Life in Mexico City
Food. There’s a wide range of regional dishes that can be found in restaurants in Mexico City. Some dishes were inherited from the Aztecs and others are a combination of those brought by Spaniards and other cultures. Mexican food is delicious and very different from one region to another. There is much more to Mexican food than the ‘Tex-Mex’ served up in ‘Mexican’ restaurants abroad. The city also has a full range of international restaurants that cater to any taste. You can find a wide variety of fruit and vegetables at the many markets in Mexico City at very fair prices.
People. People in Mexico are warm and friendly, they like to show and talk about our culture. They are very welcoming to visitors and love learning about people and the places they come from. With up to 20 million people living in the Mexico City area you have a good chance of meeting and talking to people.
Climate. Because of it’s geographical position and altitude, Mexico City has a very pleasant climate. The rainy season begins in May and ends around October, consisting generally of sunny mornings followed by cloudy, rainy afternoons. In the winter you need to use sweaters and coats in the morning and evening (there is no central heating in Mexican houses!) For most of the rest of the year you need layers: Cool mornings give way to very hot afternoons. Outside Mexico City, the climate varies considerably because the country is so large. There are very hot coastal regions, humid forest regions, cool mountain zones and deserts that fall below freezing in winter.
Transport. A cheap and efficient metro system will take you to anywhere in the city. Public transport is much cheaper than in Europe or North America; with one trip costing around 5 pesos, which is only 25 pence or around 40 cents. There’s also a system of buses called Metrobus which cross the city and link with the metro system. Buses in general can take you everywhere and they’re also cheap. Taxis are cheap and plentiful, a fifteen-minute taxi journey will cost around 4 dollars. You can also use uber which is very efficient and safe.
Night life. Like any big city, Mexico has the nightlife to cater for every taste: The wildest night clubs to the calmest restaurants and bars. You will never be stuck for something to do in the evenings. There are a lot of places where you can hear live Latin American music and dance at the same time.
Security. Mexico has not had the best press around the world over recent years and there have been security issues mainly linked to drug trafficking. However, Mexico City is not only a polluted and crowded city but a safe and rewarding place to live if you take the normal precautions necessary in any large city. The lawlessness and gang issues that make up most international news reporting about Mexico are mainly a problem in the north of this huge country, well away from Mexico City and there are many regions of the country that are totally unaffected by these problems.
Shopping. Mexico City is a great place for shopping. There are shopping malls in many areas with international brands and you can buy local crafts at the big market in La Ciudadela, in Fonart, a government sponsored craft market and in the famous Bazaar del Sabado in San Angel which only opens on Saturdays.
Museums. There are a large number of very good museums that are worth visiting in Mexico City. The most famous is the world-renowned Museum of Anthropology in Chapultepec where you can see incredible examples of the Aztec and Mayan cultures. The National Palace and Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso have wonderful murals by Diego Rivera and other Mexican artists. Other places worth visiting are the Palace of Fine Arts with more murals and the Museum of the Great Temple where you can see the ruins and relics form the main Aztec temples. Finally a trip to Chapultepec Castle is also worthwhile.