Popular among expats and visitors alike, laid-back Mérida is a compact and walkable city that’s easy to explore in just one day. With 24 hours to spare, you’ll have time to sample local cuisine, see architectural highlights, and discover traditional Yucatan culture. Here’s how.
Beat Mérida’s midday heat by exploring the city’s historic center on a morning walking tour. Tours typically cover the Zocalo (Central Square), Merida Cathedral, Casa de Montejo, and Municipal Palace, and provide cultural and historical context that’s crucial to understanding Merida’s past and present. If you have time, consider taking a trip to the city’s outskirts to visit the impressive Mayan World Museum—it’s especially recommended for history buffs and those who want a deeper understanding of Mayan culture.
Spend the afternoon seeing a different side of the city on a bike tour, which allows you to cover more ground in less time. Stop by the Municipal Market for lunch or buy a traditional snack from the many street vendors before squeezing in a guided tour the Casa Museo Montes Molina—buying your admission ticket in advance saves time on the day.
Alternatively, food lovers can dedicate the afternoon to a food-focused tour or cooking class, which typically involve an immersive market visit and reveal the secrets of Yucatan cuisine.
Mérida comes alive when the sun goes down, so ensure you hit up the best nightlife spots on a cantina tour. Stop by several of Mérida’s most interesting watering holes, sampling beers, spirits, and typical bar snacks along the way. Then, if you’re still hungry, enjoy a dinner of traditional Yucatecan fare at a restaurant in the historic center before relaxing in one of the city’s plazas. There, locals come out to dance after dark. Alternatively, escape the city center for a sunset kayaking excursion to one of the nearby mangrove lagoons—ideal for birdwatchers and couples looking for a romantic end to their stay in Mérida.