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Posted Sunday, October 10, 2004
Carl replies: I haven't stayed in the hostels in Mexico City myself but I know that they are very popular, especially with Europeans. There is a big modern hostel right downtown, in the historic district, at one corner of the central plaza (zocalo), called the Hostel Catedral. I go there to use the internet and sometimes have lunch in the cafe. I think you'd find it quite safe and also a good place to meet other travelers.
The Catedral hostel has a website but frankly I find it somewhat overdone -- the best thing about it may be the photos of the hostel:
Here's a more straightforward website where you can read about the Catedral and other Mexican hostels and also book a room.
I enjoy staying in the center of Mexico City, mainly because of the cafes and used bookshops. If you go there and like coffee, don't miss the Cafe Popular, on 5 de Mayo, just a couple of blocks from the Zocalo. The food and pastries are very good in the Popular -- cheap, too -- but the real treat is the manner in which they prepare and serve a traditional cafe con leche. True cafe con leche is now relatively rare in Mexico -- and that's tragic!
Here's another hostel, the Cenote Azul, in the Coyoacan district, a very attractive area of the city definitely worth visiting:
Again, their webmaster has gotten carried away and loaded the site with features that may or may not work for you, so you might prefer to check it out via this link:
As for safety, I hope you'll read our chapters on this and machismo in The People's Guide To Mexico -- it's a big topic and one that can't be answered in a few lines.
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