Getty Images/iStockphoto

Monterrey

Cosmopolitan Monterrey is Mexico’s third-largest city, second-largest industrial center and número uno in per-capita income. This economic powerhouse has a strong entrepreneurial ethos, humming cultural scene, vibrant universities and an urban hipster nightlife scene.

With sprawling suburbs of gargantuan air-conditioned malls and manicured housing estates, this is also one of Mexico’s most Americanized cities. Boasting world-class museums and a jagged mountain backdrop that offers terrific outdoor adventure sports, the city's attractions are diverse and myriad.

All of this makes Monterrey fiercely independent and very different from any other Mexican metropolis. Notably, the city experienced the drug wars up close and personal, but by 2017 cultural life was back with aplomb, especially around the Macroplaza, with thriving restaurants and bars in the newly safe Barrio Antiguo. Nevertheless, narco gangs still affect some neighborhoods, including Colonia Independencia just across the Río Santa Catarina – avoid it day or night.

Explore Monterrey

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Monterrey.

Guidebooks

Learn more about Monterrey

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.