Faro Comercial - The bright orange obelisk is a monument to Monterrey's business orientation. At night, laser beacons light the sky.
Museo Arte Contemporaneo (MARCO), Zuazua at Jardón, 8342 4820, . Monterrey's large, modern forum for contemporary arts is an architecturally stunning showpiece that features a fascinating collection of modern latino artists. Frequently changing special expositions mean the museum is never the same tour twice.
Monterrey Cathedral - Monterrey's cathedral is one of the few colonial-era landmarks in the city. Less elaborate than the cathedrals of Central Mexican cities, it is nonetheless a beautiful church worth seeking out, especially for a Sunday mass.
Mexican History Museum (Museo de Historia Mexicana), Dr. Coss 445 South, 2033 9898, . Large, modern museum chronicling the history of Mexico, from pre-Colombian civilizations like the Maya and Aztec, through the colonial period, the revolution, and the modern industrial age.
Museum of the Northeast (Museo del Nordeste, MUNE) - A regional history museum focusing on the role of the north in Mexico's long and fascinating history. Special exhibits of global interest are also featured.
Museo del Vidrio, Magallanes No. 517 at Zaragoza Col. Treviño, 81 8863 1052, . Inside a bustling commercial glass works is a fascinating museum that features stunningly beautiful works of hand-spun glass. Some craft glass pieces are also for sale in the gift shop.
Museo Metropolitano, Zaragoza at Corregidora, 81 8344 1971. The old city hall has been transformed into a delightful, low-key museum. The ground floor features some permanent historical exhibits, but the upper level is usually dedicated to showcasing emerging local artists.
Palacio del Gobierno - Government functions have been moved out of the original Nuevo Leon State House, and in their place is an impressive new museum that showcases the political history of Nuevo Leon. Although foreign tourists will likely find little value to some of the exhibits, the architecture of the place is fascinating and the restoration work first rate. At least walk in to admire the courtyards and the collection of stained glass windows memorializing Mexican heroes.
Teatro de la Ciudad - Located on the Macroplaza, the Teatro la Cuidad is a thoroughly modern venue for live theater, classical music, and the performing arts.
Centro Comercial Morelos - The real heart of the Zona Rosa. A stretch of 6 blocks of Morelos is closed to vehicle traffic and has become a popular pedestrian shopping arcade. It's a great place for people watching, especially on Sunday afternoons when families flock to downtown.
El Rey del Cabrito, Dr. Coss at Constitución, 8345-3232. One of the most famous restaurants in all of Northern Mexico, serving authentic regional specialties including cabrito al pastor and steak arrachera.
Sanborns, Escobedo 920 Sur, 8343-1834. Traditional Mexican fare.
La Casa del Barrio, Diego Montemayor 1221, Col. Centro - Barrio Antiguo, +52 (81) 8344 1800, . Fantastic for backpackers, this affordable clean, comfortable hostel is a value. Prices can vary but see the website for details (in English & Spanish), which also has a reservation service. The hostel has shared rooms, showers and a cooking area. One of the most attractive thing about this hostel is the couple who own it -- they're welcoming and very helpful.
Fiesta Americana Centro, Corregidora 519, Tel (81) 8319-0900, . Modern high-rise hotel next door to Howard Johnson, on Plaza Hidalgo and Morelos, next to Macroplaza. Outstanding location, first-class room, excellent service.
Sheraton Ambassador, Hidalgo 310 Oriente, Tel: (81) 8380-7000, . Excellent rooms in upscale hotel, two blocks to Macroplaza. Free valet parking, excellent on-site restaurant.
Radisson Gran Ancira Plaza, Ocampo 443, . Historic hotel with charm and grace. Somewhat small rooms but classy atmosphere. Outstanding Sunday brunch in the lobby. The 1910 bar is a classic downtown watering hole. Excellent location.
Howard Johnson Plaza Monterrey, Morelos 574 Oriente, Tel: (81)83806000, . Great location near the center of town. Clean, but a tiny bit "worn". Heated/indoor pool. Free garage parking. Great buffet breakfast. $570NP for double room (small, but neat) with microwave, coffeemaker, free bottled water, and breakfast included. Outstanding value.
Santa Rosa Suites, Escobedo 930 Sur, Tel: (81) 8342-4200, . On Plaza Hidalgo, next to Fiesta Americana and Luisiana Restaurant, 1 short block to Macroplaza. Upscale rooms and often very good weekend rates. Clubby restaurant and lounge. Limited parking in a tight outdoor lot. Excellent location.
Holiday Inn Centro, Padre Mier 194 Pte., Tel: (81) 8228-6000, . At the end of the Morelos shopping district, about 7 blocks from the Macroplaza. Formerly the Doubletree Rio. Very good rates, but rooms tend to be small and decor is a bit dated. Free indoor parking.
Crowne Plaza Monterrey, Av. Constitucion 300, Tel: (81) 8316-6000, . Large corporate-style hotel with large clean rooms, indoor swimming, 24-hour business center and more. Good location on very busy road, 1 block to Macroplaza
Hotel Fundador, 802 Diego De Montemayor (near Zaragoza subway station), ☎ (81) 8342 0121, . A clean, quiet, cheap, air-conditioned hotel in the heart of the Barrio Antiguo. $400 pesos. edit