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6 Reasons Why I Think Mexico’s Third Largest City Is One Of The Top Destinations In The Country

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Americans love traveling to Mexico! Given its close proximity to the U.S. and its amazing culture and beaches, there is always a wonderful place to visit.

Those wonderful places are not just limited to coastal cities. There are many popular places to visit in inland Mexico.

view of monterrey mexico from swimming pool

For instance, the capital of Mexico is the bustling mega city – Mexico City – the largest city in North America, is massively popular with Americans.

Also commonly referred to as CDMX to shorten its proper name, Ciudad de Mexico. Many Americans find themselves loving CDMX so much they end up moving here as a digital nomad!

There are others, such as the cultural hub of Guadalajara and the trendy city that will take you back in time – Oaxaca.

It seems you hardly ever hear of travelers visiting the third-largest city in the country. That would be beautiful Monterrey, Mexico.

I visited this city without knowing much about it. Quite honestly, I had already checked off most of the places in Mexico that interested me.

city view of monterrey from mountains

That left Monterrey as one of the last places on my Mexico bucket list. It was appealing in the sense that such a large city seemed to go relatively unnoticed.

Here are 6 reasons why I think it should be much more popular as a top destination in Mexico:

Top Notch Museums

There are many museums you will come across while exploring Monterrey. Perhaps the most impressive is Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, otherwise simply known as MARCO.

Located on the outskirts of Monterrey’s macro plaza, which is essentially the town square, MARCO is a must-add to your Monterrey itinerary.

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MARCO in monterrey mexico

The best part of all is admission is free!

Other museums to check out:

  • Museo de Historia Mexicana
  • Metropolitan Museum of Monterrey

A City Designed For Hotel Rooftops

I stayed at the Radisson Hotel Monterrey San Jeronimo. While this is not a personal endorsement for the hotel, I found myself unable to leave the scenic rooftop!

view of monterrey from infinity pool

Monterrey is a very pretty city surrounded by rolling green hills and the Cerro de la Silla mountains. 

From late Spring through the end of Summer, Monterrey temperatures will reach the 90s or higher, creating perfect rooftop pool weather.

There are many nice hotels offering great amenities throughout the city, but this a perfect city to hang at the pool, drink some Mexican cervezas, and take in the stunning cityscape views.

Enjoy The Outdoors

After enough time at the pool taking in the views, maybe that will inspire you to take a hike in the mountains (weather permitting, of course).

mountains in monterrey

Cerro de la Silla is easily accessible from the city. There are several marked trails that lead to the highest points for an even more breathtaking view.

Monterrey is also home to some truly magnificent caves outside the city, an easy Uber ride away.

The Grutas De Garcia (Garcia Caves) are massive underground caverns millions of years old. 

Visitors will have to take a short hike to reach the entrance, but it is well worth the trek for this natural wonder.

Fewer Crowds Than Mexico City And Guadalajara

Those who have been to CDMX know that traffic can be an absolute nightmare! In Guadalajara, browsing certain crowded markets or rush hour traffic can be no joke too.

open roads in monterrey mexico

As the third largest city, Monterrey of course has traffic, but it’s much more manageable than the two larger cities.

Certain areas of the city, such as downtown, are very walkable, and the streets and sidewalks have more open space.

It can be much more enjoyable to venture out and browse the markets, take a stroll along the riverwalk, or take an Uber across the city.

Local Cuisine

It’s no secret that Mexico has some amazing food options all across the country. Just as Mole Poblano is unique to Puebla or Tortas Ahogadas are unique to Guadalajara, Monterrey has Cabrito.

plate of machaca and beans

This delicious dish consists of a young goat raised on a limited diet. It can be cooked and served in a variety of ways. Most restaurants will usually have at least 2 different options of Cabrito.

Machaca and Carne Asada are two others that are commonly found on menus across this region of Mexico.

Barrio Antiguo

By day, Barrio Antiguo feels like a time capsule of Old Mexico. This neighborhood is plentiful with cobblestone streets, cafes, and colorful buildings reminiscent of Havana.

You can smell the aroma of delicious food and fresh coffee from wandering local vendors, especially on weekends when a market takes over the street.

barrio antiguo in monterrey at sunset

There is also the Mercado Barrio Antiguo nearby for an authentic shopping experience.

At night, this area takes on a new personality. Thumping music and neon lights can be heard from a distance as this area is known for its nightlife scene.

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Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

The people there are unbearable. The rest of Mexico hates them. Regios are incredibly full of themselves. No thanks.

Elizabeth Cameron

Monday 22nd of May 2023

Beautiful city but very dangerous. I prefer Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Check it out!! The best city in Mexico! Love❤️


Monday 22nd of May 2023

@Elizabeth Cameron, really is it really that dangerous more so than Guadalajara Mexico city? I’ve heard good things about Merida for sure, but it gets awfully hot there certain times of the year.


Sunday 21st of May 2023

Good job I like traveling

Gerardo de la Fuente

Sunday 21st of May 2023

Hi, Tom, you are right, the note is wrong in size, population, traffic and crowds.


Friday 19th of May 2023

Did you write this in the 70s? Monterrey is, at more than 6+million people, is the second largest city, there's so much traffic you can't get around easily, crowds everywhere, the most contaminated city in America...


Sunday 21st of May 2023

@Tom, you are 100% correct