Mexico City is a massive metropolis of around 9 million people, spread across almost 1,500 square kilometres. Due to its size, getting around Mexico City as a tourist can seem daunting, which is why many people have asked us: “Is there Uber in Mexico City?”
We use Uber on a daily basis, every time we are in Mexico’s capital, to cover distances such as from the Zocalo (main square) in the old centre of the city to the Bosque de Chapultepec, an enormous park containing a historic castle and several modern museums.
But, we also frequently use CDMX’s public transport, so we have a good idea of the pros and cons of each.
In this post, we’ll take you through how to use Uber in CDMX, answering questions like “How safe is Uber in Mexico City?” as well as running through the alternative public transportation options. We’ve even thrown a few suggestions for places to visit and stay into the bargain!
Is There Uber In Mexico City: At A Glance
Yes, Uber does operate in Mexico City. In fact, the ride-hailing company first turned up in Mexico in 2013. Since then, it has expanded its presence to more than 60 cities throughout the country, including Guadalajara, Cancun, and Merida.
Many of Mexico City’s most fascinating attractions and interesting neighbourhoods are in completely different parts of town, which is why Uber has become a staple not just for visitors but locals as well. This is particularly true for people in a hurry who don’t have the time to employ the sometimes-circuitous public transport routes.
Our Experience Of Using Uber In CDMX
Every year, when we visit Mexico City, our go-to mode of transport is Uber. It’s been consistently safe and reliable for us.
While most of the drivers might not be fluent in English, Mal, being conversational in Spanish, often engages in interesting chats about local life with them. But even if you don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry, as there’s no real need for extensive communication; the app does most of the talking for you.
One thing to note, though, is the city’s notorious traffic. At times, it can be overwhelmingly congested, causing delays. In such situations, we often find that hopping on the metro can be a quicker alternative.
Is Uber Safe In Mexico City?
Before we visited CDMX, one of our most pressing transportation questions was, is Uber in Mexico City safe? The answer to this question is, overall, yes, absolutely.
You can feel as secure using Uber in Mexico’s capital as you would almost anywhere else in the world, especially since there’s a record of your journey and the details of your driver are all available in advance.
However, it is worth noting that earlier this year, the US government actually put a notice out, warning its citizens about potential violence between Uber drivers and taxi owners. This is a long-standing disagreement that isn’t going away anytime soon, so it’s important to be aware of how it might impact your experience.
Is There Uber In Mexico City Airport?
You can get a Mexico City Uber from airport terminals one and two at Mexico City International Airport. Expect to pay around $12 US (about 215 pesos) to trendy central barrios like Roma Norte or La Condesa, though, of course, this varies depending on demand and time of day.
Once you’ve confirmed your ride, the app should tell you which exit your driver will meet you at, which makes it pretty easy to find your car.
What is the safest way to get a taxi from Mexico City Airport?
Using Uber in Mexico City Airport is definitely a good option, but it’s not the only safe way for you to get into town. While we’ll talk in more detail about the pros and cons of local taxis a bit further down, registered airport taxis function a little differently and are a lot more reliable.
Essentially, before you exit the airport, you need to find a taxi kiosk, where you tell the attendant your destination and prepay your fare. You will be given a taxi ticket, which you then take outside to the official taxi rank and give to a driver associated with the taxi company. Easy as that!
Prices are a little higher than an Uber at $15-17 US (around 250 to 300 pesos), but this is still an excellently affordable option.
Getting from the airport to downtown – our experience
On our first visit to the city, we found ourselves without a SIM card and were hesitant to buy one there due to the elevated prices. So, unable to order an Uber, we opted to take a taxi from the airport to the city centre.
At the first official taxi stand inside the terminal, the attendant seemed to ponder a little too long about the fare. This gave us a hint that he might be inflating the price. Trusting our instincts, we sought a second opinion at another taxi kiosk. To our surprise, they quoted a fare that was three times cheaper! Naturally, we went with that option.
For anyone looking to take a taxi from the airport, our advice would be to inquire about fares at 2-3 different taxi kiosks before settling on a ride. It might save you a significant amount.
How Does Uber Work In Mexico City?
Taking Uber in Mexico City works in almost exactly the same way as it does in other countries around the world. First, you will need to download the app and then connect your bank card – you can choose to pay your way in cash, but Uber will require a card to guarantee your rides.
The other thing you’ll need to use Uber is a valid SIM card. Technically, you could get by on Wi-Fi, but that’s a pretty unreliable method, and we wouldn’t generally recommend it. Of course, depending on your cell carrier, you may be able to use your existing data plan from home in CDMX. If not, however, you’ll need to purchase a local SIM.
Telcel offers the best mobile coverage, so we’d suggest going for that, even though it’s also the most expensive by a fraction. It’s possible to prepurchase Telcel SIM cards on Amazon, but to be honest, the prices are probably a little higher than you’ll find on the ground.
We got ours in an OXXO Store, and it was super easy to do – no ID or anything required. You can also get in at the airport, in the arrival hall, but be prepared to pay at least $20-30.
Bear in mind that the SIM card doesn’t necessarily come with any data on it, though most will be sold with some sort of prepaid package. If you run out of data, you can always top up the amount later.
Once you’ve put the SIM into your phone, you’ll be able to use Uber wherever you are in Mexico City!
Local Taxis Vs Uber In Mexico City
We’ve already answered the question, “Is there Uber in Mexico City?”, but how does it stack up compared to local taxi companies? Here are some of the major pros and cons to consider:
✅ The Uber cost in Mexico City is lower than the cost of a cab (in fact, that’s one of the main reasons taxi drivers are so vehemently anti-Uber). If you’re looking to save money, Uber is the better option.
✅ Uber is convenient. There are lots of drivers and lots of cars roaming the city, so you shouldn’t have to wait long for a ride.
✅ Uber supplies information on a driver’s name, license plate number, and customer ratings, which provides a degree of accountability. Plus, you can track the journey in real time to see if the car is following the recommended route.
✅ You don’t need to speak Spanish to use Uber, whereas you probably will need at least un poco if you take a cab.
✅ We’ve already delved a little bit into the “is it safe to take Uber in Mexico City” question earlier, but it’s worth noting that Uber is almost always safer than taking a taxi because you don’t run the risk of taximeter scams or other dodgy practices.
✅ Perhaps the main downside of Uber is that you will need mobile data to use it, though since it’s easy to get a local SIM, that’s not a huge issue.
🚖 If you get a licensed taxi from an official taxi stand, then you shouldn’t have any issues. However, this does somewhat diminish the convenience usually associated with taking a taxi.
🚖 You should never hail a taxi off the street, as there are numerous stories of people being robbed at knifepoint.
What Are The Best Ways Of Getting Around Mexico City?
While Uber might be the best way to get around Mexico City, it’s obviously more expensive and less environmentally friendly than taking public transportation. Here’s how to get around Mexico City using the metro, bus, and tram.
There are 12 Metro lines that run through Mexico City, but we only really used about five. These five, however, are really convenient for connecting all the most popular neighbourhoods and sights, making the Metro the best way to get around in Mexico City using public transport.
One of the quirkiest things about the Mexico City Metro is that each trip costs 5 pesos, no matter how many stops you take. It’s possible just to buy tickets each time you travel, but we found it easier just to pay for a 10-peso Metro card and then load it with cash. That way, you just have to tap in each time you travel – since it’s a flat fare, there’s no need to tap out.
Mexico City used to have an extensive system of tram lines, but this has been pared back to just one: the Xochimilco Light Rail. The only real reason you might use this tram is to visit the town of Xochimilco, though we’d actually recommend you take a tour (more on that later). Still, the option’s there if you want it, and tickets cost just 3 pesos.
🚖 Local Taxis
One of the main reasons a lot of people ask, “Is there Uber in Mexico City”? is because the local taxis are notoriously unreliable. However, as we’ve already mentioned, you can feel confident using the taxi kiosks at the airport – and this can sometimes be easier than trying to order an Uber.
🚎 City Buses
There are several different types of city buses that cross Mexico City, but probably the most useful one for tourists to know is the Metrobus. These buses run along seven set routes and are slightly more expensive than the Metro at 6 pesos per ride – aside from airport trips, which cost 30 pesos.
The Metrobus operates using the same card as the Metro, which we found super convenient. Plus, they have their own dedicated lanes, which enables them to avoid traffic.
🚗 By Car
Another way of getting around is to rent a car in Mexico City, which offers you the freedom to explore the sprawling metropolis and its surrounding attractions at your own pace. While this option requires a bit of navigational savvy, it’s perfect for those who want to venture beyond the well-trodden tourist paths and discover hidden gems that public transportation might not easily reach.
🚶🏻Is Mexico City Walkable?
Mexico City is a big ol’ place, so realistically, you won’t be able to walk everywhere that’s worth visiting, particularly if you include the Coyoacan neighbourhood to the south, which is a fair schlep from the central barrios. However, that’s not to say you can’t walk some parts.
For example, you could feasibly stroll all the way from the Zocalo to the Bosque de Chapultepec. While the total journey would take longer than 90 minutes, there’s loads to see along the way, including the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Monumento a la Revolucion, and the Zona Rosa neighbourhood, essentially breaking up the journey into bite-size morsels.
Plus, you’ll probably want to spend a fair bit of time exploring trendy districts like La Condesa, Roma Norte, and Polanco on foot.
Overall, however, you should expect to budget for transportation. This isn’t Oaxaca, after all!
Is There Uber In Mexico City: FAQs
Can you pay cash for Uber in Mexico City?
Not only can you pay cash for Uber in Mexico City, but many drivers prefer it! In fact, you may find that some cars cancel the trip if you select paying by card, though ultimately, the decision is yours.
Is Uber cheaper than a taxi in Mexico City?
Uber prices in Mexico City are some of the best in the world relative to the taxi rates. You will almost always get a better deal using Uber than a taxi, though the disparity is generally larger for longer journeys than shorter ones.
Do you tip Uber drivers in Mexico City?
An important follow-up to the question “is there Uber in Mexico City” is whether Uber drivers expect a tip. The answer is that you would normally give a token amount, rounding up the fare to the nearest 10 or adding on a little gratuity to show your appreciation for a pleasant journey. You don’t have to tip, but it’s certainly appreciated.
What is the Uber equivalent in Mexico City?
How do people get around in Mexico if they don’t have Uber? Well, there’s an alternative ride-hailing app called Cabify, which started in Spain but has become a major competitor throughout Latin America.
China’s Didi has also established a foothold in CDMX, by some estimates overtaking Uber as the dominant ride-hailing service. While Didi can be a little cheaper, our experience is that, overall, there’s very little to choose between Didi and Uber – it’s just a question of who has the most cars available at any given time. For that reason, it’s worth having both apps.
Is there Lyft in Mexico City?
While there are several ride-hailing apps in the Mexican capital, Lyft is NOT one of them. There were rumours the company was coming to Mexico City last year, but so far, their presence in the city has been limited to involvement with Ecobici, the government bike-sharing system – incidentally, another great way to get around the city!
Do I need cash in Mexico City?
A lot of museums in Mexico City still don’t accept card payments, so it’s definitely worth having some cash on you. It’s also useful for tipping, and, as we’ve already mentioned, a lot of Uber drivers actually prefer to be paid with money rather than through the app.
Is there Uber Eats in Mexico City?
Can I use Uber in Mexico City to order food? Yup, you most certainly can. Uber Eats Mexico City has a pretty decent breadth of offerings, including fast food, Italian, Japanese, and (of course), Mexican.
Uber Eats frequently comes to our rescue on those lengthy workdays when the thought of cooking or heading out feels overwhelming.
Best Tours To Take In Mexico City
Is there Uber in Mexico City? Yes. Will you want to use it for everything? No. Some unmissable experiences are either quite far away from the town centre or too complicated to organise on your own, making Uber a bit of a non-starter. In these situations, we recommend booking a tour.
Go On A Free Walking Tour
Before we dig into some specific tours, we have a general recommendation: check out what free walking tours are available online. There are lots of different options in Mexico City, covering most of the city’s most popular areas, from the Zocalo to Roma and La Condesa.
If you’ve not taken a free walking tour before, how they usually work is that you meet your guide in a prearranged spot along with other travellers. They’ll then take you around for about an hour or two along a route that’s laid out beforehand. There’s no set fee, and you only pay what you think the tour is worth in tips.
Going on a free walking tour is one of our favourite things to do wherever we travel, as it’s a great way to orient yourself in a new city with the help of a local guide – and it’s very budget-friendly. We can recommend FreeTour for booking a free walking tour; they have several good ones!
Xochimilco Floating Gardens And Coyoacan
The Xochimilco Floating Gardens are unlike anything else in Mexico City: a world of colourful trajineras (flat-bottomed boats) and chinampas (floating gardens).
The canal system dates back to pre-Hispanic times, but this place is far from dry history. Instead, it’s a party that involves traditional foods like elotes (grilled corn) and chicharrones (fried pork rinds) washed down with pulque, a thick alcoholic beverage, all while mariachi bands strum away.
This Xochimilco Floating Gardens and Coyoacan tour is great because it’s a full-day adventure that features a variety of different experiences, from the waterways of Xochimilco to artworks by Mexican greats Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
While you can manage to check out Coyoacan on your own (more on that below), getting to the UNESCO-recognised Xochimilco Floating Gardens is an enormous trek on public transport. Plus, negotiating a fair price with the locals for a ride on the trajinera can be a little intimidating – and who needs the hassle on holiday?
Mexico City Food Tour
Another thing we always try to do wherever we go is take a local food tour. This is just a really fun way to explore a region’s delicacies in the company of fellow visitors who are equally excited about, well, eating!
Aside from giving you the opportunity to consume plenty of popular domestic delicacies, food tours are also awesome because you get to learn a bit about the history and culture of Mexico City – an experience you won’t get if you stick to sampling the fare on your own.
We opted to take a food tour through the upmarket area of Polanco, which stops off at seven different restaurants. These stops vary according to the day and time of year but always include a mixture of savoury and sweet dishes from throughout the region, including Oaxacan and Yucatecan dishes.
Mexico’s distinctive, unique form of pro wrestling, lucha libre is an athletic, theatrical display that’s as much about entertainment and pageantry as it is about actual wrestling. Its origins date back to the 1800s, but it has grown enormously since then, becoming one of the most popular spectator sports in the country.
While it’s perfectly possible to organise a lucha libre trip on your own, buying and collecting the tickets is inconvenient, particularly if you’ve got a full day of exploring planned. Getting to the venue in the evening can also be a bit of a chaotic experience.
For those reasons, we recommend visiting on a tour. The one we chose included a visit to a taqueria for tacos – that’s right, more food! – followed by a trip to a cantina to try some local beverages. Over the refreshments, the guide gave us all the details about the history and traditions associated with lucha libre, which made the experience much more enjoyable.
Best Places To Visit In Mexico City With Uber
A lot of Mexico City can be easily explored on your own without the need to join a tour. Here are three of our top-rated places to check out.
Sometimes known as the lungs of Mexico City, Chapultepec Park (Bosque de Chapultepec in Spanish) is a sprawling green area with plenty to explore.
Its history goes back 3,000 years, to when it was home turf for indigenous peoples. After the arrival of the Spanish, it was maintained as a place where the well-to-do denizens of the city could go for a spot of R&R.
One of the most notable places to visit is Chapultepec Castle, originally built as a home for the viceroy, before being turned into a museum. If you want a concise overview of the history of the Spanish in Mexico, hand over the 90 pesos for entry. Otherwise, hike up to the building for views of CDMX below.
The park also contains lots of other little museums, a botanical garden, a zoo, numerous monuments and sculptures, and lakes where you can rent a pedalo. All in all, it’s a lovely day out on a sunny day!
Afterwards, head to trendy La Condesa for a spot of lunch.
Literally meaning ‘place of the Coyotes’ in the Nahautl language, Coyoacan is a pretty, slightly more suburban neighbourhood of Mexico City filled with artisan markets and casual food stands.
For art lovers, Coyoacan is an essential stop on any visit to CDMX. First off, it’s where you’ll find the Frida Kahlo Museum, an unmissable cobalt-blue building where Kahlo spent most of her life.
The neighbourhood is also home to the Diego Rivera-designed Anahuacalli Museum, dedicated to Mesoamerican culture. These two places are quite a walk from each other but not that far to drive, so this is where Uber comes in!
At the Mercado de Coyoacan, you can dive into all manner of traditional crafts (perfect for souvenirs), refreshing yourself with street eats in between the retail therapy. Don’t miss out on grabbing a bite at Tostadas Coyoacan, which has become something of an institution and serves delicious tostada stuffed with toppings.
📍Zocalo / Downtown
The Zocalo is the heart of Mexico City – and has been for hundreds of years. Also known as the historic centre (Centro Historico), it’s undeniably chaotic but an essential visit for anybody who comes to CDMX – though you might need a calming spell in Coyoacan afterwards!
As evidence of the area’s long-standing importance, it’s here that you’ll find the Templo Mayor, formerly a major temple of the Aztec civilisation that once inhabited these parts. Unfortunately, it’s largely been reduced to foundations, but it’s worth noting before exploring some of the more impressive monuments.
These monuments include the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, an enormous, ornate building that was once the largest cathedral in Latin America and took 250 years to build. Across Constitution Square, you can see the National Palace, a fantastically imposing building that you can sadly no longer enter – though you can still gawp from the outside.
Best Areas To Stay In Mexico City
The downtown area might be fascinating to visit, but we wouldn’t recommend staying there. Despite some beautiful colonial buildings, it’s also rather dodgy. Instead, these are our three top picks of neighbourhoods.
One of Mexico City’s coolest districts, La Condesa is filled with third-wave coffeehouses, stylish restaurants, boutique hotels and bars that are part shrines to mixology and part happening hangouts. Art galleries and artisan boutiques are scattered throughout the tree-lined streets.
La Condesa is also right next to Chapultepec Forest and has several smaller parks within its boundaries, meaning there are plenty of places to grab some greenery in between your urban adventures.
For places to stay here, the Casa Comtesse is a bed and breakfast with just eight rooms, each individually decorated with pieces of local art, fabric, and furniture. Think homey charm with plenty of local flavour. The Chilpancingo and Patriotismo metro stations are both within 10 minutes’ walk.
Casa Omtèsse, nestled in the vibrant neighborhood of La Condesa, seamlessly combines modern design with historic allure, providing a tranquil haven amid this trendy district.
Roma is actually divided into two areas – Roma Norte and Roma Sur. In other words, north and south Roma. It’s the north that we think is better for travellers, as the south (while perfectly nice) is a bit more residential.
Roma Norte is essentially La Condesa’s slightly naughtier twin, the sibling who is just as cool but perhaps not quite as chic in their appearance. That translates into laidback restaurants and bars that are thronged with a younger crowd that values earthy realness over polish.
If you’re looking for an apartment hotel that’s light and airy, the Jardín Roma is a spacious, multiple-bedroom space that can fit up to six guests comfortably (eight at a push). Just off the Plaza Rio de Janeiro with its imitation of Michelangelo’s Statue of David, it comes with two living rooms, two bathrooms, two kitchens, two dining rooms, a laundry room, and three bedrooms.
JARDIN ROMA BY THE LOCAL WAY
Jardin Roma by The Local Way in Mexico City is a charming urban retreat, providing stylish accommodations and easy access to Roma’s trendy boutiques and eateries.
If you want a taste of the finer things, Polanco is your neighbourhood. Some of the best restaurants in the world are located in Mexico City’s most well-to-do neighbourhood, where locals are spoiled for choice when it comes to luxury malls, bougie boutiques, and chic cocktail bars.
It’s not all about the bling-bling: world-class museums and well-designed art galleries fill out the spaces not occupied by fine dining meccas, and there are a couple of immaculately manicured parks.
For a relatively affordable spot on the edge of high-flying Polanco, the Lombardo Suites offers a handful of glass-fronted apartments that abut Chapultepec Forest. Our favourite feature here is the shared rooftop terrace, a sunny space where you can relax with a bottle of wine purchased from the nearby bodega.
Lombardo Suites in Polanco, Mexico City, offers contemporary elegance, spacious suites, and a prime location for exploring the city’s vibrant culture and attractions.
Using Uber In Mexico City: Final Word
Hopefully, this post has helped you answer the question, “Is there Uber in Mexico City?” and given you lots more to ponder in the process.
We certainly find the ride-hailing service to be invaluable each time we stay in the capital, especially when we are in a hurry to get from one incredible experience to the next!
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