Is Mexico City Safe For Travelers?
"Is Mexico City safe for travelers?"
I have received this question a number of times before, during, and after my trip to Mexico City.
When my friend suggested we visit Mexico City, I was totally on board. I didn't know much about it and was eager for a trip somewhere new.
We had an incredible time in Mexico City. We loved it!
Both of us felt completely safe throughout our entire trip to Mexico City. We took the same precautions we would in any city and didn't visit sketchy neighborhoods.
However, before my trip, people said to me:
"Why are you going there? You know, it's not a safe place."
"Be careful and don't get kidnapped."
"Stick to Cabo or Cancun. Everywhere else in Mexico is extremely dangerous. Don't you watch the news?!"
For one, I don't watch television news. It's negative, extremely biased (we would pick apart news language and how politicians spin things in my college public relations classes), andddd I simply prefer to get news through different mediums.
Additionally, everyone who made those statements to me had not yet visited Mexico City for themselves. They only knew what they heard from American news networks about other parts of Mexico, not from their own travels or even stories from people they knew who visited (because they didn't know anyone who traveled to Mexico City).
While I appreciate the genuine concern friends and family have for my safety, I had to ask this:
"Do you think your perception of Mexico City is based on hearing random news about dangerous happenings in other parts of Mexico, and because you don't know much about Mexico City? Besides the 2017 earthquake, what else do you know about Mexico City?"
We tend to fear the unknown.
We tend to stick to our comfort zones, aka what is familiar.
If something is unfamiliar, it's a natural human reaction to question it.
This isn't to say there aren't dangerous things happening in Mexico. Just like there is crime in the US, Canada, Europe, and everywhere else in the world, there is crime in Mexico. And yes, some of it is really bad.
And this isn't to say parts of Mexico City aren't dangerous. We had a number of locals tell my friend and I to not be by ourselves at night and not to visit certain neighborhoods.
However...that's the same precaution we would take anywhere, even at home in the US.
For example: would I visit Chicago in the US? Absolutely! I have family there and it's a really cool city. I've never felt unsafe in Chicago. This is because when I go there, I don't visit the dangerous neighborhoods of Chicago. And if you know anything about Chicago, you likely understand that there are some extremely violent and dangerous parts anyone would steer clear from.
Precautions my friend and I took in Mexico City to stay safe (these are the same precautions I recommend doing while traveling anywhere):
- Do research on the city before arriving
- Don't go out alone at night and use Uber late at night
- Book a place to stay in a safe neighborhood
- Don't visit neighborhoods known to be unsafe
- Keep some cash and a spare credit card locked up in the Airbnb/hotel in the off chance wallet gets stolen
- Don't wear flashy/expensive jewelry
- Keep purse zipped - I still live by my Longchamp bag at home and abroad
- Act confident and no one will question you
What's it like to travel to Mexico City? (More travelers share their perspective)
If you are visiting Mexico City soon, I highly recommend checking out the podcast and videos below! They all share the perspective from travelers who moved from other countries to Mexico City.
They have tons of tips on safety and how Mexico City exceeded their expectations.
I also believe that seeing the city in videos and hearing about cool places to go will help assure you what it is like to visit Mexico City as a traveler.
For those of you who have been following along on our journey, you probably know that we spent the last 7.5 months living in Mexico City! On this episode of the podcast, we are sharing about that adventure! We talk about why we decided to base ourselves in Mexico City, how we went about finding somewhere to live, what life in Mexico City is like, why we loved living there, what to do if you're visiting, some of our favorite restaurants in Mexico City, and much, much more! Listen here: http://www.theworldwanderers.com/?p=7875 . . . #travel #mexico #mexicocity #cdmx #travelmexico #exploremexico #livingincdmx #digitalnomadlife #lifeinmexicocity #whattodoinmexicocity #travellife #travelcontinuously
This podcast is from two Canadians that based themselves in Mexico City for several months. They have lived and traveled all over the world in South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
I loved listening to this podcast (I was already home when it was published) because it made me nostalgic. I can't wait to return at some point and follow up with their suggestions on things to do and cool places to eat!
Dan's travel vlog shares what it's like to live and travel in Mexico City. In this video he asked Mexicans for their perspective.
I enjoyed watching his vlogs before my trip to Mexico City, and I've gone back for more - this will tide me over until my next visit to CDMX.
This video is from two Americans from Texas. She said the only big city she had really traveled to beforehand was New York City. They discuss the US news media and how their perspective shifted when they went to Mexico City.
This video popped up in my suggested feed on YouTube, and I can't wait to check out their channel for more! They have a ton of vlogs up about Mexico City.
Overall, I genuinely loved visiting Mexico City and felt very safe there.
My friend and I felt safe during our short trip (one week) and are both eager to return.
It easily jumped up to my top 10 favorite places in the world, and dare I say it...it may have even broke the top three along with Bali and Italy.