Arriving into Benito Juarez International Airport, Mexico City
How do you navigate this vast and overcrowded airport to get into Mexico City? Here’s what you need to know:
While the airport overall is a bit of a maze in Mexico City, luckily the international arrivals hall at Benito Juarez airport is fairly standard and straightforward. Signs will be in both Spanish and English. Immigration officials will usually speak a little bit of English, enough to communicate whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure. Travelers from the United States do not need a visa for short-term stays. Once you’re through baggage claim and customs, however, you’ll run into a gauntlet of aggressive salespeople offering you the ‘best’ price for a car service to the city. Ignore them. You’ll want to continue down the hall, where you will have a few options of how to get to the city center:
These are safe and regulated. The quality of the vehicles might vary. To get one, you want to keep going down the hall until you find the ‘official’ taxi stands. These have standard, regulated prices and are from verified taxi companies. Don’t worry about price shopping between the different official desks, their prices are about the same. You’ll need to purchase a voucher in cash, which can be done in either Mexican pesos or US dollars. You’ll get a better rate in pesos, so you may need to hit up an ATM at the airport. The costs are around 200-300 pesos for a trip to the city center. Make sure to have the address of where you’re going written down, as you’ll hand it to the taxi rep to write down on your voucher. Also make sure you specify sedan or van for your price, as they may try and upcharge you to the higher-rate vehicle (unless you need the larger vehicle!). After that, you’ll head out to the cab line with that voucher in hand.
Ubers are available widely throughout Mexico City, including now being able to pick you up at the airport. You’ll need to have mobile data enabled on your phone or access to wifi while ordering. The prices will be comparable to taxis, possibly a little more expensive.
If you’re arriving late in the evening and worried about getting a cab or uber at that time, you can book a cab or car in advance online for reasonable rates.
Mexico City Metro
Line 5 of the subway goes out to the airport and is a good option if you’re looking to save on pesos, as it’s only 5 pesos (28 US cents) to ride into the city. The caveat is that the trains get crowded and they technically don’t allow suitcases on board. It’s not a bad option if you’re traveling light. Safety isn’t really a concern during the daytime; just follow the same precautions you would on any public transit. Keep your items close to you and be aware of your surroundings. The station is a few minutes’ walk from Terminal 1.
Check out the rest of my guide to Mexico City, including tips for solo travelers, here