We spent most of February 2017 in Mexico City, deciding to make it our base for that time to catch up on work during our time in Mexico and also allowing us to explore this giant city as much as we could.
But just how much does it cost to live in Mexico City for a month? I’ll break down exactly what we spent and give a possible answer to that question, though of course it will depend on your individual travel style and preferences.
In total, we spent £1917.56 (€2262.37/$2401.17) on everything for two people over 30 nights. This works out as £31.96 (€37.71/$40.02) per person per day and includes everything we spent while there but does not include transport to and from the city or travel insurance, for example.
Below, I’ll break this own in to accommodation, transport, eating out, cafés, food, entertainment and miscellaneous to give a better idea of how we spent our money.
Note: The main currency we recorded our spending in Mexico City using the app Trail Wallet was Pounds Sterling (GBP) with the exchange rate of 26.11 Mexican Pesos (MXN) to £1. I then used the current (April 2017) exchange rates to Euros and US Dollars: 1.18 EUR to 1 GBP and 1.25 USD to 1 GBP.
We spent the month renting a one bedroom apartment in San Miguel de Chapultepec with Airbnb. (Sign up with this link and get €20/£17/$25 off your first booking.)
In total, including Airbnb fees, we paid £926 (€1092.51/$1159.54) for 3o nights, which works out as £30.87 (€36.42/$38.65) per night. This is relatively expensive for us given our previous history of renting Airbnb apartments, but there were not as many options as we’d expected for the kind of apartment we were happy with given that we didn’t book it so far in advance of arriving.
The best thing about the apartment was probably the location, just a few blocks from Chapultepec Forest. It was spacious and had everything we needed, but being on the ground floor it didn’t get any direct sunlight and was rather cold, despite the fact that it wasn’t really ever below 25C outside during the day while we were there.
Mexico City has a reasonably extensive metro and metrobus system that is very cheap: M$5 for a single journey on the metro or M$5.50 on the metrobus. In both cases, it doesn’t matter how far you go, the fare is the same and the trains and buses come very frequently so you never have to wait long. It does get very crowded though and people do not wait for you to get off the trains!
We also used Uber to get around reasonably often if the place we were going was complicated to get to by public transport, if it was late or we were just feeling lazy. Rides were not expensive and drivers were usually very professional and we never had to wait long for them to arrive.
In total we spent £76.68 (€90.47/$96.02) between us on transport, of which £70.93 (€83.68/$88.82) was on 32 Uber journeys, and £5.75 (€6.78/$7.20) was on 30 public transport trips.
There were so many great options for eating vegan in Mexico City (indeed that was one of our motivations for visiting in the first place!), several of which were very cheap and the majority of which were quite affordable and around 50% cheaper than what we’d pay for the same kind of thing at home in Berlin.
Overall, we spent £225.64 (€266.21/$282.55) on eating out on 40 meals during our time there making our average meal out £5.61 (€6.62/$7.02) for the two of us.
We actually spent quite a lot of time (and therefore money) in cafés in Mexico City. During our 30 days there, we visited a cafés 47 times, meaning we went to one at least every day, and half the time, twice a day. Of course, many of these were places to work, but many were also just to hang out and relax too, but they were generally quite expensive: not much different than in Europe. In total, we spent £388.96 (€458.90/$487.06) in cafés, meaning that our average café visit was £8.28 (€9.77/$10.37) for both of us and usually meant a drink each plus a snack to share.
The category food accounts for everything we bought to eat that we didn’t eat in a restaurant, so is a mixture of food we bought to take away and ingredients we bought in supermarkets to cook at home. Since we only really made all of our own breakfasts and a few other meals, this wasn’t so high. Over the month, we spent £176.68 (€208.45/$221.24) on food, though this did include some more expensive items from speciality organic or vegan shops which have significantly higher prices than other kinds of supermarkets.
Most of our entertainment spending in Mexico City was on museum entries: six to be precise. We also visited a gay sauna once too, and the total was £61.13 (€72.12/$76.55). We didn’t end up going out to any clubs or bars, and most of the other activities we did (walking around, exploring different neighbourhoods or meeting up with friends) didn’t involve spending money specifically.
For everything else that doesn’t fit in to one of the categories above, we categorised it as miscellaneous. Specifically this included mobile phone data for our Mexican sim cards, a two week gym membership for Zab, one yoga lesson for me, some postcards and a few other things like vitamins, soap and toilet paper. This came to £62.37 (€73.59/$78.10) for the month.
In comparison to some other cities we’ve spent a month in, this month in Mexico City was relatively expensive. Lisbon, for example was much cheaper. I think that since we started travelling in this way, we’ve become more selective about the types of places we stay and do spend more on eating out and making things generally easier for us, such as taking taxis rather than public transport more often.
Have you been to Mexico City? Did you find it more or less expensive than we did?