Mexico City or CDMX was one of our favorite places in Mexico. One of the main reasons was definitely the fact there is pretty good public transportation around the city. You’ll find subway(!), metrobuses, trolleybuses, buses and also colectivos. It’s cheap, sort of reliable, and (mostly) safe.
Tips for Using the Public Transportation in CDMX
Even though the public transportation in CDMX is pretty good, we’re still not in Europe and it would be naive to expect everything to always work smoothly. That’s why I have a couple of tips for you to make your life a bit easier.
- If you’re in a hurry (especially during peak hours), it might be a good idea to use a taxi or Uber and have a time reserve.
- You can use both the public transport card and paper tickets for the subway, but only the card for the metrobús.
- The public transportation card costs 15 MXN (€0.8) and you can buy and recharge it at the ticket window at the subway station or in the vending machine at the Metrobús station.
- Always be aware of your possessions. This is true for any big city and obviously even more for a big city in Latin America. We never had any issues just following the same rules we’d follow in f.e. Paris.
- If you use the bus or colectivo, make sure you’re going in the right direction. You can always ask the driver or check your location on Google Maps regularly.
- You can usually find the connection on Google Maps, but it’s not 100% reliable. It mostly works pretty well with the Metro and Metrobús though.
- There are separate compartments on the subway only for women. If you’re a guy, don’t get on those. If you’re a solo traveling woman, please do.
Public Transportation in Mexico City
You can get around Mexico City by public transportation smoothly. Many tourists only use taxis and Uber all the time, but CMDX is one of those places where it is not completely necessary. Most of the main areas of Mexico City are accessible by Metro and Metrobús, the rest by bus or colectivo. Keep reading to learn about the different types of public transport in Mexico City.
Mexico City Subway
The subway in Mexico City is the quickest, cheapest, and maybe safest way to get around. What I really appreciate is that there are separate compartments only for women. Sure, it’s not the perfect solution, it would be better if women wouldn’t need to be scared alone… But we’re not there yet, definitely not in Latin America.
One ride costs you only 5 MXN ( (€0.3). You can use single tickets, which you’ll buy at taquilla, the ticket window at the station. An easier option, if you plan to travel more often, is to buy a rechargeable card.
The card for public transport in Mexico City is valid for the subway, metrobus, and trolleybus. You can buy it at the ticket window for 15 MXN ( (€0.8) and recharge it at the same spot.
Metrobús in Mexico City
Metrobús is another reliable service of public transport in Mexico City. It’s a long bus, which stops at designated stations – you have to pay before you enter the station. In this case, you can’t use the paper ticket, you need to buy the rechargeable card. One ride is (in 2022) 6 MXN (€0.3).
Trolleybuses in Mexico City
Just like in Metrobús, you can only use the rechargeable card on the trolleybuses in Mexico City. However this time, you use it when you get on the bus, not at the station. It still only stops at the official stations, just not closed ones.
Buses in Mexico City
Buses are my least favorite way of transport in CDMX. You can only pay cash and you need to have the exact amount. What is confusing is that every bus cost is different. It can be anything between 4 and 8 MXN (€0.2– 0.4) and you’ll only find out when getting on the bus.
The plus of the bus is that you can get on or off the bus pretty much anywhere. Even though they have official stops, it’s not a problem to make another elsewhere. On the other hand, you never know if the bus will come to the official one.
Colectivos in Mexico City
Honestly, I’ve never used colectivo in Mexico City. I saw some in Polanco though. It’s the classic van, which follows a fixed route and stops anywhere you need.
Uber in Mexico City
Of course, there is also Uber in Mexico City. If I remember correctly, we’ve never used it though. But! If you’re in a hurry during the peak hours (≈6 AM to 9 AM and 6 PM to 9 PM), it might be a good idea to call one. We almost missed our bus to San Cristobal, because the subway was sooooo crowded.
And that’s it! Now you know how to navigate yourselves by public transport around Mexico City without getting crazy and you can start enjoying the city! Check out our list of the top 12 things you can do in Mexico City or our favorite restaurants and cafés in Mexico City for inspiration on where to start.