A Day of Travel Costs in Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world. It has cosmopolitan charm and incredible history lurking around every corner. It’s a city that is perfect for both budget travelers and luxury seekers alike. You can spend your days eating street food and exploring the architecture or dining in world-class restaurants and sleeping in gorgeous boutique hotels. The choice is yours.
The super-budget backpacker can expect to spend about 500 pesos a day, roughly $25. For this price, you could stay in a dorm room at a central city hostel, eat street food to your heart’s content, and visit all of the parks, including Chapultepec, the largest park in the western hemisphere.
The mid-range independent traveler will probably spend between 800 and 1,000 pesos a day (that’s about $40-$50). You have a bit more money to stay at a budget hotel or nice Airbnb rental. You can still have street food throughout the day, but enjoy a nicer sit-down meal in the evenings or a drink at one of Mexico City’s many downtown bars.
On the higher end, the possibilities are endless. A luxury trip to Mexico City can cost upwards of 3,000-4,000 pesos a day ($150-$200) if you want to stay in a boutique hotel, eat in restaurants for every meal, and explore all of the sights with a tour guide.
A Day’s Travel Costs in Mexico City:
Street-Food Breakfast: 12 pesos (.65 USD)
Two City Bus or Metro Tickets: 10 pesos (.50 USD)
Entrance to One Museum: 70 pesos (3.50 USD)
Taco Lunch: 35 pesos (2.00 USD)
Short Taxi Ride: 50 pesos (2.50 USD)
Dinner at a Budget Restaurant: 100 pesos (5 USD)
Midrange Hostel Dorm Bed: 200 pesos (10 USD)
Total: 477 pesos ($24.50)
ATMS and Cash
ATMs are very accessible around Mexico City and most are open 24 hours a day. There are a few international bank branches like Bank of America and HSBC who may not charge you. Most Mexican banks will charge 25 pesos (just over a $1) for you to use the ATM with a foreign card.
Most of the street stalls and markets will only take cash, but it is becoming more popular at tourist souvenir markets for credit cards to be taken. The smaller the note, the better. Often people will claim they don’t have change for 500 peso notes.
Meals, Accommodation, and Transport
Meals. Mexico City is the melting pot of Mexico. There are people from all over the country who have made this metropolis their home and that is obvious in the food you see throughout the city. Don’t miss out on all of the street food stalls including tacos, gorditas, tortas, quesadillas, and pambazos. A filling street food meal will cost between 20 and 40 pesos ($1-$2). Restaurants are slightly more expensive, but the options are endless. The best restaurants are clustered around the Condesa and Roma neighborhoods, but the historical center has some great options too. You can expect to pay up to 200 pesos per person at a restaurant, about $10.
Restaurants are slightly more expensive, but the options are endless. The best restaurants are clustered around the Condesa and Roma neighborhoods, but the historical center has some great options too. You can expect to pay up to 200 pesos per person at a restaurant, about $10.
Accommodation. Accommodation is one of the most expensive things about Mexico City. A hostel dorm room with up to 12 people in it can still cost about $10. You’ll find most of the budget hostels in the historic center. As soon as you start looking at hotels you can spend anywhere from $80-$150 per night to be in desirable neighborhoods. These types of hotels are in neighborhoods like Roma, Condesa, and Polanco. A small consolation is that most hotels and hostels include breakfast in their cost.
Transport. Getting around Mexico City is cheap and easy. The metro costs only 5 pesos (about 25¢) and is the quickest way to get around the city (traffic is terrible during the week!). It can get busy during peak times and it’s not the most glamorous place, but it’s definitely the fastest and cheapest. Other options include the metro bus, trams, and regular buses. There are also pink and white taxis which can cost about 50 pesos for a 15-20 minute ride or Uber which is slightly cheaper.
Other options include the metro bus, trams, and regular buses. There are also pink and white taxis which can cost about 50 pesos for a 15-20 minute ride or Uber which is slightly cheaper.
The museums around Mexico City are incredibly reasonable costing about 70 pesos each (about $3.50). This includes the Aztec ruins at Templo Mayor, the National History Museum and Chapultepec Castle, and the Museum of Anthropology.
On the slightly higher end, there is the Frida Kahlo Museum where you can walk through the famous artist’s home and learn more about her torrid life. This costs about 200 pesos or $10. If you want to take in a show at the Palace of Fine Arts you can get tickets for as little as 300 pesos ($15) and if you want to go up to the top of the Latino Americana building to see views over the whole city, that will set you back 100 pesos ($5).
If you want to explore the city for free you can go to the Metropolitan Cathedral, National Palace (home to stunning Diego Rivera murals), and wander around the Soumaya Museum any day of the week.
Making the Most of your Time in Mexico City
No matter what your budget, there is something to keep you busy in Mexico City. Mexicans are incredibly friendly and although many people do not speak English, they will do their best to try to understand and help you during your stay in the city. The best advice I can give is to eat everything you can and remember that all of the salsa will be spicy.