How to get from Mexico City to Teotihuacan Pyramids by Bus

A great day trip from Mexico City is to Teotihuacan, one of the most important archaeological sites and Mesoamerican cities in the Americas.

Teotihuacan is also a great day trip because it is close to Mexico City, a city of over 10 million people. While it is close to the city, Teotihuacan feels worlds away.

So, you are probably wondering, how do I get to Teotihuacan? While you can take a taxi or Uber, one of the best ways to get from Mexico City to Teotihuacan is by public bus.

The bus is affordable, comfortable, safe, and runs often, making this option my favorite mode of transportation between the two cities.

This post will show you exactly how to travel by public bus from Mexico City to Teotihuacan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before describing how to get to Teotihuacan, I will answer a few frequently asked questions about Teotihuacan, including its history, to help you better understand this important site and why you should visit.

What is Teotihuacan?

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico City
Pyramid of the Sun

Teotihuacan is an ancient Mesoamerican city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Americas.

The site is best known for its well-preserved Mesoamerican pyramids, built in the pre-Columbian Americas. These include the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, linked by the Avenue of the Dead.

Teotihuacan was a sophisticated society with over 25,000 inhabitants. At its peak, the city stretched over 36 square kilometers (13 square miles).

Where is Teotihuacan?

Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan, Mexico City
Avenue of the Dead

Teotihuacan is located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Mexico City, in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico, in the state of Mexico.

Though located near Mexico City, a city of around 10 million people and one of the largest cities in North America, Teotihuacan feels worlds away.

Reaching Teotihuacan by car or bus takes about one hour, depending on traffic.

Who built Teotihuacan?

Temple of Quetzalcóatl
Temple of Quetzalcóatl

Due to a lack of historical records, the identity of the people who built Teotihuacan remains unknown.

While humans have occupied the area for thousands of years, it was not until the 1st century that it developed into one of the largest ancient cities in the Americas.

In the 7th century, a fire destroyed the city, causing its abandonment. By the time the Aztecs arrived, the area was in ruins. They named the ruins Teotihuacan, which means “the place where gods were created.”

How long do I need to spend at Teotihuacan?

Museum of Teotihuacan Culture
Museum of Teotihuacan Culture

Visiting Teotihuacan, including travel time, requires at least half a day. At the minimum, most visitors will see the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon and walk along the Avenue of the Dead, a 2.5 kilometer (1.5 mile) ancient road linking many of Teotihuacan’s sights.

While half a day is doable, I recommend a full day, which allows you to explore more of Teotihuacan, including the Palace of Quetzalpapálotl and the Temple of Quetzalcóatl.

If you plan on taking a tour, purchasing goods from one of the many vendors, or visiting the Museum of Teotihuacan Culture, you will need a full day and an earlier start.

How to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City by Bus

Step 1: From Mexico City to Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte

Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte, Mexico City's Northern Bus Station
Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte, Mexico City’s Northern Bus Station

Buses to Teotihuacan depart from the Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte (Northern Central Bus Terminal). As its name suggests, the bus terminal lies in the northern part of the city.

There are a few ways to reach Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte from locations around Mexico City, but I will focus on two main options: Uber and Metro.

By Metro

If you plan to take the metro to the bus station, you will begin your journey at one of the many metro stations across Mexico City.

Take the metro from your location to the similarly named Autobuses del Norte metro station. This station is on Line 5, the Yellow Line. The cost will be 15 pesos or about $0.91 per trip.

Once at the metro station, exit and follow the signs towards the bus terminal connected to the metro station.

By Uber

While the metro is convenient, I recommend Uber, especially when traveling in a group.

As with any time you use Uber, fares will vary depending on your location, traffic, and time of the day.

I stayed in the Roma Norte neighborhood during my recent visit to Mexico City. Because Metro Line 6 was under construction, I decided to Uber to Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte. I paid less than 100 pesos, or about $6.04, for a ride from Roma Norte to the bus terminal. And even with some traffic, the journey took only 20 minutes.

While traffic can be an issue, using Uber will ensure a stress-free journey and door-to-door travel, reducing your chances of getting lost.

Step 2: Arrival at Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte

The Autobuses Teotihuacan ticket counter located near Sala 8 (Gate 8)
The Autobuses Teotihuacan ticket counter located near Sala 8 (Gate 8)

As mentioned, if you arrive by metro, follow signs towards the terminal connected to the metro station.

If you arrive by Uber, your driver will drop you off in front of the terminal. Enter the building through any of the entrances. Like an airport terminal, the bus station is vast, with many gates (sala).

Once inside the station, you must find the Autobuses Teotihuacan ticket counter near Sala 8 (Gate 8). To find it, head north or to the left when you enter the station. The ticket counter and Sala 8 are at the very northern end of the building.

Step 3: Purchasing Tickets at the Autobuses Teotihuacan Counter

Autobuses Teotihuacan ticket counter
Autobuses Teotihuacan ticket counter

Once you locate the Autobuses Teotihuacan ticket counter, you can purchase bus tickets to Teotihuacan. When you reach the counter, tell them your destination, Teotihuacan or Zona Arqueologica.

As of March 2024, tickets cost 67 pesos, or about $4.05 per way. Only cash is accepted. I recommend purchasing a return ticket unless you plan on taking a taxi or Uber back.

Bus ticket
Bus ticket

When you purchase a bus ticket, the date, time, and total cost are listed on the outbound ticket. The time listed on the ticket corresponds to the bus you must take, so be careful to check the time.

Thankfully, return tickets have no specific return time, so you can hop on any bus when you return to Mexico City from Teotihuacan.

Restaurants and shops found inside the terminal
Restaurants and shops found inside the terminal

During my visit, I only had a few minutes to spare, so I had to rush to catch the bus. If you have more time, you can stop by one of the restaurants or shops in the terminal.

Step 4: Security

Now that you have your ticket, double-check the departure time listed on the ticket. Now it is time to head towards your bus. After leaving the ticket counter, head towards Sala 8 (Gate 8) to your left.

You will find a quick security check here, similar to any airport. After passing through security, an employee looked at my ticket and pointed me in the right direction.

He told me to exit the terminal, turn right, and head to Bus Stop #6. If you have any issues or are lost, feel free to ask an employee for help.

Step 5: Boarding the Bus Towards Teotihuacan

Bus stops
Bus stops

After exiting the terminal, walk towards your bus stop. On my journey, that was Bus Stop #6. The bus stop may be different during your visit.

Bus to Teotihuacan
Bus to Teotihuacan

Buses to Teotihuacan leave often, every 15 minutes, so your bus should be waiting at the stop. You will know it is the right bus if a sign on the windshield says Piramides Teotihuacan.

Now you can show your ticket to the bus driver and board the bus.

Step 6: Riding on the Bus

On board the bus
On board the bus

While I read that these buses used to have assigned seating, this is not the case anymore. Therefore, once you board the bus, you can sit wherever you choose.

While the actual type of bus varies, most are comfortable with large reclining seats. On my visit, there was no air conditioner, but many windows were open, so it never got too warm onboard.

Depending on traffic, and the number of stops the bus makes, the journey should take about 60 to 90 minutes. Now, sit back and relax.

Step 7: Arrival at Teotihuacan

The bus stops on a busy street outside Puerta 2, Teotihuacan, Mexico City
The bus stops on a busy street outside Puerta 2

After an hour, you will arrive at Teotihuacan. You will know you are in the right place when everyone else gets off, and you see the towering Pyramid of the Sun in the distance.

The buses will stop on a busy street with affordable restaurants and shops near Puerta 2 (Door 2). Now is a great time to stop if you are hungry or thirsty. I went to Restaurante Campestre on my visit, and it was great for a quick meal and drink.

Teotihuacan Ticket Office
Teotihuacan Ticket Office

From the busy street, continue walking towards the Pyramid of the Sun and Puerta 2. Here, you can purchase tickets and find the entrance to Teotihuacan. As of March 2024, tickets for Teotihuacan were 90 pesos, or about $5.44.

How to return to Mexico City from Teotihuacan by Bus

Line for bus returning back to Mexico City
Line for bus returning back to Mexico City

When you finish your visit to Teotihuacan, exit the same way you entered Puerta 2 (Door 2). When you exit and reach the first main road, Carr. Pirámides, cross the road and follow it about 100 meters to your right.

Buses returning to Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte depart from here. Depending on when you leave, these buses can get busy.

As before, show your return ticket, and find a seat on the bus. After another hour, you will arrive at Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte.

From here, you can take the metro or Uber.

Last Updated on April 5, 2024