Mexico City Solo Travel Guide

Ultimate Mexico City Solo Travel Guide w/ Safety Tips [2021]

Traveling to Mexico City alone as a woman?

You’ve landed on the right article for Mexico City solo travel tips and advice — because I used to in Mexico City! That’s right, I spent about a year in Mexico City as a solo female, and have a lot of info to share with you about how you can visit this amazing city and stay safe, just like I did.

In April 2018, I relocated to Mexico on a whim… basically falling in love with the country at first sight! After Mexico City, I lived in the state of Oaxaca, before relocating a third time to my current home, Merida, known as the safest city in Mexico.

Besides those three places, I’ve been to half the states in the country, so I have a good idea about general Mexico travel safety. However, Mexico City — the sixth largest city on Earth and the largest in North America — has its own unique set of safety tips and recommendations.

In this article, you’ll discover the best neighborhoods in Mexico City (and the neighborhoods in Mexico City to avoid!), using public transport vs Uber in Mexico City, what items to pack for Mexico City solo female travel safety, and much more.

Ready to get to these solo female travel Mexico City tips? Let’s start with the #1 question on everyone’s mind, which is of course, Is Mexico City safe to travel?

Mexico City solo travel

Is Mexico City safe for tourists?

Given the mainstream media’s demonization of the entire country, Mexico solo female travel safety is likely on your mind. If you’re wondering, Is Mexico City safe to visit for solo female travelers?, the answer is YES — for the most part.

The thing with safe travel in Mexico, and anywhere in the world, is that safety is not a guaranteed anywhere on Earth. As someone who’s lived there, I will say that I believe I stayed safe because I made my own safety in Mexico City my highest priority. 

For me, this meant listening to my intuition, avoiding unsafe people, places and things, and these other 30 Tips for Solo Female Travelers. One of the easiest ways to stay safe in Mexico City was by always taking Uber home at night, instead of walking by myself. (More on Uber in Mexico City later!)

Colorful domes in churches of downtown Mexico City
The streets of Centro Historico Mexico City, the historic downtown, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mexico City solo travel

What do the experts say?

While I’m just one person, know there are plenty of other women who have safely traveled to Mexico City and loved it. Check out this article, 20 Best Solo Travel Mexico Destinations to Visit, to hear from Erin about her Mexico City solo female travel experience.

🎧 Prefer podcasts? Below is a Mexico podcast episode featuring Leigh, who has visited Mexico City twice as a solo traveler. In it, she offers tips and advice about Mexico City travel safety — and admits she rarely goes to the same place twice, though says Mexico City was worth it!

Besides myself and these ladies, let’s hear from 25-year FBI veteran Carlos Barron. In this Forbes article, he offers some great insights on what’s really going on with the statistics.

“Millions of Americans go to Mexico on vacation every year, so if we play the numbers game, the number of incidents is very small… When I’m asked if Mexico is a safe place to go travel on vacation, my response is yes.” —Carlos Barron

According to Barron, there’s no denying that bad things happen in Mexico, as they happen everywhere. However, the statistics tend to paint a skewed picture, because while there are incidents of crime, tourists aren’t any less safe in Mexico than pretty much anywhere else.

What’s the verdict — Is Mexico City safe for solo travel?

As a Mexico blogger, I know people want a definite answer about Mexico travel safety. Sadly, there just isn’t one. Personally, having lived there solo for about a year, I do feel confident saying it is. However, the caveat is that YOU have to do your part to make it safe.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to do so, and we’re about to explore them. These include a Mexico City packing list with safety items, where to book your Mexico City VRBO, hotel or hostel, safely getting around the city, and the bad neighborhoods in Mexico City to avoid.

colorful trajineras, gondola-style boats, at Xochimilco.
The trajineras, or colorful boats in Xochimilco Mexico City, located in the southern part of the city.
Mexico City solo travel

Mexico City Packing List

Mexico SIM Card

While in some places, you can get away with just using free WiFi throughout town, Mexico City isn’t there (yet). For this reason, you’ll want a TELCEL SIM card in Mexico. TELCEL is the largest service provider in Mexico, so you’ll have the best reception possible.

With a SIM, you’ll prepay for a certain amount of data so you always have the ability to call an Uber, use the Google Translate app, access your Mexico City map, check in with family and friends through texts and calls, etc.

To gauge the amount you’d need, for a 4 day Mexico City trip, an 8gb SIM card should be more than enough. Below are options for Mexico City SIM cards in different sizes.

Mexico City solo travel

Anti-Theft Purse & Backpack

For added peace of mind, consider an anti-theft purse or anti-theft backpack. With the book bags, there are no front zippers, so someone can’t unzip the bag and take something — since the zippers are in the back.

The purses have several measures to prevent theft. These include: lockdown straps to secure the bag to a stationary object or chair, locking compartments, slash-resistant fabric, slash-resistant straps that have a wire in them, and RFID blocking technology.

When choosing what purse to travel with, a cross body bag is the best option because it’s harder for a thief to snatch and grab it, as it has to fully come over your head for them to take it. With book bags, you may want to consider wearing them in the front, in some situations.

Altitude Sickness Medication & Bracelet

Overall health is something too few people consider when thinking of how to be safe in Mexico City. However, when you’re healthy, you have your wits about you, you’re making good judgement calls, your mood is better, etc. — all things that contribute to your Mexico City safe travel obective.

Something many don’t know about Mexico City is the altitude. It is located about 1.5 miles above sea level, and for those not used to this, you can easily get altitude sickness. In case you’re unfamiliar with it, altitude sickness is basically like having the flu — and can ruin your trip.

Many travelers will use a non-medicinal chlorophyll drops or an anti-altitude sickness bracelet. This is a homeopathic treatment where a tiny plastic disc rests on the trigger point in your wrist to prevent you from getting sick. While those work for some people, anti-altitude sickness meds work better for others.

The Casa Azul (Blue House) AKA Frida Kahlo Museum, located in the historic Coyoacan Mexico City neighborhood.
Mexico City solo travel

Filterable Water Bottle

Beyond Mexico City safety, many ask Can I drink the water in Mexico? The answer is NO, Mexico tap water is not safe for human consumption — unless you boil it, or use a Water-To-Go Bottle to filter your drinking water.

water bottles

Use code SOLO15 for 15% OFF your purchase. ▶︎ Shop now!

Even though no one drinks the tap water, not even locals, not all filtered water is created equal.

Besides keeping you hydrated, which contributes to overall health and safety, Water-To-Go Bottles provide an extra level of water filtration. The bottle helps you with how to NOT get sick in Mexico by filtering 99.99999% of the bacteria, microplastics, parasites, etc., from your drinking water.

What to Wear in Mexico City

For the most part, Mexicans are modest dressers. Even in warmer months, pants, jeans and long sleeve shirts are the norm for chilangos (Mexico City locals). If you don’t want to get too much attention for your clothing, opt for comfy leggings over shorts, and cover up with a light cardigan.

Beyond this, Mexico City’s sidewalks aren’t the easiest to walk on, so you’ll want to opt for comfy flats over heels or wedges. Since this is a very walkable city, consider massaging gel inserts as well.

Though the country is known for tropical climates, Central Mexico and Mexico City are much cooler than many assume. Check out the weather in Mexico City chart above, where you’ll notice it drops to about 45-50°F at night in the winter months 🥶

Mexico City Weather

🧣 Secret Hidden Pocket Travel Scarf: As you can see above, you’ll want warmer clothing for much of the year. This security scarf is the perfect accessory to keep you warm and hide your valuables.

Mexico City Outfits

Below are some examples of how to dress in Mexico City. You’ll find options that will work both in the warmer and cooler months of the year, so you’re always following the (unofficial) Mexico City dress code! Click on any image below to buy ⤵ or head here for more Mexico City outfit inspo.

Mexico City solo travel

Safest Neighborhoods in Mexico City

Where to stay in Mexico City

When considering the Is it safe to travel in Mexico City? question, a big part of safety comes down to where you stay and spend your time. Check out this list of 150 best things to do in Mexico City, with amazing sites in all the best neighborhoods in Mexico City.

You’ll also want to pick a hotel, hostel or VRBO in Mexico City’s safest areas. When I personally recommend a Mexico City neighborhood to friends, followers and family members, it’s always Roma Norte and La Condesa — two of the safest places to stay in Mexico City.

These two safe Mexico City areas are located right next to one another. They both have plenty of things to do and see, street food taco shops, restaurants, bars, boutique shopping, great parks, funky street art, etc. Basically, everything you’d need, and a central location in the city.

From Roma and Condesa, you’re just 20-30 minutes by Uber from Chapultepec Park, the Polanco neighborhood (an upscale and safe neighborhood), Coyoacan neighborhood (a safe and historic area in the south of the city), Centro Historico and more.

The Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico is one of the most beautiful and best hotels in Mexico City.
Mexico City solo travel

Safest hotels in Mexico City

Prefer hotels to a VRBO? Here are some of the best Mexico City hotels, all located in or near Roma and Condesa. The more upscale hotels are located on Avenida Reforma (Reforma Ave.), a gorgeous, tree-lined, main street in Mexico City’s bustling Reforma neighborhood.

Best hostels in Mexico City for solo travelers

One great way to stay on a budget during solo travel to Mexico City is to stay at a hostel. There are many great options to choose from, including the best hostels in Mexico City for solo travellers below: 

🚨Mexico City Travel Tip: The reality with rentals is that numerous staff members do have a key to your room. For this reason, many doing solo travel in Mexico City will use a Wedge Door Stop Security Alarm with Siren, which makes a loud noise if someone tries to open your door.

Teotihuacan hot air balloon ride
The best way to experience the Mexico City Teotihuacan pyramids? Easy: From above on the Teotihuacan Balloon Ride Tour!
Mexico City solo travel

Mexico City neighborhoods to avoid

Among the least safe neighborhoods in Mexico City, there’s Doctores and Tepito — both which you unknowingly can stumble into if you’re not paying attention. Some others include Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl (AKA Ciudad Neza) and Iztapalapa, though you likely won’t be near those two.

Lucha Libre in Doctores

Located between two of the best areas in Mexico City, Roma Norte and Centro Historico, you can easily wander into the Doctores neighborhood if you aren’t checking your map while walking around.

As this isn’t known to be a very safe area, try to avoid it if possible — unless you’re seeing a lucha libre (Mexican wrestling match) at Arena Mexico.

If you do want to see a lucha match, consider going with one of the group tours listed below ⤵ Seeing lucha libre with a group, and having a local as your guide, is both safer but also, lucha is so much more fun with a group!

You’ll also want to avoid Tepito, one of the least safe areas in Mexico City. It is located next to Centro Historico, and many locals don’t even go there. For a tourist, there’s nothing you’d want or need and nothing noteworthy to see, so avoiding Tepito is a safe travel Mexico City must.

Lucha Libre Tours

Centro Historico: Use Uber After Dark

While Centro Historico is an absolute must visit on your trip, you’ll want to use Uber to get around after the sun goes down. There are some amazing bars, restaurants, and even Plaza Garibaldi to see the mariachi musicians — just plan to Uber between places, and Uber home.

🇲🇽 Mexico City Travel Tip: As this is one of the main areas for Mexico City tourists, during the day you’ll see the Policia Turistica (Tourist Police) in Centro Historico. This dedicated police unit is there only to maintain and assist with Mexico City tourism safety.

Colorful paper lanterns and umbrellas in Mexico City's China Town
Barrio Chino, or Chinatown Mexico City, is located in Centro Historico, the historic downtown area.
Mexico City solo travel

Mexico City Public Transport vs Uber

Many people ask, Is there Uber in Mexico City? and, Is Uber in Mexico City safe? The answer to both is YES; you should have no Uber Mexico City safety concerns!

Mexico City has a really great public transportation system, including a metro and buses. At less than $1USD per ride, it’s hard to beat the prices. However, I tend to recommend solo female travelers use Uber over public transportation in Mexico City.

If you’ve been to any big city, you may already know public transport is where most pickpocketing occurs. The same is true of Mexico City — which is why I recommend avoiding it. While it’s inexpensive to use, replacing a stolen wallet, passport or cell phone isn’t.

Also, when converting dollars to pesos, the exchange rate is very much in your favor, making Uber quite economical. As an example, a 45 minute Uber trip will only cost about $5USD; that same trip on public transport might only cost $1-2USD, but it will take closer to two hours.

If your budget doesn’t allow for Uber, check out the three Mexico City transportation safety tips below.

European style Bellas Artes building
Palacio Bellas Artes in Centro Historico is one of the iconic Mexico City buildings.

Female only sections on public transport

If you do prefer public transport, remember to use the female only sections of the Mexico City metro and bus. These are the front cars on the metro, and the front section of the buses, reserved for women and children only. 

Avoid public transport during rush hour

When possible, avoid public transportation during rush hours because they can get incredibly packed. These hours are from about 7am-9am and 5pm-7pm, and people actually pack in like sardines, so pickpocketing is quite common.

Travel with an anti-theft purse

If you are taking the metro during rush hour, consider holding your book bag or purse in front of you. Going one step further, an anti-theft purse or anti-theft backpack comes with added protections that make removing items from them near-impossible.

large pink gothic style church in san miguel de allende mexico in front of a well manicured park/garden with trees cut into topiary style circles and colorful buildings in colonial architecture styles surrounding the town square
San Miguel de Allende is one of the best weekend or day trips from Mexico City.
Mexico City solo travel

Mexico City Travel FAQs

Where is Mexico City, Mexico?

Check out the Mexico City map below for an exact location, but it’s more or less in the center of the country.

Central Mexico is an amazing area to explore, and beyond the city itself, there are great Mexico City day trips. If you’re wondering, Is it safe to drive in Mexico City to get to these places, the answer is YES — and here’s everything you need to know about renting a car in Mexico.

What airport do I use for Mexico City?

To get to Mexico City, you’ll want to fly into Mexico City International Airport (code: MEX).  Wondering, Is Mexico City airport safe? For the most part, YES. However it is a large, crowded airport, which might throw your confidence off.

To get from the airport to your accommodation the easiest, safest way possible, consider Uber or a Mexico City airport transfer service ⤵

Airport Transfers in Mexico City

How many days in Mexico City do I need?

You could realistically spend a year there and not see everything. There are just so many things to see in Mexico City, and as a big, dynamic city, the hot spots and must see Mexico City sites are always changing.

As travel time is a precious commodity, and most people don’t have a year to visit, this 4 day Mexico City itinerary is a great way to see everything in CDMX — as Mexico City is also known. 🎧 Prefer podcasts? Below is a Mexico podcast with the same itinerary.

Mexico City solo travel

Do I need to speak Spanish to visit Mexico City?

From my personal experience after living there almost a year, I found 50% of people in Mexico City spoke (at least conversational) English, and 50% spoke pretty much none. For this reason, you’ll want to brush up on your Spanish, and the FREE Duolingo App is a great way to do so.

If can’t find the time, save the infographic below to your phone. This way, you have access to many of the most important everyday Spanish words and phrases even when you’re off-WiFi. Having a cheat sheet like this is a great female solo travel Mexico City travel hack!

Save & Pin this for later ⤵

List of useful spanish words and phrases
Mexico City solo travel

Do I need a visa for Mexico City?

No, U.S. passport holders do not need a Mexico travel visa — which is one of several reasons to visit Mexico, one of the best international travel destinations for Americans! As with going to another country, you’ll fill out an Immigration form, which in Mexico has two parts.

The top two-thirds of the form will remain with Immigration in Mexico, and the bottom one-third goes back to you. This bottom portion is called the Forma Migratoria Múltiple, or FMM. The FMM is a 180 day (6 month) Tourist Card, so you can legally stay in Mexico for up to six months.

The bottom one-third of the Immigration form is your FMM.

🚨 Don’t Lose Your FMM!

You have to 1) keep your FMM on you at all times, as it proves your legal status in Mexico, and 2) return it to to an Immigration officer when you leave the country.

If you lose your FMM, there’s a $600 pesos ($30USD) fine and some paperwork you’ll have to fill out at the airport to replace it.

Mexico Travel Insurance

If you still have travel in Mexico City safety concerns, put your mind at ease once and for all by purchasing travel insurance for Mexico.

Just as you insure your car and home, so too can you insure your belongings and health while traveling with a policy from World Nomads. They are one of the biggest names in travel insurance. Keep in mind your U.S. insurance likely doesn’t cover you in Mexico — so get a FREE quote below.

Make sure to eat a lot of Mexico City tacos — perhaps on the BIKE to Taste the World’s BEST TACOS!Tour.
Mexico City solo travel

Final Thoughts: How Safe is Mexico City?

While Is it safe to travel to Mexico City alone? has no definitive answer, you now have plenty of suggestions and tips on how to have the most safe trip you possibly can. What can definitely be said in terms of travel safety: Mexico City comparable in safety to most other big cities.

If you’ve traveled to a big city before, you’ll be fine with what you already know about travel safety, plus all the Mexico City-specific tips here. If this will be your first time in a big city, they all have good and bad parts, so avoiding the least safest parts of Mexico City is key.

Staying in one of the safest areas in Mexico City mentioned above will also go a long way towards overall solo travel Mexico City safety. 

Have Mexico City solo travel questions?

I’d love to hear from you! If there was anything I didn’t cover in this article, please let me know in the comments down below. I’ll do my best to get you the info you need 🇲🇽

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Would love to know which restaurants are good to eat alone at! I’m sure I will feel self conscious enough being a solo traveler!

    1. Hi Chelsea: I ate alone all over the city, so I’m not sure I can say which restaurants are “best” for it! I think after you eat alone a few times, you’ll become less self-conscious about it. You might want to practice eating alone in your hometown (or a city you’re comfortable in) before you do so in Mexico City — This is just one of the mindset hacks I recommend in my article Eating Alone While Traveling: How to Overcome Solo Dining Fear. 🍽🍷