After 3 trips and more than 12 months today travelling around this glorious country, I was finally convinced to go to Mexico City. To my great surprise, I stayed for one whole month. And as a self-proclaimed city-hater, I fell deeply in love with this magical place.

The reputation of Cuidad de México (or CDMX) as a ‘safe’ place isn’t a good one. Of course, like all major cities, it’s no stranger to crime. 

Combine that with the occasional natural disaster and a huge population, you’re probably asking “Is Mexico city safe?” or “How dangerous is Mexico City?” You may also be wondering, is it even worth visiting? 

Mexico City is an amazing assault on the senses. Bustling, beautiful, and bold, the Mexican capital has astonishing experiences waiting for travellers. From Aztec ruins and opulent palaces to a whole galaxy of tasty street food to try!

I want to assure you, staying safe in Mexico City is absolutely possible. Thousands of people are doing it right now. 

But some safety tips and street smarts will go a long way. From solo women travellers to the up-to-date travel advisory, here’s your one-stop shop guide on how safe is Mexico City.

Laura smiling in front of bars on a door in Frida Kahlo's house, Casa Azul in Mexico City
Not Mexican prison.
Photo: @Lauramcblonde

The Broke Backpacker is supported by you. Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more.

There is no such thing as a perfect safety guide, as things change quickly. The question of “Is Mexico City Safe?” will ALWAYS have a different answer depending on who you ask.

The information in this safety guide was accurate at the time of writing. If you use our guide, do your own research, and practice common sense, you will probably have a wonderful and safe trip to Mexico City.

If you see any outdated information, we would really appreciate it if you could reach out in the comments below. Otherwise, stay safe friends!

Updated April 2024

Unlock Our GREATEST Travel Secrets!

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best travel tips delivered right to your inbox.










    Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Right Now?

    The short answer is yes, it is safe to visit Mexico City. However, I must also make it clear that you MUST be careful at all times.

    There are certain things you need to be aware of while visiting Mexico City to ensure you have a safe trip. Mexico City recorded 4,204,414 international visitors by 2022 according to Gobierno de Mexico Tourism with majorly trouble-free visit.

    The city’s historic centre, or Centro Historico, is an amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with a cathedral, palace, and the largest square in the Americas – the Zocalo. But just like Mexico’s safety, the city isn’t considered super safe. 

    At least, I can’t send you there outright without mentioning some reasons for concern. The current Mexico travel advisory from the USA remains ‘exercise increased caution‘. This big, bustling city may be the economic centre of Mexico but… there are higher levels of petty crime and violent crime in Mexico City compared to other major cities.

    Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City on a sunny day
    We need to talk about some things Mexico City.
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    Natural disasters also affect the city’s safety. Earthquakes are common and unpredictable in Mexico City.

    But I want to put your mind at ease: despite its bad reputation, Mexico City sees millions of tourists every year. The vast majority of these visiting Mexico City do so completely safely. 

    Gang-related violent crimes are rarely targeted at tourists and visitors. Plus, that happens in certain neighbourhoods of Mexico City that you probably won’t be visiting.

    Mexico City also has one of the highest police officer-per-resident ratios in the world. So security is taken very seriously in touristy areas where violent crime is extremely rare.

    Though, like most major cities, these areas are where petty theft will occur. Thieves are usually active around busy tourist areas.

    It’s safe to visit Mexico City, but show caution as you go. So how do you do that? Let me take you into a little more detail.

    Check out our detailed where to stay guide for Mexico City so you can start your trip right!

    Safest Places in Mexico City

    When travelling to a monster city like Mexico City, it is invaluable to know a little bit about the safe areas to stay in before you arrive. Beyond being much safer, certain areas are just much more fun and well-connected. 

    Generally (and this rule applies to many areas of Mexico as a country), more tourists mean it’s safer. Well-lit tourist areas, with lots of police officers, mean lower crime rates. 

    The following areas are also pretty safe to walk around at night too. Though if you are moving between areas, please don’t walk.

    One of Mexico City's many sites of ruins.
    Let’s start in the middle.
    • Centro Historico – the city’s historic centre is home to several historic buildings and a veritable shit ton of museums, this is where the city was first founded. While wandering the pedestrian-only streets, violent crime is extremely rare – though pickpockets and petty crime are still rife. 
    • Coyoacán – the more chill and open barrio of Mexico City and once home to Frida Kahlo, this neighbourhood is very visitor-friendly. 
    • Roma Norte – the centre of art and quirky culture in Mexico City, Roma Norte has a unique feel. There are a plethora of bars, restaurants, and cafes to wander between but it is full of bloody hipsters because it’s the coolest place to stay in Mexico City.
    • La Condensa – with wide avenues and well-maintained European-style buildings, this neighbourhood attracts many young professionals and travellers. It also has a thriving nightlife scene.

    Dangerous Places in Mexico City

    Now to the “not-so-nice” areas that you should avoid while in Mexico City. Some people may refer to them as the “dangerous areas of Mexico City” and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. There’s very little reason for you to go to these non-tourist areas anyway, but it’s always good to have a rough idea.

    I recommend the following as places to avoid in Mexico City:

    • ANYWHERE at night: I can’t stress this enough. As mentioned above, there are some select places that are okay to be in at night. But if you’re moving between places, absolutely exercise increased caution with public transportation. Or, just get an Uber. Ask your accommodation about the local area, like if it’s okay to walk back from the closest Metro station for example. 
    • Iztapalapa: Especially if you’re a female traveller (but I’m absolutely discouraging any other sexes too), avoid this area completely. Most rapes and assaults have been recorded in this neighbourhood.
    • Tepito: This area is right outside the historical centre and is famous for petty theft and pickpocketing. Known to be the black market of Mexico City, you can do some budget shopping in Tepito, but leave all your valuables at home.
    • Others: Tlalpan, La Lagunilla, Mercado Merced, Doctores, Ciudad Neza, Xochimilco, and Tlatelolco – do not visit these areas alone or without a local guide!

    Keeping your money safe in Mexico City

     One of the most common things to happen to you whilst travelling is losing your money. And let’s face it: the most annoying way for this to actually occur is when it’s stolen from you.

    Petty crime is pretty much a problem all over the world.The best solution? Get a money belt.

    Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
    Active Roots Security Belt

    Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

    It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

    Hide Yo’ Money!

    20 Top Safety Tips for Travelling to Mexico City

    Like many places, travelling safely requires more than pure luck. It’s important to clue yourself up with travel safety tips for Mexico City. 

    This is not an extensive list: you should remain vigilant and have your wits about you at all times. But here are some pointers that will help you out. 

    Mexico City Metro
    Public transport: your frenemy.
    Photo: Sasha Savinov
    1. Blend in – try and look like someone who knows what they’re doing, even if you don’t.
    2. Get an eSIM card for Mexico – this helps with lots of things.
    3. Don’t look rich – expensive jewelry, iPhone 14 Plus in hand, nice camera… all things that thieves want.
    4. Watch out on public transport – Pickpocketing is the most common crime in Mexico City. Use a money belt to keep some cash hidden.
    5. Ask about areas to avoid – there are dangerous areas in Mexico City.
    6. At night, DON’T walk – especially when intoxicated and/or alone.
    7. Further to that, ONLY take official taxis – Ubers are the safest in Mexico City. 
    8. Remember the emergency number – 911. 
    9. Take a good medical kit with you – you never know when you might need it!
    10. Be careful near roads – Look both ways, twice. Drivers can be reckless. 
    11. Learn Spanish – you don’t have to be fluent but even a bit will go a long way. 
    12. Only use ATMs in the daytime – inside shops or banks.
    13. Always keep an emergency stash of cash – Never keep all your cards/ currency in one place. And hide it all from thieves with a hidden money belt.
    14. Steer clear of people trying to scam you – distraction techniques, luggage helpers, petitions etc. (More info coming on scams in Mexico City.)
    15. Don’t resist if someone tries to rob you – having no phone or watch is better than no life.
    16. Get an Earthquake App – this will alert you.
    17. Carry ID – even a copy. Police can ask for this and if you don’t have it, you can be detained.
    18. Stay away from drugs – the source of many problems in Mexico. It’s better for everyone to save it for another time. 
    19. Get good travel insurance!
    20. Don’t be consumed by dangers – but be aware. 
    How to find the perfect retreat to recharge on your trip….
    promo image for BookRetreats platform

    Ever thought about doing a retreat whilst travelling?

    We recommend BookRetreats as your one stop-shop to finding specialised retreats focussed on everything from Yoga to fitness, plant medicine and how to be a better writer. Unplug, de-stress, and recharge.

    Find a Retreat

    How Safe is Mexico City to Travel Alone?

    An American tourist jumping in front of some cool architecture.
    You don’t have to be so extra but…

    Well, you can travel to Mexico City solo. Though, Mexico City is not exactly the safest place in the world. 

    And by yourself, you’re going be a bit more of a target. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go alone. Follow these tips and you’re setting yourself up for a great time.

    • Make friends. There’s safety in numbers. 
    • Stay in busy, well-lit areas. When there are people around, a mix of locals and tourists, it’s always a good sign. 
    • Choose a top-rated hostel. Stay in popular tourist neighbourhoods. You won’t be short of choice in Mexico City. 
    • Let people know your travel plans. Ideally, friends and family back home. At the very least, someone you can trust nearby. 
    • Stay vigilant of your surroundings. This basically goes double for a solo traveller in Mexico. Petty crime is common in the tourist areas and metro of Mexico City.
    • Don’t get too drunk. Don’t lose yourself. 
    • Plan your way home before you leave. Especially if you’re coming back after nightfall. 
    • Plan where you’re going beforehand. Don’t go walking into neighborhoods you know nothing about. Plan an itinerary and stick to it.
    • Keep money in different places and have an emergency credit card. Always have a backup.
    • Chat with the staff at your hostel or guesthouse. Ask them for their tips and recommendations (and practice your Spanish).
    • Know your limits. Rest as you need to, sleep well, and know when to call it a day.

    Generally, just be sensible. Exploring Mexico City is a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but at the end of the day, your safety is always paramount. So don’t push yourself too much!

    Is Mexico City Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

    Solo female traveler roaming Mexico City's streets.
    Solo female travel is some badass shit.

    Yes, Mexico City is safe for solo female travellers. I don’t want to scare you, because you are a strong, independent woman. Many solo female travellers go to Mexico City all the time, and have a great experience! 

    But it’s my duty to make you *aware* of some safety concerns that solo women face in this enormous powerhouse of a city. I have debated this situation long and hard and – depending on who you ask – you will have a completely different answer. 

    Unfortunately, not all solo female travellers in Mexico City are or feel safe at all times. But there are many things you can do to maximize your safety!

    • Trust your spidey senses! – if your gut says something is wrong then it probably is. 
    • Check out good hostels for women – read reviews, make friends, and share experiences and tips. Use female-only dorms if you prefer.
    • Make use of female-only transport – not essential but it may make you feel safer. Taxis, buses, trains, and metros all have female-only areas.
    • Dress accordingly – Mexico is still a relatively conservative country. I love breaking boundaries but this is not the time or place. Observe what other women are wearing and follow suit.
    • Again, DO NOT WALK HOME ALONE AT NIGHT – there’s way more to do in daylight hours anyway.
    • Don’t leave your food or drink unattended – spiking occurs.  
    • Don’t open the door for anyone – the hotel or hostel will let in other guests. It’s not your job. 
    • Be aware of dangers, but don’t get consumed by them. Try to stay rational.
    • If someone bothers you, LET EVERYONE KNOW! Should it loud and make a fuss.
    • You don’t have to be polite – or answer questions, or tell the truth. Saying “no” is always okay too!

    Where to Start Your Travels in Mexico City

    Safest Area to stay
    Historico Centro
    Safest Area to stay

    Centro Historico

    With lots of historical landmarks, great shop and beautiful architecture, Centro Historico is an amazing neighborhood to visit.

    Is Mexico City Safe for Families?

    Yes! Mexico City is safe to travel for families. It’s actually pretty kid-friendly too, considering it’s one of the world’s major cities.

    There are loads of museums and parks, filled with families. Basically, there’s a ton of stuff to get involved with – starting with street vendors selling tasty churros, of course.

    Though, walking around with strollers isn’t very easy at all. The city is often crowded and surfaces are uneven. And don’t expect to find many baby-changing facilities – except in chain restaurants and museums.

    The sun is very strong here though too. Being at a high altitude, even when it doesn’t feel too hot, the UVs are still beating down hard.

    Following the other safety tips above, Mexico City is a safe place for families to visit.

    A parent with his kids in Mexico City.
    Parents are smart so you’ll be fine.

    Getting Around Mexico City Safely

    So first, no standard driver in Mexico City has done any kind of formal driving instructions or test. So now imagine the chaos and danger that can cause. Always exercise increased caution around the roads – because they really aren’t paying attention to red lights, one-way streets, pedestrians… you get the picture. 

    For that reason, I absolutely DO NOT recommend driving in Mexico City. That’s the end of that. 

    A mad man driving a rocket car.
    Hold on, we’re going driving.

    Okay, so how do you get around Mexico City safely?

    Well, your best option is the Mexico City Metro. The metro carries 5 million passengers a day with 12 lines and 195 stations. 

    It’s the second biggest in North America, after NYC. It’s cheap, it works well enough, and it’s (usually) the fastest way to get about. You get a Metro card from any station for 15 pesos (about $0.80 USD) and each ride costs 5 pesos (about $0.30 USD). 

    Though be aware: pickpockets are VERY active. Harassment also occurs, ranging from people just asking for money to more serious offenses (which are more uncommon).

    Like most places in the world, taxi drivers are a bit shit. Be aware of taxi scams (more info coming up) which again range in the seriousness of offenses. They generally just love to hike up the prices. 

    ONLY use official taxis. Ask at your accommodation where your nearest Sitio is. 

    DON’T hail taxis on the streets. Better yet, opt for Uber or Didi

    Uber is safe in Mexico City and actually a much better option. It’s cheaper, you have all the details of the driver recorded, and you can track your journey. 

    The buses work well if you have some patience. All kinds of buses run across the city.

    Generally, public transport in Mexico City is safe but very busy.

    Scams in Mexico City

    In the big city, you should be prepared for scams. Knowing about these really changes your experience of safety in Mexico City. The scale varies from common scams that will just be a minor inconvenience to larger-scale scams. 

    Zocalo - a example of Mexico CIty's great architecture.
    Photogenic sights like these are common in Mexico City – but be careful with your camera out!

    Here are some things to look out for: 

    • Taxi scams – ranging from overcharging tourists to express kidnapping. Taxis have also been known to take people hostage and force them to take money from ATMs. This is why I stress: only use official taxis or a trusty taxi app like Uber.
    • Fake ATMs – if you want to avoid having your card and/or pin number stolen, only use official banks. 
    • Sauce scam – a mysterious liquid lands on you and a *friendly* stranger comes over to assist… and take your phone and wallet. 

    If anyone seems overly friendly or asks too many personal questions, I would regard this as suspicious. Remember, you owe people nothing. 

    How safe Mexico City is sometimes just comes down to luck. Always prioritize your safety and don’t feel bad to dismiss people at any time.

    paper mache colourful Mexican diablos hanging in a museum
    El Diablo didn’t do me dirty.
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    Crime in Mexico City

    Like almost all major cities, unfortunately, crime happens in Mexico City. It varies a lot, but tourists are absolutely susceptible to (uncommon) violent and non-violent crimes. 

    By following usual safety protocols, and exercising increased caution – as I recommend for anyone travelling anywhere – it’s very unlikely these crimes will affect you. This is only to make you aware of what could happen. 

    The most common crime in Mexico occurs in the form of petty crime, such as pickpocketing – which happens mostly on public transportation and the Mexico City Metro. This is easily avoided with basic safety precautions and common sense.

    Violent crimes do happen but they aren’t common. Kidnapping is rare, but not impossible. 

    This is more avoidable by not looking rich. The richer you look, the higher someone would expect a ransom. Men are not exempt from this – so don’t think that this comes down to gender either.

    What to Pack For Your Mexico City Trip

    Everyone’s packing list is going to look a little different, but here are a few things I would never want to travel to Mexico City without…

    nomatic_laundry_bag

    Hanging Laundry Bag

    Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

    Gifts for backpackers

    Head Torch

    A decent head torch could save your life. If you want to explore caves, unlit temples, or simply find your way to the bathroom during a blackout, a headtorch is a must.

    Yesim eSIM

    SIM card

    Yesim stands as a premier eSIM service provider, catering specifically to the mobile internet needs of travellers.

    GEAR-Monoply-Game

    Monopoly Deal

    Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

    Pacsafe belt

    Money Belt

    This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off.

    Getting Insured BEFORE Visiting Mexico City

    To maximize your safety in Mexico City, getting good travel insurance for Mexico is essential. If things go wrong, and they can, this is your guardian angel.

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

    Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

    FAQs on Mexico City’s Safety

    For a travel destination like Mexico City, there are lots of different things you have to consider when it comes to safety. We’ve listed the most common question, answers, and facts to make your trip as easy as possible.

    So, How Safe is Mexico City?

    This article is not designed to scare you away from this wonderful city. With the correct precautions and attitude, Mexico City is safe for foreigners, American tourists, solo women, families, and anyone else who wants to visit!

    Despite all of these crazy things to think about, I would absolutely encourage you to go. Because that’s the point of Mexico City. It’s chaotic. It’s noisy and boisterous and loud and one of the most exciting cities on the planet. 

    When you’re using your common sense and travel smarts, going to Mexico City is just as safe as anywhere else. If you’re backpacking Mexico already, don’t skip over this magical city. You’ll find I would recommend these safety tips for almost anywhere on the planet: exercise increased caution, stay in your lane, trust your gut, and prioritize your safety at all times. Besides that, you’re in for one hell of an experience. 

    Once you’ve stepped foot across the threshold, you understand why people are attracted to visit Mexico City. You’re dropped into the middle of a mighty city with ancient history, deep culture, and insane food. 

    Don’t forget your 911 emergency number. Oh, and get that travel insurance before you go. Then, of course, keep an extra eye on your stuff on the metro.

    But once you’ve mastered the Mexico City Metro, you can pretty much call yourself an experienced traveller. Plus, if you can take on Mexico City, you can take on anywhere. The world is your oyster! 

    Museum display of Frida Khalo's clothes on manequins at the Blue House Casa Azul in Mexico City
    Let’s talk to Frida.
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    Looking for more info on traveling to Mexico City?

    Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels!