The shopping scene in Monterrey is excellent. You’ll find many international labels and designer houses in the upper-end malls. There are two artesanal cooperatives that cater to the tourist souvenir market (one on Morelos near the Macroplaza, the other on Hidalgo near the Holiday Inn Centro), as well as UPS stores in several major shopping malls.
The upper-end malls consist of four very large, modern malls. These malls are not unlike malls elsewhere in the world, and they’re usually anchored by both Mexican (Liverpool, Palacio del Hierro, etc.) and U.S. (Sears, JCPenny) department store chains. The major malls in Monterrey include:
* Galerias Monterrey
* Plaza Fiesta San Agustin
* GalerÃas Valle Oriente
* Plaza Cumbres
Morelos, also known as the Zona Rosa, is a pedestrian friendly street lined with busy shops, small malls, shopping arcades, and filled with street vendors and musicians.
Local character is on display on the Carretera Nacional, heading out of the city towards the Cola de Caballo. A 1-mile stretch of highway near the town of Santiago is lined with small open-air shops, restaurants, and marketplaces. You can get great deals on rustic furniture, clothing, household goods, homemade food products, and just about anything else you can imagine. Parking can be difficult on weekends, but the selection is at its best and the atmosphere is the closest thing you’ll find to the big outdoor markets boasted by cities in the rest of the latin world.
Although Monterrey is not known for any specific types of popular folk art, their regional candies are widely sold throughout the city and make excellent gifts to bring back home. Look for any kind of «leche quemada», especially the deliciously carmelized «Glorias», crusted in chopped pecans.