Thursday, June 4, 2015


(For Part 2 click HERE)

This is a compilation of information useful to anyone planning a move to Mexico City. I first blogged this post in 2011 and have been repeating it every year, with the addition of new information I've found. I invite my readers to send any tips they think relevant to the post.

First, if you don't own a Guia Roji map book of Mexico City, go to Sanborn's and buy one--I use it all the time. You can get the maps on line for free as well at

The website has a wealth of information about moving to and living in Mexico.

Finding a place to live:

Check out the website for short term rentals. You might consider this as you look for something more permanent--that way you can get a feel for the city before making a final decision.

VRBO (stands for Vacation Rentals BOwner) is a website that has places for rent (short-term) all over the world--a great resource for any traveler.

It's important to consider transportation in your choice of where to live. Being able to walk to work/school, or having a short ride on public transportation, can make a huge difference in your quality of life. A long commute by car will be living hell. 

Living near a park will also improve quality of life. Use google maps to search around for those green spaces.

Visit your chosen area both during the day and at night time--you might find some drastic changes.

A good way to find an apartment is just to walk the streets in the area you'd like to live. Many apartments are rented/sold directly by owners by putting signs in the window. Listed below are a number of on-line sites for house/apartment hunting.

Check this page on Facebook:  RENTA DE DEPAS, CUARTOS Y CASAS DF (VENTAS TAMBIEN) is a Spanish-only website with real estate for sale/rent all over Mexico. You can put an 'alert' on this site and be notified by e-mail of anything new that shows up according to your criteria. It also has a useful chart of 'price-per-square-meter' according to location. Many of the listings are agents, but that's a good way to find one. is similar. Check out for real estate in the centro historico.

are the two Mexico City craigslist sites (English and Spanish--in Spanish look under 'Viviendas'). Keep checking this site as things change constantly. and also have listings for Mexico City as well as the entire country.

Another on-line real estate site: and have listings of shared apartments all over the country

The Hostal Virreyes in the centro draws a hip, young crowd on weekends. They offer cheap rooms by the month-- is another site offering furnished rental apartments.

Buy a copy of 'Segundamano' at any newsstand--this weekly paper lists all sorts of things for sale or rent (cars, apartments, houses). Look for real estate agents here, too. You can also find them online at

One of my readers wrote to say that she found her apartment by speaking to the doormen (porteros) of various buildings and leaving her number--a little tip will help. 


This blog post lists average rental prices by delegation:

This moving company was recommended by a friend: is a website for buying and selling all sorts of stuff (like furniture, e.g.)

For renovation work, Alberto and Eduardo Álvarez can be reached at
044-55-2283-9330 or 044-55-2020-3312

Looking for wood furniture? The address is: Insurgentes Sur 100, corner with Camino a Santa Teresa. The market is also called Mercado de Vasco de Quiroga. It's in Tlalpan. Hundreds of skilled carpenters show off their wares. Anything made to order.

See Michael Parker's informative article in Inside Mexico about shipping your personal property to Mexico. is the website for the Mexico City Newcomers Club, which has all sorts of programs for ex-pats. has lots to offer, including this post about how to meet new friends in the city:

Here is the website for a moving company in Ajijic that can help get your stuff across the border. I have no personal experience with this company, but found it recommended on another blog. Check out the comments on this blog for more helpful information on moving household goods into Mexico.

Mexico City's own government website has a wealth of information in over 60 languages, including brief descriptions of each delegation and what there is to see. (Spanish only) is for more purely governmental information.

I add to her comments about the fiador: I rented my first apartment here without a fiador by offering to pay the first year's rent up-front (with a small discount). Since the monthly rent was only 3000 pesos this was possible.

A number of Facebook pages are directed toward ex-pats in Mexico City, e.g.:
Foreigners in DF (Mexico City)
Americans in Mexico City
Roomies D.F

Aztec Explorers Mexico is a FB page that offers interesting tours in and around the city. offers all kinds of information about events around the city

Part 2 of this blog post offers a brief introduction to some of the more desirable areas to live in the city:

P.S. Buy my book! It will definitely help unravel the city for you.

(The map shown is by Emily Edwards from 1932)


Luis&Elodie said...

This is an excellent update of your original post, with a wealth of information and wise suggestions. Thanks for updating and expanding this invaluable information. We know several people who have used it in the past to great advantage!

Anonymous said...

Great input for newcomers and very helpful as oft times information is scarce in Mexico City if you don't know where to search. Before I moved to Colonia Roma I talked with the concierges of two well located condo buildings. I left my name and my phone number in Guerrero where I was living at the time. Within one month I had my new abode with great views. Concierges seem to know all that goes on in their buildings. For those of you who would like a visual of the popular neighborhoods, I put together a webpage with lots of photos of Mexico City. It can be seen at It will give you the flavor of the various colonias which can help you decide if a neighborhood is for you or not. I have enjoyed your blog Sr. Johnston and hope to meet you one day. Gracias, Teri, now in Queretaro, but moving back to MC

laura ann loveland said...

Your informative posting is terrific! Keep up the wonderful blogging. You are very much appreciated. Laura in PV

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