The Mixture in Mérida

Hello Pals,
Mérida is the largest city within the Yucatan and is the capital. The origin of Yucatan is unclear, possibly a result of a loss in translation between the Mayan and the Spanish. I spent four days in Mérida, looking at the Neo-Classic, Neo-Gothic, Baroque and French architecture littered throughout the city. If you’ve got the time, it’s also a great place as a hub for day trips.

If you would like to know how I spent a “few days in Mérida.” click ‘read more’

In this article, you’ll find: (click to be taken there)
The Basics: How to get there.
Getting Around: Transport Options
My Top Choices: What you should see.
My Recommendations: Where to eat & drink, What to listen to & read.
What I did: My diary entry.
Other Recommendations: Things we missed.

All my posts have a key:
⏰ Opening Hours. 📍Location 🕒Distance
💰Cost 🎫Ticket 📝 To note. 🎒What to bring.
♿ Accessibility 🌱Vegan / Veg Options.

  TO NOTE:

  • Read my Mexico’s TO KNOW guide here.
  • Mérida has weekly events at night. You can check the calendar here.

THE BASICS

Getting to Mérida.

✈️ Fly from Cancun.

💰$362.16 -840.89 MXN | €16.65 -38.65 Euro|
$28 – $65 AUD| $18.54 – 43.05 USD | ‎£14.41- 33.47  GBP
🕒 1 hour
• MAYAir – has direct flights. • Aeromexico • VivaAerobus 

*You can also fly direct from Miami, Houston and Atlanta*

🚌 Bus from Cancun.

📍Calle 69 554, Centro, 97000 Mérida
💰 $362.16 -840.89 MXN | €16.65 -38.65 Euro|
$28 – $65 AUD| $18.54 – 43.05 USD | ‎£14.41- 33.47  GBP
🕒 4 hours (although i swear my bus took 6.)


TOP CHOICES!

Museum of the City of Mérida

⏰ 09:00 – 18:00 | Closed Mon
📍 Calle 56 529A, Centro, 97000
💰 Free
♿Yes, has elevators.
———-
The building itself dates back 1908 showcasing the french neoclassic style which once held the Post Office . It has been a museum since 2007 showcasing an Art Gallery, Temporary Exhibitions and Permanent Exhibitions across the three floors. It gives you a broader sense of knowledge on the Maya people and the Yutacan.

Zocalo / Plaza Grande Merida.

📍 Calle 56 529A, Centro, 97000
💰 Free
———-
The liveliest place within Merida, it’s a place to meet others, rest under the shade or just use the wifi. It’s also the spot you’ll walk through the most. (Even though this is said, and I went into it multiple times a day, I did not get a photo of the actual Cathedral. Go figure.)

Catedral de Mérida

⏰ 6:30–13:00 | 16:00 – 20:00
💰 Free
Built from Mayan ruins, this cathedral is considered to be the oldest Church within the Americas built on mainland. Construction began in began in 1561 and completed 37 years later, in 1598. Within the Church itself has a wooden Jesus, with a mahogany cross measuring 12 meters high.

Museo Casa Montejo

⏰ 10:00 – 19:00 | Closed Mon.
💰 Free
📝Free tour Tuesday – Sat 11:00 – 13:00 | Sun: 11:00
Built between 1542 and 1549, it showcases four permanent rooms; the office, living room, bedroom and dining room all furnished showing the style of those centuries. There are also three temporary exhibition halls that change.

Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Yucatan

⏰ 09:00 – 16:00 | Closed Sat + Sun.
💰 Free
♿ Bottom Floor, Yes.
A grand green building of classicist style, stone staircases and a central courtyard. There are 27 murals showcasing the history between the Mayan and Spanish.

Passage of the Revolution

💰 Free
Linking the Cathedral to the Archbishop’s Palace. It showcases art and multimedia displays in which you can spend 5-10 minutes. Try and check out the modern museum which rotates contemporary exhibits;
Fernando García Ponce-Macay Museum ⏰10:00 – 18:00 | Closed Tues.

Parque de Santa Lucía

⏰ 24/7
📍 Calle 60 476A, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro, 
💰 Free
📝 Every Thursday, from 8 p.m has events.
♿ Park is accessible.
———-
Having events at night, street vendors and food options around – this park remains pretty lively. The main reason people arrive will be the large “sillas confidentes” also known as “tu y yo.”

Museo de Arte Popular de Yucatan

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00 | Sun: 15:00 | Closed Mon
📍Calle 50-A #487, Parque de la Mejorada
💰Free
———-
Known also as “Casa Molina” after the last private owners. It’s a small two-story palace with Academic Style. Since 2007 it’s been the Folk Art Museum which includes around 600 items.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS

🥘 LoQueHay Cafe

⏰ 08:00 – 16:00 | 19:00 – 22:-00
📍 Calle 55 533 X 64 y 66, Centro, 97000
📝 bring mosquito spray.
🌱vegan restaurant
Lo Que Hay literally translates to ‘what there is’ in which the food cooked is seasonal and what they have available. The motto is “Kind, Tasty, Healthy, International, Vegan.” Situated within a hotel, you’ll need to ring the doorbell and wait for someone to let you in.

Sukra

⏰ 07:00 – 22:00
📍Paseo de Montejo 496, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro
🌱Vegan, Vegetarian & GF options available.
Situated along Paseo de Montejo, a boulevard of 19th century mansions scattered in-between are bars, restaurants and shops. One that comes to mind is Sukra. Aesthetically pleasing with mismatched chairs, art and decor it’s a bohemian vibe serving good coffee and treats.

🍷 Illuminati

⏰17:00 – 23:30
📍 480-470, Calle 64, Centro, 97000 
Craft beers that are reasonably priced, nice decor and friendly staff – it’s easy to sit here and hang out with pals, read a book or write in your diary. They offer a range of pizzas, entrees, salads and hotdogs/baguettes (they’re categorised together on the menu.) My suggestion would be the Ceiba or Costera cerveza.

🍷 Mayan Pub

⏰17:00 – 23:30
📍 Calle 62 x 55 x 57, 
Popular with the younger crowds, they’ve often got live music and overall good prices. Small cozy vibes inside, make sure to check out the back patio.

WHAT I DID

Finally leaving Cancun, probably due to the fact I kept eating the same tacos every day and it was getting weird… I paid for an ADO bus ticket that was way too expensive. Turns out booking a day before – does in fact save you money. Go Figure. I was mostly going to Merida to check it out, and although I knew they had a few museums – I was saving most of my museum-seeing-energy for Mexico City. Arriving late, I was shown into the female dorm in which had an ensuite and I was solo. I for the life of me cannot remember where I stayed. I read a book while eating and being attacked at LoQueHay before writing in my diary at Illuminati.

I spent my first day checking out the Museum of the City of Mérida, artesanias markets and trying to find a hat after leaving mine on a bus (probably) and settled on a faux lacoste that did not fit my head. I got lost walking towards Sukra, but saw the most incredible architecture and finally arrived along Paseo de Montejo.

Merida was filled with incredible door frames, in which I mostly walked around the city taking photos and listening to My Favourite Murder Podcast. I’m glad I got out of Cancun, I was feeling restless but I was also feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything which is always both telling you to get out and do things but not feel bad for doing it. A constant circle. A few museums I did’t go to, either because there was no English and I was feeling too lazy to translate or because I was heading to Mexico City and wanted to try and see a lot there.

I tried to make it to Izamal on my third/last day but got the times wrong for the bus, so just continued to walk around town instead. It’s just on my must-see-next-time which seems to be growing larger and larger.

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Mayan World Museum of Mérida:
    ⏰09:00 – 17:00 | Closed Tues. 💰 Foreigner: 150 pesos
    ♿ Accessible with ramps, elevators, special equipment & braille.
    Exhibiting over 1,200 pieces of Mayan artefacts .
    see a bit more information here.
  • El Corchito Reserve:
    It had been closed due to the sea level, but re-opened on 19th December 2019. See a blog here.
  • Palacio de la Música
    ⏰10:00 – 16:00 | Closed Mon. 💰 Free.
    Read about it here.
  • Celestun: the main attraction is the Pink or Caribbean Flamingo, the only known population in North America. See a blog post here.
  • Cenotes:
    Xlacah Cenote, Cuzamá Cenote, Homun’s Cenote
  • Ruins
    Dzibilchaltun, Uxmal, Ruta Puuc

    Merida is also close to so many great towns if you’ve got the time!

Have you been?
What did you see / eat / do?
Let me know below.
As always, stay cool.
– Sarah.

Sources:
Yucatan Today: San Ildefonso Cathedral



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