When we asked our Airbnb host how to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City by bus, his reaction was unexpected. He looked at us slightly strangely before stating that we’d be better going on a Teotihuacan tour.
“It’s much easier” he said “as getting there by bus is slightly complicated. And getting an Uber to Teotihuacan will be pretty expensive”.
Though we have nothing against tours, wherever possible we prefer to make our own way to places using public transport. However, we know that not everyone is the same as us.
In this post we’re going to detail the three main ways to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City – bus, Uber, and with a tour. These instructions will cover you for whatever neighbourhood in Mexico City you’re staying in.
We’ve also included a bunch of other useful information about when to visit, how to navigate the site, where to eat, and what to take.
Visiting Teotihuacan From Mexico City Independently
We rightly anticipated that visiting Teotihuacan was going to be an incredible experience. So wanted to spend as long there as possible and move around it at our own pace. We didn’t think this would be possible in a tour group.
After doing a bit of research and piecing together some of the information we’d read, we got there with absolutely no problems. Getting to Teotihuacan from Mexico City by bus was both simple, and far cheaper than booking onto a tour.
If you’re up for an adventure and want to do the same, we’ll show you how to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City by bus. We’ll also run through some other alternative options that may interest you.
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How to Get to Teotihuacan From Mexico City by Bus
Your first step in getting to Teotihuacan from Mexico City is to head to Autobuses del Norte metro station. It’s on the Yellow Line 5 towards the north of the metro map as you look at it.
The metro system in Mexico City is convenient, efficient and extremely cheap. At only $5 MXN pesos (around £0.22 GBP or $0.28 USD) per journey it’s well worth getting acquainted with.
Lots of people told us to be careful on the metro because there are pickpockets and it gets extremely busy. This was good advice, but certainly not a reason to be put off using it.
The metro here is the same as any big city in the world from Tokyo to London, and a little common sense goes a long way. Keep hold of your valuables, don’t get distracted, and make sure your bags are in front of you
Buy Tickets for the Bus to Teotihuacan at Autobuses del Norte
When you exit the metro station, the Autobuses del Norte terminal is directly in front of you, you can’t miss it.
Once you’re inside, turn to your left and walk past all of the offices selling tickets to various destinations, and continue right down to the end of the station. Here you’ll see a sign saying “Puerta 8” and it’s around there that you’ll find the office selling the tickets for the bus to Teotihuacan.
Find the booth that says “Piramides” and it’s here you’ll buy your tickets from. They cost $52 MXN (£2.00 GBP or $2.60 USD) each way (information updated November 2018). You can either buy a return ticket here or pay for your return directly on the bus back.
It doesn’t really make a difference whether you buy the return or not, but we did just for the security of knowing we had a ticket. The staff at the ticket booths speak English so don’t worry if your Spanish isn’t up to much. They’ll ask you where you’re going and if you want a return.
The tickets to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City have the departure time of your bus printed on them. So take note and make sure that you don’t miss it.
We didn’t realise this at first and went off to the shop to buy a drink and a snack. Fortunately our bus to Teotihuacan wasn’t for 20 minutes otherwise we may not have made it! When we were there the departure times were extremely frequent at every ten minutes.
Once you’ve bought your tickets for the bus to Teotihuacan, go through exit 8 to left of ticket booth. There’s a small shop here if you do want to buy a drink or snack for the journey and a waiting room.
Find the Right Bus From Mexico City to Teotihuacan
Outside the waiting room you’ll find all of the buses lined up. These buses are going to destinations all over the country so it’s important to get this part right!
It can be slightly confusing which queue to get in. Firstly because not all of the buses are the one you want. And secondly because depending on how early you are, there may be different queues for different times.
We asked a guy in a high visibility vest and he put us in the right queue, which was not the one we would have got in. Much better to ask and be safe as this is the only tricky part of the journey from Mexico City to Teotihuacan.
Journey from Mexico City to Teotihuacan
The buses are extremely comfortable and the tickets we bought had allocated seats printed on them so we were guaranteed a place. However, we have been informed that tickets may no longer come with allocated seating.
From here it should take about an hour so sit back and enjoy the ride.
Some of the scenery on the journey is worth the ticket price alone, so stay awake if you can. The views of the colourful favela style housing sprawling high into the mountains that surround Mexico City are incredible.
After about 50 minutes, the bus may stop in the pretty town of San Juan. It’s not far from Teotihuacan but don’t get off here or you’ll have a bit of a walk.
Instead, stay on until the driver shouts “piramides” which will be at puerta 2 of the site. If you have a view out of the front window you’ll have already caught sight of the Pyramid of the Sun.
The street is lined with restaurants, bars and street sellers, a surefire indication you’re near to a big tourist site.
Once you’re off the bus just walk in the direction of the Pyramid of the Sun and you’ll see the ticket booth on the left.
How to Get Back to Mexico City from Teotihuacan by Bus
To get back to Mexico City leave the Teotihuacan site through Puerta 2 where you came in and turn right. Cross the road, and about 10 metres along is where the bus will stop.
There’s no physical bus stop so don’t worry too much on exactly where along the road you are. You can wave it down from pretty much anywhere.
The buses stop running back at around 18.00 so make sure you’re on one before then. They can get full up as well so it’s best to leave a bit earlier. This way you’ll make sure you catch one, plus have a better chance of getting seated because there are no allocated seats on the way back.
How Much it Costs to Get to Teotihuacan From Mexico City by Bus
Metro to Autobuses del Norte – 5 MXN pesos (around £0.20 GBP or $0.25 USD)
Bus from Autobuses del Norte to Teotihuacan – $52 MXN (£2.00 GBP or $2.60 USD)
Total $57 MXN pesos (£2.20 GBP or $2.85 USD) per person each way
Uber to Teotihuacan from Mexico City
If you’re looking to explore the site independently but aren’t keen on getting the bus then catching an Uber to Teotihuacan could be your best option.
Uber is pretty freely available and widely used in Mexico City so you’ll have no trouble catching one. The journey takes around an hour and will cost in the region of $400 – 500 MXN (£15 – 19 GBP or $19.50 – 24 USD) each way. As with any Uber journey this depends on the demand at the time of booking.
Be sure to put the correct destination in as there are lots of streets called Teotihuacan and we’ve heard reports of people ordering Ubers to Teotihuacan only to end up in the nearby town of San Juan. If you search for “Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun” then it’s impossible to go wrong.
People are often most concerned with the return journey and whether it will be possible to order an Uber from Teotihuacan. However, getting back to Mexico City from Teotihuacan by Uber is no problem. You can ordinarily connect with an Uber within a minute or two from any of the entrance gates as there are plenty around.
One thing to note is that the main road between Mexico City and Teotihuacan is a toll road. Some Uber drivers will require you to pay the toll fee which is $77 MXN (£2.95 GBP or $3.75 USD) so just be sure to confirm before setting off.
Another thing to remember of is that to use Uber requires an internet connection. Because of this, you’ll need a local sim card, or a U.S. a plan that includes roaming in Mexico. You’ll have no issues with the reception at Teotihuacan, it’s pretty strong.
The journey by Uber to Teotihuacan should take between an hour to an hour and thirty minutes depending on traffic.
The Best Teotihuacan Tour
While we’d definitely suggest heading to Teotihuacan independently, a tour is a brilliant option if you’re not so confident on public transport or want the ease of having everything sorted and booked for you. Plus you’ll get a personal guide to explain about the incredible sites you’re seeing during your visit.
This personal tour is a great choice and will pick you up right from your front door taking all of the hassle out of organising your own journey. Lunch is also included and it’s the highest rated Teotihuacan tour by travellers who have actually been on it.
Entrance Costs & Opening Times for Teotihuacan
Entrance Ticket – $75 MXN (£3 GBP or $3.95 USD)
There is also an additional charge of $45 MXN (£1.75 GBP or $2.30 USD) to use electronic video recording devices. However, we asked whether we needed to pay this to record on our phones and cameras and they said no. We think this is just for professional type recording equipment.
Teotihuacan is open between the hours of 8.00 and 17.00.
Visiting Teotihuacan Without a Guide
While there’s no set route for visiting Teotihuacan, it pays for various reasons to not just wander aimlessly round.
Firstly, it’s best to do the big sites before they get to crowded.
Secondly, the city is wide open with little to no shade in many parts. Following a route that keeps you out of the midday sun makes sense.
Thirdly, it’s a large site covering a sizable area. While it’s difficult to get lost, it’s easy to miss bits out without a reasonable idea of what’s there.
The Temple of the Sun
This is the biggest pyramid on the site and for many people the most iconic image of Teotihuacan. It’s directly in front of Gate 2 and the first thing you’ll see, even before you’ve entered the grounds.
The Temple of the Sun should definitely be your first port of call when visiting Teotihuacan. It’s the main attraction and at busy times it can get so packed that it’s difficult to make it up and down the stairs.
Speaking of stairs, there are almost 250 of them and they’re pretty large and very steep. You’ll be sweating once you reach the top regardless, but heading up first thing will help avoid any unnecessary punishment.
The Pyramid of the Moon
This is the second highest structure at Teotihuacan, so is second on the list for similar reasons. However, if the thought of climbing any more stairs fills you with dread, rest easy. You’re only allowed to go halfway up the Pyramid of the Moon.
Despite it being lower than the Temple of the Sun, the vantage point here allows you to take in the whole of the Teotihuacan site. You get to gaze back at the Temple of the Sun in all its glory as well as look directly down the considerable Avenue of the Dead.
The Palace of Quetzalpapálotl
As you look down the Avenue of the Dead from the Pyramid of the Moon, The Palace of Quetzalpapálotl is one of the nearest structures on the right hand side.
Relatively unremarkable from the exterior, it’s inner courtyard where the magic lies. Intricate carvings grace virtually every surface including pillars and walls and the roof is painted a stunning shade of regal red.
Avenue of the Dead
Now for the long walk down the ominously named Avenue of the Dead. There are pyramids and buildings the whole way down so explore at your leisure.
You’ll also find a high concentration of hawkers down this mile and a half avenue. So if you’re in the market for some keepsakes, this is a good place to get your haggle on. Most of the (numerous) sellers sell exactly the same stuff, so don’t be scared to move on if you don’t like the price.
Patio of the Four Temples
Shortly after you pass the Temple of the Sun on your way down the Avenue of the Dead, you’ll come to the Patio of the Four Temples. It’s a sunken grassy area surrounded by, you guessed it, four more temples.
The museum is well worthy of a visit towards the end of the day, especially if you need to get out of the sun. It’s packed full of incredible artifacts and tells the history of the site in great detail.
Outside the museum there is also a stunning garden full of giant cacti and other interesting plants. It’s a nice place to sit and recuperate for a while after all that walking.
Best Time for Visiting Teotihuacan
Truthfully, this is such an incredible site that there’s no bad time as such for visiting Teotihuacan. That said, it can and does get extremely busy at peak times, so if you’re not a fan of crowds then there are a few things to consider.
Sundays at Teotihuacan are free entry days for Mexican residents which means they tend to get super crowded. It’s by far the busiest day in fact, so if you have a choice in the matter it’s best to avoid Sundays altogether.
Saturdays are also popular being the weekend, but slightly less crowded than Sundays. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays see the least numbers of people visiting Teotihuacan. So if your objective is to avoid the masses then these are your days.
Peak times are between 12 and 4 which is why it’s a great idea to arrive early if possible. That way you get a few hours of relative peace before the madness starts. It’s also far cooler in the morning meaning you won’t be sweating buckets in the midday heat.
Other Tips for Visiting Teotihuacan
The Teotihuacan site is vast and you’ll be trekking up and down large, steep steps for much of the day. Because of this it’s important to dress accordingly. Comfortable shoes and clothes that you would ordinarily wear to walk in will do just fine.
You’re able to leave and reenter Teotihuacan without paying again. This means that you shouldn’t feel captive when it comes to lunch, and it’s probably wise to venture outside the onsite restaurant for both price and quality.
One of the most popular additions to a trip to Teotihuacan is a visit to the famous La Gruta restaurant. It’s just outside Gate 5 and is situated in a cave, and by all accounts is a great experience. However, it’s not cheap and tends to fill up with tour groups.
If you’re after some authentic, reasonably priced fare then you’ll find numerous restaurants on the road that leads to Gate 2. They all serve similar food, it’s decent quality, quick service, and at relatively cheap prices.
As mentioned earlier, Teotihuacan is very open meaning it can be difficult to find shade when you’re in there. If visiting during the warmer months, take plenty of sun cream, a hat, and dress for the weather.
If you have any questions about getting to Teotihuacan from Mexico City, let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to help. And if you use these instructions to get to Teotihuacan let us know how you enjoyed it!
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Do You Speak Spanish?
It may come a surprise given the size of the place, that outside of the international hotels, many people in Mexico City don’t speak English. Even at some of the major tourist attractions it’s rare. And as for taxi drivers and market stall holders, forget it.
You can of course usually get by, but since we started learning Spanish we found that it has hugely enhanced our travel experiences. Not to mention enabled us to travel around Spanish speaking countries more confidently.
Which is why we’d like to recommend this Travel Spanish Confidence course we took recently. It enabled us move beyond a basic level to being able to communicate effectively in Spanish.
If you don’t know a word of Spanish however, this won’t be for you yet. Better to get started with Duolingo or some basic language classes first.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
For a trip to Mexico you need to have a good quality travel insurance in place. Our go travel insurance provider is World Nomads. They have a no bullshit approach to travel insurance policies & are perfect for adventurous travellers like us. Get a quote here:
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**This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been completely revamped to provide you with the most up to date and accurate information**