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These are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions. We hope that
they will help you and answer some of your questions about México City.
We will be adding to the list of questions and answers any time we feel it
is necessary. Also check our Miscellaneous
I keep track of all the local events that will take place during my visit
to México City?
Will I be able to use my credit cards? Can I get cash from the banks with my credit cards?
Yes, to both questions. All major credit cards (except Discover) are widely accepted. In smaller restaurants, it is best to ask before ordering, not every business accepts credit cards, just as back home. All of the banks will give cash advances, most have ATM machines at their locations, for after hours cash. If you lose a credit card call one of the numbers listed in Miscellaneous Information. We have a link to an Visa ATM locator on our Links page. Most of the malls and shopping areas have banks or ATM's where you can get cash, if needed. Try not to use ATMs after dark, check to make sure you have enough money before you go out. Use your hotel to change money, the rate will not be so favorable, but the transaction will be much safer.
What can I use as proof of citizenship to enter México?
I will let the Mexican Consulate of Chicago answer this question. Click here. The web site will open in a new window. Click the "Back button or arrow on your browser to return to All About México City.
What is the legal drinking age in México, and what time do the night clubs close?
Answer: The legal drinking age is 18. There is no set closing time, many of the night clubs stay open until the wee hours of the morning (3 or 4 AM).
Will my hair dryer (portable iron, electric toothbrush, etc.) work in México?
Answer: Yes, if you are from the U.S. or Canada. México uses the same voltage as the United States. If you are coming from Europe, or any country that uses 220 volts, you will need the proper adapters.
What will the weather be like in January (or any other month)?
Nobody can predict the weather. We have an Average Temperature Chart on our Local Weather page. Check this and call your hotel a few days before your arrival to make sure. México does not enjoy the sophisticated weather prediction services that so many people take for granted in the U.S. and Canada.
How do I find the best airfares, hotel rates and the most affordable rental cars?
Answer: Use the services of our new travel partner, Travelocity.com, to search all available deals to find the one that is best for you. They take the confusion out of booking your trip by searching many airlines, hotels and rental car companies to get you the best price. Travelocity also guarantees that everything about your trip will be right - or they will get it right for you! Their customer "Bill of Rights" is one of the best in the travel industry. With Travelocity you don't travel alone - they are there to help, if you need it.
Can I buy Cuban cigars? Can I take them back with me?
Yes you can buy them, and yes, they are expensive. No, you cannot take them back to the U.S., but if you are returning to Canada it is OK. Be careful of counterfeits.
Can I drink the water?
In most hotels and restaurants, you will get purified water, if in doubt - ASK. (Agua purificada, por favor.) I would not drink the water from a private home or condo, unless you know there is a purification system installed, and working. Buy bottled water; why not be completely safe? Don't take the chance of ruining your vacation?
Will my cellular phone work in México?
There is local cellular service. Very few cellular services will allow you to roam in México. Most cell phones will work, but they must be reprogrammed by the local service provider. If you bring your own, it will need to be reprogrammed. Remember to have your phone reprogrammed again before returning to the U.S. Cellular service in México is very competitive, the various cellular companies rum constant promotions. It might just be easier to buy a promotional package that includes a phone and a fixed amount of service. With this option you will have the phone to use on your next trip to México.
Can I use my laptop computer to get my e-mail and have Internet access?
You can bring your laptop computer, you will have to contact one of local ISP's who will provide you with temporary Internet access for your limited stay. If you are staying in a hotel, make sure your modem will bypass their PBX phone system. If they have a data port on their phones you should have no problem, set your modem to dial whatever number you normally dial for an outside line, then your ISP's access number. There are Internet cafes in all over México City. Bringing a laptop computer into México is a legal and accepted practice, no hassles with Aduana (Customs).
Is it safe to walk around the town at night?
Use caution. As anywhere, beware of walking alone on dark streets at night. Don't wear flashy jewelry or carry large sums of cash if you must walk at night. If possible walk in pairs and stick to busy lighted areas of the city. Most restaurants and nightclubs will be happy to call a cab for you, if asked. This may take a little more time than hailing one on the street but is much safer. Use common sense, and be careful! Remember: leave your fancy jewelry at the hotel if you are going to walk after dark. See our "Practical Advise" page.
Can you tell me what the taxi rates are?
No, but the taxi fares are fairly reasonable and many of the taxis have meters. It always a good idea to check with the desk at your hotel. They should be able to tell you what the approximate fare should be to your particular destination. Then check again with the taxi driver. Do this before you get into the taxi! Buses run all over town, every few minutes, at all hours in the city. For just a few pesos you can get to anywhere, within reason. See our Practical Advise page for more on taxis.
How will I know if I am getting a good deal on merchandise?
This is one question that nobody but you can answer. A good rule of thumb is, with street vendors, always get at least a 30% discount, sometimes more. In most stores, especially in the malls, prices are fixed just as they are at home. If you are making large purchases or if there are several people in your party that are buying something, you can always ask for a discount. If you’re happy with the quality and price of of an item, then you are getting a good deal. Pretty simple really.
What about hospitals and doctors?
México City has some of great hospitals and doctors. Many doctors here speak English. A few of the better hospitals even accept American insurance and health plans. Check with your hotel, many of the larger hotels have English speaking doctors on premises or on call. If not, they can give you the name of an English speaking doctor. Write the phone number down and carry it with you. If there is any doubt in your mind about a doctor, procedure or medication, check with your doctor at home, if possible. Generally speaking, medical service in México (even in the capital) is not as sophisticated as in the U.S. or Canada. There are English speaking doctors and hospitals listed (not necessarily recommended) on our Miscellaneous Information page.
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