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Category: Mexico

Mexico City palace - Mexico City - Fabulous Travel Guide

How much Spanish do you need in Mexico?

[ 2 ] January 21, 2011

Mexico City is a difficult place to travel around if you don’t speak a word of Spanish. While locals are friendly, they talk quickly and have little patience for stammering tourists.

So if you’re thinking about visiting Mexico, or travelling about Central America, you might want to take a few Spanish lessons before you leave home. For now, check out the basics:

Mexico City palace - Mexico City - Fabulous Travel Guide

Mexico City palace - Mexico City - Fabulous Travel Guide

Hostels

Staff at hostels have limited English, if any, so always print off your confirmation email and any reference numers when you arrive.  Make sure you get a receipt to show you’ve paid. The following phrases also come in handy for these situations:

I have a reservation for two nights – Tengo una reservar para dos noches

How much is it per night? – Quanto cuesta por noche?

What time is checkout – A que hora hay que dejar libre la habitacion?

Can you call me a taxi – Me puede pedir un taxi

Food and restaurants

Ordering food at restaurants or on the street can be a nightmare if you don’t speak the language. There are no English menus (or pictures!), so make sure you learn the basics – especially if you’re vegetarian.

I would like – Quisiera

What would you reccomend – Que me recomienda?

I’m vegetarian – Estoy vegetariano

I’d like a table for two – Quisiera una mesa para dos

Chicken – pollo; Beef – carne de vaca; Bread – pan; Cheese – queso; Eggs – huevos; Baguette – bocadilla

Beer – cerveza; Wine – vino; Water – agua; Tea - te; Coffee – cafe

The Latin American Spanish phrasebook by Lonely Planet is brilliant for beginners and has loads of handy phrases. Try to get an idea of how words are pronounced by listening to Spanish audiobooks before you get out there. This will help you understand.

Looking for more advice about travelling in Mexico? Master the metro and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

Mexico City metro map - How to use the metro - Fabulous Travel Guide

How to use the metro in Mexico City

[ 4 ] January 15, 2011

Public transport can be intimidating in any new city, and Mexico City is no different. Buses are hot and stuffy; taxis are expensive and walking takes forever.

Fortunately, the metro is clean, super cheap and you only need a little Spanish to be able to navigate your way round. Follow these top tips for using the metro in Mexico City:

Mexico City metro map - How to use the metro - Fabulous Travel Guide

Mexico City metro map - How to use the metro - Fabulous Travel Guide

1) Buy your ticket at the ‘Taquilla’ (ticket office)

Look for little booths, or windows in the wall, and buy your ticket. Prices are calculated by zones, so tell them where you are travelling to. Prices start from as little as 3 pesos (25p)

2) Find out which direction you’re travelling in

Mexico City metro lines are colour-coded, so find out which one you need and the direction you’re travelling in. For example:

If you are travelling from Zocalo (blue line) to Xola (4 stops down), then the direction you’re travelling in is Tasquina (the last stop on that line).

If you are travelling from Pino Suarez (pink line) to Chapeltepec (7 stops west) then the direction you are travelling in is Observatario (the last stop on that line)

3) Follow the signs carefully

There can be quite a walk between different lines so make sure you follow the signs (colour of line and the direction you want to go in).

4) Be careful of the doors!

The metro doors only stay open a few seconds so make sure you get on quickly, and don’t get trapped in the doors. Always let people off the train first, and offer your seat to women with babies or elderly people.

5) Follow the signs for Salida

Follow the signs for Salida (exit) and go out of the turnstyles and up the stairs into the sunshine.

TOP TIP If you get lost, or you’re unsure which direction to take, don’t get panicked. Find a metro map on the wall and ask somone who works there. Don’t ask passersby who are clearly in a rush or you’ll get shouted at!

Looking for more travel tips in Mexico? Follow me on Twitter and check out these inspirational photos.

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