Mexico City Basic Information
Did you know? Mexico City is built on Lake Texcoco and is constantly sinking - sinking more than 9 metres in some areas over the last 100 years. However, that doesn’t stop more than 20 million people calling Mexico City home. For more need-to-know info about Mexico’s capital, read on.
Australian citizens looking to holiday in Mexico do not require a tourist visa. However, if you are travelling to the country via the US you are required to meet US entry and transit requirements. To enter Mexico from the US border, you will need to obtain a tourist card and have your passport stamped. When travelling internationally, always ensure you have at least 6 months’ validity on your passport. Please be aware these requirements and travel conditions can change at any time. For up-to-the-minute visa info, refer to the Mexico embassy in the ACT.
The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso, but US Dollars are also widely accepted. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Mexican Peso and US Dollar changes constantly, so keep an eye on the exchange rate and purchase your cash when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
Mexico City might well be the epicentre of the Mexican food world – there is something for everyone from the most timid to the bravest of taste buds. Starting with pulque – the milky traditional Aztec drink is making a serious comeback. You can have the fermented sappy brew blended with everything from tropical fruit to celery or prickly pear. Hipsters flock to Pulquería La Nuclear for a piña colada pulque in an oversized ceramic jug shared over a round of karaoke. For a serious sandwich, pambazo is first dipped in guajillo chilli salsa, fried, then stuffed with potato, chorizo, crème fraiche, salsa, cheese and lettuce. After a snack? It’s all about the chicharrones - these pork rinds can be a metre in width and just as long, and some consider it a challenge to buy as big a piece as they can manage to consume. When you’re in Frida Kahlo’s neighbourhood, head to Coyoacán market for tostadas de Coyoacán - deep-fried corn tortillas with mouth-watering toppings. If you’re looking for a late-night feed, El Borrego Viudo in Tacubaya is open 24 hours and specialises in tacos served with tepache – an old- fashioned, lightly fermented but non-alcoholic pineapple juice drink that’s good for what ails you.
Millions of revellers who come out to play in Mexico City after sundown can't be wrong. From the Zócalo to the Zona Rosa and beyond, the city has a world-class nightlife scene. On any given night, you can find art gallery openings, crowded dancefloors, and independent movie screenings. Come nightfall, the traffic thins, the air feel lighter and the people of Mexico City like to take it slow – dinner doesn’t begin until after 8pm and nightlife lasts until the morning. Zona Rosa is the nightlife hub of the city and you’ll find plenty of bars to dance the night away here. Centro Histórico is filled with edgy bars and clubs, while the stylish Polanco neighbourhood is known for its see-and-be-seen dining scene, and many of the city’s trendiest nightspots have opened in the Condesa and Roma areas. When in Mexico City, two things are pretty much mandatory: dancing the salsa and drinking tequila. Rumba Mama in Roma is the place to go for salsa dancing with a sultry crowd, while El Centenario bar in Condesa hosts live bands, serves cheap beer and is always packed to the rafters. To experience traditional Mexican music, visit Plaza Garibaldi between 8pm and midnight and bag a table at long-standing mariachi institution Salon Tenampa restaurant to be serenaded by mariachi bands smartly dressed in black silver-studded suits and large-brimmed hats.