The great thing about Mexico City is that you can get your own hotel room for about 200 pesos (about $20 USD), which is only a little more than the hostels, if you want more privacy. Though I believe most of them are in the Centro Histórico, which tends to die down at night (though that's great if you want to sleep in peace and quiet), as opposed to a place like the Zona Rosa (where I would have preferred to stay, since it's close to the gay clubs) where the hotels are more expensive. Of course, meeting people is much easier in the hostels.
If you get tired of all the craziness of the city, and your feet are tired of walking through all the street markets (which are fun) and museums and stuff, I can also recommend taking half a day at Xochimilco, south of the city (or is it north? -- I just know it's outside the city) and renting one of those crazily painted boats. Don't forget a bottle of Tequila, some limes and salt, so that you can take shots while floating lazily down the river. A quite enjoyable experience.
And be sure to eat tacos at the "Los Calmantes" stand at Mercado Hidalgo. They were the best I've had! Oh, and eat a nice (and cheap) dinner at the beautiful Sanbourn's in the Casa de los Azulejos. The other Sanbourn's are only ok, but the service and ambience at Azulejos was outstanding.
If you are interested in books, your best bets are the three big bookstores near the Coyoacán metro (El Sótano, Gandhi, and FCE) and all the used bookstores on Donceles street in the Centro Histórico (the books are packed in those stores so tight that you won't be able to see what they all are :-)).
Have fun in Mexico!
Mexico City, called Ciudad de Mexico in Spanish and popularly referred to as DF, is the capital of the culturally intense country of Mexico. It is one of the world's largest and most populated cities, offering a variety of hostels available in all its districts. No matter where you choose to stay, the city is very well connected by an extensive and inexpensive metro network, as well as buses and trams.
The most popular area for budget backpackers is the Centro Historico (historic center) where the more affordable Mexico City hostels tend to be located. If you wish to be in a more hip (and therefore considerably more expensive) location, then Zona Rosa might be the place to be, as this is where the more modern touristic attractions concentrate -- restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Zona Rosa is also known as the gay district of Mexico City and specialized bard and clubs can be found here.
Mexico City has plenty of things to keep you entertained and surprised everyday, from its history, to its beloved spicy cuisine, interesting architecture (the Zocalo is Latin America's largest town square!), to all the culture that is reflected in everyday aspects of the Mexican life. No wonder Mexico City has the world's largest concentration of museums!
Spend a sunny afternoon walking by Chapultepec park, dig yourself into the human marvels at Museo de Antropologia, head to Garibaldi Square in the evenings to enjoy live Mariachi performances, enjoy a rough night at the Lucha Libre fights, and don't forget to try all the Mexican cuisine specialties!
Hi, I'm zararock,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Mexico City hostels. Welcome.