Need ideas on Mexico City

Old Jun 25th, 1997, 01:09 PM
Lisa Davis
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Need ideas on Mexico City

I'll be going to Mexico City for a week next month and would welcome some tips on great restaurants and reasonable hotels. What would be some good side trips? I love history, art, local culture, maybe some hiking. Is it safe to drive around alone, or would I do better taking buses or tours?Thanks!
Old Jun 26th, 1997, 08:15 AM
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My husband does business in Mexico City on a regular basis and I have travelled with him once. My first question is do you speak Spanish? Mexico City is not a very safe place in general for Americans and especially American women. If you don't speak any Spanish, then the best thing to do is hire a taxi driver from your hotel and have him spend the day with you, driving you to the sights etc. There are beautiful churches and parks, but you need to know where to go. We stayed at the Hotel Nikko in Chapultapec (spelling?) Park and it was safe and nice. Not sure of your budget. There are a number of good restaurants within walking distance. Also, just outside of the city (about 1 hour drive) are the pyramids, which you should not miss. I recently saw an article in Conde Nast Traveler that you even need to be wary of the policemen in Mexico City, so be sure you are alert and with someone who speaks the language. Good luck. If you want any specific restaurant info, write me and I'll get names from my husband.
Old Sep 6th, 1997, 04:55 AM
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The pyramids are a must they are at Teotihuacan. You can get there from the Northern bus station on a Teotibus or something like that! It is disconcerting how pristine they are and you'll need
reasonable fitness to climb the pyramid of the sun.

Mexico city is not as dangerous as many other cities I've been to but take every precaution you can and avoid carrying anything of value if you go on the metro - memorise this!
Old Sep 9th, 1997, 09:13 AM
Nicole Martin
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Your message is out of date, but I will post some info for anyone who needs it. My sister lives in Mexico, I did also for a year. It is a huge, awesome, interesting, scary city. It is as dangerous as you are careless. I agree, the pyramids are fabulous. The museum of Anthropology is huge and fascinating, a couple of days spent there is worth it. The Chapultapec Castle is also well worth seeing, as is the park. They are not far from the Zona Rosa, the metro is easy, but taxis are a better bet. They are metered and very inexpensive. Full size cabs are the same price as VWs so look for a big one for safety. I would not recommend renting a car, driving is crazier in DF that anywhere else in the world. The Zocolo in the center of the city is also interesting, there is a new ruin of the Temple Mayor, accompanied with another Anthropology museum. Shopping??? If you want to hear the whole enchilada.....please write to me. The Zona Rosa is the typical tourist area of Mexico, a good area to find a hotel, and it is loaded with great restaurants, including many Japanese, Steak Houses (La Mansion), also Pizza Hut, Burger King and yes (groan) MacDonalds. Of course a bit of spanish would help, but certainly is not necessary. Hotel employees speak English, you can always have them write a destination on paper. Have fun and let me know how it was.
Old Jan 30th, 1998, 06:39 PM
David T.
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We will be on a business trip to Mexico City in February for four days. We have been in Mexico City a few times. We need some new ideas. Where can we get a real good Mexican meal? Where are the US people hang out? What can we do for Saturday?
Old Jan 31st, 1998, 12:46 AM
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If you're going there in Feb., take a jacket , open your eyes, nose and ears and don't look for
Old Jan 31st, 1998, 11:26 AM
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Try Como restaurant just great, best pasta I ever had! Excelent service in a very cool atmosphere.
Horacio #253 Colonia Polanco. Tel. 250-1596.
Old Mar 1st, 1998, 09:46 AM
Lourdes L. Horony
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Life in Mexico City? I should write a book. I'm a female business traveler and I've been flying in and out of there since November, and have survived earthquakes, demonstrations, you name it. I speak Spanish, and think that's why I haven't been taken advantage of too badly. Look out for the shoe shine and other scams & make sure you get change back in New Pesos- the old currency is worthless. Wear your backpack on your front, and strap your handbag across your chest. Still, I've had cabbies charge me what I know was double the rate to take me places, and I just pay it. I've also had cabbies give me deep discounts. Always pre-arrange your transportation with a radio cab or tourist cab from a hotel. Watch yourself first, and then watch your stuff, particularly in crowded places. Most of the people are very nice and honest, but every big city has it's jerks. These people are masters of non-confrontation, so it doesn't pay to get in someone's face about anything. Don't wear flashy jewlery, flaunt your bankroll or call any special attention to yourself. Carry your money in your front pockets. I know a guy who had computer peripherals stolen right out of his luggage in customs! He was distracted of course, with 10 open bags, a wife, a baby and a customs agent- traveler beware- that's what they look for. Another guy had his laptop lifted at the ticket counter when he looked away for a second. Control your luggage closely when clearing security- I usually strap my bags together when I put them on the belt. I don't recommend walking at night after 10pm, also, some areas are safer than others, so know before you go. Some excellent restaurants include, Barraca Orraca, La Mansion, Los Almendros, Champs Allyses, La Fonda Refugio, El Charco de las Ranas, La Azteca, El Portal, El Fogoncito, Zeco, and for real authentic, any place that has Fonda in it's name is usually awesome. Most restaurants have English menus, so ask. Remember that touristed establishments use purified water, and the others probably don't (so avoid ice or fresh vegetables on the unbeaten path). Unique foods to try include tacos al pastor (pork), huitlacoche (black corn truffle), and flor de calabaza (squash flowers). Great tequilas include; Don Julio, El Jimador, Herradura- but make sure you get the reposado- it makes a difference. Also, make sure you drink enough bottled water. The altitude and dry air will try to dehydrate you and dry out your skin. Bring a good moisturizer, and if you're doing anything outside for a long time- sunscreen. Buy some Lomotil at any pharmacy, chances are better that you'll get sick than not, and it's smart to be prepared. I'm prepared and haven't gotten sick- just lucky I guess. Most hotels offer tours, and you can book through them even if you're not a guest. The Basillica of Guadalupe and the Pyramids make a great day trip. A quick day or afternoon trip down to Xochimilco is a must. This is the venice of mexico, and you take a boat down through the canals- romantic- and there's food, drink, mariachi's and people selling wares. A bullfight tour on a Sunday is great- take a tour unless you want to wait forever to get a cab after the event. Night tours are good too, like to Giribaldi square to see the Mariachi's play or to Bellas Artes to catch the ballet folklorico. Also, there are several shopping daytrips one could do- Ciudadela Market, the San Angel Saturday Bazar (include a lunch at the San Angelino restaurant- once an old hacienda, beautiful- reservations req'd), the plaza at Coyoacan makes for great weekend shopping. The Zocalo and El centro is another good half day excursion- check out the frescoes in the presidential palace, the ruins (a sample of what they built most of the city on), and the Aztec dancers in the square. ATMs give you the best exchange rates, and are pretty plentiful. Just make sure you have enough money. I hate it when I want to buy something and my pockets are empty.

Have a great time.

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