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Mexico City, DF

City Population8,851,080

Elevation2,240 meters (7,347 feet)

Tourist ProtectionSecretaría de Turismo (SECTUR) headquarters, Presidente Masaryk #172; phone (55) 3002-6300 (English spoken). Persons needing legal assistance should contact this department at the Ministry of Tourism.

Police (emergency)Dial 060 and ask to be connected to an English-speaking operator if you need immediate assistance.

Police (non-emergency)In general, the police in Mexico City should be contacted only as a last resort. If your car is stolen, however, you must report it to the police, as you will be liable for any subsequent crimes in which the vehicle is involved.

U.S. EmbassyPaseo de la Reforma #305 (M: Sevilla or Insurgentes, line 1); phone (55) 5080-2000. The embassy is open for general business Mon.-Fri. 8:30-4:30; closed U.S. and Mexican holidays. There is a protection officer on 24-hour duty to advise you in the event of robbery, assault, major loss, accident, illness or death; Mexican law takes precedence in such instances. Information regarding attorneys and translators also can be obtained.

Canadian EmbassyCalle Schiller #529, just north of the National Museum of Anthropology (M: Auditorio, line 7); phone (55) 5724-7900. Open Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5; closed Canadian and Mexican holidays.

LOCATELPhone (55) 5658-1111. This government-operated agency can help coordinate a search for missing persons or lost, stolen or towed vehicles; the hotline is answered daily 24 hours. The LOCATEL office is in the southern suburb of Churubusco at Calle Heroes del 47 #113, 3 blocks south of the National Museum of Interventions; phone (55) 5484-0400.

Consumer Protection OfficeContact the Consumer Protection Office (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor, or PROFECO) if you feel that you've been cheated or ripped off regarding a service or purchase; phone (55) 5625-6700 or 01 (800) 468-8722 (toll-free long distance within Mexico).

HospitalsThe ABC Medical Center (Centro Médico ABC) is several blocks south of Chapultepec Park at Calle Sur #116, at Avenida Observatorio (M: Observatorio, line 1); phone (55) 5230-8000. All major credit cards are accepted. The Mexican Red Cross (Cruz Roja) is located at Calle Luis Vives #200, between Avenida Ejército Nacional and Avenida Homero (north of Chapultepec Park in the Polanco neighborhood). It is open 24 hours; phone (55) 1084-4505.

A list of doctors and hospitals in Mexico City is available from the U.S. Embassy, phone (55) 5080-2000, ext. 4780 (during working hours) and the Canadian Embassy (see phone number above). The British Embassy is at Rio Lerma #71 (2 blocks north of Paseo de la Reforma near the Sheraton María Isabel Hotel); phone (55) 1670-3200 Mon.-Thurs. 8-4:30, Fri. 8-2. Hotel front desks should also be able to provide information.

Local Phone CallsAll calls made from landlines are charged as local calls. Prior to Jan. 1, 2015, there was a separate price structure for long-distance calls (designated by the acronym LADA, or larga distancia). There also are no long-distance cellphone charges; dialing either a local cell number or a long-distance cell number from a landline is charged as a local call. Calls made to a cell number must include the prefix 044.

PublicationsThe News is an English-language newspaper published Monday through Friday in Mexico City. Major U.S. newspapers are available at many newsstands the day after they are printed.

The American Bookstore, Calle Bolívar #23 near Avenida Francisco Madero (M: Allende, line 2), has U.S. newspapers and magazines, books and a selection of travel guides.

The Sanborns chain of restaurants also carries newspapers, magazines and books. There's a branch in the House of Tiles, Av. Madero #4 (M: Bellas Artes, lines 2 and 8).

Librería Porrúa is a Mexican publishing house that also has bookstores around the city. The flagship location, in the Centro Histórico at the corner of avenidas República de Argentina and Justo Sierra (M: Zócalo, line 2), is housed in a handsome colonial-style building. Another publishing house, Fondo de Cultura Económica, operates a bookstore called Rosario Castellanos at Av. Tamaulipas #202 in trendy Colonia Condesa (M: Patriotismo, line 9). This skylit space is worth a visit for its cool design alone. In addition to a great selection of books (including a children's section) and DVDs, it offers free Wi-Fi and has a theater that shows indie films.

Visitor Information Mexico Ministry of Tourism (Secretaría de Turismo, or SECTUR) Av. Presidente Masaryk #172 Mexico City, DF . Phone:(55)3002-6300

Currency ExchangeThe rates charged by banks and casas de cambio (currency exchange houses) don't differ that much, so currency exchange is a matter of convenience. Most banks exchange currency Mon.-Fri. 9-noon, but you may have to wait in line; exchange houses often are open weekdays until 5 and may be open Saturdays as well. Exchange houses and ATMs are concentrated along Paseo de Reforma, in the Centro Histórico and in the Zona Rosa. The Sanborns chain of restaurants also provides ATMs.

Almost all ATMs take Visa and Mastercard; withdrawals are in pesos. Only use ATMs inside commercial establishments and be alert for suspicious behavior around the machine—criminals may target tourists withdrawing cash. Above all, do not make street transactions at night. Also be careful when leaving banks or exchange houses, which can be targeted by petty thieves.

Staying SafeStreet crime—from relatively benign offenses like pickpocketing and purse snatching to dangerous armed robbery—is an ever-present risk. No part of the city is immune, even the upscale Polanco neighborhood and other areas frequented by tourists. One way to avoid being mugged or robbed is not to wear expensive jewelry or watches.

Taxi robberies are among the most frequently reported crimes. For safety's sake, never hail a taxi on the street. While it will cost more, plan sightseeing, dinner or other excursions—even if only several blocks away and particularly if you're unfamiliar with your surroundings—through a designated driver affiliated with your hotel.

Petty crimes of opportunity often occur on Metro. If you choose to use the subway system, always be aware of what's going on around you, and make sure you know how to get to your destination.

Avoid participating in any demonstrations, strikes or other disputes that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities. Avoid the Zócalo and surrounding streets if protest activity is taking place. The Mexican Constitution prohibits foreigners from engaging in political activities; those who do may be detained and/or deported.

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Mexico City, DF

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Travel Information

City Population

8,851,080

Elevation

2,240 meters (7,347 feet)

Tourist Protection

Secretaría de Turismo (SECTUR) headquarters, Presidente Masaryk #172; phone (55) 3002-6300 (English spoken). Persons needing legal assistance should contact this department at the Ministry of Tourism.

Police (emergency)

Dial 060 and ask to be connected to an English-speaking operator if you need immediate assistance.

Police (non-emergency)

In general, the police in Mexico City should be contacted only as a last resort. If your car is stolen, however, you must report it to the police, as you will be liable for any subsequent crimes in which the vehicle is involved.

U.S. Embassy

Paseo de la Reforma #305 (M: Sevilla or Insurgentes, line 1); phone (55) 5080-2000. The embassy is open for general business Mon.-Fri. 8:30-4:30; closed U.S. and Mexican holidays. There is a protection officer on 24-hour duty to advise you in the event of robbery, assault, major loss, accident, illness or death; Mexican law takes precedence in such instances. Information regarding attorneys and translators also can be obtained.

Canadian Embassy

Calle Schiller #529, just north of the National Museum of Anthropology (M: Auditorio, line 7); phone (55) 5724-7900. Open Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5; closed Canadian and Mexican holidays.

LOCATEL

Phone (55) 5658-1111. This government-operated agency can help coordinate a search for missing persons or lost, stolen or towed vehicles; the hotline is answered daily 24 hours. The LOCATEL office is in the southern suburb of Churubusco at Calle Heroes del 47 #113, 3 blocks south of the National Museum of Interventions; phone (55) 5484-0400.

Consumer Protection Offic

Contact the Consumer Protection Office (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor, or PROFECO) if you feel that you've been cheated or ripped off regarding a service or purchase; phone (55) 5625-6700 or 01 (800) 468-8722 (toll-free long distance within Mexico).

Hospitals

The ABC Medical Center (Centro Médico ABC) is several blocks south of Chapultepec Park at Calle Sur #116, at Avenida Observatorio (M: Observatorio, line 1); phone (55) 5230-8000. All major credit cards are accepted. The Mexican Red Cross (Cruz Roja) is located at Calle Luis Vives #200, between Avenida Ejército Nacional and Avenida Homero (north of Chapultepec Park in the Polanco neighborhood). It is open 24 hours; phone (55) 1084-4505.

Local Phone Calls

All calls made from landlines are charged as local calls. Prior to Jan. 1, 2015, there was a separate price structure for long-distance calls (designated by the acronym LADA, or larga distancia). There also are no long-distance cellphone charges; dialing either a local cell number or a long-distance cell number from a landline is charged as a local call. Calls made to a cell number must include the prefix 044.

Publications

The News is an English-language newspaper published Monday through Friday in Mexico City. Major U.S. newspapers are available at many newsstands the day after they are printed.

Visitor Information

Av. Presidente Masaryk #172 Mexico City, DF . Phone:(55)3002-6300

Currency Exchange

The rates charged by banks and casas de cambio (currency exchange houses) don't differ that much, so currency exchange is a matter of convenience. Most banks exchange currency Mon.-Fri. 9-noon, but you may have to wait in line; exchange houses often are open weekdays until 5 and may be open Saturdays as well. Exchange houses and ATMs are concentrated along Paseo de Reforma, in the Centro Histórico and in the Zona Rosa. The Sanborns chain of restaurants also provides ATMs.

Staying Safe

Street crime—from relatively benign offenses like pickpocketing and purse snatching to dangerous armed robbery—is an ever-present risk. No part of the city is immune, even the upscale Polanco neighborhood and other areas frequented by tourists. One way to avoid being mugged or robbed is not to wear expensive jewelry or watches.

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