Is Mexico City Safe?
Mexico City is the type of place that most travelers dream of visiting, and it has amazing local cuisine, a bustling nightlife, beautiful beaches, and loads of historical and cultural sights and events to take part in.
However, people are often turned off by the risks that come with visiting there and wonder if it’s really worth it.
Is Mexico City safe? Mexico City doesn’t have a reputation as being one of the safest places to visit in the world, but statistically speaking, it’s not as bad as many people think.
There is a higher rate of violent and nonviolent crime that you need to be cautious of, but if you’re careful, it doesn’t have to ruin a good vacation.
The beauty of Mexico City and the sheer number of things to do and see mean most people are willing to put up with a little bit of risk just to experience it.
If you’re still on the fence about traveling to the bustling city and want to know what could go wrong, this guide can help you out.
What Are the Safety Concerns of Mexico City?
All you have to do is read the news to see what kinds of things can go wrong on a trip to Mexico City, and it’s enough to let your imagination run away from you.
However, these are the genuine concerns one should think about in regards to safety in Mexico City and how likely they are to occur.
- Kidnapping: Although the chance of kidnapping is very small, it’s a concern for many. There have been cases in the past of American citizens being kidnapped in Mexico City and it’s something you need to be prepared for.
- Petty theft and pickpocket: The biggest cause for concern for a traveler to Mexico City is these kinds of petty crimes. It’s common to be walking down the street and feel someone try to grab your wallet out of your handbag if you’re not careful and traveling in the bad areas, but not likely that it’ll happen every time you leave the hotel.
- Violence: Most of the violent events that occur in Mexico City have nothing to do with travelers, and it’s likely they won’t affect you. There is a chance you could see a violent altercation take place, but this is usually due to inter-gang or drug-related issues, so as long as you steer clear it’ll leave you alone. Otherwise, there is a small chance you could be involved in a violent altercation, especially if you’re out in the dark or in bad neighborhoods.
- Sexual assault: Even in the better areas of Mexico City, there have been reports of women being sexually assaulted, and this includes resort staff members, other holidayers, and taxi drivers. It’s crucial to never go anywhere alone and stay inside at night to reduce the risk.
Unsafe Places to Avoid
The best way to stay safe in Mexico City is to know where you can and can’t go.
You can eliminate most of the threats of things like violent crime and kidnapping if you stay in the more populated and tourist-friendly areas.
To avoid any problems, don’t step foot in any of these locales:
- Iztapalapa: The most heavily populated suburb of Mexico City is also one of the worst for travelers to visit, including violent and non-violent crimes, with a huge rate of drug trafficking.
- Tepito: The home of the black market isn’t as dangerous as others, but you should still avoid going there when possible. Tourists are often preyed upon and fall victims to scams and theft.
Tips for Staying Safe
There’s no need to fear a visit to beautiful Mexico City, as long as you’re staying vigilant and know the right spots to go.
We’ve compiled some safety tips for travelers to follow that can reduce the risk of something going wrong while you’re there.
- Opt for the safer suburbs of Centro Historico, Roma, Juarez, and Cuauhtemoc if you’re unsure of where to stay. These areas are known for being tourist-friendly and have lower rates of all types of crimes than the others.
- Speak to the staff at the resort or hotel you’re staying at to find out information on the places you should avoid. As locals, they will be able to give you valuable insight into the city and will know where to steer clear of.
- Men and women should never travel alone when in Mexico City, even if you feel safe and like you know the area. Being alone makes a tourist a target for theft or assault, and there’s a chance you could get lost on your way.
- Staying inside or in your resort at night and when the sun has gone down is the safest approach. If there are heavily populated restaurants and bars close by to your accommodation, you can visit them as long as you’re going with others.
- Keep your belongings close by when you leave your room for the day and store other possessions in a safe in the hotel room. Invest in a backpacker bag that can lock and stay secured to your body so that nobody can snatch your stuff.
- Never leave anything in your pants pocket even if you think there’s no chance it can be stolen. Pick pocketers are experts at getting into even the tightest spaces without the victims knowing.
- Avoid conversation with strangers who attempt to sell you things that could be illegal or prohibited. They may be using it as a way to lure you in or scam you into buying something.
- There have been reports of dishonest police working in Mexico City and the best way to avoid them is not causing a stir or doing anything illegal.
- Hire a reputable tour guide if you want to see the city and aren’t sure of your surroundings. Make sure they have a good reputation and can lead you safely to the best areas.
Should You Visit Mexico City?
At the moment, the climate in Mexico City makes it a slightly risky place to take a vacation, and the current advice is that increased caution should be taken.
The rate of violent and non-violent crime in Mexico City is high, and you need to be vigilant when traveling in and out of the main areas.
Unless you feel comfortable with the heightened risk, we advise checking out other areas of Mexico that are more welcoming and safer for tourists currently.
However, with the current Covid-19 outbreak and high rates of crime, you could put off a visit to Mexico until things calm down a little.
To keep up to date with government travel advice, check the Mexico Travel Advisory on the Travel.State.Gov. website and see what’s recommended.
You’ll be able to get advice on current issues in the country of Mexico, places to avoid, and see what ratings each area has for potential visitors to be mindful of.
Stay Safe in Mexico City
Mexico City is a beautiful and exciting travel destination, but as a city that’s prone to violent and non-violent crime, it’s not always the safest place to visit.
Before you hop on a plane and head across the border, get up to date with the latest government travel advice and be prepared to change your plans at a moment’s notice.
As the country’s capital, Mexico City is one of the most popular tourist destinations that people want to check out.
With a lot to learn before you can travel here though, we’ve answered some FAQs that might be able to give you the basics on Mexico City.
How Do You Get Around in Mexico City?
A tourist in Mexico City should stick to mainstream options for travel, like Ubers and taxis, or use their public transport system.
Most of the popular tourist spots in Mexico City are connected by the public train system and if you can figure it out, it’s an affordable and reliable way to travel.
What Are the Best Things to Do In Mexico City?
There are lots of popular tourist attractions in Mexico City worth visiting, including Basilica de Santa Maria Guadalupe, Chapultepec Castle, Museo Nacional de Antropologia, and Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Mexico City has a good mixture of food, music, culture, and natural wonders to explore so there’s always plenty to do.
How Many Airports Are in Mexico?
The country of Mexico has over 100 international and major airports available for travelers.
The most popular one for American visitors is found in Mexico City and is known as the Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México or Mexico City International Airport.