The city of Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan, Mexico, is a bustling city with nearly a million people that still somehow maintains its historic charm.
It’s been growing in popularity over the last several years, and now, this city near Cancun is one of the most popular destinations to visit in 2024.
There are several reasons for this, and some attractions you won’t want to miss when visiting Merida.
Merida has a long, storied past to explore, dating back to 1542 as the city of Merida, which the Spanish founded, and even further as a Mayan city.
The history of both cultures is well preserved.
You can see evidence of this throughout the city, where you’ll find museums, architecture, and the largest old town in Mexico, which are all testament to the city’s past.
@neeeenagh Mérida, Mexico. A city seeped in history from both its Maya and Spanish past. Know for its colourful streets, colonial architecture, and boasting he oldest cathedral in Mexico🇲🇽❤️ #Mérida #mexico #Yucatan #yucatanpeninsula #yucatanmexico #traveling #adventures #wanderlust ♬ Otra Vez – ProdMarvin
Architecture In Merida
Throughout Merida, there is a mix of colonial and contemporary architecture to explore.
One of the most important examples of colonial architecture in Merida is the Merida Cathedral or Catedral de San Ildefonso.
Some of the other important buildings that will transport you back to the city’s early days are La Casa de Montejo, Templo de Jesús de la Tercera Orden, and Hacienda Yaxcopoil.
Only steps away from these examples of historic architecture you’ll also find modern buildings housing museums, a university, and more.
@alexanderfromkc The Merida Cathedral or Catedral de San Ildefonso The Merida Cathedral or Catedral de San Ildefonso is the most recognizable building in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Here's a bit of history about this beautiful structure. Join this channel to get access to perks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtZB6V9RSLz5vYu9TV2qUyQ/join Become a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/alexanderhowell Text @ 816-727-7740 ———————————————————————————– TWITCH ►► https://twitch.tv/alexanderfromkc INSTAGRAM ►► https://www.instagram.com/alexanderfromkc TWITTER ►► https://twitter.com/alexanderfromkc ———————————————————————————– FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/travel2merida ———————————————————————————– Quality Description tags: #Mexico, #Merida, #Yucatan, #Travel, #Expat, #Expatriate, #meridacathedral ♬ original sound – Alexander Howell
Merida’s Mayan Culture
Before it became the city of Merida, the area was occupied by the Mayans.
The new city was built on top of the old city, which during Mayan times was called the city of T’Ho.
Some of the buildings that still stand today were partially built with stones salvaged from the Mayan-era buildings.
Between the history, the surrounding Mayan ruins, the Mayan World Museum of Merida, and the Mayan population, there are many opportunities to explore Mayan culture in Merida.
@marthavgalindo Merida es la ciudad más hermosa y aparte la más segura en todo México 🇲🇽 lo tiene todo! #meridayucatanmexico #meridayucatán #ciudaddemerida ♬ México En La Piel – Luis Miguel
Natural Attractions That Surround Merida
If you’re a nature lover, you’ll have no trouble finding things to do in and around Merida.
The city itself is home to several beautiful parks, some small wildlife sanctuaries, and botanical gardens.
Not far from Merida, you’ll also find an important nature reserve, numerous cenotes, and other natural sites to visit.
@sabiscrh This is why you have to visit Mexico I swear #cenotes #yucatan #caves #travelinspo #nature #merida ♬ Wanderlust – AK
The City’s Authentic Food Scene
It’s been said that some of the best food in Mexico is in Merida.
The food scene in Merida is varied and authentic, with influences from multiple cultures.
To really get a feel for the locality, though, you’ll want to be sure to try some local traditional dishes. A few places to do this include:
- La Chaya Maya
- Taqueria La Lupita
- Museo de la Gastronomia Yucateca
@mexicoinmypocket 📌 TRAVEL TIP – If you visit Merida, you need to eat at La Chaya Maya!#mexicotravel #travelmexico #mexicoinmypocket #condenasttraveler #fallinlovewithmexico #handmadetortillas #mexicanfood #fyp #trending ♬ Sol y Luna – Marta Campos
Archeological Sites To Visit Near Merida
One of the best things about Merida is its close proximity to amazing Mayan ruins.
This fascinating city is only about an hour and a half from the famous Chichen Itza archeological site.
It’s also close to the Uxmal ruins and several others in the state, which is home to around 200 Mayan ruins.
@globetrottingpolyglot Come with me on a tour to Chichen Itza. Just so you know you do not need to book a tour and can always find a guide when you arrive. I chose a tour due to the convience of it. #travelmexico #traveltiktok ♬ original sound – Sophie | travel & languages 🌍
Merida’s Charming Hotels
Hotels in Merida are much different than those you’ll find on the Mexican Caribbean coast.
Rather than large all-inclusives, you’ll mostly find smaller boutique hotels and hostels that exude the charm of the city.
The hotel scene pairs perfectly with the rest of the city’s charm, which is a perfect day trip from Cancun, especially now that you can take the Maya Train to this fascinating destination.
Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
↓ Join the community ↓
The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean
Subscribe to our Latest Posts
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.