51 Best Things to Do in Merida Mexico in 2024 (with Map)

Looking for the top Merida Mexico things to do?

You’re in the right place because I lived in Merida Mexico for many years, and in this article, I’m going to show you all the best things to do in Merida, “The Cultural Capital of the Yucatan Peninsula.”

Known as one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Merida, Mexico — the capital of Yucatan state, and the largest city in it.

From grand monuments and historic buildings, to colorful streets and charming cafes, you’ll never run out of things to see in Merida on your trip.

If you do, these 25 Best Merida Day Trips offer more things to do in Yucatan within 1-3 hours of the city.

Ready to dive in and explore the 51 Best Things to Do in Merida Mexico that you won’t want to miss? Let’s get to it!

🗺️ BONUS: For your convenience, all Merida things to do mentioned in the article have been pinned to the Merida map at the end of the article.

The Best Things to Do in Merida Mexico

1. Stay in a Renovated Merida Hacienda

colonial house in merida mexico
With homes like CasaBlanca, it’s easy to see why Merida is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the Mexico Yucatan Peninsula. (Photo: Courtesy of VRBO, Merida Yucatan things to do)

Merida real estate is on a whole other level! It even garners international press attention with houses featured everywhere, from Architectural Digest to The New York Times.

To get the whole Merida travel experience, you’ll want to stay in a place that sets the tone before we get to all the amazing things to do in Merida.

To this end, I don’t think I’d be a good city guide if I didn’t help you pick the best accommodations in Merida!

In case you didn’t know, Merida real estate is stunning! You might have even seen it featured in magazines and The New York Times — so don’t pass up the chance to enjoy the best Merida rentals on your trip.

There are gorgeous Merida VRBO and Airbnbs you can rent to soak in the laid-back Yucatan Mexico vibes — like CasaBlanca (seen above) — and even more featured in this article, The 12 Best Airbnbs in Merida Mexico.

Prefer a hotel in Merida to an Airbnb?

Here are the 12 Best Merida Boutique Hotels and 17 Best Yucatan Haciendas (That You Can Stay In).

Best Things to Do in Merida Mexico

2. Stroll Paseo de Montejo

paseo de montejo merida mexico
No trip to Merida Mexico is complete without a stroll along the tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly Paseo Montejo in Merida.

There’s no shortage of pretty things to see in Merida Mexico. Some of the best parts of the city are located along and around the Paseo de Montejo — AKA the most prime real estate in Merida, Mexico.

This walkable, tree-lined street is full of history and some of the most beautiful buildings in Merida.

Paseo Montejo has numerous beautiful buildings, cute cafes and chic shops along the way, so go ahead and walk the whole street — though you’ll find some of the highlights listed below.

The Paseo is about 13 city blocks long (2 miles; 3.2km) and runs north-to-south. You can start at either side, and walk all the way to the other.

It goes from a small park called El Remate on the south side, and ends two miles north at the Monumento a la Patria. This iconic structure is the most photographed Paseo Montejo monument.

💡 Merida Travel Tips: North of this monument, the street name changes to Prolongacion Paseo de Montejo, and there’s not much to see or do, so you can stop at the monument.


3. Visit Centro Historico (Downtown Merida)

pink colonial building in downtown merida mexico
You must add Historic Downtown Centro Merida to your Merida Mexico travel itinerary.

Centro de Merida (the Merida Downtown City Center, or Historic Center) never gets old!

There are just many colorful homes, vintage cantinas, beautiful colonial architecture, street food stalls, pretty parks with bougainvillea bushes, and so many more things to see, do, eat and photograph.

Many cultural events and Instagram-worthy Merida places are in Plaza Grande — and all are pinned on the FREE Merida Map at the end of this article.

These include the Merida Cathedral and the big, colorful letters spelling out MERIDA (#4 on this list).

You’ll find letters just like these in popular cities throughout Mexico, and they make for one of the quintessential Merida photos.


4. Take a Photo of the Merida Sign

merida sign in front of the cathedral in downtown
Downtown Merida is full of great parks and public spaces, but none better than Plaza Grande.

Throughout major cities and Mexico tourism destinations, you’ll find signs with colorful letters spelling out the town’s name.

In Merida, the sign is located in Plaza Grande (Main Plaza). It makes for one of the most popular Merida photo spots, especially with the Merida Cathedral in the background.

💡 Merida Travel Tips: Whenever you’re looking for things to do in Merida Centro, you can always head to Plaza Grande.

Besides the letters, there’s the Merida Cathedral, Museo Casa Montejo, Museo Fernando García Ponce (MACAY), and more to see in this central part of town.


5. People-Watch in Plaza Grande

merida plaza grande
Wondering what to do in Merida City Center? You can always head to Plaza Grande and see what’s going on.

Located in Downtown Merida, Plaza Grande is the Main Plaza or Main Square. It is also known as the Zocalo, and is as old as the city itself.

Enjoy some quiet time people-watching in the park, then see all the sites around the park, including the Merida Cathedral and Casa de Montejo Museum — one of the best museums in Merida Mexico.

Besides the things to do around Merida listed here, check out my articles on boutique hotels, Merida haciendas, Merida Airbnb/VRBO rentals, and the best hotels in Merida, when determining where to stay.


6. Marvel at the Merida Cathedral

historic colonial cathedral in merida mexico
What to do Merida? Spend some extra time exploring Plaza Grande by night, to see the Catedral de San Ildefonso and video mapping show.

The San Ildefonso Cathedral was built throughout the 16th Century, from 1561 to 1598. It is one of the oldest cathedrals in the entire Americas Continent, and the biggest church in Merida.

The outside and inside are both very beautiful — just remember to be quiet and respectful if you take photos inside this Merida church.


7. See the Merida Cathedral Video Mapping Show

On Friday nights at 8 p.m., there’s an impressive video mapping display on the side of the Merida Cathedral.

Piedras Sagradas (Sacred Stones) tells the history of Yucatan and Merida local culture in a 20-minute audio/video show.

The show is in Spanish, but even if you don’t understand it, you’ll be able to follow along with the pretty images. 

There is limited seating, and if you want a seat, you’ll want to arrive by 7:30 pm.


8. Photograph the Monumento a la Patria

woman at Monumento a la Patria Merida Mexico
One of the essential things to do Merida Mexico visitors must see, is the beautiful Monumento a la Patria.

When it comes to beautiful places to see in Merida Mexico if you want to get those swoon-worthy Merida photos, you have to add Monumento a la Patria to your itinerary.

The Monumento a la Patria (Monument to the Fatherland) is beautiful both during the day and at night when lit up with different colored lights.

Unlike many monuments, you can go right up to this one to check out the details.

Made by Colombian sculptor Rómulo Rozo, it features more than 300 hand-carved figures, chronicling about 700 years of Mexican history.

On it, you’ll see artistic representations of the establishment of Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City), the Mayan rain god, Chaac, and more.


9. Eat Brunch at Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel

pink hotel called Rosas y Xocolate Merida
One of top spots in Merida town for brunch is Rosas & Xocolate.

Not only is Rosas & Xocolate one of the best boutique hotels in Merida, but they’re also one of the best Merida brunch spots.

Head there for the Sunday Jazz Brunch to enjoy the live musicians on the outdoor patio, though the brunch is great any day of the week.

From the second you walk in, you’re transported to a bohemian jungle that meets modern, clean lines, complete with a resort hotel, luxury spa, outdoor cafe, indoor restaurant/bar and boutique artisan shop if you want to buy some souveniers.

This pretty pink boutique Merida hotel is located right on Paseo Montejo, so you get the added bonus of great people-watching.

🏩 Want to Stay at Rosas & Xocolate Merida Hotel?

Rosas & Xocolate Merida pool area
If you’re wondering where to stay in Merida, Rosas & Xocolate Merida is what I recommend the most.

Rosas & Xocolate is one of the best hotels in Merida, and it definitely has the best location on Paseo Montejo, so you can walk to everything.

It also has an on-site spa, restaurant, boutique shop, and a prized location. There are only a handful of rooms in Rosas & Xocolate Merida, so don’t hesitate to reserve this gorgeous boutique hotel in Merida.


10. Visit the Mayan World Museum of Merida (Best Merida Museum)

mayan artifact inside the Merida Mayan Museum in Mexico
An exhibit in the Merida Mayan Museum, the largest museum in Merida, and one of the Merida highlights for culture lovers.

Want to check out the best museums in Merida?

Then you must head to the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (Mayan World Museum), which 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 is the next best option.

Located about 20 minutes by taxi or Uber outside of downtown, this is known as the best museum in Merida — and it’s worth a trip for art and history lovers.

Make sure you’re taking an Uber or taxi, as public transportation isn’t great in Merida.

  • Merida Travel Tips: Mayan World Museum is closed on Tuesdays, as are most Merida museums.
  • Mayan World Museum Merida Address: Calle 60 Norte #299, Merida, 97110
  • Mayan World Museum Hours: Open Wednesday-Monday, 9 am-5 pm
  • Mayan World Museum Admission Cost: $150 pesos (about $10 USD)

11. Have Lunch at Manjar Blanco (As Seen on Netflix)

two plates of food at Manjar Blanco Merida Restaurant
The cochinita pibil tacos at Manjar Blanco Merida are among the best in the entire city, but there are also other delicious dishes to try, like queso relleno negro and lomitos de valladolid.

While it’s not the only Merida Netflix restaurant on the list, Manjar Blanco is the first one!

As seen on Netflix’s Taco Chronicles, Season 2, Episode 2 called “Cochinita Pibil,” you’ll meet Señora Miriam Peraza, the restaurant’s owner.

She, along with a team of fellow abuelas (grandmas) cook up traditional Yucatan food by hand — the traditional way.

Aiming to preserve this region’s unique culinary traditions and regional flavors, they are doing something right to have caught the eye of this popular Netflix show.

  • Manjar Blanco Address: Calle 47 #496, Colonia Centro, Merida, 97000
  • Manjar Blanco Hours: Open daily, 8am-6pm
  • 💁‍♀️ Pro Tip: Try their famous queso relleno negro, the house speciality.

12. Tour the Palacio de Gobierno

Palacio de Gobierno Merida Mexico
Get a closer look at the Merida Government Palace by checking out the murals painted by Fernando Castro Pacheco, one of the free things to do in Merida Mexico.

Built in 1892, the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace) houses Yucatan state’s executive government offices.

This pretty green building is lovely from the outside, but do head inside if it’s open.

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
  • Palacio de Gobierno Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm
  • Palacio de Gobierno Admission Cost: FREE

13. Take a Photo on the Merida Big Chairs in Parque Santa Lucia

woman sitting on Merida giant chairs
The quintessential Yucatan Merida Mexico photo on the giant chairs — which are only found in this part of Mexico.

In Parque Santa Lucia (Saint Lucia’s Park), you’ll find the famous and Instagrammable Merida giant white chairs.

Though they don’t always look like it in photos, these huge chairs stand at almost 8 feet tall (2.5m).

These chairs, located all over Merida and the Yucatan, go by a lot of names: Sillas Tú y Yo (You and I Chairs), Sillas Confidentes (Confidants’ Chairs), and Kissing Chairs.

Regardless of the name you call them, you’ll want your photo sitting on these giant white chairs in Merida. It’s one of the coolest Merida tourist attractions you should take photos of.

🪑 Want to know more about these famous Yucatan chairs? Just click that link!


14. Enjoy Dinner & Dancing in Santa Lucia Park at Night

Parque Santa Lucia is pretty during the day, but it comes alive after the sun goes down.

There’s often live music and dancing, and all the restaurants open — transforming this unassuming park into the perfect place to enjoy dinner al fresco, listen to music and people-watch.

Some of the best restaurants in Downtown Merida are located here, like Apoala for traditional Oaxacan food, Avec Amour, a French-Mexican fusion bistro, and Rosa Sur 32°, a hip and beautiful gastrobar.


15. Marvel at Museo Palacio Canton

entrance to palacio canton merida anthropology museum
Palacio Canton Museum is one of the most recognizable buildings in Mérida, 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 Paseo de Montejo’s grand European-style buildings, 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 or Palacio Canton Museum.

  • Palacio Canton Address: Paseo de Montejo #485, Merida, 97000
  • Palacio Canton Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 8 am-5 pm
  • Palacio Canton Admission Cost: $65 pesos ($3 USD)

16. BiciRuta Merida Bike Ride (Best Free Things to Do in Merida)

BiciRuta Sunday Merida Bike Ride
Looking for free things to do in Merida on weekends? Look no further than the BiciRuta, one of the best Merida activities for visitors of all ages.


The BiciRuta, which means “bike route,” is a city-wide bike ride in Merida that takes place Sunday morning along Paseo Montejo, from about 8 am-12 pm.

This is one of the most popular things to do in Merida, both for visitors and those living in Merida.

There are both FREE bike rentals (if you get there early enough) and paid bike rentals available for Merida visitors; some renters require a passport, and some only need an ID/driver’s license.

On weekends, this is one of the top Merida attractions, great for fitness and people-watching. If you’re looking for things to do Sunday in Merida, the BiciRuta is it.

If you’re not a morning person, there’s also a nighttime Merida bike ride on Saturday nights called Biciruta Nocturna.


17. Photograph the Hotel Casa Azul

casa azul hotel merida mexico
When it comes to what to see in Merida Mexico, don’t miss all the beautiful buildings.

The Hotel Casa Azul (Blue House Hotel) is super pretty and has actually been declared a national historic monument. It is also one of the best hotels in Merida Mexico, with near-perfect reviews.

Its light blue exterior makes for a beautiful photo, but so does the interior courtyard — just ask nicely and the front desk staff will let you snap some quick photos.

  • Hotel Casa Azul Address: Calle 60 #343, Colonia Centro, Merida, 97000

18. Shop the Boutiques at Casa Tho

Casa Tho Merida shopping plaza
Merida is known as La Ciudad Blanca, The White City, and Casa Tho Merida captures that perfectly.

Casa Tho Concept House bears the Mayan name for the city of Merida — T’hō.

It’s the perfect place to stroll, shop in Merida and have a snack when you’re looking for what to do in Merida Yucatan on a lazy afternoon.

It is a renovated mansion surrounding a pretty courtyard that has about 10 individual boutique shops with clothing, jewelry, perfume, bath products and more.

If you’re hungry or thirsty after shopping, grab a bite to eat and a cocktail of coffee at T’hō Apertivo, the Casa Tho cafe.

📍 Casa Tho Address: Paseo de Montejo #498, Merida, 97000 


19. Visit Parroquia Santa Ana Church

yellow Parroquia Santa Ana Merida Church
A must see Merida Mexico church, head to Santa Ana Park to see the pretty Parroquia Santa Ana.

Built in 1733, the Parroquia Santa Ana (Parrish/Church of Saint Ana) is one of several photogenic spots in the hip Santa Ana neighborhood.

In the adjoining Santa Ana Park, you’ll find some of Merida’s famous Tu y Yo (You and I) white chairs and the open-air Mercado Santa Ana (market).

At the mercado, be sure to try some traditional Yucatan food, like cochinita pibil (pulled pork) and sopa de lima (lime soup with chicken).

💋 History of the Yucatan Kissing Chairs

kissing chairs in merida yucatan (tu y yo chairs yucatan)
The Tu y Yo Chairs (Kissing Chairs) in Santa Ana Park in Merida, one of Merida what to see you should put on your list.

These white chairs go by several names: Tu y Yo Chairs (You and I), Sillas Confidantes (Confidant Chairs), and Kissing Chairs.

You’ll find them throughout Downtown Merida and Yucatan state, but their true origins remain unknown.

One widely accepted theory is that hundreds of years ago, an overprotective father created the chairs so his daughter and the young man courting her could sit together.

With the unique design of the Sillas Tu y Yo Chairs, they could talk without touching one another — getting to know each other in the most modest way possible.


20. Take the Merida FREE Walking Tour

merida palacio municipal (municipal palace building)
The Palacio Municipal (Municipal Palace) is one of the best colonial buildings in Merida’s Central Plaza to visit during a free walking tour Merida.

Looking for free things to do in Merida?

You’re in luck because the Free Walking Tour of Merida is a great way to get to know this historic, colonial city.

They are led by your own personal, local guide to Merida!

The Merida Tourism Office offers free, one-hour walking tours from Monday to Saturday. Guides are bi- or multi-lingual and speak English.

Tours start at 9:30 a.m. but try to show up by 9:15 a.m. Meet your guide on the first floor of Palacio Municipal, the pink building in Plaza Grande Merida.

💡 Merida Travel Tips: It is customary to tip as payment for these types of city walking tours. Please consider tipping your guide at least $100-200 pesos ($7-12 USD) per person, though more is welcome.


21. Relax at Parque Hidalgo

park in downtown merida mexico called Parque Hidalgo
Wondering, What is there to do in Merida Mexico? You can always check out the parks.

Of all Downtown Merida parks, Parque Hidalgo (Hidalgo’s Park) tends to be the most relaxing.

Looking for things to do in Merida at night? On most nights, there’s a great night market in Parque Hidalgo where you can buy hand-made jewelry, hammocks, clothing, purses and artisan craft souvenirs.

Get an ice cream at the Santa Clara, or a coffee at Starbucks, then sit on the white Kissing Chairs and people-watch. 📡 Bonus: There’s free WiFi in Parque Hidalgo.

Before leaving Parque Hidalgo, head inside El Gran Hotel and Hotel Caribe Merida, to see their beautiful, historic lobbies.

Located right across the street, Parque de la Madre (Mother’s Park), Iglesia de Jesus (Jesus’ Church), and the La Bella Epoca building are all quite photo-worthy.


22. Learn About and Eat Yucatan Foods at Merida Gastronomy Museum

making fresh tortillas by hand at MUGY
Making fresh tortillas by hand at MUGY, one oof the best Merida restaurants for Yucatan food.

The Museo de la Gastronomía Yucateca, or MUGY, is part restaurant, part museum where you can learn all about Yucatecan cuisine.

Many Merida visitors are shocked to learn that Yucatecan food is different than traditional Mexican food.

At MUGY, you’ll sample all the best Yucatan foods, like cochinita pibil (suckling pig), sopa de lima (lime soup) and poc chuc (grilled pork). While you’re waiting for your food, you can take the short museum tour. 

Located just outside of the restaurant, there’s a recreation of a traditional Mayan village with traditional kitchens.

In each kitchen, you’ll learn about the three recados (spices mixed into a paste) used throughout traditional Yucatan cuisine to give it a unique taste.

  • 📍Merida Gastronomy Museum Address: Calle 62 #466, Merida, 97000
  • Merida Gastronomy Museum Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 am-10:30 pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10 am-10:30 pm  

Want to try more authentic Yucatecan cuisine?

Head to La Chaya Maya, one of the most popular restaurants in Merida Centro. There are two locations, but the La Chaya Maya Casona location on Calle 55 is much prettier.


23. Visit Museo Casa Montejo Museum

exterior of Museo Casa Montejo Museum Merida Mexico
For classical art lovers, Montejo Museum is one of the best places to visit in Merida Mexico.

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 architectural style called plateresque, found mostly in Europe and brought to Merida in the time of the Spanish conquistadors.

🎨 Prefer contemporary art? Head to the nearby Museo de la Ciudad de Mérida, formerly known as Museo Fernando García Ponce (MACAY).

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 there are rotating exhibits all year.

  • 📍Museo Casa Montejo Address: Calle 63 #506, Merida, 97000
  • Museo Casa Montejo Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-7 pm
  • 🎟️ Museo Casa Montejo Admission Cost: FREE

24. Catch a Pok Ta Pok Mayan Ball Game

merida pok ta pok game
Wondering where to go in Merida at night? There are cultural shows in Plaza Grande several nights a week.

Pok Ta Pok is an ancient Mayan game that’s been played for centuries.

In fact, if you’re visiting Chichen Itza, you’ll see the world’s large Pok Ta Pok ball court at this sacred site. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and a great place to experience real Mayan culture.

You can also see the Pok Ta Pok ball court at Uxmal, one of the best Mayan Ruins in Yucatan Mexico, which is located about 1.5 hours from Merida.

It was said that members of the losing team would be sacrificed to the gods in centuries past, as this was a serious game.

Nowadays, you can watch a (peaceful) reenactment of this ballgame on Saturday nights, from about 8 pm-9 pm, in front of the Cathedral. 


25. Have a Rooftop Dinner at Picheta

dinner at Picheta Merida Rooftop Bar and Restaurant
Looking for rooftop restaurants in Merida? Picheta has the best rooftop in Merida Downtown.

For the best views of the cathedral, enjoy dinner on the outdoor patio at Picheta.

If you don’t want a full meal, opt for tapas, desserts and drinks at what’s undoubtedly the best rooftop bar in Merida.

The menu features traditional Yucatecan cuisine, prepared with a contemporary twist and fine dining presentation.

As one of the best Merida restaurants, you’ll want to make a reservation for both indoor and outdoor dining at this popular spot.  

  • 📍Picheta Address: Calle 61 #501, Merida, 97000
  • Picheta Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5 pm-10 pm; Friday-Sunday, 2 pm-10 pm  

26. Shop the Merida en Domingo Sunday Market

cultural Vaquería dancers in merida mexico
The Vaquería dancers in Plaza Grande — one of the best places to visit in Merida Yucatan because there’s always something going on!

During the day on Sundays, the streets shut down to cars for a while, and Plaza Grande transforms into a street market and fair.

If you’re looking to pick up some Merida souvenirs and traditional Mayan handicrafts, Merida en Domingo (Merida Sunday Market) is the perfect palace.

If you pass by at the right time, you’ll catch the Vaquería folkloric dance show, and the beautiful Boda Mestiza, a recreation of a traditional wedding ceremony.


27. Check out Merida’s Restaurant Row

plate of three tacos at Catrin Merida restaurant
The El Catrin Merida restaurant has a lively atmosphere, and great food.

Head to the southern end of Paseo Montejo to Calle 47 (47th Street), which is sometimes referred to as Restaurant Row.

Here — you guessed it — you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Merida, and the trendiest cafes. Check out these favorites:

🍷🍽 Best merida restaurants on Calle 47

  • Micaela Mar y Leña: Mexican/Yucatecan fusion, with a seafood focus. (Note: This is my personal favorite Merida restaurant!)
  • Catrin: Hip Yucatecan gastropub with funky artwork.
  • Oliva Enoteca: Upscale Italian food, with a great wine list.
  • Amado by The Beer Box: Beautiful indoor/outdoor restaurant with live jazz several nights per week.

☕️ Best merida cafes ON CALLE 47

coffee and pastry at Latte Quattro Sette Merida Cafe
Cafe Latte Quattro Sette is one of the best cafes in Merida Mexico, and one of the prettiest.
  • Cafe Latte Quattro Sette: One of the prettiest Merida coffee shops, with decadent pastries.
  • Te Extraño, Extraño: Beautiful indoor/outdoor breakfast and lunch cafe; located just around the corner from Calle 47 in the Lagala Building.
  • Baretto Espresso Bar: European-style cafe, perfect for a quick coffee and pastries.
  • Centro Cultural Punto MID: Part book store, part cute cafe with cool art on the walls.
  • Menta y Rosa: Adorable pink and mint green-colored cafe; located just around the corner from Calle 47.

28. Enjoy a late night meal at Cafe Impala

Cafe Impala Merida
Cafe Impala Merida is one of the city’s most beloved restaurants.

Cafeteria Impala, a favorite among locals that’s located at the intersection of Calle 47 and Paseo Montejo.

This indoor/outdoor old school diner is both Instagrammable and has stood the test of time, serving delicious food at one of the best restaurants in Merida since 1958.

This Merida institution is popular day and night, but many love to head there after Sunday morning Merida bike ride along the Paseo Montejo, called the BiciRutta 🚴‍♀️

  • 📍Cafe Impala Address: Calle 56A #500, between Calles 47 and 45, Merida, 97000
  • Cafe Impala Hours: Open daily, 8 am -1 am

29. Admire the El Pinar House

flowers sorrounding pink house El Pinar
What is Merida Mexico known for? Striking beautiful homes like El Pinar.

El Pinar (The Pine Grove) is one of the most Instagram worthy Merida homes. When you see it, you’ll know why!

This French-style mansion is actually privately owned, so you can’t go in; however, you can snap some photos through the gate, like I did in the photo above.

📍 El Pinar Merida Address: Calle 60, between Avenida Colon and Calle 35, Merida, 97000


30. Go Organic at the Saturday Slow Food Market

merida slow food market on saturdays
One of the best Merida places to visit for artisan products is the Slow Food Market.

A short walk from El Pinar, head to the best Merida farmer’s market — the Slow Food Market — held Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you want to cook while staying in Merida, you can pick up all your organic meats, produce, fresh-baked bread, olive oils, artisan products, and more.

📍 Slow Food Market Merida Address: Calle 33ᴰ #498, Reparto Dolores Patrón, Merida, 97070 


32. Create your own Perfume at Coqui Coqui Merida

coqui coqui perfume store | what to buy in merida
Perfume-making is one of the more unique things to add to your Merida Mexico To Do list. (Photo: Coqui Coqui, What do in Merida Mx)

Located in a converted colonial home, the Coqui Coqui store wears many hats — Perfumeria (perfume store), spa and one-room hotel in Merida.

In fact, it is one of the best spas in Merida, and also one of the best boutique hotels in Merida, Mexico. Head there for some beautiful photos and to create your own custom perfume scent. Definitely unique things to do in Merida Mexico.

  • 🍽️ Merida Travel Tip: You must make a reservation to visit Coqui Coqui
  • 📍Coqui Coqui Merida Address: Calle 55 516, Merida, 97000

33. Shop for Authentic Merida Souvenirs

store in merida shopping
Not sure what can you do in Merida Mexico when it’s raining? 🛍️ There’s always shopping!

There are numerous authentic Yucatan souvenirs you can buy in Merida! For a complete guide to Merida souvenirs from Mexico, head to What to Buy in Merida: 15 Best Mexico Souvenirs in Merida.

From hand-made hammocks and Mayan huipil-style garments, to local Mayan honey, habanero salsa and chocolate, you’re sure to leave Merida with plenty of amazing keepsakes to remember your trip.

🛍 Looking to do a lot of shopping in Merida? You’ll find a list of the best malls in Merida in the linked article.


34. Visit the Historic UADY Campus

UADY merida college campus
To add more things to do in Merida MX itinerary, visit UADY.

The Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan (Autonomous University of the Yucatan), or UADY for short, is a college campus. That being the case, you can’t just roam it freely.

However, the Moroccan-inspired courtyard right at the entrance is the most beautiful part of UADY, along with its grand entrance door.

📍 UADY Address: Calle 60 491A, Merida, 97000


35. Visit Merida Arches: Arco de Dragones, Arco del Puente & Arco de San Juan

giant arch in merida mexico
Wondering what to add to your Merida Mexico what to do list? Take a pic in the middle of this street with the giant arch in the background.

The Merida Arco de Dragones (Dragon’s Arch) and Arco del Puente (Bridge Arch) are two of Merida’s three remaining arches that still stand today.

There were originally eight, but the others have fallen over the years.

These two of the three are located on both ends of Calle 50 (50th Street), so when you’re standing at one, you can see the other.

For photos, the Arco de Dragones is on the less crowded side of the street.

Located on the outermost edge of downtown, the Arco de San Juan (Saint John’s Arch) is the prettiest of the three arches.

It located on a side of town where you’ll get a glimpse at true local life, away from tourists.

🚶‍♀️Merida Travel Tip: Walk under the Arco de San Juan, heading southwest on Calle 64 (64th Street) to see a whole street full of cute, colorful buildings.

If you go see it, don’t miss the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista (Church of Saint John the Baptist) and Parque de San Juan (Saint John’s Park) right next to the arch.

  • Arco de Dragones: Calle 50 and Calle 61
  • Arco del Puente: Calle 50 and Calle 63
  • Arco de San Juan: Calle 64 and Calle 69A

36. Eat at Taqueria La Lupita (As Seen on Netflix)

As Seen on Netflix, Taqueria la Lupita Merida has some of the best food in Merida.
As seen on Netflix, Taqueria la Lupita Merida has some of the best food in Merida.

Located at Parque Santiago, inside the Mercado de Santiago (Santiago Market), you’ll find La Lupita Taquería.

This no-frills Mexico taco shop was featured on Netflix’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, in Episode 3 called “Acid,” hosted by James Beard Award-winning Chef Samin Nosrat.

While there, sample some traditional panuchos and salbutes, and wash it all down with a piña con chaya drink.

This is a great place for cheap eats in Merida, as you can have three tacos and a drink for about $7 USD.

📍 Mercado de Santiago Address: On Calle 57, Between Calles 50 and 52, Merida, 97000


37. Enjoy Dinner & Live Music at Mercado 60

mercado 60 merida mexico
The hip Mercado 60 Merida food hall is one of the best things to do in Merida at night.

Mercado 60 is a trendy food hall, with several vendors selling everything from tacos to pizza.

There’s live music on weekends, but it’s just a fun, outdoor spot any day of the week with a lot of food options to satisfy everyone in your group.

📍 Mercado 60 Address: Calle 60 #461, Merida, 97000


38. Check out Lucas de Galvez Market

yucatan recados (spice mixtures)

If you want to see a traditional Mexican market, head to Mercado Lucas de Galves.

This is the largest market in Merida, where you can shop for fresh fruits, spices, flowers and souvenirs.

  • 📍 Lucas de Galvez Address: Calle 56 and Calle 65A, Merida, 97000
  • ⚠️ Note: It’s great for photos, shopping and cheap eats, but it can be a bit hectic. You’ll want to pay extra attention to your belongings here.

39. Have Botanas & Drinks at the Merida Cantinas

cantina in merida bar
There are many great things to do around Merida Mexico, including a visit to the cantinas in Merida.

In Merida, traditional cantinas are a big part of the culture — and among the most unique things to do in Mérida.

There are ones that cater more towards visitors, like Dzalbay Cantina and La Negrita Cantina (which many call the best cantina in Merida), and others frequented more by locals. 

🍻 Among the favorite things for visitors who want to imbibe, don’t miss this Merida Cantina Crawl Tour (Rated 5 Stars)!

Some of the more locals’ spots include El Cardenal and Lucero de Alba. At the latter, enjoy some day drinking and botanas, which are basically Yucatan tapas.

Similar to tapas in Spain, when drinking in a traditional Merida cantina, you’ll be offered free botanas, or small plates.


40. Go Bar Hopping at the Best Merida Bars

la negrita merida cantina bar
Looking for things to do in Merida Mexico at night? Go bar hopping!

Looking for things to do in Merida at night?

While many cantinas close by 8pm, some stay open later — like Dzalbay Cantina and La Negrita Merida Cantina.

To check out some of the other best bars in Merida, head to the Casa Chica on Paseo Montejo, Malahat, La Fundación Mezcaleria, Pipiripau and Mayan Pub.


40. Casa Montejo 495 (Casas Gemelas)

Casa 495 Merida Museums (Casas Gemelas, Twin Houses)
One of the two Casas Gemelas (Twin Houses), and while the twin houses aren’t identical twins, 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.

The inside of the home has been well preserved, and reflects the esthetic style popular in Merida during the early-1900s, when Casa 495 was built.

Within this picturesque mansion, you’ll see tapestries from all over the world, sculptures, paintings, stained glass windows and more.

  • 🏛️ Merida Travel Tips: Casa 495 Museum is closed Tuesdays, as are most Merida museums.
  • 📍Casa 495 Address: Paseo de Montejo #495, Mérida Mx, 97000
  • Casa 495 Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9 am-5 pm
  • 🎟️ Casa 495 Admission Cost: $250 pesos ($13 USD)

41. Stroll Pasaje a la Revolucion

pasaje a la revolucion merida mexico

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 Fernando Garcia Ponce-Macay Museum, you’ll find a rotating lineup of art installations from both Mexican and international artists.

🖼️ Want to see more museums in Merida?

Don’t miss the Quinta Montes Molina (AKA Casa Museo Montes Molina), with tours by reservation only. This is the home Francisco de Montejo and “the Montejos” lived in — the founders of Merida, Mexico.


42. Fundacion de Artistas

cafe at Merida Artist's Foundation
The cafe at Merida Artist’s Foundation, located next to Coqui Coqui Merida.

You won’t see this place on any other Merida travel lists, because the Fundación de Artistas (Artist Foundation in Merida) 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 Merida Address: Calle 55 #520, Mérida Yucatán, 97000
  • ⚠️ Note: It seems the Merida Artist Foundation is temporarily closed, but I’m leaving them on the list in the hopes they re-open soon. To check the status, visit their Instagram.

Best Merida Day Trips: Beaches, Ruins, Cenotes

woman at the pink lakes in mexico yucatan
Book this Chichen Itza, the Pink lagoon and Pink flamingos to visit the Mexico pink lakes of Las Coloradas and Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins on a Merida tour.

All of the places listed above are located within Merida city Mexico limits, but if you want to venture outside of the city, there’s also a ton of options.

Given its central location in the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida is the ideal home base for exploring Yucatan — including the haciendas, beaches, Yucatan pueblos magicos (magic towns), cenotes, and Misnébalam, a ghost town in Mexico!

There are nine great day trips from Merida featured below, but for even more options check out these articles:


43. Progreso Beach

sign at progreso beach yucatan mexico
The Progreso Malecon, a pedestrian walkway along Progreso Beach, Yucatan — one of the best beaches near Merida Mexico.

Puerto Progreso is the closest beach to Merida, and is considered one of the best Gulf of Mexico beach towns. (⚠️ Note: There are no beaches in Merida Mexico itself.)

Located about 45 minutes away, the easiest way to get from Merida to Progreso is on the AutoProgreso bus, which costs just $21 pesos ($1 USD) each way.

🏝 Related Article: 15 Best Merida Beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula

Once you get to Progreso, stroll down the oceanfront Malecon (Walkway) for a bite to eat and souvenir shopping.

Pick a spot to rent a beach chair, or head to one of the best Progreso beach clubs, Silcer Beach Club and El HaGuay, which is just next to the Progreso letters sign.

For a sunset dinner before returning to Merida, head to the western end of the beach to eat at one of the best restaurants in Progreso — Eladio’s Bar, a locals’ favorite.

For a more upscale dining atmosphere, check out either Almadia or Crabster, both located on the Progreso Malecon.


44. Chichen Itza Ruins & Cenote Ik Kil

Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins Mexico
Chichen Itza is one of the top sites in the Merida Yucatan Peninsula area.
cenote ik-kil yucatan mexico
Cenote Ik-Kil is less than 10 minutes from Chichen Itza by rental car.

A top thing to do in Yucatan, and one the Seven Wonders of the World, the ancient city of Chichén Itzá needs no introduction!

It is one of the best Mayan Ruins in Mexico, located about two hours from Merida by rental car, bus, or on a Chichen Itza tour, like these 10 Best Merida to Chichen Itza Tours for a Unique Experience.

If you aren’t renting a car in Merida, consider one of the Merida to Chichen Itza tours linked above.

For those who will have their own car, combine your Chichen Itza visit with a swim in Cenote Ik-Kil, located less than 10 minutes away. This is one of the most beautiful and best cenotes in Yucatan Mexico.


45. Celestun to See the Flamingos

flamingos in celestun yucatan
Celestun is a must see in Merida for nature lovers, and a must do in Merida as one of the top places for birdwatching in Mexico.

Located in the small fishing village of Celestun, about 2.5 hours from Merida, you’ll find the Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve.

There are some nice Celestun beaches, but the main reason to visit is because Celestun is the best place to see flamingos near Merida.

🦩 To see Celestun flamingos, book this Boat Ride in the Mangroves Tour.

On it, you’ll see where as many as 35,000 flamingos live during their November to February mating season.

Besides the flamingos, this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is one of the best places for bird watching in Yucatan. 


46. Uxmal Mayan Ruins & the Ruta Puuc

pyramid at uxmal mayan ruins in mexico yucatan peninsula
Besides Uxmal Ruins, don’t miss these 15 Amazing Mayan Ruins Near Merida Mexico.

Looking for crazy things to do in Merida?! How about climbing some Mayan ruins at one of the best archeological sites in Mexico!

Beside Chichen Itza, another important ancient Mayan city in Mexico is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Uxmal (pronounced yoush-mall).

While Chichen Itza is the more famous of the two, many prefer Uxmal as it’s less crowded, less touristy, and you can climb the Uxmal pyramids.

If you’re driving your Merida rental car to Uxmal, located 1.5 hours from Merida, consider doing the entire Ruta Puuc (Puuc Route).

Along this 36-mile-long (58 km) drive, there’s also the Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labna, some of the best off-the-beaten-path Mexico ruins.


47. Dzibilchaltun Mayan Ruins & Cenote Xlacah

Mayan temple at Dzibilchaltun Ruins near Merida mexico
The Dzibilchaltún Archaeological Site is one of the best Mayan Ruins in Yucatan, Mexico and one of the best Merida Mexico attractions.

The closest ruins to Merida in Mexico, at only about 45 minutes away, are the Dzibilchaltun Ruins (pronounced zee-bee-shall-tune).

This is a small site compared to Chichen Itza and Uxmal, but you can climb many of the structures and there’s a nice museum on-site with an impressive collection of Mayan artifacts and statues.

💧 Cenote Xlacah Merida

Xlacah cenote near merida mexico
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.

After visiting the ruins, you can go for a swim in Xlacah Cenote, the closest cenote to Merida, which is located right at the Dzibilchaltun site.

This is a fully-open swimming pool style cenote in Merida, which you will love jumping in after a long day of climbing pyramids! 

⚠️ Note: The cenote has been closed for some time now, but hopefully will re-open soon. The ruins themselves are open.


48. Izamal, The Yellow City

woman in izamal yucatan, the yellow city in mexico
Looking for things to do near Merida Mexico? Don’t miss the Mexico yellow town of Izamal.

Izamal pueblo magico (magic town) is only about 1.5 hours from Merida by rental car or bus.

The entire downtown is painted yellow, and it’s one of just a handful of monochromatic cities on Earth.

No one knows for sure why it’s yellow, but some say it’s an homage to the Mayan Sun God, Kinich Kakmo.

When visiting Izamal, make sure to check out the Piramide Kinich Kakmo (AKA Izamal Ruins), a smaller Mayan ruins site named in honor of the Mayan Sun God.

Izamal is the perfect Merida day trip because it’s quite small. You can walk all of downtown in two hours, or take a caleza (horse-drawn carriage) tour if it’s too hot.

When you’re hungry, head to the Mercado Municipal De Izamal (local market) to try authentic Yucatan food for cheap.


49. Cenotes Hacienda Muchucye

Cenotes Hacienda Mucuyche has some of the best ceotes inn Mexico — but you can only visit with a tour.

The grounds of this traditional 18th-century hacienda have been left in semi-ruin, but that’s all part of the esthetic effect.

Cenotes Hacienda Mucuyche is a popular Merida day trip, so you must book a tour in advance to visit. They are only offered Monday-Sunday, 9 am-3 pm.

WORTH IT! This place has the most beautiful cenotes! People in Yucatán and everyone I know that has come to this hacienda says they’re the prettiest ones they’ve seen…

—Nicole (Read more reviews)

In addition to the picturesque Merida hacienda itself, there are two cenotes onsite — Cenote Carlota and Cenote Azul Maya — which look like a mix of the Garden of Eden and the Blue Lagoon.

These cenotes are super refreshing to swim in after your guided tour of the grounds.


50. Valladolid & Cenote Zaci 

colonial church in valladolid mexico, yucatan peninsula
Valladolid is one of the best pueblos magicos in Yucatan, Mexico.

One of the best pueblos magicos near Merida is Valladolid, located about 2.5 hours away.

To truly appreciate this colorful colonial city, book a Valladolid hotel for an overnight or weekend trip, but if you don’t have time, you’ll enjoy these best things to do in Valladolid on a day trip.

Head there early for the Casa de los Venados folk art gallery tour at 10 am.

Next, visit Kuxtal Galería de Arte Popular Mexicano & Café to buy some Mexican folk art and have a coffee.

This fun boutique shop is located on Calzada de los Frailes, the most beautiful street in Valladolid.

💧 Cenote Zaci Valladolid

cenote zaci valladolid in yucatan mexico
There’s so many things to see in Valladolid, one of the best small towns in Yucatan.

Walk to the end of the street to see the San Bernardino Convent and Valladolid letters sign. Next, head to Parque Principal (Main Park), where you’ll find the iconic Iglesia de San Servacio Valladolid church.

End your day with a swim in Cenote Zaci, just five minutes from downtown.


51. Cenotes Santa Barbara

Cenote Xoch at the Merida Cenotes in Homun Yucatan
Cenote Xoch, is one of the best cenotes near Merida, and a Merida must see.

The three Santa Barbara cenotes are in the pueblo (small town) of Homun, where you’ll find many of the best cenotes near Merida.

Located about 1.5 hours from Merida, you’ll be able to enjoy three cenotes at Santa Barbara — Cenote Chaksikin, Cenote Cascabel and Cenote Xoch

When you enter, you can take a rental bike (included in the cost), or a horse-drawn cart to the first cenote, Cenote Chaksikin.

After that, you’ll walk to Cenote Cascabel and Cenote Xoch, the most beautiful of the three, and then ride your bike or take the horse cart back.

Best Things to Do in Merida Map

For your convenience, the 51 best things to do in Merida, Yucatan mentioned in this article have been pinned to the map above.

It is the perfect way to plan your Merida sightseeing adventure in Mexico.

You might notice on this map of Merida that many things are quite close to one another — and you’d be right!

Merida is not a very big city, and in fact, it makes for the perfect Mexico weekend getaway because you could leisurely explore Merida in 2 days or Merida in 3 days.

You can do a lot even with a short Merida itinerary.

If you have more time, take one of these Merida tours, or hop in your rental car and head to one of the nearby towns like Tulum, Valladolid and Campeche.

Merida Travel: Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Merida Mexico located?

Merida is located in the Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico. It is the capital of Yucatan state, one of the three states that make up the peninsula along Quintana Roo state and Campeche state.

🗺️ Merida Mexico Map

Need a visual on the location of Merida Mexico?

The map above will help you visualize Merida’s location, but if you want to see some maps of the Merida neighborhoods and the city itself, check out Merida Mexico Maps: Where is Merida Located?

📍 What are the Best Places Near Merida?

Merida is located in southeastern Mexico, about 160 miles west of Tulum, 190 miles west of Cancun; and 180 miles west of Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

It is also not far from other top Yucatan Peninsula destinations, including Bacalar Lagoon, AKA the “Maldives of Mexico,” and the pueblo magicos (magic towns) of Valladolid, and the Yellow City of Izamal.


How far is Merida Mexico from the beach?

The closest beach to Merida is Puerto Progreso, which is about 22 mile (35 km) from Downtown Merida. The Merida to Progreso drives takes about 45 minutes in normal traffic.

Planning to visit some of the Yucatan beaches on the Gulf of Mexico?

While Progreso Beach is the closest Merida beach, there are a few others nearby. Get the full list at 15 Best Merida Mexico Beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula.


Is there Uber in Merida Mexico?

Yes — There Merida Uber service as well as other ride-share apps like DiDi and InDriver. It is perfectly safe to use Uber in Merida, or any similar service, even taxis.

Is Merida a walkable city?

Yes — Merida is walkable, and you only need to consider renting a car in Merida if you’ll be doing a few days trips. Otherwise, Merida is walkable but also, very hot.


Is Merida Mexico safe?

For the vast majority of most travelers, Merida is very safe. In fact, it had been called the safest city in Mexico thanks to its low crime rates.

merida crime statistics
According to Numbeo statistics, Merida is incredibly safe for travelers.

Longer answer: This question is tricky, as no place is 100% safe. I do my best to address the Mexico safety question in this article, Is Merida Mexico Safe for Travelers? Safety Tips from a Longtime Resident.

But, in short, the answer to Is Merida safe? — is Yes!

Merida has been ranked as not only the safest Mexico city, but one of the safest on the entire Americas Continent by CEOWorld Magazine.

In 2022, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine named it the #4 Best City in the World.

Though Merida is considered safe, you’ll still want to follow the 10 General Travel Safety Tips below to err on the side of caution.

These safety measures — like taking Uber home at night — are the same ones you’d follow when traveling anywhere, and they should suffice in Mérida.

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Want an added level of security and peace of mind for your Merida trip? Smart choice! Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

  • World Nomads Insurance: If Mexico and Merida travel safety are on your mind, World Nomads is a great option for general travelers. Policies start at about $7 USD per day, and you can get a FREE quote here.
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10 General travel safety tips for Merida

1. Get Travel Insurance for Mexico!

2. Don’t drink the water in Merida, as the tap water in Merida Mexico isn’t safe for human consumption. Head here for a deep dive on this topic, Can you drink the water in Merida?

3. If you get a sketchy or uneasy feeling about a person or place, listen to your intuition and get away from that person or place asap. Don’t worry about making a kind, nice or politically correct exit from a creepy person or bad situation — Just get away fast.

4. Don’t walk home alone at night; take an Uber.

5. Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket.

6. Learn some basic Spanish. If you can’t learn it, save this infographic as an image on your phone so you have something to use even if you’re off-WiFi.

7. Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe or bar neighbor to watch your things. This is annoying, for sure, but it works to not get your stuff stolen.

8. Speaking of bar neighbors; don’t take drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended with one.

9. Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.

10. Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.

Register for the STEP Program

If you’re a U.S. citizen, make sure you enroll in the FREE STEP Program before your trip.

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

After you’ve registered, the U.S. Consulate in Merida can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.

STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home in the event of an emergency while abroad.


Is it safe to walk around Merida at night?

For the most part, Merida is safe all day and night. However, it’s always a good idea to use Uber to get home if you’re traveling solo or have had a few drinks.

What makes Merida so safe?

Merida and Yucatan State are know for having an honest police force, and a small drug cartel presence.


Is there an airport in Merida Mexico?

Yes Merida International Airport (code: MID) is located only about 20-30 minutes by car from downtown. MID is a smaller airport, and easy to navigate.

exterior of merida airport (MID)

Are there direct flights to Merida Mexico?

Yes — There are a limited number of direct Merida flights from the U.S. and Canada. For now, you can fly direct to Merida Mexico from Miami, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Havana, Guatemala City, and Toronto (seasonal flight).

If you can’t get a direct flight from the U.S. or Canada, you can fly into Mexico City International Airport, Tijuana International Airport or Guadalajara International Airport.

From those, you can take a short, connecting flight into MID.

From the MID Airport, you can take a rental car, bus, taxi, or private transport service to your Merida hotel. Note: Uber is not allowed to do pick-ups at the Merida Airport.

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


What’s the best way to get from Cancun to Merida?

private shuttle from cancun to merida
Booking this private shuttle is the best way to get from Cancun to Merida Mexico.

Wondering, What’s the best way to get to Merida? If you’re coming from far away, it’s a flight into Merida MID Airport.

However, some people will opt to fly into Cancun Airport and drive to Merida, so here’s some info on that.

If you’re flying into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), you’ll have to make the (approx.) 4 hour drive to Merida.

The easiest and best way to get from Cancun to Merida is this private shuttle with Cancun Airport Transportation.

You can also rent a car in Cancun Airport and drive yourself, or take the ADO bus from Cancun to Merida. The Cancun to Merida drive is safe, and the roads are generally well-maintained.


Should I rent a car in Merida?

Renting a car in Merida is only necessary if you want to do a few day trips from Merida, or plan to do a Yucatan road trip. If not, you can easily get around by walking, using Uber, taxis or the Va y Ven Merida buses.

the desks for renting a car in merida mexico
Looking for what to do around Merida? No matter your choices, renting a car is the best way to see it all.

If you are looking to rent a car in Merida, the MID Airport is the best place to do so because it has the largest selection. As Merida isn’t a big city, car rental options can be limited — so do book in advance.

▶︎ Book here with Discover Cars, the most reputable company for a rental car in Merida, and the one I always use.

For travelers mostly staying in the city limits, you might want to skip a rental car. However, if you’re planning to take a few of the 25 Best Merida Day Trips, you’ll want a car for convenience.


What’s the best time to visit Merida Mexico?

Winter — Merida has a tropical climate, and temperatures tend to range from hot to very hot.

🌡️ Merida Weather Averages

weather in merida mexico chart
Merida average weather. (Photo: Weather and Climate)

As you can see, the winter months of December, January and February tend to have mild temperatures and low humidity. However, summers tend to be hot, muggy, humid and rainy ☔️


What is the hottest month in Merida Mexico?

May The months of May to October are hot and humid, to the point that it turns many off. However, of those five months, May is known as the hottest.

If you hate tropical weather, plan your Merida trip for November to April.

This is also the busy season in Merida, but the weather’s cool and the humidity’s at bay. Of these months, January and February are usually the coolest.

What is high season in Merida?

Wondering, What’s the best time to travel to Merida? The answer is the winter season. This is also the high season, with December and January being the business months in Merida.


Why is Merida Mexico so popular?

Besides being called the safest city in Mexico, Merida is known as the Cultural Capital of Yucatan. It is one of the best places in Mexico to experience Mayan culture and enjoy Yucatan cuisine.

chichen itza mayan ruins in mexico
Chichen Itza Ruins, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is located about two hours from Merida.

Is Merida touristy?

In the last few years, Merida has become one of the most popular Mexico destinations, and tourism has increased. You will see a lot of tourists in Centro Historico (Downtown Merida) and Paseo Montejo, but not really in other areas.


Is Merida Mexico expensive?

In recent years, prices have increased in Merida. However, it is still less expensive than other Yucatan Peninsula destinations like Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Is Merida worth visiting?

Most travelers will find Merida Mexico is worth visiting because there’s a lot to do in the city and surrounding areas — including Mayan Ruins, beautiful beaches and swimmable cenotes.

💁‍♀️ In full disclosure: I’m biased on this question. As someone who lived in Merida for many years, of course I think Merida is worth visiting.

I’ve been to half the states in Mexico and most of the top travel destinations, but there’s something special about Mexico Merida Yucatan.

If you love a relaxing place with great food, history, culture and architecture, don’t miss it.

Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Merida Mexico

Museo Palacio Canton Merida Museum
When in doubt about the Merida what to do question — you can always just stroll Paseo de Montejo.

Merida’s central location — in the near-dead center of the Yucatan Peninsula — makes it a great place to use as a home base to explore the region.

As a place that’s not at the top of everyone’s bucket list (yet) Merida is still affordable.

Besides the city itself, which is a cultural hub with beautiful places and yummy food, there’s also great Merida beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Mayan Ruins, Merida cenotes, historic haciendas, and more.

Give yourself plenty of time here, as there’s something for everyone in Mérida, Yucatán and all the great places to visit near Merida Mexico.

Beyond these 50 things to do in Mexico Merida, if you still need are a few more suggestions of what to do in Merida Mexico, here they are:

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 this 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, Booking.com 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 or passport stamp upon arrival.

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