Health and SafetyLet’s just say, Mexico City is not the safest place in the world for a tourist – it is not even the safest place for a local. But common sense is as essential to survival in the city as visiting all those risky neighborhoods is to your perfect tourist experience.
If you do not really need to head into those areas, you really should not. But if you do feel up to a bit of adventure, try to dress down while visiting the old town districts and flea markets, and carry around cash in a safe place away from the prying eyes of opportunist pickpockets – prefer to use credit cards instead. Carrying your camera and photographic equipment around can arouse attention from crowds and criminals alike, which is not very desirable in a city like Mexico, where inquisitive residents might also distract you with their questions while a ruffian makes away unnoticed with some precious belonging of yours.
Travelling in cabs can be risky if you hail them yourself – the driver can quote a much higher fare, and can take you through random neighborhoods just to make the trip seem longer, wasting precious travelling time. That is fine if you want to explore the city, but if you want to hop from one location to another, prefer the bus or metro, or have your hotel call a reliable cab service.
Avoid drinking open tap water from random stalls or restaurants, as this may be contaminated – not uncommon for a sprawling metropolis. Prefer to carry around ample bottled water for your tour, and order bottled water at diners instead of water in jugs or glasses. Also avoid purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables from street vendors, as they are usually sprayed with contaminated tap water that is supplied to the poorer neighborhoods, from where these products arrive in the market.
Carry around your prescribed medication with you at all times, as well as any documents that indicate rare or special diseases if you are likely to suffer a stroke or strain during the trip, so that appropriate care can be provided in case of an emergency. Eat and drink safe if you want to avoid water borne diseases like diarrhea and food poisoning and end up spending a week long vacation in bed rather than out on the streets enjoying.
Police 060, 080
Ambulance 060, +52 5557-5757 (Red Cross)
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