Visiting Teotihuacan from Mexico City without a tour is as easy as it can get. But why should you do it? First of all, you’ll save some money. But more importantly, when you go on your own, you can beat the crowds and spend as much or as little time at a place. And it’s much more adventurous!
What is Teotihuacan?
First things first – why should you visit Teotihuacan? Well, it’s one of the best things to do in Mexico City (or out of Mexico City, but still on a day trip). The Pyramids are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can easily spend hours strolling through the whole complex.
Teotihuacan is an ancient city, which was built between 400 BC and 300 AD. That means even before the Aztecs! Historians believe Teotihuacan used to be one of the most powerful cities in Mesoamerica.
When Aztecs discovered the abandoned city in 1400, they gave it the name Teotihuacan. You can translate it as “The Place where the Gods Were Created” or “The Place where Men become Gods”. The two main pyramids, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun are 43 and 75 meters tall! In normal times, it’s possible to climb them, unfortunately not when the Covid restrictions are enforced.
Tip: If you want to find out more about the history of Teotihuacan, you can hire a guide by the entrance. No need to come with a tour!
How to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City by bus
Getting from Mexico City to Teotihuacan by bus is cheap, fast, and pretty comfortable. There is even an official direct bus from the north station! Let’s take a look at how to do it.
Get to the Central de Autobuses del Norte
First, you need to get to the Central de Autobuses del Norte which is the Northern Bus Station in Mexico City. There is a subway station called Autobuses del Norte on yellow line number 5.
Buy your bus ticket from Mexico City to Teotihuacan
Once you get to the northern bus station, you need to go to module A, where you can buy your bus ticket to Teotihuacan. Then continue to gate 7 and wait for the bus to go (every ~15 minutes). The price of the ticket is 104 MX$ roundtrip and the ride is about an hour.
Tip: Make sure to buy the ticket for the bus going to the Pyramids, not just the town of San Juan Teotihuacan. It’s clearly marked as “Pyramides” though.
Entrance to Teotihuacan
You’ll get off the bus by the entrance nr. 2. We were able to go straight in, but it might happen that you need to wait in a line even for half an hour. The entrance is 80 MX$ and if you really, really want, you can also pay an extra 45 MX$ for the permission to take the pictures (no one does!).
You’ll enter the site straight across from the Pyramid of the Sun. Therefore, I recommend heading left to the Pyramid of the Moon first, then back to the Pyramid of the Sun, and finally continuing to the citadel along the Avenue of the Dead.
Tip: Check out this map of Teotihuacan.
Coming back from Teotihuacan to Mexico City
When you’re done exploring the site, you need to go back to entrance number 2 to catch the bus back to Mexico City. Supposedly, there used to be a sign saying bus, we didn’t find it though. So we just stopped the bus on the main street and head back to Mexico City with the return ticket we bought in the morning.
When to go to Teotihuacan to beat the crowds
If you want to beat the crowds, it’s best to go on the weekday and as soon as possible. The first bus to Teotihuacan from Mexico City goes at 6 AM. As you can see in the pictures, we haven’t done that.
When we got up, it was pretty rainy. We would postpone it for a nicer day, but since we didn’t have much time left in Mexico City, we decided to give it a try anyway. We left CDMX at 8 AM when the weather got slightly better. When we got there, it was already pretty crowded, obviously. Although we didn’t need to wait in line to get in, it could be much worse.
Okay, now you know everything you need to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico on your own. The whole trip was only 184 MX$ per person which is less than $10. Not bad for a day trip! If you want to support this blog, you can use some of the money you saved and buy me a coffee. It starts with €1. ?