“Need-to-knows” when arriving in Mexico City

chloe_tips_taxi

IMMIGRATION

  1. On the plane you are given forms to fill out so make sure to bring a pen.
  2. The paperwork is in both Spanish and English and includes your customs declaration and a Multiple Migratory Form, or FMM in Spanish.
  3. You are required to present your FMM again when leaving the country so keep it somewhere safe during your stay.  Replacing this form involves a fee and a lot of form-filling and you will be fined on leaving if you fail to produce it!
  4. Both forms must be properly completed before reaching immigration officials so I suggest doing that on the plane before landing.
  5. Make sure you have the address of your accommodation in Mexico at hand as this must be included.
  6. Bring a book and some water for the queue as I’m told it can get tediously long, and perhaps some entertainment if you are travelling with kids.
  7. Mexico charges a fee for the authorization of Non-Immigrant migratory status. At the time of writing, this fee is about US20.00, which is updated annuallyPlease check the following website before travelling: http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/reinounido/index.php/visas/79

CUSTOMS

  1. Each person takes their luck at pressing a button passing through customs.  If the light flashes green, you are free to begin your adventure. If it flashes red, you are asked to open your luggage. Pack light to avoid holding up the queue.
  2. For further information about what you can and can’t bring into the country, please visit: http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/reinounido/index.php/visas/79

MONEY EXCHANGE

  1. The airport is full of money exchange booths offering very competitive rates so you can change your money right there in arrivals, leaving you free to get on with your trip.
  2. There are plenty of ATMs in the airport and once in the city, you will find ATM’s at every bank, in or near many supermarkets, in shopping malls, grocery stores etc.

AIRPORT CONNECTIONS

  1. Only use the metro to travel between the airport and the city if you can easily lift your luggage up and down a lot of stairs!

AIRPORT TAXIS

  1. Only use authorized taxis at the airport.  The taxi vendors in the booths just outside the airport are authorised by the Communications and Transport Authorities. Prices are displayed on the booth walls and rates are approved by the authorities.
  2. Although the authorised taxis may be more expensive, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
  3. Taxi drivers are not usually tipped in Mexico unless they help you with your luggage, in which case tip them around $2 USD per suitcase.
  4. At airport taxi ranks, you will see that people offer to put your suitcase into the taxi for you.  Only accept if you are happy to tip.
  5. Pack light if you are on a budget!  If your luggage doesn’t fit into a sedan, you may be charged more for a larger vehicle to take you from the airport.
  6. For your own safety, do not be tempted by anyone hanging around the terminal offering cheaper rates.  They may be unlicensed!

USING TAXIS TO GET AROUND THE CITY

  1. It is recommended that tourists call or walk to their nearest sitio when moving around the city.  Stay safe and do not hail taxis on the street. (Sitio is a taxi stand, you’ll find them in any neighbourhood)
  2. In hotels, bars and restaurants, it is perfectly acceptable to ask them to order a secure taxi for you when leaving.
  3. Taxi drivers rarely have change in Mexico so always carry change with you to save any hassle.
  4. If you need receipts for your expenses, only use authorized taxis as street taxis don’t usually carry them.
  5. For a list of recommended taxi apps, please click here. They display the driver’s photo, license plate, location and other details, so you can be sure that the taxi coming to collect you is authentic and safe.
  6. Secure taxis may be slightly more expensive than street taxis, but again, better safe than sorry!

HELPFUL TAXI APPS 

http://www.easytaxi.com/mx/ (Free at time of writing. App available in English)

http://yaxi.mx/ (Free at time of writing. App available in English)

https://www.uber.com/cities/mexico-city (Free at time of writing. App available in English)