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I'm Canadian, and always wanted to visit Mexico City ever since I learned in grade school that there are nearly as many people living there in one city than in my enormous country. I'd read about the overpopulation, the smells, the smog and the shady cabbies, but I'm pleased to report that I was so impressed with this fantastic cosmopolitan city. However, lock your goods up in a safe in your hotel! My boyfriend had his iPod stolen right out of his bag and there was nothing he could do about it. Don't break the law. There's a plaza full of mariachi musicians near the Centro (go!) where you can drink tequila and pay a nominal fee for your own personal band, but the second we stepped off Plaza territory the corrupt cops were waiting for us--we ended up paying them $500 pesos which went straight into their own pockets. I wasn't letting my boyfriend go to Mexican jail. Apart from these stories, though, I think the bad reputation Mexico City has developed is a bunch of business storytelling from the U.S. Mexico City has more museums than any other city on earth, absolutely INCREDIBLE street food--best I've ever had--plenty to see and do, and much if it is free of charge. The metro costs only about $0.30 Cdn. to ride as opposed to the $3 ripoff I pay home in Toronto. The service was better in Mexico City!
Cass everything you say is true but your story about what happened after you stepped off plaza territory (i think its called Garabaldi) does not make me want to "go!" I can beat up most men but how am i supposed to protect myself against a bunch of corrupt cops?
FYI...Plaza Garibaldi is one of the most dangerous spots in Mexico City. Everyone should avoid it...and as for "street food," it also is to be avoided. It's salmonella city!
Don't mean to be so negative. I lived in Mexico City for nearly 20 years and I happen to love it and write about it all the time. Just need to be careful and smart!
It's a wonderful city - if you know how to make it work.