things to do in monterrey mexico

Be dazzled by the arts at MARCO. (Photo: Getty Images)

Culture + Style

8 Must-See Cultural Hubs in Monterrey, Mexico

While speaking about Monterrey, the philosopher and writer José Vasconcelos once said that the culture here ends where the grilled meat begins.

Not to disappoint Vasconcelos: the grilled meat hasn’t gone anywhere, but Monterrey has now become a major hub for arts and culture in Mexico.

MARCO Museum

The Monterrey Contemporary Art Museum (MARCO) occupies an emblematic building designed by the architect Ricardo Legorreta, right next to the cathedral, in downtown Monterrey. The permanent collection is home to some of the biggest names in Mexican contemporary art.

Its rooms also host temporary exhibits of Mexican and foreign artists that are a must-see.

Plaza Fátima Cultural Center

In the heart of San Pedro Garza García, one of Mexico’s most affluent municipalities, you’ll find some of the most daring projects by emerging local artists. The center also boasts a stage where they put on shows you won’t be able to see anywhere else.

Alfa Planetarium

things to do in monterrey mexico
The planetarium offers out-of-this-world views. (Photo: Planetario Alfa)

The planetarium is home to a fairly active astronomy program, offering classes, experiments, and stargazing with two telescopes.

There is also an IMAX room for screening documentaries, the only piece of stained-glass artwork ever made by the famed artist Rufino Tamayo, an aquarium and an aviary, as well as a museum showcasing education and technology.

Roberto Garza Sada Center for Art, Architecture, and Design

The center is inside one of the city’s iconic buildings, designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

Although access is limited to students at the University of Monterrey, its doors sometimes open to the general public, if they are registered as participants in some type of official activity, which could be an exhibition, congress, class, or conference.

Center for the Arts

These warehouses owned by the old steel foundry company have been repurposed into spectacular rooms for temporary exhibits for the plastic arts, photography, auteur film, and theater.

You’ll also have the chance to see great movies not being shown at the commercial cinemas, check out the state’s photo library, and attend concerts and ballets. Moreover, the space is dotted with out-of-use machinery from the old foundry, real gems of industrial archeology.

Steel Museum

things to do in monterrey mexico
The Steel Museum is truly one-of-a-kind. (Photo: Getty Images)

One of the foundry company’s upper furnaces has been turned into a one-of-a-kind museum: the steel museum. A mix of the vestiges of industry and futurist pedagogy, the space takes you by the hand through the production process of steel, without which we could not even imagine living the lives we lead.

Three Museums

Built on top of the spring where the city was originally founded over 500 years ago, Monterrey’s Three Museums complex is a place for you to get to know the history of the region in depth.

Here you’ll find a greater understanding at the Texas-focused Museum of the Northeast, the Museum of Mexican History, and the politically charged Museum of the Palace of the Government.

Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame

Although the Hall of Fame was founded decades ago, it was only at the end of February 2019 that the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, inaugurated its new and spectacular location. It is the hall of fame for the most important figures in Mexican baseball.

Come here to learn about the top players, their lives, and their sports careers. On display are their uniforms, bats, gloves, trophies, and baseballs.