How can I keep track of all the local events that will take place during my visit to Monterrey?
You can call or visit the Infotur Office, at 5 de Mayo 525 Ote. – in the Elizando Páez Building, near the north end of Macro Plaza. They keep a current listing of most current attractions, including theatre, concerts, art exhibitions, cultural events and sporting events. They also have the best supply of maps and brochures in the city . Telephone 8344-4343.
Will I be able to use my credit cards? Can I get cash from the banks with my credit cards?
Yes, to both questions. All major credit cards (except Discover) are widely accepted. In smaller restaurants, it is best to ask before ordering, not every business accepts credit cards, just as back home. All of the banks will give cash advances, most have ATM machines at their locations, for after hours cash.
If you lose a credit card call one of the numbers listed in Miscellaneous Information. We have a link to an Visa ATM locator on our Links page. Most of the malls and shopping areas have banks or ATM’s where you can get cash, if needed.
What can I use as proof of citizenship to enter México?
I will let the Mexican Consulate of Chicago answer this question. Click here. The web site will open in a new window.
What will the weather be like in January (or any other month)?
Nobody can predict the weather, even for Monterrey. We have an Average Temperature Chart on our Local Weather page. Check this and call your hotel a few days before your arrival, if you wish to make to make sure. Monterrey weather is very unpredictable and can change drastically within a few days.
What is the legal drinking age in México, and what time do the night clubs close?
Answer: The legal drinking age is 18. There is no set closing time, many of the night clubs stay open until the wee hours of the morning (3 or 4 AM).
Will my hair dryer (portable iron, electric toothbrush, etc.) work in México?
Yes, if you are from the U.S. or Canada. México uses the same voltage as the United States. If you are coming from Europe, or any country that uses 220 volts, you will need the proper adapters.
Can I buy Cuban cigars? Can I take them back with me?
Yes you can buy them, and yes, they are expensive. No, you cannot take them back to the U.S., but if you are returning to Canada it is OK. Be careful of counterfeits.
Can I drink the water?
In most hotels and restaurants, you will get purified water, if in doubt – ASK. (Agua purificada, por favor.) I would not drink the water from a private home or condo, unless you know there is a purification system installed, and working. Buy bottled water; why not be completely safe? Don’t take the chance of ruining your vacation?
Will my cellular phone work in México?
There is local cellular service. A few U. S. cellular services will allow you to roam in México. Many cell phones will work in México, but they must be reprogrammed by the local service provider. If you bring your own, it will need to be reprogrammed. Remember to have your phone reprogrammed again before returning to the U.S.
If you really need cellular service in Monterrey, it might just be easier and cheaper to take advantage of one of the many low priced cellular promotion that includes a phone and a pre-set amount of time. You will then have a phone you can use whenever you are traveling to México. You can add more time, if needed, on your next trip.
Can I use my laptop computer to get my e-mail and have Internet access?
You can bring your laptop computer, you will have to contact one of local ISP’s who will provide you with temporary Internet access for your limited stay. Many hotels in Monterrey have modem ports that let you bypass their PBX phone system.
If they have a data port on their phones you should have no problem, set your modem to dial whatever number you normally dial for an outside line, then your ISP’s access number. Bringing a laptop computer into México computer is a legal and accepted practice, no hassles with Aduana (Customs). There are Cyber Cafes in all areas of Monterrey (See our Local Businesses page
Is it safe to walk around the town at night?
Generally, yes. As anywhere, beware of walking alone on dark streets at night. Don’t wear flashy jewelry or carry large sums of cash if you must walk at night. If possible walk in pairs and stick to busy lighted areas of the city. Most restaurants and nightclubs will be happy to call a cab for you, if asked. This may take a little more time than hailing one on the street but is generally safer.
You will probably feel safer in Monterrey than in most larger cities in the United States. The city police here are friendly and very helpful. Use common sense, and be careful! Remember: leave your fancy jewelry at home if you are going to walk after dark.
Can you tell me what the taxi rates are?
No, but the taxi fares are very reasonable and most Monterrey taxis have meters. It always a good idea to check with the desk at your hotel. They should be able to tell you what the approximate fare should be to your particular destination.
Then check again with the taxi driver. Do this before you get into the taxi! Buses run all over town, every few minutes, at all hours in Monterrey. For just a few pesos you can get to anywhere, within reason.
How will I know if I am getting a good deal on merchandise?
This is one question that nobody but you can answer. A good rule of thumb is, with street vendors, always get at least a 30% discount, sometimes more. In most stores, especially in the malls, prices are fixed just as they are at home.
If you are making large purchases or if there are several people in your party that are buying something, you can always ask for a discount. If you’re happy with the quality and price of of an item, then you are getting a good deal. Pretty simple really.
What about hospitals and doctors?
Monterrey has very good hospitals and some excellent doctors. Many doctors here speak English. Check with your hotel, many of the larger hotels have English speaking doctors on premises or on call. If not, they can give you the name of an English speaking doctor. Write the phone number down and carry it with you.
If there is any doubt in your mind about a doctor, procedure or medication, check with your doctor at home, if possible. Generally speaking, medical service in México is not as sophisticated as in the U.S. or Canada. There are English speaking doctors and hospitals listed (not necessarily recommended) on our Miscellaneous Information page.