I arrived in Mexico five years ago by myself during my sabbatical year and thanks to locals’ essential tips and some common sense I had some of the greatest adventures of my life, and here I still am, five years on!
Traveling to Mexico City alone seems to be a big deal for people who have never visited because of its somewhat bad reputation, however solo travel in Mexico City is totally possible and I would not only recommend it but also wholeheartedly encourage it, even as a solo female traveler.
I love traveling by myself and that’s how I got to know this city and the country, so read my recommendations to enjoy your solo travel in Mexico City. Whether you are part of the foodies, museums, or nature lover groups, Mexico City will enchant you!
What to do
As a solo traveler in Mexico City, you won’t have any problem visiting the main tourist attractions as well as off-the-beaten paths gems which are located in safe areas.
Don’t miss out on the old-fashioned city center, the biggest park in the city, Chapultepec, the numerous museums, the trendy areas of Roma, Condesa, Polanco, Juarez, and traditional boroughs such as Coyoacán, San Angel, and Xochimilco.
Mexico City is the place for anyone who loves food, both those who love restaurants and those who love getting their hands dirty standing at local food stalls. I must say that Mexico City is one of the best places in the world for a street food experience so everybody should give it a go in order to eat like a local. The variety of food stalls is impressive in any areas, so if you solo travel to Mexico City just choose one and join in and you will feel part of a the Mexican community. My recommendation is to follow locals’ suggestions or to go for places that have a sink and those that are full of people – this is the best guarantee of all!
Mexico City’s nightlife has a lot to offer everyone, from the most chilled person to party lovers. Going out on your own is not an issue if you go to a popular neighborhood, such as La Roma, La Condesa, Juárez and Polanco.
One of my favorite bars is Baltra Bar, located in a corner of the Condesa neighborhood. It is a quiet little bar inspired by Charles Darwin's trips to the Galapagos Islands and it offers an intimate space to chill out while indulging in delicious cocktails prepared to perfection.
Have a look at my guide to La Roma which is my favorite area to go out with my friends. A trendy but chilled neighborhood, which now has been made even more famous by the Oscar-winner namesake movie directed by Mexican Alfonso Cuarón. From live music to a drink in a chilled place, theatre shows, and dancing nights, you can plan your own night according to your mood! There are so many places that offer salsa lessons for free if you want to join in and easily get to know somebody.
Even if you are a female solo traveler, don’t worry about going to markets alone. Visiting some of the numerous markets in the city is actually a must. In my opinion, you will not get a proper feel of Mexico without eating and buying some souvenirs at a market.
There is one in every borough so you will have your chance. My favorite food markets are that of San Juan in the center and that in La Portales, close to where I live. Head to la Ciudadela in the historical center or to Mercado de Artesanía handcraft market, in Coyoacán if you want to buy something traditional. There are also plenty of boutiques in Roma and Condesa if you prefer trendy shops!
Mexico City has more museums than any other city in the world so you will definitely find the one that satisfies your passion.
My personal favorite is the Museum of Anthropology as you can see the capital through the eyes of an archaeologist; the building’s structure itself takes you back to ancient times.
Bellas Artes and Chapultepec are a must if you love murals and you want to discover famous Mexican muralists, including Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.
For something more off-the-beaten-path, head to Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, a museum whose mission is to spread the importance of human rights and tolerance. Or why not challenge yourself at MIDE, an interactive museum focused on economic themes, located in one of my favourite historical building in the historical centre.
Where to stay
Stay in a central area if you love going out at night or if you want to find cool cafes and restaurants. The perfect central neighborhoods are Roma, Condesa, Juárez, Polanco as well as the city centre. These areas offer a lot of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and nightlife options as well as cultural and artistic must-sees.
If you fancy something with a traditional village vibe then checkout Coyoacán and San Angel. Whenever I travel solo, I prefer staying at a hostel in order to meet some other travelers, however, Airbnb offers great options and a great way to stay in areas where you'll get a chance to meet some locals that could give you some great recommendations. It is possibly the cheapest option around considering the kind of nice rooms or houses on offer.
I love walking so I usually walk an area from top to bottom, as for me there is no better way to discover a place and observe its people. But you’ll need other transportation to move to different areas. Uber is the best option as it is safe, convenient, and cheap! If you go out at night then Uber is a must!
If like me, getting on public transportation is an adventure you like to add to your travels, then the metro and the metro bus are super cheap and they are safe but try to avoid them at peak hours as they can get very busy.
As with any major city, minor theft crimes are not unusual, so stay aware of your surroundings. Don’t keep anything in easy-to-snatch pockets, avoid dangerous areas such as Tepito and dark alleys at night.
I love going around with my backpack, but when I am on the metro or in a busy area I always carry it on my front. Moreover it’s a smart idea to keep your valuables in your bag while you’re not using them. Follow common sense’s rules and you will be perfectly fine. Bear in mind that Mexicans are lovely and friendly people!
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