I Visited The Heart Of Mexico In February Of 2023 – This Is My Honest Opinion, And…

7 Apr 2023

A Travel Warning For Mexico City

In the interest of clarity, I must start by saying that my experience and impressions are only based on a very small part of this behemoth of a city. A city of this size can provide a glimpse into all levels of class, compassion, safety, and experience and what follows only applies to the rather small, central area we I visited.

As far as the eye can see on both sides…..

We have pretty much been inside an approx 15km -20km circle. Not surprisingly, it is basically the exact stamp of the city back around 1750.

According to Mr. Google, Mexico City has grown to nearly 1,500km today which is twice the size of New York City.

To be honest, I was very reluctant to come here because of all the bad press and fear of the unknown…. Is it safe? Will I enjoy it? Can I walk around freely?

The answer is yes to both.

Mexico City is almost 700 years old and it feels a lot older than that. With nearly 23M people living here, it`s not surprising that a city like this will have a bit of everything going on, and it does.

I was curious to see where it ranks in the world by population in 2023, and here is what macrotrends.net reports:

Top 10 Largest Cities by Population

*as of March 2023

  • 1 Tokyo, Japan 37.1M
  • 2 Delhi, India 32.9M
  • 3 Shanghai, China 29.2M
  • 4 Dhaka, Bangladesh 23.2M
  • 5 Sao Paulo, Brazil 22.6M
  • 6 Mexico City, Mexico 22.2M
  • 7 Cario, Egypt 22.1M
  • 8 Beijing, China 21.7M
  • 9 Mumbai, India 21.2M
  • 10 Osaka, Japan 19M

Magnificent Mexico City

The first time I visited Cario in the early 2000s it was the 3rd largest city in the world. Since then I have been to several other 8 figure cities (by population) not surprisingly there are many commonalities among 3rd world cities of this size and sadly, many of these similarities are very unfortunate indeed.

Without going down the rabbit hole of inequity and injustice I will say that I have witnessed the growing chasm between those with the most and those with the least all over the world. It is getting wider and regrettably many of the people who suffer the most in todays world are our global senior citizens.

One final note on this before getting back to my review of Mexico City….. This is the primary reason that I devote my work to helping ordinary people find sustainable ways to increase their income – because I KNOW your day job + government pension is not going to be enough.

If you would like more information on how you can make money in your spare time or even quit your day job subscribe here.

Back to what Mexico City is really like….

There are street beggars but not nearly as many as I have encountered on the beaches of Cancun, Matzaland, and Alcapolco in the past years, which surprised me.

Revolution Monument in the background from our balcony.

We stayed in the Reforma district that skirts the high-end area where you will find The Four Seasons, St. Reggis, and Ritz Carlton……


I was! I`m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t the shops and hotels you find on Rodeo Drive or 5th Avenue!

Mexico City Museums

What we also found, and a huge part of the reason we came here is the museums (150+), parks, and galleries that are on par with any first-world city.

If you like that sort of thing you should add Mexico City to your destination list because it will not disappoint.

Just a sampling, here we saw a Monet….. a Van Gough….. the Gates of Hell….. a statue of Venus.

Biking Around Mexico City

We have been walking nearly everywhere, like 10km to 15km days and we also took an organized bike tour that was amazing.

Our guide took us through the districts of Condessa and Amsterdam and they are old, funky neighborhoods that are teeming with little cafes and shops and a very international expat community – so we felt right at home there!

A few other highlights…

Basilica of Guadalupe and Zocalo, The Heart of Mexico City

The Food In Mexico City

It would be a mistake for me not to mention the food, which is absolutely delicious! Almost everything is made on the spot as soon as you order so it is extremely fresh and very delicious.

I have found that generally speaking, the “Western” equivalent of a particular type of cuisine is usually not nearly as good as the original (with the possible exception of Chinese food IMHO) and that certainly is the case with Tex-Mex vs. Mexican food.

If you are a foodie, authentic Mexican food is a must.

Personally, I don`t do street food after way too many bad encounters over the years. My husband can eat anything, but I have a bit of a touchy tummy so I’m far more picky ha ha. For those who throw caution to the wind, or are blessed with “iron guts” as we say, do enjoy because it looks and smells amazing.

I’m not really a foodie so I have very few food photos to share….Pork Dumplings from Chinatown….. Tree Leaf Taco (can`t remember the name, but yummy!)….. Mexican Pan Bread

The Reforma District of Mexico City

In summary, I highly recommend the Reforma District of Mexico City to anyone who is interested in any of the following:

  • visiting world-class museums
  • witnessing live, free cultural events
  • walking or biking for hours/miles
  • enjoying sprawling parks
  • attending the 2nd most visited Catholic Basilica in the world
  • enjoying diverse and delicious food
  • checking out ultra-high-end hotels
  • shopping world-famous stores/brands

Mexico City was a very pleasant surprise and a place we will definitely visit again.

So what about the warning?

I was born in the Rocky Mountains and although the elevation is not that high (3600′) I am very surprised to say that I suffered from altitude sickness from the moment my feet hit the ground in Mexico City.

The elevation there is 7,350′ and it took me several days to figure out that it was not jet lag or lack of sleep that was causing me to be out of breath walking down the street, or have frequent headaches and dizziness. I ruled out dehydration and lack of nutrition as well when I suddenly realized that we were “at altitude”.

My theory was confirmed when we landed in Purto Vallarta a few days later and all those strange symptoms disappeared.

Note to self: scratch off ‘climbing Mt Everest’ from the bucket list!

Expat Kitty Note: Shelby also loved the view!

Heather Farrell is The Expat Entrepreneur and she is currently traveling the world, working and earning income from all corners of the earth. If you would like more information on how she funds this lifestyle, or legit online business opportunities check out the resource section of this blog and subscribe to her YouTube channel.

female travelers fur babies travel tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *