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Mexico City

Teotihuacán, Mexico City

Practical Info about Mexico City

Time

Local time is GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the first Sunday in April and the second last Saturday in October).

Electricity

130 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin flat blade attachment plugs are standard.

Currency

Mexican currency is the New Peso (MXN), divided into 100 centavos. Credit cards are widely accepted, particularly Visa, MasterCard and American Express. ATMs are available in most cities and towns and are the most convenient way to get money, but for safety reasons should only be used during business hours and vigilance is advised. Although many businesses will accept foreign currency (particularly US Dollars) it is best to use pesos. Foreign currency can be exchanged at one of many casas de cambio (exchange houses), which have longer hours and offer a quicker service than the banks.

Communication

The international access code for Mexico is +52. Some US long-distance phone companies have access numbers which can be dialled in order to use your phone card - calls are usually cheaper than direct-dialled calls from a hotel room. If calling internationally from a phone booth use the official TelMex phone booths, as all others charge very high fees. GSM mobile networks cover most of the country, but international roaming costs can be exorbitantly high. Internet cafes are widely available, especially in tourist-orientated areas.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 066/911 (Police); 065/911 (Ambulance)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day (Año Nuevo) 1 Jan 1 Jan
Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) 3 Feb 2 Feb
Benito Juárezs birthday 17 Mar 16 Mar
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
Independence Day 16 Sep 16 Sep
Day of the Dead (El Día de Muertos) 2 Nov 2 Nov
Revolution Day 17 Nov 16 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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Mexico City has a subtropical highland climate, with warm summers and mild winters, and an annual average temperature of 64°F (18°C). Seasonal variations in temperature are small, but May is the warmest month of the year, and January the coldest, when night frosts are possible. The maximum temperatures of late spring and summer may reach up to 90°F (32°C), and the lowest winter temperatures reach 23°F (-5°C) in low-lying regions but these extremes are rare. Mexico City has a high average annual rainfall, most falling in summer, the wettest month being July, and the driest month February. Even during the summer rainy season, travellers are likely to get plenty of sunshine between showers. Mexico City suffers from terrible air pollution and the city is often smoggy, with poor visibility. This air pollution is at its worst during winter. The city is a year-round travel destination, but the best time to visit Mexico City is in the spring months of April and May.

Getting around the city

The efficient and very cheap public transport system makes Mexico City surprisingly easy to get around; it consists of the metro, buses, trolley buses and minibuses (peseros). The metro is the best method of travel, being fast and easy to use (6am to midnight), but bus routes are also very extensive and the buses are generally reliable, although more complicated for non-Spanish speakers to use. Peseros are smaller, more comfortable, and faster than buses, but slightly more expensive, and can be stopped anywhere along their set routes. All forms of public transport are heavily crowded during peak hours and are best avoided at this time. Visitors should also be aware that crime levels are high on all buses and the metro, particularly when crowded; visitors should avoid travel on public transport at night and should take care of their possessions. Visitors should not hail taxis on the streets. Most hotels have official taxi drivers assigned to them or hotels and restaurants can call radio taxis, both of which are more expensive but safer and more reliable. Driving in the city is a nightmare and cars should be left in secure parking; renting is expensive and lone drivers are prone to criminal assaults at night.

Mexico City International Airport

www.aicm.com.mx/en/

Getting to the city

The Mexico City Metro subway system links the airport to downtown Mexico City. There are also suburban bus services including Autobuses del Oriente (ADO), Autobuses Estrella Roja, and Autobuses Pullman de Morelos. Some hotels offer a pick-up service; however, it is worth checking their charge as it is generally cheaper to take a taxi.

Car rental

Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz and National.

Airport taxi's

Taxi fares are regulated and passengers can pay in advance at the taxi counter in Arrivals. Authorized taxis are white and mustard yellow with an aeroplane logo. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the city centre and costs around US$20.

Transfer between terminals

Passengers can ride the free Air Train between the two terminals. The general public have to take the public transportation bus between the terminals at a nominal charge.

Facilities

Facilities at the airport include ATMs, banks, currency exchange, business facilities, a post office, restaurants, shops, hotel reservations and tourist information.

Parking

Parking at Mexico City International Airport is charged at MXN 44 per hour, up to a limit of MXN 288 per day.

Internet

Wifi is available in the international terminal areas for MXN 0.50 per minute.