By guest freelance writer, Susannah Rigg for The Mexico Report
Monterrey is the capital of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, located in the Northeast of Mexico. It is a city of 1.5 million people known for being an industrial center. However, recently Monterrey has been putting itself more firmly on the map as a cultural capital and money is being invested to create museums, theaters, parks and open spaces for locals and tourist to enjoy. With multiple directs flights arriving from the US daily, Monterrey is becoming not simply a stopping off point for business, but a place to explore and enjoy.
- Try the Cabrito
Monterrey is known for its meat-heavy cuisine and it is probably most famous for Cabrito. The common way to see Cabrito is as the whole flattened carcass cooked on a spit but it can also come chopped up in a rich tomato sauce and melts like butter in your mouth. It goat is not your thing, try some of the other meat offerings, like a good cut of arrachera steak or the cured meat combined with eggs (huevos de machaca) for breakfast.
2. Visit the Fundidora Park
Monterrey is a city that prospered from steel production from 1900 to the early 1980s. What was once the steel factory and the homes of the steelworkers has been converted into a park for locals and tourists to enjoy, full of open spaces, theatres, and art galleries. While there, make sure you visit the part of the steel factory that was converted into a museum, to learn about the history of steel production in the city. Rather ingeniously, the levies that were once used to take coal to the top of the factory are now used to transport visitors who can enjoy impressive views across the city skyline.
3. Take a wander through the Barrio Antiguo
Colorful facades, pedestrianized streets, and a vibrant antique market make this a picturesque and interesting part of the city. Head down on a Sunday when Calle Mina becomes the Corredor de Arte, where you can find art and antiques from across Mexico. This area is also great for nightlife with some of the city’s coolest bars and nightclubs.
4. Try Dulces Glorias
Glorias, which originate from the magic town of Linares in Nuevo Leon are considered Monterrey’s traditional candy. This rich mix of goat milk dulce de leche with pecans is really quite heavenly. Originally it was made like a cake but that meant it was very expensive, so eventually small bite-size candies were made. It is likely, however, that you won’t be able to have just one
5. Take a boat ride
Take a ride along the Rio Santa Lucia, which runs around the Fundidora Park. It is a beautiful 20-25 minute ride with commentary about the different landmarks found along the banks. There is art to see, water features to enjoy, and you will learn a little about the history of the area.
6. Museum modern art
The Museum of Modern Art or MARCO is located in downtown Monterrey and is a must for art fans. The architecture by Ricardo Legorreta is worth making the visit for in itself but the collections, which rival collections in Mexico City, boast the work of contemporary Mexican artists from across the country. You can easily spot the museum, by the 20-foot bronze dove, created by Mexican sculptor Juan Soriano, which sits outside the museums front entrance.
7. Enjoy a massage in the Macroplaza
The main square and grassy area in Monterrey’s downtown is called the Macroplaza. In one section of the park, you can find people offering massages. All of the masseurs have some sort of disability but are given a free course by the government in massage., which helps them to become self-employed. Every day, they come with massage chairs and offer low-cost massages to locals and tourists alike. Head here after a long day sightseeing.