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!
The most populous city in Mexico, and the country’s capital, Mexico City is infamous for being a dangerous place, especially for tourists. However, it has made significant changes in recent years, and is taking itself away from that reputation. The city is now a cultural haven. It is one of the oldest cities in the Americas and is consequently filled with colonial and Hispanic history.
This city draws people in from everywhere to experience its charm. It may feel a little chaotic and uncontrollable, but it does not take much to conquer Mexico City. The transport links are excellent and well organised, it is easy to find your way around, and there is so much to see and do that no visitor will be bored.
Because Mexico City is slowly re branding itself, hostels here are still at a low price per person per night, for good quality accommodation. For a traveller on a budget, a hostel in Mexico is a great idea, as not only will you meet people from all walks of life, you will also get a taste of local life thrown in. Mexico City is a hot spot for good food and culinary genius, and if you are lucky, then you will find a hostel that allows you to experience this.
Mexico City offers up many beautiful public spaces, great traditional food, and an exceedingly large amount of culture, found in its art and its architecture, such as in the Basilica de Guadalupe. Within its confusing streets and chaotic atmosphere, you will find special sights, such as pyramids Tenayuca, Santa Cecilia Acatitlan and Cuicuilco. You may also find yourself on one of its canals, or come across some of its impressive murals.
The capital is a super city, a destination where the hostels are cheap, but the Mexican culture is rich and flows through every street.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Mexico City hostels. Welcome.