Placio Canton on Paseo de Montejo
The main plaza is a great place from which to start your exploration of Merida. Not only is it a place where locals gather but it is also home to a number of interesting sites. The Cathedral, the Palacio Municipal (town hall) and the Casa de Montejo all sit on the plaza and are worth visiting.
The plaza is also the place to pick up a horse and carriage, which can take you sightseeing around the city.
Casa Montejo is the former home of the Francisco Montejo Jnr who founded modern-day Merida. The building is an excellent sample of Spanish colonial architecture and was built in 1549.
This magnificent cathedral is known for the murals depicting the meeting between Montejo and the Mayan Emperor Tutl Xiu. Construction of this cathedral, built using stone from Mayan religious structures, began in 1561.
The Governor’s Palace houses 27 large murals illustrating the somewhat violent and bloody history of the Yucatan. The artist, Fernando Castro Pacheco spent his entire life working on these paintings.
La Ermita de Santa Isabela
This is a quiet relaxing area with tranquil gardens, statues and churches, located just outside the city wall.
Fashioned after the Champs-Élysées in Paris, this long boulevard is lined with palatial mansions and colonial buildings. In addition to the shops, boutique hotels, bars and restaurants, the homeland monument that sits at the far end of the boulevard boasts an interesting depiction of Merida’s history.
Grand Museum of the Maya World
This huge museum opened in 2012 tells the story of the Yucatan region, spanning from when a meteorite that is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs hit the Yucatan, through the Maya period and onto the colonial and industrial era. It is an interactive museum, with lots of interesting exhibits for kids.
On Friday nights at 9pm, the Autonomous University of Yucatan put on a traditional Mexican folkloric dance show. The show is in the courtyard of the University on Calle 60, corner with 57.
Handicrafts and Food Market
On Sunday Merida’s main plaza, Hidalgo Park and Santa Lucia Park are all host to a handicraft market and food festival. Many of the streets are closed and there is live music from 9am-9pm.
Every Thursday for the last 50 years a Yucatan Serenade has taken place in Santa Lucia Park (corner of Calle 60 and 55) at 9pm. The open-air concert is great chance to see the traditional dances, music and folklore of the area.