It is the town with the most inhabitants, with a lot of places to visit and despite being popularly known as the white city, Merida is full of color.
I loved Merida. We had already traveled quite a few destinations and I was expecting a little more of the same and yes, to a certain extent it has places similar to other towns such as Izamal and Valladolid, but in Merida there are really beautiful corners and the city is worth visiting.
In this post I tell you what to see in Merida, where to stay and some travel tips.
Start visiting the city with a Free tour. A local guide will guide you and tell you the history and curiosities of the historic center of the city. It’s free!
1. The Great Square of Merida
The large square could be said to be the center of the city. Here are the famous Mexican letters with the name of Merida, but also several of the emblematic buildings of the city.
The Cathedral of San Idelfonso is located in this square. It was inaugurated in 1698. It is the first cathedral built in continental America and also the oldest in Mexico. Admission is free.
3. Macay Museum
In the same square, right next to the cathedral, you can visit the Macaray Museum.
Admission is free and in the museum you can appreciate modern and contemporary art.
4. City Hall
The Municipal Palace, also located in the main square, was built in 1735. It had various uses, including as a prison.
Every Monday night at 9pm there is a traditional Yucatecan dance show.
You can enter for free during the day and go up to the second floor. From where you will be able to peek at the inns and have beautiful views of the city. The Municipal Palace is a price building is reddish pink.
5. Murals by Fernando Castro
The Government Palace stands out for its 27 murals. Works of art by the artist Fernando Castro. Its light green color caught my attention.
If you notice, in the square we already have a pink/reddish building and a green one. Why do they call it the white city if it is full of colors? she keeps reading…
7. Autonomous University
The Autonomous University of Yucatan is one of the most famous in southern Mexico. Here we do find a white building dating from the 16th century. It is a beauty.
Exhibitions and shows are frequently organized at the university, and on Fridays at 9:00 p.m., the University Serenade and the traditional Folkloric Ballet take place.
The university is located at 60 with 57.
8. Santa Lucia
The Barrio de Santa Lucia is a clear example of colonization in Merida. Here you will find streets and alleys full of colorful, colonial-style houses. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the city, do not miss it.
In addition, there are several bars, where you can have a beer or a margarita. You can also have something to eat or even stay here.
9. The Lucas de Galvez Market
The Municipal Market is another of the places that you cannot miss in Merida. It is a fairly large market where you will find stalls selling fresh produce, handicrafts, clothing, souvenirs…
This market dates back to the 19th century, when it was just a shed back then. These days there is always a lovely and friendly bustle to wander through and enjoy the local atmosphere.
10. The Church of Santa Lucia
This little church is a pop of red. In the past it was a cemetery. Just in front of the entrance there is still an arch built into the wall, although now covered, which corresponded to the entrance to the cemetery. Although it is a somewhat austere church, especially inside, it is a beautiful building.
11. Great Museum of the Mayan World
This museum opened in 2012 is a great opportunity to learn more about the Mayan people, culture and history. There are more than 1,000 exhibits in the museum.
The exhibitions progress slowly and take a journey through history. Even so, do not leave it out of your list of essentials. You can get there by taxi for a few pesos or with your rental car.
12. Nahualli Gallery
Have you been wanting more art? The Nahualli Gallery is the home of the artists Malva Medina and Abel Vazquez. Here you will find a large exhibition of his paintings and sculptures.
13. The Jose Peon Theater
The Jose Peon theater is a beautiful building that is worth getting to know. As soon as you enter there is a small free museum with various works of art on display.
You will be able to walk up the beautiful marble staircase.
You can see a show, almost every day there is the option to see it. Go to the box office and ask if they are doing a play tonight. If you get the chance, go ahead, you’ll love the experience.
14. Representation of the Mayan ball game
The tradition of this ancient sport is kept alive every Saturday night at 8:30 on Calle 60 in front of the Cathedral and Plaza Grande.
It is a beautiful and curious experience.
Pok Ta Pok players slide across the cobblestones in an attempt to score by hitting the ball with their hips on the post. It is a show like no other, you can’t miss it.
15. The Paseo de Montejo
Paseo de Montejo is a wide avenue where historic mansions line up one after another. There are several quaint hotels and cafes. It is a good area to stay.
On this promenade is the Casa Museo Montes Molina . You can visit it with a 45-minute guided tour, where you can see the enormous rooms of the mansion with precious period furniture.
16. The Canton Palace
On the same avenue is the Canton Palace. Mayan archeology is exhibited in this palace. The building itself is a marvel, a neoclassical-style mansion.
The entrance costs 60 pesos and opens every day.
17. Merida parks and gossiping chairs
In Merida there are several parks to walk around, rest under the shade of the trees and eat something from a street food stall.
In these parks you will find the famous gossip chairs, I already told you about them in the Valladolid article.