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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 vulnerable to criminal assaults at night.
Local time is GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the first Sunday in April and the second last Sunday in October).
110-120 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin flat blade attachment plugs are standard.
Mexican currency is the Mexican 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.
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. Hotels, cafes and restaurants offering free wifi are widely available. As international roaming costs can be high, purchasing a local prepaid SIM card can be a cheaper option.
911 (General Emergency Hotline)
The Mexico City Metro subway system links the airport to downtown Mexico City. There are also suburban bus services including Autobuses del Oriente (ADO) and Autobuses Estrella Roja. Some hotels offer a pick-up service; it is worth checking their charge as it is generally cheaper to take a taxi.
Car rental companies include Avis, Budget and National.
Taxis are regulated and passengers can pay in advance at the taxi counter in Arrivals. Authorized taxis are mustard yellow with an aeroplane logo. It takes about 45 minutes to the city centre.
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 at the airport include ATMs, banks, bureaux de change, business facilities, a post office, restaurants, shops, hotel reservations and tourist information.
Parking at Mexico City International Airport is charged at MXN 44 per hour, up to a limit of MXN 288 per day.
Wifi is available in the international terminal.