Practical Information of México
The etiquette in Mexico City is a delicate process. As many employees earn a very small salary, they still rely on tips to get by. We all know the awkward feeling when you are unsure whether you have tipped too much, or even too little. To avoid any embarrassment here is a brief guide on what we recommend you a tip.
One to five pesos for supermarket baggage handlers.
Restaurant and bar: 15% of the bill total before VAT is added
Bell boys and room service staff: $1-2
The majority of banks are open on weekdays between 9 am - 4 pm, and also Saturday mornings.
Shopping hours are typically 10 am - 10 pm. Most larger shops and malls are open seven days a week, but it is commonplace that smaller establishments will close on Sundays or open or close an hour later.
Office hours mirror that of the UK, with hours from 8 am - 6 pm, including an hour break for lunch.
Money, ATM's and Exchange Bureaus
Mexico's currency is the peso, which is divided into 100 centavos. Prices in pesos are denoted as follows: M$, MX$ or MN. This is to avoid confusion with US Dollars, which are also frequently used. It is important to make sure you carry both types of currency because you will quickly find that although prices are in dollars and you are expected to pay in dollars, many shops or taxi drivers will have little change in large denominations of dollars.
You can easily use credit and debit cards throughout the city and you would be hard-pressed not to spot an ATM along any street in Mexico City, due to their sheer numbers.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and other major companies are all accepted.
When exchanging money, keep an eye out for the 'tourist rate' of exchange which is often inferior to the rate banks will charge you for ATM withdrawals. You are strongly advised to request the rate you will be charged before you complete your transaction.
The legal minimum drinking age in Mexico is 18. Although many areas throughout the city are not particularly strict when asking for identification, always carry a form of identification to avoid disappointment. Due to the unusually high altitude, you may feel the effects of alcohol at a much quicker rate, so don't rush into things or you will end up feeling a little worse for wear!
All enclosed public places, workplaces, and smoking rooms have been banned. Hotels are obliged to designate at least three-quarters of their rooms as non-smoking rooms.
Possession of cannabis has been decriminalized in Mexico, but growing and selling remain illegal. As in all countries, buying drugs is not advised and plain-clothed police officers operate in large numbers.
You will not find traditional launderettes that you may be used to in more developed countries. There are locations for laundry all over the city, but instead of a shop where you pay and wait, you leave it with a shopkeeper and they will complete the job for you. Services include wash, dry, and fold. You are then charged depending on the weight of your clothes. It is essential you arrange a pickup time, usually within 24 hours.