|There is no doubt that Mexico has a great deal
to offer to those who wish to venture into the charms of its different
cities. The city of Monterrey is unique for its magical combination of
industry, tradition and natural landscapes.
Surrounded by imposing mountains, the city offers the visitor many different places to visit, not only its splendid natural parks spreading across the highest parts of the city, but a wide range of museums, shops, sports facilities, historical monuments, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, etc.
Over the years, Monterrey has grown and some of what used to be nearby towns, now form part of Monterrey itself. This is the case of areas such as Guadalupe, San Nicolás de los Garza, San Pedro Garza García, Santa Catarina, Escobedo and Apodaca, which surround the oldest part of the city and, in many ways, still preserve their own special features and customs.
When one hears about Monterrey, it is common to come across references to its most famous features: El Cerro de la Silla, a hill thus named ('silla' meaning chair or saddle) given the shape of its cusp, which looks very much like a horse saddle.
What is known as Gran Plaza o Macro Plaza, a large green esplanade located in the heart of the city, has many underground shops and restaurants and is surrounded by important historical and governmental buildings, as well as theatres and beautiful constructions such as the Catedral Metropolitana.
Another distinctive feature of Monterrey is the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, founded by business men from the region with a view to ensuring that in the future they would have highly qualified people able to work in their companies. Students from all over the country come to Monterrey to study here, or nearby at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.
A tour of Monterrey ought to start somewhere in the Zona Centro; its
legendary streets are scattered with museums such as the
The most important hotel area is also here, as well as a good number of shops with a wide range of products at reasonable prices.
In the Zona Centro there is also the area known as the Barrio Antiguo (the old part of Monterrey), where you will find the first constructions of the city. Many of these well-preserved houses, colonial in appearance, are now excellent restaurants and bars, popular among the young and the not so young, especially at the weekends.
Making your way along the Avenida Constitución, a few blocks away, is the Parque Fundidora. Originally an important foundry, it is now open to the public and houses the Museo Industrial y Tecnológico, as well as several other attractions. One of these is Cintermex, a wonderful exhibition and congress centre, where some of the most important trade fairs in the country take place.
In the Parque Fundidora you will also find the amusement park Plaza Sésamo and the Coca Cola auditorium, where many different concerts by important artists take place.
Further North, next to the Ciudad Universitaria, is the Parque Niños Héroes, which is a perfect place to go simply to take a break from the noise and stress of the city, or to go and visit one of the many museums to be found there, such as the Pinacoteca de Nuevo León and the Museo de la Fauna y las Ciencias Naturales.
Another of the main green areas in the city is the Parque de la Pastora in Guadalupe; here you will find one of the most important zoos in the North of the country, or if you would rather try an amusement park, Bosque Mágico is certainly worth a visit.
If what you are really after is practising a bit of sport and breathing
clean and fresh air, your choice ought to be
One of the most prosperous areas in Monterrey is San Pedro Garza García, where the famous Colonia del Valle is located. It is one of the most luxurious residential areas, with many first class shops and restaurants.
Other important shopping areas are Avenida Paseo de los Leones, on the skirts of the Cerro de las Mitras, Avenida Universidad, in San Nicolás de los Garza and Avenida Garza Sada, near the Roma and Contry districts.