One of the things you’re going to want to do when you’re in Mexico City is go to Teotihuacan. Located about 1 hour out of town, it’s an easy place to visit on a half day trip by public transport. Why visit Teotihuacan independently vs taking a tour? Because it’s much cheaper and much quicker. Tours generally cost about 300 pesos, take all day and include lots of stops at shops. Visiting independently costs 167 pesos including entry tickets and all transport to and from your hotel in Mexico City.
How to visit Teotihuacan from Mexico City Without a Tour
- Catch a metro train to Autobuses del Norte for 5 pesos. This metro stop is right at the northern bus station, so you don’t need to worry about walking anywhere. Just get out of the metro station and you’re at the bus station. You can also catch an uber there from central Mexico City for about 50 pesos.
- From Autobuses del Norte, search for the Teotihuacan counter. It’s located right next to gate number 8 inside the bus terminal building. Ask for a ticket to Teotihuacan (there will probably be other people asking too) and they will give you a return ticket as well. It costs 46 pesos each way and the price is clearly marked on the ticket they give you and the sign behind the counter. This price will rise as time goes by, so don’t be surprised if it’s 60 pesos each way by the time you read this.
- Go through gate 8 and look for the Teotihuacan bus. I didn’t know which exact platform my bus was at so I had to ask. It turns out it was about 5 platforms away from the very end of the terminal (the end that gate 8 is located). There will be a sign on the front of the bus which says Teotihuacan.
- Hop on the bus and it takes about an hour to get to Teotihuacan. Staff will shout out that you’re at Teotihuacan when you arrive at Gate 1 so you don’t have to worry about missing your stop. You will know.
- Get off the bus and pay your entrance fee of 65 pesos. This price is continually rising and is displayed at the front so you don’t get ripped off. Again, prices will probably have gone up by the time you read this.
- Enjoy the day at Teotihuacan. Plan on minimum of 1 hour, maximum of 2 hours.
- Find your return bus. This is where things can get confusing. My ticket stated that the bus picks up from gate 2, but this isn’t true. The bus actually picked up from gate 3 because there was roadwork blocking access at gate 2. Whatever the case, go to either gate 2 or 3. If gate 2 isn’t operating, the touts will tell you go to gate 3, 300m up the road. Buses will come by every 12 minutes and will have “Teotihuacan” in big writing on the side. There will be other people waiting for the bus.
- From here, the bus will travel into the nearby town and pick up a bunch of passengers before heading down the freeway to Autobuses deal Norte.
And there you have it. An independent visit to Teotihuacan without taking a tour!
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
If you want to add to your daytrip, you can get off your return bus at Deportivo 18 de Marzo and catch the metro 1 stop to La Villa – Basilica (in the direction of Martin Carrera) where you can see the fantastic Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Note: you will walk about 500m inside Deportivo 18 de Marzo station because you will be catching the train on the red line whereas the entrance you will come in through is closer to the Olive line. This is easy to follow as it is well signposted inside the station – simply follow the signs to Martin Carrera. No problemo! Deportivo 18 de Marzo is 1 stop on the bus after Indios Verdes. If you miss this stop, don’t worry. You can also catch the Metro from Autobuses del Norte, but it takes just a little bit longer.
Teotihuacan is a top day trip from Mexico City. With a side trip to Basilica Guadalupe, it’ll be awesome and cheap because you did it without a tour.