Make the most of your vacation time in Merida, Mexico, we have compiled a list of our favorite things to do in Merida, Mexico. Explore the top attractions and activities in the best places to go in Merida, Mexico, by scrolling down! Wondrous Drifter, a Web 3.0 travel startup, hopes to have a significant impact on the world.
Table of Contents
- Bici-Ruta Merida
- Carnaval of Merida
- Casa de Montejo
- Catedral de San Ildefonso
- Coqui Coqui Residences & Spa
- Lucas de Galvez Market Merida
- Monumento a la Patria
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán – MACAY
- Museo de la Gastronomia Yucateca – MUGY (Merida Gastronomy Museum)
- Palacio Canton
- Palacio del Gobierno
- Palacio Municipal
- Parque Santa Lucia
- Parque Zoológico del Centenario
- Paseo de Montejo
- Plaza Grande
- Pok Ta Pok
- Teatro Peon Contreras
- Walking Tour of the City
Hop on your bike on Sunday morning!
Rides along Paseo Montejo are held on Sunday mornings from 8 am to 12 pm as part of Merida’s BiciRuta, or “bike route.”
On Sundays, many of Merida’s most picturesque and well-traveled streets are closed to vehicular traffic, allowing cyclists to freely roam the city.
On Sunday mornings, there is no reason to be concerned about the traffic or the vehicles.
Until then, vehicles can’t use the Bicirute, which runs directly through the heart of Merida, to get around.
Finding a place to rent bicycles won’t be difficult at all. Renting a bike is as simple as walking along Paseo del Prado.
When renting a bike in Merida, there are both free and paid options; some require a passport, while others merely require a driver’s license or an ID.
Try this one on your visit as it is one of the most well-liked activities in Merida, not just among tourists but also among locals who live in the city.
Address: Remate de Paseo de Montejo, 47 por avenida, P.º de Montejo, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
You should catch a glimpse of Mexico’s most stunning and fun Carnaval!
In preparation for the 40 days of fasting that follow during Lent, it is one of the few cities in Mexico and the world where the medieval tradition of a carnival is still celebrated.
An event is prepared for each day of the carnival, including everything from the opening ceremony with the ceremonial burning of “Bad Moods” to the burial of Juan Carnaval, during which his crying “widow” is allowed to read the contents of her late husband’s will to the Merideos and their authorities.
The Yucatan region’s culture and history are celebrated with a different parade each day of the carnival.
The Merida Carnival has something for everyone, from children’s games for the younger attendees to fantastic dances for the younger attendees who put together the invited musical groups, in addition to the mouthwatering cuisine.
The “Battle of the Flowers,” also known as Carnival Tuesday, is the day that the participants look forward to the most because it is the day when they get to watch the march of comparsas and bid goodbye to the carnival.
Everyone is invited to one of the biggest festivals in Merida! From the 1st to the 9th of March, visitors to the Yucatan should not miss the carnival in Merida.
Casa de Montejo
If you’re curious about life for wealthy Mexicans in the hacienda era, this is the place to go.
The historical and architectural masterpiece that is Casa Montejo dates back to the 16th century.
Francisco de Montejo, the conquistador who conquered Yucatán, had it constructed right in the middle of the historic downtown area of Mérida.
The conquistador who conquered Yucatán, Francisco de Montejo, had it built directly in the heart of Mérida’s historic downtown district.
It was originally used to shelter troops, but it was quickly converted into a mansion, and up until the 1800s, it was used by members of the Montejo family.
Today, the historic building is home to a bank as well as a museum that features a permanent exhibition of the building’s refurbished Victorian, neo-rococo, and neo-renaissance furniture.
Visit the free Casa de Montejo on the south side of the Plaza to take a look at the rooms, furniture, and exquisite china of this former Meridian palace.
Address: C. 63 506, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Catedral de San Ildefonso
Take a look inside to observe the gigantic crucifix behind the altar!
In the late 1500s, construction began on the Catedral de San Ildefonso, which features stunning architecture.
Catedral de San Ildefonso is the name given to the cathedral in Mérida, Mexico, which dates back to the sixteenth century and was constructed by Spanish colonialists on the site of an ancient Mayan city called T’ho.
The colonialists used stones taken from Mayan pyramids in the construction of the cathedral.
Its interior pays tribute to the bond between Spanish and Mayan heritage, with the huge crucifix known as a Christ of Unity (Cristo de la Unidad) and murals depicting indigenous chiefs and Spanish leaders paying respects to one another and depicting them as allies.
Mexico’s revolutionary war wiped down much of the cathedral’s magnificent internal decoration, including the Spanish royal coat of arms on the cathedral’s façade, which was eventually covered with concrete.
The statue of Christ known as Cristo de las Ampollas can be found in a side chapel to the left of the main altar.
According to folklore, the wood used to chisel the statue came from a tree that was struck by lightning and burnt all night, miraculously untouched. It was brought to Mérida Cathedral in 1645 after surviving a second fire.
It’s a refreshing change from the blazing heat of the Yucatan, so be sure to add this cathedral to your itinerary and discover a lot for your pilgrimage tour!
Address: C. 58, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Coqui Coqui Residences & Spa
Sensory overload at its finest!
An old colonial house hidden in the heart of the bustling city is the perfect setting for the Coqui Coqui Residences and Spa’s L’Epicerie in Merida.
The Yucatan and Polynesia are at the center of what makes Coqui Coqui Perfumeria so special.
Perfume creation has been a part of the Yucatan’s culture and geography for centuries, and its natural tropical scents are reflected in every fragrance in its collection.
Each residence and wellness spa at Coqui Coqui has its own signature scent that was created specially for it.
Tobacco farms surround Merida, the Yucatan capital, which is where the Tabaco fragrance was born. Like Merida, the Tabaco fragrance is rich, warm, and refined.
The Coqui Coqui Perfumeria Yucatan Collection now offers eight scents. In contrast, the Polynesian Collection has eight as well, and the Mediterranean Collection features two.
These scents can be purchased individually or in different forms, such as room scents, beeswax candles, and bath oils.
Take a trip here to snap some stunning images and create your own perfume fragrance.
Address: Calle 55 516 entre Calle 62 y Calle 64, Centro, 97121 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
A rich past that is just waiting for you to be discovered!
Dzibilchaltun, a modern Mayan term that means “writing on flat stones,” is not as well-known as Chichen Itza or Uxmal due to the absence of massive pyramids at the site; nonetheless, it does have its own set of distinctive characteristics that make it a great destination to explore.
It reached its peak population of approximately 200,000 people when it was a prosperous port and the center of Mayan coastal trade.
Cenote Xlakah is a lovely pool filled with pure water that can be found off to the side of the main Plaza.
It was the only potable water supply in the city, and it is possible that this was the primary factor that led the Maya to select this place for their new community.
The water from Cenote Xlakah would have been an excellent choice for both the consumption of the local population and the cultivation of their lands.
It is estimated that there are about 8,400 buildings in this ancient city, so you should take your time when touring the ruins.
Address: 97308 Yucatan, Mexico
Lucas de Galvez Market Merida
Get lost in the maze-like ambiance as you explore the products of the area!
There is something for everyone in the market, from the colorful and unique produce and meat to the intoxicating aroma of fresh flowers in the air.
Merida’s busy market has come a long way since its humble beginnings in a shed in the late 1800s.
This enormous and deliciously chaotic Merida main market is currently full of local activity.
The Lucas de Galvez market has a cafeteria where you can have lunch. One of the many vendors selling freshly prepared plates of food may be offering a snack option.
For something refreshing to drink as you peruse the hot market, the agua fresca and horchata near the entrance are good options.
If you’re looking for something different to do in Merida, you’ve come to the right place. Lucas de Galvez market Merida is a must-see if you’re near Merida’s city center during the day.
Get caught in the bustle since this is an experience that shouldn’t be missed out on!
Address: Calle 54 521h, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Monumento a la Patria
A shrine to unity, history, and a sense of belonging.
The Monument to the Fatherland, also known as the Monumento a la Patria, is a stunning structure, both during the day and at night, when it is lit up with a variety of colorful lights.
It was crafted by a Colombian sculptor by name of Romulo Rozo, and it contains over 300 hand-carved figurines. Together, they cover almost 700 years of Mexican history.
On it, you will find artistic representations of the founding of Tenochtitlan, which is now known as Mexico City, as well as the Mayan god of rain, Chaac, and other topics.
The Monumento a la Patria is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known landmarks in all of Mérida.
Even tourists who are only in the city for a day or even just a few hours are likely to stop by and check out this local landmark.
Address: 97100 Merida, Yucatán
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán – MACAY
Walk through the galleries of the museum to see the various works of art.
The MACAY by Fernando García Ponce is the sole museum in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, dedicated to promoting and disseminating modern and contemporary art.
On August 25, 1933, in Mérida, Yucatán, Fernando García Ponce was born. His family moved to Mexico City when he was 11 years old.
The majority of his early paintings, which he completed in 1954, were portraits of his family. However, by 1956, he had begun to include geometry more prominently in his compositions.
According to García Ponce, one of the reasons why the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh was so revered was his use of the visual space as a stage for the beating heart of light and the ferocity of line, as well as the drama of life itself.
The museum aims to increase public awareness and understanding of modern and contemporary art worldwide.
Through the contemporary art museum’s open courtyard and museum interior balcony, experts will lead you into private rooms through enormous ancient doors.
Even if modern art isn’t your taste, there’s no harm in taking a quick look around the museum for free.
Address: Ex Ateneo Peninsular, C. 60 502B-Altos, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Museo de la Gastronomia Yucateca – MUGY (Merida Gastronomy Museum)
Prepare yourself to learn about the cuisine of Yucatán!
In 2019, the doors were opened to the Yucatecan Gastronomy Museum, often known as Mugy.
The museum’s mission is to pay homage to Yucatecan food, which is widely regarded as one of the most significant cuisines of the nation, and to educate tourists on the components and flavors that are used in Yucatecan cuisine.
The gallery spaces include foods that are fundamental to the cuisine of the region, such as pork, beans, turkey, and various kinds of chiles.
There is an outdoor “town” with thatched palapas in the back of the museum that houses more artifacts and is also used to demonstrate Mayan culinary practices, such as roasting whole hogs in the ground with coals.
Traditional delicacies can be sampled in the museum’s sunny garden or in one of the stately 19th-century chambers.
This location in the heart of Mérida, “the White City,” thus represents the tastes, fragrances, and ingredients that make up the local gastronomic tradition.
Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the delicacies of Merida and Mexico’s local cuisine!
Address: Calle 62 #466 x 55 y 57, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
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Travel through time and visit some of the ancient mansions that line the paseo.
On two stories of a large Neoclassical palace known as the Museum of Anthropology and History, the Palacio Canton displays Mayan archaeology and artifacts.
The mansion’s architecture is in the Beaux-Arts style, which was popular in Europe during the Belle Epoque and in Mexico during the Porfiriato.
It is thought that the Italian architect Enrico Deserti was responsible for drawing up the first blueprints and that the Yucatecan engineer and architect Manuel G. Cantón was in charge of the building.
Majesty not only comes from its size but from the materials used to build it: plaster pastillage, marble of various colors, superb finishes on the ceilings, including Doric and Ionic columns, a gorgeous white marble staircase, gardens on the exterior, and fine plasterwork.
If you are interested in viewing Mayan antiquities but are unable to travel to the larger Mayan World museum, the Palacio Canton is a more convenient alternative that is also smaller than you may want to consider visiting.
Address: P.º de Montejo 485, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Palacio del Gobierno
Visit the magnificent murals and the impressive art gallery to have your mind blown!
The administrative offices of the Yucatan state government are located behind the neoclassical green facade of the Palacio del Gobierno, also known as the Government Palace or the State Capital Building.
The gorgeous “government palace,” built in the late 18th century, today holds several enormous and impressive murals by artist Fernando Castro Pacheco illustrating the history between the Mayans and the Spaniards.
Inaugurated in 1892, this structure was originally home to the headquarters of the royal houses.
Subsequently, these quarters were demolished to make way for the current Government Palace, which stands in their stead.
The Palacio del Gobierno is now available to the public, and guests are welcome to stroll around its rooms and galleries at no cost on any day of the year.
The vast Plaza and the San Ildefonso Cathedral are both visible in their entirety when viewed from the terrace, which also offers stunning vistas of the area.
Learn more about the Mayan history through the stories depicted in the paintings!
Address: Calle 60, between Calles 61 and 59, Merida, 97000
A city hall in pink? Check out this one for yourself!
From the Plaza Grande, it is possible to recognize the Municipal Palace of Merida just by glancing at the stunning pink edifice that features a clock tower.
Head upstairs onto the long shaded balcony of the municipal building, which is located on the west side of the square.
From here, you can get a wonderful panoramic view of Merida’s Plaza Grande and Cathedral. Also, don’t forget to check out the murals!
If you inquire in the tourist information center on the ground level, you will find out that there are daily free walking tours that begin at 9:30 in the morning.
The finest free activity to do in Merida is most likely a guided walking tour across the city.
In addition to that, you will receive a concise education on the rich history and culture of Merida!
Palacio Municipal has a rich past, making it interesting to explore!
Address: Calle 21, Cholul, 97305 Cholul, Yuc., Mexico
Parque Santa Lucia
A lovely park during the day, but as the sun goes down, it truly comes to life!
Santa Luca is one of Mérida’s most Instagram-worthy sights when strolling around the city’s Centro.
Park visitors and locals alike go to the “confidente” chair, which sits in the middle of the park.
Restaurants open late at night, and there is usually live music, making this unassuming park the ideal setting to dine al fresco while taking in the sights and sounds of the city at night.
Many of Mérida’s ancient plazas are always full of open-air events. The Yucatecan “Jarana,” a traditional type of dance accompanied by live music, is a hit with visitors and residents alike.
In the recently restored Plaza Santa Luca, a classic square only four blocks from the main Centro plaza, the show is free every Thursday during “Serenata Yucateca,” a free event.
For the past 40 years, the “mestizos” (singers, dancers, and musicians) have begun their show at 9 in the evening dressed in their brightly colored costumes.
Santa Luca Park in Mérida is worth a visit as it has grown to be one of the city’s most recognizable attractions thanks to its ideal position and stunning surroundings.
Address: Calle 60 476A, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Parque Zoológico del Centenario
Make the most of your time at the park for its exposure to nature and wildlife.
The Parque Zoologico del Centenario in the City of Mérida, on Itzáes Avenue, is undeniably one of the best attractions in the White City.
The visitor to this location will have the opportunity to see a wide variety of animals, including birds, mammals, and reptiles, the most notable of which include giraffes, lions, zebras, tigers, fish, and monkeys.
Some of these animal species are given additional protection because they are in jeopardy of going extinct.
On Sunday mornings, a variety show is offered for the benefit of the entire family.
While the kids are having fun at the playground, you may relax while viewing the park’s diverse array of wildlife.
Go-karting, rides, and face painting are all available for children after a visit to the zoo.
If you want to have a bird’s-eye view of the area, you may ride the train or the cable car, but if you want to take in the scenery from the ground up, you can take a boat ride around the lake.
Address: Av. Itzaes s/n x 59, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Paseo de Montejo
In Merida, there is no shortage of beautiful sights to behold!
The Paseo de Montejo, or premier real estate in Merida, Mexico, is home to some of the finest portions of the city.
As Merida’s famed tree-lined boulevard bearing the name of its founder, Francisco de Montejo, it is bordered by some of the city’s most recognizable structures, landmarks, and monuments and is meant to resemble a Parisian avenue.
The magnificent, 2.3-mile-long Paseo de Montejo is where Merida’s wealthiest citizens constructed their residences around the turn of the 20th century.
The history of Merida is intriguing, and Paseo de Montejo is a good illustration of the wealth that poured into the Yucatán in the late 19th and early 20th centuries because of the henequen trade.
Many of Merida’s most affluent families lived in these European-style houses, which included imported fine china and glassware and marble flooring from around the world.
Some of these homes, such as Palacio Canton and Quinta Montez Molina, are open to the public and allow visitors to tour the interior.
Spend some of your time in the morning taking a stroll in the grandest street of Merida!
Address: P.º de Montejo, Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Relax in the park and enjoy the sights and sounds of the day.
The Plaza Grande in Merida is one of the city’s most beautiful squares, bordered by pastel-colored houses and the city’s historic cathedral.
Massive laurel trees provide ample shade, making these benches popular with both locals and visitors alike.
It was built on the site of the ancient Mayan city of Tho, which was formerly known as the Plaza de Armas before it was renamed.
While the Plaza is a nice place to relax amid a concrete jungle, it is typically bustling with activity, which adds to its allure.
Observe the daily Mexican flag raising and lowering ceremony and peruse the crowded craft market on Sundays.
Also, you can enjoy the dynamic live music performances that take place here nearly every night of the week in this vibrant neighborhood.
It’s no surprise that Plaza Grande is the city’s heart and a favorite meeting place of the people.
Address: C. 60 S/N, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Pok Ta Pok
Keeping the sport’s history alive is a top priority.
Pok-Ta-Pok, also known as Juego de la pelota or ball game, is a Mayan deity-worshipping game from long ago.
Even though this game is being played for educational purposes, the participants are extremely invested in the game and display a high degree of competitiveness.
Players are lucky not to leave the court covered in blood.
The reason for this is because Pok Ta Pok players attempt to score by sliding onto the cobblestones and slamming the ball into the post with their hips.
As this was considered to be a very important competition in times past, it was stated that members of the losing team would be offered as sacrifices to the gods.
It is extremely rare for a player to score. Attempting to do so, especially in this shortened 30-minute edition of the game, is incredibly difficult.
Consider yourself lucky if someone accomplishes a goal, and be sure to clap loudly!
Enjoy the action while traditional live music accompanies it each week on Wednesdays.
Address: Mérida’s Plaza Grande
Teatro Peon Contreras
Experience watching a live show in this ancient theater!
One of the best examples of Yucatan culture and art is the José Peón Contreras Theater.
Italian architects developed and erected this neoclassical-style structure during the beginning of the 20th century, which was inaugurated in December 1908.
The neoclassical-style structure was built and inaugurated in December 1908 by Italian architects during the early 20th century.
It’s been a cinema, a theater, a gas station, and an office before it was repurposed as a place for theatrical performances. As well as creative since 1984.
Inside the theater, Nicolás Alegreti’s The Allegory of the Arts and Sciences may be found on the central dome.
The theater can hold up to 1,000 people in the lunette, stalls, three levels, and gallery, which are all located throughout the building.
Every week, the Yucatán Symphony Orchestra plays at this theater for those who enjoy it.
They are a must-see for music lovers! There is also a possibility that you will witness performances brought in from other parts of the world.
Address: Calle 60 490, Merida, 97000
Walking Tour of the City
Merida’s best introduction!
Plaza Grande is the starting point for a free daily tour of the city’s historic center.
The history of Merida is best learned from a knowledgeable guide, who can also show you the ropes around the city.
The free walking tour of Merida is a great way to see the city’s most notable landmarks and tourist attractions without spending a lot of money.
Don’t bother making a reservation. At 9:30 am every day, except Sunday, you can visit the tourist office at the municipal building.
It’s an excellent opportunity to get a sense of the city’s history and culture.
Visiting Merida is a great way to learn about the history of the city that you may not have known before your trip.
Merida is a great spot to go on a guided walking tour because it has one of the largest historic city centers in North America.
Still wondering if you should visit Merida, Mexico? Check out reasons to visit Merida, Mexico, at least once in your lifetime here.
Address: Plaza Grande, Merida