideally hidden under your clothes in a money belt.

Another thing to keep in mind when using public transportation in Mexico City is that it is more dangerous at night. With a little common sense, you can safely use most forms of transportation during daylight hours. However, we recommend avoiding public transportation in Mexico City at night. Instead, opt for a licensed taxi in the group. The safest are sitio taxis.

If you use public transportation in Mexico City, try to know beforehand how it works and where you are going. This way you won’t fail at stations that look like a small hotspot for petty crime. Here is an overview of the city’s public transportation system:

Metro

The subway runs until midnight seven days a week and offers rides starting at 5 pesos per ride. There are twelve lines and the trains have around nine carriages, which are very busy during rush hours. You buy tickets and enter through turnstiles. Google Maps should be pretty effective at telling you which route to take, and downloading offline maps or taking screenshots of your directions will help you avoid lingering at stations. Are you a woman traveling alone? During rush hour, look out for children’s and women’s carriages – usually these are the first three carriages.

Buses

The buses are a little more inconvenient than the subway in Mexico City. However, some excellent women-only buses help prevent harassment on crowded buses. These are ideal for women traveling alone in Mexico City. The bus system is also very affordable.

If you prefer to opt for taxis, you may want to consider a few different categories of taxis. Safety is equally important when using taxis over public transport. So think about these three types of taxis:

Turismo taxis

Turismo taxis are unmarked luxury vehicles. These are usually booked as transfers online via platforms such as Viator and Get Your Guide or through hotel partners. Turismo taxis may not be marked, but they are still safe and affiliated with official companies. Since most are booked in advance, you’ll pay premium prices.

Sitio taxis

Sitio taxis are marked taxis and are used by radio. These are your traditional taxis. They are slightly more expensive than your metered taxis and free taxis. However, Sitio taxis are safer as they are more strictly regulated. Sitio taxis focus on guided experiences and transfers, offering a more personalized service than a quick transfer from A to B.

Red cabs and libre cabs

These taxis are metered and are the easiest taxis you can get. It can be reasonably priced, but note that Libre taxis are less regulated than the Sitio and Turismo options.

Food and Drink Safety in Mexico City

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Food and Drink Street Food

You’ll visit Mexico City – of course you’ll sample some of the delicious food and drinks. In fact, a food tour is one of the best things to do in the city. There are many street vendors selling delicious street food, especially in the city center. And you can try Mexican food like tacos as well as delicious cocktails.

Food and drink in Mexico City is super delicious. So what should you keep in mind for safety reasons?

The first important consideration should be tap water. Tap water in Mexico City is not safe. Often it is not filtered properly, leaving bacteria in the water that you then drink. To avoid this, be sure to eat fruits and vegetables that have been washed in unbottled water. You should also avoid ice in drinks.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Food and Drink Icy treat

In 2014, authorities required restaurants in Mexico City to serve free filtered water to customers, which helped. Many more formal restaurants use filtered water when cooking and preparing dishes. However, it is important to pay attention to these things to avoid getting sick. It’s your choice how cautious or risk-taking you want to be about the age-old tap water debate.

Finally, eat at places with good reviews. If a restaurant keeps making everyone sick, you can bet Google will know about it. People are quick to leave scathing reviews. So be sure to check out Google reviews before you go out to eat somewhere. You can also do a quick in-person scan – generally the busy restaurants are the ones where people don’t get sick.

Health and Medical Safety in Mexico City

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Health and Medical

We will answer this section in two parts. First, let’s take a look at the general health risks in Mexico that you should be aware of when staying in Mexico City. We then look at the specific health and medical risks of staying in Mexico City.

In general, there are two viruses you should be aware of in Mexico: Zika and Chikungunya. The Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes rashes, headaches and joint pain, often accompanied by red eyes. It is unpleasant but not fatal, although it can pose risks for pregnant women. Chikungunya virus is also transmitted by mosquitoes and causes similar symptoms. However, it can also cause chronic chikungunya arthritis that lasts for a long time. Mexico also has dengue fever, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes flu-like symptoms. Dengue fever can worsen and cause shock and internal bleeding. Therefore, early detection – and ideally prevention – is crucial.

As you can see, the main cause of these three medical problems in Mexico is the presence of infected mosquitoes. The risk of mosquitoes in Mexico City is generally considered low because there are no large bodies of water or undergrowth areas. To be on the safe side, you can still bring mosquito repellent.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Health and Medical diseases

So what are Mexico City’s specific concerns? Well, the biggest health and medical risks in Mexico City are related to pollution. Air pollution in the city is high, which can worsen respiratory and heart diseases. You can take preventative measures like wearing masks. If you struggle with existing medical conditions such as asthma, make sure you bring all personal medications and treatments with you.

Also in Mexico City, be careful of unfiltered and contaminated water, which can cause pests such as Cyclospora or Salmonella. The best way to avoid the dangers of unfiltered water in Mexico City is to not drink unfiltered water. Always buy bottled water and use it for drinking, brushing teeth, cooking and making hot drinks. The last thing you want is chronic diarrhea when you’re trying to enjoy the sights in beautiful Mexico City.

Is Mexico City safe for health? It is safer than most coastal areas and places with dense vegetation where mosquitoes thrive. You have a lower risk of getting Zika, chikungunya or dengue fever. However, you can still bring mosquito repellent just in case. You should especially pay attention to water-borne diseases and air pollution, especially if you are prone to respiratory diseases such as asthma.

Is Mexico City Safe for Solo Travelers?

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Solo Travelers Chapultepac

Mexico City is not the safest city for solo travelers. However, if you are experienced, savvy and willing to prioritize safety, you can safely visit the city even as a solo traveler.

The main problem for solo travelers in Mexico City is that they are at higher risk for petty and violent crime. Solo travelers are of course more vulnerable. For example, if you look at Google Maps, no one is focused on protecting your luggage. Or when you’re walking through an unsafe neighborhood looking for a way out on Google Maps, there’s no one paying attention to what’s happening around you. Safety in numbers is a legitimate safety net that you often throw overboard on a solo trip.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Mexico City, like any major city, can be great fun for solo travelers. We’ll first look at solo travel and then focus on Mexico City for solo female travelers.

In general, traveling alone is safe if you stay in safe neighborhoods and minimize going out alone after dark. If you use common sense and choose marked taxis, you should have no problem getting around the city. However, little things make a big difference, like choosing well-located accommodation and getting directions before you leave your hotel so you don’t get stuck on Google Maps.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Solo Travelers Female

Staying in a hostel allows you to quickly meet new people and group up with other travelers to go out as a group anyway. We recommend you stay in a hostel or organize group tours and experiences. If you arrive in Mexico City alone and feel unwell, you’ll have a security blanket and the opportunity to enjoy the city in a group.

But what about solo female travelers? Is Mexico City safe for solo female travelers? We would only say yes if you take precautions. While the city is generally safe for solo female travelers, many activities and transportation options are safer in groups. For example, you can ride in women-only carriages on the subway, but it is safer to travel in a group. Likewise, it is definitely not safe for a single female tourist to walk through much of Mexico City after dark. If you want to play it safe, spend your time sightseeing downtown during the day and taking guided day trips to explore other attractions.

The question is not so much, “Is Mexico City safe for solo female travelers?” “but how you plan to visit the city.” Are you comfortable making compromises to make your experience safer? We wouldn’t consider Mexico City safe for solo female travelers if you want to go out alone and have a carefree experience. If this is the case, consider booking a group tour instead so you can relax a little and enjoy your vacation even more.

About author

Articles

Mike Lan, an adventure travel writer, transforms his thrilling escapades into captivating narratives. His work, a testament to his spirit of exploration, invites readers to join his exhilarating journey. Experience the world through Mike’s eyes, one adventure at a time.
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