As a popular industrial center in Northern Mexico, Monterrey is full of life… day or night. There are bars scattered all throughout this city, but one of the most popular places to go out is the Barrio Antiguo, or Old Neighborhood. Located within walking distance from the centro historico, this neighborhood with cobblestone streets and an antique look is home to several hopping bars and discos. On the weekends, many of the streets are closed off so bar hoppers can wander from place to place, each offering a unique scene. Going out is one of the most popular things to do in Monterrey, so have fun and be safe!
As you will see below, many of the places mentioned in this article are located in the Barrio Antiguo or centro, which makes it convenient and somewhat cheaper to go out because you can walk around instead of take a cab. Whether you like blues, country, salsa or hard rock, you are sure to find what you’re looking for in one of the places mentioned below!
Far West Rodeo
Av. Los Angeles 309
San Nicolas de Los Garza
If you are into rodeos and dressing up like a cowboy or cowgirl, this is the place to go! Far West Rodeo is a happening spot any night from Thursday to Sunday and features live rodeos, Texan and ranchero music and much more!
Real San Agustín 100
This is for the hard core crowd… with hard rock and hard drinks, it is easy to imagine a wild scene in a place named Nirvana! Be ready for a wild night and mixed drinks, shots or drinks straight from the bottle!
(Cultural tip: In most discos you can order a whole bottle for a table, which usually comes with a service that includes soft drinks and ice. If there are a lot of you, it’s probably best to buy a bottle and split the price among everyone).
Padre Mier 827 Ote.
Here you will find Cuban and Salsa music and a great opportunity to dance your life away! Find a dance partner or just observe the pros… either way you are sure to find some great entertainment at La Tumba!
José María Morelos 944
Bacchus may sound like it has classical music written all over it, but it is actually home to some great blues and jazz. If you’re looking for a relaxed night out and an opportunity to enjoy some good music, this is the place to go.
Eugenio Garza Sada 4502
With a name like Kaos (chaos), I would imagine this disco holds up to its reputation as a disco full of life. Any disco is a great opportunity to dance your heart away. With popular songs in English and Spanish, you can groove to the music and learn some new moves from the people around you!
Padre Mier 827 Ote.
Another disco with another great name… Kocoloco could be translated as a crazy coconut, or a crazy head/person. Either way, this disco is located in the centro, which makes it easy to get to and is a sure ticket to a fun night.
Padre Mier 1094 Ote.
This is a great place to hang out with friends, listen to some awesome live music and enjoy great drinks! A popular, modern hangout, Bar-Rio is a hopping place in the Barrio Antiguo on weekends.
Diego de Montemayor 927 Sur
This is a unique place in the Barrio Antiguo featuring large doors, wooden frames and a colonial appearance. Also distinctive from other places, here you will find some great hard rock bands that you might not be familiar with, but that offer good music.
Padre Mier 808
This has been called the best bar in Barrio Antiguo by some. Expect to enjoy typical Mexican food and a margarita in the seating arrangement of your choice. You can choose to sit in the restaurant section or the bar section, which makes it a nice place to dine, then drink. Also on the menu is live music, always a plus!
Padre Mier 860 Ote.
If you’re looking for live rock music, El Reloj (translated as The Watch ) is a place you won’t remember to even look at your watch! With a nice atmosphere and a nice location, this is a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy the music.
Going Out Safe
Although Monterrey is bustling with life, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you wander the streets of the third largest city in Mexico at night. First of all, it is safest to take a cab to your destination instead of walking but I recommend that you call a cab from your hotel instead of wave one down on the street.
This ensures that the cab is from a licensed cab company, whereas anyone could pick you up when flagging down a cab. Also, don’t forget to ask the price before you even get into a cab. This way you will avoid any surprises when you get to your destination and have a 400 peso cab fare to pay.
Second, carry a minimal amount of cash and belongings. I recommend bringing the amount of money you think you’ll spend and a backup, like a debit card, for any unexpected expenses. There is no need for you to bring a huge purse with all of your personal belongings to a bar. Leave them at the hotel in the safe if you’re worried about them.
Third, be prepared for high a cover charge if you are going to a popular place, especially if a band is playing or it is a disco. Sometimes ladies can get in for free before a certain hour, so research the place before you go. Also, many people in Mexico go out very late. They might start out the night at 11 p.m. or midnight and head home during the wee hours of the morning.
Finally, people are very image conscious and it is not uncommon for someone to be turned away from a night club if he or she doesn’t fit the profile (due to fashion trends, etc.). If you or someone in your group is rejected from a place, keep your calm and move on. There are better times waiting ahead of you!
P.S. If someone asks for your number in a night club, it’s probably best to ask them for theirs and say you’ll call them instead of giving them yours (especially if you’re a girl!). This could prevent awkward or dangerous situations later on.
Photo Credits: 1 by janhamlet on Flickr