Barrio Antiguo in Monterrey is one of Monterrey’s most charming places. It is also one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It boasts beautiful architecture that includes 19th-century mansions, art galleries, bars, cafes, and restaurants. Both young and old love to roam its streets and discover the beauty of the place.

You will feel like going back in time. There is a tranquility feeling permeating the air. I love walking down its cobblestone streets and admiring every single thing I pass by. You will also have the opportunity to take amazing photos for Instagram (bonus point!). Do you want to know more? Keep on reading!

Some Context First

 

Old stone building with a rooster sign at the entrance.Barrio Antiguo is located in the heart of downtown, just a few blocks away from the main square. It used to be inhabited many years ago, but people eventually left the area and it became a commercial district slowly over time.

Different businesses sprang up in the area ever since. The government, in an effort to preserve the “old feeling” of the area, issued laws to prohibit its citizens from making drastic changes to the buildings.

Barrio Antiguo was the place to go for a party night. There were clubs everywhere you went. The 90s and early 00s were golden years for them.

Unfortunately, the area declined in popularity due to crime and insecurity. It was abandoned for several years until the government rescued the area. The buildings were restored and safety was improved. Barrio Antiguo was reborn and, although it’s not what it used to be, people are starting to revisit the place.

Art Scene

Colorful bench made of guitars and the Beatles in the back.

There are several museums and art galleries in the area. Even bars and clubs boast contemporary art like El Art Studio.

Museo Estatal de Culturas Populares. It’s an old mansion, typical of the area. It has ample patios and rooms. You can learn about the culture of the region. There are one permanent exhibit and two temporary ones. It was undergoing remodeling last time I visited in December but was told they would finish by early February.

Address: Abasolo 1024, esq. Mina, Barrio Antiguo, Mty, N.L.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Free admission

 

Museo de la Casa de los Titeres. A puppet museum! I have wanted to visit this place for ages! It was a bummer for me when I went on a Saturday and it was closed. I’m sure your kids will love this place. Not only can you watch a puppet display but also a puppet show!

Address: Padre Raymundo Jardón 910, Barrio Antiguo, Mty, N.L.

Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday closed.

Admission: Monday-Friday 40 pesos (adults). Sunday 80 pesos (adults), 40 pesos (children).

 

 

Unidad Cultural Arquitectura. It belongs to the state university. There are art exhibits, poetry, and music. They also offer photography, drawing, and woodworking workshops.

Address: Abasolo 907, Barrio Antiguo, Mty, N.L.

Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday closed.

Free admission

 

Shopping

 

Several Mexican handicrafts on a red table.

If you’re into antiques, then you have come to the right place! Barrio Antiguo is not only filled with old, historic buildings but also with antique stores. You can find almost anything imaginable. The antique stores are located on Raymundo Jardón Street.

On Sundays, several vendors show their merchandise on Mina Street. Also known as the Callejón Cultural Barrio Antiguo, this little market extends through four blocks of the street. You can find books, handicrafts, jewelry, antiques, etc. There are also musicians, artists, and other performers. I had a little bird “tell” me my fortune. I loved it.

This place has a bohemian touch you’ll love. When visiting Monterrey, you have to stop by. The little market can be found every Sunday after 9 a.m.

Eating Options

 

Colorful corner building hosting different restaurants.

No trip is complete without good food. Barrio Antiguo has several options for everyone. You can find traditional Mexican food but also Italian, Spanish, French, and American.

For breakfast, I highly recommend Fonda El Limoncito. This charming, old home was turned into a restaurant and offers delicious dishes. I tried a combo that included fruit with yogurt and granola, two breakfast tacos, chilaquiles, eggs, coffee and orange juice for 180 pesos (roughly $10)! The service is excellent and the owner makes sure you feel like home. On weekends, they have a guy performing. Don’t miss out!

Address: Guillermo Prieto 938, Barrio Antiguo, Monterrey, N.L.

Hours: Monday-Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

 

Another great option is Mercado Barrio Antiguo. This building hosts several restaurants that offer Mexican and international dishes. You can find chilaquiles, sushi, wings, burgers, seafood, and dessert. There’s something for everyone!

Address: Morelos 837, Barrio Antiguo, Mty, N.L.

Hours: Monday-Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

 

Last but not least, you can go to Me Muero de Hambre (I’m starving! lol). This is one of the most colorful buildings of Barrio Antiguo (and one of the most photographed as well). You will easily find it. The three-story building offers Mexican, Italian, and seafood. They have a balcony on the third floor where you get a nice view of the area.

Address: Mina 1003, Barrio Antiguo, Mty, N.L.

Hours: Monday-Wednesday 12:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Thursday 12:30 p.m.-12 a.m., Friday-Saturday 12:30 p.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Nightlife

 

Bars at Barrio Antiguo.

As I mentioned earlier, the nightlife is not what it used to be. Most of us agree on that. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go out at night or that there’s nothing to do. You can find several bars and clubs that range from rock to ska to electronic. Some of the most iconic clubs include:

  • Café Iguana
  • Skizzo
  • Antrópolis
  • Casa Morelos
  • Casa del Ogro
  • La Tumba
  • Nandas 78

If you’re not into the party scene and prefer something calmer, you can try Nueva Luna, Almacén 42, or La Galería Café. Just get a cappuccino or a glass of red wine and enjoy.

A Few Tips

Barrio Antiguo can be toured on foot. You don’t need a car. In fact, you’re better off without one here. Parking can be tough.

This place is for the whole family, specifically during the day.

If you want to see more activity, you have to hit the place in the evening or on weekends.

While many establishments accept cards, it’s always a good idea to bring some cash. If you want to buy something at the Sunday market, for instance, many vendors only accept cash.

Beware of your surroundings just like you would in any other country.

Avoid dark alleys or streets if you’re alone.

If touring the area by day, remember to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Monterrey’s summers can be hot reaching 104°F or more.

Pay attention to every little detail. Barrio Antiguo has many old buildings with lots of history and legends. You can see some signs outside the old mansions providing you with some interesting data.

Don’t forget your camera or phone with a camera! You will have lots of photo opportunities. You can even run into a bride or quinceañera doing a photoshoot. Your friends and family will be jealous of the beautiful photos you took.

Conclusion

Barrio Antiguo in Monterrey is slowly coming back to life. Regios and tourists alike are starting to visit the old quarter. It brings memories to those who visited it in the old days, but many people are visiting for the first time and discovering something new.

Barrio Antiguo is much more than nightlife. Yes, partygoers will love it here, but there are tons of other activities for everyone. Walk down its cobblestone streets, admire the old buildings, visit an art gallery or museum, take lots of photos, buy an antique, try a new dish, talk with the locals, have fun! Barrio Antiguo is always a good option whether you’re alone, with family, or friends.

Have you visited Barrio Antiguo? If not, what are you waiting for? I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it. I hope you visit it someday.

As always, I would love to read your comments and questions below. What would you like to know? Let me know and I will get back to you as soon as possible. See you soon!

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14 Replies to “Barrio Antiguo in Monterrey – Back in the Game”

  1. Hello Enrique, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I have been in Monterey 2 times but I did not have a chance to visit Barrio Antiguo. I am glad I stumbled upon your article because I will probably go there with my family this year so it will be one of my destinations.

    1. Hi, Danijel,

      Glad you found this useful.

      Barrio Antiguo is one of my favorite places in Monterrey. I hope you visit it someday.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Thank you so much for the travel post! I have never been to Mexico before, and so I don’t know much about it. The place looks authentic and artsy. I can tell that it is full of amazing spots to take pictures in. I like how you recommend and giving reviews about the place. They are very detailed and amazing about the highlight spot that you suggested, would definitely consider this place to travel next time.

    1. Hi, Josh,

      Yes, it’s a really cool place. It’s full of activity on weekends. There are artists drawing, music, good food, interesting finds, and good vibes. You will love this place.

      Feel free to check my other articles about Monterrey and other destinations in Mexico. Hope you visit someday. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I would like to go to Mexico again and really experience what Mexico has to offer for real. I’ve only been to Mexico once when I was a kid. That was to Cancun and although we were in a lovely resort and had access to amazing beaches and water life, I think I really missed out on some of the things that made Mexico special. Barrio Antiguo definitely looks like a place that I would be interested in roaming around some time. I’m just wondering, though, do I need to bring a translator with me? I don’t speak any Spanish.

    1. Hey, Kevin,

      Cancun is usually the first destination foreigners visit in Mexico. It’s a beautiful place, but we’ve got more than that.

      Barrio Antiguo is a cool place with a bohemian atmosphere. You can spend a whole day there by yourself, with friends, or family. 

      Answering your question, although many people in Monterrey speak English due to its proximity to the U.S., it’s always a good idea to learn some Spanish. I’ve seen some tourists struggling a bit because of the language. The good thing is we can get instant help from our smartphones lol.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Enrique, you have built a very nice digital travel pamphlet. I too have spent several occasions in Mexico. Most of which were the regular resort areas. Have you had much response to the interior of Mexico? I see a lot of direct affiliate ads offered. Would you consider adding links within your review content? Just sayin’. Peace, Mark.

    1. Hey, Mark,

      Your comment is much appreciated. 

      I get you. Many people don’t want to risk it and just stay at resorts. However, by doing so, they miss out on a lot.

      Answering your question, people are responding satisfactorily. I don’t add links on every post, but I do add nonetheless. By the way, you can check a more in-depth article about Monterrey here.

      Thanks for commenting.

  5. The way you took Barrio Antigo makes me desire to visit this ancient town, the way you took the restaurant made club life in Barrio Antigo something to look out for, there is clear option for everybody. Honestly, I believe this ancient town will come back to life faster than we think, thank you for bringing such light to light

    1. Hi, Parameter,

      Glad you liked it.

      Yes, it’s slowly coming back to life after years of being neglected. Locals and tourists are starting to visit again. 

      I hope you visit someday. I’m sure you’ll love it. Thanks for commenting.

  6. What a lovely review of Barrio Antiguo I recalled visiting this place when my family and I visited Monterrey many years ago. It sure looked like a beautiful place!

    I enjoyed reading some of the places you discussed. The “Me Muero de Hambre” sounds like an excellent place to go (now my mouth is watering!). If I were to visit Barrio Antiguo, I’d definitely put that on my list of places to check out. Especially for food.

    What was your most pleasant memory of visiting Barrio Antiguo in Monterrey? As I mentioned earlier, I had old memories visiting as a child. So I don’t remember having a clear favorite memory myself.

    Thanks for sharing; I enjoyed reading this review. Now I have to visit again at some point down the road.

    1. Hey, Eric,

      Your comment is much appreciated. 🙂

      You will find lots of good food in this area. Me Muero de Hambre is definitely one of the most famous and visited places by locals. You can never go wrong with it.

      Answering your question, it would be hard to tell. However, the one thing I can tell you is I love visiting on Sundays. I love browsing the items at each stand and looking at antiques and weird objects. There is a guy playing the barrel organ (you rarely see that these days) and another guy with a little bird that tells your fortune. I feel like going back in time.

      I hope you visit again someday and tell me how it went. It has changed a lot over the years.

      Thanks for commenting. 

  7. Thank you for this very informative post. I did not know what Barrio Antiguo in Monterrey was and I appreciate these details. I think from your review, Museo de la casa de los Titeres is a great museum that will help me fell good because I like the puppet museums. What is the cost of visiting Barrio Antiguo?

    1. Hi, Shimba,

      Barrio Antiguo was neglected for some time, but fortunately, it’s slowly coming back to life.

      Answering your question, it depends on where you go. Some museums are free. Regarding food, you can look at 100-200 pesos per person ($5-$10, depending on where you go, of course). There are also bars that sell cheap beer. It’s very affordable.

      Thanks for commenting.

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