It’s hip. It’s creative. It’s beautiful. The weather is “year-round spring.” The design is off the hook. The food is incredible. The art and music are world-class.
And the rent is cheaper than anywhere in the United States.
Described as the “tropical New York,” Mexico City, aka “La D.F.” (“Lah Day-Eff-Ay”) is a modern-day utopia for anyone looking for a thriving metropolis without the costs. It’s not all perfect, however—the traffic is abysmal, there’s a choking amount of pollution, and the vibrant nightlife can be unending (to a fault).
But Mexico City aka CDMX is, without doubt, a world-class city for half the price. And it’s no surprise this metropolis attracts digital nomads from across the globe.
|Similar destinations: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Buenos Aires|
WHERE TO STAY?
The best “Colonias” (neighborhoods) in Mexico City:
Located near central Mexico City, Condesa-Roma is where you’ll find “Hipster heaven.” Boasting a bustling nightlife with restaurants, clubs, and tons of shopping, there’s plenty to do here—not to mention beautiful Parque Mexico, where you’ll find a dose of nature.
Known as Frida Kahlo’s hood, Coyoacá features a strong socialist history, historic colonial Spanish architecture, and lots of safe, laid-back areas.
The posh neighborhood famous for tourists, Polanco is where you’ll find prices rivaling a U.S. city (or more). Find luxury shopping and fine dining along Avenida Presidente Masaryk, along with unique “Colonial Californiano” architecture and tons of museums.
ACCOMMODATION IN MEXICO CITY FOR DIGITAL NOMADS
Like any large metropolis, Mexico City has a plethora of housing, hotel, hostel, and rental options to choose from depending on your budget, priorities, and interests.
Airbnb has tons of great options for $35-$80 a night depending on the room, apartment, or bed size.
Dada Room helps people find roommates and is a great resource for finding a short-to-long-term-ish place in an established house or apartment. You can find rooms from ~$250-600 a month, but the catch is Dada Room is only for places with roommates. If you’re looking for your own apartment, look elsewhere.
Selina Downtown Mexico City offers co-living and co-working spaces for prices slightly higher than the average hostel.
Suites DF Hostel offers connections to local travelers amidst a modern hostel environment.
Mexico City Hostel is secure, comfortable, affordable, and offers many different room types.
The most tried-and-true trick for finding apartments is simply to walk around the neighborhood you want to look at and look for rental signs. You’ll need to be able to speak Spanish, though—look for “SE RENTA.”
Craigslist isn’t popular in Mexico City, but Facebook has lots of roommates, digital nomad, and expat groups to connect with.
Wework Varsovia in Colonia Juarez is within walking distance from all the best neighborhoods and a great way to meet fellow nomads.
Distrito Central Coworking offers networking, high-speed internet, and multiple locations to choose from.
Quentin Café in Roma is well-known for its ambiance and delicious coffee.
Born from the idea of a graphic designer and lawyer, Efimero café in Condesa features games, books, and of course, coffee.
Blend Station features wooden tables, high-speed WiFi, and a cheery ambiance to keep you working through the day.
Otro Café is located in artistic neighborhood Anzures, where you’ll find a more restaurant-friendly feel with many food options along with coffee and WiFi.
Joselo Café in Polanco offers a cozy terrace with park views, a fully-stocked bar, but only one laptop per table, so go to work (alone)!
WHERE TO MEET NOMADS
COST OF LIVING
Prices of going out and recommended budget to be a happy nomad.
It may come as no surprise, but compared to most comparable big cities around the world or in the United States, Mexico City is cheap, cheap, cheap. Rent is cheaper than the U.S., food is much cheaper, drinks are cheaper, transit is cheaper; the list goes on.
For a room in an apartment in a decent neighborhood, it will run you about $500 a month, or less for something more basic. For more than $500/month, you can certainly find something nicer. The average cost for a one-bed apartment citywide will run you about $563 a month, which is incredibly affordable in comparison to the U.S. The same goes for food and utilities; overall, they are more affordable than los Estados Unidos.
Although lacking the polish of some cities, the Mexico City Metro is very cheap and gets you most places. Add in the Metrobus, and you can get around for 40 or 50 cents in U.S. dollars. Uber also operates in Mexico City and it’s significantly cheaper than the United States.
MONEY (ATM PRICES)
Like most countries, ATMs in Mexico City will charge you a fee for withdrawing pesos if it’s not your bank. Charges range from $2.50 USD to $6 USD—check with your bank to see what kind of options you have for
Transferwise Mexico City info.
WIFI SPEED INFO
WiFi speeds in Mexico City are generally high. As a bustling metropolis home to millions of people and the epicenter of Mexico business, you’ll find excellent WiFi in most places, and if you don’t, it’s not hard to find.
There are a number of reliable ways to get to and from MEX, the Mexico City airport.
You can catch a taxi or Uber 24/7 from the Airport to anywhere in Mexico City for as little as $10 USD or less. You can also ride the Metro or Metrobus for under a dollar during most hours, but expect some crowds.
Uber is much cheaper in Mexico City than the United States and is widely available and reliable. The metro might lack some of the polish of other cities, but it’s super affordable. Add in the Metrobus, and you can get around most places for 50 cents to $1 USD. Another metro bonus: women-only cars! Ladies, find the part of the platform labeled “damas” or “mujeres” for a consistently harassment-free ride.
Ecobici bike share lets you rent a bike at one station and drop it off at another. There are plenty of Ecobici stations throughout the city, but check the map to make sure your areas are covered. Memberships start at about $5 USD for a day, but you can get longer-term memberships for cheaper daily rates.
MOBILE INTERNET/SIM CARD USE
- SIM cards are fairly easy to come by in Mexico City—just go to any local Kiosko or Telcel (the largest network in the country) station and find your own. You can also go through Movistar or AT&T, although their coverage isn’t as good as Telcel.
- If traveling on a tourist visa, most people from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Japan, Australia, etc., entering Mexico will receive a 6 month or 180-day travel visa.
- You must meet requirements for a work visa if you’re getting paid for certain activities in Mexico. Check with your government to see what the requirements are.
Include at least 4-6 resources /high-quality articles that link to helpful information about the destination. These should include the following:
- Attaché Guide to Mexico City
- Expedia Travel Guide to Mexico City
- True Mexico Youtube Channel
- Mexico City Official
- 17 Amazing Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Mexico City
- Condé Nast 23 Things to do in Mexico City
HOW TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME
What can people learn there, surfing, salsa, tango, etc? Often times nomad places are known for some activities as well.
There’s so much to do and see in Mexico City—it is one of the biggest cities in the world, after all.
- Find food. More specifically; find the tacos. Mexico City is, well, the capital of Mexico, and thus the capital of all things taco—go and find yours, and ask for Al Pastor. Even if you aren’t interested in tacomania, there’s still an insane amount of spectacular restaurants to choose from. Vegan, vegetarian, full omnivore or carnivore—take your pick, you’ll find it here.
- Take a dance class, or just join in on the fun at any club. CDMX has a vibrant dance culture that pulls from all corners of Latin America, so whatever your style is (or even if you don’ have a styl yet), you’ll find it here.
- Visit the museums and parks. Sometimes the daily city grind can wear on you, but the sheer amount of museums and parks to visit here is remarkable. You can find everything from Frida Kahlo to unexpected rivers worthy of a day trip—it’s all here within city limits.
SHORT TRIPS & ADVENTURES
The # 1-day trip that every visitor to Mexico City MUST do is… Teotihuacán. These nearly 2,000-year-old pyramids are stunning and a must-see. Located a couple hours by bus from Mexico City, tickets are cheap, and the valley views are worth the climb up.
Ready for a change of pace? Puebla provides laid-back vibes, charming colonial architecture, and a sense of time travel just a couple hours outside city limits.
Looking for an escape on the water? Another magical town and day trip just 2 hours from Mexico City is Valle de Bravo. Surrounded by mountain ranges, even smaller rustic towns, waterfalls and a sense of romance, it’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway.