Mexico City (also called Ciudad de Mexico or Distrito Federal) is the capital city of Mexico, as well as the largest city in North America (21 million people). Famous for being at the center of Mexico’s history and home to the largest square in America (the Zocalo), Mexico is a vibrant city and the country’s economic center.
While Mexico has some crime-related issues which often makes the headlines, Mexico city is not the crime-ridden place pictured in the news. Still, the city has some high crime rates and very dangerous areas.
SafeAround has compiled information from numerous sources make sure you have a safe trip while in Mexico, and be aware of all potential dangers.
Mexico DF’s city center is based around the Zocalo/ Plaza de La Constitución. With most of Mexico City’s historical sights from the colonial era. The area has been selected by the UNESCO to be included in its list of World Heritage sites. In the area can be found the city’s cathedral, the Templo Mayor (an Aztec Temple), the National Palace, and dozens of other landmarks and museums. The historic center is generally safe, but beware of pickpockets attracted by the large number of tourists. Crowded streets and plazas, especially those with a lot of street vendors, are where the pickpockets are most frequently found.
At night, it is advisable to take a cab rather than walk, especially in the northern parts of the centro which are close to Tepito (one of the most dangerous areas in Mexico City that should be avoided).
Zona Rosa/ Reforma
The Zona Rosa is a business and nightlife neighborhood near the Centro. The area is home to the Mexican Stock Exchange, in front of the famous Angel de la Independencia statue. Many hotels and restaurants can be found in the area.
Condesa & Roma
Condesa and Roma, south of the Centro, are young and relaxed neighborhoods around Parque de Mexico. The area is home to the city’s trendiest restaurants, clubs and shops. The area is safe, although as in all the city there are many pickpockets in the subway and public buses.
Note: for a more detailed crime map, look at HoyodeCrimen‘s website.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
Mexico City is an averagely safe city: stay in the touristic zones to avoid any trouble. With a rating of 44% Mexico, is ranked 114th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH
As a top touristic destination, there is a high pickpocket risk in Mexico City. The crowded streets and the subway are prime location to get your belongings stolen. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed.
MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
Mexico City is an averagely safe city regarding the chances of being mugged or kidnapped. Express Kidnappings can happen from fake taxis. Be aware of dangerous zones by looking at the map, asking local advice.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
As in any touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you in Mexico City. Avoid people doing “magic tricks” around subway stations, asking you to sign (fake) petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you; and people offering help with your luggage.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: HIGH
The B line of the subway and its stops should be avoided. There is a high risk of pickpocketing in the subway and buses, especially during rush hour. Never hail a random taxi in the street, use apps suchs a Uber, EasyTaxi or Taxiaviso to make sure you are getting an official taxi.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
There can be some occasional natural hazards (geological, meteorological) in Mexico (see the page about Mexico for more advice).
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Mexico City is a very safe city in respect to terrorist threats.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
Women should avoid walking alone at night, particularly in empty areas, and should take the women reserved cars in the subway and train.
Avoid Being A Victim! 10 Tips for Your Personal Safety
It is best to carry a small bag across your shoulder or wear a concealed pouch rather than a back pack
Carry as little cash as you can
Don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket
Beware of individuals who act strangely and who try to divert your attention in order to steal your belongings.
Pay special attention while seating on restaurants and café terraces, when you are withdrawing money from ATMs or near tourist attractions
Never keep your mobile phone or wallet on the table of a café or restaurant.
Don’t wear expensive jewellery in an ostentatious way
If an attacker tries to snatch your bag, don’t try to stop them as you will risk being injured
Thieves commonly work near tourist attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, hotels, beaches, trains, train stations, airports, subways and target vehicles with non-local license plates.
Most but not all of pickpockets work in groups, often as teenagers
The currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso or MXN M$. As of June 2016, 1 Us Dollar= 18.6 MXN.
Mexico is an inexpensive country to visit, they are many cheap accommodations for backpackers and those travelling on a shoestring. There are also many options for those who want to spend more money on their trip. Expect to pay from 800 MXN to 2000 MXN per day.