Coffee at a cafe is part of the living cost in Mexico City
·

Cost Of Living In Mexico City (2024) – The Truth By Local Expats

Affiliate Disclosure

We live here and going to give you the true cost of living in Mexico City!

Mexico City is not that cheap. We know that might sound surprising, but the past couple of years have seen prices in the capital rise substantially, as its popularity among digital nomads and tourists in search of an affordable break has exploded.

Now that we’ve delivered that shock to your system, we should add that we don’t find the cost of living in Mexico City expensive exactly, just that it’s not as much of a bargain as it once was. For the money we spend, however, we enjoy a really nice lifestyle in one of the trendier parts of town.

In this post, we’re going to break down exactly how much a long-term traveller should expect to spend in CDMX. 

The prices here are based on our own experience of the living cost in Mexico City in Condesa. This neighbourhood is one of the nicest, safest parts of the capital, a world away from the cheaper borough of Iztapalapa, which has one of the metropolis’ highest homicide rates.

#1 🏠Rent 

Condesa

The single biggest cost to live in Mexico City is, as with most places, the rent. 

Not that long ago, rents were very enticing, but they have soared in the last few years, as the capital is undergoing a process of gentrification. This has been sped up by government agreements designed to encourage digital nomads to live (and spend) in CDMX. 

It’s kind of a strange situation because, on the one hand, officials want to attract foreigners, but the influx of out-of-towners has bumped up rental prices to the point where many locals are actually being priced out of all the desirable neighbourhoods.

Most people like us who live in Mexico City part-time will probably end up renting through Airbnb. It’s slightly pricier than going for a long-term rental agreement, but it also means you don’t have to set up a local bank account, undergo credit checks, and all that other hassle.

We pay about 29,000 Mexican pesos (approximately $1,700 US) a month for our modest one-bedroom apartment in Condesa through Airbnb. It’s in a great location, about 10 minutes from the leafy Parque Mexico, but it’s definitely not what you’d call luxurious. The building is old, with no air-con or heating, plus the shower’s a bit rubbish.

Our rent is just slightly lower than average for Condesa, which is arguably the most desirable part of town to live in. We love it here because of how safe, quiet, and residential it is, with plenty of green spaces and cafes where you can sit back and chill. 

In general, you should expect to pay about 25,000 to 35,000 Mexican pesos (about $1,500-2,000 US) if you want to base yourself in casually chic Condesa.

That price range is the same for neighbouring Roma Norte, which is also safe but a little more edgy and cool.

There are a lot of trendy restaurants here, including the upscale bistro Blanco Colima and Rosetta, which was included on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2023.

Another area that’s popular with expats and longer-term visitors is Polanco. Oozing luxury, the district is filled with skyscrapers, luxury apartments, and chichi boutiques. This is where embassy employees and high-flying businesspeople rub shoulders with wealthy local residents out for a shopping spree at El Palacio de Hierro.

Flats here are even more expensive than Condesa and Roma. Rent starts at about 35,000 Mexican pesos (around $2,000 US) and climbs ever skyward. 

Of course, the cost of living in Mexico City doesn’t have to be that expensive. For comparison, a one-bedroom place in Tepito typically goes for about 5,000 Mexico pesos (approximately $300 US). 

However, we should note that Tepito is one of the most dangerous places in CDMX, and probably not somewhere you want to base yourself as part of a relaxing getaway.

#2 🧖‍♀️Cost Of Living In Mexico City: Personal Expenses

Gym cost in Mexico City.
Cost of spa in Mexico City.

Although rent is the most notable cost to take into account, there are all kinds of little living expenses in Mexico City that can add up to your overall budget.

As we mentioned, we live in Condesa, where stuff tends to cost a little more than other parts of town, but we also receive a good international standard for our money.

Personal grooming is pretty punchy. To give you a few examples, Robin’s haircut and bear trimming at Ragnar Barber Shop costs 600 pesos ($35 US), while Mal’s basic gel manicure without art at Kiki Nail Bar is about 780 pesos ($46 US). FYI, removal is 180 pesos ($10 US).

Our gym membership at Smart Fit comes in at 600 pesos ($28 US) for a month, which is decent given the quality of the facilities.

One of our favourite indulgences is to go for a massage to relax after a tiring day. Vitali Spa is a chill space with a variety of different treatments that cost about 1,200 pesos ($70) for a 60-minute session.

Since we travel quite a lot, we have international health insurance that covers us in most countries. If you don’t, the cost of seeing a general practitioner through a private clinic with an English-speaking doctor is about 1,700 pesos ($100 US). A public hospital visit is much less, but the facilities aren’t quite as good, and you should be prepared to speak Spanish.

Moving on from the serious to the frivolous shopping! Prices for high-street brands are pretty much what you would see anywhere in the world, so don’t come expecting to fill your suitcase with cut-price Zara or the like. 

Having said that, if you head to Mercado la Merced, you can find some real bargains. This is where locals come to shop, and it’s very affordable, if a little sketchy at times.

Summing all that up, as a rough estimate, the cost of living in Mexico City per month for personal expenses ends up at around 3,000 to 4,000 pesos (roughly $180 to $240 US). That includes personal grooming, gym membership, and a monthly massage, plus a little extra for clothes and other non-essential purchases!

#3 👩‍💻Cost Of Coworking In Mexico City

Apartment in la Condesa.

If you’re a digital nomad like us, a key aspect to factor into the living cost in Mexico City is coworking spaces.

Homework Revolucion, just off the Monument to the Revolution Square in downtown CDMX, offers monthly access to their coworking office for 2,500 pesos (about $150 US) plus VAT. For an extra 1,300 pesos ($75 US), you can have your own fixed desk, which is a bit comfier.

Should you need a meeting space, Homework Revolucion also rents out presentation rooms with projection screens that can fit up to 60 people. The smallest option costs 250 pesos ($15) per hour, while the largest comes in at 1,500 pesos ($88).

Alternatively, the global WeWork brand has quite a few spaces around Condesa, Roma Norte, and Polanco. Seats are about 390 pesos ($25 US) per day or 2,000 pesos ($120 US) per month.

Some of these spaces are very nice indeed, with views over the city as well as coffee stations to keep you perked up.

Of course, you can save on the cost of living in Mexico City by working from home or one of the city’s many cafes. It just depends on how you like to get down to business.

#4 🚌Transportation Cost In Mexico City

Another core expense to factor into the Mexico City cost of living is transportation. In our opinion, this is one of the best aspects of living in CDMX, as everything from private car hailing to public transport is super affordable.

UBER 

Blogger Robin getting into Uber car in La Condesa.

Prices in Mexico City for Uber are, well, uber good!

We love Uber and use it all the time in CDMX, not just because of the low cost but also because it’s incredibly reliable. 

It isn’t perfect, however, and there are a couple of downsides to bear in mind. We encounter a lot of traffic in the capital, which means that our journeys often take longer than they should. There have also been fairly frequent protests in CDMX recently, which results in road closures that also make car travel a bit of a bummer.

As a general guide to pricing:

  • Condesa to downtown costs from 75 pesos to 250 pesos ($4.45 to $14.85 US). The broad range should give you an idea of just how big a difference traffic can make to the cost.
  • Condesa to the airport is about 205 to 270 pesos ($12.15 to $16 US).
  • Condesa to the cool area of Coyoacan, a bit further to the south, is about 120 to 200 pesos ($7.10 to $11.85 US). Again, it’s highly traffic-dependent.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT 

Using an Integrated Mobility Card can bring the cost of living Mexico City lower.
Blogger Mal using metro in CDMX.

When it comes to debating the pros and cons of living in Mexico City, public transport definitely falls on the pro side! It’s super affordable and all you need is one single card to access it all.

The Tarjeta de Movilidad Integrada (Integrated Mobility Card) costs 15 pesos ($0.89). Once you have this, you simply top it up with as much money as you want.

Different forms of transport cost slightly different amounts. The metro is the most affordable at 5 pesos ($0.30 US), while the modern Metrobuses are 6 pesos ($0.36 US).

If you plan on taking one of the scenic cable car rides, these are only slightly more expensive at 7 pesos ($0.42 US) per trip.

On sunny days, we highly recommend using the Ecobici system, which is also done through the Integrated Mobility Card. Bikes cost 123 pesos ($7.30 US) per day, allowing you to get good value out of the rental.

Admittedly, we mostly take Uber for convenience, but living in Mexico City for a month using only public transport would be incredibly cheap!

CAR RENTAL

Car rental can definitely increase your living cost in Mexico City.

Car rentals might not feature in your everyday Mexico City cost of living, but it’s worth having an idea for when you want to make a trip to the coast or canyon country.

We always use Discover Cars because they have a good cancellation policy and offer comprehensive cover, but there are a few different hire car sites you can try.

As a guideline, our last car rental cost $30 US (about 505 pesos) per day, plus $25 US (420 pesos) for full insurance cover. If you want to pick up and drop off the car at different locations, that obviously comes with an additional fee that varies depending on the destination.

We wouldn’t really recommend a car over using public transport or Uber while you’re in CDMX itself because: 

  • It significantly bumps up your cost of living in Mexico City.
  • There’s all that traffic that we’ve already mentioned.
  • Parking can be a nightmare.

For short weekend (or even week-long) trips away, however, it’s good value.

#5 🍉Cost Of Living In Mexico City: Grocery 

Grocery shopping part of living cost Mexico City.
Grocery cost of living Mexico City.

Groceries are probably the living cost in Mexico City that has surprised us the most. You might think that a country that produces so many grains, fruits, and vegetables would feature super cheap shops. Nope.

Of course, it depends on where you come from and the exact item you’re buying, but on the whole, you won’t make great savings at the supermarket.

Here’s a simple shopping list to give you an idea of the cost of living in Mexico City in terms of groceries:

  • Large loaf of multigrain bread – 50 MXN ($2.95)
  • 12 eggs – 80 MXN ($4.70)
  • Carton of full-fat milk –108 MXN ($6.20)
  • Lurpak butter – 85 MXN ($5)
  • Chicken per kg 200 MXN ($11.80)
  • Rib eye steak for 2 pax – 335 MXN ($19.80)
  • Potatoes per kg – 46 MXN ($2.70)
  • Asparagus bunch – 94 MXN ($5.55)
  • Tomatoes per kg – 45 MXN ($2.65)
  • Avocado per kg – 86 MXN ($5)
  •  Lettuce bag – 46 MXN ($2.70)
  • Bottle of wine – 200 MXN ($11.80)
  • Can of IPA beer – 80 MXN ($4.70)
  • Hummus – 59 MXN ($3.50)
  • Coca Cola 2l – 38 MXN ($2.25)

#6 🎟️ Entertainment 

Cost of living in Mexico City can be low if you do free activities such as cycling.

One part of the Mexico City cost of living that can be surprisingly cheap is entertainment.

The capital is very good at putting on concerts and events for free, particularly around the Zocalo (town square). We often head to this part of downtown to enjoy a local celebration or pop-up show whenever somethings’ on.

Another of our favourite free things to do is cycle along Paseo Reforma. On most days, it can be a bit hectic, but on Sundays, it’s closed to car traffic, giving cyclists and pedestrians free rein to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city’s main avenue.

Something you can do any day of the week is walk around Chapultepec Park. This huge green space is about 2 to 3 times bigger than Central Park in NYC, with lakes, flowers, trees, and quite a few museums to explore.

If you fancy a trip to the cinema, tickets vary according to location, but you can expect to pay between 70 and 87 pesos ($4.12 to $5.13 US) for an adult and 63 to 77 pesos ($3.71 to $4.54 US) for a child. Most movies at the major cinema chains are dubbed in Spanish, though some have English subtitles.

Bloggers Mal & Robin attending a Lucha Libre show.
Blogger Robin and Mal watching Football In Mexico City in Azteca Stadium.

There are a couple of sports experiences that are a lot of fun to check out, too. One of these is lucha libre, the fantastic Mexican wrestling phenomenon. Tickets for a Friday show at the iconic Arena Mexico start from about 213.50 pesos ($12.60 US) online. They are cheaper if you get them on the day from the box office, but be warned, it can be fairly chaotic.

Another fave with Mexican fans is football. We paid about 550 pesos ($32 US) per person for tickets to a Club America game at Estadio Azteca. Refreshments are shockingly expensive, with a beer costing 150 pesos (about $9 US) and a bag of crisps 90 pesos ($5.30 US), but the experience itself was electric.

For something less physical and more cerebral, CDMX is home to some awesome museums, many of which are very affordable. Our top recommendation is the Anthropology Museum, which houses collections dedicated to the many Mesoamerican civilisations that have occupied Mexico throughout history. Tickets are 90 pesos ($5.30 US)

A bit more off the wall, the Wax Museum contains famous figures from MJ to Gandhi. Snap a pic with these celebs past and present for 180 pesos ($10.60 US).

The last bit of entertainment to factor into your cost of living in Mexico City is day trip tours. We’ve been on quite a few, but one of our favourites was our excursion to Puebla ($75 US). This city to the southeast of CDMX has a UNESCO-recognised historic centre that boasts stunning colonial architecture decorated with brightly coloured azulejos (tiles). 

Puebla is also famous for its more-ish signature mole poblano, a chocolate and chilli sauce is a local speciality that some believe is the oldest known mole in Mexico.

If a nature break sounds more like your jam, we’d also highly recommend the Grutas de Tolantongo ($150 US for a tour). The area is most famous for its natural thermal springs, where people go to enjoy a soothing, scenic bath, but you can also enjoy some nice hikes around the surrounding area to see the nearby waterfalls.

#7 🥂Nightlife & Dining Out

Blogger Robin drinking a Corona Beer at Toscano Restaurant Condesa.
Cost of living in Mexico City can quickly ramp up if you go out a lot to places like Limantour.

The last Mexico City living expenses to consider are eating and drinking. You’ll be doing plenty of this while in town, from grabbing a taco from a street food stall to having a cocktail in a fancy bar.

We’re going to start with nightlife. There are several drinking dens in CDMX that have been ranked among the World’s 50 Best, including Handshake Speakeasy, Hanky Panky, and Licoreria Limantour. At places like these, as well as some of the fancier rooftop bars, you should expect to pay at least 250 pesos (around $15 US) for a cocktail.

On the other end of the scale are nice local pulquerias and cantinas, where the bill for the night will come to less than half of what you’ll pay at more upscale spots.

In general, a glass of house wine or a craft beer is 120 pesos ($7), while your everyday brews like Corona are about 60 to 100 pesos ($3.50 to $5.90), depending on the place.

When it gets a little later, and you want to shake your groove thing, there are lots of buzzy clubs to explore, too. Most have entrance fees, including the really enjoyable Mama Rumba, which specialises in Latin music. The cost to get in here is 250 pesos ($14.70) on the door.

Moving onto meals, simple fare like tacos won’t add much to your cost of living in Mexico City. You can find them from street food spots and hole-in-the-wall joints for anywhere from 25 to 50 pesos ($1.50 to $2.95)

Meals are similarly affordable, especially at Mexico City cafes. For example, a lunch set at one of our main hangouts, Madre Café, will only set you back 200 pesos ($11.75), plus 75 pesos ($4.40) for a soft drink. 

Main dishes at a nice restaurant, on the other hand, can cost up to 300 to 400 pesos ($17.65 to $23.50).

Cost Of Living In Mexico City: Wrap-Up

Although the average cost of living in Mexico City might not be as cheap as some places around the world, you can certainly enjoy a better quality of life for less compared to the US, Australia, and many parts of Europe. 

With cheap transportation, delicious, affordable meals, and loads of free entertainment, there are plenty of reasons to make CDMX your next digital nomad destination. 

Similar Posts