Walking through the night…
It’s 2 AM….
There’s abandoned buildings to the left…
Abandoned buildings to the right…
They all have broken windows and look poorly constructed like they are about to collapse…
To the side, I see some shoes tied together dangling from a telephone wire…
And then a scream erupts from the distance…
I look to my right and see a naked mestizo woman with some big ass titties and pepperoni nipples banging on the windows of one of the abandoned buildings…
“HELP ME!! HELP ME!!!” she screams in Spanish.
Before a crazy man appears behind her and cuts her in half with a chainsaw.
I walk faster.
Then, across the road from me and in the distance…
I see a shootout between different narco groups.
I’m jogging away.
But then as I’m jogging…
I trip and fall onto the ground…
Face into the cement.
But then I hear a laughter close to me…
I look up..
And see a homeless motherfucker on crack with machetes in both hands.
“Give me your money, gringo o te voy a matar!”
I get up and run the fuck away.
But he chases after me yelling…
“GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING MONEY GRINGO!!”
And in my efforts to get away, I stumble into a dead end – a dark alleyway with a brick wall at the end of it.
No way to escape.
“Give me your money gringo!” yells the crackhead in the most demonic sounding voice ever.
I pull out a swiss pocket knife.
It’s going to be a fight for my life.
Just another normal day in Mexico City…
Let’s Cut the BS
Ok, that whole story was bullshit, obviously.
For those who have never been to Mexico, maybe it sounds legit.
Well, you do have abandoned buildings, women getting chopped up, crackhead homeless people and all that down here for sure…
But life isn’t really that dramatic.
I’ve been down here for 3 years now.
Almost 3 and a half actually as of this writing on September 29, 2020.
In that time, about 9 months more or less was spent outside of Mexico City in a Mexican city called Pachuca.
I have lived in Roma, Condesa, near Metro Cuatro Caminos, near Metro CU, in the Historic Center, etc.
While having visited other neighborhoods as well in my free time.
Two of those neighborhoods – Cuatro Caminos and CU in Santo Domingo de Pedregal – are considered unsafe or dangerous, I guess.
Condesa, Roma and Historic Center – less so – but you got shady folks there too.
And in all of my time here…
How often have I gotten mugged, robbed, beaten, murdered, etc?
Here are my stats….
Had to pay a corrupt cop: 1
Attacked: 1 (by a random homeless dude)
Harassed by homeless people: Every so often
Beaten to a bloody mess: 0
Murdered: A few times (I got 9 lives).
Now let’s get to my general thoughts on safety in Mexico City and some basic tips on how to stay safe.
Safety in Mexico City
So is it safe?
Well, keep in mind, Mexico City is a huge ass city.
So when talking about safety down here, it largely depends on the area.
In areas like Roma or Condesa, those places feel pretty safe really.
I’ve heard pick pocketing is common in those parts but I’ve never been pick pocketed.
Same for the Historic Center.
Outside of that, you might have an issue with corrupt police trying to look for a foreigner to get a bribe from.
By accusing you of a crime and demanding you pay a big fee for it.
As you can see here by two people who supposedly had got robbed by the cops in those areas.
When it comes to general safety though – muggings, killings, people breaking into homes, etc – I never felt unsafe in Roma, Condesa or the Historic Center so far.
Truthfully, these neighborhoods generally speaking feel a lot safer – not saying they are – but they feel safer for sure.
Even sketchy streets in those neighborhoods feel fine.
In Roma, I’ve seen random chicks walking outside at midnight with their dog all safe it seems.
And if women feel safe late at night by themselves, then it’s not too bad, I guess.
And for myself, I’ve walked around late at night.
Just tonight as I am writing this article, I walked 10 minutes at 2 AM to get some tacos.
The only bad experience with it was some random homeless dude was yelling a bunch of shit by himself that I saw but that was it.
Then you have some of the less commonly visited neighborhoods.
I haven’t been to all of them but the few I have supposedly had a reputation for being dangerous.
Were they dangerous?
Well, experiences vary.
By Cuatro Caminos, I had to pay a small bribe of like 20 bucks to the police and had a random homeless dude attack me but he didn’t harm me.
That was it really.
Not that bad in the grand scheme of things but it is what it is.
By Metro CU area in Santo Domingo de Pedregal…
Nothing happened to me there but I did see the occasional homeless person doing drugs – crack sometimes.
That’s it really.
I will say those areas tend to feel less safe – much more so at night.
Like in Santo Domingo de Pedregal or Metro CU, I would definitely feel less safe walking outside at 2 AM than in Roma, Condesa or at the Historic Center.
And I have walked out at night at those hours and nothing bad happened to me.
But it does feel less safe – maybe because the area looks sketchier or whatever.
Though really, the only place where anything bad ever happened to me – the corrupt cop and the homeless dude going after me – were by Metro Cuatro Caminos area.
In my 3 years and more of living in Mexico City, that was it.
Even those areas – Metro CU and Metro Cuatro Caminos – do not feel that bad.
They feel relatively less safe compared to other areas of Mexico City.
But compared to some of the shitty areas I have seen in the DR, Colombia, Brazil…
Those places look pretty fucking nice compared to neighborhoods in other countries mentioned above.
Now compared my hometown in the US…
Then yes, Mexico City generally feels less safe as a whole – regardless of the neighborhood.
But like I said, it feels less safe overall but it’s not that bad.
One of the worst things about Mexico City really is the amount of homeless people outside that sometimes seem sketchy.
Outside of that, it comes down to how you conduct yourself and if you ever have any bad luck.
Like those two foreigners mentioned way above who got robbed in Condesa.
If you are used to life though in Latin America and have been around so to speak…
Mexico City isn’t bad at all.
But that’s just my experience living down here so far.
And so now let’s briefly cover some general safety tips for anyone curious and end it at that.
Tip 1: Get a Burner Phone
You can get a cheap ass burner phone for like 25 bucks in a market in Mexico City.
Use that for communications when outside of your apartment.
That way if someone pulls a weapon on you, they only get the cheap ass burner phone.
Granted, I don’t follow this piece of advice – I just don’t take any phone with me outside of my place.
But that’s for other reasons outside of safety.
And to be fair, probably makes me less safe.
Because with a burner phone, you can still have something on you in case you need to contact someone or whatever.
But I’ve never been in that situation so it makes sense, I guess.
Tip 2: Don’t Carry Too Much on Person
You should probably have maybe 500 pesos on you at most.
I don’t really see a point in carrying more than that – it’s like 25 bucks.
I almost never have a day where I am going to spend 500 pesos somewhere.
Unless I have to buy something for my apartment or it’s a special day to celebrate – birthday, new years, etc.
So if someone steals from you, they don’t get much.
Same thing can be said to not be too flashy – don’t walk around looking like you got lots of shit on you to steal.
Tip 3: Money in Different Parts
If you can, put money in different parts of your body.
I never do this either because I don’t usually venture too far from where I live most of the time.
But if you were traveling around…
Maybe to a bad neighborhood especially…
Not a bad idea to have some money in your shoes perhaps.
Some people use money belts but I think some of those things are obvious to notice.
But by having extra money hidden away – a small amount – even if someone robs you, you are not desperate for money to get a taxi back home basically.
Though in most of Mexico City, given we have the metro, you wouldn’t need much anyway to get back home that way.
Speaking of the metro…
Tip 4: Guard Your Pockets
I didn’t know this until recently…
But supposedly some chicks won’t go on the metro when on dates – “it’s dangerous!”
Or maybe they think they are too good for it.
Never met a chick like that myself but apparently some dudes I know do.
But really it’s not dangerous.
And if you think you are too good for it, get over yourself.
The main issue with the metro for most people is when the metro is packed with people.
That makes it easier for someone to pick pocket you when you have so many people squished inside a small space in the train.
When on the metro, in this circumstance…
What I recommend is you put all your money and whatever in one pocket.
Go inside, make sure you are close to the door.
That way when it’s time to get off, you have less people to push through to get out.
And with money and everything in one pocket, keep one hand inside that pocket so nobody can take from it.
And your other hand to hold onto something so you don’t lose balance because that is easy to do on the metro.
Tip 5: “Friend, Friend, Faggot, Friend! Give Me Your Money!”
You get these fuckers in Mexico City – almost always in the touristy areas of the city.
Basically you have these hustlers on the street either begging people for money or trying to sell people shit.
Most are fine people.
But you get the occasional one who will try to open up on your white foreign looking ass with some broken up English.
“Friend, friend, wHeRe U fRoM?” they ask like the retards they are.
Basically, they just want you to stop, some basic questions and then will try to beg you for money.
Some, from what I have heard, can be dangerous even and attack you.
Never happened to me but I know someone where that was the case.
Maybe to distract you at first or whatever and then do something or someone else does something to you.
Like pick pocket or whatever.
Anyway, they are easy to avoid – just keep walking.
Fuck them. Don’t talk to them. Don’t stop. No eye contact. Just keep moving and ignore them.
And I’d say that should be the standard for most street hustlers or beggars – ignore and move on.
Walk with a purpose.
Tip 6: Handling Bribes
I’m not a world class expert on handling bribes since I’ve only handled a few in Latin America as a whole.
But between my own experiences and others I know, this seems to be the case…
Most cops would be happy with a 5 dollar bribe.
Like I said, most will accuse you of a random crime and threaten you with jail time if you don’t pay a big ass fine of like 500 bucks or whatever.
If that is the case, don’t look worried.
Just know he is full of shit.
And if he does take you to jail, well, jail it is!
But it’s not going to happen – he doesn’t want to fuck around with you forever and has shit to do.
As well he doesn’t want to make this anymore of a thing than it has to be – the more people involved, the more likely he might get backlash – especially with you being a foreigner and having the possibility of you bringing light to a corrupt cop.
Most just want some money and will piss off.
In either way, playing hard ball on the fucker but being respectable will go far.
And also speaking Spanish – no Spanish, the harder it will be to negotiate.
Now remember when I said only carry 25 bucks at most on you?
If legit you only have 25 and that is all he sees from your pockets..
Then tough shit – he can’t get no more from you!
As long as you don’t have a debit card on person…
So that’s all you have to do – pull out what little money you have – maybe 10 bucks – and go “this is all I got, look, all I got here!”
Nothing he can do about it – he can take it or eat shit.
Either way, you ask the guy first if there is anything else you two can do to get out of this mess when he demands some 500 dollar fine.
If he says no and you say you don’t got the money..
Well, you might play back and forth but if he is looking for a bribe, he will open up to something smaller.
Keep in mind, it’s not unusual for people to pay as little as 5 bucks down here for a bribe.
Sometimes more if the corrupt cop has rent due tomorrow perhaps.
Or if he needs to buy his wife (who is cucking him probably) a nice gift for the anniversary.
Either way, you get the idea of what you should do and more or less what you should be paying.
Here’s a story anyway of my one time having to bribe a cop in Mexico City.
And here’s one for when I bribed someone in the DR.
To give you a better idea.
Tip 7: Careful with Going to the Barrio
As described in this article here…
Sometimes gringos go to “the barrio” in Latin America.
The “barrio” meaning some shitty ass neighborhood in Latin America.
Why do they do this?
Well, most of the time, it’s because they are chasing pussy or drugs.
Pussy meaning prostitutes or regular chicks who live in these shitty neighborhoods.
Probably some single mother chick with 5 kids…
Who might have a great ass and some sexy fat ass lips and those big titties with them pepperoni nipples..
But still, nonetheless, a single mother taking you to “the barrio.”
Some neighborhood that isn’t safe and where you might have problems.
Though, in my experience, every time I ever went to “the barrio,” I never had issues.
Such as in this story here in the DR.
Or when I was in Bolivia here…
I don’t recommend you go to any shitty area of Mexico City..
But I would understand if you got some chick you really want to fuck and she is inviting you to her place.
In that case…
Try to see if she will visit you instead.
A uber ride, if you feel like paying for it, shouldn’t be more than maybe 5 to 10 bucks.
Or see if she will take the metro! Most do in my experience.
If not, do some thinking…
Is her pussy tight enough for you to travel to her shitty neighborhood?
If so, follow some of the other advice here.
Don’t carry too much money – have some of it in your shoe perhaps.
Maybe a burner phone with you.
Don’t look flashy – don’t stop for anyone.
Have her wait for you at the closest metro station to her apartment ideally – no having you wonder around half the fucking city trying to find her place alone.
And trust your gut instinct – if she doesn’t feel like someone you can trust..
Like something is off…
That’s another piece of advice, I guess.
Tip 8: Trust Your Gut Instinct
Pretty useful advice for anywhere in the world!
Like some of the other pieces of advice here – often safety advice really isn’t that much different from what you would expect.
Speaking of another piece of advice…
Tip 9: Know Spanish
If you can speak Spanish, you will have an easier time getting around Mexico City…
To negotiating a bribe with a cop…
To knowing what the hell a criminal is saying to you when he is trying to rob you..
Such as this guy here in Buenos Aires, Argentina where one dude on a motorcycle tried to rob his backpack but the dude getting robbed didn’t know what backpack was.
And, as you can see in the video, led to a big mess and lots of confusion.
Same thing can happen in Mexico City – though if you do what that guy did in the video, I’d imagine you’d get shot.
But either way…
Tip 10: Walking Outside at Night?
As said earlier in this article…
I walk outside at night often enough – as late as 2 AM to get some tacos.
You are more likely to get assaulted or mugged if you do that.
Hasn’t happened to me though!
And I know it’s not the best thing to do but sometimes my sleep schedule is fucked up and I want a taco.
Or a torta americana.
If you do walk outside late at night anyway…
Obviously better to take an UBER.
But if walking, just follow the other pieces of advice here – no stopping for anyone, don’t carry more on person than you need, know Spanish, etc.
And that last bit about UBER reminded me of something…
Tip 11: No Taxis
Honestly, fuck taxis in Latin America.
As I wrote about here.
I don’t like them.
More likely to rip you off with bad pricing…
And they have a bigger reputation in Mexico City for being more dangerous.
The occasional story here and there of some random chick getting raped and killed by some taxi driver.
Just get UBER.
It’s better – more accountable as you can see if they have lots of ratings and are trust worthy…
To better pricing – no gringo prices!
And just better service overall.
So forget the taxis and take UBER in Mexico City – or anywhere really.
And speaking of transportation…
Tip 12: Combis
Combis in Mexico City are not really commonly used where I live.
The only places I think I ever saw them in use were by Metro CU or Metro Cuatro Caminos (closer to el Estado anyway).
Either way, they have a tiny bit of a bad reputation here given all the videos you see of people assaulting and robbing people on them.
If I was you, I’d probably not take them.
In Mexico City, most of the time, you really don’t need to take them but that depends on where you are.
If you do take one though, just follow the rules on here – limited cash on you, speak Spanish, etc.
And speaking of getting robbed….
Tip 13: Give it Up
Don’t be like me in this story here where I fought off some random homeless dude trying to fuck with me.
He could have had a gun of a knife – though he didn’t and I ended up winning and keeping my shit.
But, obviously, as everyone says, that is more dangerous to do.
And could mean the end of your life if the other person does have a gun and shoots you.
Or has someone working with him like two robbers on a combi where both have guns.
As always, your life isn’t worth more than the money and phone you have on person.
So give it up if someone pulls a weapon on you.
You are safer for it.
Anyway, those were all the tips I could think of in the moment.
I might add more if anything else comes to mind..
Or if someone has a good tip and leaves it below in the comment section.
Anyway, what is the final verdict to the question in the title?
Is Mexico City safe?
As I said before.
Compared to most of my time in Latin America..
In Brazil, Colombia, the DR, etc…
Mexico City – even the few described dangerous areas – were fine.
If you get used to life down here, I think you will agree with me that it is safe.
If you are new to Latin America though…
You might find it more dangerous but I’d recommend you follow the tips in this article and stick to the touristy areas of Roma, Condesa, etc until you get a better feel for life here.
The final verdict, so to speak…
Is Mexico City safe?
I’d say, overall, it definitely is.
But it’s not perfect – so follow the advice in this article and use common sense for how to conduct yourself.
And if you have any tips or questions, dump them in the comment section below.
And follow my Twitter here.