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20 Essential things to see in Mérida, the white city of Mexico

Merida is the capital of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is the population with the most inhabitants, with a lot of places to see and despite being popularly known as the white city, Mérida is full of color.

I loved Merida. We had already traveled quite a few destinations and I expected a little more of the same and yes, to a certain extent it has places similar to other towns such as Izamal and Valladolid, but in Mérida there are really beautiful corners and it is worth visiting the city.

In this post I tell you about the 20 essential places to see in Mérida, where to stay and some travel tips.

que ver en Mérida, México


Start by visiting the city with a Free tour. A local guide will guide you and tell you the history and curiosities of the historic center of the city. It's free!

Don't forget to tip the guide at the end of the tour, he sure deserves it.

1. The Great Square of Merida

The big square could be said to be the center of the city. Here are the famous Mexican letters with the name of Mérida, but also several of the emblematic buildings of the city. The square is landscaped, with armchairs for gossiping and a fountain.

2. The Cathedral of San Ildefonso

The Cathedral of San Ildefonso is located in this square. It was inaugurated in 1698. It is the first cathedral built in continental America and also the oldest in Mexico. Admission is free.

que ver en Mérida, México

3. Macay Museum and the passage of the Revolution

In the same square, right next to the cathedral, you can visit the Macaray Museum.

It is linked to the cathedral by the Pasaje de la Revolución, a modern-style gallery with a rather imposing vaulted ceiling.

Admission is free and in the museum you can appreciate modern and contemporary art.

4. Municipal Palace of Merida

The Municipal Palace, also located in the main square, was built in 1735. It had various uses, including as a jail.

Every Monday night at 9pm there is a traditional Yucatecan dance show.

You can enter for free during the day and go up to the second floor. From where you can lean out to the sales and have beautiful views of the city. The Municipal Palace is a price building is reddish pink.

que ver en Mérida, México

5. Murals by Fernando Castro

The Government Palace stands out for its 27 murals. Works of art by the artist Fernando Castro. Its light green color caught my attention.

If you notice, in the square we already have a pink/reddish building and a green one. Why is it called the white city if it is full of colors? keep reading...

6. The House of the Montejos

The Montejo House was built between 1543 and 1549 by Francisco de Montejo, the conqueror of the Yucatan Peninsula. Currently, it is a house-museum whose portico remains practically the same as in the original building. It is one of the few examples of Plateresque architecture on the American Continent. Inside the house you can visit 5 rooms and the garden to appreciate how the house must have been in colonial times. Admission is free and it is located on Calle 63. At 11am there is a free guided tour.

7. The Autonomous University of Yucatan

The Autonomous University of Yucatan is one of the most famous in southern Mexico. Here we do find a white building dating from the 16th century. It's a beauty.

Exhibitions and shows are frequently organized at the university, and on Fridays at 9:00 p.m. the University Serenade and the traditional Ballet Folklorico take place.

The university is located at 60 with 57.

8. The colonial neighborhood of Santa Lucia

The Barrio de Santa Lucia is the clear example of colonization in Mérida. Here you will find streets and alleys full of colorful, colonial-style houses. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the city, do not miss it.

In addition, there are several bars, where you can have a beer or a margarita. You can also have something to eat or even stay here.

9. The Lucas de Gálvez Market

The Municipal Market is another of the places that you cannot miss in Mérida. It is a fairly large market where you will find stalls selling fresh products, handicrafts, clothing, souvenirs...

This market dates back to the 19th century, when back then it was just a shed. These days there is always a lovely and friendly buzz to wander around and enjoy the local atmosphere.

que ver en Mérida, México

10. The Church of Santa Lucia

This little church is a burst of red. In the past it was a cemetery. Just in front of the entrance there is still an arch built into the wall, although now covered, which corresponded to the entrance to the cemetery. Although it is a somewhat austere church, especially inside, it is a beautiful building.

11. Great Museum of the Mayan World

This museum opened in 2012 is a great opportunity to learn more about the Mayan people, culture and history. There are more than 1,000 pieces on display in the museum.

The exhibitions progress slowly and take a journey through history.

The Museum is located on the outskirts of the city. Still, don't leave it off your must-have list. You can get there by taxi for a few pesos or with your rental car.

12. Nahualli Gallery

Have you been wanting more art? The Nahualli Gallery is the house of the artists Malva Medina and Abel Vázquez. Here you will find a large exhibition of his painting and sculpture works.

13. The José Peón Theater

The José Peón theater is a beautiful building that is worth visiting. As soon as you enter there is a small free museum with various works of art on display.

You will be able to walk up the beautiful marble staircase.

You can see a show, almost every day there is the option to see it. Go to the box office and ask if they are doing any plays tonight. If you get the chance, go ahead, you will love the experience.

que ver en Mérida, México

14. Representation of the Mayan ball game

The tradition of this ancient sport is kept alive every Saturday night at 8:30 on Calle 60 in front of the Cathedral and Plaza Grande.

It is a beautiful and curious experience.

Pok Ta Pok players slide across the cobbles in an attempt to score by hipping the ball into the post. It is a show like no other, you cannot miss it.

que ver en Mérida, México

15. The Paseo de Montejo

Paseo de Montejo is a wide avenue where historic mansions line up one after another. There are several quaint hotels and cafes. It is a good area to stay.

On this promenade is the Montes Molina House Museum. You can visit it with a 45-minute guided tour, where you can see the huge rooms of the mansion with precious period furniture.

16. Canton Palace

On the same avenue is the Canton Palace. Mayan archeology is exhibited in this palace. The building itself is wonderful, a neoclassical mansion. Admission is 60 pesos and it opens every day.

que ver en Mérida, México

17. Parks in Mérida and chairs to gossip

In Mérida there are several parks to walk, rest under the shade of the trees and eat something from a street food stall.

In these parks you will find the famous chairs to gossip about, I already told you about them in the Valladolid article.

The most popular parks in the city center with Parque de Santa Lucia, Parque de Santa Ana and Parque Santiago.

que ver en Mérida, México

18. The yellow churches of Mérida

Mérida is very big and there are many churches. In the historic center and the neighborhoods that surround it, you will find beautiful churches. Some that stand out for their yellow color are the church of the Ermita de Santa Isabel. A small church that is located at the end of 64th street. It is very small with a nave, but beautiful.

Another yellow church that you cannot miss is La Iglesia de San Juan. This is located in the San Juan park, it is colonial in style and has two bell towers.

que ver en Mérida, México


19. Excursion to Uxmal and Kabah

The archaeological site of Uxmal and Kabah is an essential excursion to do from Mérida. It is two very well preserved archaeological sites.

Kabah is dedicated to the Mayan god of rain, Chaac. And in this site you can see the masks that cover the walls of Codz Poop and a set of statues of the Mayan kings. You cannot miss the Palace, the largest building in the archaeological zone.

The other archaeological zone is Uxmal, where you can see the Governor's Palace, the House of the Pigeons and the Quadrangle of the Nuns.

que ver en Mérida, México

20. The Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve

I love natural environments and the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve is impressive. Here, apart from a beautiful green environment, you will be able to appreciate the flamingos.

que ver en Mérida, México


The best area to stay is the historic center. It is where most of the essential places in the city are located and you will be able to walk to each place. Or you can also rent a bike.

Some great options to stay in the center of Merida:


I hope you enjoy your trip to Mexico a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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