Moving to Mexico City
The people who decide to move to Mexico City are those with a passion for a busy city life. Mexico City is ideal for individuals and families who want to experience the culture of Mexico merged with modern architecture, great job opportunities and a lower cost of living.
Estimated to have a population of 9 million, Mexico City is the capital of Mexico. With 16 boroughs and a vast number of neighbourhoods, the size of the city often overwhelms visitors, and those looking to relocate don't know where to begin in their search for a perfect home. However, this is also what gives Mexico City its unique edge. With so many places to explore, from secret parks and bustling marketplaces to awe-inspiring architecture and an array of museums and galleries, Mexico City caters for everyone.
Surrounded by mountains, Mexico City is found within a valley, which has a significant impact on its climate. Compared to other areas of Mexico, the city remains quite cool throughout the year. The average annual temperature is 14°C, and the temperature rarely reaches over 30°C, even in the summer months.
Central Mexico City is where the biggest attractions are found. The Metropolitan Cathedral, Chapultepec Castle, National Museum and Modern Art Museum will all satisfy the needs of culture vultures. The city is also home to beautiful plazas, such as Plaza Garibaldi, where you can admire your surroundings while listening to authentic Mariachi bands. Of course, it's not all high culture in Mexico City, and there are plenty of places to go if you are craving a quick taco or shot of tequila at a cheap price!
Is Mexico City Dangerous?
Mexico City is no more or less dangerous than other large cities around the world. Reported stories of crime, violence and drug trafficking in Mexico can make people wary about moving to the country, and many areas are notorious for being dangerous. However, Mexico City not one of these.
Obviously, Mexico City has its share of crime, yet it has not been overtaken by violence like other parts of Mexico. Some neighbourhoods (e.g. Iztapalapa) are worse than others, yet high levels of surveillance and policing ensure Mexico City is a safe place to live and visit.
Mexico City is the centre of the national economy and the easiest place to find a job in Mexico. Many global companies have offices there which are easy to find online. The most popular industries in Mexico City include banking, telecommunications, finance and media. However, hospitality and the service sector are also sectors that regularly have job vacancies.
Teaching English is a path chosen by many expatriates, which is useful in Mexico City as well as giving you a qualification you can use worldwide. You can choose to do a TEFL course in your home country or when you move to Mexico City.
English-speaking companies are prevalent in Mexico City, however, many of these also require a level of Spanish. Mexican Spanish has slight differences to typical Castellano Spanish, therefore, taking a course can be extremely beneficial for job seekers.
Local newspapers, recruitment sites, company websites and speaking to locals or other expatriates are all ways of finding employment in Mexico City.
Choosing where to live in Mexico City can be a difficult decision because of the extensive size of the city and its boroughs. With every borough containing several neighbourhoods, the process can be even more confusing. Here are some of the main boroughs found in Mexico City and their characteristics:
- Centro Histórico: Busy city centre district with a plethora of shops, restaurants, historic landmarks and cultural treasures.
- Condesa and Roma: Bohemian/Hipster feel with independent shops, beautiful parks and art galleries.
- Coyoacán: Liberal area with historic architecture and hippy markets. Famously home to Frida Kahlo.
- Polanco: Upmarket feel with luxury shops and fine dining.
- San Angel: Cobbled streets, antique shops and exquisite buildings make this one of the prettiest neighbourhoods.
- Santa Fe: Modern, contemporary, home to young professionals and full of sophisticated nightlife.
- Xochimilco: Host to canals, floating gardens, markets, churches and over 400 annual festivals!
- Zona Rosa: A gay-friendly district, popular with tourists and full of nightclubs that stay open until morning.
Before you move your possessions from your home country, you have to find a home to put them in! Many of the locals and expatriates in Mexico City choose to rent properties rather than buy them. Most of the inner city is made up of apartments which can be relatively cheap. A city centre apartment, with one bedroom, can be rented for around £350 per month. A three bedroom apartment will cost around £700 a month.
Most apartments come unfurnished which is why it can be beneficial to move some of your furniture from your home country. Furnished apartments will also be more expensive to rent. Many of the apartment blocks are part of gated communities, which is ideal for people wanting more security from their home and, as they are safer, these communities are perfect for families.
Laws in Mexico make it legal for expatriates to buy land and property in the country. An apartment in the centre of Mexico City will set you back approximately £1,050 per square metre. Whether you choose to buy a home for the long-term future or decide to stay there for a while and rent it out, investing in Mexican properties can lead to great financial opportunities.
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Many agencies speak English in Mexico City, however, if you are in doubt about any part of your contract or payments, you can hire a lawyer or translator to help you understand the conditions.
Schools and Education
There are a range of bilingual and bi-cultural schools in Mexico City. Some teach Mexican education and some offer the International Baccalaureate course, which is an internationally recognised qualification. Students can benefit from learning Spanish while being taught in a British or American school system.
The American School Foundation, a renowned school in Mexico City, offers private American education to students. The Peterson Schools also use an American system and there are four campuses to choose from. If you prefer to give your children an education that uses British systems and teaching techniques, Greengates School is a fantastic option. The Edron Academy is another institution that combines British systems with the best of Mexican education.
Private education can be expensive in Mexico City, and you can find details of admission and tuition fees on the school websites. There are a number of universities in the city for those looking to further their education past a high school level, including the National Autonomous University (UNAM), the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM), and the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN).
Cost of Moving
Although the cost of living is cheaper in Mexico City, moving your possessions can be expensive. Based on an average move for a family of three, moving costs to Mexico City are as follows:
|From London||£3,361 to £3,593|
|From Glasgow||£2,141 and £2,289|
|From Dublin||£3,683 and £3,937|
|From Dubai||£8,036 to £8,590|
|From Sydney||£5,880 to £6,286|
|From Perth||£5,436 to £5,810|
|From Ottowa||£2,787 to £2,979|
|From New York||£2,685 to £2,870|
|From Washington||£5,436 to £5,810|