A Travel and vacations forum. TravelBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » TravelBanter forum » Travel Regions » Latin America
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Mexico City suggestions



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old September 17th, 2005, 09:03 AM
Ken Rumelhart
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Mexico City suggestions

I am planning a solo trip to Mexico City in October. Any input on good
budget accommodations, places to eat, things to see/skip, safety and ...
will be appreciated.

Thanks

Ken


  #2  
Old September 17th, 2005, 09:29 PM
k
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

To get an idea of accomodation prices, test your trip as a flight/hotel
package on expedia or one of those sites. Last spring we managed
Hartford/Mexico City and two wks in a decent hotel for $410 each/. Others
will disagree, but I think Zona Rosa is the best place to stay. It's
touristy, but so what? You'll be there as a tourist. There are lots of
restaurants and cafes, and the area is very walkable.

You can get a day ticket on the TuriBus for 100 pesos, or about $10, and
it's a good conveyence to visit the major tourist areas, including
Chapultepec, Zocalo, and several diffent colonias. Ask at your hotel for
the nearest stop - you pay on board, and there is a taped monologue in
several languages. The stops are indicated by banners on lampposts, and are
easy to spot when you know what you're looking for. Here's an article about
it: http://www.denverpost.com/travel/ci_0002726706

For getting around on your own, the buses and mini-buses are cheap and easy,
with rides costing between 2 and 5 pesos based on distance. The subway is
good if it's headed where you want to go, but it doesn't provide
particularly good coverage of the major tourist sites. Taxis are reasonable
if you can ever find one available.

Definitely plan a long visit to the Museum of Anthropology and the pyramids
to the north. The Templo Mayor downtown is fascinating, as is the square of
Three Cultures. Wherever you are, make note of the fascinating array of
public art that is everywhere. The amount, variety and quality rivals any
city on the planet. The Shrine of Guadelupe is worth a visit, especially
for the grounds behind the main buildings. It's gorgeous back there, with
some wonderful works of art.

I can recommend two really good restaurants. Los Girasoles is downtown,
right on the plaza at the Fine Arts Museum. It's a little bit upscale, but
not dressy, and the food is terrific modern Mexican, with some pre-Colombian
recipes thrown in. Order a tequila and you'll get it served in a hollowed
out cucumber. They have a shrimp appetizer that was excellent, and their
arrechara is about as good as it gets. Another place, more laid back, is
Kababi's on Napoles near Londres. It's run by an Italian architect who came
to Mexico via San Francisco. He's an entertaining guy and a great cook.
They have a small set menu and a big blackboard with current specials.

It's a great city, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. If you want more
recommendations just say so.

Keith



"Ken Rumelhart" wrote in message
...
I am planning a solo trip to Mexico City in October. Any input on good
budget accommodations, places to eat, things to see/skip, safety and ...
will be appreciated.

Thanks

Ken




  #3  
Old September 18th, 2005, 02:30 AM
Richard Ferguson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

My favorite Budget hotel is the Hotel Canada, just off the Zocolo, very
professionally run.

The usual stops are the Museum of Anthropology, the Templo Mayor Museum,
and walk around the Zocolo. I would add the Franz Meyer museum, and
eating at the Hotel Majestic rooftop restaurant overlooking the Zocolo.

Unfortunately, Mexico City has serious crime issues.

MEXICO CITY TAXI ROBBERIES

For tourists, perhaps the most serious crime problem in Mexico is taxi
robbery in Mexico City. This problem is more or less unique to Mexico
City, so many tourists are not aware of the problem. The governments
of the US, UK, Canada, France and Australia warn travelers of taxi
robberies. I have also read several first person accounts of taxi
robberies, via the internet and in the media. Taxi robberies in
Mexico City have been covered in US and Mexico media, both TV and
newspapers. Basically, anybody who knows Mexico knows that taxi
robberies are a problem in Mexico City, and takes certain precautions
to prevent themselves becoming a victim. The exact recommendations may
vary, but it is unwise to ignore the problem and pretend that "It
can't happen to me."

A taxi robbery generally works something like this: The victim or
victims get into a taxi, usually a green VW beetle taxi. After a few
blocks, the taxi stops, and one or two armed men enter the taxi and
rob the victim. In many cases, the victim is held for hours while the
robbers use the victim's ATM card to get more money. This is
sometimes called an "express" kidnapping. In a few cases, the victim
is held overnight to allow withdrawing more money the next day. The
taxi driver is part of the gang, and may have stolen the taxi. In
some cases, a waiter or hotel employee may also be part of the gang.

In one article that I read, the robbers found out that they were
robbing a reporter. While he was being held at gunpoint on the floor
of the taxi, they told him not to write anything bad about Mexico! An
American resident of Mexico City was killed in a daylight taxi robbery
in December 1997. An American reporter was shot in a taxi robbery
April 20, 1998. The personal accounts that I have read indicate that
a taxi robbery, even if you are unhurt, is a very traumatic
experience. As far as I can tell, from reading the papers and taking
taxis, there are lots of "unofficial" taxis, and the government
has not solved the problem yet.

So, what can you do to protect yourself from taxi robberies? Use the
official sitio taxis at the airport and bus stations. Buy a ticket at
the window, and take that ticket to the official taxi stand. If there
is no taxi stand (sitio) where you are, call a radio taxi. Get the
taxi number so you get into the correct taxi. According to an article
about taxi robbery in the November 1998 issue of US/Mexico Business,
radio taxis have become so popular that it is difficult to get a radio
taxi after dark on a weekend. Generally, the roving taxis are the
problem, not the ones that work from official taxi stands, which
should have a supervisor with a clipboard logging taxi departures.

I was in Mexico City in January 2002, and I was very satisfied with
the radio taxi company "Radio Servicios Moviles de Transporte", and
got their card, which showed numbers 5771-4012, 5771-0130, 5760-4696
and 5551-7710. One of the taxi drivers told me that the company was
founded more than 30 years ago, partly at the instigation of the then
US ambassador, because American visitors were being robbed in those
days also. If you call yourself, you will need to give your location
and what you are wearing. I am not sure if their dispatchers speak
much English, I did not put them to the test. They will give you the
color of the taxi and it's unit number. One time they asked me to
move to the other side of the street to simplify a pickup, I did, and
the taxi was there in five minutes. These taxis are not marked.

There are many other radio taxi services. The US government suggests
the following phone numbers. 5271-9146, 5271-9058, and 5272-6125.
You can ask your hotel for a recommendation.

The Canadian government in their March 1998 advisory said that you
should leave your credit cards and ATM cards in the hotel safe, to
minimize the risk that you will be held prisoner while the robbers use
your cards. (The current warning is worded more mildly). The current
Australian government also advises you to leave your credit cards in
the hotel safe. Only carry the cash that you will need that day. Some
people, including the French government, say you should carry 20 or 30
dollars US, to prevent a robber from becoming angry with too small an
amount. Consider using your ATM cards only at ATM machines inside a
bank or other commercial facility during regular banking hours, as
recommended by the US government. Even the Mexican government
recommends that you not carry your ATM card with you unless you plan
to use it.

If you are robbed, comply and hand over your valuables immediately.
This will greatly reduce the risk of violence. Don't look the
criminal in the eye. Your life is worth much more than your
camera or your credit cards.

Other types of public transportation are also targets of crime.
The buses are robbed often enough that the government has listed
the bus routes and times that are most frequently robbed, and
gives specific instructions about what to do if the bus is robbed.
The metro (subway) also is subject to crime, both pickpockets and
robbers.

Official statistics show that crime in Mexico has doubled since the
start of the economic crisis in 1994. However, I should note that
victim surveys and many government crime statistics indicate that
crime rates in Mexico City are similar to or lower than rates in urban
areas in the US. In private correspondence with a university
professor working in statistics, I have been told that Mexican crime
statistics are a little primitive, and are not really worthy of
confidence. I have seen few crime statistics for visitors and
tourists, just overall statistics or surveys of residents. There
is some information to indicate that crime in Mexico is more
likely to include violence or threats of violence than in the USA.

In a brief visit to Mexico City in July 1999, my friend Miguel, a
lifelong resident of Mexico City, said that he felt that the crime
situation was exaggerated. When I was with him, I did get into a
couple of roving taxis, somewhat against my better judgement. I still
feel that roving taxis should be avoided, and I did avoid them for the
rest of our time in Mexico City. I also carefully reviewed the ID for
the driver before I got into a tourist taxi outside a museum. We did
see one noteworthy thing on that trip, relating to the police. There
was a police car, running red lights and siren, so overstuffed with
police officers that neither of the rear doors could close. It looked
a lot more like the Keystone cops than a professional police force. Of
course, the Mexican police are often criticized for being ineffective
and corrupt.

How much has the situation changed in the last few years? Most of the
references above are several years old. There has been less in the
press in recent years, perhaps because taxi robberies are old news. The
various foreign governments still warn visitors to beware of taxi
robberies. The only personal comment that I can make dates from 2002.
We were taking a taxi from the bus station to the airport, using the
official taxi stand. The taxi we ended up taking was not marked as a
taxi, but had a court order posted in the window apparently allowing the
driver to operate as a taxi, without the usual license. Court orders
are one of the reasons that the government has not been successful in
getting control over taxis in Mexico City. I would argue that not much
has changed.

Should you go to Mexico City? Of course, the decision is yours. There
are lots of things to do in the largest city in the world, but it is
not a place to relax and let down your guard. Mexico is a big country,
and most areas of Mexico are much safer than Mexico City. If you do
decide to go to Mexico City, read the various government travel
advisories before you arrive, and practice security while you are
there.

Richard Ferguson
July 25, 2005


There are several web sites with security information for travelers
and tourists. The ones that I am aware of are listed below. I urge
people to review the information on these web sites, compare the
recommendations of the various countries to each other, and compare
the various government recommendations to any personal opinions
expressed on the internet. The government web sites include security
and other travel information for virtually all the countries in the
world, including each other.

USA - http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html

UK - http://www.fco.gov.uk

Canada - http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/

Australia -http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Index

The French government has a web site with security information, in
French. http://www.diplomatie.fr/voyageurs/e...avis/conseils/

The following web sites offer personal views on security.

Mexico Mike gives his views about security in Mexico at
www.mexicomike.com



Ken Rumelhart wrote:
I am planning a solo trip to Mexico City in October. Any input on good
budget accommodations, places to eat, things to see/skip, safety and ...
will be appreciated.

Thanks

Ken


  #4  
Old September 18th, 2005, 04:02 AM
k
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Richard Ferguson" wrote in message
...
My favorite Budget hotel is the Hotel Canada, just off the Zocolo, very
professionally run.

The usual stops are the Museum of Anthropology, the Templo Mayor Museum,
and walk around the Zocolo. I would add the Franz Meyer museum, and
eating at the Hotel Majestic rooftop restaurant overlooking the Zocolo.

Unfortunately, Mexico City has serious crime issues.

MEXICO CITY TAXI ROBBERIES

For tourists, perhaps the most serious crime problem in Mexico is taxi
robbery in Mexico City. This problem is more or less unique to Mexico
City, so many tourists are not aware of the problem. The governments
of the US, UK, Canada, France and Australia warn travelers of taxi
robberies. I have also read several first person accounts of taxi
robberies, via the internet and in the media. Taxi robberies in
Mexico City have been covered in US and Mexico media, both TV and
newspapers. Basically, anybody who knows Mexico knows that taxi
robberies are a problem in Mexico City, and takes certain precautions
to prevent themselves becoming a victim. The exact recommendations may
vary, but it is unwise to ignore the problem and pretend that "It
can't happen to me."

A taxi robbery generally works something like this: The victim or
victims get into a taxi, usually a green VW beetle taxi. After a few
blocks, the taxi stops, and one or two armed men enter the taxi and
rob the victim. In many cases, the victim is held for hours while the


Where do you come up with this hearsay crap, and why do you keep posting it?
Mexico City is no more or less dangerous to the American tourist than San
Diego is. If a taxi robbery such as you describe ever happened, then the
robbers were already in the back seat. Volkswagen Beetles have TWO doors,
and at least one passenger sits in the front seat, so there is no ... read
ZERO ... possibility of such a robbery taking place. This is urban legend
crap from the 1970's.

If you want to get robbed, use one of the referenced radio taxis and get
charged seven bucks for a ride that should cost seven pesos. If your driver
won't turn the meter on, get out at the first stoplight and walk away. The
only fixed prices I ever encountered are to/from the airport, and Mexico is
only unusual in that it's cheaper to leave.

You haven't been robbed in Mexico, and you haven't been shot, so stop your
nonsense postings please. If you want some truth, try snopes, where you'll
learn the fables you insist on posting are pure crap.

To the OP, don't worry. I'm sure my wife and I are older than you, and we
have exactly zero fear of Mexico City. We walk the streets at night, ride
in cabs, take the bus and subway, and our main concern about safety is the
condition of the sidewalks. Mind your wallet and bags, but crime shouldn't
be a major concern to a tourist.

k


  #5  
Old September 18th, 2005, 06:39 AM
JohnM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
Richard Ferguson writes
The usual stops are the Museum of Anthropology, the Templo Mayor Museum,
and walk around the Zocolo. I would add the Franz Meyer museum, and
eating at the Hotel Majestic rooftop restaurant overlooking the Zocolo.


And visit the house where Trotsky was murdered with the ice pick. Not to
be missed!

--
JohnM
Author of Brazil: Life, Blood, Soul &
Rainbow Diary: A Journey in the New South Africa
http://www.scroll.demon.co.uk/spaver.htm
  #6  
Old September 18th, 2005, 06:47 AM
JohnM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article . net, k
writes
Where do you come up with this hearsay crap, and why do you keep posting it?


This is from the official UK site (Richard, one of your published links
is broken). www.fco.gov.uk Mexico.

"Street crime is on the increase. You should dress down and avoid
wearing expensive jewellery or watches. You should be particularly alert
on public transport, at airports, bus stations and tourist sites.
Passengers have been robbed and/or assaulted by unlicenced taxi drivers,
particularly in Mexico City. At airports, use only authorised prepaid
airport taxi services. In Mexico City, use better regulated 'sitio'
taxis from authorised cab ranks."

It's in line with what Richard posted and yes, I apologise for that
'unlicenced' with a 'c' but I cut and pasted. It is not UK English, it
is simply wrong - it should be 'unlicensed' %-)

--
JohnM
Author of Brazil: Life, Blood, Soul &
Rainbow Diary: A Journey in the New South Africa
http://www.scroll.demon.co.uk/spaver.htm
  #7  
Old September 18th, 2005, 12:37 PM
DB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ken Rumelhart wrote:
I am planning a solo trip to Mexico City in October. Any input on good
budget accommodations, places to eat, things to see/skip.


Ken, Keith took the post right out of my keyboard. He is spot on:

Definitely plan a long visit to the Museum of Anthropology and the pyramids to the north. The Templo Mayor downtown is fascinating, as is the square of Three Cultures. Wherever you are, make note of the fascinating array of public art that is everywhere. The amount, variety and quality rivals any city on the planet. The Shrine of Guadelupe is worth a visit, especially for the grounds behind the main buildings. It's gorgeous back there, with some wonderful works of art...


I spent a day in the Museum of Natural Anthropology and didn't reach
the top (8th?) floor.

http://www.islc.net/~lesleyl/nationalmuseum.html

DB

 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is Kyoto better than Paris? Kenneth Asia 37 July 6th, 2005 01:12 AM
trip from mexico city to lake atitlan area bjorn Latin America 0 April 21st, 2005 12:25 PM
Mexico City Help! emabassy, subway, hotels Drew Shuller Latin America 2 November 23rd, 2004 02:10 PM
mexico city to san cristobal tile Latin America 5 January 11th, 2004 01:31 PM
Hotel Mexico City = = Latin America 11 January 1st, 2004 01:58 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2021 TravelBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.