Mexico City basic orientation, main streets and avenues

Mexico City is one of the largest cities of the world and it has a with road, avenues and speedways infrastructure, that make it easy to circulate.

For a basic orientation in the city there are some main avenues, streets and ejes that you should know. Even if you plan to use the public transportation.

Some of the streets you should have in mind are:

Avenida de los Insurgentes, known simply as Insurgentes, is the longest in Mexico City and said to be the second longest in the world, behind Avenida Rivadavia in Buenos Aires, with a length of 28.8 km (17.9 mi) on a north-south in both ways axis across the city.

Facilitating the life of many the Matrobus runs all the way from the beginning to end. check in my website the article on how to use the Metro and Metrobus.

Insurgentes crosses other main avenues that are called ejes viales (road axes, eje=axes), this are a wide arterial roads created on the 70s to facilitate the automobile flow in the city with coordinated traffic signals, most of them have 4 lanes except where the Metrobus circulates. They are mostly one-way with one lane going in the opposite direction for the exclusive use of public transportation.

In this case, one of the main ejes is Eje Central also known as Lazaro Cardenaz Av., this one circulates from South to north starting in coyoacan neighborhood. Crosses other main speed ways like Circuito Interior (also known as Churubusco) and Viaducto. And he passes next to downtown and Garibaldi plaza, crosses Reforma Av. and goes even further north.

The ejes are numbered with cardinal directions, for example going north from the center: Eje 1 Norte, Eje 1 Sur, then Eje 2 Norte, Eje 2 Sur and so forth. In addition to the Eje number and directional, the streets retain their individual names, with one eje thus consisting of multiple sequential individually named streets.

From each side of Eje Central you’ll see other ejes going east (Ote = Oriente) and west (Pte -Poniente).

There are 2 circular fast roads and a crossway:

1.-The Anillo Periferico (peripheral ring) is the name given to the outer beltway of Mexico City. The beltway gained major media attention when the project to turn a southern section of the ring into a two-story highway.

The second level was finished in 2006 in the Federal District and in the State of Mexico in 2009, to use a bisg part of the second story (also known as Autopista Urbana) you need to pay a toll with an automated digital key before you use it. In the south of Anillo Periferico you’ll find Xochimilco, norther you’ll find Perisur Mall and one of the main concert halls of the city: Centro Cultural Ollin Yoliztli. If you continuo north eventualy will find Cahpultepec Park and the kids museum Papalote, then Polanco, where Mazarik Av. is a luxury shopping area adn finaly you’ll get to the Hipodromo de las Americas.

2.- Viaducto Miguel Alemán is a crosscutting freeway, that runs east-west across the middle of teh city. In the center of the road is a river encased in cement to control flooding. The Viaducto Miguel Alemán is nomenclature-wise divided in three portions:

Viaducto Río de la Piedad, from its east-side end at Calzada Ignacio Zaragoza in the Pantitlan zone to the Calzada de Tlalpan junction. Carries the Piedad river.

Viaducto Miguel Alemán, from the Calzada de Tlalpan junction to its west end at the junction with the Anillo Periférico beltway. Carries the Tacubaya and Piedad rivers. In the first stage of operation, the freeway comprised only the portion between Parque Lira and Cuauhtemoc avenues.

Viaducto Río Becerra a western branch that connects the encased portion of the Becerra river from the Patriotismo and San Antonio avenues junction to its joint with the Tacubaya river to compose the Piedad river.

If you live in Condesa and Roma neighborhood most likely you’ll use viaducto to get to the Airport. before arriving to the airport Viaducto will conecto to Circuito Interior (Rio Churubusco).

3.- The Circuito Interior Bicentenario (“Bicentennial Inner Loop”) or more commonly, Circuito Interior or even more simply Circuito, is a 42-km-long urban freeway (in parts) and at-grade boulevard (in others), forming a loop around the central neighborhoods of Mexico City.

Tlalpan is another mayor avenue that you should know. Tlalpan which is one of the main 2 way Avenues that crosses the city from south to north both ways. It starts in the southern neightborhood of Tlalpan another little old town inside the city, a little like Coyoacan. less popular but also with very beautiful architecture and ends in the north right in downtown. Also the line 2/blue of the metro system also runs all along this street.

Paseo de la Reforma is a wide avenue that runs diagonally across the heart of Mexico City. This grand avenue links the city center with his imperial residence, Chapultepec Castle, in tis core.

If you continue west you’ll get to Polanco and the area of Museums, then Reforma Lomas where you’ll see huge mansions and ends up in Santa Fe and the Mexoco- Toluca highway and freeway. To the east it passes some Ejes and Insurgentes Av. passes many of Mexico’s tallest buildings such as the Torre Mayor and others in the Zona Rosa. More modern extensions continue the avenue at an angle to the old Paseo. To the northeast it continues toward Tlatelolco, whereyou can find the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. There it divides into Calzada de Guadalupe and Calzada de los Misterios that continue toward La Villa.

So this is a general idea of how to move arround the city and find your way through the main streets and avenues.