best museums in merida mexico

17 Best Museums in Merida Mexico to Visit in 2023

Looking for the best Merida museums?

You’ve come to the right place because I live in Merida, and I’m going to show you all the best things to do in Merida.

Known as the Cultural Capital of the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida is a culturally-rich city and there’s quite a few museums in Merida you’ll want to check out.

From art museums to history museums with Mayan Ruins, the best Merida Mexico museums will appeal to a wide variety of travelers.

There’s also restored homes and haciendas in Merida, so you can essentially walk back in time in these pieces of living history.

If you’re ready, let’s dive in and explore the 17 best things to do in Merida, Mexico, that you won’t want to miss! As one of the most beautiful cities in the Mexico Yucatan Peninsula, I hope this article helps you find all of the city’s beauty.

best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

1. Gran Museo del Mundo Maya

mayan artifact inside the Merida Mayan Museum in Mexico
Just one of the many artifacts on display in the Mayan Museum Merida Mexico.

The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, or Mayan World Museum of Mérida, houses the largest collection of Mayan art and artifacts in Merida. For those visitors who won’t make it out to see the Mayan Ruins near Merida, this museum is the next best option.

Merida Travel Tips: Casa 495, and many other museums in Merida, are closed Mondays. If you’re looking for things to do in Merida on Monday, head to Dzibilchaltun Museum at the ruins.

Located about 20 minutes by rental car, taxi or Uber from downtown, this is known as the best museum in Merida, and worth the trip for art and history lovers.

Beyond what’s inside, the Mayan Museum in Merida is one house inside one of the most beautiful buildings in Merida.

  • Mayan World Museum Merida Address: Calle 60 Norte #299, Merida, 97110 (📍Map)
  • Mayan World Museum Hours: Open Wednesday-Monday, 9am-5pm
  • Mayan World Museum Admission Cost: $150 pesos ($8USD)
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

2. Museum at Dzibilchaltun Mayan Ruins

There are so many great things to do at Dzibilchaltun — You can see and climb the ruins, swim in the cenote and visit the museum, all in one day.

Dzibilchaltun Ruins are the closest ruins to Merida, located about 30-45 minutes away. Besides the ruins themselves, you’ll want to check out the Dzibilchaltun Museum, which has numerous artifacts and ancient Mayan artworks.

🤔 In case you were wondering, the Dzibilchaltun pronunciation is zee-bee-shall-tune!

Cenote Xlacah at Dzibilchaltun Ruins

After visiting the ruins and museum, go for a swim in Xlacah Cenote, the closest cenote to Merida, is located right at the Dzibilchaltun Mayan Ruins site. This is an open, swimming pool style cenote, which you’ll love jumping in after a long day of climbing pyramids!

  • Dzibilchaltun Location: 📍Map
  • Dzibilchaltun Hours: Open daily, 9am-4pm
  • Dzibilchaltun Admission Cost: $282 pesos ($18USD)
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

3. Museo Casa Montejo

The outside of the Museo Casa Montejo (Montejo House Museum) is itself a work of art. It is one of only a few examples seen in Mexico of the architecture style called plateresque, found mostly in Europe, and brought to Merida in the time of the Spanish conquistadors.

As the name implies, the Casa Montejo Museum is also a house, and even housed Merida’s elite Montejo family until the late 1800s. Well preserved, the inside is like going back in time. Head there to see what’s on display in the gallery, as they feature rotating art exhibits all year.

  • Museo Casa Montejo Address: Calle 63 #506, Merida, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Museo Casa Montejo Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-7pm
  • Museo Casa Montejo Admission Cost: FREE
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

4. Museo Palacio Canton

colonial mansion, Muso Palacio Canton | best museums in merida mexico
The Palacio Canton Museum of Anthropology and History Centro is one of the most recognizable buildings in Merida Mexico.

Museo Palacio Canton (Canton Palace Museum) is undeniably the most photographed building in Merida! This museum is also the biggest and most iconic of the grand European-style buildings on Paseo de Montejo, with its stunning Old World design, both inside and out.

Recently, the museum’s name changed to Museo Regional de Antropología de Yucatán (Regional Museum of Anthropology of Yucatán), as it now houses a small collection of Mayan artifacts. Locally, however, everyone still knows it as Palacio Canton Museum.

  • Palacio Canton Address: Paseo de Montejo #485, Mérida Yucatán, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Palacio Canton Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 8am-5pm
  • Palacio Canton Admission Cost: $65 pesos ($3USD)
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

5. Museo Fernando García Ponce (MACAY)

The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán, or MACAY for short, is the premier modern and contemporary art museum in the Yucatan Peninsula.

It is one of the biggest and best museums in Merida, located next to the grand Merida Cathedral in Plaza Grande.

There are 15 temporary exhibition rooms, which rotate exhibits every three months, so check their schedule to see what’s on view now.

The museum also has two galleries and four permanent rooms, featuring works by Yucatan artists like Fernando Garcia Ponce, the museum’s namesake.

  • MACAY Address: Ex Ateneo Peninsular, C. 60 502B-Altos, Centro, Mérida Yucatán, 97000 (📍Map)
  • MACAY Hours: Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-2pm
  • MACAY Admission Cost: FREE
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

6. Pasaje a la Revolucion

The Pasaje a la Revolución (Revolution Passageway) isn’t a museum per se, but it often has a FREE public art display.

Located between the Merida Cathedral and the MACAY Museum, you’ll find a rotating lineup of art installations from both Mexican and international artists.

Taking the free Merida walking tour? You’ll meet right across the street from the Pasaje a la Revolucion in the pink Palacio Municipal de Mérida building (Merida Municipal Palace).

  • Pasaje a la Revolución Address: Between Calle 58 and Calle 60, Centro, Mérida Yucatán, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Pasaje a la Revolución Hours: Open to walk through all day
  • Pasaje a la Revolución Admission Cost: FREE
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

7. Museo de las Gastronomia Yucateca (MUGY)

Making tortillas a mano (tortillas by hand) at Museum of Gastronomy Merida, one of the best Merida restaurants which also has a small museum.

Traditional Yucatecan food is different than what most consider “Mexican food.” In Yucatan, you’ll sample local ingredients like axiote and naranja agria (sour orange), and foods like cochinita pibil (suckng pig slow roasted underground) and sopa de lima (chicken and lime soup).

🍫 Want to visit another Merida food museum? Check out the Cacao Chocolate Museum Merida on Paseo Montejo.

To learn about Yucatan food, and eat it, head to the Museo de la Gastronomia Yucateca (MUGY). Located in downtown Merida, this traditional casona restaurant has a small museum and replica of a Mayan village so you can learn about Yucatan food in an interactive space.

  • MUGY Merida Address: Calle 62 #466, Downtown Mérida Mexico, 97000 (📍Map)
  • MUGY Merida Hours: Open Monday-Thursday, 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday, 9am-1am, Sunday, 9am-11pm
  • MUGY Merida Admission Cost: FREE
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

8. Casa Montejo 495 (Casas Gemelas)

The Merida twin houses aren’t identical twins, but they do look very similar.

Casa 495, one of the two Casas Gemelas (Twin Houses), is like stepping back in time. The other house is privately owned, but Casa 495, a European Renaissance-style mansion, opened its doors to the public in early-2021.

Merida Travel Tips: Casa 495, and many other museums in Merida, are closed Mondays. If you’re looking for things to do in Merida on Monday, head to Dzibilchaltun Museum at the ruins.

The inside of the home has been well preserved, and reflects the esthetic style popular in Merida during the early-1900s, when Casa Montejo 495 was built. Within this picturesque mansion, you’ll see tapestries from all over the world, sculptures, paintings, stained glass windows and more.

  • Casa 495 Address: Paseo de Montejo #495, Mérida Mexico, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Casa 495 Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm
  • Casa 495 Admission Cost: $250 pesos ($13USD)
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

9. Fundacion de Artistas

The cafe at Merida Artist’s Foundation, located next to Coqui Coqui Merida. (Photo: CH via Flickr)

You won’t see this place on most other lists of the best museums in Merida, because the Fundación de Artistas Merida (Merida Artist Foundation) is one of the true Merida hidden gems. This unique space is an art gallery with a boutique store and café outside in a beautiful courtyard.

  • Fundacion de Artistas Address: Calle 55 #520, Mérida Yucatán, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Fundacion de Artistas Hours: Open Monday-Sunday, 10:30am-8:30pm
  • Fundacion de Artistas Admission Cost: FREE
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

10. City of Merida Museum

city of merida museum | museums in merida mexico
Discover the city’s long and fascinating history at the Museum of the City of Merida. (Photo: Museo Merida Mexico via Instagram)

The Museo de la Ciudad de Merida chronicles the history of the city — one of the oldest on the Americas Continent.

There are four rooms in the museum, showcasing prehispanic pieces from the city of T’ho (Mayan name for Merida), through the modern-day 19th century and 20th century.

GAMM (Municipal Merida Art Gallery)

Located within the museum, there’s works by local Yucatan and Mayan artists, Mexican artists and international artists and expats living in Merida. A so-called Blue Chip gallery, most of the pieces are available for sale.

  • City of Merida Museum Address: Calle 56 #529A, Mérida Yucatán, 97000 (📍Map)
  • City of Merida Museum Hours: Open Tuesday to Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-2pm
  • City of Merida Museum Admission Cost: FREE
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

11. Merida Railroad Museum (Great for Kids)

redd railroad car city of merida museum | museums in merida mexico

Looking for the best things to do in Merida with kids, and the best museums in Merida for kids? Look no further than the Museo de Los Ferrocarriles de Yucatan (Yucatan Railway Museum, usually called the Merida Railway Museum).

This museum houses the second largest collection of railway equipment in Mexico. See a range of locomotives, carriages and wagons from across the ages of Mexican and Yucatan rail history, including a wooden Pullman carriage from the 1890s, and a 1930s diesel electric locomotive.

  • Merida Railroad Museum Address: Calle 43 #429, Mérida Yucatán, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Merida Railroad Museum Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-2pm
  • Merida Railroad Museum Admission Cost: $30 pesos ($2USD)
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

12. Museo Quinta Montes Molina

colonial mansion | best museums in merida mexico

Quinta Montes Molina (AKA Casa Museo Montes Molina) is the only museum in Merida that remains in its original state since completion in 1902. Its well-manicured gardens and elaborate interior showcase how wealthy families lived in Merida at that time.

Located on the beautiful Paseo de Montejo street, this is the home Francisco de Montejo and “the Montejos” lived in — the founders of Merida, Mexico. Besides the home, there’s a nice collection of high quality regional handicrafts and local arts.

  • Quinta Montes Molina Museum Address: Paseo de Montejo #469, Mérida Yucatán, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Quinta Montes Molina Museum Hours: Tours are offered by reservation only, and you’ll find information on their website.
  • Quinta Montes Molina Museum Admission Cost: $100 pesos ($5USD)
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

13. Filux Lab (Merida Art Gallery)

red room in art gallery | Filux Lab Museums in Merida Mexico
Contemporary and modern art meet different colored lights at this best Merida museum. (Photo: Filux Lab via Instagram)

Filux Lab is one of the coolest museums in Merida! It’s an independent space which promotes a sense of artistic community in Merida, with a rotating lineup of exhibits centered around light.

True sensory experience, you never know what you’ll get at Filux Merida — but it’s always amazing.

🎨 Want to visit more of the best art galleries in Merida? Check out Nahualli Casa de los Artistas, Soho Gallery, Galeria La Eskalera, La Sala Art Gallery, Galeria Merida, Galeria Tataya and Casa Pompidou.

  • Filux Lab Museum Address: Calle 64 #383, Mérida Yucatán Mexico, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Filux Lab Hours: Open Friday-Sunday, 7pm-10pm
  • Filux Lab Admission Cost: $50 pesos ($2.50USD)
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

14. Museum of Popular Art of Yucatan

colorful mexican folk art | best museums in merida mexico

The Museo de Arte Popular de Yucatan (Museum of Popular Art of Yucatan, AKA Casa Molina) is a small, but also one of the best museums in Merida to see folk art.

It is a converted two-story house showcasing art, handicrafts, textiles and more, made by artisans from all over Mexico.

  • Merida Museum of Popular Art Address: Calle 50-A #487, Mérida Mexico, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Merida Museum of Popular Art Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, Sunday, 10am-3pm
  • Merida Museum of Popular Art Admission Cost: FREE
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

15. Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace)

Get a closer look at the Merida Government Palace by checking out the murals painted by Fernando Castro Pacheco.

Built in 1892, the Merida Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace) houses Yucatan state’s executive government offices. This pretty green building is lovely from the outside, but you’ll want to head to see the artwork in this mini-Merida museum.

Check out both floors for some pretty Merida photos and to see the beautiful art. Hanging on the walls, there are murals and oil paintings by local artist Fernando Castro Pacheco, depicting the Yucatan Peninsula’s history.

  • Palacio de Gobierno Address: Calle 60, between Calles 61 and 59, Merida, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Palacio de Gobierno Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm
  • Palacio de Gobierno Admission Cost: FREE
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

16. Palacio de la Música (Merida Music Museum)

merida music museum | best museums in merida mexico
The beautiful Music Museum Merida in downtown. (Photo: Omar Cruz Lalana)

The Palacio de la Música (Merida Music Palace) has eight virtual pavilions showcasing the history of music from all over Mexico. There’s one whole room dedicated to the local Yucatan trova, a type of serenade, as well as a music library, video library and a concert hall.

  • Merida Music Museum Address: Calle 50-A #487, Mérida Mexico, 97000 (📍Map)
  • Merida Music Museum Hours: Open daily, 10am-6pm
  • Merida Music Museum Admission Cost: $ 150 pesos ($ 8USD)
best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

17. Hacienda Yaxcopoil

vintage mexican hacienda in the yucatan peninsula

Hacienda Yaxcopoil (pronounced yash-coe-poe-ill) is located about an hour outside of Merida, but worth the trip to see one of the best Merida haciendas in Yucatan. Built in the 16th century and 17th century, it has been fully restored back to its former glory, and open for tours.

The inside of the Hacienda Yaxcopoil house itself is basically a museum to the Old World. From the outside, you can tour the beautiful grounds and see all the large-scale machinery used to make Merida’s main export — sisal.

🏰 Want to visit more haciendas near Merida? Hacienda Santa Cruz is a great hacienda, hotel, spa, perfect for a relaxing afternoon, and Hacienda San Ildefonso Teya has one of the best restaurants in Merida to sample traditional Yucatan food.

best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

Merida Mexico: Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Merida Mexico?

Merida is the capital of Yucatan state, one of the three states that make up Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, along with Quintana Roo and Campeche states. Many think Merida is on the beach, but it’s actually about 45 minutes from Puerto Progreso, the closest Merida beach.

Merida Map

best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

Where to stay in Merida

vintage mexican hacienda in the yucatan peninsula
As a local and expat in Merida, I always recommend The Diplomat Boutique Hotel as the best Merida hotel.

The vast majority of visitors will want to stay in Centro Historico (Downtown Merida), especially if you aren’t renting a car in Merida, because downtown is walkable. Check out the guides below, which highlight all the best Merida accommodations ⤵

best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

Flights to Merida, Mexico

Wondering what’s the best way to get to Merida? There’s actually an airport about 20 minutes from downtown — Merida International Airport (code: MID).

There are direct flights to Merida from only a few United States cities, like Miami and Houston. If you can’t get a direct flight from the U.S., you can fly into Mexico City or Guadalajara International Airport. From those, you can take a short, connecting flight into MID.

From the airport, you can take a rental car, Uber, taxi, or private transport service (see below ⤵) to your Merida accommodation. Depending on where you’re staying, the drive is usually no more than 30 minutes, though it can be a little bit longer during rush hours.

Best Merida Airport transfers

best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

Is Merida Mexico safe?

Yes — For the vast majority of travelers, Merida is safe. That’s not to say “bad” things don’t happen in Merida; they do. However, Merida is widely known as the safest city in Mexico. As safety is a complex topic, check out Is Merida Safe for Travelers? for a deep dive about Merida safety.

Is Merida Mexico worth visiting?

Yes — Now, I’m admittedly biased on this question, but even still, Merida is one of the best places in Yucatan to visit. La Ciudad Blanca (The White City of Merida) is known as the Culture Capital of Yucatan for its rich Mayan history, only one of many reasons to take a Merida vacation!

best museums IN MERIDA MEXICO

What’s the best time to visit Merida Mexico?

Winter — You’ll get the best Merida weather from about late-October to late-March. Now that you know the best time to travel to Merida, the worst month to visit is May. This is the hottest month of the year, though it’s just generally pretty hot from May to September.

Merida Weather

Final Thoughts: Best Museums in Merida Mexico

Merida is a cultural hub with beautiful museums and yummy food. Besides the museums, make sure you also check out the great Merida beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Mayan ruins and Merida cenotes. Give yourself plenty of time, as there’s something for everyone in Merida!

Merida Travel Planning Guide

Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel Insurance Master, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)

Can you drink the water in Merida?

No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

Is it safe to rent a car in Merida?

Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

Will my phone work in Merida?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

What’s the best way to book my Merida accommodation?

For Mexico hotels and hostels, is the best site. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb! (Read more)

What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights?

For finding cheap Mexico flights, I always recommend Skyscanner.

Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.

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best museums in merida mexico