Mérida is the principal city of Yucatán state in southern Mexico. As the largest city on the peninsula, also called Yucatán, it is the hive of most activity there, be it economic, cultural or educational. Millions of people come to Mérida due to its proximity to the Caribbean Sea, its range of intriguing historical sites and the myriad of cultural events held in the city centre. Much of the architecture in the city is influenced by Spanish colonial design. Meanwhile, the temperatures here during the daytime rarely drift below 20°C, although the cool breeze coming from the Caribbean tends to entice people outside in the evening. Many Mayan sites are within a stone’s throw of Mérida should you want to learn about the city’s history.
As a small car might find some of the minor routes a little tricky, a hatchback is the most sensible option as it will cope with minor bumps and cracks on the roads much better.
Driving in Merida
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Most of the street names in Mérida end with a number, with two or more streets sharing the same one. Bear this in mind when reading a local map.
Traffic in the centre of Mérida tends to be a little on the quiet side, although the main roads and city centre can get busy at times.
Some of the one-way street signage in the city is small and hard to spot from a distance. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
Highlights & Hotspots
With its vivid pink façade, Palacio Canton is one of the most unique attractions in the city. Inside the mansion, you will find the Museo Regional de Arquaeologia de Yucatán. The museum has many Maya artworks, while there’s an Irish bar close by for refreshment.
Opera, theatre and classical music performances take place at the Teatro Peón Contreras. Built in 1908, it is one of the most opulent buildings in the whole of Mérida and acts as the hub of all high culture in the city.
Every Sunday evening, at the Zócalo, a major public square in the city centre, there are plenty of free public events. Here, brass bands and dance orchestras play as locals and tourists casually walk around this part of the city.
Shopping in Mérida is particularly delightful. The Mercado Lucas de Galvez and San Benito is the best place to buy authentic local souvenirs. Lucas de Galvez and San Benito are two adjoining markets, which sell everything from clothes to food and jewellery.
Manuel Crescencio Rej√≥n International Airport is the city‚Äôs main air terminal, lying just over two miles southwest of the centre of M√©rida. It is one of the busiest airports in Mexico and has a terminal with two concourses for passengers, A and B.
The airport is accessible from the 261 highway, which goes from the city centre towards the airport‚Äôs car parks via a link road.