How to Spend the Perfect 24 Hours in Merida, Mexico

Palacio Municipal, Merida, Mexico © Niek Van Son / flickr
Palacio Municipal, Merida, Mexico © Niek Van Son / flickr |
Photo of Jack Guy
23 November 2017

The colonial city of Merida is interesting enough to spend a good few days in, but if you’ve only got 24 hours you can see the best bits. Read on to find out what you should see and do in one day.

Great food is everywhere in Merida

For breakfast, the best place in town is El Barrio. The menu is varied, the ingredients are top notch, and the service is wonderful. Suitably fortified, it’s time to go to the Lucas de Galvez market, where you can find everything from tap dancing shoes to huge religious statues for sale. Sip on a fruit smoothie as you browse the seemingly endless aisles, and experience Merida shopping as the locals do it.

Fresh fruit juices at Mercado Lucas de Galvez, Merida, Mexico |

After the market, take a quick spin around the MACAY contemporary art museum, which is home to a huge range of impressive works from the likes of Fernando Castro Pacheco. Just outside is the cathedral, so pop your head in before heading to Chaya Maya for lunch.

An exhibition at the MACAY museum in Merida, Mexico |

Haciendas show troubled past

This relaxed restaurant offers traditional Mayan dishes without the pastiche feel of other restaurants in town. You won’t find over the top tortilla-making displays here, just traditional food at fair prices. Order the sharing platter to try a selection of specialities. Don’t forget to try a Chaya margarita too.

Take a digestive stroll around the historic centre of the city before jumping in a cab to Hacienda Xcanatun. It’s only a 20-minute drive away, but the colonial plantation house feels like a world away. Take a tour through the garden and settle down on the veranda to watch the sunset with a cocktail.

La Chaya Maya restaurant, Merida, Mexico |

Party all night at La Pulquerida

In the evening, take a cab to Rosa Sur 32 for dinner. Bag an outside table to watch life go by on Parque de Santa Lucia, where there are often free events going on. It’s great for people watching as you try the international fusion cuisine.

After dinner, get the drinks in at La Pulquerida or La Fundacion Mezcaleria, where young locals and tourists dance the night away. The music is loud, the drinks are cheap, and you can’t help but join in the dancing, which sometimes goes on until 5am.

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