Mexico City advice

Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 07:18 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26
Mexico City advice

my wife and I are taking a week's trip to Mexico City, Aug. 30-Sept. 6. We're planning to focus primarily on the art of all eras in the city... but we're also planning two day trips ... perhaps to Teotihuacan & Tula, and to Puebla... Options are to 1) rent a car, 2) hire a cab/driver, 3) take busses. Could we get your thoughts on the smart way to go to each of these places, and what we have to consider--time, level of difficulty, costs, safety, etc.-- that might not be obvious?

Also, we'd welcome ideas on restaurants for dinner in the city, and any other Mexico City tips you'd be so gracious as to offer.
jmcmanus427 is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 08:24 AM
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This is how I visited Teotihuacan a few years ago: took a taxi to a bus station in Mexico City, and from there took a direct bus to Teotihuacan. The bus stopped only once, to pickup a musician who then played music on the bus for tips.

Teotihuacan is very large. I walked from one end to the other. At the end of Teotihuacan I found another bus stop. But this bus stop didn't seem to have direct buses. It was also deserted. I stood by an empty field for awhile, and flagged down a local bus. This turned out to be a very interesting experience. Before getting on the main highway, the bus made numerous stops at small towns. At the last town before the highway, police guards got on the bus to search most of the passengers, doing full body searches of many male passengers. (They didn't search the 3 of us who were obviously tourists.) These searches were needed due to a problem with thieves holding up buses.

I found the entire experience very interesting. But, if I had it all to do over again, I would have taken a half-day tour, only because a tour would have given more more information about Teotihuacan, and would have taken me to more parts of the ruins. The Teotihuacan area is very large, and exhaustion sets in very quickly. There was one section I never got to see, because I was just too tired to do more walking!

If you do not want to take a bus or tour, an option is to hire a taxi for the entire time you are there. The taxi driver could take you to Tula afterwards. This would be better than renting a car and dealing with Mexico City traffic, which is horrendous, the worst traffic of any city I have ever visited.
JoyceL is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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We were in Mexico city and took a tour to Teotihuacan. We were at the Hotel Catedral and booked the tour through the travel agent in the lobby. The guide was outstanding. As the previous poster mentioned Teotihuacan is very large and we would have been lost without the guide. They picked you up at the hotel and there were only seven people on the tour in a minivan. However on the way back they transferred us to a regular bus which had also done the tour so you might get a larger tour.
When we left Mexico city we took an intercity bus to Guanajuato. We were able to buy the tickets in the hotel lobby also. I'm not sure if these are the same busses that would run to Puebla but the bus was extremely comfortable. We did have to take a cab to a large bus station to get this bus.
The subway was easy to use but even during non rush hour it was very crowded near the Zocolo- we took it to Coyoacan which is a beautiful place- Frieda's house and the Trotsky house were interesting.
PatrickSch is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:18 PM
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Puebla is quite close to Mexico City. We were starting our trip there (we've been to Mexico City before), so took a bus from the airport. There are at least 4 big bus stations in Mexico City, and I'm not sure which one would have buses to Puebla. You could check with your hotel. Personally I would take a bus. It'll be inexpensive and I find buses in Mexico are easy.

We also went to Teotihuacan on our own. That worked for us - we took a cab to the correct bus station, then bus to Teotihuacan. When we came back, we caught the bus, then a taxi.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I went to Teotihuacan and Puebla by bus with no issue or problem as a solo female traveller. It definitely will cheaper and a bit more environmentally friendly.The driving is insane in DF.

If you love art then budget about 2 days for the Anthropology museum which by far has been my favourite museum that I've visited world wide thus far!

I went in 2004 and here's the tip I posted which maybe someone else can correct(prices) or confirm:

Buy ticket from North Bus Terminal, little booth with a picture of the pyramids) 1 way ticket = $25 pesos, takes 45-60mins. Will drop you off right infront of gate 1, $38 pesos to get in.

You will need a minimum of 2 hours there.

To get back to the North Terminal, stand where you got off

oceania is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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My husband & I were there for 6 days recently & it was great. We saw lots of museums & had a great meal each day (breakfast at our hotel) I will be happy to send you our log or itinerary which worked out so well. Mexico City is HUGE so all the planning we did paid off very well. You definitely do NOT want to rent a car. Busses & taxis are fine, again with a little planning. We hired a tourist taxi by the hour for the trip to the pyramids and another day to Coyocan for Casa Azul & Trotsky's house, Delores Olmedo Museum, and even went to Xochomilcho & San Angel Inn. I will send itinerary or trip log to you if you give me your email. I am [email protected] packed a lot into our 6 days. We have been to Mexico many times but not Mexico City for several years. The Marlowe Hotel was great, 1 block from Belles Artes & spotless with good restaurant. The price was great, $65 US for a large room with small balcony & marble bathroom. Manager was extremely helpful with arrangements & directions.
smcgown is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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I lived in Mexico City for 2 years between 1972-74. We loved going to La Fonda Del Requerdo at Bahía de las Palmas 37 near Polanco in Mexico City, (+52 5 260 7339)
Great food, great atmosphere.
zelphiacat is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Thank you all for the helpful tips. It looks as if the bus/tour option will be the smartest for each of the day trips.

It sounds like we could hit both Teotihuacan and Tula in one day if we arrange for some sort of guided transport, but not easily by busses.

Are there any reliable agencies to pre-arrange such guided tours, or does one simply go through hotels, etc. after arrival?
jmcmanus427 is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 04:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Half-day tours to Teotihuacan are given by just about every tour agency in Mexico City. You can probably wait until arrival to arrange one. But tours to Tula are less available. It may not be possible to combine this with a Teotihuacan tour. I suggest doing a Web search.
JoyceL is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2008, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 154
My favorite restaurant in Mexico City (and I visit every year) is the Hosteria de Santo Domingo.

It is always busy in the afternoon, but my favorite time to eat here is in the evening, when they have a piano player and lady singer. It is like something out of a 1930's or early 1940's film.

It's not super fancy. It is just very good.

And FYI, it is the oldest restaurant in Mexico City.
Castleblanca is offline  
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