Although Monterrey enjoys the lowest per capita crime rate of all the large Mexican cities, its proximity to the US border does subject the city to some of the problems associated with that region.  Much of the trouble lies in neighboring border cities which have long struggled with drug-related violence.  People traveling to and from Monterrey by car from the United States have been known to be attacked and robbed while traveling through certain areas.  Also, because Monterrey is a relatively wealthy city close to the US border, it does attract its share of the illegal drug trade.

Foreigners, especially business people, are often the victims of petty thefts because they are perceived by thieves as having money.  Therefore it is important use caution when visiting or traveling to the city:

  • Try to travel to Monterrey by air, rather than driving in from Texas or another Mexican city, even if this seems like a way to save money.  Many of the roads leading to Monterrey are desolate and patrolled by outlaws.  Like travelling anywhere in the US, you should be aware of safety. Do not stop for strangers, keep your valuables safely out of sight. Do not pick up hitch-hikers. Most importantly, remember you're in a foreign country with different customs, but that shouldn't stop you from having fun.
  • While in Monterrey, keep large amounts of cash in your hotel's safe along with any other valuables.  Use a debit card or credit card for purchases that can be cancelled and replaced if lost.  Also keep the phone numbers to credit card companies and banks on hand in a safe place.
  • Men should not carry their wallets in their back pockets and women should watch their bags at all times. 
  • Do not walk at night.  If going out, take a taxi, even if it is only a short distance.  There are some places you should not visit in daylight hours. There are some places you shouldn't visit at night. However, if you're in the center of the city, there are always plenty of people, and you should have no problems with safety at any time of day. Keep your wits about you, be safe, and stay out of other people's business, and you'll be fine.
  • Lastly, if you are approached by thieves, give them what they want and then call the police afterwards.  It is the safest thing to do. In addition, always remember to get travel insurance, and insurance for your items in case of loss or theft.