Mexico City isn't what you think

Submitted 3 years 3 months ago by Aleksey.

Mexico's portrayal in the United States media is dreadful. It's as if there's some form of misinformation campaign against the nation. Dirty, hot, with sombrero-wearing bandits and drug-related killings and kidnappings of foreigners. Nothing good can ever be said about the country.

Was I in for a surprise! Mexico City is a world-class city. Cleaner and more modern than Los Angeles, with excellent planning and a plethora of beautiful parks, monuments, and architecture. Beautifully done. The citizens are extremely respectful, educated, and well-mannered. On arrival, US people are given 180 days. The country is not under siege, and no covid tests are needed. They simply take your temperature, and you must wear a mask when entering stores.

The majority of Mexico City reminds me of the Wilshire Boulevard neighborhood of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles in general. It's just that there are a lot more parks here.

The most enticing feature of this city that most people are unaware of is its height. 1.398 miles above sea level At all times, spring weather and cool, dry air. People tend to be aware that Bogota and La Paz are elevated cities, but for some reason, they equate Mexico with being hot and desert-like. However, several big Mexican cities are located at a high elevation, so the weather is pleasant and there are forests nearby.

The government has done a lot to reduce emissions, so there isn't any smog anymore. There are also police patrols, well-lit streets at night, and janitors on every block who keep the streets spotless. I anticipated more crowds with a population 21 million people, but there aren't that many people walking. The traffic isn't too bad either.


The city is huge, but here are four highlights.

- Condesa: posh, trendy, with a vibrant nightlife and more greenery.

- Roma: bohemian, trendy, foreigner-heavy, with a lively nightlife.

- Polanco: affluent with excellent English skills.

- Escandon: more authentic and representative of the area, a good budget choice with no nightlife, located near Condesa.

- Coyoacan: more reserved and beautiful colonial style. It's a bit out of the way, and there's not much in the way of nightlife, but there are plenty of restaurants and cafes.

The Cost of Living

It's easy to live a bohemian life here, with endless museums, the cinema, preparing your own meals, dining at fondas, long walks around the neighborhood, and cheap nights out in the Centro.

If you go out 1-2 days a week, cook a lot of meals at home, manage your uber expenses, and live in a middle-class neighborhood, you should be able to make at least $1,700 a month (Narvarte, Escandon, Centro). You can actually live on that in the better communities if you're able to do roommates (Roma, Condesa)

If you stay alone in AirBnB, you'll probably pay about $2,000. To live very well, I'd say $2,500 is very convenient for eating out all the time, going out a lot, holding lovers, and living in the better neighborhoods (Roma, Condesa). You'll be having a good time with $3,000 in your pocket.

If you want to stay for an extended period of time, you can look for an apartment via


Not a problem in communities where you'd like to live, but you might get into trouble if that's what you're looking for.

Means of travel

Uber is a low-cost alternative that is often the better option. The metrobus and underground metro provide mediocre coverage of the area, but I still use them frequently. Avoid going during rush hour!

The populace

It's the world's fattest country, so change your standards accordingly. Seriously, they ought to avoid eating too much fried food.