Monterrey travel guide

Monterrey Tourism | Monterrey Guide

You're Going to Love Monterrey

Mild winters, blooming and pleasant springs and falls, and smoldering summers - no matter when you travel, your "where" should be Monterrey. Colonial buildings, incredible local cuisine, and the backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountains are just half the story.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Monterrey

1. Visit the Gran Plaza

Ever heard of an all-in-one plaza, housing the city's restaurants, shopping locations, hotels, and historical buildings? The locals call it "Macroplaza" and it's the largest attraction in this North Mexican city.

2. The Incredible Food

If you eat your way through Monterrey, you might well have eaten your way through the entire country. Hangouts like La Felix - Cantina De Ciudad delight your palate with empanadas, fresh ceviche, and carnitas.

3. Vibe with the Nightlife

The rooftop pool and bar at Hotel Habita is a popular spot for mingling, with its scenic infinity pools and mezcal-infused margaritas.

4. Explore the Caves

The Parque Grutas de García on El Fraile Mountain is a spectacular site (and sight!) for visitors. Take a 5-minute cable car ride up the mountain into a dozen limestone chamber caves with intricate formations.

5. Experience the Joys of Nature

Try the Santa Lucía Riverwalk, Sierra Madre mountains, and the Parque Fundidora for a more urban nature experience.

What to do in Monterrey

1. Macroplaza: At the Heart of Monterrey

At 400,000 square feet, the Macroplaza, also known as La Gran Plaza, has truly earned its reputation. This vast square houses several smaller buildings, plazas, cathedrals, a majestic bronze fountain named Fuente de Neptuno, several gardens such as Jardin Hundido - which is likened to New York City's Central Park, Monterrey City Hall, and the famous Lighthouse of Commerce. Holding the title of seventh-largest plaza in the world, it would take days to see everything this magnificent platza has to offer.

2. Museo de Arte Contemporaneo: Hola MARCO!

Known as "MARCO", this centrally located museum captures the heart and soul of artistic and historic Monterrey. Its permanent collection focuses on historic and contemporary Latin American artists and their works. In the past, the museum has also focused on global artists in their rotating exhibits. Notable artists featured include Isamu Noguchi, Jan Hendrix, and Ernesto Neto. The museum's own design aesthetic is quite contemporary and abstract and this is evident from the moment you walk in: an abstract bronze sculpture adorns the entrance which is a 4 ton dove, rising to an astounding 18 feet high.

3. Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey: A Castle or a Church?

You might be forgiven for mistaking the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey for a castle in its own right - its grand towers and sprawling archways, along with its gilded gates certainly give off the vibe of utter royalty. And, in a way, that's what the Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey truly is: a home to the royalty, the main church in the city, and the seat of the highest Archdiocese of Monterrey. The Cathedral combines an imaginative mix of Neoclassical, Baroque, and Gothic influences in service of its portrayal of religious design. The interiors are even more stunning, though quite a bit more sombre than its celebratory exterior decorated with intricate carvings.

4. Fundidora Park: Grand Prix, Grand Play, Grand Park

As you might have realized by now, nothing in Monterrey is "micro". It's all about being "Gran" - La Gran Plaza, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and this - Fundidora Park. Like the Gran Plaza, it's area encompasses several smaller attractions. There are dozens of walkways, a Grand Prix raceway, the Monterrey Arena - used for concerts and public events, The Old Steel Mill, which is a sight when lit up at night, and even a Sesame Street theme park.

5. Barrio Antiguo: The Old Neighborhood

If you've somehow seen all there is to see at La Gran Plaza, you're in luck. The fun doesn't stop there - hop right beside it to the Barrio Antiguo, the preserved historical quarter of the city of Monterrey. Here, Spanish Colonial buildings rub elbows with newly constructed hotels, bars, and discos. Of particular interest to travelers will be the eclectic Cultural Alleyway, which sets up shop on Mina Street every Sunday.

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1. Macroplaza: At the Heart of Monterrey

At 400,000 square feet, the Macroplaza, also known as La Gran Plaza, has truly earned its reputation. This vast square houses several smaller buildings, plazas, cathedrals, a majestic bronze fountain named Fuente de Neptuno, several gardens such as Jardin Hundido - which is likened to New York City's Central Park, Monterrey City Hall, and the famous Lighthouse of Commerce. Holding the title of seventh-largest plaza in the world, it would take days to see everything this magnificent platza has to offer.

2. Museo de Arte Contemporaneo: Hola MARCO!

Known as "MARCO", this centrally located museum captures the heart and soul of artistic and historic Monterrey. Its permanent collection focuses on historic and contemporary Latin American artists and their works. In the past, the museum has also focused on global artists in their rotating exhibits. Notable artists featured include Isamu Noguchi, Jan Hendrix, and Ernesto Neto. The museum's own design aesthetic is quite contemporary and abstract and this is evident from the moment you walk in: an abstract bronze sculpture adorns the entrance which is a 4 ton dove, rising to an astounding 18 feet high.

3. Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey: A Castle or a Church?

You might be forgiven for mistaking the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey for a castle in its own right - its grand towers and sprawling archways, along with its gilded gates certainly give off the vibe of utter royalty. And, in a way, that's what the Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey truly is: a home to the royalty, the main church in the city, and the seat of the highest Archdiocese of Monterrey. The Cathedral combines an imaginative mix of Neoclassical, Baroque, and Gothic influences in service of its portrayal of religious design. The interiors are even more stunning, though quite a bit more sombre than its celebratory exterior decorated with intricate carvings.

4. Fundidora Park: Grand Prix, Grand Play, Grand Park

As you might have realized by now, nothing in Monterrey is "micro". It's all about being "Gran" - La Gran Plaza, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and this - Fundidora Park. Like the Gran Plaza, it's area encompasses several smaller attractions. There are dozens of walkways, a Grand Prix raceway, the Monterrey Arena - used for concerts and public events, The Old Steel Mill, which is a sight when lit up at night, and even a Sesame Street theme park.

5. Barrio Antiguo: The Old Neighborhood

If you've somehow seen all there is to see at La Gran Plaza, you're in luck. The fun doesn't stop there - hop right beside it to the Barrio Antiguo, the preserved historical quarter of the city of Monterrey. Here, Spanish Colonial buildings rub elbows with newly constructed hotels, bars, and discos. Of particular interest to travelers will be the eclectic Cultural Alleyway, which sets up shop on Mina Street every Sunday.

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Where to Eat in Monterrey

In Monterrey, spicy fare is the norm. So prep your palate for some incredible spicy, smoky, and tangy enchiladas, pulled pork, and fried goat cheese, among other delicacies, at FONDA San Francisco, where meals cost between Mex$85-150.

When to visit Monterrey

Monterrey in August
Estimated hotel price
$62
1 night at 3-star hotel
Monterrey in August
Estimated hotel price
$62
1 night at 3-star hotel

During summer in Monterrey, from May to September, the temperatures rise to over 100. It's best to go when the weather is milder, during the spring, March to May or the fall, from October to November. At this point, temperatures are a comfortable 65-80.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Monterrey

Plane

Air travelers will land at General Mariano Escobedo International Airport (MTY). The airport is located about 15 miles away from downtown; take a taxi for about Mex$25.

Car

Getting in to the city using a car is just as easy as using the bus. Monterrey is located 124 miles from the US border. Use the I-35 and then use Mexico's Federal Highway 85.

Bus

To get in by bus, from the southern states of the US or other Mexican cities, use services like Adame, Turimex Internacional, and Estrella Blanca. From Alamo to Monterrey, for example, a one-way fare is Mex$1,120.

Airports near Monterrey

Airlines serving Monterrey

United Airlines
Good (2,838 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,152 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,377 reviews)
KLM
Good (348 reviews)
Air France
Good (399 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,414 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,047 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,324 reviews)
Iberia
Good (915 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,413 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (777 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Good (2,492 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (146 reviews)
Avianca
Good (801 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (821 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (139 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (465 reviews)
Korean Air
Excellent (245 reviews)
Copa Airlines
Good (517 reviews)
Frontier
Good (1,436 reviews)
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Where to stay in Monterrey

Mitras Centro - Mitras Centro is a beautiful neighborhood that is well connected and right in the core of Monterrey. It includes residential areas and the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon.

Popular Neighborhoods in Monterrey

Barrio Antiguo - one of the main hubs of Monterrey is this "barrio" or neighborhood. It features great restaurants, hotels, and the well-preserved historic quarter.

Nuevo Repueblo - right beside this mainly residential neighborhood is Río Santa Catarina and the Technological Institute of Monterrey.

Where to stay in popular areas of Monterrey

Most booked hotels in Monterrey

Safi Royal Luxury Centro
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
$115+
Krystal Monterrey
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
$114+
Crowne Plaza Monterrey
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
$152+
NH Monterrey La Fe
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
$104+
Holiday Inn Monterrey-Parque Fundidora
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$157+
Hotel Monterrey Macroplaza
Good (7.9, Good reviews)
$86+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Monterrey

Public Transportation

Public transportation includes inner-city buses, inter-city buses servicing Guadalupe and San Bernabé, and the subway system. A one-way adult fare costs Mex$12 and you can purchase a monthly pass for Mex$400.

Taxi

If you're hailing a taxi locally, expect to pay about Mex$50. Fares start at a flat rate of Mex$10, with $9 per mile after that.

Car

Rent a car in Monterrey through companies like Alamo, Dollar Rent A Car, and Thrifty, with daily fares starting at Mex$94.

Car hire agencies in Monterrey

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The Cost of Living in Monterrey

Shopping Streets

You could say Monterrey was made for shopping! There is a perfect mix of high-end luxury labels, mid-range finds, and lots of tourist-focused souvenir stalls. If you love the latter, check out the Zona Rosa. If you prefer a good mall, head to Galerias Monterrey or Plaza Fiesta San Agustín.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs Mex$17 and a dozen eggs costs Mex$29.

Cheap meal
$10.27
A pair of jeans
$68.98
Single public transport ticket
$1.03
Cappuccino
$3.22