Mexico City, Mexico (MX)
Mexico City's Benito Juarez Airport is a modern airport that lies 13km east of the city.
It has two terminals, 3km apart, separated by the runways:
Each terminal has two separate areas for security checks – one for arrivals from North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia, and the other for arrivals from the Caribbean and Latin America.
MEX airport is running at capacity right now, and in 2014 it was announced that a new airport would be built 10km north-east of this airport. This is scheduled to be completed in the early 2020s.
Traffic can be unpredictable, so if you don’t have much luggage, and can navigate your way around in Spanish, it's best to take the Metro into the city.
The airport station is on Metro Line 5. Take a train towards Pantitlán (one stop) to go to Line 1, where you can get to the historic centre. Or transfer to Lines 5, 9 and A for other destinations. The Metro is open Mon-Fri 05:00-00:00, Sat 06:00-01:00, and Sun and holidays 07:00-00:00. Watch your luggage carefully as thieves target tourists on the Metro. Note that you may not be allowed onto the Metro with more than a small bag.
Cost: MXN 5
Location: Terminal 1, Terminal Aérea station, exit Arrivals, turn left towards Gate A, walk along the covered sidewalk and go downstairs. From Terminal 2, walk 700m to Panitlán station or take the Aerotrén to Terminal 1.
The Metrobus Line 4 will take you to the historic centre in 45 minutes. It has a dedicated lane in traffic, luggage space and a police officer on board. The bus operates at regular intervals Mon-Fri 04:30-00:00 and weekends and holidays 05:00-00:00.
Cost: MXN 30 (plus 15 for a pre-paid smartcard)
Buying tickets: Airport information or vending machines in the Arrivals hall
Taxi - avoid the scams
A taxi is a handy way into the city and should take around 30 minutes, but be careful not to get ripped off. Though the government-regulated cabs are minimally more expensive, they're also safer and more reliable. Pre-paid taxi tickets are available from Taxi Autorizado in the Ground Transportation booth in baggage reclaim. You'll need the address of where you're going so that you are charged the correct fare. You could also try booking online before you go, and you may not pay much more, with companies like this: www.mexico-airport-transfers.com
Be sure to ask for a sedan taxi or they will charge you for an ejecutivo taxi (larger van more appropriate for groups).
Cost: MXN 200 to most zones (pay by cash or credit card at the taxi booth)
Location: Terminal 1, entrances 1 and 10; Terminal 2, entrances 3 and 4
Tip: When in Mexico City, don't hail a cab on the street. Instead, go into a hotel or restaurant, who can call one for you. And never get into a VW Beetle taxi, as they've been known to target tourists.
You can also travel to many other cities directly from the airport by bus.
Destinations and (costs): Puebla (MXN 260), Cuernavaca (MXN 203), Toluca (MXN 162), Queretaro (MXN 337), Celaya (MXN 393), San Juan del Rio (MXN 221), Pachuca (MXN 170), Tulancingo (MXN 160), Cordoba (MXN 492), Orizaba (MXN 460).
Location: In Terminal 1, the bus station can be found near the car ramp leading to the international area. In Terminal 2, the buses leave near Gate D, between entrance number 4 and domestic arrivals exit.
Wi-Fi is available through Telmex, which offers a free 15-minute trial. To connect, you must provide your name, phone number, and email address. If you are a client of the Telmex Prodigy Infinitum internet service, then you will have free, unlimited access.
Another way to access Wi-Fi at the airport is to purchase something at a Starbucks in the airport. There is login information on the printed receipt, which will allow you to connect to the Infinitum Movil network and enjoy unlimited free Wi-Fi.
Many travellers have found that MEX airport makes the gate announcements at the last minute – approximately 15-20 minutes before you are supposed to board. Be sure to wait in the correct hall so you’re not scrambling to your boarding gate. Another tip is that in Terminal 2, the gates go up on the right side (Gate 52-55) while down on the left (62-68) and Gate 75 is in a remote position next to the Aerotrén station.
In Terminal 1, baggage carts are free but they cannot be taken past the arrivals hall. At the doors you will find porters with carts willing to help you carry your luggage. There is no set price for these porters, but MXN 25-50 (USD 1.60-3.20) is expected. In Terminal 2, there is a nominal fee for the baggage cart and it can be taken to the parking lot or taxi rank.
Keep fit or unwind after a long flight by obtaining a day pass for USD 9 to use this gym, swimming pool and a locker. The Camino Real is a hotel across from Terminal 1 and there is a van service from entrance 4 in Terminal 2.
The hotel also houses a salon, spa, bar, and three top-quality restaurants, making it a great place to spend a short layover.
If you arrive at night or would like a place to rest during a layover, the Hilton Airport Hotel is available inside Terminal 1 on the third floor. They offer complimentary Wi-Fi, a 24-hour business centre, and a free shuttle service to Terminal 2. To get there from International Arrivals, take the elevator near Door 8, Gate F1 to the 3rd floor. Rooms start at USD 134 per night.
In Terminal 2, you’ll find the Hotel NH Collection Mexico City, which is located on the sixth floor, a short elevator ride from the International Arrivals floor. Here you have a fully-equipped gym with outdoor pool, soundproof windows and free Wi-Fi. Rooms start at USD 119 per night.
There are two exhibition centres in the MEX airport, which have displays related to the flora and fauna, technology, and aviation history of Mexico. There are also ongoing exhibits provided by the National Institute of Anthropology and History, which curates some of the best museums in Mexico.
The exhibition areas are open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The Terminal 2 centre is located on the upper level of International Departures, while Terminal 1’s centre is in Hall C, between Gates 4 and 5 (pre-security) in Domestic Departures.
If you have a layover of at least 7 hours, you can get out and see the city. Take the Metrobus Line 4 to Teatro del Pueblo to see the lively streets lined with vendors. Head to Ave. Francisco I Madero to indulge in tacos at Tacos de Canasta los Especiales and arroz con leche at Heladeria Santa Clara – a shop that has been selling ice cream and other treats since 1924. Stretch your legs at Alameda Central, a city park with gorgeous fountains and tall poplar trees. Head back to the airport on the same Metrobus, which arrives every 15 minutes.
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The two terminals are linked by a free monorail called the Aerotrén. It runs from 05:00-23:00 and you must have a boarding pass to board. It can be found in Terminal 1, Area D, Puerta (door) 6 and in Terminal 2 on the upper level near Sala M.
If you don't have a boarding pass, you can take special red 'inter-terminal transportation' buses between terminals for MXN 5. These buses are located in Terminal 1, entrance 6 and Terminal 2, entrance 4. Or take a taxi.