Mexico’s third-largest city, second-largest industrial center and numero uno in per capita income. You may never have heard of it, but ‘La Sultana del Norte’ is bold enough to have made a bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. With sprawling suburbs of gargantuan, air-conditioned malls, manicured housing estates and the nation’s first new Taco Bells, Monterrey is one of Mexico’s most Americanized cities, but those who bypass it in favor of the ‘real’ Mexico are missing a vital piece of the national puzzle.
Regardless of its station in modern Mexico, Monterrey is well worth a few days of your trip. Its historic heart, where most of the main attractions are clustered, has plenty of metropolitan élan: iconic modern architecture, world-class museums and urbane restaurants. The city is also a good place to party, with a dynamic live-music scene, flashy techno clubs and lovely lounge bars. Jagged mountains, including the distinctive saddle-shaped Cerro de la Silla (1288m), make a dramatic backdrop for the city and provide ample opportunities for outdoor adventures.
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