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Planning a trip to Mexico City and want to know the best way from the Airport to the centre? Depending on the time of day, and whether you’re traveling solo or in a group, the answer may be different. Here’s the down-low.
Outside peak hour, a car ride to the airport should take approx. 20-25mins to cover the 7.2kms. In traffic or if there are protests in the city, you can expect to take anything from 45mins to 2hours (I have had the unfortunate experience of both). If you’re not sure, or don’t have your finger on the pulse with regard to CDMX activity, I’d choose the flat rate option (Yellow Cab are my favourite). As a rough guide, here’s a google map from the International Airport to the Main Square (Zocalo), in the centre of Mexico City: https://goo.gl/maps/7Gu5Uxcr5qm
Uber: Controversial in some parts, the City is big and bustling, and the competition here seems timely. High on convenience, and probably the best way for 2 or more people to get to the centre of town (my last trip cost $143.23MXP and took 44 mins – approx. £5.60GBP or $7USD). Most Uber drivers seemed to be waiting near Terminal 1 when I was there last, so be aware of where you’re arriving before setting off. There’s also the added benefit of online card payment, the ability to share your journey, and the convenience of not having to explain your address in your best “Spanglish” accent. I wouldn’t use Uber during peak hour though, so my next preference is…
Yellow Cab (Taxi Aeropuerto): This flat rate, standard sedan taxi service will take 1-3 people, door to door, from the airport. Don’t buy your ticket from the touts/hagglers (shouting for your business), instead smile politely as you walk past to find the ticket desk. For Terminal 2 where most international flights arrive, collect your backs and enter the arrivals hall. Turn left, and walk towards “Puerta 1”, Yellow Cabs are just before Puerta 1 on your left. Ask for a sedan to “Centro Historico” and you’ll receive a 3-part ticket (pictured below), that as at October 2016 costs $224.00MXP. Take all 3 parts of the ticket and head outside, where you’ll find several taxi queues (look for the Yellow Cab one, in front of the rank with yellow cabs strangely enough!). There should also be an attendant, wearing a yellow vest, who will take one part of the ticket, then allocate you a car. The driver will want the second part of the ticket, and you keep the last as a receipt. If you’re not confident speaking Spanish, have the address of where you’re staying written down to show him/her. They accept all major cards including AMEX, and their website is here: http://www.taxisyellowcab.com/
Public transport: Quite daunting if you aren’t fluent in Spanish and are arriving for the first time. Personally, I don’t recommend public transport. However, to be thorough, there are bus and train options.
Bus: Known as Metrobus, this public bus runs services from both terminals. Line 4 will get you into Centro Historico. You’ll need to buy a rechargeable fare card for $10MXP (similar to an Oyster card in the UK, or Opal card in Sydney), then the fare should be $30MXP (at time of writing). There is usually a police officer on board, and space for luggage.
Train: From Terminal 2’s international arrivals, you’ll need to go to Terminal 1. Follow the signs and head upstairs to take the free airport train (you’ll need to show your boarding pass). At Terminal 1, find “Puerta 1” and go outside. Walk to the end near the main road, then down the steps. This is only advised if you are confident in Spanish and have minimal baggage. The flat fare is $5MXP.
Finally, there are care hire options in both terminals. Driving in Mexico is entirely different, and will be the subject of my next blog post. Happy travels!