Leading up to any of my trips, I always talk to friends about where I’m going and ask for any opinions. Whether they’ve been there or not I’m interested to see what people have to say or if the place is on their list. This way I get another viewpoint for things to do when I arrive. Every person I talked to about going to Mexico City had this fear in their eyes like I was going to die. It was the first time anyone ever said be careful, be safe, and meant it.
Honestly, I was a bit surprised, sure Mexico has cartels, but Chicago has the mob, New York has the mafia, why is everyone so obsessed with the dangers of Mexico? Of course, you can be stupid and go down a dark alley at night or you could just go to tourist areas and have a great time as you would anywhere else.
Lucky for me I’m not afraid to travel (except flying) so I headed out for a great long weekend in Mexico City to watch the Mexico Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Conversion rate at the time of this post, MXN 1 = USD 0.05
Day 1 – Arrival 10.26.2017
One quick trick I learned is finding direct flights into Mexico City, none were from Minneapolis, but they do have them from Chicago. For that weekend I found a round trip flight from Chicago to Mexico City for $200 and round trip flights to Chicago from Minneapolis for $125. Had I booked this flight from Minneapolis to Mexico City it would have cost me close to $800. I just need to create my little layover and it worked with no issues.
This was my first time staying at an Airbnb, you can check out the place I stayed here. If you’re new to Airbnb use my referral code to get $50 off your first stay. I was surprised by how much pollution was in the air. Not much else to talk about since we arrived in the late evening. Here is a timelapse from our balcony.
Day 2 – Teotihuacan & Practice Race 10.27.2017
Although I missed out on visiting the main city center and cathedrals of Mexico City I did not miss out on the ancient ruins. Making our way out to Teotihuacan we used Uber, which took us two hours and six minutes and Uber charged us USD 40, insanely cheap, but I did get the uber drive to stay while we searched the pyramids and then paid cash on the way back so don’t worry we made sure our driver was rightfully compensated.
The amount of traffic in Mexico City is insane, it is the most to this day (Decmber 2020) that I have ever witnessed. I wasn’t able to find a photo to show you this, but the entire intersection was filled with cross-traffic regardless of the traffic light colors. During our drive, we went over what seemed like a speed bump every two minutes, they’re called Topes (pronounced “TOH-peh”). Lastly, before our arrival Uber took us through some neighborhood where our drive rolled up all the windows, locked the doors, and told us no photos, it reminded me of the Mexican Cartel scene from “We’re the Millers”, a very neat experience. You can arrive here by bus as well and if you’re interested I laid out a review on Trip Advisor.
Arriving at the Pyramids the entrance fee was 75 Pesos (USD 3.75), I don’t think you can buy tickets online for this (If you can drop it in the comment section, I could not find it). There are two main pyramids, the pyramid of the moon and the pyramid of the sun. The pyramid of the sun is the second tallest pyramid in the world and you can walk up the top of it, which is an amazing experience. I didn’t see anyone on top of the moon pyramid and we didn’t bother to see if we could go up it.
Our driver did recommend we stopping in the town of San Juan Teotihuacan for shopping and dining but we needed to head back to the City to watch the practice race. When we arrived at the race track we found out that general admission was limited to a small section and it was straight away so we saw the cars for about two seconds, it was terrible and a hard lesson learned.
Day 3 – Fan Zone, Explore, & Cruz Azul Football Match 10.28.2017
No longer using Uber as a means of transportation we switched to the subway system and walking. The subway (“Metro”) system in Mexico City is very efficient, cheap, but can be very crowded. Completely ended up missing qualifying for the Grand Prix because my friend Holt and I got lost, but when you’re lost in a place you’ve never been, you’re not lost, you’re just on an adventure. We checked out the fan fest which wasn’t anything special compared to the other races I’ve been too but it was in a neat part of Mexico City, the buildings around the area were more modern.
After realizing we missed the qualifying match Holt and I decided to check out a football match, Cruz Azul. When we arrived at the stadium it was a mess, we got sent around the wrong way to get tickets and then I found out you couldn’t have a backpack, so they wanted to send me home. Luckily I always carry migraine medication on me and I told them my bag was for medical purposes so they finally let me in. I think tickets were about 300 Pesos (USD 15), plus we had to tip the attendant that brought us to our seats.
The fans must take the game pretty seriously because the away fans were fenced in and surrounded by riot police. And the vendors sold single cigarettes and allowed smoking inside the stadium, which as an American I have never seen before. Especially since earlier this summer, I had gone to Manchester to watch a Primer League match where they don’t let any drinks in the stadium.
Day 4 – Grand Prix & Best Tacos in my Life 10.29.2017
Out of all the Grand Prix I have been to I would say this one is not very good. They restrict where you can walk and sit and the general admission seating is terrible, lesson learned just spend the extra money. Of course, most of the race is spent watching it on the screen but still nice to see cars for more than two seconds. Lewis Hamilton ended up becoming world champion at this race. If you’re interested in my whole thoughts on this race I typed up a review on Trip Advisor to help other people who are going to this event. Otherwise, if you want to see what the seats looked like check out the video below.
To end our night here we went to Galerias Insurgentes to get some Cuban cigars and then went out to a fancy restaurant, Baltoro. They had hands down the best tacos I have ever had in my life. The place may look spendy but for four people we all had drinks, desserts, and our entrée for less than USD 50.
This ends my trip to Mexico City, I didn’t talk too much about the street food vendors, which I recommend. Whilst you’re there get a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice and some street tacos. There is a lot more to see in Mexico City, which is why I plan to go back. Check it out for yourself, and yes I felt very safe.